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Commercialization of carbon nanotubes is one of the holy grails of next-gen computing, and IBM thinks it’s made crucial steps toward making this a reality. This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard such a claim, of course, but IBM’s considerable resources will make this particularly interesting. The specific problem it’s been tackling is placing enough semiconducting nanotubes together to be useful in commercial chips, with current attempts being more in the hundreds, rather than billions that would be required. The new approach uses ion-exchange chemistry that allows controlled placement of nanotubes at two orders of magnitude greater than before, with a density of roughly a billion per square centimeter. To achieve this, the nanotubes are mixed with a soap-like substance that makes them water-soluble. Next, a substrate comprising two oxides and a hafnium oxide “trench” is immersed in the soap-solution, which results in the nanotubes attaching to the hafnium oxide canals with a chemical bond. Simple when you think about it! IBM hopes that as the materials and method are readily accessible now, that industry players will be able to experiment with nanotube technology at a much greater scale. Though, as we’ve become accustomed, there’s no solid timescales on when this might realistically unfold.
Sonoma Ant Wars 2012 antweights My robot, Wedg-E, vs Darth Carbon (2) Special thanks to Orion Beach of Team Offbeat Robotics for recording this fight.Related Posts:
The choices in the electric motorcycle market just keep getting juicier, and while you’ll still have to stick with the more established brands like Brammo, Zero or BRD if you’re looking to make a purchase, a hot new prototype has just been unveiled that threatens to make them all look a little bit… pedestrian. It’s called the Roskva from a team of five students at the University of Life Sciences (UMB) in Oslo, Norway. Like a MotoGP bike it has an all carbon fiber frame that weighs less than 25kg and is wrapped in carbon bodywork and even rolls on carbon wheels. A 94HP motor provides the oomph and delivers a top speed of about 112MPH, with a maximum range of 62 miles. No word on when or if the thing might make it into actual production, but we can say for sure that there’s a second picture of the thing just waiting for you right after the break, still in that same garage that is far, far neater than ours.
We’ve been waiting, rather patiently we might add, for carbon nanotubes to really start making a difference in our computing lives. That day has yet to pass, but researchers at Stanford are making good progress. Breakthroughs have been coming at a steady pace over the last several years, but there are still major obstacles. For one, aligning tubes end to end has proven practically impossible, and metallic carbon nanotubes (as opposed to semi conducting ones) wreak all sorts of havoc with circuits. (That wouldn’t be an issue if there was a reliable way to produce only the semiconducting variety.) Rather than charge headlong into those challenges though, the Stanford team has figured out a way around modern limitations, without sacrificing much of the energy efficiency that makes carbon nanotubes so attractive. The team has found an “imperfection-immune” way of designing nanotube circuits that removes metallic contaminants and is unaffected by misaligned tubes. For more info, check out the PR after the break.
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If you are looking for Piano or Rhodes-like feel for serious playing, Samson’s Carbon 49 USB MIDI Controller may not be right for you.
However, if you need a keyboard for some light playing or sample triggering, why not keep the expensive Kronos at home and bring the Carbon 49 out for the dangerous outdoor gigs that require expendable equipment? (I have seen many an expensive keyboard dragged end over end behind a golf cart after a show, or dropped or had beer spilled all over it while it was being underutilized at a gig as a mere MIDI controller).
Don’t get me wrong, the Carbon 49 — originally announced at NAMM but available May 15 — is a decently constructed keyboard controller and it comes complete with the usual on-board tools of the MIDI trade (modulation wheel, pitch wheel, data knob). Most importantly, it’s fairly portable and can use a laptop or even an iPad (not included) for both its MIDI brain and complete power supply (which makes for light travel). That’s a pretty great feature actually!
The thing about the Carbon 49 I like the best is the price point. At $ 89 it’s inexpensive and I think it plays pretty well for that price range!
- Price – $ 89
- Integrated iPad stand
- Dedicated Transpose and Octave buttons, classic Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels
- Velocity-sensitive keys
- Shift key adjusts up to 14 performance-related control parameters
- Features traditional MIDI out, sustain-pedal input and USB connections
- Not trully weighted keys, which could make it hard for more serious or sensitive playing
- 49 keys…you would have to balance portability with your playing needs
- iPad Camera Kit connector not included
I liked it. It’s inexpensive and worked right out of the box for me with both my MacBook and my iPad. It’s a decent option for playing or sample triggering.
More info at http://www.samsontech.com/
Microsoft has pledged to make all its direct operations carbon neutral from July 1st, marking the start of its 2013 fiscal year. The company plans to charge an internal “carbon fee” for emissions incurred by air travel, data centers, and other parts of the business, and will aim to reduce its carbon output through efficiency measures such as making air travel a “last resort.” To cover the environmental cost of emissions that aren’t able to be cut, the company will purchase carbon offsets and make investments in renewable energy.
Microsoft acknowledges that recent expansions into cloud computing have brought on greater CO2 output due to the high level of electricity required. Greenpeace, which has been campaigning for a “clean cloud,”…