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India wins approval to end 34-year ban on nuclear trade

India won the right to buy atomic- energy equipment after a suppliers' group lifted a three-decade ban on exports to the country, swayed by promises that the nation will keep its moratorium on nuclear-bomb tests. The U.S. made the proposal to the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group to give the south Asian country access to atomic fuels and technologies. The NSG, founded in 1974 to prevent countries from copying India's use of imported technology to make its first atomic bomb, needed a unanimous vote to pass the deal. The waiver means that companies including France's Areva SA, Russia's Rosatom Corp. and Japan's Toshiba Corp. will be able to export nuclear equipment to India. General Electric Co. and other U.S. companies will have to wait until Congress ratifies a 2006 trade pact backed by President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.    Full Story   Bloomberg_ 9/6/08

Global broadband services market seen at $900 billion by 2012

The global market for high-speed Internet services will be worth nearly $1 trillion by 2012, according to a report by research firm Yankee Group. The broadband market, which includes revenue from services to consumers and businesses, as well as the amount spent on equipment for the underlying infrastructure, is currently worth $590 billion, Yankee Group said. By 2012, the market will grow to more than $903 billion, it projected. Emily Green, president and chief executive of Yankee Group, noted that it took 10 years for the Internet to reach one billion people. The Internet will double its reach by 2012, she said.   Full Story   Dow Jones/Morning Star_ 9/4/08

Start-up wants to provide free broadband
M2Z is a small wireless start-up with a big goal: free broadband for the masses. Milo Medin, M2Z's chairman and co-founder and a broadband pioneer, wants the ad-supported service to ultimately be available to 95% of the USA. The free service, if it launches, would run at 768 kilobits a second, 10 times faster than dial-up. Big wireless carriers currently charge a lot more — $60 to $80 a month — for a lot less, 400 to 500 kilobits or so. Premium services at higher speeds — 3 to 6 megabits initially, Medin guesses — would start at just $20 a month.

Full Story   USAToday_ 9/2/08

Chinese scientists demonstrate how to see through 'invisibility cloak'

Invisibility achieved through transformation media is a two-way street. With no light penetrating a perfect invisibility cloak, there would be no way for an invisible person to see outside. In other words, invisible people would also be blind -- not exactly what Harry Potter had in mind. But now, Huanyang Chen of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China and his colleagues have developed way to partially cancel the invisibility cloak's cloaking effect. Their "anti-cloak" would be a material with optical properties perfectly matched to those of an invisibility cloak. This would allow an invisible observer to see the outside by pressing a layer of anti-cloak material in contact with an invisibility cloak. This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Minister of Education Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University, and the Hong Kong Central Allocation Fund.   Full Story   Scientific Frontline/ Reuters_ 9/3/08

MI Technologies installs state-of-the-art planar near-field antenna measurement system at the Navy Surface Warfare Center Crane

MI Technologies has completed installation of a very large planar near-field antenna measurement system at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane), located in Crane, Indiana. NSWC Crane provides comprehensive support for complex military systems spanning development, deployment and sustainment in three mission areas: Electronic Warfare/Information Operations, Special Missions, and Strategic Missions. In addition to installing the planar scanner, MI Technologies provided NSWC Crane with a fully automated microwave measurement system including the MI-3003 Data Acquisition and Analysis Workstation.  Full Story   News Release_ 8/26/08

Broadband is far cry in India
India may have emerged as the fastest growing telecom market in the world, however, in terms of Internet access and broadband numbers, the country has some major catching up to do. With almost close-to-zero broadband penetration, India is far behind most economies of the Asia-Pacific region. On the other hand, the region is the world’s largest broadband market with a 39% share globally. The Asia Pacific region as a whole is home to almost half the world’s fixed telephone subscribers. It has 42% of the world’s Internet users, and with 1.4 billion mobile cellular subscribers, it also has the largest mobile phone market. India has close to 50 million Internet users while its number of broadband users is abysmally low at 4.5 million.   Full Story   Financial Express_ 9/2/08

Disney robots to spy for British troops in war against terror

British soldiers are to get spies in the form of Disney Robots WALL.E., as they battle terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Saturn robot spy is a dead ringer for the children's movie favourite as it navigates, sees and works on its own. Army bosses were looking for gizmos, which could identify threats encountered by UK troops on current operations, until WALL.E. look-alike robots built by Team Stellar came up.   Full Story   ANI/NewKerala_ 9/1/08

Solar powered desalination farm to bring life to the Sahara

The ingenious plan, known as the Sahara Forest Project is simple: combine huge greenhouses with concentrated solar power (CSP) and plain old seawater. The solar power provides electricity for the farm of greenhouses, the desalination of the seawater provides both the freshwater and cooling required to grow a wide variety of crops. There is already interest in funding demonstration projects from across the Middle East, including UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. The cost is estimated at approximately $118 million for a 20 hectare site of greenhouses and a 10MW concentrated solar power farm. The initiative to harness the sun's power with the North Africa solar plan has already gained support in Europe from both the UK's Gordon Brown and French premier Nikolas Sarkozy.   Full Story   Red Herring_ 9/2/08

Two large solar plants planned in California

Companies will build two solar power plants in California that together will put out more than 12 times as much electricity as the largest such plant today, the latest indication that solar energy is starting to achieve significant scale. The plants will cover 12.5 square miles of central California with solar panels, and in the middle of a sunny day will generate about 800 megawatts of power, roughly equal to the size of a large coal-burning power plant or a small nuclear plant. A megawatt is enough power to run a large Wal-Mart store. The power will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric, which is under a state mandate to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010. OptiSolar, a company that has just begun making a type of solar panel with a thin film of active material, will install 550 megawatts in San Luis Obispo County. The SunPower Corporation, which uses silicon-crystal technology, will build about 250 megawatts at a different location in the same county. The largest photovoltaic installation in the United States, at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, uses SunPower panels.  Full Story   New York Times_ 8/14/08 (logon required)

Light bent the wrong way--can an invisibility cloak be far behind?

Researchers have taken the next step on the road to constructing a cloak of invisibility or a powerful "superlens" capable of capturing fine details undetectable to current lenses. A group from the University of California, Berkeley, this week is publishing the first demonstrations of materials capable of bending visible or near-visible light the "wrong" way in three dimensions. Both are examples of metamaterials—specially designed structures that cause light to do things it normally wouldn't—in this case, bending backward, an effect called negative refraction. In a study to be published in Nature, the Berkeley group led by Xiang Zhang, bent red light using a fishnet-shaped stack of 21 layers of silver and magnesium fluoride, each a few tens of nanometers thick. (One nanometer is a billionth of a meter.) The group will also report in Science that it bent near-infrared light using a thinner sheet of aluminum oxide containing silver nanowires. The researchers believe the second material ought to work on red light as well.  Full Story   Scientific American_ 8/12/08

Privately-financed SpaceX has third launch failure; Hoped to transport satellites for NASA and DOD

A privately funded rocket suffered a launch failure Saturday night, the third launch failure in as many attempts for an Internet entrepreneur who is hoping to develop private space delivery and transportation. The failure occurred about two minutes after the launch of the two-stage Falcon 1 rocket, which was manufactured by Space Exploration Technologies, also known as SpaceX. A failure prevented the two stages from separating after the launch from a central Pacific atoll, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a company blog. Musk, who co-founded PayPal and sold it to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002, co-founded SpaceX that same year and secured a contract with NASA to replace the space shuttle after 2010 in servicing the International Space Station. The Falcon rocket was carrying three satellites for NASA and the Department of Defense. The failure marks the third time in a little more than two years that SpaceX fell short of orbiting Earth post launch.   Full Story   CNET_ 8/3/08

Telescope embedded in glasses lens promises to make driving easier for visually impaired

Glasses embedded with a telescope promise to make it easier for people with impaired vision to drive and do other activities requiring sharper distance vision. Schepens Eye Research Institute scientists describe the advantages of these innovative glasses over earlier devices in an article published in the May/June issue of Journal of Biomedical Optics. The inventor of the glasses is Dr. Eli Peli, a senior scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute, a professor at Harvard Medical School, a low vision expert, and the senior author of the paper. In the newer glasses, Peli and his co-inventor Dr. Vargas-Martin from the University of Murcia, Spain, designed a wide-field telescope made of straight and curved mirrors built completely within the spectacle lens.   Full Story   Science Daily_ 8/2/08

 

   
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