Apr 16, 2009 | 1
Are there any short-term solutions to climate change? One potentially quick fix being bandied about in India is the replacement of old cooking stoves that produce Earth-warming, lung-clogging black carbon (a.k.a. soot).
Soot accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, second only to carbon-dioxide (CO2), which accounts for 40 percent of the emissions blamed for global warming, according to today's New York Times. Scientists including Veerabhadran Ramanathan, an atmospheric physicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, are promoting solar-cookers as a quick fix to the soot problem while more complex technologies are developed to reduce the CO2 emissions, the Times reports.
Apr 3, 2009
The number of cases of polio last year climbed – and spread into countries where it was previously wiped out — despite an aggressive worldwide effort to eradicate the potentially paralyzing virus in the nations still battling it half a century after the introduction of the polio vaccine.
An estimated 350,000 cases of the disease occurred annually in 1988, when world leaders launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to eliminate the virus in the 125-plus countries where it still existed. By 2006, polio remained endemic to just four countries – Nigeria, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan – and by 2007, the number of reported cases was down to 1,315. But over the next year, infections rose by 26 percent, to 1,655 cases, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Mar 11, 2009 | 6
In many rural areas of India, schoolchildren use chalk to write on handheld, erasable black slate tablets roughly the size of a piece of paper, because their teachers lack the funding or electrical infrastructure for anything more sophisticated. A group of humanitarians and educators are trying to change this by developing a new type of solar-powered LED tablet, called the I-slate, that uses a stylus rather than chalk and features a special chip that uses up to 30 times less electricity than a standard computer chip.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, particularly in an educational setting, the I-slate's brain—its information processing chip—is expected to conserve energy by using probabilistic logic, which provides answers to calculations that are rounded rather than precise. (Most chips rely on Boolean logic in their circuits to ensure computers will perform calculations with the utmost precision). These probabilistic chips aren't lazy; they do just enough work to get the job done.
Feb 2, 2009 | 9
Can a laptop be manufactured for $10? The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project created by Nicholas Negroponte and the MIT Media Lab has struggled to keep its promise to provide $100 laptops to school kids in developing countries (In fact, the cheapest one goes for around $188). But the Indian government says it will distribute laptops to students throughout India that each cost less than a movie ticket in New York City.
Too good to be true? Afraid so. BBC News today reported that the announcement – widely reported by new pubs over the weekend – has since been "corrected" to $100 per laptop.
But even at $100 a pop, the price tag would still be the cheapest for a school computer since Negroponte and his colleagues launched OLPC in 2005. Since then, NComputing launched its "thin client" model that allows schools to extend the computing power of one PC out to several PCs (at a cost well over $100 per desktop) and chipmaker Intel has helped bring to market the Classmate netbook PC, which starts at $300. Other computer makers, including Asus and HP, are flooding into the netbook market promising cheaper laptops, but they won't touch the $100 price point for some time.
Dec 22, 2008 | 3
Although the Internet has come to be seen as ubiquitous, people in the Middle East and India were reminded Friday of just how the Web is delivered to their homes and businesses when three key undersea cables were severed within a span of 38 minutes, knocking a large portion of users offline until traffic could be re-routed. The cables remain on the sea bed today as France Telecom Marine deploys its "Hector" remote-control submarine to find the ends of its two cables and bring them to the surface, where they can be repaired on board the company's C/S Raymond Croze 3,200-ton cable maintenance ship. (A second ship operated by India's Reliance Globalcom is en route to repair the third cable, NetworkWorld reported today.)
Dec 3, 2008 | 2
Last week's deadly terrorist attacks in Mumbai that left 171 dead and scores more injured were only the latest in a long string of violent strikes in India. As U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Pakistan urging that country to cooperate with its historic rival's probe into the militant assaults, the University of Maryland released data from its Global Terrorism Database (GTD) showing that there were more than 4,100 terrorist attacks and 12,539 terrorist-related deaths in India between 1970 and 2004 (the latest year for which data is available).
Oct 22, 2008 | 1
India is on its way to the moon, the country’s first unmanned mission there ahead of a planned 2012 rover landing.
The Chandrayaan 1 probe blasted off atop a PSLV-C11 rocket at 6:22 local time this morning from Satish Dhawan Space Center in the southern Andrha Pradesh Province. The $79-million mission reflects an emerging, competitive Asian presence in space at a time when the U.S. shuttle fleet is nearing retirement.
“It is a historic moment,” said G. Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, according to Bloomberg News. “Our journey to the moon has started.”
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The Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative (GBFAI) is launching the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge whose
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