Jun 8, 2009 | 2
Employees at the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) appear to be ignoring their own energy-saving advice. The agency, which is authorized to spend $16.8 billion of the federal stimulus within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy alone, failed a recent inspector general energy efficienty audit, notes The Wall Street Journal's Environmental Capital blog today.
The audit, which surveyed seven of the agency's major sites, detailed the DoE's "efforts to manage information technology resources in an energy-efficient and environmentally responsible manner." It found that the agency was squandering enough energy on unnecessary IT to power 2,400 homes for a year, at a cost of more than $1.5 million.
Mar 18, 2009 | 5
Some heartening news on the tech front: Enrollment in undergraduate computer science and engineering programs is up in the U.S. and Canada for the first time since the dot-com bust.
The number of students majoring in computer science was up 8 percent in the 2007-2008 academic year over the previous one, according to data collected by the Computing Research Association (CRA) from departments at 192 universities. The trend marks the first time total enrollment increased in six years.
"The upward surge of student interest is real and bigger than anyone expected" Peter Lee, the industry group’s incoming chair, told the association's Computing Research Policy Blog. "The fact that computer science graduates usually find themselves in high-paying jobs accounts for part of the reversal. Increasingly students also are attracted to the intellectual depth and societal benefits of computing technology."
Feb 26, 2009 | 5
It seems everyday a story makes the news about a stolen laptop containing loads of valuable information. Today, for example, a thief absconded with seven Dell laptops from the Maidstone Borough electoral registration office in Kent, U.K. (Fortunately, officials reported that there was no sensitive info stored on the stolen computers.) Teachers in Steamboat Springs, Colo., were not as lucky. A burglar (or burglars) earlier this week lifted a laptop from the Steamboat Springs School District office containing 10 years worth of Social Security numbers for 1,300 past and present employees, the Steamboat Pilot & Today reports.
Jan 23, 2009 | 3
As if Microsoft's announcement yesterday that it's laying off 5,000 employees (the first such sackings in the company's 34-year history) wasn't bad enough, now some security analysts are predicting the worst is yet to come as the highly infectious Conficker worm continues to thrive after already striking as many as 10 million Windows PCs worldwide. The "malware" (as opposed to software) may be activated by its creators (who remain at large) at some later date, causing legions of infected PCs to digitally attack and disable other computers.
Dec 10, 2008 | 3
Forty years ago, Douglas Engelbart gave a 90-minute presentation on a "computer-based, interactive, multiconsole display system" under development at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), according to an official announcement of the event. The system was designed to investigate "principles by which interactive computer aids can augment intellectual capability." This event—attended by about 1,000 computer professionals—would later be called by many the "mother of all demos" and would introduce the world to a number of computing capabilities largely taken for granted today: the computer mouse, hypertext, object addressing and dynamic file linking.
As ScientificAmerican.com reported last month, it would be another two years before the U.S. Patent Office officially recognized the mouse, at the time called a "X-Y position indicator for a display system." Engelbart, 83, filed the patent in 1967 but had to wait three years for the government to acknowledge his technology, which provided the tool needed to navigate graphics-filled computer screens with a simple motion of the hand rather than by wading through screens filled with green-tinted text using keys or a light pencil pressed up against a computer monitor.
Nov 17, 2008 | 2
It was 38 years ago today that the U.S. Patent Office officially recognized an invention that would help make computers more accessible to the masses. We are, of course, talking about Douglas Engelbart's "X-Y position indicator for a display system," more commonly known today as the computer mouse. Engelbart, 83, then a researcher at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, Calif., filed the patent in 1967 but had to wait three years for the government to acknowledge his technology, which provided the tool needed to navigate graphics-filled computer screens with a simple motion of the hand rather than by wading through screens filled with green-tinted text using keys or a light pencil pressed up against a computer monitor.
Nov 11, 2008 | 5
Think you deleted that sensitive data before selling your PC? Think again.
More than half of people who toss computers in the garbage or sell them are leaving sensitive data on their hard drives, making it possible that a snoop could steal their identities, according to a paper to be published early next year in the International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry.
Despite the increasing use of personal computers, fewer people are effectively wiping the memory of their discarded PCs, according to the report, written by Andrew Jones, British Telecommunications's head of information security research, and Glenn Dardick of Longwood University, in Farmville, Va. Jones, Dardick and researchers from Edith Cowan University in western Australia and the U.K.'s University of Glamorgan found that only 33 percent of the disks they tested in 2007 had been properly wiped clean of sensitive data, compared with 45 percent in 2006. The researchers plan to have 2008 statistics ready by the end of the year.
Oct 14, 2008 | 6
Was it worth the buzz?
Apple today unveiled its new MacBook notebooks, most notable for their lowered price, high-performance graphics cards and, in some models, all-metal chassis: The new MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro are made from a single block of aluminum. Apple, which has been promising greener, more environmentally friendly electronics announced that the new MacBook family also meets Energy Star 4.0, Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Gold and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) environmental standards, and contains no brominated flame retardants. They use PVC-free internal cables and components, as well as displays that are free of mercury and arsenic. The LED (light emitting diode)-backlit display uses up to 30 percent less energy than previous MacBooks displays.
Oct 6, 2008 | 2
Parents worried about teens' safety (not to mention the safety of everyone else on the road) when they take the new car for a spin will soon be able to control how fast the kids drive and how loudly they crank up the tunes. They will also be able to remotely nag their young drivers to wear their seatbelts, all thanks to a new technology called MyKey that Ford Motor Company plans to introduce as standard equipment on its 2010 Focus coupe and, down the road, in its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models.
MyKey has a transponder chip that, once plugged into the ignition, allows car owners to program their car's computer. This includes setting the car's maximum speed limit as high as 80 miles per hour, and to issue warning chimes when the car's speed reaches 45, 55 or 65 miles per hour. Although a driver can still do a lot of damage at 80 miles per hour, and it exceeds most speed limits, this speed does allow for more maneuverability during highway driving (particularly if a driver needs to pass the car ahead). The MyKey can also program the car to chime a six-second seatbelt reminder every minute for five minutes and, after that, to mute the car stereo until the driver buckles up. Plus, MyKey can program the stereo to keep it down to no more than 40 percent of full volume.
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The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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Conventional washing machines cause excessive damage and wrinkling to clothes primarily during the water removal step. With the introduc
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