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Queues start to form for UK iPhone launch tomorrow
January 19, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Queues have started to form today outside the London Apple store for the launch of the iPhone. The phone launches tomorrow at 6.02 p.m. UTC exclusively onto the O2 network amid controversy. The iPhone was launched five months ago in the United States and is set to launch in the United Kingdom and Germany tomorrow.

Many people have braved the poor weather and have set up camp in the street in a bid to be the first of many thousands to buy the product on the first day of it’s release in the UK. Apple have already sold 1.4 million of the units in the US, some of which have already been imported into the UK un-officially. The cost of the device is set as £269 on a minimum £35 per month contract and will be sold at The Carphone Warehouse, O2 and Apple Stores across the UK.

The iPhone has a touch screen display and can act as a phone, text device, web browser, music player and email client all in one. The launch of the product onto one phone network only has caused controversy internationally and has led to many people using free and paid methods of unlocking the phone to be able to use it on other networks even though it voids the warranty. Apple replied to this move by releasing software patches that, when installed, will prevent functionality of the phone.

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Category:Science and technology
January 19, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

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Stanford physicists print smallest-ever letters ‘SU’ at subatomic level of 1.5 nanometres tall
January 19, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A new historic physics record has been set by scientists for exceedingly small writing, opening a new door to computing‘s future. Stanford University physicists have claimed to have written the letters “SU” at sub-atomic size.

Graduate students Christopher Moon, Laila Mattos, Brian Foster and Gabriel Zeltzer, under the direction of assistant professor of physics Hari Manoharan, have produced the world’s smallest lettering, which is approximately 1.5 nanometres tall, using a molecular projector, called Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) to push individual carbon monoxide molecules on a copper or silver sheet surface, based on interference of electron energy states.

A nanometre (Greek: ?????, nanos, dwarf; ?????, metr?, count) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre (i.e., 10-9 m or one millionth of a millimetre), and also equals ten Ångström, an internationally recognized non-SI unit of length. It is often associated with the field of nanotechnology.

“We miniaturised their size so drastically that we ended up with the smallest writing in history,” said Manoharan. “S” and “U,” the two letters in honor of their employer have been reduced so tiny in nanoimprint that if used to print out 32 volumes of an Encyclopedia, 2,000 times, the contents would easily fit on a pinhead.

In the world of downsizing, nanoscribes Manoharan and Moon have proven that information, if reduced in size smaller than an atom, can be stored in more compact form than previously thought. In computing jargon, small sizing results to greater speed and better computer data storage.

“Writing really small has a long history. We wondered: What are the limits? How far can you go? Because materials are made of atoms, it was always believed that if you continue scaling down, you’d end up at that fundamental limit. You’d hit a wall,” said Manoharan.

In writing the letters, the Stanford team utilized an electron‘s unique feature of “pinball table for electrons” — its ability to bounce between different quantum states. In the vibration-proof basement lab of Stanford’s Varian Physics Building, the physicists used a Scanning tunneling microscope in encoding the “S” and “U” within the patterns formed by the electron’s activity, called wave function, arranging carbon monoxide molecules in a very specific pattern on a copper or silver sheet surface.

“Imagine [the copper as] a very shallow pool of water into which we put some rocks [the carbon monoxide molecules]. The water waves scatter and interfere off the rocks, making well defined standing wave patterns,” Manoharan noted. If the “rocks” are placed just right, then the shapes of the waves will form any letters in the alphabet, the researchers said. They used the quantum properties of electrons, rather than photons, as their source of illumination.

According to the study, the atoms were ordered in a circular fashion, with a hole in the middle. A flow of electrons was thereafter fired at the copper support, which resulted into a ripple effect in between the existing atoms. These were pushed aside, and a holographic projection of the letters “SU” became visible in the space between them. “What we did is show that the atom is not the limit — that you can go below that,” Manoharan said.

“It’s difficult to properly express the size of their stacked S and U, but the equivalent would be 0.3 nanometres. This is sufficiently small that you could copy out the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the head of a pin not just once, but thousands of times over,” Manoharan and his nanohologram collaborator Christopher Moon explained.

The team has also shown the salient features of the holographic principle, a property of quantum gravity theories which resolves the black hole information paradox within string theory. They stacked “S” and the “U” – two layers, or pages, of information — within the hologram.

The team stressed their discovery was concentrating electrons in space, in essence, a wire, hoping such a structure could be used to wire together a super-fast quantum computer in the future. In essence, “these electron patterns can act as holograms, that pack information into subatomic spaces, which could one day lead to unlimited information storage,” the study states.

The “Conclusion” of the Stanford article goes as follows:

According to theory, a quantum state can encode any amount of information (at zero temperature), requiring only sufficiently high bandwidth and time in which to read it out. In practice, only recently has progress been made towards encoding several bits into the shapes of bosonic single-photon wave functions, which has applications in quantum key distribution. We have experimentally demonstrated that 35 bits can be permanently encoded into a time-independent fermionic state, and that two such states can be simultaneously prepared in the same area of space. We have simulated hundreds of stacked pairs of random 7 times 5-pixel arrays as well as various ideas for pathological bit patterns, and in every case the information was theoretically encodable. In all experimental attempts, extending down to the subatomic regime, the encoding was successful and the data were retrieved at 100% fidelity. We believe the limitations on bit size are approxlambda/4, but surprisingly the information density can be significantly boosted by using higher-energy electrons and stacking multiple pages holographically. Determining the full theoretical and practical limits of this technique—the trade-offs between information content (the number of pages and bits per page), contrast (the number of measurements required per bit to overcome noise), and the number of atoms in the hologram—will involve further work.Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, Christopher R. Moon, Laila S. Mattos, Brian K. Foster, Gabriel Zeltzer & Hari C. Manoharan

The team is not the first to design or print small letters, as attempts have been made since as early as 1960. In December 1959, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, who delivered his now-legendary lecture entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” promised new opportunities for those who “thought small.”

Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the parton model).

Feynman offered two challenges at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, held that year in Caltech, offering a $1000 prize to the first person to solve each of them. Both challenges involved nanotechnology, and the first prize was won by William McLellan, who solved the first. The first problem required someone to build a working electric motor that would fit inside a cube 1/64 inches on each side. McLellan achieved this feat by November 1960 with his 250-microgram 2000-rpm motor consisting of 13 separate parts.

In 1985, the prize for the second challenge was claimed by Stanford Tom Newman, who, working with electrical engineering professor Fabian Pease, used electron lithography. He wrote or engraved the first page of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, at the required scale, on the head of a pin, with a beam of electrons. The main problem he had before he could claim the prize was finding the text after he had written it; the head of the pin was a huge empty space compared with the text inscribed on it. Such small print could only be read with an electron microscope.

In 1989, however, Stanford lost its record, when Donald Eigler and Erhard Schweizer, scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose were the first to position or manipulate 35 individual atoms of xenon one at a time to form the letters I, B and M using a STM. The atoms were pushed on the surface of the nickel to create letters 5nm tall.

In 1991, Japanese researchers managed to chisel 1.5 nm-tall characters onto a molybdenum disulphide crystal, using the same STM method. Hitachi, at that time, set the record for the smallest microscopic calligraphy ever designed. The Stanford effort failed to surpass the feat, but it, however, introduced a novel technique. Having equaled Hitachi’s record, the Stanford team went a step further. They used a holographic variation on the IBM technique, for instead of fixing the letters onto a support, the new method created them holographically.

In the scientific breakthrough, the Stanford team has now claimed they have written the smallest letters ever – assembled from subatomic-sized bits as small as 0.3 nanometers, or roughly one third of a billionth of a meter. The new super-mini letters created are 40 times smaller than the original effort and more than four times smaller than the IBM initials, states the paper Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The new sub-atomic size letters are around a third of the size of the atomic ones created by Eigler and Schweizer at IBM.

A subatomic particle is an elementary or composite particle smaller than an atom. Particle physics and nuclear physics are concerned with the study of these particles, their interactions, and non-atomic matter. Subatomic particles include the atomic constituents electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are composite particles, consisting of quarks.

“Everyone can look around and see the growing amount of information we deal with on a daily basis. All that knowledge is out there. For society to move forward, we need a better way to process it, and store it more densely,” Manoharan said. “Although these projections are stable — they’ll last as long as none of the carbon dioxide molecules move — this technique is unlikely to revolutionize storage, as it’s currently a bit too challenging to determine and create the appropriate pattern of molecules to create a desired hologram,” the authors cautioned. Nevertheless, they suggest that “the practical limits of both the technique and the data density it enables merit further research.”

In 2000, it was Hari Manoharan, Christopher Lutz and Donald Eigler who first experimentally observed quantum mirage at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. In physics, a quantum mirage is a peculiar result in quantum chaos. Their study in a paper published in Nature, states they demonstrated that the Kondo resonance signature of a magnetic adatom located at one focus of an elliptically shaped quantum corral could be projected to, and made large at the other focus of the corral.

England: Multi-storey carpark in Liverpool gutted by fire, 1,300 vehicles destroyed

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England: Multi-storey carpark in Liverpool gutted by fire, 1,300 vehicles destroyed
January 18, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A fire on Sunday night in the seven-storey carpark for the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England destroyed almost all the vehicles parked inside and led to cancellation of the final evening of the Liverpool International Horse Show and evacuation of nearby blocks of flats. The blaze reportedly started with a parked Range Rover Discovery.

Investigators with the fire brigade stated that they believe the fire began with an accidental engine fire in the Range Rover at about 4.30 pm. The first call was made at 4.42 and firefighters arrived eight minutes after that. Ultimately twelve engines and 85 firefighters were involved in combatting the blaze. Aerial appliances were used and also three high-volume pumps. Fed by the fuel in vehicles parked inside, the temperature of the fire in the carpark is believed to have reached as high as 1,000°C. It was too hot to be extinguished with water from hydrants, so a high-volume pump was used to draw water from the River Mersey, and two more were brought from other fire brigades in the region.

The carpark has seven storeys and a capacity of 1,600 vehicles, and approximately 1,300 were parked in it when the fire broke out. According to Dan Stephens, chief fire officer for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, almost all of them were destroyed, with the exception of a few parked on the top level and at corners. “With these very high temperatures, you were never going to put the fire out without the whole building taking hold. The speed at which the fire spreads means you simply aren’t going to put it out,” said Stephens.

The carpark itself was severely damaged; according to Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool. It is not in danger of collapsing but will have to be demolished, which will be difficult with the many burned-out cars still inside it, Anderson told the BBC.

According to Stephens, there were no serious injuries: one woman injured her hand, and two people were treated for smoke inhalation. A spokesman for the Echo Arena also stated that all animals were safe. All horses were successfully evacuated from the carpark and then removed from the stables after smoke spread to them. Six dogs were also rescued unharmed, two on a lower level in the early stages of the fire and four that had been left in a car on the top level, freed by firefighters on Monday after the fire was put out.

The final evening of the four-day Liverpool International Horse Show had been scheduled to begin at 7.30, and had to be cancelled. Many attendees were stranded in the city on New Year’s Eve night. Merseyside police directed people to the Pullman Hotel, where Red Cross assistance was available, and the Liverpool City Council set up an assistance centre at the Lifestyles Gym. A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers has said that insurance companies will “move very quickly” to reimburse owners whose vehicles were destroyed.

Nearby blocks of flats were evacuated because of the smoke. Eyewitnesses reported hearing what they at first thought were firecrackers, then “multiple explosions”, “bangs and popping”, “the bangs of car windows exploding”. People reported leaving everything in their cars, including their cellphones, and running for their lives.

Mayor Anderson tweeted that cuts to fire services over the last two years made it significantly harder to fight the fire and might have caused it not to be controllable. He also suggested that fire safety in multi-storey carparks had not been sufficiently considered and that installing sprinklers in them might help stop future fires before they become unmanageable, in a letter to Nick Hurd, a member of Parliament.

Bottled water in Canada recalled due to arsenic concerns

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Bottled water in Canada recalled due to arsenic concerns
January 17, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a health hazard alert, March 14, 2007, regarding Ark Land brand of bottled water, Naturally Carbonated Mineral Water. It is warning the public not to consume the product, as it may contain arsenic.

Although there have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product, Arsenic is a toxic substance and a human carcinogen.

The CFIA did not indicate, in the Alert, what levels of arsenic were found in the product.

The mineral water was sold in Ontario and Quebec, but may have also been distributed throughout Canada. The product, produced by Arzni Source, was imported from Armenia by Klukva Pure Inc., of Toronto.

The importer, Klukva Pure Inc., has begun the removal of product from store shelves, under the direction of the CFIA.

The product recall affects the following Ark Land brand Naturally Carbonated Mineral Water:

Size: 330 mL, UPC: 7 85000 12033 9
Size: 500 mL, UPC: 7 85000 12050 6

Both sizes show a “Best Before” date of 09.05.07

For more information, consumers and industry are encouraged to call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342.

Lyneham air base in England given all clear after bomb scare

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Lyneham air base in England given all clear after bomb scare
January 16, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The British Royal Air Force gave the all clear at the Lyneham air base in Wiltshire, England after an earlier bomb scare.

It had earlier been reported that an improvised explosive device (IED) was found inside a vehicle by a bomb sniffing dog. According to BBC News, the vehicle was parked outside the air base’s fence. Officials would not elaborate on what was inside the vehicle, but BBC reports that the vehicle was possibly military and that bomb residue was found on the vehicle.

A Royal Air Force spokesman said a bomb squad was called to the location to investigate the find. “An EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] team are on site and currently working to make the area safe. It is too early to speculate at this stage.” Officials say the reaction was routine and situations like this are treated as if a device had been found. Anytime a dog is alerted to possible explosives, the proper teams are called in to investigate.

RAF Lyneham is one of the UK’s largest air bases, and is home to the RAF’s fleet of C-130 Hercules aircraft. Many bodies of the soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan are brought to the base from the country.

NFL: Ricky Williams applies for reinstatement

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NFL: Ricky Williams applies for reinstatement
January 16, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams, who has applied for reinstatement to the NFL, told ESPN Radio’s Dan Patrick on Friday that he hasn’t gotten high on drugs “in maybe three years.” Williams credited yoga with replacing drugs to ease stress.

Williams was suspended in April 2006 for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy. Reinstatement to the league requires clinical evaluation and sending a hand-written letter to Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL. Williams stated: For the most part, as long as you follow the rules, you have a pretty good shot to be reinstated. Half of it is testing and the other half is you have to talk to someone on a weekly basis.

During the radio broadcast, Patrick asked Williams when the last time he had been drug tested. Williams’ anwser was Two minutes ago. and that he had passed.

Williams blamed the high levels of stress involved in playing football with his use of Marijuana. He said the only way to deal with it was “to go home, relax on the couch, roll up a joint and take a couple of puffs.”

Williams told Patrick during the interview that he hadn’t spoken with new Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron yet. Addressing what the Dolphins may or may not choose to do with him, Williams said that he would be “fine with whatever happens.”

Williams said, when asked why he wants to return to the NFL: “For me, it’s a test to see if all this work I’ve done is really worth something. If I can go to the NFL and have success, that would speak a lot for yoga and what I’ve learned and offer a lot of people who have dealt with the same issues I have a way out.”

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits northern Chile

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6.2 magnitude earthquake hits northern Chile
January 16, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A strong earthquake struck the Atacama Region in Chile at 11:52 (14:52 UTC), provoking widespread hysteria. The United States Geological Survey reported that the tremor reached a magnitude of 6.2. The epicentre is located on the mainland 76 kilometers south of Copiapó and at a depth of 59 kilometers. However, the University of Chile Geological Survey reported that the seism reached a magnitude of 5.9.

Thousands of inhabitants of Copiapó ran evacuation plans in offices and schools. The seism set off many alarms in cars and enterprises, according to radio stations. Parents went to take their children out of the schools. It was reported earlier that cornices fell down from buildings, businesses lost merchandise and cellphone networks encountered problems in the area.

The ONEMI reported no damages or injuries, but some roads collapsed. Power and water distribution were not affected. Eva Cansino, ONEMI boss, told TVN that the citizens’ reactions demonstrated particular sensitivity to seisms, and she pointed out that it helps to minimize the risks in similar situations. She added that this seism was not an aftershock of the February 27 Maule or March 11 Pichilemu earthquakes, which destroyed many places in the central and south areas of Chile.

Santiago felt the earthquake to a lesser degree. The earthquake was felt between the Antofagasta and O’Higgins regions.

ONEMI also reported the intensities of the seism in three regions according to the Mercalli scale:

Joaziel Jamett, from ONEMI, reported that the tsunami alert was discarded in the coast of the Atacama Region, at the 12:45 local time (15:45 UTC). “SHOA (Servicio Hidrográfico y Oceanográfico de la Armada de Chile / Chilean Army Hydrographic and Oceanographic Survey) has discarded any tsunami in the Atacama Region, therefore we have to keep the people quiet”, reported Jamett to Bío Bío Radio.

Today marks one month from the earthquake and tsunami combo that hit the most of Chile central and south part. This is the second seism that has occurred in the north of Chile in the last few weeks, after the 6.3 on March 4.

Almost ten minutes before this earthquake, at 11:39:08 (14:39 UTC), another March 11 earthquake aftershock was felt between the O’Higgins and Bíobío regions. It reached 4.3 grades, and had a depth of 32.4 kilometers. The epicentre was located 16 kilometers at the southeast of Pichilemu. It lasted about 15 seconds. Another aftershock occurred at the 13:14 (16:14 UTC), reached 3.7 grades, had a depth of 10.8 kilometers, and the epicentre was located 12 kilometers at the east of Pichilemu. It lasted about 5 seconds.

Toyota to suspend sales of Lexus GX 460 over new safety fears

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Toyota to suspend sales of Lexus GX 460 over new safety fears
January 15, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Japanese auto maker Toyota is to temporarily suspend sales of its luxury Lexus GX 460 SUV following an unfavorable verdict from Consumer Reports, which concluded “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk,” the first such warning in almost a decade.

After conducting its standard emergency handling tests on the 2010 version of the Lexus GX 460, Consumer Reports became concerned that the rear of the vehicle had a tendency to slide out, which in real life situations could lead to rollovers. However, the consumer organisation is also unaware of any such incidents with the 5000 GX 460s sold since its launch three months ago.

Already embattled with ongoing safety issues with its vehicles, Toyota has been quick to act, though it did claim that the car was safe to drive and that it had passed internal safety standards. According to Toyota, “Lexus’ extensive vehicle testing provides a good indication of how our vehicles perform and we are confident that the GX meets our high safety standards.”

International row after Spielberg quits 2008 Beijing Olympics

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International row after Spielberg quits 2008 Beijing Olympics
January 15, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Friday, February 15, 2008

On Wednesday, United States film director Steven Spielberg withdrew from his position as artistic adviser to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. “Conscience will not allow me to continue with business as usual,” he said.

“Sudan’s government bears the bulk of the responsibility for these ongoing crimes but the international community, and particularly China, should be doing more to end the continuing human suffering there,” Spielberg’s statement said. “China’s economic, military and diplomatic ties to the government of Sudan continue to provide it with the opportunity and obligation to press for change.”

China immediately expressed regret over his decision and suggested that “ulterior motives” may be at play. “It is understandable if some people do not understand the Chinese government policy on Darfur, but I am afraid that some people may have ulterior motives, and this we cannot accept. … China is also concerned about the humanitarian situation in Darfur. [But] empty rhetoric will not help. We hope that relevant people will be more pragmatic,” said Liu Jianchao, the Deputy-Director General of the Information Department in China’s foreign ministry.

Following Spielberg’s withdrawal, other organizations called for boycott of the Games. However, United Kingdom Minister for the Olympics Tessa Jowell rejected such calls. “The world has known for the last seven years that Beijing would host the Olympics,” Jowell told The Times. “Most progressive governments accept that there are wholly unacceptable aspects of Chinese policy, but that did not stop the International Olympic Committee awarding them the games. A call for a boycott doesn’t serve any purpose and it would be a great pity. This doesn’t mean, however, we should be distracted from the urgency of Darfur.”

“China is also concerned about the humanitarian issues there, but we have been playing a positive and constructive role in promoting peace in Darfur,” Liu said, adding that China is working with the United Nations to provide aid and resolve the crisis.

Critics of China contend that China supports the Islamic regime in Sudan because it buys two-thirds of the country’s oil exports and also sells it weapons. Further, China has been defending the government in Khartoum in the United Nations Security Council. Since 2003, fighting between government-backed militia and rebels in Darfur has led to the death of more than 200,000 people and displaced some 2.5 million others.

Meanwhile, United States President George W. Bush confirmed that he still plans to attend the Games in Beijing. “I view the Olympics as a sporting event. On the other hand, I have a different platform to Steven Spielberg, so I get to talk to Hu Jintao [President of China] and I do remind him he can do more to relieve the suffering in Darfur.”

Bush followed this by saying: “I’m not going to use the Olympics as an opportunity to express my opinions to the Chinese people in a public way because I do it all the time with the president.”