Of all the personal computers to be unwrapped during the holiday season, more than 80 percent will be used to go online and search the Web’s more than 92 million gigabytes of data (comparable to a 2 billion-volume encyclopedia). Getting online is the easy part, finding a useful Web page is a bit harder-keeping track of a useful Web page is another issue altogether.
People have devised many tricks-such as sending e- mails to themselves or jotting on sticky notes-for keeping track of Web pages, but William Jones and Harry Bruce at the University of Washington’s Information School and Susan Dumais of Microsoft Research have found that often people don’t use any of them when it comes time to revisit a Web page. Instead, they rely on their ability to find the Web page all over again.
"People are terribly challenged by this, and the problem is becoming worse," Bruce said. "People should have fast, easy access to the right information, at the right time, in the right place, in the right quantity to complete the task at hand."
David Hart | National Science Foundation
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Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.
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Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
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