Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have cooked up a new graphene-based material that could provide a speed boost for all electronics. We’ve seen the carbon allotrope turn up in circuitry and transistors before, but the new chemical modification — graphene monoxide — is said to be easier to scale up, and most importantly is semiconducting, unlike the insulating or conducting forms that have preceded it. This also means graphene can now provide the triad of electrical conductivity characteristics. The scientists were honest enough to admit the discovery was as much by chance as design, with it coming to light while investigating another material containing carbon nanotubes and tin oxide. We’re sure they’re not the first to make a discovery this way, we just haven’t had time to check the notes to be sure of it.
Biofuel in planes is hardly a new idea, but when Boeing’s latest and greatest aircraft gets in on the green game, we take notice. That’s right, a ANA 787 Dreamliner is currently preparing to take off from Everett, Washington this evening and will make its way across the Pacific to Tokyo powered by biofuel. Well played, Boeing, we’re all for celebrating Earth Day a little early, and it’s always good to see someone giving Sir Richard Branson a run for his money.
[Photo credit: Boeing, Flickr]
Twitter today unveiled a bold new commitment that will be made in writing to its employees—the company will not use any patents derived from employee inventions in offensive lawsuits without the inventor’s permission.
The move is highly unusual in the technology industry, which is awash in patent lawsuits filed by and against seemingly all of the biggest companies. Twitter has written up a draft of what it calls the “Innovator’s Patent Agreement,” or IPA, which encourages its developers to invent without the fear that their inventions will be used for nefarious purposes.
from Ars Technica
Filed under: Etc., Government/Legal
We’ve never been falsely accused of a traffic violation, having earned every last second of our time before a judge, but when it does happen to us, we’ll certainly want to brush up on our physics. Dmitiri Krioukov, a physicist with the University of California, recently pleaded his way out of a fine for rolling through a stop sign using the power of mathematics. Krioukov worked up a four-page physics paper underscoring the differences between linear and angular motion to prove that he could have theoretically come to a complete stop and resumed traveling in the time it took another vehicle to pass between him and the citing officer.
The idea is that perception of speed can be altered depending on one’s viewpoint. Since the officer viewed Krioukov from the side and the physicist supposedly came to a complete stop very quickly before accelerating again just as fast, it appeared as if he never stopped at all. Or at least that was the notion. Whether or not the judge believed the professor didn’t matter so much as the fact that Krioukov managed to shed some doubt on the accusation. He was declared innocent and spared the $400 fine.
But the story doesn’t end there. The physicist left a flaw in his proof, and has invited everyone to see if they can figure it out. From our layman’s point of view, it appears Krioukov’s Toyota Yaris managed to fall from 22 mph to 0 and vault back up to 22 in the span of three seconds. Must be quite the machine. You can check out the full paper here.