In 1940, the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (NBS) built this 1,400,000-volt X-ray generator, the most powerful of its kind at the time. The machine was designed to deliver X-rays at an extremely stable voltage, a necessary attribute for the development of standard radiation dosage measurements as well as for research and testing of equipment to protect against X-ray radiation. While X-rays were known to be dangerous much earlier than 1940, there wasn't a good understanding of exactly how much exposure was bad for humans, or what kinds of materials offered effective amounts of protection. At the time, for example, concrete was commonly used to absorb and scatter X-rays, but nobody knew exactly how well it worked. Testing at NBS revealed that concrete responded differently depending on if the radiation was narrow beam or broad beam, and the results helped establish guidelines on radiation-resistant construction. The agency also established the first U.S. standards for X-ray exposure; … [Read more...] about This Giant X-Ray Generator Helped Set Safe Doses for Radiation
Consumers who have put off buying their first smartphone or upgrading an aging one are facing a more complicated decision as of Thursday. Into a market already very heated with the recent launches of Apple's iPhone 4, carried exclusively by AT&T, and HTC's EVO 4G Android, via Sprint, comes Motorola's Droid X, the latest Android-based smartphone offered by Verizon. Mobile phone manufacturers and carriers alike have a lot on the line, as headlines blare out news of trip-ups and consumers demand more features -- and fast. With the Droid X's launch, Motorola is seeking to bolster its smartphone fortunes, which have been falling in recent months. Among consumers planning to buy a smartphone within 90 days, the percentage of buyers aiming for a Motorola product dropped from 16 percent to 9 percent between March and June of this year, according to a ChangeWave survey. That's compared to a rise from 12 percent to 19 percent for HTC, and a whopping jump from 31 percent to 52 percent for … [Read more...] about Droid X Struts In as iPhone Buckles
AT&T has announced that the Motorola Atrix 4G smartphone will be available for preorder Feb. 13. The Motorola Atrix The carrier also disclosed new information about pricing. For example, an Atrix 4G will cost US$199.99 with a two-year service agreement. AT&T will also offer bundled pricing for the Atrix 4G and one of its more prominent accessories, the Motorola Laptop Dock. Leveraging the full features of the Atrix 4G will require subscriptions to various AT&T plans, and the final bill may come as a surprise to some consumers. AT&T did not respond to requests for comment. The Atrix 4G's Muscle Perhaps the Atrix's most unusual features relate to its accessories. The device can be connected to the Motorola Laptop Dock and used as a laptop. Owners looking for a desktop experience can plunk it into an HD Multimedia Dock. While the phone is docked, the user can navigate the Atrix's functions using a full-sized keyboard and mouse or touchpad. Meanwhile, the phone's … [Read more...] about Is AT&T’s Powerhouse Atrix a Mobile Money Pit?
The X-ray that imaged your father's broken leg when he was a kid isn't fundamentally different from the one at your doctor's office today-other than that it's now digital rather than film-based. But the technology is on the verge of a big leap forward that will let doctors see more with less light. To take an X-ray today of some part of the body other than the bones, a patient needs to ingest a contrast agent like iodine or barium that binds to the tumor or other structure the doctor wants to examine. But contrast agents can be hard on the kidneys, enough to harm or even kill some already weakened patients. And some kinds of X-ray imaging today, like computed tomography (CT) scans, involve such heavy X-ray doses that the patients risk an increased cancer rate just to provide good pictures for their doctors. Enter a technique called X-ray phase-contrast imaging (XPCI), in which instead of measuring the X-ray's intensity, you measure the change in an X-ray's phase. X-rays move slower … [Read more...] about Less Is More With Next-Generation Medical X-rays
NASA's X-plane program has, for the past 70 years, demonstrated some of the most exciting and innovative aircraft ever flown, including rockets and robots, scramjets and spacecraft (and lots more). It's always worth paying attention when a new X-plane is announced, and NASA has just given us a hint of what the X-57 might be: LEAPTech, an experimental demonstrator that replaces the single large motor on light aircraft with 18 (!) tiny ones, all mounted on an impossibly skinny little wing. The specs on the LEAPTech X-plane are, for the most part, not anything to get super-excited about. With a top speed of 320 km/h and a 3567 meter (12,000 ft) ceiling, it'll be able to carry four passengers 740 km on hybrid electric power. This is all about average for a light aircraft of this size. What's unique are those 18 electric engines, and the wing, which has a total area of just over 5 square meters. In order to fly, a conventional airplane of this size needs three times as much wing area at the … [Read more...] about NASAs LEAPTech X-plane Will Fly with 18 Electric Motors and Tiny Wings
Astro Teller has an unusual way of starting a new project: He tries to kill it. Teller is the head of X, formerly called Google X, the advanced technology lab of Alphabet. At X's headquarters not far from the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif., Teller leads a group of engineers, inventors, and designers devoted to futuristic "moonshot" projects like self-driving cars, delivery drones, and Internet-beaming balloons. To turn their wild ideas into reality, Teller and his team have developed a unique approach. It starts with trying to prove that whatever it is that you're trying to do can't be done-in other words, trying to kill your own idea. As Teller explains, "Instead of saying, 'What's most fun to do about this or what's easiest to do first?' we say, 'What is the most likely reason this project won't make it?'" The ideas that survive get additional rounds of scrutiny, and only a tiny fraction eventually becomes official projects; the proposals that are found to have an Achilles' heel … [Read more...] about Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at X, on the Future of AI, Robots, and Coffeemakers
We know that many of you out there might have marked August 23rd on your calendar, the day when you can play with MotoMaker to get a customized AT&T Moto X. But if you have imagined a special engraving on the back of your handset, you are going to be disappointed with a little info we are bringing to you now. The engraving option and signatures have been cancelled. Reports are flying around on the internet suggesting that Motorola has pulled the custom engraving "beta" option. And why they have done this? It's because of quality issues. Motorola will apparently launch the option again sometime in the future (hopefully soon) but only after high quality engravings can be added, as the company wants only perfect Moto X handsets to reach the hands of customers. So AT&T customers won't be able to find the custom engraving option on launch day, but you guys will still be able to select the device's color, accents, wallpaper, and much more. Will you wait for the engraving option to … [Read more...] about Moto X Custom Engravings Option Pulled
At the MWC 2012, HTC unveiled their new "One" series which includes the impressive One X handset. The only disappointment was that the device was announced to be an exclusive to AT&T in the US, but we have good news for you. According to the latest rumors, the device might be headed to other carriers as well. Just in case you missed a few things earlier, the One X features a 720p 4.7-inch Super LCD2 display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4.0 UI. But AT&T's version will only feature a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor due to an LTE compatibility issue. A rumor, which comes from Evan Blass of Pocketnow, suggests that the device will hit Sprint equipped with the same dual-core Snapdragon S4 with integrated LTE. Apparently, Blass found out about an HTC Jewel handset (for Sprint) which has all the features of the One X. This new info is believable as Sprint is expected to release an LTE device sometime around the middle … [Read more...] about HTC One X With Stock Android 4.0 ICS Headed To T-Mobile?
OK, for all of you out there who are fortunate enough to be close to a good DBA and are looking for some good x-mas gifts, here's a list of what the most fashionable DBAs are going to want this year. USB Keyboard Light - We're always up in the middle of the night and we don't want to turn on all the lights. I've used these lights for years now and they're a fabulously thoughtful gift. SQL Server 2005 Practical Troubleshooting: The Database Engine - Your DBA will love to be the first one at work with Ken Henderson's new book. Trust me... if he's any kind of DBA at all, he knows Ken Henderson and he'll appreciate this. [ Intel, Apache, Amazon, and more: See the 2017 open source rookies of the year. | Cut to the key news in technology trends and IT breakthroughs with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter, our summary of the top tech happenings. ]USB Flash Drive - A lot of books come with ebooks these days, and I've found it really handy to carry around my USB key drive to keep my library on. … [Read more...] about The DBA’s X-Mas List InfoWorld
The iPhone 4 on AT&T's network downloaded data twice as fast, on average, as the iPhone on Verizon Wireless, according to thousands of recent field tests in five U.S. cities conducted by Metrico Wireless, an independent mobile device performance evaluation company. Metrico's tests looked at several other variables, however, and found the average Web page load time was nearly the same on iPhone 4 on both networks, a Metrico official said. [ Also on InfoWorld: Android smartphones top iPhones, BlackBerrys for first time. | Stay ahead of advances in mobile technology with InfoWorld's Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ] [ Android is now ready for real usage in the enterprise. Read InfoWorld's in-depth guide on how to make Android a serious part of your business. | Get the best office suite and the 38 best business-worthy apps for your Android device. ] Also, when the iPhone 4 was in a moving vehicle, the AT&T model successfully finished about 10 percent more download session … [Read more...] about AT&T’s iPhone 4 beats Verizon’s on data downloads, Metrico says
In the four years since its debut, Apple's iOS has come a long way. Launched as the on-board operating system for just one device, it now powers three: the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the iPad. And while it started life in a pretty polished format -- perhaps not surprising, given that it was based in large part on OS X's underpinnings -- iOS continues to add worthwhile new features, capped off by iOS 5's arrival earlier this month. It's a pattern Mac users have seen before -- a decade earlier to be precise, when Mac OS X was in its early stages. Given the parallels between the two operating systems, it's worth wondering: Should we expect iOS's evolution to mirror the path blazed by Mac OS X, encompassing several years of annual updates, followed by a slower pace of releases? Or will iOS development instead blaze a path all its own? [ The Apple revolution rolls on; witness the next development in "iOS 5 and iCloud: The InfoWorld visual tour." | Discover what's new in business … [Read more...] about iOS and OS X: Two evolutionary paths
After looking at the price tags of Verizon's new Motorola Droid devices, many folks figured that the Moto X would be priced much higher than what was originally expected. And that's exactly what happened, with the 16GB Moto X costing $199 on contract and the 32GB model available for $249. Disappointed by the cost of the Moto X? The company's CEO Dennis Woodside is trying to keep our spirits high with the following words: "Moto X is the brand that we are most focused on. And there is more to come. You will see additional products within months". Woodside is saying that the company has plans to bring out a cheaper version of the Moto X intended for US' prepaid market and developing markets around the world where people usually don't have access to carrier subsidized devices. For these markets, its cost should be quite low. Of course the cheaper Moto X should cost below $200 if Motorola wants the device to sell like hot cakes like the $144 Lumia 521 on T-Mobile ($99 on MetroPCS and the … [Read more...] about Cheaper Moto X Coming Soon
OS X versus Linux OS X and Linux users share a similar desire to avoid using Windows. But after that the two groups often split apart when it comes to the question of OS X versus Linux. Which operating system is the more practical option for users that don't want Windows? A writer at Datamation explored that question and ultimately sided with Linux. Matt Hartley reports for Datamation: [ Intel, Apache, Amazon, and more: See the 2017 open source rookies of the year. | Cut to the key news in technology trends and IT breakthroughs with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter, our summary of the top tech happenings. ] OS X is a solid operating system for those who enjoy Apple's vision of the ideal desktop. It offers access to pro-level applications that many industries rely on. Yet it isn't always the most practical operating system for the casual end user. In fact, in some cases, it's completely overkill. In this article, I'll explore why I believe Linux is a more practical solution than OS X, if … [Read more...] about OS X versus Linux: Which is more practical?
The OS X command line developer tools include an old version of the Git source-code management system that exposes Mac users to remote code-execution attacks. "If you rely on machines like this, I am truly sorry," said systems administration expert Rachel Kroll. "I feel for you."The Git client allows developers to interact with source code repositories. It is not installed by default on Mac OS X, but it is included in the Command Line Tools package for Xcode, Apple's integrated development environment (IDE).[ Take control of your Mac with 30 essential OS X command-line tips. | Cut to the key news in technology trends and IT breakthroughs with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter, our summary of the top tech happenings. ]Software developers who create applications for OS X or iOS are likely to use Xcode and to have Apple's Command Line Tools package installed on their Macs. The latest version of this package includes Git version 2.6.4, released in December.The problem is that Git … [Read more...] about Outdated Git version in OS X puts developers at risk
Google-owned Motorola unveiled the Moto X, its new flagship smartphone, in New York City today. The Moto X deëmphasizes manual control, hardware buttons, and the touch screen in favor of always-on sensors built to respond to speech, gestures, and context. And customers will be able to customize many features of the device when they order it. The phone’s “touchless control” interface is its biggest innovation. Without switching on the device, simply saying “Okay Google Now” followed by a command can make a phone place a call, get directions, perform a Google search, or more. The phone’s accelerometer can also tell whether you’re in a moving car and tailor its commands and notifications accordingly. Since it could be a huge drain on battery life to have sensitive sensors running around the clock, Motorola added two additional tiny processors to the Snapdragon S4 Pro system-on-a-chip. One is for natural language processing, and the other is … [Read more...] about Motorola Reveals First Google-Era Phone, the Moto X
Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside spoke yesterday at the D11 conference about an upcoming smartphone called the Moto X that constantly uses its onboard sensors to figure out where it is and what its owner is doing. He didn’t fully explain how Motorola can do that without reducing the device’s battery life to less than that of smartphones that don’t try to follow their owner’s context, though. Woodside said the phone, set to appear later this year, would keep its accelerometer, gyroscope, and other sensors on at all times: “It knows that when I take it out of my pocket I might want to do something, I might want to take a picture so it’s gonna fire up the camera…Imagine when you’re in the car the device will know, whether it’s on or off, that it’s travelling at 60 miles per hour, so it’s gonna act differently. It’s contextually aware of what’s going on around it, it allows you to interact in very different ways … [Read more...] about Does Motorola’s X Phone Pack a Better Battery?
A startup company is developing a flat-panel source of x-rays that could help make the imaging technique portable. The company’s panels are made using techniques commonplace in the semiconductor industry and would be combined with flat-panel image sensors to make a briefcase-sized x-ray machine powered by a laptop battery. Such a system might be used in the field by the military or instead of bulky bedside systems used in hospital intensive-care units. Early research also suggests it might expose patients to less radiation. The company behind the x-ray source, Radius Health, was spun out of the University of California, Los Angeles last year. It is developing a commercial version of a flat-panel x-ray source developed by physicists at the university. The company will make its first complete x-ray imager in three to four months and says it will have a full-scale prototype in a year. The x-ray machines used in hospitals today employ a high-energy source of the radiation. A … [Read more...] about Creating a Portable X-Ray Machine
Swiss researchers have demonstrated the practicality of a new high-resolution x-ray imaging technique that reveals fine structures that are invisible using conventional techniques. Dark-field x-ray imaging can be used to generate highly detailed images of bones and to distinguish between substances that look identical in conventional x-ray images, such as explosives and cheese. The researchers are now investigating whether their approach might also increase the resolution of medical imaging techniques such as mammograms and computed-tomography (CT) scans. Franz Pfeiffer, assistant professor of physics at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland, who developed the new technique, compares conventional x-ray images with shadows. Such images rely on information about how much radiation is absorbed as it passes through a sample, such as a patient’s limb. But more-complex interactions are happening, says Pfeiffer, and the more information that can be … [Read more...] about High-Contrast X-Rays – MIT Technology Review
MIT researchers are developing a new kind of x-ray imager that uses information that traditional machines ignore. By looking at how tissue refracts the rays, not simply at how it absorbs them, the researchers hope to increase the resolution of mammography, enabling doctors to detect smaller tumors earlier. The basic physics behind x-ray imaging hasn’t changed in more than 100 years. Most hospitals have gotten rid of film and gone digital, but their images still record the same kind of information: how a part of the patient’s body absorbs the rays. When radiation hits a material, many other things happen to the waves besides absorption, say Richard Lanza and Antonio Damato, a research scientist and a graduate student, respectively, in nuclear engineering at MIT. The pair is developing a prototype x-ray mammogram system that will record information about absorption and refraction of the radiation as it passes through an object. Refraction is a change in the direction of a … [Read more...] about Changing the Physics behind X-Ray Imaging
Apple Computer’s new OS X marks the death of one of the world’s great operating systems. Rejoice! I write this not as an Apple-basher, but as a long-disappointed Macintosh fanatic. Since its birth, the Macintosh has always had an excellent user interface but a crummy underlying operating system. Those problems date back to 1984, when Apple shipped the first Macintosh with Motorola’s 68000 microprocessor rather than waiting for the more able-bodied 68010. That choice prevented Apple from incorporating technologies like memory protection and preemptive multitasking into the original Mac. The legacy of that mistake was nearly two decades of system crashes. But all of this history is about to be rendered moot. With OS X, Apple is making a dramatic departure from the past. OS X (the X means 10) is a fundamentally new operating system that is merely pretending to be a Macintosh of old. This is big news-and not just for Apple users. Indeed, it may be bigger news to people … [Read more...] about Apple’s X Factor – MIT Technology Review