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IT Trends :: Thursday, November 30, 2006

New Technology

Wireless Energy? Look, Ma – No Wires!

Of course it was an assistant professor at MIT who came up with this one. Instead of “hot spots,” there are “mid-range energy nodes.” At a recent physics conference in San Francisco, a group of researchers proposed a method that would allow cell phones, laptops, industrial robots, and other gadgets to be recharged simply by being within a few yards of an energy source. “In quantum mechanics, it’s called ‘tunneling.’ In electromagnetics, it’s called ‘evanescent coupling.’ “…

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Company Rents Out Robot as Temp Worker

Ubiko, short for “Ubiquitous Computing,” is a 44-inch tall robot that can greet customers and hand out balloons. The $255,000 robot comes equipped with a camera, infrared sensors, and a nasal electronic voice. “Just give it electricity, and a robot can work for long hours, even doing repetitive work, and you don’t have to worry about labor laws.” Three were sold last month to a Japanese hospital…

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Oh, No! I Should Not Have Sent That. Hit the Destructo Button!

Did you ever send an e-mail and wonder, maybe like Golden Gate jumpers five seconds later, if maybe you shouldn’t have? Perhaps you should check out kablo' and These services claim to not only retrieve sent e-mail messages, but to also offer a self-destruct feature. The self-destruct feature allows the sender to set a window of time that the e-mail can be read. Once that time has elapsed, the e-mail is deleted…

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Campus Computer, Gadget Fixers Revel in Popularity

When was that earlier time when geeks ruled the campus? We’re not sure it ever happened. These stories about geeks saving the day continue to be cool. Of course, it is Stanford. A recent Stanford survey shows that 99 percent of students have at least one computer. Nine percent have two or more. More than half of Stanford’s undergraduates use a computer more than four hours a day. But many of these digitally dependent students are users, not fixers. They’re not able to cope with breakdowns. Luckily, some of their fellow students are…

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