What has the world come to when you can be betrayed by your household appliances? Is nothing safe from cyber attack? Surprisingly, answers to these questions are related and very timely. In the world of cyber security, hacking has been taken to a new high with the recent development of “Funtenna.” While it may sound like fun and games, “Funtenna is malware that intentionally causes compromising emanation”, says developer Ang Cui of Columbia University and Red Balloon Security. In other words, it’s software that can steal protected data from networks whose owners thought were perfectly safe.
To say there have been many advancements in the field of microscopy since the development of the first compound microscope by Zaccharias Jansen in the late 16th century is an understatement. Jansen and his father, Dutch spectacle makers, built the first microscope by using three draw tubes with lenses inserted into the ends of the flanking tubes. They discovered a much larger image than expected; much larger than simple magnifying glass provided. The very first compound microscopes only magnified images between 6x – 9x. Microscopes of today can magnify images to the nanometer.
Smartphones have revolutionized the way we work, play, communicate and carry out our day to day lives. Recently, researchers discovered a surprising and potentially life-saving application for this technology: early earthquake detection. This unconventional pocket detector could provide precious seconds for people to take shelter or for utilities to implement emergency shutdown procedures.
Today’s U.S. Special Tactics Battlefield Airmen forces are highly trained, in peak physical condition and equipped with 150 pounds of gear, weapons and body armor to conduct rescue and assault missions around the world. Often these missions involve challenging physical obstacles such as scaling high walls, crossing waterways and rooftops, or quickly rescuing and transporting injured victims —tasks that require strong, versatile, portable tools. Traditionally standard 40-pound aluminum ladders have been used, but they’re a bulky and heavy burden for personnel already loaded with gear.
To solve this equipment challenge, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory issued the University Design Challenge to engineering students at 16 universities and three military academies. Their mission was to develop a portable, lightweight, multipurpose tool that could traverse a variety of obstacles over a 20-foot gap and was simple to deploy, reusable and able to hold 350 pounds. Each team received $20,000 and had nine months to complete their design. Continue reading ““BAMBI” BACKPACK DESIGNED TO BUILD BRIDGES FOR MILITARY” »
An estimated $30 billion in illegal cash crosses U.S. borders into Mexico annually. Border Patrol has the daunting job of finding it before it leaves, and last year, U.S. officials seized $106 million. The Department of Homeland Security recently put out a public call for currency detection devices. KWJ Engineering responded with a money-sniffing instrument. The Bulk Currency Detection System (BCDS) relies upon gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).
How will you spend your winter break? Do your plans include watching a lot of football?
For football fanatics, fantasy football players and coaches alike, it’s a dream come true — RFID tracking chips that transmit real-time statistics on a player position, speed, direction, distance and force of impact directly to game broadcasters. Continue reading “Football Statistics in Real Time?” »
Solving the World’s Water Crisis, One Page at a Time
By Colleen Salvatore
On a hot summer day, nothing quenches your thirst more than a tall glass of ice cold water. We take for granted how clean drinking water is readily available with a turn of a spigot. Almost one billion people worldwide, however, lack access to clean drinking water. In fact, 3.4 million people die each year from water-related diseases, and 20 percent of children under the age of five in rural developing countries die from waterborne diseases.
A Real Page Turner
WATERisLIFE, a non-profit organization, DDB New York, an advertising agency, and Dr. Theresa Dankovich, a chemist with the University of Virginia and Carnegie Mellon University, partnered to find a cost-effective, simple method to provide clean drinking water for people in developing counties. The collaborative result is The Drinkable Book, a manual that teaches safe water habits and actually produces potable water.
If any of your students have turned away when peering into a microscope, they may be turning away from science. Rather than being intrigued, some elementary students are adversely affected by what they see in a microscope. Unidentifiable squiggly things in a drop of tap water, the magnified eyes of a fly, the prickly legs of a garden spider…any or all of these could dampen a young child’s curiosity about the world around him.
Surprise, surprise, kids aren’t just using tablets to play “Angry Birds”! Teachers are successfully incorporating tablets within schools everyday to boost interactive learning and connectivity for students across the world. The days of hauling a heavy backpack filled with textbooks may soon be over. Tablets are quickly becoming popular among K-12 students and teachers, replacing textbooks and computers.