Cisco Cius Android tablet

Cisco launches Cius tablet for business

Tablet runs Android, offers videoconferencing

LAS VEGAS -- Cisco Systems today unveiled the Cius, a 7-in. touch-screen tablet computer that runs the Android operating system and is sure to be compared with Apple's iPad.

Cisco Cius

Collected from: YouTube - Cisco Cius

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Cisco Simplifies Mobile Collaboration with First-of-its- kind HD Video-Capable Business Tablet

New Android-based Computing Device Uses Cisco Collaboration Architecture and Virtual Desktop Integration to Deliver Mobile Computing, Collaboration and Communication Services

Product Features
  • The Cisco Cius is a lightweight portable business computing tablet offered with an optional HD audio station equipped with a telephone handset speakerphone, HD DisplayPort and USB ports.
  • The Cisco Cius tablet features a front-mounted 720p HD camera which refreshes at up to 30 frames per second; a seven inch, high-resolution widescreen super VGA touch-target display for real-time and streamed video, and single-button TelePresence interoperability that can be utilized either when the tablet is docked, or being used remotely via Wi-Fi.
  • The tablet has a 5-megapixel rear facing camera that can transmit streaming VGA quality video and capture still images, and dual noise-cancelling microphones for audio conferencing.
  • Cisco Cius features an eloquent contacts-driven user experience, designed to enables users to quickly reach their important contacts.
  • An on-board accelerometer readily orients applications for viewing in portrait or landscape modes as the user rotates the device to their preferred viewing orientation
  • Cisco Cius supports 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi for enterprise campus mobility and 3G cellular services when off-campus. 4G services will be available at a later date. Bluetooth and Micro-USB means users can work untethered and share data with a PC.
  • A detachable and serviceable battery offers eight hours life under normal usage.

Applications Capabilities:

  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G/4G data and Bluetooth 3.0 help employees stay connected on and off-campus
  • HD video (720p) with Cisco TelePresence solution interoperability for lifelike video communication with the simplicity of a phone call
  • Virtual desktop client enables highly secure access to cloud-based business applications
  • Android operating system, with access Android marketplace applications
  • Collaboration applications including Cisco Quad, Cisco Show and Share, WebEx, Presence, and IM
Tablet Highlights:

  • 7” diagonal, high-resolution color screen with contact-based touch targets delivers an elegant, intuitive experience
  • HD Soundstation supports Bluetooth and USB peripherals, 10/100/1000 wired connectivity and a handset option
  • Detachable and serviceable 8-hour battery for a full day of work
  • Highly secure remote connections with Cisco AnyConnect Security VPN Client
  • HD audio with wideband support (tablet, HD Soundstation)

Cisco Cius - Better Than iPad?

Meet Cisco Cius: Android tablet for workers, students. Watch out, iPad?

At 1.15 lbs., the device is an ultra-portable tablet that’s targeted at market segments that can benefit from real-time, video-based collaboration. It’s fully interoperable with telepresence tools, offers HD video streaming, multi-party conferencing, email, messaging, browsing and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored either locally or on the cloud. It features a front-mounted 720p HD camera that refreshes at up to 30 frames per second. It’s WiFi-enabled, comes with an accelerometer, has a detachable battery and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Cisco Cius Demo at Cisco Live

Cisco launches Cius tablet for business - Computerworld
YouTube - Cisco Cius
Cisco Simplifies Mobile Collaboration with First-of-its- kind HD Video-Capable Business Tablet -> Cisco News
Cisco Cius - Products & Services - Cisco Systems
YouTube - Cisco Cius - Better Than iPad?
Meet Cisco Cius: Android tablet for workers, students. Watch out, iPad? | ZDNet
YouTube - Cisco Cius Demo at Cisco Live

Cisco Finds Its Tablet - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com
Cisco unveils Cius Android tablet with HD video capabilities (update: video!) -- Engadget
Cisco Cius tablet brings Android to the Enterprise - Google 24/7 - Fortune Tech
Cisco jumps on the tablet fad - The Inquirer
Cisco Cius Android Tablet Unveiled



Yawning is part of what makes us human

What may become 2010's Conference of the Year has just been announced. The International Congress of Chasmology will take place in June in Paris, and papers are solicited now. Anyone bored by that statement should read further, for the topic to be discussed is not diving but yawning ('chasmology' deriving from the Greek word for the pastime).

First International Conference on Yawning
Paris, 24 - 25 juin 2010
Yawning is a very common and phylogenetically old behavioural event that occurs in vertebrates under different conditions. Yawning appeared very early in vertebrate history, with contagiousness evolving much later.
Yawning has many consequences, including opening of the eustachian tube, tearing, inflating the lungs, stretching and signaling drowsiness, but these may be incidental to its primal function which may something as unanticipated as sculpting the articulation of the gaping jaw during embryonic development.
Collected from: ficy_index

Collected from: YouTube - yawning

Common Yawning Theories

  • The Physiological Theory -- Our bodies induce yawning to drawn in more oxygen or remove a build-up of carbon dioxide. This theory helps explain why we yawn in groups. Larger groups produce more carbon dioxide, which means our bodies would act to draw in more oxygen and get rid of the excess carbon dioxide. However, if our bodies make us yawn to drawn in needed oxygen, wouldn't we yawn during exercise? Robert Provine, a psychologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a leading expert on yawning, has tested this theory. Giving people additional oxygen didn't decrease yawning and decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in a subject's environment also didn't prevent yawning.
  • The Evolution Theory -- Some think that yawning is something that began with our ancestors, who used yawning to show their teeth and intimidate others. An offshoot of this theory is the idea that yawning developed from early man as a signal for us to change activities.
  • The Boredom Theory -- In the dictionary, yawning is said to be caused by boredom, fatigue or drowsiness. Although we do tend to yawn when bored or tired, this theory doesn't explain why Olympic athletes yawn right before they compete in their event. It's doubtful that they are bored with the world watching them.

Yawning may signal sexual attraction

A yawn may signal that a person wants to have sex, among other things.

Yesterday, at the International Conference on Yawning, scientists presented the latest theory on yawning. The new revelation is based on reports from sexologists that many of their patients yawn during sex and foreplay.

Front Neurol Neurosci. 2010;28:55-62. Epub 2010 Mar 26.

The hidden sexuality of the yawn and the future of chasmology.

Yawning is part of what makes us human - Telegraph
YouTube - yawning
Discovery Health "What makes us yawn?"
Yawning may signal sexual attraction - Asylum.co.uk
The hidden sexuality of the yawn and the future of... [Front Neurol Neurosci. 2010] - PubMed result

Yawn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yawn - Scholarpedia
Yawning is a sign of sexual attraction, scientists claim - Telegraph
Yawning 'a sign of sexual attraction'
Wolter Seuntjens | Introduction


Aldebaran Robotics' Nao Autonomous Humanoid Robot

20 Nao Robots Perform Synchronized Dance

The latest demonstration of Aldebaran Robotics' Nao robot shows 20 robots performing a 3-part synchronized dance, preparing for France’s Pavilion Day. The Nao robot, humanoid in design, showcases its great range of motion by deftly moving its numerous joints and appendages in an impressive mimicry of human movement.

Nao (robot)

Nao (pronounced "now") is an autonomous, programmable and medium-sized humanoid robot, developed by the French company Aldebaran Robotics, a start-up headquartered in Paris.

Although the Nao Academics Edition is already available for universities and laboratories for research and education purposes, it will not be available to the general public until 2011.

 A preview Nao robot under development for RoboCup at the Georgia Institute of Technology

 Nao robot in Webots RoboCup soccer simulation.

Nao has all of the bells and whistles that you’d expect to find in a consumer humanoid, including limbs with 25 degrees of freedom, operable hands, stereo vision, voice recognition and synthesis, and a programmable Linux OS. Nao is programmable in either a graphic environment or a code environment, and is supposed to be appropriate for all ranges of skill.

Aldebaran Robotics' Nao

20 Nao Robots Perform Synchronized Dance - PCWorld
YouTube - World Premiere: 20 Nao Robots Dancing in Synchronized Harmony
Nao (robot) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aldebaran Robotics’ NAO Humanoid Bends Over, Squeezes Duck | BotJunkie
Aldebaran Robotics, the creators of Nao | Aldebaran Robotics
YouTube - Aldebaran Robotics' Nao

Humanoid Robot To Be Ready For Prime Time In 2010 | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
Humanoid robot Nao wants to be friends | Crave - CNET
Nao - a robot that sees, speaks, reacts to touch and surfs the web
Interactive | Aldebaran Robotics
France celebrates Pavilion Day_latest news_Shanghai World Expo


Solar Power From Sahara

Europe Will Be Powered By Saharan Sun in Five Years

The super-sized solar projects being built in the Sahara desert will start generating and providing Europe with clean energy within the next five years, according to the European energy commissioner.  This is much sooner, than the initial 10-year time frame given to the project.

Reuters Africa

EU sees solar power imported from Sahara in 5 yrs

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Europe will import its first solar-generated electricity from North Africa within the next five years, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in an interview on Sunday.

The European Union is backing projects to turn the plentiful sunlight in the Sahara desert into electricity for power-hungry Europe, a scheme it hopes will help meet its target of deriving 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources in 2020.

"I think some models starting in the next 5 years will bring some hundreds of megawatts to the European market," Oettinger told Reuters after a meeting with energy ministers from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

The Concept at a glance

"In the coming decades, global developments will confront mankind with unprecedented challenges: climate change, a population growth far beyond Earth‘s present carrying capacity, the global striving for prosperity, and increasing demands for energy and water, are the core problems we are faced with. 200 years of global industrialization has resulted in an unparalleled standard of living and an increased life expectancy for part of the world’s population. However, all this has been and is still being achieved at a price: alarming environmental destruction as well as climate change which can no longer be ignored. These things will mean dramatic changes to life on Earth in the future."

Desertec solar energy project

Generating Electricity in the Sahara Desert

There are two main types of solar generation planned for North Africa. The first is standard photovoltaic solar panels (PV). Thanks to the number of sunshine hours, the clean dry air, and the latitude of the Sahara Desert, a solar panel installed there will generate up to 3x as much power than it would if it was installed in the UK.
The second (and more likely) is to use concentrated solar power (CSP) - an array of mirrors which focus the sun's rays onto a single point to make super-heated steam to turn a turbine (pictured above). See our article First European Solar Power Tower for information on how this technology is already being used in Southern Spain.

European Supergrid - HVDC Transmission

If renewable energy is to be used to power Europe, then a new low-loss electricity grid will need to be constructed. The UK national grid for example transmits high voltage ACwind energy from UK is to be used in Bulgaria, or if Saharan solar electricity is to be used in UK, more efficient transmission would be essential.
The plan is to create a Europe-wide supergrid of low loss high voltage DC (direct current) cables. HVDC cables have energy losses as low as 3% per 1000km, and their use will make it easier for countries which generate AC electricity at different frequencies to synchronise and pool green electricity. Current estimates put the cost of such a supergrid at around 45 Billion Euro.

Europe Will Be Powered By Saharan Sun in Five Years
EU sees solar power imported from Sahara in 5 yrs | Top News | Reuters
YouTube - CNN: Just Imagine: Gerhard Knies
DESERTEC Foundation: RedPaper
YouTube - Desertec solar energy project
Solar Power for Europe from Sahara - Solar

DESERTEC Foundation: Start
Solar Energy From Sahara Will Be Imported To Europe In 5 Years | TheBlogIsMine Dot Com
Home: DESERTEC INDUSTRIES - Energy from deserts
Solar Thermal Power in North-Africa: How Much Land to Power the World? : TreeHugger
Using Deserts To Power The World - PSFK
Europe to import Sahara's solar power


Self-assembling Biological Nanodevices Based Upon Tensegrity

HMS website banner

Researchers create self-assembling nanodevices that move and change shape on demand

BOSTON, Mass. (June 21, 2010) —By emulating nature’s design principles, a team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has created nanodevices made of DNA that self-assemble and can be programmed to move and change shape on demand. In contrast to existing nanotechnologies, these programmable nanodevices are highly suitable for medical applications because DNA is both biocompatible and biodegradable.

Built at the scale of one billionth of a meter, each device is made of a circular, single-stranded DNA molecule that, once it has been mixed together with many short pieces of complementary DNA, self-assembles into a predetermined 3D structure. Double helices fold up into larger, rigid linear struts that connect by intervening single-stranded DNA. These single strands of DNA pull the struts up into a 3D form—much like tethers pull tent poles up to form a tent. The structure’s strength and stability result from the way it distributes and balances the counteracting forces of tension and compression.

This architectural principle—known as tensegrity—has been the focus of artists and architects for many years, but it also exists throughout nature. In the human body, for example, bones serve as compression struts, with muscles, tendons and ligaments acting as tension bearers that enable us to stand up against gravity. The same principle governs how cells control their shape at the microscale.

An electron micrograph of an actual nanoscale tensegrity built using the new DNA-based, self-assembling nanofabrication capabilities. Scale bars equal 20 nanometers (billionths of a meter). Images by Tim Liedl

Nature Nanotechnology
Published online: 20 June 2010 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2010.107

Self-assembly of three-dimensional prestressed tensegrity structures from DNA

Tim Liedl Björn, Högberg, Jessica Tytell, Donald E. Ingber & William M. Shih


Tensegrity structures are structures based on the combination of a few simple but subtle and deep design patterns:
  • loading members only in pure compression or pure tension, meaning the structure will only fail if the cables yield or the rods buckle
  • preload or tensional prestress, which allows cables to be rigid in tension
  • mechanical stability, which allows the members to remain in tension/compression as stress on the structure increases
Because of these patterns, no structural member experiences a bending moment. This produces exceptionally rigid structures for their mass and for the cross section of the components.

Welcome to the Shih Lab. We explore design principles for self-assembling molecular machines, primarily using structural DNA nanotechnology to build our model systems. We seek to apply our knowledge towards construction of artificial systems that help solve problems of biological and medical interest.

Collected from: Home

William Shih

Shih is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, and Department of Cancer Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

HMS Press Release - Researchers create self-assembling nanodevices that move and change shape on demand
Self-assembly of three-dimensional prestressed tensegrity structures from DNA : Abstract : Nature Nanotechnology
Tensegrity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
YouTube - Step by Step Tensegrities (the real thing)
Home : Wyss Institute at Harvard
William Shih : Wyss Institute at Harvard

Researchers create self-assembling nanodevices that move and change shape on demand
Researchers create self-assembling nanodevices that move and change shape on demand
Researchers create self-assembling nanodevices that move and change shape on demand
DailyTech - Harvard Debuts Self-assembling Biological Nanodevices
Creation Of Self-Assembling Nanodevices That Move And Change Shape On Demand


Liquid Mirrors for Adaptive Optics

Liquid mirror

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liquid mirrors are mirrors made with reflective liquids. The most common liquid used is mercury, but other liquids will work as well (for example, low melting alloys of gallium). The container for the liquid is rotating so that the liquid assumes a parabolic shape. A parabolic shape is precisely the shape needed for the primary mirror of a telescope. The rotating liquid assumes the parabolic shape regardless of the container's shape. To reduce the amount of liquid metal needed, and thus weight, a rotating mercury mirror uses a container that is as close to the necessary parabolic shape as possible. Liquid mirrors can be a low cost alternative to conventional large telescopes. Compared to a solid glass mirror that must be cast, ground, and polished, a rotating liquid metal mirror is much cheaper to manufacture.

Liquid Mirror Breakthrough Could Make State-of-the-Art Optics Cheap

A $120 million Earth-based telescope using brand new adaptive optics just trumped Hubble's deep space image clarity three-fold, but such high tech optics aren't just reserved for high-dollar observatories. A breakthrough in deformable liquid mirror technology could drastically reduce the price associated with adaptive optics, making the best in high-tech telescopes more widely available.
Using a ferromagnetic liquid (rather than mercury), researchers pioneered a novel way to create deformable liquid mirrors a few years back, but there were some problems. For one, the magnetic fields used to deform the liquid couldn't be cycled quickly enough to be useful in astronomy. For another, there was a non-linear disconnect between the deformation of the mirror and the magnetic field strength that required a highly complex algorithm to be built from scratch.

Now, those same researchers from the Université Laval in Quebec have published a paper saying they've resolved those problems. They now claim they can cycle their magnetic fields 100 times faster, and by applying a second uiform magnetic field atop the original one they've eliminated that disconnect between deformity and magnetic field strength.

Technology Review - Published By MIT

Deformable Liquid Mirrors Could Revolutionise Astronomy

Liquid mirrors are cheaper and easier to make than glass ones. A new prototype shows how they can also make adaptive optics systems.

Today, Brousseau and buddies reveal a next generation liquid mirror that gets around these problems. The proof-of-principle mirror is just 5 cm across but sits atop a honeycomb of 91 actuators that can deform the liquid.

The team say they've found a way to cycle their actuators at rates of up to 1 Khz, much more useful than before. And they've overcome the the non-linear control problems by superimposing a strong uniform magnetic field on top of the field created by the actuators. This has the effect of linearising the response of the liquid.

The big advantage, of course, is that instead of having to develop their own exotic control algorithms, they can now use off-the-shelf algorithms developed for conventional adaptive optics.

The result is a mirror that ought to be able to compete with the vary best conventional adaptive optics but that can be built at a fraction of the price.

Laval University

Liquid mirrors and adaptive optics group

Welcome to the Laval University liquid mirrors and adaptive optics group website. By browsing through these pages you will find valuable information on our ongoing research activities and earlier projects as well. Please note that some sections are still under work.

The Ferrofluid deformable mirrors section gives a brief overview of our ongoing research on liquid deformable mirrors based on the use of magnetic liquids called ferrofluids.

The Reflective liquids section discuss reflective liquids called MeLLFs (Metal Liquid-Like Films) that has been developped by a team of chemists working in our group. There is also a section on the vacuum deposition of reflective coatings on ionic liquids.

What is a ferrofluid?

Illustration showing the structure of the ferrofluid-mellf interface.

Photographs of a homemade ferrofluid coated with a MeLLF. The image at right
shows the liquid deformed by the presence of a magnetic field of a
permanent magnet located under the container.

Liquid mirror - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Liquid Mirror Breakthrough Could Make State-of-the-Art Optics Cheap | Popular Science
Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: Deformable Liquid Mirrors Could Revolutionise Astronomy
Laval University Liquid Mirror Group
Laval University Liquid Mirror Group

[1006.2843] Linearization of the response of a 91-actuator magnetic liquid deformable mirror
Liquid mirror shows promise for adaptive optics - physicsworld.com
2Physics: Ferrofluidic Deformable Mirrors for Adaptive Optics
HowStuffWorks "How Lunar Liquid Mirror Telescopes Work"


Turritopsis Nutricula an Immortal Jellyfish

The world's only immortal animal

The turritopsis nutricula species of jellyfish may be the only animal in the world to have truly discovered the fountain of youth.

Since it is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. Scientists say the hydrozoan jellyfish is the only known animal that can repeatedly turn back the hands of time and revert to its polyp state (its first stage of life).

Turritopsis nutricula

Turritopsis nutricula or immortal jellyfish is a hydrozoan whose medusa, or jellyfish, form can revert to the polyp stage after becoming sexually mature. It is the only known case of a metazoan capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary stage.[2][3] It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation. Cell transdifferentiation is when the jellyfish "alters the differentiated state of the cell and transforms it into a new cell. In this process the medusa of the immortal jellyfish is transformed into the polyps of a new polyp colony. First, the umbrella reverts itself and then the tentacles and mesoglea get resorbed. The reverted medusa then attaches itself to the substrate by the end that had been at the opposite end of the umbrella and starts giving rise to new polyps to form the new colony. Theoretically, this process can go on infinitely, effectively rendering the jellyfish immortal." [3][4] This cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it biologically immortal,[4] although in nature, most Turritopsis, like other medusae, are likely to succumb to predation or disease in the plankton stage, without reverting to the polyp form.[5]

Photo: "Immortal" Jellyfish Swarm World's Oceans

When stressed, the tiny jellyfish's cells transform, returning the animal to its youthful polyp state (inset). Attached to the seafloor or another hard surface, the jellyfish polyp can spawn hundreds of jellyfish that are genetically identical to it.

Collected from: Plate IV — Fig. 17

Turritopsis nutricula

The world's only immortal animal | Yahoo! Green
Turritopsis nutricula - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Photo: "Immortal" Jellyfish Swarm World's Oceans
Plate IV — Fig. 17
YouTube - Turritopsis nutricula

'Immortal' jellyfish swarming across the world - Telegraph
Turritopsis nutricula: the world's only 'immortal' creature - Times Online
The Curious Case of the Immortal Jellyfish | Discoblog | Discover Magazine
The Only Immortal Animal on Earth
Jellyfish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sea Notes: An Immortal Jellyfish?
Turritopsis nutricula (Immortal jellyfish)


The MetroNaps EnergyPod

Nap in style, Thats how google does it anyway!

A reporter found a alien like pod while visiting  Google HQ’s in Mountain View. The Contraption you see, is a Mountain View Nap Pod or the EnergyPod, like they call it.

Googlers Take Naps In Bizarre Contraption

How does Google keep its employees fresh for long days and nights of working? With sleep pods.

FT reporter Richard Waters was in Google's Mountain View headquarters yesterday and snapped this photo of an anonymous Googler catching some rest. When Richard walked past the pod later, he said a pair of female legs were sticking out from the pod.

This contraption is a MetroNap EnergyPod. Metronap says it "harnesses science and NASA technology" to deliver a refreshing nap for users.

 Click here for more pictures and information on the EnergyPod

The EnergyPod

The MetroNaps EnergyPod solves a contemporary problem: most work spaces do not offer their employees a place to rejuvenate. The result is that people seek rest in places not intended for it: at their desk, in a conference room, a parked car or even the bathroom.

Based on years of research and thousands of design hours, the MetroNaps EnergyPod is the perfect place to quickly and effectively enhance your energy. Designed to be installed almost anywhere, the EnergyPod is a self-contained productivity device.


Key Features & Benefits
  • Room within a room
  • Inbuilt Bose sound system
  • Contemporary design
  • Zero gravity technology
  • Controlled nap timer
  • Gentle waking sequence
  • Privacy visor

Nap in style, Thats how google does it anyway!
Googlers Take Naps In Bizarre Contraption
MetroNaps / The EnergyPod
MetroNaps. Fatigue Management, accredited training and napping solutions for safety critical workplaces

40 Googlewinks | Tech Blog | FT.com
Google Employees Sleep In Alien-Like Pods

The MetroNaps EnergyPod: For the Serious Power-Napper