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     Volume 4 Issue 7 | August 6, 2004 |

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The World's Fastest Supercomputer
Researchers at the National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories have claimed to have developed the world's fastest Red Storm computer which, despite being smaller and less expensive than other supercomputers, will work faster than any of them. The first quarter of the 90 million dollar 41.5 teraflops (trillion operations/second) machine would be installed at Sandia by the end of September this year. Red Storm, which will be air cooled will use only two megawatts of power and one third of the space compared to Japan's Earth Simulator, currently regarded as the world's fastest supercomputers and is expected to run ten times more faster than the ASCI Red computer systems developed by Sandia. By the end of 2005, the machine should be capable of 100 teraflops, after each single-processor chip is replaced with a new chip that contains two independent processors, each running 25 percent faster than the original chip. The computer is mainly being designed to work for the US nuclear stockpile..

Putting children in forward facing car seats is unsafe
A new report by road safety expert Thomas Carlson has indicated that putting children of five years or below in forward facing car seats is unsafe for them, reports the New Zealand Herald. Carlson, who presented his report at the Local Authority Traffic Institute conference in Napier, studied the bodies of cars and found that the cars that are manufactured these days have much stiffer bodies due to which the impact on children would be greater if the car got a jerk. According to him since children have much weaker muscles, they could end up breaking their necks if the car was to get a jerk upon hitting something or braking suddenly. His report has suggested that children should be put in seats which face the rear of the car, as this would lessen the force of a jerk. "We have known for quite a long time that children had to be three years of age but the structures of cars are stiffer now to protect passengers on impact. Kids are not strong enough to handle the force. They break their neck because their muscles are not developed properly," the report quoted him as saying.

Soon, an ATM that Greets you by your Name!
Your friendly neighbour-hood ATM machine is about to become more personalised by addressing you by your name if manufacturers are to be believed. According to the BBC, the manufacturer NCR has said that personalised cash machines would also offer sports scores and allow customers to check share prices while they withdraw cash. They will begin offering the usual amount of cash people withdraw and remind them of important information such as when their home insurance is up for renewal. "ATMs are the most frequent way that people interact with their bank, so it is no wonder that banks want to improve services through personalisation at the ATM," claims Simon Rubin, NCR's vice president for financial self-service solutions in Britain. "Given the success of ATM personalisation in North America and Asia, we could expect to see the first personalised ATM in the UK within a year," he added.

Hi-tech passport chips, US's latest weapon against war on terror
The American government will now issue passports embedded with a chip that contains the person's photograph and fingerprints. According to New York Daily News the State Department will use biometric technology to ensure that the passport holder is the person he claims to be. The chip enables customs agents at airports and border crossings to check a person's photograph and fingerprints on a computer screen. Biometric technology is already being used to at 114 American airports to scan visitors to the US under a program known as US-VISIT. "As standards spread, this necessary and ambitious effort could dramatically strengthen the world's ability to intercept individuals who could pose catastrophic threats," the federal 9/11 commission's report was quoted as saying. Biometric technology though initially dubbed as intrusive, is increasingly being used by Americans to secure their safety after the September 11 terrorist attack.

Smart microwaves bid adieu to half-cooked meals!
In a new breakthrough, a Brunel University student has designed a new "smart" microwave oven which has a built-in scanner to read bar-codes that could be printed on the side of food packaging. According to the Daily Mail, the bar code would contain the manufacturers' cooking instructions, such as the time and temperature required. Victoria Ramsell, 23, from Horley, Surrey, recently picked up an innovation award from the Internet firm, AOL Broadband, for her innovation. "Cooking microwave meals isn't as simple as people think. Users often do not know the power level of their microwave oven or do not follow instructions on food packaging - resulting in meals which, at best, are soggy and at worst can lead to illness. I wanted to design a product that ensured users could be assured a perfectly cooked meal on every occasion," she was quoted as saying. She has devised the bar codes she hopes manufacturers would include on labels if the design were put into production.

Source: Webindia123.com / Google


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