A review of the human spaceflight program found no viable strategy and too little funding to get astronauts on Mars by the 2030s as President Obama pledged they would.
via New York Times
Fire researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will return to Spartanburg, S.C., on May 15-21, 2014, as part of a collaborative effort on a series of controlled-burn experiments in detached single-family homes slated for demolition. Measurements of temperature, total heat flux and other ground truth data gathered during the live fire experiments will help the NIST team and its partners to further assess the effectiveness of new fire-suppression tactics known as transitional fire attack. Likened to the military concept of “softening the target,” a transitional fire attack begins by applying water as soon as possible from the exterior of a burning house—before firefighters enter the structure—and then proceeds into the interior. In contrast, the conventional “offensive attack” begins inside, requiring entry into the burning structure before any water is directed onto the fire. NIST is collaborating with the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI), the State of South Carolina Fire Training Academy and City of Spartanburg Fire Department. NIST helped to design the fire experiments and will provide measurement instruments and other equipment for recording conditions in the burning houses. The fires also will be recorded with videos and thermal imagers. This is the second year that NIST will
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Most high-speed networking is done using optical fibers. The hardware on each end of these fibers has to convert the optical signals to electronic ones in order to figure out a packet's destination and will often return it to optical form before sending it on toward its destination.
Researchers at the Japanese telecom NTT find all that converting a bit wasteful and are working on ways to avoid it. They've recently published a paper that includes a description of a working 115-bit optical Random Access Memory device, made of a carefully structured series of photonic crystals, each of which can store light of a different wavelength.
Photonic crystals are made of layered semiconductors, with the precise structure (the thickness and spacing of the layers) determining how they interact with light—it's possible to make photonic crystals that selectively block or transmit a narrow frequency range.