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Canonical announces first partners to ship Ubuntu phones around the globe | Insights

Canonical announces first partners to ship Ubuntu phones around the globe | Insights | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it

" 19th February 2014, London: Canonical today announces it has signed agreements with mobile device manufacturers bq (www.bq.com) (Spain) and Meizu (China) to bring Ubuntu smartphones to consumers globally. Canonical is working with these partners to ship the first Ubuntu devices on the latest hardware in 2014. Ubuntu has also received significant support from the world’s biggest carriers, some of which intend to work with OEM partners to bring phones to market this year. "

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Bendable Smartphones Aren't Coming Anytime Soon

Bendable Smartphones Aren't Coming Anytime Soon | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it
Samsung Electronics's Galaxy Round smartphone retails in Korea for about $1,000. It's that expensive for a reason.

Via IDG Connect
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IDG Connect's curator insight, January 2, 2014 11:06 AM

Samsung Electronics's Galaxy Round smartphone retails in Korea for about $1,000. It's that expensive for a reason.

The curved display has graduated from science fiction to store shelves, but manufacturing them is still a challenging and expensive process. Screen makers are struggling to figure out the techniques needed to produce millions of the screens cheaply.

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Huawei and UK researchers to work on 3D sound development - E & T Magazine

Huawei and UK researchers to work on 3D sound development - E & T Magazine | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it
The UKs University of Southampton and Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei will start a joint research project focused on personalised and interactive 3D sound technologies.
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Personal Rapid Transit systems (PRT)

Personal Rapid Transit systems (PRT) | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it

Vince Cable announced a trial of a personal rapid transit (PRT) system in Milton Keynes by 2015. We visit Heathrow to see the airports 'Ultra PRT' system in action.

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Time to heal: The materials that repair themselves

Time to heal: The materials that repair themselves | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it
Biology is inspiring an effort to create new materials that can repair themselves when damaged.

 

At some point in the near future you'll wear out those running shoes, break that squash racket, drop your smartphone and crack the screen.

 

They will need to be replaced - at a cost.

 

But what if we made things from materials that can heal themselves - like a plant or animal heals a wound?

 

According to experts, the first products with truly self-healing properties may be just around the corner.

 

Serious proposals for this technology go back at least as far as the 1960s, when Soviet researchers published theory papers on the topic.

 

But it was a 2001 study led by Scott White from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, that really helped to kick-start the field.

 

The group infused a plastic-like polymer with microscopic capsules containing a liquid healing agent. Cracking open the material caused the capsules to rupture, releasing the healing agent. When the agent made contact with a catalyst embedded in the material, a chemical reaction bonded the two faces of the crack together. The polymer recovered some 75% of its original toughness.

 

In the last decade, the team has developed and refined its capsule-based systems, recently demonstrating an electrical circuit that healed itself when damaged. Microcapsules in the gold circuit released liquid metal in response to damage, swiftly restoring electrical conductivity, and bringing self-repairing electronic chips a step closer.

 

Co-author Dr Benjamin Blaiszik, now at Argonne National Laboratory, explained that the self-healing circuitry could find uses in a military setting where it would be exposed to extreme stresses or in long-term space applications.

 

He adds: "Imagine if there is a mechanical failure of a microchip on the Curiosity rover, due to thermomechanical stresses, or if there had been an interconnect failure during the landing phase. There is obviously no way to manually repair nor replace the probe."

 

The Illinois group is already commercialising their work via a spin-out company, Autonomic Materials, which has raised about $4m (£2.4m) of investment. Its chief executive, Joe Giuliani, told me the first applications of microcapsule systems are likely to be in coatings, paints and adhesives for environments where corrosion poses a challenge. "Worldwide, corrosion costs over $500bn (£312bn) a year, so it's a huge problem," he told BBC News.

 

Oil and gas is a key area. Re-healable products are likely to find uses on platforms - where the ability to heal drilling parts would be highly desirable - in pipelines and in refineries. They would potentially last several years longer than their conventional counterparts, lengthening the periods between maintenance.

"Over the life of that asset, there would be huge savings," says Giuliani. "It is out of commission for a lot less time too, which in the oil and gas business is huge. It can cost them $500,000 (£312,000) or $1m (£624,000) a day if an asset is out of service."

 

Military vehicles, cars and ships are other targets for self-healing coatings. The firm has about 30 products in testing and development and expects to fulfil its first commercial orders in the next six months.

 

Some manufacturers might not welcome the idea of products that last years longer than usual. But paint and coatings producers "know they can get more per gallon of paint they're selling," says Mr Giuliani, "the customers have shown us they're willing to pay the up-charge."

 

Scott White, from Illinois University's Beckman Institute, says that healing structural damage in sports equipment or aircraft components, for example, represents a "mid-term target" for scientists.

 

He told BBC News that the whole area of self-healing has seen an explosion of interest in the last decade, with some 200 academic papers published on the topic last year alone. And scientists are working on everything from re-healable polymers and composites (materials made from two or more different ones) to self-repairing metals and ceramics.

 

Since 2001, two new approaches have joined microcapsules as approaches to self-repair.

Taking the circulatory system as their inspiration, vascular methods rely on a network of channels (like capillaries, veins and arteries) within the material to deliver healing agent to the site of damage. Intrinsic systems, meanwhile, exploit the reversible nature of certain chemical bonds to incorporate healing abilities directly into the material.

 

Each of the three approaches has advantages and limitations that come into play when considering applications. Microcapsules are finite: as they get used up, the material loses its healing properties. And intrinsic systems need a stimulus - such as heat or light - to trigger healing, which can be good or bad depending on the application.

 

If the amount of damage is microscopic, capsule-based or intrinsic systems may be the best option. But, says Prof White, "if it's a large damaged volume, then neither of those approaches are going to work and you have to go with a vascular-based system".

This is because they allow large amounts of healing agent to be transported to the breached area. But the sheer complexity of vascular networks presents a daunting challenge...


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World’s largest shipping hub to integrate unmanned systems - E & T Magazine

World’s largest shipping hub to integrate unmanned systems - E & T Magazine | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it
Finnish researchers will design and develop an advanced wireless network for PSA Singapore Terminals to help the shipping centre integrate unmanned systems.
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Which Asian countries get along best with Bitcoin? Here’s our guide

Which Asian countries get along best with Bitcoin? Here’s our guide | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it
Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer virtual form of money created back in 2009, first caught our attention back in 2011 when Ruxum launched its Bitcoin exchange in Asia.

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IDG Connect's curator insight, January 22, 2014 12:17 PM

Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer virtual form of money created back in 2009, first caught our attention back in 2011 when Ruxum launched its Bitcoin exchange in Asia.

But Bitcoin hype only reached fever pitch in the latter half of 2013 when the virtual currency was used by merchants on the dodgy Silkroad site for selling drugs and other illegal goods. Bitcoin has had its ups and downs and we’ve come a long way since it was first created. However, being a digital currency, countries around the world have reacted to Bitcoin in a variety of ways.

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Smartwatches Pose 1970s-Style Threat to Swiss Industry

Smartwatches Pose 1970s-Style Threat to Swiss Industry | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it
In the 1970s, Switzerland’s watchmakers were almost put out of business when they underestimated the importance of the quartz watch.

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IDG Connect's curator insight, November 26, 2013 12:16 PM

In the 1970s, Switzerland’s watchmakers were almost put out of business when they underestimated the importance of the quartz watch. Though the industry recovered and is prospering, today it faces a new technological challenge from “smartwatches” such asSamsung’s $299 Galaxy Gear.

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Three lessons “Breaking Bad” can teach us about the direct materials supply chain

Three lessons “Breaking Bad” can teach us about the direct materials supply chain | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it
Say what you will about the show, but Breaking Bad offers these valuable lessons about the direct materials supply chain.

Via Luís Miguel D. F. Ferreira
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New mobile wireless vehicle charging technique - E & T Magazine

New mobile wireless vehicle charging technique - E & T Magazine | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it
Wireless charging for electric vehicles on the move is a step closer after researchers successfully tested a new prototype.
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Wheel-less gearbox promises revolution in transmission - E & T Magazine

Wheel-less gearbox promises revolution in transmission - E & T Magazine | Growing knowledge | Scoop.it
A Dutch team has invented, developed and patented a transmission system that promises to reduce maintenance cost and reduce fuel consumption.
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Five Tips for Landing a Successful Supply Chain Internship - Inbound Logistics

Internships in supply chain and logistics organizations help students to evaluate the company’s nature, culture, work environment and career advancement opportunities, writes University of San Diego MBA candidate Sweta Ashwarya.

Via Luís Miguel D. F. Ferreira
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