Email and Forum Questions Profiles in IT: Nick Holonyak Jr. Wireless Fences Technology Working Again Google phone to cost $179, debut Oct. 22 Space Elevator Update Website of the Week: Particle Zoo Strip Mining Open Source Code The story behind GNU Hijacking Satellite Navigation (GPS) Food Science: History of Bubble Gum
Compatible with IAG protocol using active Type II read/write technology.
Information is transmitted in 256 bit packets at 500 kbps operating in 900 MHz band.
Future uses for technology are traffic monitoring and congestion control.
E-Zpass records can be subpoenaed for legal proceedings (criminal, divorce, etc)
Smart Tag allows users to set up an Internet account to check their toll charges.
Profiles in IT: Nick Holonyak Jr.
Nick Holonyak Jr. has been called ?the father of the light emitting diode.? He also invented the red-light semiconductor laser, usually call the laser diode which is used in CD and DVD players.
Nick Holonyak Jr. was born in Zeigler, Illinois in November 3, 1962.
Holonyak’s parents were Eastern European immigrants who settled in Illinois.
Holonyak’s father worked in a coal mine. Holonyak was the first member of his family to receive any type of formal schooling.
Holonyak earned his bachelor’s degree in 1950, his master’s degree in 1951, and his doctorate in 1954, all in electrical engineering from University of Illinois.
Holonyak was the first graduate student of two-time Nobel laureate John Bardeen, an Illinois professor who invented the transistor.
After graduation, Holonyak worked for Bell Telephone Labs, where he helped develop silicon-diffused transistor technology.
He then moved to GE research labs where he invented the shorted emitter p-n-p-n silicon switch used in light-dimmer switches, the first practical light-emitting diode and the first semiconductor laser to operate in the visible spectrum (used in CD and DVD players).
In 1963, he joined Dr. Bardeen, the inventor of the transistor, at the Univ. of Illinois.
At Illinois, Holonyak and his students developed the quantum-well laser, creating a practical laser for fiber-optic communications, compact disc players, medical diagnosis, surgery, ophthalmology and many other applications.
In the early 1980s, his group introduced impurity-induced layer disordering, which converts layers of a semiconductor structure into an alloy that has important electronic properties. This discovery solved the problem of a laser’s low reliability.
During the last decade, Holonyak and his students invented a process that enables the formation of high-quality oxide layers on any aluminum-bearing III-V compound semiconductor. The oxide process has had a major impact on vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers, making them practical for such applications as optical and data communications.
His current research focuses on transistor lasers. Though still in the early stages of development, transistor lasers could dramatically improve the speed and availability of electronic communications.
As of 2007, he was investigating methods for manufacturing quantum dot lasers.
In 1989, Holonyak received the IEEE Edison Medal for ‘an outstanding career in the field of electrical engineering with contributions to major advances in the field of semiconductor materials and devices.’
In 2003, he was awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor.
In 2008, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.
Holonyak holds over 30 patents.
Holonyak predicted that his LEDs would replace the incandescent light bulb of Thomas Edison in the February 1963 issue of Reader’s Digest.
He and Dr. Feng run a transistor laser research center at the University funded by $6.5 million from the United States Department of Defense through DARPA.
He is testimony to the fact sometimes nice guys do finish first.
Wireless Fences Technology Working Again
Our wireless system stopped working. Circuit board was damaged by lightening.
Dog collar to loose because George has lost weight.
Wire is buried in the ground 1 to 3 inches deep.
Radio transmitter in located in the house sends signal out over wire loop.
Transmitted has broken loop indicator and battery backup.
Dog collar picks up signal and emits sound when close and a shock when closer.
Systems with one collar cost around $400 (if you install yourself)
Life without a leash is good!
Google phone to cost $179, debut Oct. 22
The first cell phone running Google Inc.’s mobile software looks something like Apple Inc.’s iPhone and has a large touch screen, but it also packs a trackball, a slide-out keyboard and easy access to Google’s e-mail and mapping programs.
Google made its debut as a cell phone software provider Tuesday at an event where wireless carrier T-Mobile said it will begin selling the G1 phone for $179 with a two-year contract.
The device hits U.S. stores Oct. 22 and heads to Britain in November and other European countries early next year.
The phone will be sold in T-Mobile stores only in the U.S. cities where the company has rolled out its faster, third-generation wireless data network.
By launch, that will be 21 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Miami.
In other areas, people will be able to buy the phone from T-Mobile’s Web site. The phone does work on T-Mobile’s slower data network, but it’s optimized for the faster networks.
It can also connect at Wi-Fi hotspots.
The data plan for the phone will cost $25 per month on top of the calling service, at the low end of the range for data plans at U.S. wireless carriers.
And at $179, the G1 is $20 less than the least expensive iPhone in the U.S.
Google is giving away Android, the software that underlies the G1, for free, and opening the operating system to third-party developers who can create their own programs.
Google hopes that in turn, mobile phones will provide even more ways for people to interact with the company’s advertising network.
Space Elevator Update
Science fiction may become a reality?.an elevator to space.
In 1979, Arthur C. Clarke’s novel "The Fountains of Paradise" discussed the idea of a space elevator.
There is a quite a bit on research activity underway.
A conference discussing developments in space elevator concepts is being held in Japan in November.
NASA is holding a $4 million Space Elevator Challenge to encourage designs for a successful space elevator.
Japanese scientists at the Japan Space Elevator Association are working seriously on the space-elevator project.
The Liftport Group in the U.S. is also working on developing a design, and in total it’s believed that more than 300 scientists and engineers are engaged in such work around the globe.
What are the details?
A cable anchored to the Earth’s surface, up to 62,000 miles, well beyond geo-synchronous orbit height of 22,000 miles.
It is thought that inertia — the physics theory stating that matter retains its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force — will cause the cable to stay stretched taut, allowing the elevator to sit in geostationary orbit.
The cable would extend into the sky, eventually reaching a satellite docking station orbiting in space.
Engineers hope the elevator will transport people and objects into space, and there have even been suggestions that it could be used to dispose of nuclear waste. Another proposed idea is to use the elevator to place solar panels in space to provide power for homes on Earth.
Can be used to launch space probes simply by releasing the objects beyond the geo-synchronous orbit.
Carbon nanotube cable is the key technology driver.
It is lightweight and has a tensile strength 180 times stronger than that of a steel cable.
Scientists expect we will have strong enough cable in the 2020s or 2030s.
Most likely method of powering the elevator would be through the carbon nanotube cable.
Possible locations for an elevator include the South China Sea, western Australia and the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. All of those locations avoid typhoons.
The Particle Zoo hopes to raise awareness and popular interest in the fascinating field of particle physics.
Buy all of the particles in the standard model
The entire zoo includes 33 particles (and anti-particles)
Buy all 33 particles and anti-particles for $313.
Buy all 22 particles (minus anti-particles) for $210
Strip Mining Open Source Code
Strip mining of open source can be interpreted as the appropriation of free software code for proprietary gain with no intention of feeding code changes back to the community. Open source software developers beware…
GNU General Public License (GPL) protects continued open source development.
GPL creates a very strong notion of open source intellectual property. Any improvements to the code must be fed back to the open source community.
This prevents forking the code development.
For instance, IBM reacted negatively to the Sun announcement that Java would be released under the GPL because IBM’s approach to open source is what we call ‘strip mining’, which is to let the open source community do things – then IBM comes and packages them, and adds proprietary code, and markets the result ? e.g. WebSphere – so they have this dual strategy of proprietary products and low-end open source."
It could be said that the GPL came into existence to prevent strip mining of open source, which can be interpreted as the appropriation of free software code for proprietary gain with no intention of feeding code changes back to the community.
The part of the GPL licensing framework that achieves this is known to its friends as copyleft, and is represented by its enemies as "the viral nature of the GPL", and has been a major factor in the success of free software.
The only reason we have a wholly free operating system like Linux is because of the GPL movement that demanded an operating system that is wholly free, not 90 per cent free.
Apple uses open source FreeBSD as the base for OS X because it has gained a mature Unix operating system which would have been prohibitively expensive to develop from scratch.
Apple has no obligation to release source code or changes back to the community because the license says that this is so, and markets OS X as an Apple product.
It could be argued that the community loses as a result, and that the subsequent fracturing of the code base is one of the reasons that BSD Unix has never captured the imagination of developers and users in the same way that GNU/Linux has.
Richard Stallman made the Initial Announcement of the GNU Project in September 1983.
The GNU operating system is a complete free software system, upward-compatible with Unix. GNU stands for ?GNU’s Not Unix?.
The name ?GNU? was chosen it was a recursive acronym for ?GNU’s Not Unix.?
The project to develop the GNU OS system is called the ?GNU Project?.
The GNU Project was conceived in 1983 as a way of bringing back the cooperative spirit that prevailed in the computing community in earlier days?to make cooperation possible once again by removing the obstacles to cooperation imposed by the owners of proprietary software.
A longer version called the GNU Manifesto was published in September 1985. It has been translated into several other languages.
The word ?free? in ?free software? pertains to freedom, not price.
You may or may not pay a price to get GNU software. Either way, once you have the software you have three specific freedoms in using it.
First, the freedom to copy the program and give it away to your friends and co-workers
Second, the freedom to change the program as you wish, by having full access to source code.
Third, the freedom to distribute an improved version and thus help build the community.
If you redistribute GNU software, you may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, or you may give away copies.
Hijacking Satellite Navigation (GPS)
Sending false signals to GPS receivers could disrupt critical infrastructure.
Researchers at Cornell University and Virginia Tech have demonstrated a relatively simple way to fool ordinary GPS receivers into accepting bogus signals using a briefcase-size transmitter.
Paul Kintner, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell, who worked on the project, warns that society is becoming dependent on GPS for an ever-broadening list of applications, including management of the power grid and tracking criminals under house arrest.
Kintner and his group, which recently presented details of the spoofing attack at the Institute of Navigation’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) meeting in Savannah, GA.
They were working on a software-based GPS receiver to help them understand the effects of solar flares on GPS satellites.
As their design progressed, one of the researchers in the group, realized that the same system could be used to spoof ordinary GPS signals.
Here’s how GPS works: roughly 30 satellites orbit the earth, broadcasting signals that can be picked up by a receiver virtually anywhere on the planet.
By collecting signals from several satellites and measuring the time delay between each signal, GPS receivers can calculate their exact position and receive very precise time signals.
The software GPS device built at Cornell can receive and transmit any GPS signal.
To attack a target receiver, the device need only be placed nearby. It would start out simply retransmitting ordinary satellite signals without any modifications.
After a few seconds, the target receiver should focus on the signal coming from the device, because it’s the clearest source. At that point, the device could begin modifying transmissions, altering the signals little by little until the target receiver shows any time and position the attacker chooses.
The same trick could let criminals under house arrest move around freely.
Although a European navigation system, called Galileo, will have the ability to send encrypted signals for civilian use, it isn’t scheduled to be fully operational until 2013.
Food Science: History of Bubble Gum
The ancient Greeks chewed mastiche – a chewing gum made from the resin of the mastic tree.
The ancient Mayans chewed chicle which is the sap from the sapodilla tree.
North American Indians chewed the sap from spruce trees and passed the habit along to the settlers.
Early American settlers made a chewing gum from spruce sap and beeswax.
In 1848, John B. Curtis made and sold the first commercial chewing gum called the State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum.
In 1850, Curtis started selling flavored paraffin gums becoming more popular than spruce gums.
On December 28 1869, William Finley Semple became the first person to patent a chewing gum – U.S patent #98,304.
In 1869, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna introduced Thomas Adams to chicle.
In 1871, Thomas Adams patented a machine for the manufacture of gum.
In 1880, John Colgan invented a way to make chewing gum taste better for a longer period of time while being chewed.
By 1888, an Adams’ chewing gum called Tutti-Frutti became the first chew to be sold in a vending machine. The machines were located in a New York City subway station.
In 1899, Dentyne gum was created by New York druggist Franklin V. Canning.
In 1906, Frank Fleer invented the first bubble gum called Blibber-Blubber gum. However, the bubble blowing chew was never sold.
In 1914, Wrigley Doublemint brand was created. William Wrigley, Jr. and Henry Fleer were responsible for adding the popular mint and fruit extracts to a chicle chewing gum.
In 1928, an employee of the Frank H. Fleer Company, Walter Diemer invented the successful pink colored Double Bubble, bubble gum. The very first bubble gum was invented by Frank Henry Fleer in 1906. He called it Blibber-Blubber. Fleer’s recipe was later perfected by Walter Diemer, who called his product Double Bubble.