CIA Electronic Reading Room

The Web site known as the “CIA Electronic Reading Room,” was established to provide the public with an overview of access to CIA information, including electronic access to previously released information. But don’t expect to stumble across any top secret documents – even taxpayers can’t access all documents produced by their government’s intelligence services. And keep a virtual look-out, you might be being watched.
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‘Simputer’ – Simple, Inexpensive, Multilingual Computer

A low-cost handheld computer developed by seven Indian engineers to take the Internet to rural masses will start rolling out in May, the head of a firm pioneering the project said.

The “Simputer,” short for Simple, Inexpensive, Multilingual, is championed by its followers as a friend of the poor, but some of its supporters add that its features match cool and trendy handhelds like those built by Palm Inc. Cost $250

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Fuel Cells For Your Car

As the U.S. Congress debates future energy policy, fuel cells, which convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, are at the center of a new initiative from the U.S. secretary of energy, Spencer Abraham.

Dubbed the “Freedom Car” initiative, the plan will fund research and development of fuel cell-powered cars in collaboration with U.S. automakers and is designed to reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil.

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Rubber Concrete

RubCon is an advanced polymer concrete that uses polybutadiene — a polymer from the liquid rubber family — as the binding material for the various aggregates to form what is essentially rubber concrete. RubCon contains no cement as a binder so that RubCon has elastic properties and it is extremely resistant to aggressive chemicals, highly repellant to water and has a remarkable compression strength.
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New Explosives Detection Technology

Eurotech Ltd announced its Acoustic Core(TM) technology for explosives detection in the Homeland Security effort.

The technology is capable of computerized automatic screening of containers,vehicles and humans for a broad range of illicit materials at high rates of speed, with low false alarm rates utilizing safe for human exposure low frequency acoustic energy. This makes the technology ideal for situations where large volumes of containers or humans need to be screened quickly and accurately.
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Cloned Mice Likely to Get Really Fat

Researchers have reported cases of abnormally large cloned animals, but new work has produced the first systematic examination of a large number of animals to encounter the problem. One group of cloned mice, described in last week’s issue of the journal Nature Medicine, had insulin abnormalities, higher levels of body fat, and weighed an average 72 percent more than normal.
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Online Privacy Is Dead – Now What?

Your name, address, phone number and Social Security (web sites) number all are items found on your driver’s license — and on the Web.

Rapid commercialization of the Internet has fed a demand for more and more personal information about Internet users.

With personal privacy already in jeopardy, the terrorist attacks of September 11th opened the door wide to government snooping as well. In effect, maintaining personal privacy on the Internet now seems almost impossible.

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Blue Laser DVD Players

The world’s top nine electronics companies have agreed on a single standard for a recordable-DVD format that uses a blue laser that can read and write more bits of information than the current red laser, because of its shorter wavelength. The new machines can store up to 27 gigabytes on each side of a disc, almost six times more than current DVDs (4.7 gigabytes). The blue-laser DVD players will store 13 hours of broadcast TV or two hours of high-definition video. Pioneer says it will use the new format as soon as 2005.

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Robotic Cow Milkers

Heindel & Sons, one of seven farms in the country that are experimenting with robotic milking systems, has trained most of its cows to walk up to a milking station and spend a few minutes there munching grain while the robot’s quietly moving parts prod at the animal’s udder.

A laser locates the cow’s nipples, which are cleaned by rollers coated with disinfectant before being milked by long, white suction tubes on the unit’s “milking claw.” Vacuum-activated rubber rings at the end of each tube massage the nipple, prompting the cow to release its milk.

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High Tech Companies Pack Their Bags for Cheaper Small Towns

A huge exodus from San Francisco may be under way as high-tech companies pack their bags for cheaper North American cities and regions, according to a study.

San Francisco is the most expensive North American city for a high-tech company do to business, with an estimated average cost of $43 million a year, according to The Boyd Company, a consulting firm that advises major companies on location planning. For example, a company relocating to Baltimore from San Francisco would see a savings of about 21 percent, according to the study’s figures.

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