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By adamg - 6/21/22 - 9:23 am

Robotic lightning bugs

Researchers intrigued by the way fireflies signal each other at night have built robotic analogs the weight of paperclips, MIT News reports.

The tiny artificial muscles that control the robots’ wings emit colored light during flight.

This electroluminescence could enable the robots to communicate with each other. If sent on a search-and-rescue mission into a collapsed building, for instance, a robot that finds survivors could use lights to signal others and call for help.

By adamg - 6/14/22 - 9:44 am

The Harvard Gazette reports a global shortage of helium, caused in large part by sanctions on Russia, which ships much of the world's supply, is beginning to affect research in physics, engineering, chemistry, biology and medical research, all of which use the gas to cool things down to temperatures way, way below freezing. Read more.

By adamg - 5/28/22 - 12:26 am

A Riverside Line trolley had some pantograph performance issues in the tunnel between Haymarket and Government Center shortly before midnight. Not long after, Transit Police reported numerous drunk young men running on the tracks from Government Center to Park after one train was evacuated to Government Center. Before the dead train was emptied, Charles reported:

A bunch of fellas are yelling at each other and I think they’re about to do the Good Will Hunting bar scene.

By adamg - 5/12/22 - 12:20 pm

MIT News reports researchers at MIT and the Technical University of Munich have developed a tiny fuel cell that could convert glucose in a person's body into electricity - just the thing for powering various medical implants. Read more.

By adamg - 4/28/22 - 10:31 pm

MassLive reports a robot named "Alfred" is now working as a sous-chef at Bonapita, a pita place in the Star Market strip mall on Spring Street in West Roxbury. No word if he gets paid in cans of motor oil.

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By adamg - 4/19/22 - 11:07 am

They did it, of course, for science: MIT News reports physics students who puzzled over why the cream in an Oreo tends to stick to just one wafer when you unscrew it not only developed a device to apply different amounts of force to the unscrewing process but realized they had a good experiment for hands-on rheology: "The study of how a non-Newtonian material flows when twisted, pressed, or otherwise stressed." Read more

By adamg - 4/1/22 - 12:16 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court today set out ways that police can subpoena tens of thousands of cell-phone records to try to link specific phone calls to crimes, in a case in which they used the technique to connect a Canton man to the murder of Jose Luis Phinn Williams at a Dorchester gas station and to a series of other similar, if less deadly, robberies that year in Mattapan, Canton and Cambridge. Read more.

By adamg - 2/7/22 - 12:01 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Suffolk County prosecutors can use as evidence a gun seized from a Roxbury man after a gang-unit officer watched him in a Snapchat video displaying the weapon. Read more.

By adamg - 1/26/22 - 2:36 pm

The Boston City Council agreed today to look at creating a public alternative to private broadband providers, saying events of the past couple of years have proved broadband has become a necessity that private business may be unwilling to provide at a price that all residents can afford. Read more.

By adamg - 12/20/21 - 12:38 pm

MIT News reports 'Tute engineers have created a single-strand lithium-ion battery fiber 140 meters long. Read more.

By adamg - 12/7/21 - 9:25 pm

BTD waited until 5 p.m. to announce you could have parked for free in metered spots today because the service it uses for the ParkBoston app (which lets you pay via your phone, rather than via a credit card or quarters) relies on Amazon Web Services, which went down this morning. Read more.

By adamg - 11/30/21 - 11:05 am
From the two companies' slide decks

The engineers did change the colors on their slide on the left, company says.

A Boston-based startup that says it can revolutionize the way engineers can find out what's sitting underground before they begin large construction projects says it first has to dig itself out of the mess left by some programmers it had hired who allegedly not only stole the company's ideas and data but destroyed the information before they left to start a competing company. Read more.

By adamg - 10/30/21 - 2:39 pm

Northeastern University reported a "major data center outage" this morning that made it impossible for students and staff to use their Husky Cards, their IDs that normally give them access to everything from cafeteria food and library checkouts to printing and washing machines as well as to the portal that lets students access their class information. Read more.

By adamg - 9/8/21 - 10:29 am
New tokamak magnetic tape

Magnetic tape for donut-shaped tokamak reactor. Photo by Gretchen Ertl, CFS/MIT-PSFC.

While most of us were enjoying the Labor Day weekend, researchers at MIT and a spin-off fusion company in Cambridge were powering up the world's most powerful version of a new type of superconducting magnet, one they say could help lead to fusion power actually becoming a reality. Read more.

By adamg - 8/31/21 - 3:42 pm

The Boston Public Library reported today it's restored WiFi and that employees are beginning to input all of the book checkouts they'd had to record by hand since somebody knocked many of their systems offline last week. Read more.

By adamg - 8/13/21 - 9:39 am
Chart showing rapid growth in biotech job postings for the Boston area

A new report from the BPDA says that what is already the nation's largest biotech region keeps adding jobs, which is why the industry has exploded out of Kendall Square across the river and down the Charles. Read more.

By adamg - 6/17/21 - 11:41 am

Jon Masters reports the Commonwealth has enabled a system that is supposed to alert people with Android or Apple phones if they come within infecting distance of people who have reported being infected with Covid-19. Read more.

By adamg - 6/3/21 - 11:22 pm

Blackstone, a New York investment firm, announced today it's buying International Data Group from the Chinese company that had acquired it in 2017. IDG runs a market consulting service and a variety of Web sites focused on IT buyers and sellers, both in the US and abroad.

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