| Issue no. 23, 2010
Published: Jul 09, 2010
| Single EU patent on the way|
| Researchers use super-high pressures to create super battery|
| Reversible watermarking for digital images|
| IBM and EU establish cloud-computing consortium|
| Mouseless, the 'invisible' computer mouse|
|Single EU patent on the way
|The European Commission has presented a proposal on translation
arrangements for a future EU patent, the final step needed for the
realisation of a single EU patent which could encourage greater
research, development and innovation in the technology industry.
The Commission argued that the current system is far too complex and
costly, and that individual inventors are forced to request validation
at a national level of any patents granted by the intergovernmental
European Patent Office (EPO).
Under the new proposals, which build on the existing language policy of
the EPO, EU patents will be examined and granted in one of the official
languages of the EPO, i.e. English, French or German. The granted patent
will be published in this language which will be the legally binding
text. The publication will include translations of the claims into the
other two EPO official languages.
Processing costs for an EU Patent covering 27 member states would be
less than EUR 6,200, of which only 10% would be due to translations.
| VNUnet UK
Jul 03, 2010
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|Researchers use super-high pressures to create super battery
|Using super-high pressures similar to those found deep in the Earth or
on a giant planet, Washington State University researchers have created
a compact, never-before-seen material capable of storing vast amounts of
energy. Possible future applications include creating a new class of
energetic materials or fuels, an energy storage device, super-oxidising
materials for destroying chemical and biological agents, and
The research is basic science, but the researchers say it shows it is
possible to store mechanical energy into the chemical energy of a
material with such strong chemical bonds. The team created the material
in a diamond anvil cell, a small device capable of producing extremely
high pressures in a small space. The cell contained xenon difluoride
(XeF2), a white crystal used to etch silicon conductors, squeezed
between two small diamond anvils.
At normal atmospheric pressure, the material's molecules stay relatively
far apart from each other. But as researchers increased the pressure
inside the chamber, the material became a two-dimensional graphite-like
semiconductor. The researchers eventually increased the pressure to more
than a million atmospheres, comparable to what would be found halfway to
the centre of the earth. All this squeezing forced the molecules to make
tightly bound three-dimensional metallic 'network structures'. In the
process, the huge amount of mechanical energy of compression was stored
as chemical energy in the molecules' bonds.
| PhysOrg / Washington State University
Jul 04, 2010
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|Reversible watermarking for digital images
|Every picture tells a story, but how do you know that a digital photo
has not been manipulated to change the tale being told? A new approach
to adding an encrypted watermark to digital images allows the an image
to be validated against a pass key, according to Indian researchers.
Visible watermarks are routinely added to digital images as a form of
copy protection, but their presence essentially destroys the picture,
obliterating information within altered pixels in a way that cannot be
reversed. Now, researchers at Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu, India,
have developed a new, reversible watermarking scheme. The system could
be used initially for the authentication of military images.
The new watermarking system is based on calculating the parameters of
every pixel in the image but nevertheless at low computer power. This
information is converted into a code, a Hash Message Authentication Code
(HMAC), of the image where distinct pixel values are selected for
embedding watermark bits and the preferred pixel values are stored as a
key. The key thus generated is used for both the watermark extraction
and restoration of the original image. The extracted HMAC and the HMAC
of the restored image can be compared to verify that the received image
is authentic and has not been altered.
| PhysOrg / International Journal of Signal and Imaging Systems Engineering
Jul 06, 2010
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|IBM and EU establish cloud-computing consortium
|IBM is establishing a consortium with the EU and universities to
research new cloud-computing models. The consortium will undertake
research that could lead to the development of new computer science
models that bring together managed internet-based services from diverse
hardware and software environments in a flexible cloud environment.
The new design and deployment models could help cut costs compared with
conventional models, which are complex and require significant time and
cost to maintain, IBM said. The current systems are not flexible and
need to be manually customized for services to communicate and work
together. The researchers hope to establish a framework to cut down the
design and deployment time for such services by hosting them in a
central cloud environment.
The researchers will undertake a project called Artifact-Centric Service
Interoperation (ACSI), which is based on a concept of interoperation
hubs, which was introduced by IBM Research last year. These hubs provide
cloud-based environments in which flexible internet-based software and
services can easily be created and deployed. Customers would pay for
service integration and pay for the hosted services depending on data
stored and transactions completed. Consortium partners will develop
services and applications for the project, IBM said.
The universities involved in the project include Sapienza Universita di
Roma, Italy; Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy; Imperial College,
United Kingdom; Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Netherlands;
University of Tartu in Estonia and Collibra NV in Belgium.
| Yahoo / PCWorld
Jul 07, 2010
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|Mouseless, the 'invisible' computer mouse
|Scientists at MIT in Cambridge Massachusetts have developed an
'invisible mouse' using an infrared (IR) laser beam and associated
camera that could be incorporated into the computer.
A plane of infrared laser is created just above the surface on which the
computer is resting. The user acts as though a physical mouse were
present and the laser beam is intersected by the hand, and parts of the
hand are shown up as bright spots of light that change position as the
hand moves. The built-in camera then interprets the changes in position
of the hand and fingers and translates them as moves of the mouse and
clicks on the two buttons, and the cursor on the screen moves as if the
user was operating a physical mouse.
There are no plans for commercialising the invisible mouse, but the
prototype 'Mouseless' was built for around USD 20. The researchers are
now working on improvements to the recognition and tracking algorithms
with the aim of building up an expanded command library. This may in the
future lead to more complex gesture recognition than is possible at
present, and could ultimately give the Mouseless a number of advantages
over a physical mouse.
Jul 08, 2010
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