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red_dragon (1761) writes "An article on The Register tells the news of an announcement of a new 1TB optical drive and disc that will be backwardly compatible with Blu-ray discs. The technology, developed by Call/Recall in partnership with Nichia, uses a rhodamine-type dye in a 200+-later recording medium that gives off light when excited by a laser beam, along with a single fluid-filled lens to read multiple layers by varying the amount of fluid to change the focal length. The technology is designed to work with Nichia's blue-violet laser diodes, which are already used in Blu-ray drives." Link to Original Source top
red_dragon (1761) writes "The Register has a story up where they report on Google's confirmation that they'll bid for a chunk of the US radio spectrum when the auction starts in January. The announcement is slightly ahead of Monday's deadline for all bidders to register their interest with the FCC. According to El Reg: 'It also seems likely they'll face competition from incumbent network operators such Verizon and AT&T, who are likely to file an interest with the FCC on Monday. Verizon's recent decision to open their existing network to third-parties demonstrates they have no problem with that restriction, so their decision will be based on if they think owning part of 700MHz will get them more customers, and how much they're prepared to spend getting those customers.' The block Google is bidding for, known as 'C Block', has a reserve of $4.6 billion." top
red_dragon writes "An article in the 1 September issue of Optics Letters (reported by Dominican Today and BBC Mundo (Spanish), amongst others) describes a "low-cost, electrically tunable diffraction grating that is driven by a dielectric elastomer actuator". The invention consists of a diffraction grating made from a rubbery, one-tenth of a millimeter wide membrane, with one side molded into a shape that resembles microscopic pleated window shades. The membrane in turn is made from a polymer that contracts when voltage is applied. By adjusting the voltage applied to the membrane, it stretches or relaxes accordingly, thus varying the spacing between the grooves in the grating. From the article's abstract: "We show that in combination with a white light source, the presented diffraction grating can be used as a wavelength-adjustable luminous source. Such an illuminant has a potential application in inexpensive color displays that could reproduce all perceivable colors.""