The Tech reports MIT is installing an amethyst skylight at the top of the Great Dome, letting natural light flood the space below for the first time since World War II, when an earlier skylight was covered during World War II to lessen the chances of the Dome being used as a beacon by incoming German bombers.
MIT yesterday sued two TV makers for refusing to pay licensing fees on digital-television patents it was granted in the 1990s.
In lawsuits against Funai - which makes Philips, Magnavox, Sylvania, Emerson, Funai, and Symphonic products - and Vizio - MIT says it held four patents at the heart of American digital television and that it's owed licensing fees and penalties because the two companies refused to buy licenses for the technologies, unlike other makers of TVs and Blu-ray players.
Channel 5 reports male mice fed yogurt gained shinier coats, bulgier testicles and just a more Tony Manero-like outlook on life:
"You know when someone's at the top of their game, how they carry themselves differently? Well, imagine that in a mouse."
The Tech reports on MIT's latest plans for the area around its campus, from extending the Infinite Corridor to building a new residential tower on Sidney Street. Also in the works: A "river walk" from Kendall Square to the Charles.
Isaac Diaz looked out his window at work today and spotted something unusual at the Stata Center.
Mass High Tech reports.
Someone starts slamming out a poem then they tag someone else - on and on it goes.
Copyright Richard Beaubien. Posted in the Universal Hub pool on Flickr.
Just ask the Globe-ish The Next Great Generation, which quotes an MIT freshman on how awesome it is that MIT is powered by its own nuclear reactor.
WRONG! MIT doesn't power the campus with nuclear power!!
Sometime in the early 1960s, MIT professor Kevin Lynch mounted a camera on a car and compiled a time-lapse movie of the trip.
The page says 1958, but the movie shows the JFK Building and the Pru tower, which didn't go up until later.
Electronics Weekly reports researchers at MIT have managed to stuff an electrode into a moth that can be used to control the moth's behavior:
"This is a major advance," says insect neurobiologist Roy Ritzmann at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. DARPA hopes this kind of control will one day allow intelligence agencies to use insects to carry surveillance equipment and spy on unsuspecting enemies.
The article does not say if they are also experimenting with ill tempered sea bass.
The Tech reports an MIT professor thinks the USPS can reinvent and save itself - and the jobs of tens of thousands of workers - by getting into the field of e-mail management and helping companies deal with the never ceasing barrage of electronic messaging:
Ayyadurai believes the USPS can provide a service that will help companies become more efficient at managing their own email. Under his plan, the USPS can retrain workers it intends to lay off in order to support the proposed system and generate enough revenue to avoid bankruptcy. Though some email management systems outsource work to countries like India, Ayyadurai argues that the USPS is a trusted and reliable brand, and can do a better job.
The Tech reports on an assault in Tang Hall that ended with the unkissed man leaving with a bottle of water.
Mass. High Tech reports researchers at MIT may have figured out the first step in building all-optical microchips - using garnet - which could mean faster computing.
MIT's Infinite Corridor will be alligned with the sun tomorrow, on 11-11-11. The allignment happens a couple of times each year.
No word if the sun will be turned up to 11 for the event.
Any HTML/XML geek will grok, of course, that the giant banner at MIT means the end of NovemberRule. But as Melanie McCue, who took the photo, explains, it takes an eager beaver to know the full meaning of the banner unfurled on Tuesday at 77 Massachusetts Ave.:
"The "November Rule" discourages frosh from entering any "romantic entanglements" at college before November 1.
A $350,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant will let the Boston Public Library and MIT mount a traveling exhibition of the work of Rafael Guastavino, whose "thoughtful design of public spaces transformed American architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries:"
Guastavino and his family invented a colorful tiling that is lightweight, attractive, fireproof, and virtually indestructible. Excellent examples of his work grace buildings in 40 states. Examples include the Grand Central Terminal in New York City, the United Stated Supreme Court Building, and the Nebraska State Capitol. Guastavino used his extraordinary gift to elevate public spaces including transportation centers, government centers, libraries, and churches.
The exhibition will first open at the BPL main branch in Copley Square - which was the site of Guastavino's first major work in the U.S.
UPDATE: Thanks to commenters for noting the photo I posted from the McKim building was not of one of the ones Guastavino designed. See if you can spot his work in this collection of McKim construction photos.
MIT, UMass researchers work to protect RoboCop, the Six Million Dollar Man and people with pacemakers from hackersBy adamg - 8/23/11 - 9:47 am
Technology Review reports that some researchers at MIT and UMass Amherst have developed a system for keeping hackers from interfering with implanted medical devices.
Yes, it's another hacking threat you didn't know existed: Modern pacemakers and defibrillators, insulin pumps and cochlear implants have wireless systems for uploading patient data to doctors and downloading new directions, and some experts have begun to worry what happens when these unencrypted systems are hijacked by hackers. But the researchers say they've found an answer, albeit a somewhat bulky one (at least for now):
[T]he laptop-sized device, called "the shield," emits a jamming signal whenever it detects an unauthorized wireless link being established between an implant and a remote terminal (which can be out of sight and tens of meters away). Although no attack of this kind is known to have occurred, "it's important to solve these kinds of problems before the risk becomes a tenable threat," says Kevin Fu, an associate professor of computer science at UMass and one of the developers of the shield.
The drugs, which are still a long way away from human testing, let alone the market, work by latching onto a form of RNA only generated by viruses inside living cells and signalling those cells to kill themselves, MIT reports:
"In theory, it should work against all viruses," says Todd Rider, a senior staff scientist in Lincoln Laboratory's Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group who invented the new technology.
Cell suicide stops viruses because the organisms reproduce by reprogramming cells to become virus factories. Human cells have their own natural self-destruct systems, but many viruses have evolved mechanisms to short circuit them.
MIT researchers call their new drugs Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizers, or DRACO, which could make them a hit among older James Bond fans and younger Harry Potter fans, not to mention people with colds or far more severe infections.
Via Tinker Ready.
Rachel captured the Big-Ass Boiler of MIT on Putnam Street as it made its way under cover of darkness from the Arlington parking lot where it had sat since last Thursday to its ultimate home providing hot water for the Institute.
Apparently unable to convince Somerville - which had blocked the boiler at the border - that the oversized vessel would not explode and shower residents with, um, air, contractors worked with Cambridge and State Police to find a route entirely through the People's Republic.
Rachel reports the boiler was preceded down Cantabridgian roads by "2 bucket trucks and an enormous mulcher," which made short work of any tree limbs that dared obstruct the behemoth on its slow but steady march to MIT. In fact, her photo shows the bad boy chillin' as crews made Cambridge less leafy at Putnam and Sidney.
We weren't the only ones who took a swing up Mass. Ave. in Arlington today to see the banned boiler of MIT, which Somerville is refusing to let rumble down its streets on the final leg of a journey from Texas to the school. YourArlington.com reports it could be Tuesday at the earliest before Somerville grants the required permit for the oversized load to enter the city; in the meantime, it sits behind cones, sawhorses and police tape in the parking lot of a Walgreens on Mass. Ave. in Arlington.
Of course, a big-ass boiler deserves a big-ass photo: Take a look at Aaron Donovan's photo.