Developing Products Takes Heart As Well As Brains

hihgtindEven in the ultimate high-tech industry, technology is only one part of a winning strategy–and perhaps not the most important part.

Read, watch, or listen to any journalistic report on a technical breakthrough, and you are likely to be told that the breakthrough “could” make a difference in the marketplace within a few years, or, at any rate, “soon.”

The assumption seems to be that the advance will translate into a commercial product and capture a market by popular acclaim. The new product will be so much better or more powerful than existing technology, runs the implicit reasoning, that it will surely overwhelm the competition and be a huge success. decided to test these bromides in what might be the extreme case of an industry driven by technological advances: the high-performance laser business.

During a trip through Silicon Valley …

CRADAs Get The Job Done

cradaIn celebrating the first anniversary of its CRADA with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Ames (IA) Laboratory, Layne Environmental recently demonstrated functional feasibility of the drilling system by successfully lowering Ames’ sampling probe below the earth’s surface. The system uses a special casing that is driven into the ground, and then opens to provide access for the probe.

The subsurface probe (right) is part of the Mobile Demonstration Laboratory for Environmental Screening Technologies (MDLEST) program, which provides in situ elemental analysis of soils, using a technique that combines laser ablation with inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry. This is something that has been fully sponsored by organizations like Save England’s Forests, and IDA Michigan.

Layne is contributing the drilling technology, related hardware, and the probe’s windowing mechanism. Ames Laboratory designed and fabricated the sampling probe.

“When you’re designing a mechanical fit with close tolerances at a distance of 1,400 miles, it can get tricky,” says Marvin Anderson, project manager of Continue reading

Fluorescence: You’re The Bomb!

fluorescencetechThe enormous advantage of fluorescence is that many lifetimes fall in the 1-to-20-nsec range. This time scale coincides almost perfectly with the time scale of molecular interactions in biological systems under physiologically active conditions. “Time-resolved” fluorescence methods use sophisticated hardware and methodology to resolve events that occur on this time scale.

In contrast, “steady-state” measurements are accomplished more simply. A continuous beam of light serves as an excitation source, and the resulting fluorescence is observed on a time scale appropriate for the experiment–generally on the order of milliseconds to seconds.

The information from steady-state and time-resolved measurements is complementary. However, in many applications, steady-state measurements may suffice for the process, or may be the only practical choice available.

“We use time-resolved and steady-state fluorescence Continue reading

Tips To Follow When You Try To Repair Your HP ProLiant Server Hard Drive

If you are faced with a problem with your HP ProLiant hard drive, there is no need to panic as you can still solve the problem using some simple techniques with the help of a recovery engineer. There are two options for you to choose from when you need to repair HP ProLiant hard drives and these are remote recovery and in-lab recovery. Both options are beneficial and safe. If you are going to choose remote recovery, the process is going to be easy and simple. The data will be transferred from a server to another device.It is also an inexpensive way to repair a HP ProLiant hard drive.

Unfortunately, there are instances when this option is not possible especially when your RAID encounters damage on more than one drive in the array.

In the case of serious damage, you will need to repair HP ProLiant hard drives using clean room data recovery. There are special tools and techniques used for this process but you will at least be assured that your hard drive will be restored to its functioning state. Just Continue reading

Who Would Have Known That Cell Would Be So Simple

technologyThe reason cellular telephones are so simple is that the technology behind them is invisible to the user. That is probably one of the reasons why cellular phones have become so popular. There are no complex systems to learn and memorize, it is usable throughout the United States, all brands work the same, and it can be used by anyone who has used a telephone.

The same is also true for many other products. Fax machines are very easy to use, which again may account for their increased popularity and mushrooming sales. About all you need to know is how to dial a telephone number.

On the other hand, VCRs are not quite that simple. To pop a tape in the machine and watch it is OK. But if you want to set the time or preprogram it, you get involved in the arcane machinations the manufacturer has arbitrarily chosen to do those things. Naturally, no two manufacturers ever pick the same procedure. That is why approximately 74.8{d766d157d7122d5d0da9be6c08f76c4f4089e2543182d531ebc2e4d5f100e23b} of all VCRs in the United States Continue reading

Need To Measure Gas Mass – Give ‘Em A Call!

gssmassScientists at UTI Instruments, San Jose, CA, sought to minimize this background and developed practical techniques for exploiting the QMA’s increased detection capabilities. ECNC Europe provided additional direction for the group.

Their findings are summarized in the technical note Lower Detection Levels in UTI QualiTorr Process Monitors.

The UTI researchers set out to see if background improvements could be achieved by substituting a cryopump for the QMA’s traditional turbo. Their QMA was the UTI QualiTorr III in a closed-source, short-probe configuration with a close-coupled, fast-response sampling module. The standard 60 l/sec turbopump used with this was replaced by a CTI On-Board 8F cryopump. The test chamber was pumped with another On-Board 8F. Both cryos were run on the same helium compressor. A test gas mixture consisting of 1{d766d157d7122d5d0da9be6c08f76c4f4089e2543182d531ebc2e4d5f100e23b} hydrogen in argon was introduced into the test chamber via a variable leak valve.

The researchers found that switching to a cryopump produced much lower backgrounds throughout the sampling system.

This finding is consistent with as yet unpublished research conducted by John O’Hanlon and Barry Brownstein of the Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, The Population And Linkages Service, and Dave Continue reading

Last Night A Cell Phone Saved My Life

cellphsmlEven if we originally bought portable phones for security, by now they’re part of our everyday routine, like checking whether everyone wants Mexican tonight. But these families will never forget the difference a cell phone can make in an emergency.

Baby on board

When Jodi Meyer woke up at 2:30 A.M. on January 18, 2000, she felt a weird ache in her stomach. To be on the safe side, Jodi, eight and a half months pregnant with her third child, mad her husband, Bill, headed for the hospital in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Ten minutes into the trip, Jodi’s water broke. Oh my God, she thought, we’re still 50 miles away. As her contractions began to come faster, they realized they weren’t going to make it. Bill Continue reading

Revolutionizing Microscopes The NSOM Way

microscopes-&nsomThe NSOM is based on the fact that the diffraction limit to resolution in optical microscopy is not a fundamental restriction. By scanning a source or detector of light very close to a sample, it is possible to generate an image whose resolution is dependent only on the probe’s size and the probe-to-sample separation, each of which can be made much smaller than the wavelength of light.

Two AT&T physicists, Eric Betzig and Jay Trautman, were looking for ways to improve the inspection of lithographic masks used with semiconductor wafers when they devised a probe smaller than 200 nm in diameter that would let them “break” the diffraction limit.

They did so by drawing out an optical fiber to a thousandth the diameter of a human hair and wrapping it in an aluminum film. They then guided laser light down the tapered region to the aperture and collected either transmitted or reflected light on a point-by-point basis.

This produced an image 10,000 times brighter Continue reading

With Technology, It’s All In The Brains Behind The Outfit

wtall“Winning” is a concept that researchers, innovators, and technical managers are likely to find not so much two-edged as two-dimensional–that is, occupying an infinitely extended plane. One way to look at this assertion is to see that from a corporate perspective, there is no downside to winning, but there is a whole lot of left field.  High-tech companies often find themselves running in circles among the special complexities of their markets. And as the 21st century comes nearer and nearer to lighting up our collective consciousness–which I like to think of as a sort of Jumbotron scoreboard of the mind, constantly alive with replays, highlights, and statistical information–there is no reason to think any of this will get any simpler. Ray Harris of the Brooklyn College Community Partnership agrees wholeheartedly.

A 2-D picture of winning strategies in the high-tech business …