Defense contractor takes break from F-35 JSF, finds a way to eliminate 99% of the energy cost of desalination. Lockheed-Martin has developed a way to craft sheets of carbon a single atom thick, which can filter the salt (and just about anything else) from water with a tiny fraction of the energy required by current processes. "Lockheed officials see other applications for Perforene as well, from dialysis in healthcare to cleaning chemicals from the water used in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," of oil and gas wells." Previously.
Qualcomm and the X Prize Foundation have launched a new contest: Envision and build the equivalent of Star Trek's medical tricorder, a portable health monitoring device that can remotely diagnose patients. The winner will receive $10 million. [more inside]
Researchers at MIT and in Korea have developed a new, efficient desalinization nanotechnology that could theoretically lead to small, portable units powered by solar cells or batteries, yet deliver enough potable fresh water from seawater to supply the needs of a family or small village. As an added bonus, the system would simultaneously remove many contaminants, viruses and bacteria. MIT Press Release. Abstract and Supplementary Information from Nature Nanotechnology. (pdf) [more inside]
Is there anything USB drives can't do? PortableApps has dozens of applications from Open Office to Firefox, that will run from a USB key (and there are other applications as well), or you can run an entire Linux or Windows installation from your drive, or just steal passwords. And don't forget the weird gadgets (here is a slideshow), including cool USB rechargable batteries, missile launchers [Google Video], and, of course, the ultimate USB hub.
(as seen on /.) A new wristwatch from Casio that doubles as a MP3 player. Seems goofy at first, but I'd love to have something that small to listen to music while running. It beats a walkman or Rio any day in terms of size, why carry one of those when you can have tunes on your wrist? (now if I just hook up some speakers in a baseball cap :)