Posts Tagged ‘Stanford’

Stanford Team Developing Spiked Robots To Explore Phobos

January 2nd, 2013 01:58 admin View Comments


cylonlover writes “Robot hedgehogs on the moons of Mars may sound like the title of a B-grade sci-fi movie, but that is what Stanford University is working on. Marco Pavone, an assistant professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and his team are developing spherical robots called ‘hedgehogs’ that are about half a meter (1.6 ft) wide and covered in spikes to better cope with rolling and hopping across the surface of the Martian moon Phobos with its very low gravity.”

Source: Stanford Team Developing Spiked Robots To Explore Phobos

Peel-and-Stick Solar Cells Created At Stanford University

December 24th, 2012 12:59 admin View Comments


cylonlover writes “Traditionally, thin-film solar cells are made with rigid glass substrates, limiting their potential applications. Flexible versions do exist, although they require special production techniques and/or materials. Now, however, scientists from Stanford University have created thin, flexible solar cells that are made from standard materials – and they can applied to just about any surface, like a sticker. The cells have been successfully applied to a variety of both flat and curved surfaces – including glass, plastic and paper – without any loss of efficiency. Not only does the new process allow for solar cells to applied to things like mobile devices, helmets, dashboards or windows, but the stickers are reportedly both lighter and less costly to make than equivalent-sized traditional photovoltaic panels. There’s also no waste involved, as the silicon/silicon dioxide wafers can be reused.”

Source: Peel-and-Stick Solar Cells Created At Stanford University

Stanford Ovshinsky, Hybrid Car Battery Inventor, Has Died

October 19th, 2012 10:50 admin View Comments


another random user writes “Stanford Ovshinsky, a self-taught American physicist who designed the battery now used in hybrid cars, has died aged 89 from prostate cancer . The electronics field of ovonics was named after Mr Ovshinsky, who owned over 200 patents and has been described as a ‘[Thomas] Edison of our age.’ He introduced the idea of ‘glass transistors’ in 1968, which paved the way for modern flat-screen monitors.”

Source: Stanford Ovshinsky, Hybrid Car Battery Inventor, Has Died

Take a Free Networking Class From Stanford

October 7th, 2012 10:24 admin View Comments


New submitter philip.levis writes Nick McKeown and I are offering a free, online class on computer networking. We’re professors of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford and are also co-teaching Stanford’s networking course this quarter. The free, online class will run about six weeks and is intended to be accessible to people who don’t program: the prerequisites are an understanding of probability, bits and bytes, and how computers lay out memory. Given how important the Internet is, we think a more accessible course on the principles and practice of computer networks could be a very valuable educational resource. I’m sure many Slashdot readers will already know much of what we’ll cover, but for those who don’t, here’s an opportunity to learn!”

Source: Take a Free Networking Class From Stanford

Stanford Study Flawed: Organic Produce May Be More Nutritious After All

October 4th, 2012 10:02 admin View Comments


assertation writes “A few weeks ago an article was posted to Slashdot referring to a Stanford Study stating that organic produce, contrary to popular belief is not more nutritious. According to Mark Bitman of The New York times the Standford study was flawed. A spelling error skewed the results as well as the study ignoring several types of nutrients.”

Source: Stanford Study Flawed: Organic Produce May Be More Nutritious After All

Stanford Researchers Discover the ‘Anternet’

August 27th, 2012 08:14 admin View Comments


stoilis writes “A collaboration between Deborah Gordon, a Stanford ant biologist, and Balaji Prabhakar, a computer scientist, has revealed that the behavior of harvester ants, as they forage for food, mirrors the protocols that control traffic on the Internet. From the article: ‘Prabhakar wrote an ant algorithm to predict foraging behavior depending on the amount of food – i.e., bandwidth – available. Gordon’s experiments manipulate the rate of forager return. Working with Stanford student Katie Dektar, they found that the TCP-influenced algorithm almost exactly matched the ant behavior found in Gordon’s experiments. “Ants have discovered an algorithm that we know well, and they’ve been doing it for millions of years,” Prabhakar said.’ The abstract is published in the Aug. 23 issue of PLoS Computational Biology.”

Source: Stanford Researchers Discover the ‘Anternet’

Stanford’s Self Driving Car Tops 120mph On Racetrack

August 21st, 2012 08:05 admin View Comments


kkleiner writes with this snippet: “Just as Google’s self-driving Prius goes for distance, recently passing 300,000 miles, Stanford’s self-driving Audi TTS instead has the need for speed. The Audi, known as Shelley, sped around the Thunderhill Raceway track north of Sacramento topping 120 miles per hour on straightaways. The less than two and a half minutes it took to complete the 3-mile course is comparable to times achieved by professional drivers.” Now if only Montana could take a cue from Montana’s rules for self-driving cars, and bring back “reasonable and prudent” speed regulation, driving out west could get a lot more exciting.

Source: Stanford’s Self Driving Car Tops 120mph On Racetrack

School’s In For Summer At Udacity

July 7th, 2012 07:18 admin View Comments


theodp writes “Forget about his self-driving cars. CNN reports that Sebastian Thrun’s Udacity — where you and 159,999 fellow classmates can take a free, Stanford-caliber online course together at the same time — just might be the future of higher education. Interestingly, of all the students taking Thrun’s AI class globally and at Stanford, the top 410 students were online; the 411th top performer was a Stanford student. ‘We just found over 400 people in the world who outperformed the top Stanford student,’ Thrun said.”

Source: School’s In For Summer At Udacity

The Next Billion-Dollar Startup Will Address a Basic Human Need

May 22nd, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

How do you build the next billion-dollar company? Easy. Think of a basic human need and put it online.

“I had this stupidly simple observation that maybe everyone else under 30 has already had,“ says Steve Blank. “And the big observation is that we talk about social networking and we talk about Facebook and Twitter but we never talk about the big picture. And the big picture is that these billion-dollar companies are doing nothing more than mediating basic human needs and putting them online.”

Blank is a true startup veteran. He’s the author of “Four Steps to the Epiphany” and “The Startup Owner’s Manual.” He’s been around Silicon Valley since it was mostly fruit orchards and has founded or worked with eight tech startups, four of which went public. He now teaches entrepreneurship at Berkeley, Stanford and Columbia. (He’s also been known to write for ReadWriteWeb, and we’ve quoted him before.) So even when he calls an idea simple, it’s worth paying attention to.

The Big Fundamental

If you’re creating a startup and you want it to go big, the first test to apply is: Does it address a fundamental human need? “Ask yourself, does this feel like something I would have done, or maybe better than I would have done, face-to-face or without a computer? Is it a basic human thing? That’s the filter. It can’t tell you how to write the next Twitter. But it is a very valuable test after you’ve come up with the idea and built the prototype.”

Think about it. Everything we used to do without computers, from chatting to sex to entertainment – things that people are hardwired to do – we used to do without computers. The very successful startups of past years have taken those human needs and made them easier to do with computers. And the hugely successful startups have gone a step further. They’ve identified human problems and turned them into needs.

“That’s how Apple approached the iPod and iPhone,” Blank says. “Jobs turned a problem – how to communicate and be entertained portably – into a need. Ask Nokia and RIM what the [heck] happened. They built the world’s best communication devices, but Jobs turned it into a need. That’s an experiment that every entrepreneur should run: What do you do yourself that is not yet done online? I think this idea of mediating basic human needs started even before the Internet. I think video games were the first example of this. And then porn.”

“But,” you say, “all of the good needs are taken.” Perhaps so. But there are ways to do Twitter or Facebook better. You just have to invent them. Or do what Jobs did – identify a problem and turn it into a need.

Is Accounts Payable a Basic Human Need?

Consider, for example, accounts payable. “If you’re a really great visionary, is there a way to turn accounts payable into a basic human need?” Blank asks. “Don’t laugh. Great visionaries have turned products and problems into basic human needs.”

It all starts with a stupidly simple question. “Can you predict that next billion-dollar idea with certainty? Maybe not,” Blank says. “But you can at least ask the question.”

Source: The Next Billion-Dollar Startup Will Address a Basic Human Need

Golden Age of Silicon Valley Is Over With Facebook IPO

May 19th, 2012 05:26 admin View Comments


Hugh Pickens writes “Steve Blank, a professor at Berkeley and Stanford and serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, says that the the Facebook IPO is the beginning of the end for Silicon Valley as we know it. “Silicon Valley historically would invest in science, and technology, and, you know, actual silicon,” says Blank. “If you were a good venture capitalist you could make $100 million.” But there’s a new pattern emerging created by two big ideas that will lead to the demise of Silicon Valley as we know it. The first is putting computer devices, mobile and tablet especially, in the hands of billions of people and the second is that we are moving all the social needs that we used to do face-to-face onto the computer and this trend has just begun. “If you think Facebook is the end, ask MySpace. Art, entertainment, everything you can imagine in life is moving to computers. Companies like Facebook for the first time can get total markets approaching the entire population.” That’s great for Facebook but it means Silicon Valley is screwed as a place for investing in advanced science. “If I have a choice of investing in a blockbuster cancer drug that will pay me nothing for ten years, at best, whereas social media will go big in two years, what do you think I’m going to pick?” concludes Blank. “The headline for me here is that Facebook’s success has the unintended consequence of leading to the demise of Silicon Valley as a place where investors take big risks on advanced science and tech that helps the world. The golden age of Silicon valley is over and we’re dancing on its grave.”"

Source: Golden Age of Silicon Valley Is Over With Facebook IPO