Spectrum: Carbon Fiber 3-D Printer, Open Docs in the UK, Long-Term Storage

Also, IBM has used graphene transistors to build a prototype radio receiver that promises to deliver more speed and less power consumption for mobile phones.

by / March 5, 2014 0

Pumped-Up Printer

Desktop printing just got stronger — literally. A Boston startup has created a 3-D printer capable of printing in carbon fiber, the super-strong, lightweight material used in everything from race cars to fighter jets. The Mark One printer from MarkForged was unveiled at a 3-D printing expo in January and is expected to retail for $5,000. Source: VentureBeat 

UK Eyes Open Documents

The UK government wants to ditch Microsoft Office in favor of open source platforms like OpenOffice and Google Docs. In January, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announced plans to standardize on software that produces files using the Open Document Format — a move the government says will save millions of pounds annually. Source: The Guardian

Long-Term Storage

Facebook has worked with a vendor to create an inexpensive, long-lasting storage vault that keeps files on Blu-ray discs. The prototype storage cabinets hold 10,000 discs, each containing 100 GB, allowing a single cabinet to contain as much as a petabyte — or 1,000 TB — of data. Each disc is certified for 50 years of operation. Although some companies have used Blu-ray discs for long-term storage, none match the sheer scale of Facebook’s appliance. Source: VentureBeat

Coming to a Phone Near You? 

IBM has used graphene transistors to build a prototype radio receiver that promises to deliver more speed and less power consumption. Although chips containing graphene theoretically are faster than plain silicon, they’ve been tough to produce because graphene often is damaged during manufacturing. IBM solved that problem by inserting graphene transistors into the new chip only after it finished assembling the mostly silicon design, keeping the more exotic material intact. Source: Gigaom


Noelle Knell Editor

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.