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<p>IBM is no stranger to the host of new Defense Department programs lumped under the rubric of net-centric warfare. In September, IBM joined with more than two dozen other companies to form the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium, which will work to ensure that future DOD and intelligence-community information programs interoperate easily.</p>

Of the 11 HTC handsets cited in Apple's lawsuit, five use Google's Android operating system and six use Microsoft's Windows Mobile.

Moore's Law, which has held as the benchmark for IC scaling for more than 40 years, will cease to drive semiconductor manufacturing after 2014, when the high cost of chip manufacturing equipment will make it economically unfeasible to do volume production of devices with feature sizes smaller than 18 nanometers, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.

MUNICH, Germany — Along with partners in industry and research institutes, German car maker Audi will develop a system concept for an electrical car. The German government funds the research with €22 million (about $31 million).

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The government plans to establish Germany as a lead market for electro-mobility. Electric cars are seen as a factor to reduce carbon dioxide emission and implement Germany's climate protection goals, explained German federal research minister Annette Schavan. The government hopes that by 2020 at least one million electric cars will populate the country's roads.

Audi's 'ePerformance' project focuses on powerful yet affordable batteries. In the ePerformance project, the company collaborates with the Bosch group as well as the RWTH Aachen Technical University, among other partners.

All in all, the German government funds electro-mobility with a total of €700 million in a variety of different projects.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — AuthenTec Inc., a provider of fingerprint sensors, has completed a transaction to acquire the assets of rival Atrua Technologies Inc. for approximately $4.9 million in cash.

The asset purchase further extends AuthenTec's efforts in the wireless market. Papers have also been filed with the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California to effect the dismissal of all claims pending in AuthenTec's patent infringement suit against Atrua as well as Atrua's counterclaims.

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Through this transaction, AuthenTec acquired certain Atrua assets, including its ''Fingerprint Touch Control” and ''Micro Pressure Control” products, as well as technologies and IP associated with fingerprint sensor hardware and software.

We believe that this asset acquisition further strengthens our position as the leading provider of touch-powered 'smart sensors' for mobile systems,” said AuthenTec Chairman and CEO Scott Moody, in a statement.

To put a mag-beam system to use, an initial investment in the billions would be required for a conventional rocket that would lift the seminal stations around the solar system. But once in place, they should be able to generate plasma indefinitely, thereby enabling routine shipping routes around the solar system and eliminating the need for spacecraft to carry their own propulsion systems and fuel.

With a system like this, man could really begin to populate space; that's our ultimate goal,” Winglee said. And we need EEs to achieve it.”

Winglee said that all the parts of his group's propulsion system have already been proven and prototyped, so the proposal due to NASA in six months involves detailed integration of the systems with their on-board control and diagnostic electronics.

We are desperate to get electrical engineers interested in plasma propulsion, because most of our postdoctoral and graduate researchers are from aeronautic and astronomic engineering, so they don't have the skill set that we really need,” Winglee said. They understand mechanical propulsion but they aren't prepared for plasma propulsion, which involves high-voltage RF, magnetic beams, control circuits and electronic diagnostics. We need electrical engineers to help us design these systems so the aeronautic and astronomic engineers can then build and test them.”

The group intends for its proposal to include a design for a working prototype of a full system, plus a plan to build it in 2006 and 2007. Reusable vehicles will be cheaper if they don't need to carry their own power source or fuel. They will be faster than rockets, thanks to magnetic focusing of a beam on a stripped-down payload vehicle.

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I am very skeptical,” said market watcher Nathan Brookwood of Insight64 (Saratoga, Calif.). The last time anyone built a Java processor for enterprise computing they lost big time,” he said, referring to the MAJC chip from Sun Microsystems that was eventually relegated to use as a graphics processor.

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