Daily News Brief: Bright Ideas for LEDs


LEDs Brighten Up

Light Emitting Diodes have existed for decades, and today LEDs can be found in computers, automobile headlights, and stop signals. If Dr. Faiz Rahman has his way, home lighting will soon join that list. Rahman and his team of scientists have developed a new method for increasing the light output from LEDs through a process called nano-imprint lithography. The new process has the potential to increase light output at a low cost, which are currently two roadblocks preventing LED adoption into home lighting.

Government Issues Coupons for Digital Converters

Come February 18, 2009, all programming captured by over-the-air antennas will be going digital, finally completing the transition from analog broadcasting. To help owners of older televisions cope with the transition, millions of $40 government coupons good towards digital converters became available today. Converters are expected to sell in the vicinity of $50 to $70. Households can request up to two coupons online at www.dtv2009.gov or by calling 1-888-DTV-2009. Congress has set aside $1.5 billion to fund the coupon program.

And the High Definition Winner Is...

...nobody. With the holiday shopping season now in most consumers' rear view mirror, neither Blu-ray nor HD-DVD can claim victory , or even a clear advantage. According to Adams Media Research, approximately 576,000 HD-DVD and 370,000 Blu-ray players will be sold by the end of year. On the media front, the studios are divided, with each camp boasting around 400 movies. The war doesn't look to be won with prices either, as both Blu-ray and HD-DVD offers relatively affordable players. Ironically enough, the real Hundred Years War was started in 1337. Coincidence?

Tech Gossip

Rumors surfaced that Brad Pitt will star in a Dell commercial (insert 'Dude' joke here) at halftime as the New England Patriots defeat the also-ran in Super Bowl XLII (oh yeah, I just went there). The rumor also states that Pitt plans to donate his cut to Bono's Red Campaign, which, through The Global Fund, gives support to women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

2007 Record Year for Thieves

The Identity Theft Resource Center lists more than 79 million reports of compromised records nationwide in 2007, up from 20 million in 2006. Likewise, Attrition.org lists 162 million compromised records worldwide, compared to 49 million one year ago. Adding to the inflated numbers were a handful of major breaches including lost data disks with bank account information in Britain, a hacker attack of a U.S. based online broker's database, resume theft from a U.S. online jobs site, and massive credit card data theft from TJX Cos. Here's hoping 2008 doesn't break any records.

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