Tag Archives: could

MIT’s bionic plants could be used as energy factories and sensors

In many ways, plants are ideal technology hosts — they’re outdoor-friendly, self-healing and pollution-free. It only makes sense, then, that MIT scientists want to harness that potential by augmenting our leafy friends with nanotechnology. The…
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Fleet of underwater gliders could improve global weather forecasts

While our entire climate model is based on the world’s ocean currents, there’s a surprising lack of detailed measurements in that area. Researchers from Rutgers and elsewhere want to rectify that with the Challenger Glider Mission, which will see the…
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‘Game of Thrones’ math: How many dragons could a dire wolf eat?

Definitely cooler than a condor, Daenerys Targaryen's dragons would nonetheless taste pretty good to a dire wolf.

(Credit: Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET)

Possible spoilers ahead if you’re not through with the third season: With the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” imminent, there are a lot of questions in the air (especially if, like me, you haven’t read the books). Will the khaleesi finally make it to Westeros to capture the Iron Throne? Will the Starks in the diaspora ever find each other again? Will winter ever actually come? And will someone finally beat the royal stuffing out of Joffrey?

But I’ve been giving thought to a particularly pesky question that I’m sure hordes of fans are dying to know. (OK, probably not, but it’s certainly a question that’s crossed my random-factoid-focused science brain). It began when I started thinking about what would happen if Robb Stark ever met up with Daenerys Targaryen (which of course, can never happen now with Robb being all dead and whatnot). While some might think my ponderings might have turned to the beautiful offspring that surely would have resulted if those two ever got together, I had a much different question in mind: How many Targaryen dragons could a Stark dire wolf eat per year if it got its fangs on them? To find out, I embarked on some very scientific research.

[Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Broncos swoop in and sign CB Aqib Talib; could DeMarcus Ware be next?

The Denver Broncos are not taking this losing the Super Bowl business quietly. They want back in the big game badly, if their early free-agent maneuvering is any indication.

The Broncos have signed former New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib to a monster contract, the second big move the team has made to upgrade its secondary in the first day of free agency.


[Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players, and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players]

Earlier Tuesday, the Broncos signed safety T.J. Ward to a contract. These moves should help a defense that was good but not elite last season.

But more help could be on the way. Several reports have free-agent pass rusher DeMarcus Ware heading to Denver to possbily take a physical with the Broncos and perhaps sign as soon as Wednesday.

A Ware-Von Miller pass rush combination would be even more exciting than a Talib-Ward secondary pairing, but most importantly, it would give the Broncos some serious firepower defensively that they lacked previously.

But Talib is a risk, too. He’s had hip injuries and also has incurred off-field issues, which ran him out of Tampa Bay just a few years ago. Plus, last we saw of him, he was being taken out in the playoff game … by the Broncos’ Wes Welker on a play that Bill Belichick called one of the dirtiest he had ever seen. Clearly, Talib disgareed — or has forgotten, or charmed by dollar signs, whatever.

As for the Patriots, losing Talib hurts. But they would have to be considered among the favorites to go after Darrelle Revis once he is cut, assuming neither the Oakland Raiders nor Cleveland Browns can consummate a trade for him.

What a confulence of events, less than 24 hours into the new league year. And there’s more coming.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Carolina Panthers trying to trade Steve Smith, could end up releasing him

It might be the end of an era for the best player in Carolina Panthers history.

Shutdown Corner can confirm the report of NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that the Panthers are trying to trade wide receiver Steve Smith, the franchise leader in receiving yards and playoff touchdowns, who has played with the team since it made him a third-round pick in 2001.


[Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players, and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players]

Smith is due to make $ 7 million next season on a contract he signed (under former GM Marty Hurney) believing it would keep him a Panther for life. That isn’t likely now.

The Panthers likely will release Smith if they can’t trade him. Hurney has been replaced by Dave Gettleman, who was wishy washy at the scouting combine about Smith’s future, as was head coach Ron Rivera. Smith has said he is not ready to stop playing.

At 34, Smith is coming off a season in which he caught 64 passes for 745 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, he ranks 25th in NFL history with 836 catches and 19th all-time with 12,197 receiving yards. His entire career has been with the Panthers.

On Monday, the Panthers removed the sale of Smith’s jersey from their website.

In what might have been his final game as a Panther, Smith returned early from a strained PCL injury a few weeks earlier to score a first-half touchdown and gain 74 yards in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

If Smith were to be released, keep in mind the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots as possible landing spots. Smith is close with Chargers head coach Mike McCoy and WR coach Fred Graves, and the Patriots are famous for reviving veterans’ careers. Smith also might not pass on the chance to play within the division with a chance at retribution twice per season, if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons or New Orleans Saints came calling.

Smith has been upset with the lack of communication between the Panthers’ front office and his agent. He has not heard what the team’s plans for him have been, only getting news of his future through media reports.

Although Smith and Gettleman met last week to “clear the air,” according to people familiar with the meeting, little was accomplished in that brief session.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Darrelle Revis being shopped by Buccanners; could be released if no takers

Last April, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers completed a trade to land one of the top cover corners in the NFL.

Now, the Buccaneers are trying to unload him.

According to various media reports, including one by Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez, the Bucs are dangling cornerback Darrelle Revis on the trade market to see if there are any takers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter followed that report with word that the Bucs would release Revis mid-week if no deal materialized.


[Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players, and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players]

Revis, 28 signed a six-year, $ 96 million deal following the trade in 2013, which is an exorbitant salart in NFL terms, but not a single dollar of it was guaranteed — which is highly unusual. It essentially breaks down like six one-year contracts worth salaries of $ 13 million per year, along with a roster bonus and a workout bonus every year worth $ 1.5 million apiece.

But that deal could be sent through the shredder if no team steps up with something in return. The chances are sparse but not zero. Revis played well following the trade and after suffering a torn ACL in 2012, but he’s a man-cover corner who is considered a poor fit in Lovie Smith’s and Leslie Frazier’s Tampa-2 zone defense, which Smith has skirted around without actually coming out and saying it.

So if the Bucs can’t get anything in return, they sent the Jets a first-round pick last year (which turned out to be Sheldon Richardson) and a fourth-rounder this year, plus $ 16 mil in salary for one year of Revis and a 4-12 season as Greg Schiano and GM Mark Dominik were canned. The conditional fourth-rounder would turn into a third-round pick if Revis is on the roster on the third day of the 2014 league year.

New GM Jason Licht apparently is ready to cut bait because Revis’ contract will allow them — and encourages them — to do so.

All of a sudden, the cornerback market would get very interesting if Revis suddenly hit the market. This has to be bad news for Alterraun Verner and Aqib Talib, roundly thought to be the two best available options starting tomorrow. Oh, they likely still will get paid. But they might have to wait out the Revis process to play out, and it could cost them some money, depending on how it all shakes out.

 

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Maserati Levante production starting next year, Alfieri could come within 28 months

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Maserati Alfieri

Maserati is on a roll. The new Ghibli and Quattroporte have been huge successes, and it unveiled the gorgeous Alfieri concept (pictured above) at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The next step for the brand is getting the Levante crossover into production.

“We are getting Mirafiori ready for production [of the Levante]. The first bodies are expected for 2015,” said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to Reuters in Geneva. He also said that there isn’t much keeping the Alfieri off the streets. “The platforms and motors are there. Technically, production could start in 24-28 months,” he said. However, Marchionne refused to say whether the company would actually give the concept a green light to be built.

Fiat hopes to be profitable again by 2016, and while its acquisition of Chrysler is certainly going to help, rejuvenating Alfa Romeo and Maserati are also a major part of the plan. In 2013, the Italian luxury brand saw sales more than double to 15,400 vehicles. Maser is still far away from its goal of selling 50,000 units by 2015, but it’s quite a start. Fiat bought Maserati in 1993, but business went through a decade or more of doldrums and falling sales. It appears that the century-old brand is finally finding a path forward with some gorgeous new cars.

Maserati Levante production starting next year, Alfieri could come within 28 months originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 08 Mar 2014 09:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Houston Texans, Matt Cassel have mutual interest … could they pass on QB at No. 1?

Ah, the pre-free agency, pre-draft smokescreen.

On Tuesday, Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was seen at Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s pro day. On Thursday, word leaked out that O’Brien and the Texans might be interested in free-agent to be quarterback Matt Cassel, and that he in turn might, you know, like them too.

Hmm, so what, if anything, might this mean for the Texans’ No. 1 overall pick in the draft?

First, the news: Cassel is set to hit the market after opting out of his contract with the Minnesota Vikings, leaving $ 3.7 million on the table, after a solid performance there last season. Looks like a fairly smart move now, considering that Cassel not only could get a chance to start — or be a bridge quarterback for a rookie — and maybe make more than what the Vikings would have paid him. It is, after all, a weak free-agent crop of quarterbacks.

Cassel and O’Brien have a connection … sort of. Cassel played in New England when O’Brien was the Patriots’ wide receivers coach in 2007 and 2008 when Cassel was Tom Brady’s backup that first season and then in ’08, the man who replaced Brady when he went down with a torn ACL. Cassel started 15 games that season and led the Patriots to 10 wins in that stretch, earning him a trade to the Kansas City Chiefs.

O’Brien became the Pats’ play caller the following season, in 2009, after Josh McDaniels left to take the Denver Broncos’ head-coaching job. So O’Brien never directly worked with Cassel, but they obviously crossed paths a lot in those two years in Foxborough. And the concepts O’Brien will use with the Texans clearly would have a lot of familiarity to Cassel.

So back to Tuesday. O’Brien personally worked out Garoppolo, who is considered a late-first or early-second-round possibility. The Texans currently own the first pick of the second round. Could they go defense — say, Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack — with the first pick and swing back and take a quarterback with their second selection?

Hmm.

That would mean that none of the top tier of quarterbacks, which include Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel, has got O’Brien all hot and bothered. Which is entirely possible. We say that because even if O’Brien felt one of those defensive players was truly elite, it also would be tough to see a quarterback-needy team pass on one if it felt there was someone worth building a franchise around. Quarterbacks trump everything else, even pass rushers.

The plot thickens. This much we know: Cassel signing with the Texans will not definitively state the team’s intentions with the first pick. But it would give them options. Stay tuned.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Smarter Siri with 3rd-party app integration could power iWatch

Apple’s Siri is reportedly set to get a whole lot smarter, with the virtual assistant tipped to dig into third-party apps to extend its functionality on the iPhone and iPad, … Continue reading
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T-Mobile’s ‘Uncarrier revolution’ could fizzle out

T-Mobile Q1 2014 Subscriber Additions

T-Mobile’s aggressive new plans have generated massive media coverage and its flamboyant CEO has turned into a bit of a nerd superstar. But now that all American carriers have reported Q1 numbers, the actual results T-Mobile is achieving look a bit murkier than people expected. The share price of T-Mobile dropped sharply yesterday as the company revealed its Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) plunged to $ 50.70 from $ 55.47 a year earlier. Markets were expecting a number north of $ 51.00, which means the new customers T-Mobile is acquiring are spending less than analysts thought they would.

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