URBANA – Your computer is about to get a lot faster, so fast you won't even notice it.
MONTICELLO – When Mike Sieniarecki and the Monticello Model Makers lost their flying field in 2006, the future of the club appeared destined for obscurity.
With no airspace for their radio-controlled models, the nearly 20-member group quickly began to disband.
URBANA – The city council will consider approval Monday of an agreement with AT&T that would pay the city $1,500 for every cabinet box the company installs on the public right of way – money that could be used to screen the cabinets with bushes and plants.
AT&T is in the process of installing a new service in Champaign-Urbana, called AT&T U-verse, where customers would be offered all-digital programming and high definition television channels.
CHAMPAIGN – If you've ever taken a commercial airline flight, you've heard the familiar warning to turn off all cell phones and electronic devices before takeoff.
The reason: The signals might interfere with the plane's electronic communications systems.
Hey, if you had as much stuff to paint as the Army, you would be looking for ways to streamline the job as well.
Ashok Kumar and Dave Stephenson have been working on an idea that could make it really easy, at least as far as covering scratches and dings from wear and tear go.
Until we all have Star Trek-like holodecks at home, there's not much economy of scale in manufacturing equipment for room-sized virtual environments like the CAVE and CUBE at the University of Illinois' Beckman Institute.
Which is why the specialized wireless handheld controller people used to reach into and navigate the virtual worlds projected in the rooms – on three sides in the case of the CAVE and completely surrounding them in the CUBE – cost $60,000.
URBANA – It was a little bit boxing, a little bit "Survivor," and a whole lot of engineering know-how.
Tensions ran high at the annual AMD W.J. "Jerry" Sanders Design Contest Saturday at the University of Illinois Engineering Open House, where robots battled to collect frisbees and hoops in a two-level arena surrounded by frenetic fans.
In the hand of University of Illinois Professor Min-Feng Yu is a minuscule device with a rod, or spindle, sticking out the end that's barely as long as one of Yu's fingernails.
Around the spindle, Yu and his students have wrapped a couple feet of wire, but good luck getting a glimpse of it.
URBANA – Inveterate tinkerers haven't gone the way of your grandfather.
They're still around, building guitars out of cigar boxes and robots out of computer mice.
They light up the clock on your DVD player, the channel numbers on your radio and the displays of the myriad electronic devices all around you.
Ditto, more and more these days, your car lights and the traffic lights that tell you to stop, go and use a little caution, buddy, not to mention your laptop screen, Christmas tree and possibly in the near future your living room.