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CHAMPAIGN – While Yahoo Inc. ponders its future, three new companies have taken up quarters in the University of Illinois Research Park in Champaign.
– Danville-based Time-O-Matic, which sells LED signs under the Watchfire Signs name, has opened a software engineering center in the Technology Development and Fabrication Center at 2111 S. Oak St.
Sure, that pack of cards-sized transistor radio you once thought was so small pales by comparison to your iPod Shuffle, which isn't much bigger than a square from a Hershey's chocolate bar.
But your diminutive Shuffle has got nothing over on the portable tune machine University of Illinois Professor John Rogers and colleagues have fabricated.
URBANA – Teachers have a saying: When you don't understand something about your computer, ask your students.
So if you ask students what they think of the Urbana school district's technology – both its present and its potential – it's no surprise they have plenty to say.
Jon Gunderson is diplomatic, but the message that the World Wide Web isn't so worldwide if you're someone with a disability leaks through.
"I think there's much more awareness that accessibility is an issue," the University of Illinois researcher said recently. "I think there are a lot of challenges."
When Champaign's new library opens Sunday, it will have 87 Internet-connected computers available for public use, not to mention wireless access for people with their own laptops.
The 20 computers in the old library usually had people waiting to use them, library Director Marsha Grove said, so the resource was an important element in planning the new building.
DANVILLE – Taking a virtual drive down Danville's streets is easier now, thanks to a new tool on Google.
Google launched eight new cities on its Street View feature Tuesday, including Boston; Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; St. Paul, Minn.; Detroit; and Providence, R.I.
CHAMPAIGN – Noah Zych got a tough assignment: Build a vehicle that can navigate through cities on its own.
The vehicle had to stop at stop signs, maneuver around other cars, merge into moving traffic.
Thanks to the wonders of materials science, your future mobile phone may change its color depending on the time of day or what you're wearing.
It's almost certain to change its touch-screen face, presenting you with the familiar look of a music or video player, a camera, or even a plain old phone pad as the need arises.
CHAMPAIGN – The space shuttle is a "magnificent flying machine," in the words of shuttle astronaut Joe Tanner, with one fatal design flaw – one that cost the lives of seven astronauts in 2003.
So as NASA looks toward post-shuttle missions to the moon and, later, to Mars, it will borrow from a 40-year-old design used in the Apollo space program of the 1960s, the Danville native said Sunday night.