March 13, 2002   

   Decision tool keeps it simple
Making strategic decisions requires adding up variables and weighing options, difficult at best under chaotic battlefield conditions. Any software tool that aims to help has to keep busy visuals and extraneous information at a minimum. A 3-D visualization program uses simple graphics to help military commanders quickly size up shifting situations.
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Ties that bind boost searches
Web communities are easy enough to recognize when you come across them. But finding sites dedicated to obscure subjects can be tricky. A method of mapping related sets of pages could make for better search engines.

Sapphire chips linked by light
Sapphire is an electrical insulator and it's translucent. Computer chips containing it can communicate with each other using speedy light pulses.

Lasers grasp cell-size water balloons
Scientists have been using light to move tiny sacks of fluids smaller than human cells for years. Bigger versions of these artificial cells that are more like their biological cousins have been more resistant to laser manipulation. A new approach shows that what's inside makes a big difference.

Fuel cell aimed at handhelds
Fuel cells are getting a lot of attention these days for their role as favored successor to the internal combustion engine. Some researchers look at the fuel cell and see something smaller.

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