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Concept: Hard disk drive


The advent of devices based on single dopants, such as the single-atom transistor, the single-spin magnetometer and the single-atom memory, has motivated the quest for strategies that permit the control of matter with atomic precision. Manipulation of individual atoms by low-temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy provides ways to store data in atoms, encoded either into their charge state, magnetization state or lattice position. A clear challenge now is the controlled integration of these individual functional atoms into extended, scalable atomic circuits. Here, we present a robust digital atomic-scale memory of up to 1 kilobyte (8,000 bits) using an array of individual surface vacancies in a chlorine-terminated Cu(100) surface. The memory can be read and rewritten automatically by means of atomic-scale markers and offers an areal density of 502 terabits per square inch, outperforming state-of-the-art hard disk drives by three orders of magnitude. Furthermore, the chlorine vacancies are found to be stable at temperatures up to 77 K, offering the potential for expanding large-scale atomic assembly towards ambient conditions.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Density, Earth's magnetic field, Atom, Solid-state drive, Computer, SI prefix, Hard disk drive


End-of-life recycling is promoted by OECD countries as a promising strategy in the current global supply crisis surrounding rare earth elements (REEs) so that dependence on China, the dominant supplier, can be decreased. So far the feasibility and potential yield of REE recycling has not been systematically evaluated. This paper estimates the annual waste flows of neodymium and dysprosium from permanent magnets -the main deployment of these critical REEs-during the 2011 to 2030 period. The estimates focus on three key permanent magnet waste flows: wind turbines, hybrid and electric vehicles, and hard disk drives (HDDs) in personal computers (PCs). This is a good indication of the end-of-life recycling of neodymium and dysprosium maximum potential yield. Results show that for some time to come, waste flows from permanent magnets will remain small relative to the rapidly growing global REE demand. Policymakers therefore need to be aware that during the next decade recycling is unlikely to substantially contribute to global REE supply security. In the long term, waste flows will increase sharply and will meet a substantial part of the total demand for these metals. Future REE recycling efforts should, therefore, focus on the development of recycling technology and infrastructure.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Magnet, Magnetism, Computer, Recycling, Rare earth element, Neodymium, Hard disk drive


Electronic activity monitors (such as those manufactured by Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike) improve on standard pedometers by providing automated feedback and interactive behavior change tools via mobile device or personal computer. These monitors are commercially popular and show promise for use in public health interventions. However, little is known about the content of their feedback applications and how individual monitors may differ from one another.

Concepts: Vacuum tube, Public health, Health, Computer, Mobile device, Personal computer, Word processor, Hard disk drive


We generate jammed packings of monodisperse circular hard-disks in two dimensions using the Torquato-Jiao sequential linear programming algorithm. The packings display a wide diversity of packing fractions, average coordination numbers, and order as measured by standard scalar order metrics. This geometric-structure approach enables us to show the existence of relatively large maximally random jammed (MRJ) packings with exactly isostatic jammed backbones and a packing fraction (including rattlers) of [Formula: see text]. By contrast, the concept of random close packing (RCP) that identifies the most probable packings as the most disordered misleadingly identifies highly ordered disk packings as RCP in 2D. Fundamental structural descriptors such as the pair correlation function, structure factor, and Voronoi statistics show a strong contrast between the MRJ state and the typical hyperstatic, polycrystalline packings with [Formula: see text] that are more commonly obtained using standard packing protocols. Establishing that the MRJ state for monodisperse hard disks is isostatic and qualitatively distinct from commonly observed polycrystalline packings contradicts conventional wisdom that such a disordered, isostatic packing does not exist due to a lack of geometrical frustration and sheds light on the nature of disorder. This prompts the question of whether an algorithm may be designed that is strongly biased toward generating the monodisperse disk MRJ state.

Concepts: Function, Disc, Dimension, Fraction, Linear programming, Mathematics in medieval Islam, Hard disk drive, Random close pack


Nd-Fe-B permanent magnets are a strategic material for a number of emerging technologies. They are a key component in the most energy efficient electric motors and generators, thus, they are vital for energy technologies, industrial applications and automation, and future forms of mobility. Rare earth elements (REEs) such as neodymium, dysprosium and praseodymium are also found in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in volumes that grow with the technological evolution, and are marked as critical elements by the European Commission due to their high economic importance combined with significant supply risks. Recycling could be a good approach to compensate for the lack of rare earths (REs) on the market. However, less than 1% of REs are currently being recycled, mainly because of non-existing collection logistics, lack of information about the quantity of RE materials available for recycling and recycling-unfriendly product designs. To improve these lack of information, different waste streams of electrical and electronic equipment from an industrial recycling plant were analyzed in order to localize, identify and collect RE permanent magnets of the Nd-Fe-B type. This particular type of magnets were mainly found in hard disk drives (HDDs) from laptops and desktop computers, as well as in loudspeakers from compact products such as flat screen TVs, PC screens, and laptops. Since HDDs have been investigated thoroughly by many authors, this study focusses on other potential Nd-Fe-B resources in electronic waste. The study includes a systematic survey of the chemical composition of the Nd-Fe-B magnets found in the selected waste streams, which illustrates the evolution of the Nd-Fe-B alloys over the years. The study also provides an overview over the types of magnets integrated in different waste electric and electronic equipment.

Concepts: Recycling, Rare earth element, Electrical generator, Monazite, Dysprosium, Neodymium, Rare-earth magnet, Hard disk drive


Genome annotation is a primary step in genomic research. To establish a light and portable prokaryotic genome annotation pipeline for use in individual laboratories, we developed a Shiny app package designated as “P-CAPS” (Prokaryotic Contig Annotation Pipeline Server). The package is composed of R and Python scripts that integrate publicly available annotation programs into a server application. P-CAPS is not only a browser-based interactive application but also a distributable Shiny app package that can be installed on any personal computer. The final annotation is provided in various standard formats and is summarized in an R markdown document. Annotation can be visualized and examined with a public genome browser. A benchmark test showed that the annotation quality and completeness of P-CAPS were reliable and compatible with those of currently available public pipelines.

Concepts: Computer, Internet, Personal computer, Web application, Microsoft Windows, Server, Mainframe computer, Hard disk drive


The drilling length is an important parameter in the process of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) exploration and recovery, but there has been a lack of accurate, automatically obtained statistics regarding this parameter. Herein, a technique for real-time HDD length detection and a management system based on the electromagnetic detection method with a microprocessor and two magnetoresistive sensors employing the software LabVIEW are proposed. The basic principle is to detect the change in the magnetic-field strength near a current coil while the drill stem and drill-stem joint successively pass through the current coil forward or backward. The detection system consists of a hardware subsystem and a software subsystem. The hardware subsystem employs a single-chip microprocessor as the main controller. A current coil is installed in front of the clamping unit, and two magneto resistive sensors are installed on the sides of the coil symmetrically and perpendicular to the direction of movement of the drill pipe. Their responses are used to judge whether the drill-stem joint is passing through the clamping unit; then, the order of their responses is used to judge the movement direction. The software subsystem is composed of a visual software running on the host computer and a software running in the slave microprocessor. The host-computer software processes, displays, and saves the drilling-length data, whereas the slave microprocessor software operates the hardware system. A combined test demonstrated the feasibility of the entire drilling-length detection system.

Concepts: Computer, Computer program, Personal computer, Computer software, Programmer, Hard disk drive, Directional drilling, Drilling technology


A laboratory information management system (LIMS) is central to the informatics infrastructure that underlies biobanking activities. To date, a wide range of commercial and open-source LIMSs are available and the decision to opt for one LIMS over another is often influenced by the needs of the biobank clients and researchers, as well as available financial resources. The Baobab LIMS was developed by customizing the Bika LIMS software ( ) to meet the requirements of biobanking best practices. The need to implement biobank standard operation procedures as well as stimulate the use of standards for biobank data representation motivated the implementation of Baobab LIMS, an open-source LIMS for Biobanking. Baobab LIMS comprises modules for biospecimen kit assembly, shipping of biospecimen kits, storage management, analysis requests, reporting, and invoicing. The Baobab LIMS is based on the Plone web-content management framework. All the system requirements for Plone are applicable to Baobab LIMS, including the need for a server with at least 8 GB RAM and 120 GB hard disk space. Baobab LIMS is a server-client-based system, whereby the end user is able to access the system securely through the internet on a standard web browser, thereby eliminating the need for standalone installations on all machines.

Concepts: Management, Policy, Implementation, Standard, World Wide Web, Requirements analysis, Hard disk drive, Gigabyte


In recent years, biosorption is being considered as an environmental friendly technology for the recovery of rare earth metals (REE). This study investigates the optimal conditions for the biosorption of neodymium (Nd) from an aqueous solution derived from hard drive disk magnets using green microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris). The parameters considered include solution pH, temperature and biosorbent dosage. Best-fit equilibrium as well as kinetic biosorption models were also developed. At the optimal pH of 5, the maximum experimental Nd uptakes at 21, 35 and 50°C and an initial Nd concentration of 250 mg/L were 126.13, 157.40 and 77.10 mg/g, respectively. Analysis of the optimal equilibrium sorption data showed that the data fitted well (R2 = 0.98) to the Langmuir isotherm model, with maximum monolayer coverage capacity (qmax) of 188.68 mg/g, and Langmuir isotherm constant (KL) of 0.029 L/mg. The corresponding separation factor (RL) is 0.12 indicating that the equilibrium sorption was favorable. The sorption kinetics of Nd ion follows well a pseudo-second order model (R2>0.99), even at low initial concentrations. These results show that Chlorella vulgaris has greater biosorption affinity for Nd than activated carbon and other algae types such as: A. Gracilis, Sargassum sp. and A. Densus.

Concepts: Algae, Concentration, Chemistry, Adsorption, PH, Xbox 360, Hard disk drive, Cylinder-head-sector


With the development of multi-/many-core processors, applications need to be written as parallel programs to improve execution efficiency. For data-intensive applications that use multiple threads to read/write files simultaneously, an I/O sub-system can easily become a bottleneck when too many of these types of threads exist; on the contrary, too few threads will cause insufficient resource utilization and hurt performance. Therefore, programmers must pay much attention to parallelism control to find the appropriate number of I/O threads for an application. This paper proposes a parallelism control mechanism named IOPA that can adjust the parallelism of applications to adapt to the I/O capability of a system and balance computing resources and I/O bandwidth. The programming interface of IOPA is also provided to programmers to simplify parallel programming. IOPA is evaluated using multiple applications with both solid state and hard disk drives. The results show that the parallel applications using IOPA can achieve higher efficiency than those with a fixed number of threads.

Concepts: Parallel computing, Solid-state drive, Computer, Computer program, Parallel algorithm, Central processing unit, Hard disk drive, OpenMP