Technicalities

Leonardo in HD

Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' has been analyzed plenty during the last 500 years by art scholars, religious scholars, historians, Leonardo's biographers and not a few conspiracy theorists of one stripe or another. The only hitch was that to get a really good look at the details, you had to go to the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy, where it covers a wall in a dining hall, and get in line. But now, anybody with a browser can have a go. The Italian technology company HAL9000 has posted an image of the painting at http://www.haltadefinizione.com/en that gives new meaning to the phrase high definition: The image is 16 billion pixels. When you zoom in, the details become clearer, unlike what you get when zooming in on most posted pictures. In fact, considering the security measures taken in Milan to protect the painting ' 25 visitors are allowed through every 15 minutes and they have to pass through a filtration system to clean off dust ' you can probably get a better close-up look on the Web. You'll have to ignore the watermark-like H9 faintly imprinted all over the painting, though. No doubt new messages in the painting are forthcoming.

Next steps

On the new-technology front, Samsung announced recently that it has developed the first 64G NAND flash memory chip. The company said chips could be combined into a 128G memory card that could store 80 DVD movies or 32,000 MP3 songs. Samsung plans to begin production in 2009. And in the neverending race for faster supercomputing, NEC said it has taken the lead with the SX-9, which the company said is capable of calculating 839 trillion floating-point operations per second.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is editor of Defense Systems. Follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCaney.

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