News story MIT researchers have demonstrated the first laser built from germanium that can produce wavelengths of light useful for optical communication. It's also the first germanium laser to operate at room temperature. Unlike the materials typically used in lasers, germanium is easy to incorporate into existing processes for manufacturing silicon chips. So the result could prove an important step toward computers that move data - and maybe even perform calculations - using light instead of electricity.Optical Macs won't be replacing electrical Macs just yet. For one thing, germanium lasers aren't yet power efficient enough. But it's fun to hear about breakthroughs like this.