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The Matrix Makers: virtual cinematography

December 25, 2002

The two sequels of “The Matrix” will feature photorealistic virtual actors that are impossible to tell from real ones, say the producers. “The Matrix Reloaded” arrives in theaters on May 15, “Matrix Revolutions” in early November.

Actor performances are captured on five high-resolution digital cameras; a complex algorithm calculates the actor’s appearance from every angle the cameras missed and allows for creating scenes with virtual actors.

Researchers develop ‘brain-reading’ methods

July 28, 2009

A highly accurate way to uncover a person’s mental state and what sort of information is being processed — before it reaches awareness — using functional MRI has been developed by Rutgers and UCLA scientists.

The research also suggests that a more comprehensive approach is needed for mapping brain activity and that the widely held belief that localized areas of the brain are responsible for specific mental functions is… read more

Electron Stroboscope

February 25, 2008

Lund University scientists have recorded snapshots of electron motion, using 300-attoseconds-long light pulses to create images of the quantum state of electrons.

An attosecond is one quintillionth (10^-18) of a second long.

Neural Oscillations …Still Make Waves

November 8, 2005

Synchronous oscillations (SOs) of groups of neurons could be an important extra dimension of neural communication.

Future-gazing in Las Vegas

January 13, 2003

A giant LCD panel that acts as computer display and TV, does facial recognition for home security; and users connecting to huge remote databases of archive material with massive educational potential linked to advanced, virtual reality technology were among the forecasts at a CES session.

Five Futuristic Interfaces on Display at SIGGRAPH

August 5, 2009

Touchable holography, augmented reality for ordinary toys, hyper-realistic virtual reality, 3D teleconferencing, and scratchable input are among the interesting ideas are being showcased this week at siggraph 2009.

Engineers give invisibility cloaks a slimmer, stealthier design

July 7, 2015

An extremely thin cloaking device is designed using dielectric materials. The cloak is a thin Teflon sheet (light blue) embedded with many small, cylindrical ceramic particles (dark blue). (credit: Li-Yi Hsu/UC San Diego)

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a new design for a cloaking device that overcomes some of the limitations of existing “invisibility cloaks”: it’s both thin and does not alter the brightness of light around a hidden object.

The technology behind this cloak will have more applications than just invisibility, such as concentrating solar energy and increasing signal speed in optical communications.… read more

Quantum corkscrews from twisting electron waves

March 3, 2008

Researchers from the RIKEN Frontier Research System have shown that vortices similar to those of “twisted light” can be produced in beams of electrons.

Optical vortices can be made by passing a laser beam through a fork-shaped computer-generated hologram. Electron-beam vortices could be produced in a similar fashion, using a thin crystal plate with a dislocation.

Such vortices could power nanomotors and nano-engines, or could be used in… read more

Virtual professors draw student attention

November 21, 2005

There’s a simple reason why computers have not taken over teachers’ jobs: They’re boring, unpersuasive, unattractive and soulless.

That may soon change if Amy Baylor can perfect the virtual professors she’s working on. Baylor, a professor of instructional systems at Florida State University, is focusing on friendly facial expressions, soothing hand gestures, and a “coolly intelligent voice” to create characters that are “both disarmingly lifelike and surprisingly persuasive.”… read more

Light Particles Are Duplicated More Than a Mile Away Along Fiber

January 30, 2003

Scientists have taken particles of light, destroyed them and then resurrected copies more than a mile away. Previous experiments in “quantum teleportation” moved particles of light about a yard.

Possible uses include sending unbreakable encrypted messages and as fiber-optics repeaters.

Earth could be blindsided by asteroids, panel warns

August 13, 2009

Existing sky surveys miss many asteroids smaller than 1 kilometer across, leaving the door open to damaging impacts on Earth, blasting huge amounts of sunlight-blocking dust into Earth’s atmosphere in an impact and causing devastating climate change with little or no warning, a panel of scientists reports.

Solution: funding for more powerful telescopes for asteroid hunting.

Global phone calls become museum piece

March 6, 2008

A New York Museum of Modern Art exhibition illustrating the results of an MIT project on patterns of global phone calls shows New York’s telephone and Internet links to other cities across the planet and how those connections change over time.

From Manhattan, the most-called city is London, representing about 8 percent of all calls overseas. Half of all calls from Manhattan are to Canada, Great Britain, the Dominican… read more


December 6, 2005

“Q: As consumer products gain more computer intelligence, how will they change?

“A: Three trends are at work. Wi-Fi connects our portable devices at tremendous speeds. These devices sense where you are, so you get media associated with that location. All products are getting radio frequency ID tags.

“… Q: How does computer intelligence come into this?

“A: It’s all about systems anticipating your needs. The location-based… read more

A high-fat diet may rapidly injure brain cells that control body weight

June 9, 2011

Obesity among people who eat a high-fat diet may involve injury to neurons, researchers at the Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence at the University of Washington have shown.

The researchers studied the brains of rodents for the short-term and long-term effects of eating a high-fat diet. After giving groups of 6 to 10 rats and mice a high-fat diet for periods from one day… read more

Intel unveils ‘building blocks’ for 10-GHz processors

February 11, 2003

Intel Corp. plans to disclose this week several technologies that will make good on its promise to deliver 10-GHz or faster microprocessors by the end of this decade. The company is also expected to develop and ship processors that run at speeds from 10 to 20 GHz by then.

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