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Amazon Plan Would Allow Searching Texts of Many Books

July 21, 2003

Executives at Amazon.com are reportedly negotiating with several of the largest book publishers about an ambitious and expensive plan to assemble a searchable online archive with the texts of tens of thousands of books of nonfiction.

Why We Die, Why We Live: A New Theory on Aging

July 21, 2003

A new theory of aging based on parental care explains why mortality is high among infants but rapidly drops: mutations that cause death late in childhood, when much has been invested, are removed more quickly from a population than are mutations that cause death in infancy. The theory can also explain the reduction of mortality after menopause: women care for children and contribute to their survival.

Apple Co-Founder Creates Electronic ID Tags

July 21, 2003

The co-founder of Apple Computer, Stephen Wozniak, has developed wireless location-monitoring technology that would use electronic tags to help people keep track of their animals, children or property.

WozNet is a simple and inexpensive wireless network that uses radio signals and global positioning satellite data to keep track of a cluster of inexpensive tags within a one- or two-mile radius of each base station and track the location of… read more

Taking control: Lab testing you order for yourself

July 21, 2003

Healthcare consumers can now order laboratory tests on themselves in more than 30 states. “Direct Access Testing” is on the verge of tremendous expansion in providing laboratory services such as allergy, cardiac risk, and Diabetes screening tests to the patient population.

American Association for Clinical Chemistry press release

A new way to flip bits

July 21, 2003

Physicists in Japan have shown that electric fields could be used to improve the performance of magnetic data storage devices. Hideo Ohno and colleagues at Tohoku University demonstrated that the magnetic field needed to reverse the magnetization in a storage bit can be reduced by applying an electric field. By making it easier to “flip” the magnetization of a material, the new method could have applications in ultrahigh-density information storage… read more

The Atkinson-Phoenix Nanotech Debate

July 21, 2003

William Atkinson wrote a book, Nanocosm, critical of Eric Drexler’s approach to nanotech and of Drexler himself. Chris Phoenix (CRN) wrote a review of the book, critical of Bill’s understanding of the topic. Bill responded. This touched off an email discussion.

Tesco tests spy chip technology

July 21, 2003

Supermarket chain Tesco has admitted testing controversial technology that tracks customers buying certain products through its stores.

RFID tags in razor blades trigger a CCTV camera when a packet is removed from the shelf. A second camera takes a picture at the checkout and security staff then compare the two images, raising the possibility that they could be used to prevent theft.

Computer program detects author gender

July 21, 2003

A new computer program can tell whether a book was written by a man or a woman, based on a simple scan of key words and syntax.

Female writers use more pronouns. Males prefer words that identify or determine nouns (a, the, that) and words that quantify them (one, two, more).

Planned U.S. sensor network targets terror threats

July 21, 2003

Government researchers are developing a nationwide sensor network that someday could provide a real-time early-warning system for a wide array of chemical, biological and nuclear threats across the United States.

Sensors will use hybrid sensors, MEMS and nanotechnology linked by an Internet-like peer-to-peer network.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers are developing nanosize preconcentrators for nerve agents, botulism and other toxins.

Sandia is developing a sensor that could… read more

University develops dancing robot that can follow lead

July 20, 2003

A team at Tohoku University has developed a robot that can follow a human dancer’s lead.

The robot can predict the dancer’s next move through hand pressure applied to its arms and back, and also judging from dance steps it is making, and can then turn at the appropriate speed. Equipped with a computer, sensors and batteries, it can move in any direction on four wheels and has memory… read more

Little robots in your pants

July 20, 2003

Dockers’ Go Khakis promise to keep your legs stain-free using revolutionary nanotechnology.

“We couldn’t help thinking that Dockers might be using the word ‘nanotechnology’ more for marketing muscle than for true scientific purposes, so we called its customer service line to ask a few pointed questions….”

Ralph Merkle Named Director of Georgia Tech Information Security Center

July 20, 2003

The Georgia Institute of Technology announced today that it has named Ralph Merkle, a co-inventor of public-key cryptography, which allows secure transactions over the Internet, as director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) and as Professor of Computing.

Merkle is known for his seminal contributions to information security and nanotechnology.

He was formerly principal fellow at Zyvex and before that, a research scientist at the Xerox… read more

Chip roadmap to get wireless upgrade

July 18, 2003

Semiconductor industry representatives are considering the addition of wireless communications technologies to the 2003 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors.

The extension recognizes the need to address the post-CMOS era, when CMOS runs out of gas in the 2010 to 2015 time frame.

Picosecond X-ray Crystallography of a Protein

July 18, 2003

Picosecond x-ray crystallography of a protein has been demonstrated for the first time, making possible picosecond-scale movies, such as one showing a mutant myoglobin molecule getting rid of a toxic carbon monoxide (CO) molecule.

The system uses 150-ps x-ray pulses from the European Synchrotron and Radiation Facility synchrotron.

Electronic Paper

July 18, 2003

Some nanotechnologists say that soon everyone could be reading off electronic paper.

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