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Silent pump for water-cooled PCs developed

August 26, 2003

A new water-cooling system for computer chips has been developed that incorporates a clever pump with no moving parts. The system, developed by Californian start-up company Cooligy, aims to silently solve the problem that the faster chips get, the hotter they become.

In the near future, the chips in high-speed laptops and desktop PCs will generate so much heat that traditional air cooling systems will struggle to cope. Simply… read more

When sci-fi forgets the science

August 26, 2003

Every fan of science fiction film knows that for every genuinely good movie they see, they will have to endure an awful lot of rubbish.

A strange idiocy seems to have over-taken the makers of blockbusters such as The Matrix Reloaded, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and others who are bolstering their creations with some decidedly dodgy science.

NTT verifies diamond semiconductor operation at 81 GHz

August 26, 2003

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) has developed a diamond semiconductor device that operates at 81 GHz frequency, more than twice the speed of earlier devices. The advance promises to make amplification in the millimeter-wave band from 30 to 300 GHz possible for the first time.

Diamond is expected to be the next- generation semiconductor material because of its high thermal conductivity, high breakdown voltage and high carrier mobility.… read more

Cell transplant restores vision

August 26, 2003

A blind man can see again after being given a stem cell transplant.

The operation transplanted corneal and limbal stem cells into his right eye.

Will fact match fiction as scientists start work on thinking robot?

August 26, 2003

Scientists at Essex University and the University of Bristol have been given the biggest ever grant to build a “conscious robot.”

Igor Aleksander, an emeritus professor of neural networks at Imperial College, described five axioms needed to form consciousness in living beings and, subsequently, in machines:

Axiom 1: a sense of place
We feel that we are at the center of an “out there” world, and we have… read more

The Ghost in Your Machine

August 26, 2003

The world of smart computers — machines that would be familiar with your habits and know when you’re stressed or fatigued — could be only a few years away. The computers would note your mental logic for saving information and follow the same logic in saving files. They would accurately infer your intent, remember past experiences (for instance, that you tend to make errors in multiplication), and alert you to… read more

This Worm Can Be Turned

August 25, 2003

The Blaster worm and SoBig virus give the computer community the largest threat so far. Some fear a terrorist attack would have added ammunition if it were coupled with a vicious computer attack.

Plastic Electronics

August 25, 2003

Plastic chips could rival silicon sometime in the 2010s for wall-size television displays to ultra-tiny transistors. The potential has captivated some heavyweight companies in computers and consumer electronics.

The Sensor Revolution

August 25, 2003

Sensor networks promise a mammoth extension of the Internet. Within five years, these sensor computers could be shrunk to the size of a grain of sand and deployed over much of the globe, resulting in thousands of new networks.

Look for them to be scattered across farms and battlefields to monitor minute chemical and temperature changes and slapped onto trucks and shipping boxes to trace inventory automatically. Such networks… read more

Printers Produce Copies in 3D

August 25, 2003

Several companies are developing low-cost three-dimensional printers that could eventually find their way into the home. The machines work by placing layers of a powdery material on top of each other to create a real-life model of a digital image.

Tiny technology hasn’t hit the big time — yet

August 25, 2003

UC Berkeley and Intel researchers are developing TinyDB database technology to acquire information from a network of tiny wireless sensors.

Wireless sensor networks can be used to predict equipment malfunction, prompt users to take medication, and perform environment and habitat monitoring. In 10 years, they will be nanoscale devices.

Because of energy constraints, sensor motes have to deal with low bandwidth and possibly intermittent communication links; they must… read more

Supercomputer Breaks the $100/GFLOPS Barrier

August 25, 2003

KASY0, the first supercomputer to break $100/GFLOPS, has been assembled entirely by students at the University of Kentucky.

A spray-on computer is way to do IT

August 25, 2003

Researchers at Edinburgh University are developing spray-on computers using tiny semiconductor specks the size of a grain of sand that can sense, compute and communicate wirelessly.

They plan to spray the devices on the chests of coronary patients to record a patient’s health and transmit information back to a hospital computer, eliminating the need to lug a large machine around or hospital visits.

Skulls gain virtual faces

August 25, 2003

Max Planck Institute for Computer Science researchers have computerized the process of reconstructing a face from the skull.

The method reverses the process used in facial modeling and animation of shaping anatomical structures to fit a given 3D skin model. It takes less than a day for a computer reconstruction compared to weeks for a traditional clay model.

Enzymes Found to Delay Aging Process

August 25, 2003

Scientists have found a way to rev up a potent “anti-aging” enzyme in living cells, which could speed the development of drugs to extend human life span and prevent a wide range of geriatric diseases.

The compounds seem to have the same anti-aging effect as a drastic reduction in calories. The compound that boosted the anti-aging enzyme the most was resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine that has been… read more

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