science + technology news

Creating more human-like robots

November 10, 2004

Purdue University is leading an NSF-funded project to enable humanoid robots to move more like people and adapt quickly to new situations so they can complete a variety of tasks they weren’t specifically programmed to perform.

The researchers will record human movements in three dimensions, using sensors placed around certain body parts, such as fingers and arms, as a person moves in a low-level magnetic field. They will use… read more

Ideas Stolen Right From Nature

November 10, 2004

Designers are increasingly turning to biomimetics to improve their products and ideas.

IBM system tops list of world’s fastest supercomputers

November 9, 2004

IBM’s Blue Gene/L system, at 70.72 teraflops, was officially named the fastest in the world Monday by the Top500 project, an independent group of university computer scientists.

SGI’s Project Columbia, being built at NASA Ames Research Center, came in second place with 51.87 teraflops.

Blue Gene/L will be installed next year at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., where it will be used to study the… read more

Microtubules self-assembly discovery may lead to circuit components and drug-delivery systems

November 9, 2004

UC Santa Barbara researchers have discovered a new type of higher-order assembly of microtubules that generate distinct linear, branched and loop-shaped “necklaces.”

The discovery could influence the development of vehicles for chemical, drug, and gene delivery, enzyme encapsulation systems and biosensors, circuitry components, as well as templates for nanosized wires and optical materials.

For example, metallization of necklace bundles with different sizes and shapes would yield nanomaterials with… read more

Putting a face to ‘Big Brother’

November 9, 2004

Jeremiah, a virtual face that attempts to emulate humans in the way it responds to activity, could improve our interaction with hi-tech gadgets.

Panel Urges Washington to Finance Fast Computer

November 9, 2004

A panel of leading computer scientists warned in a report issued on Monday that unless the federal government significantly increased support for advanced research on supercomputing, the United States would be unable to retain its lead on that technological front.

The report, “Getting Up to Speed: The Future of Supercomputing,” prepared by the National Research Council for the Energy Department, said they were recommending that the federal… read more

Cosmic doomsday delayed

November 8, 2004

The Universe will last for at least the next 24 billion years, according to astrophysicists who have modeled the mysterious force of dark energy.

The team’s new calculation relies on recent observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, which has found several supernovae that are moving away from us faster than any others seen before, implying that the Universe is expanding faster than we thought.

ClearSpeed Presents ‘An Evening with Ray Kurzweil’

November 7, 2004

ClearSpeed Technology will present “An evening with Ray Kurzweil” on November 10, 2004 at the Omni Hotel in Pittsburgh, organized in parallel to SC2004, the annual conference on high performance computing, networking and storage. Kurzweil will discuss exponential trends in these areas.

ClearSpeed is developing microprocessors that will make possible “a teraflop [one trillion floating point operations per second] supercomputer on a… read more

Super Searches

November 5, 2004

IBM Almaden Research Center has developed a next-generation search technology, called WebFountain, that lets users ask specific questions in complete sentences — something today’s search engines have trouble handling.

WebFountain can whittle down billions of pages of unstructured data from the entire Web in real time, rapidly retrieving and analyzing only the most relevant pages. Geared for corporate applications, WebFountain spots online trends as they emerge, identifies patterns –… read more

Digital Temblors: Computer Model Successfully Forecasts Earthquake Sites

November 5, 2004

A Southern California earthquake forecast based on computer models has successfully pinpointed the location of predicted locations for 15 of the last 16 temblors with magnitudes greater than 5.0 on the Richter scale for the last 4 years.

The computer model simulates the Southern California [seismic] network. The forecast also incorporates modeling techniques typically used for neural net and turbulence simulations.

Nantero to debut carbon nanotube memory in ’05

November 5, 2004

Nantero next year plans to have “working samples” of its first product — a next-generation nonvolatile memory based on carbon nanotube technology.

It will initially debut a 1-megabit device. The company is developing NRAM, a high-density nonvolatile random access memory that could eventually replace flash memory.

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Digital

November 4, 2004

Five top contestants are vying for the title of most beautiful virtual woman in the world.

People can vote for their favorite contender until December at

Inkjet printing promises cheaper circuits

November 4, 2004

Epson has developed a circuit-making technology based on inkjet printing, firing droplets of conducting “ink” or insulating “ink” onto a circuit board to make a circuit that is 20 millimeters square, 200 microns thick, and consists of 20 individually printed layers.

Epson estimates inkjet-printed circuits should be about half as expensive to make as current circuitry and also less environmentally harmful. They expect in the future that it will… read more

U.S. Air Force Takes a Look at Teleportation

November 4, 2004

The U.S. Air Force has commissioned the Teleportation Physics Study of teleportation of material objects.

The study considered teleportation by psychic means, by altering the properties of the spacetime vacuum or spacetime metric, by quantum entanglement, and by transport through extra space dimensions or parallel universes.

Possible Source of Cosmic Rays Found

November 4, 2004

Astronomers have discovered that a supernova is acting like a giant particle accelerator in space, and is thus a likely source of the cosmic rays in our galaxy.

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