science + technology news

Quantum Astronomy: The Double Slit Experiment

November 12, 2004

A SETI Institute scientist proposes to perform the classic double-slit experiment over astronomical distances to demonstrate that quantum effects are not just microscopic phenomena, but can be extended across the cosmos.

Moving brain implant seeks out signals

November 11, 2004

A device that automatically moves electrodes through the brain to seek out the strongest signals promises to overcome loss of electrode sensitivity and help people who are paralyzed or unable to communicate.

The researchers say that within a year they expect to be able to fit a paralyzed person with an “autonomous microdrive” implant that will allow them to control a computer cursor and navigate the web.

Pioneer ultraviolet laser promises 500GB disks

November 11, 2004

Pioneer plans to use ultraviolet lasers to allow optical drives to store 500GB of data.

Quantum lab fits on a chip

November 11, 2004

Two teams of scientists have entangled light and matter inside a solid for the first time.

The teams both use holes inside the semiconductor material gallium arsenide to house a quantum dot. A laser pulse directed at the dot jolts it into spitting out a particle of light, which is entangled with both the quantum dot and the electric field of the cavity itself.

Trapping the entangled objects… read more

NASA Studying ‘Rain Man’s’ Brain

November 10, 2004

NASA scientists are studying autistic savant Kim Peek, hoping that technology used to study the effects of space travel on the brain will help explain his mental capabilities.

Molecular Manufacturing vs. Peak Oil

November 10, 2004

Civilization could be facing a big problem in the next few years. Oil could get considerably more expensive soon.

“Peak Oil” is not when we “run out” of oil; it’s simply when our collective ability to extract enough oil is exceeded by our demand for oil.

If corporate and national politics delay admissions of trouble until the signs are unmistakable, or if the Peak Oil camp is even… read more

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

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