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Washington to Give Nanotech $37B Boost

November 26, 2002

New legislation now before President Bush could result in $37 billion in new funding over the next five years for the National Science Foundation –money that is expected to boost venture capital investments in nanotechnology and emerging biotech sectors.

Now Here’s a Really Big Idea

November 26, 2002

Darryl Macer, associate professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, plans to create a human mental map — a database that would contain a log of every human idea.

By understanding which ideas are specific to certain cultures and which ones are universal, policy-makers can make more informed decisions about such agreements, Macer said.

Dead Air

November 25, 2002

Cell phones and the wireless industries of the future are snarled by a critical shortage of airwaves.

Solutions are on the way. Intel has discovered how to build entire radios in silicon chips. This and other new wireless technologies like cognitive radio, ultrawideband, software-defined radio and mesh networks could allow for spectrum sharing without interference, which the FCC is considering.

Coax goes nano

November 25, 2002

Researchers at Harvard University have made nanoscale wires from layers of different materials using the semiconductor manufacturing processes used to construct computer chips. The nanowires could be used to make faster computer chips, higher-density memory and smaller lasers.

The Best Inventions of 2002

November 25, 2002

Time’s list of the best inventions of 2002 includes 3-D Online Environment, a lifelike 3-D virtual world now evolving on the Internet; Carver Mead’s Foveon X3 technology; the Earth Simulator, the most powerful supercomputer; and “virtual” keyboards, using a laser beam that projects a glowing red outline of a keyboard.

Superconducting junctions eyed for quantum computing

November 24, 2002

Josephson junctions, a superconducting type of transistor, are being investigated as a possible route to scalable quantum computers by a physicist at the University of Michigan.

‘Prey’: Attack of the Nanoswarms

November 24, 2002

Michael Crichton’s “Prey” techno-thriller brings together nanotechnology, genetic engineering and computer-based artificial life.

“What all three have in common is the ability to release self-replicating entities into the environment,” he says. “When they are merged, there is no telling how horrific the unintended consequences might be.”

Those consequences include out-of-control, shape-shifting nano-swarms and mutated humans.

MRI Safe Shielding Technology Developed

November 22, 2002

Biophan Technologies has successfully tested a method for shielding implanted and inter-operative medical devices against interference from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

The RF energy from an MRI is known to be the cause of dangerously high tissue heating and other performance problems in electronic medical devices used in the body, such as implantable pacemakers, cardioverter-defibrillators, and neurostimulators, and interventional devices such as guidewires and catheters.

Biophan’s… read more

An Interstellar Lifeboat for Humanity

November 22, 2002

“The Lifeboat project [is] an attempt to create a spaceship for the purposes of saving the human race from the singularity predicted by Vernor Vinge. Lots of talk about nanotech accidents and biological accidents wiping out civilization, but it has a neat picture of the ship. :)”

Don’t Stymie Nanotech

November 22, 2002

“A new paper released by the Pacific Research Institute says that nanotechnology holds benefits for society if not blocked by misguided regulation or outright bans. Already, some prominent individuals (like Bill Joy) have questioned the rationale of continuing nanotech research – PRI’s paper explains that nanotech has more benefits than drawbacks, and that bans and heavy regulation are not in society’s best interests”

Radical physicist flatters computer fans

November 22, 2002

The universe is composed not of particles and waves, but of simple tiny programs, physicist Stephen Wolfram said at COMDEX. “Systems out there in nature are already doing computations as complex as the ones that correspond to human intelligence.”

Future of Wi-Fi: Fast, Fast, Fast

November 22, 2002

With demand from high-definition TV and multimedia systems, look for faster wireless networking systems to take off in late 2003, based on faster versions of the 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standard. We’ll see a broadband connection to a home media hub, which could distribute TV signals, digital audio, gaming and other entertainment wirelessly throughout the house.

Light at End of Encryption Tunnel

November 22, 2002

Quantum encryption is about to make life much more difficult for Internet spies.

In 18 Languages, Electronic Library Speaks to Children

November 21, 2002

The free public library opened its electronic doors on the Internet this week, offering a pilot version with nearly 200 digitized books in 18 languages for children ages 3 to 13. Plans call for the International Children’s Digital Library to offer 10,000 books – 100 titles from 100 cultures – by 2007, allowing children to read on desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices. The eclectic library lets children hunt for… read more

Efforts to Stop Music Piracy Pointless

November 21, 2002

Record industry attempts to stop the swapping of pop music on online networks such as Kazaa will never work.

So says a research paper prepared by Microsoft computer scientists. They believe that the steady spread of file-swapping systems and improvements in their organisation will eventually make them impossible to shut down.

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