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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.

Water Drop Holds a Trillion Computers

November 21, 2002

Researchers have built a machine that solves mathematical problems using DNA as software and enzymes as hardware. A trillion such biomolecular machines – working at more than 99.8% accuracy – can fit into a drop of water. Computers with DNA input and output have been made before, but they involved a laborious series of reactions, each needing human supervision. The new automaton requires only the right molecular mix.

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.

Software aims to put your life on a disk

November 21, 2002

Engineers at Microsoft’s Media Presence lab in San Francisco are aiming to build “MyLifeBits,”
a multimedia database that chronicle people’s life events and make them searchable.

Each media file saved in MyLifeBits can be tagged with a written or spoken commentary and linked to other files. Spoken annotations are also converted into text, so the speech is searchable, too.

The system could also help us preserve our experiences… read more

A Few Ways to Win Mortality War

November 21, 2002

Wired reports on Alcor’s Extreme Life Extension Conference.

Black Holes Are Double Trouble for Galaxy

November 19, 2002

Two monstrous black holes are jostling for power in the same galaxy, the Chandra X-ray satellite has revealed. The pair will slam into each other in a few hundred million years, giving the fabric of space-time a good shake. “Today for the first time, thanks to the Chandra X-ray observatory’s unparalleled ability to spot black holes, we see something that is a harbinger of a cataclysmic event to come,” said… read more

Fossil unveils wrist-worn Palm OS PDA

November 19, 2002

Fossil will introduce the world’s first Palm-powered wristwatch in mid-2003, with 33 MHz processor, 2 MB RAM, 160 x 160 pixel/16-level grayscale display, IrDA 1.2-compatible infrared port, miniature stylus, and USB interface to PCs.

Ray Kurzweil’s Plan: Never Die

November 18, 2002

Ray Kurzweil has a personal plan for eternal life: don’t die (counting on a low-carb diet, supplements and accelerating medical advances).

“If you combine the knowledge today with the observation that we’re actually on the knee of the curve in terms of acceleration of knowledge and these technologies, and that the full blossoming of the biotech revolution will be here within a couple decades, we can remain healthy through… read more

Researchers Laud Robot-guided Heart Surgery

November 18, 2002

Robotic heart surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System has many advantages for patients and doctors, according to research presented to cardiologists at the annual Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association. The robotic technique requires four puncture wounds, each an inch in diameter. Surgeons use pencil-sized instruments to operate on the heart. They sit several feet away from the patient at a console where they see inside the patient… read more

Remote control brain sensor

November 18, 2002

Scientists at the Centre for Physical Electronics at the University of Sussex have developed a sensor that can record brainwaves without the need for electrodes to be inserted into the brain or even placed on the scalp.

The new method may enable real-time electrical imaging of the brain could allow for controlling machinery with thoughts alone.

Supercomputer to Use Optical Fibers

November 18, 2002

The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology plans to announce on Monday a campus-wide supercomputer woven together with optical fibers at the University of California at San Diego.

An example of a new trend in advanced computing known as grid computing, the “optiputer” will initially consist of about 500 processors linked via an optical switching system that will permit parts of the computer to share information at the… read more

Businesses, Big and Small, Bet on Wireless Internet Access

November 18, 2002

The wireless Internet, based on low-cost Wi-Fi technology, may be the next Silicon Valley success story. Intel, I.B.M. and AT&T are exploring the creation of a Wi-Fi-based network of networks in metropolitan areas across the nation, code-named Project Rainbow. It could put high-speed Internet access within easy reach of Web surfers in most urban areas amd make traditional communications business obsolete.

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