science + technology news

Intel Tests Long-Range Wireless Chip

September 8, 2004

Intel is testing a new chip, dubbed “Rosedale,” designed for long-distance, high-speed, wireless Internet access (WiMax).

WiMax allows users to access the Internet wirelessly across a city or rural area. Intel is looking to put its WiMax chips into laptops and other mobile devices. The final version of the WiMax chips will be released within the next 12 months.

Agents of Change

September 7, 2004

Autonomous agents are still in the labs but could eventually play a critical role in areas ranging from setting market prices to creating more resilient networks.

Autonomous agents have the potential to become an extraordinarily powerful technology, with the capacity to learn, experiment and act independent of human control. Agents could ultimately improve productivity, increase software reliability and change the operation of markets, particularly supply chains.

Brain research? Pay it no mind

September 7, 2004

The human brain is so complex it simply defies the same kind of analysis that scientists devote to subatomic particles or human immune systems.

The promise of personalized medicine

September 7, 2004

A new technology developed at IBM could bring the promise of personalized medicine one step closer to reality.

The “Genomic Messaging System” (GMS) uses a “smart” DNA stream that contains a patient’s entire medical record in compressed form as well as genetic information. The DNA stream could potentially even house images like MRIs and X-rays.

The objective is to allow researchers to see correlations between human disease and… read more

New 3D self-assembly methods could lead to 10 terabyte chips

September 7, 2004

Two new patented methods for self-assembly of three-dimensional nanostructures could lead to the development of a chip that can hold 10 terabits of information — about 500 times the storage density available today.

The two methods involve using pulsed laser deposition, which works with a variety of materials and reduces imperfections. The sequential growth method uses the laser pulses to ablate successive targets to create layers of nanodots in… read more

World’s Largest Working Computing Grid

September 7, 2004

This week, UK particle physicists will demonstrate the world’s largest working computing Grid. With more than 6,000 computers at 78 sites internationally, the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid (LCG) is the first permanent, worldwide Grid for doing real science.

The Grid is designed to handle the expected 15 petabytes of data that will be produced each year by particle physics experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. By… read more

Internet’s Speed Increases As It Turns 35 Years Old

September 7, 2004

Teams from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and CERN have sent 859 gigabytes of data in less than 17 minutes across 16,000 kilometers of computer networks at roughly 6.63 gigabits per second on the super high-speed Internet2 network, used for education and research.

Bending sound the ‘wrong’ way sharpens scans

September 7, 2004

Ultrasound scans could soon be much more detailed, thanks to a novel material that can bend sound waves the “wrong” way. This property, known as negative refraction, means the material should bring sound waves to a focus far sharper than today’s medical scanners.

Maths holy grail could bring disaster for internet

September 7, 2004

Mathematicians could be on the verge of solving two separate million-dollar problems.

If Louis de Branges really has cracked the

Finally, a Car That Talks Back

September 3, 2004

Honda will soon become the first auto manufacturer to include, as standard equipment in some models, technology that enables drivers to converse with their cars about where to go and how to get there.

Using voice-recognition and text-to-speech technology from IBM, the 2005 Acura RL, available in October, and Honda Odyssey, available in September, will produce maps and “speak” turn-by-turn directions from the navigation system.

Search and rescue robots

September 3, 2004

Robotics researchers are focusing on using small robots to venture where humans cannot go to search for survivors of earthquakes, collapsed mines and other disasters.

The future of nanotechnology

September 3, 2004

Eric Drexler’s vision of self-assembling nanoscale machines will be difficult to achieve because of low Reynolds numbers, ubiquitous Brownian motion, and strong surface forces, says physicist Richard Jones of the University of Sheffield.

As an alternative way to achieve “radical nanotechnology,” he proposes two methods: using biological components, such as molecular motors and incorporating them into artificial nanostructures; and bionanotechnology, using some of the design methods of biology and… read more

Let a Thousand Reactors Bloom

September 3, 2004

China plans to build 30 nuclear reactors by 2020, but a team of Chinese scientists says it needs a lot more: 300 gigawatts of nuclear output, not much less than the 350 gigawatts produced worldwide today.

For safety, China’s new meltdown-proof HTR-10 reactor design would use inert helium instead of superhot water.

Hydrogen Fuel Closer to Fruition

September 3, 2004

A new “solar hydrogen” method could produce cheap hydrogen from water in seven years, using a commercial solar panel

Is Portable Video Ready for Its Close-Up?

September 2, 2004

Microsoft has launched the Windows Mobile Portable Media Center, a software design for an audio player with a color video screen — a sort of video iPod.

CinemaNow will offer 200 movies and television programs, coded for the Windows devices, that must be downloaded into a Windows XP computer before being transferred to a Portable Media Center.

Computers equipped with television tuner cards can also record programs and… read more

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