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MIT’s smart surface switches properties reversibly

January 17, 2003

MIT engineers and colleagues from the University of California are reporting a unique design of a “smart surface” using monomolecular layers that can reversibly switch properties in response to an external stimulus. The work paves the way for systems that could, for example, release or absorb cells and chemicals from surfaces on demand.

“This opens the door to a variety of applications, including novel drug-delivery systems and smart templates… read more

Robots That Suck

January 17, 2003

Have they finally come out with a robot for the rest of us? iRobot’s Roomba, a robot designed for vacuuming, rises above the level of mere gadget.

Grid Computing Good for Business

January 17, 2003

Grid computing is taking off in the corporate world, bouyed by the release this week of a pre-beta version of the next enhancement of the standard grid software, Global Toolkit 3.0.

Who Says Science Can’t Be Fun?

January 17, 2003

Commercial applications have come from the fertile imagination of MIT Media Lab researchers, such as composer Tod Machover, whose Etch-A-Sketch-like device lets children compose by drawing lines on a computer screen and is due to be released as a toy.

Cal Tech announces Turing Tournament

January 16, 2003

Cal Tech has announced the “Turing Tournament,” designed to “find the best computer programs to mimic human behavior … and the best computer programs to detect the difference between machine and human behavior.”

Two types of submissions will be accepted: an emulator, which generates a dataset that mimics human behavior, and a detector, which detects the difference between datasets generated by human and machine behavior.

“The… read more

The Internet takes to the air

January 15, 2003

On Jan. 15, Lufthansa will give travelers access to the net and let them send and receive e-mails in real time. Boeing has signed up 15 airlines to the in-flight service, which uses satellite links.

Microsoft eyes global radio network to support smart devices

January 15, 2003

Microsoft plans to send personalized data via a network of FM radio stations using a 12 Kbps subcarrier data stream to support smart watches and other devices based on its just-introduced Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT).

Microsoft will use two FM stations in each of the top 100 U.S. markets and 14 Canadian cities initially and then expand globally.

Researchers create novel life form

January 14, 2003

Researchers have manipulated an organism to make it produce an unnatural amino acid (not one of the known 20 amino acids). The research could lead to the manipulation of other amino acids to manufacture antibiotics, enzymes or other compounds for human use.

Successfully creating unnatural bacteria demonstrates that the organisms could have arisen naturally through evolution. The researchers are asking why it hasn’t.

Future Combat: Part 1

January 14, 2003

The U.S. Army is planning a transformation based on “Future Combat Systems.” New technologies will include hybrid electric vehicles, robotics, lasers, mobile network communications, and an array of smart weapons and sensors based on enabling technologies such as micromechanical systems (MEMS), biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Kurzweil awarded ‘Best Individual Presentation’ by Conferenza

January 13, 2003

Conferenza gave Ray Kurzweil its “Best Individual Presentation” award for his Pop!Tech presentation in Conferenza’s Best and Worst Conference Awards for 2002.

Kurzweil “argued persuasively at Pop!Tech that if you live to the year 2010, biology and technology innovations could carry you on until 2810,” according to a Conferenza announcement today.

Pop!Tech tied for Best Conference with IDG’s DemoMobile. The Best Host award went… read more

At Big Consumer Electronics Show, the Buzz Is All About Connections

January 13, 2003

The digital evolution of consumer electronics has changed expectations for home entertainment devices. Now, people need media hubs and computer servers to store and organize photos, music and video; wired and wireless networks to move them around their houses; and portable gizmos to keep all the content in their pockets wherever they go.

Computer Animation Techniques

January 13, 2003

Some companies have developed a newer type of animation that requires less processing power.

Future-gazing in Las Vegas

January 13, 2003

A giant LCD panel that acts as computer display and TV, does facial recognition for home security; and users connecting to huge remote databases of archive material with massive educational potential linked to advanced, virtual reality technology were among the forecasts at a CES session.

Internet helps write the book of life

January 13, 2003

A hugely ambitious project to find and name every species on Earth within the next 25 years has been launched by scientists.

The secret: combine the power of the Internet with the development of DNA sequencing.

The stealth revolution: digital power technologies

January 13, 2003

“Photon-power technologies are now undergoing the kinds of breathtaking performance improvements that define highly disruptive industries and presage very rapid growth across a wide variety of formerly discrete markets,” advises The Friday Letter from Gilder Publishing.

The report recommends the Digital Power Report, which tracks investment opportunities in digital power technologies.

“The stealth revolution in power is centered on the rising power levels… read more

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