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A World at Your Fingertips

May 29, 2002

The Worldview project plans to open real-time windows around the world. Bringing together Japanese “puri-kura” photo booths, webcams and the holiday snapshot, the project will establish installations at landmark locations around the world, using city skylines as the common backdrop.

“It would allow ordinary people in different countries to interact, perhaps for the first time,” says Usman Haque, who, along with Josephine Pletts, designed the device. “It can create… read more

New method pinpoints brain regions linked to genetic disorders

May 29, 2002

UCLA scientists have developed a new method, called “voxelation,” to rapidly track how genes express proteins in the human brain. Using this method, they were able to track how thousands of genes misfire proteins in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease.

“This approach identifies which genes play a role in abnormal brain function and where they are located,” said UCLA pharmacologist Desmond Smith. “We can use this information to… read more

Cloning to revive extinct species

May 28, 2002

Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), geneticists at the Australian Museum are working to revive the Tasmanian Tiger, which has been extinct for 65 years.

This breakthrough allows the scientists to produce millions of pure copies of undamaged DNA fragments, which they believe can work in a living cell. No other long extinct species has ever been cloned.

Digital Lock? Try a Hairpin

May 28, 2002

Security systems in several areas from music copying to fingerprint readers and smart cards are proving vulnerable to defeat by basic household items.

Ai Announces the Second Learning Machine Challenge

May 28, 2002

Artificial Intelligence Research (Ai) has announced it is sponsoring the Second Learning Machine Challenge, an annual competition to promote machine learning algorithms for computerized language acquisition.

Participants will create a computer program that can perform well at a language game without knowing the syntax, grammar or rules of the language. The creator of the winning program will win a $2000 prize.

Face Scans Set Up at Lady Liberty

May 26, 2002

A new surveillance system is taking pictures of visitors to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and comparing them to a database of terror suspects.

The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the system.

The future of mind control

May 26, 2002

Neurotechnology, such as brain stimulation and mood-altering drugs, poses a greater threat than genetics.

The ethics of brain science: Open your mind

May 26, 2002

Advances in neurotechnology raise ethical and legal questions.

  • Neuroscientists will soon be able to screen people’s brains to assess their mental health; functional MRI can identify depressed individuals and other personality traits and detect lies. That information could be available to employers or insurers.
  • Faulty personality traits, brain deficiencies and psychological ailments can be enhanced with drugs or implants, leading to haves and have-nots.
  • Nation Depends On More Money For Nano Advocates Tell Senate

    May 24, 2002

    In a Senate hearing Wednesday, scientists and officials advocated an increase in government investments in nanotechnology and doubling the National Science Foundation budget.

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called for an additional $1.1 billion for the National Nanotechnology Initiative and noted that areas such as health, the environment, and national security “will all be profoundly shaped by this emerging revolution in knowledge.”

    Related News:… read more

    A Bot That Knows Where It’s Going

    May 24, 2002

    Evolution Robotics’ new ER1 mobile robot can learn on the fly, enabling it to roam around new environments entirely on its own.

    Following simple commands, it can recognize an ever-changing environment by processing 30 still-frame photos a minute looking for a picture that matches its memory. It comes with a digital camera and speech recognition, and voice response systems.

    Quantum wormholes could carry people

    May 24, 2002

    “Quantum wormholes offer a faster-than-light short cut to the rest of the cosmos — at least in principle. Now physicists believe they could open these doors wide enough to allow someone to travel through.”
    But matter travelling through a wormhole adds positive energy to it, which collapses it into a black hole, so any would-be traveller would be crushed.

    “Ghost radiation” could be used to offset the positive energy… read more

    Bell, Torvalds usher next wave of supercomputing

    May 23, 2002

    A compact supercomputer based on a Beowolf cluster called Green Destiny was unveiled at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Using compact, stripped-down server blades, Los Alamos scientists were able to build a system that is much smaller, consumes less power and is more cost-effective than typical supercomputers. It uses Crusoe processors from Transmeta, which require no active cooling.

    Boffins develop ‘sociable’ robots

    May 22, 2002

    Irish scientists developing robots that are friendly and sociable so that people will be able to relate to them more naturally.

    The first prototype, Anthropos, has cameras for eyes, a speaker as a mouth, voice recognition, and motors that control how it moves.

    Myhrvold’s Exponential Economy

    May 22, 2002

    “The technological revolution for the 21st century is going to be based on which areas … exponential growth rates catch hold in, and which ones don’t…. Analyzing abstract data is one of the most important frontiers in biology and medicine.”

    Thinking Big About Nanotechnology

    May 21, 2002

    The first commercial results of nanotech coming onto the market now are mostly coatings and materials that resist friction and wear, or shed dirt from clothing and household surfaces.

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