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To the Moon in a Space Elevator?

February 5, 2003

The Columbia disaster could spur faster development of a radically different approach to reaching outer space: the space elevator.

Using lightweight, strong carbon nanotubes, it’s feasible to talk of building a meter-wide “ribbon” that would start on a mobile ocean platform at the equator and extend 62,000 miles up into space. It would ferry materials such as satellites and replacement parts for space stations — or even people –… read more

Shuttle disaster revives debate on merits of manned flight

February 5, 2003

The Columbia crash likely will accelerate the move toward more unmanned space exploration. “Any specific mission you can identify to do in space, you can design and build an unmanned space craft to do it more effectively, more economically and more safely,” said Alex Roland, a professor of history at Duke University and for eight years a historian at NASA.

Kurzweil responds to German newspaper on Shuttle disaster and Iraq

February 3, 2003

Frankfurter Allgemeine asked Ray Kurzweil if there would be any effects on the American psyche from the Columbia Shuttle disaster in relation to going to war with Iraq.

“Technology has always had a downside, from tragic failure as in today’s Shuttle disaster, to misappropriation as in the events of 9-11. Americans are hardly unique in their perception of this intertwined promise and peril of technology,” said Kurzweil.

“With… read more

The Future Needs Us!

February 3, 2003

Freeman Dyson has written a libertarian response to Michael Crichton’s novel Prey and Bill Joy’s advice to relinquish research in genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics.

Dyson is Professor of Physics Emeritus at the School of Natural Sciences of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

From Nanotechnology’s Sidelines, One More Warning

February 3, 2003

Tiny whiskers make huge memory storage

February 3, 2003

New, tiny magnetic sensors could help break a technical barrier to ushering in the next generation of computer disk storage capacity.

The sensors, filaments of nickel thinner than a wavelength of visible light, are capable of detecting extremely weak magnetic fields using a phenomenon called “ballistic magnetoresistance.”

The sensors also could be used to detect biomolecules.

Random chat solves distributed problem

January 31, 2003

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have developed a scheme to solve a fundamental difficulty with distributed grid computing: coordinating the efforts of all computers.

The simple solution avoids the need to have a global supervisor, which would introduce scaling problems. Each individual computer makes occasional checks with randomly-chosen others, to ensure it is properly synchronized. The result is a self-stabilising effect on the system as a whole; processors that are… read more

New technology boom forecast

January 31, 2003

The availability of the Internet, coupled with a plethora of new ideas, dramatic increases in computer memory and artificial intelligence, will create a huge technology stimulus by the end of 2005, according to Ian Pearson, a senior analyst with British Telecom. This will be further enabled by the introduction of the semantic Web on the Internet in 2005 and expected improvement in the economy.

‘Battle for supremacy between man and machine’ unfolds, Kasparov says

January 30, 2003

The ultimate mind game is being played out here and, to believe participants, the future of human civilization hangs in the balance….

Light Particles Are Duplicated More Than a Mile Away Along Fiber

January 30, 2003

Scientists have taken particles of light, destroyed them and then resurrected copies more than a mile away. Previous experiments in “quantum teleportation” moved particles of light about a yard.

Possible uses include sending unbreakable encrypted messages and as fiber-optics repeaters.

10.20GHz Intel Nehalem slated for 2005

January 29, 2003

Intel is reportedly planning 10.20GHz desktop CPUs code-named “Nehalem” by 2005.

Intel is also planning the 5.20GHz “Prescott” core and the 9.20GHz “Tejas” core by then.

Human Music Interface finds its ‘fingers’

January 29, 2003

Polyphonic HMI has developed a music recommendation system, the “Human Music Interface,” that uses AI to analyse the fundamental patterns and elements of music, rapidly determining an individual’s musical tastes so that further music can be recommended to them. The recommendations are linked to music samples enabling consumers to test the results.

Eddie Mars, Cybermouthpiece, Talks to His Creator

January 26, 2003

In his new film, “Happy Here and Now,” Michael Almereyda looks into the future and sees computer chat rooms where participants can project fictitious identities, or “avatars,” into cyberspace to do their talking for them.

Kurzweil responds to Edge challenge, advises Bush

January 26, 2003

As described in The New York Times, John Brockman, a literary agent and publisher of, asked leading scientists, writers and futurists to imagine that they had been nominated as White House science adviser and that President Bush had sought their answer to “What are the pressing scientific issues for the nation and the world, and what is your advice on how I can begin to… read more

Molecular dots rise for information storage

January 24, 2003

Researchers have made a new molecular device that could store up to 100 gigabits of data per square inch, using molecules called “rotaxanes.”

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