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Document Reading Made Easy

July 5, 2002

New AI software might help journalists sort through reams of government documents in minutes to detect government corruption.

Can a chip help computers see in 3D?

July 5, 2002

Silicon Valley start-up Tyzx believes it can give stereo vision to video cameras by encoding a processing scheme, based on the way humans see, into a custom chip. It could ready the way for robots with depth perception.
Its custom “DeepSea” chip runs an algorithm called “census correspondence” that finds similarities in real time across two streams of video images broken up into a square grid of 512 pixels.

Small word network

July 5, 2002

Word association can link just about any two common (root) words in the English language using an average of three steps (degrees of separation), says a team of scientists at Arizona State University.
The researchers think the network structure of a language probably has its origins in the nature of cognition and memory. Different concepts, such as “actor” and “universe,” are closely linked by a short series of semantic… read more

Kurzweil to present awards at National Federation of the Blind conference

July 5, 2002

Ray Kurzweil, inventor of the original Kurzweil Reading Machine, will present the annual scholarship awards from Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc., at the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Convention in Louisville, Kentucky on July 8.
Kurzweil Educational is an innovator of reading-technology solutions for individuals with learning and visual disabilities.

The company also announced the Kurzweil 1000 Version 7. This device helps people with severe visual impairments access virtually… read more

Art as a State of Mind

July 2, 2002

Artist Paras Kaul is creating art using a computer/brain-wave interface.

VR hallucinations used to treat schizophrenia

July 2, 2002

A virtual reality environment has been designed by a team at the University of Queensland in Brisbane to help treat people with schizophrenia, using a simulated living room projected onto a wrap-around screen and a soundtrack with an abusive running commentary.
For example, it can mimic common hallucinations: walls appear to be closing in, photographs of faces morph, straight lines such as the edge of pictures wobble. The idea is… read more

Nanoparticles Cut Tumors’ Supply Lines

July 1, 2002

Cancer researchers packed a tiny particle with a gene that forces blood vessel cells to self-destruct, then “mailed” the particle to blood vessels feeding tumors in mice. A single treatment erased large tumors in mice in about 6 days.

New treatment for depression

June 28, 2002

Psychiatrists are using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat depression that doesn’t respond to drugs.

The experimental treatment applies a pulsed magnetic field to the frontal cortex, which links to the limbic system, a regulator of emotion.
The experimental treatment applies a pulsed magnetic field to the frontal cortex, which links to the limbic system, a regulator of emotion.

Healthy Shocks to the Head

June 28, 2002

Brain pacemakers, or “deep-brain stimulators,” are starting to show promise for treating neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy, dystonia, and severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Nano device could result in 1000:1 increase in storage density

June 27, 2002

University at Buffalo materials researchers have developed an extremely sensitive nanoscale device that could shrink ultra-high-density storage devices factor of a 1,000.

The magnetic sensor, made of nickel and measuring only a few atoms in diameter, could ultimately increase data storage capacity to a terabit per square inch.

University at Buffalo Materials Researchers Develop Device for “Ultrasmall” Data Storage (press release)

A New Twist on Light Speed

June 27, 2002

Glasgow scientists have measured a single photon’s orbital angular momentum for the first time. The research could lead to speeding up optical communications by allowing each photon sent over fiber optic lines to encode multiple bits as quantum orbital states.

Measuring the Orbital Angular Momentum of a Single Photon, Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 257901 (2002) (June 24, 2002)

Robots called electronics driver of 21st century

June 26, 2002

The robot could emerge as the driving force of electronics this century, according to Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. at the the Robotrex 2002 exhibition in Fukuoka, Japan.

Magnetic Future

June 26, 2002

Researchers at GE and IBM are developing “patterned media”-based disks that hold between 30 and 40 gigabits per square centimeter, ten times the density of today’s products, and the storage density might be pushed to more than 150 gigabits per square centimeter.

The technology involves physically isolating a disk’s magnetic grains from one another on nanoscale “islands.” Currently, several hundred magnetic grains are needed to store a bit clearly,… read more

Science-Technology Drive Is Urged to Fight Terror

June 25, 2002

The National Research Council has developed a blueprint for using current technologies and creating new capabilities to reduce the likelihood of terrorist attacks. The recommendations include protecting and controlling nuclear weapons and material, producing sufficient supplies of vaccines and antibodies, securing shipping containers that could hide bombs or toxins, protecting power grids more effectively, improving ventilation systems in public buildings, emergency communications for workers responding to disasters, and more research… read more

At Los Alamos, Two Visions of Supercomputing

June 25, 2002

Heat may be a limiting factor to Moore’s law. By 2010, scientists predict, a single chip may hold more than a billion transistors, giving off 1,000 watts of thermal energy — far more heat per square inch than a nuclear reactor.

Already, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s 30-teraops Q computer, designed to provide full-scale, three-dimensional simulation of the physics involved in a nuclear explosion, will require 5 megawatts of energy.… read more

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