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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

Now Playing: Reality Without the Downside

January 10, 2003

“The first online getaway,” called “There,” is an multiplayer online service that features 3-D computer-generated environments, AI-based avatars, real-world physics, natural scenery and sounds, and the ability to interact freely with people and objects.

Robots for the masses

January 10, 2003

Evolution Robotics announced a robot for industrial and consumer uses that can determine its position relative to its environment based on wheel sensors and a Webcam that cost less than $50. The robot uses a “visual simultaneous localization and mapping” system that creates a map of a space from the distance and direction that its wheels travel and from objects it recognizes with its camera and software.

When the Athlete’s Heart Falters, a Monitor Dials for Help

January 9, 2003

Manufacturers are working on wearable heart monitors linked to cellphones that can sound an alert automatically, contacting a doctor, family member or Web site when trouble beckons.

‘Gadget printer’ promises industrial revolution

January 9, 2003

Research at the University of California at Berkeley will allow fully assembled electric and electronic gadgets such as light bulbs, radios, remote controls, mobile phones and toys to be printed in one go. The trick: print layers of conducting and semiconducting polymers in such a way that the circuitry is built up as part of the bodywork.

Virtual bird brain matches nature’s tunes

January 9, 2003

Adding a model of brain circuits to a computer model of a singing bird has allowed scientists to figure out how birds compose their songs. The feat hints that we might one day be able to map some of the complex circuitry in an animal’s brain just by listening to its calls — or map a human’s brain using a computer model tuned to “talk” human-like gibberish.

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