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Pentagon gives university $35.5 million to combat cyberterrorism

October 11, 2002

The Defense Department is giving Carnegie Mellon University $35.5 million to develop tools and tactics for fighting cyberterrorism.

The center is researching ways to build AI into hardware so that components such as disk drives could take countermeasures in a hacker attack, shutting down or automatically reporting an incident to network administrators.

CMU researchers are also studying how to use signatures, fingerprints, iris patterns, face recognition technology and… read more

Bugs trained to build circuit

October 11, 2002

Researchers are developing bacteria to form nanoscale microbial machines that could eventually repair wounds or build microscopic electrical circuits.

Researchers at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Ibaraki, Japan trained the bacterium Acetobacter xylinum to exude ribbons of cellulose, a biological building material, laying down strips at a rate of 4,000ths of a millimetre per minute.

They are also exploring the use of genetically modified bacteria… read more

Imprinted patterns boost hard drive capacity 200 times

October 11, 2002

A new magnetic data storage system could offer 200 times the data storage capacity of current state-of-the-art systems. The magnetic film, devised by IBM researchers, stores 200 gigabytes per square inch.

The technology, which requires further development before commercialization, magnetizes bits on the thin-film recording medium perpendicular to the film surface instead of parallel, doing away with flipped magnetic fields from neighboring magnetic fields. It also writes data on… read more

Taking a Clinical Look at Human Emotions

October 9, 2002

Previously, brain studies tended to bypass phenomena that are difficult to measure, like emotions and the unconscious. NYU prof. of neuroscience Dr. Joseph LeDoux, in his laboratory, began finding ways to study how the brain processes emotions.

Jealous? Maybe It’s Genetic. Maybe Not.

October 9, 2002

New research indicates that sex differences in studies of jealousy by evolutionary psychologists are spurious, an artifact of the particular method used in those studies.

They suggest that, rather than representing a hard-wired psychological mechanism for promoting reproduction, jealousy could have evolved in each sex for some more general purpose — for example, protecting social bonds in a very social species.

Real-time 2D to 3D video conversion unveiled

October 8, 2002

New $99 software that converts standard two-dimensional video images into three-dimensional viewing in real time has been unveiled.

The PC-based system requires users to wear special glasses. The technology creates the illusion of depth by generating two images out of one, each tilted and distorted to generate the illusion of depth when combined.

A chip for TV sets is expected in 2003.

Man leads machine in chess duel

October 8, 2002

The world’s best human chess player, Vladimir Kramnik, has taken the lead over Deep Fritz, the world’s best computer player, in a million-dollar battle between man and machine.

Kramnik was given a copy of Deep Fritz three months before the start of the contest, allowing him to prepare in a similar way as he would for a match with a grandmaster — by analyzing his previous games.

Unlike… read more

Merging Man And Machine

October 7, 2002

Implants may allow human minds to commune with each other directly, monitor body functions in real time, and (by 2050) link into a global network in which police respond to the mere thought of crime, says Professor Kevin Warwick.

All the World’s an MIT Campus

October 4, 2002

MIT has posted a sampling of its free courses, with 32 classes in 17 departments, on its OpenCourseWare (OCW) website.

Over the next decade, the university will post lecture notes, assignments, syllabi, tutorials, video simulations and reading lists from over 2,000 courses on the site.

International Lisp Conference to stage bot beauty contest

October 4, 2002

The Association of Lisp Users (ALU) has announced that the first annual ILC ChatterBot Beauty Contest will be held during the International Lisp Conference 2002 in San Francisco, October 27 to 31.

Bots competing in the event will be judged “not only on apparent intelligence but also on their artistic abilities, their personalities, their sense of humor, their imagination,” according to an ILU statement.

ALU has… read more

Superconducting nanotubes

October 4, 2002

Researchers have discovered a way to convert nanotubes into superconductors by placing hydrogen on the exterior, leading to dense concentrations of charge-carrying electrons.

Carbon nanotubes are considered to be building blocks of future electronic and mechanical devices.

NIST press release: “Can Nanotubes Be Engineered to Superconduct?”

“Effects of hydrogen adsorption on single-wall carbon nanotubes: Metallic hydrogen decoration,” by O. Gulseren, T. Yildirim, and S.… read more

Quantum cryptography takes to the skies

October 3, 2002

Quantum cryptography keys encoded in polarized photons of light have been transmitted more than 23 kilometers through air, British researchers have announced. They say the breakthrough is an important step towards a satellite-based global communications system that is completely secure and expect to have a system design by March 2003.

Quantum cryptography guarantees that keys cannot be intercepted without the sender and receiver knowing by using the quantum properties… read more

Thousand-chamber biochip debuts

October 3, 2002

California Institute of Technology researchers hope to replace large chemistry equipment with devices based on a fluidic storage chip that can store 1,000 different substances in an area slightly larger than a postage stamp.

The technology could eventually allow experiments that involve hundreds or thousands of liquid samples to run on desktop or even handheld devices, potentially reducing the cost and complexity of medical testing, genetics research and drug… read more

Library of Congress Taps the Grid

October 3, 2002

The Library of Congress is evaluating grid technology to preserve and manage the library’s more than 7.5 million digital records from 100 collections of manuscripts, books, maps, films, sound recordings and photographs in its American Memory project.

Despite Fraud at Bell Labs, Chip Research Barrels Ahead

October 1, 2002

Researchers have now created transistors whose switching components are literally single atoms. The next application of molecular electronics will most likely be for computer memory. In the longer term, scientists are still thinking how to use their molecular circuits for performing the logic operations of computer chips.

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