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CG idols mean no human is required

November 30, 2001

Virtual Japanese idol Yuki Terai is a well-known example of a growing group of virtual personalities with very rich careers.Like her predecessor Kyoko Date, and her contemporary American counterpart Ramona, the 17-year-old lover of strawberries and jazz is a recording artist with several CDs and videos under her belt.

Mainstream acceptance in Japan began when she appeared in a toothpaste commercial. When it hit the air she not only… read more

Authorities will use robot to open Leahy letter

November 30, 2001

Government scientists will use a small robot to open a suspicious letter addressed to Sen. Patrick Leahy. Officials said the process is aimed at minimizing the loss of the highly fragile bacteria and preserving any forensic evidence — fingerprints, hair and DNA — on the envelope.

Nanotubes hint at room temperature superconductivity

November 29, 2001

Researchers have noted apparent superconductivity effects when applying magnetic fields to carbon nanotubes at room temperature and above. This could result in faster, lower-power electronics and the ability to carry electricity across long distances with 100 per cent efficiency.
Guo-meng Zhao and Yong Sheng Wang of the University of Houston put a magnetic field across a bundle of carbon nanotubes at temperatures up to 400 kelvin (127°C). The bundle generated… read more

More Ginger details may be coming

November 29, 2001

More details on Ginger, the alleged scooter at the center of controversy and wild speculation for close to a year, may emerge Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” amid a flurry of patent applications from its inventor.

Making the Music Sway to Your Beat

November 29, 2001

Digital instruments are creating imaginative new forms of musical expression.

Some current research projects:

  • A wearable system of sensors that allows users to create and play music while doing routine tasks and share performances with one another over a wireless network. Tapping any of the sensors produces a digital signal corresponding to a note or a musical sequence. This signal is transmitted to a computer, where it
  • read more

    Football shirt with on-board computer

    November 28, 2001

    Football shirts are being developed which have their own on-board computer, which will be able to track the pace and acceleration of the wearer.Researchers at the University of Birmingham, UK, who are specialists in “wearable” computers, are exploring ways of remotely monitoring the performance of people playing sports.

    This will help to tackle the difficulties in analysing aspects of players’ games such as speed–which can usually only be explored… read more

    Neural Prosthetics and Direct Neural Control

    November 28, 2001

    Stanford engineer discovers neural cells that “plan” movement of body parts.Reaching out to touch a dot on a computer screen may seem simple, but it requires a complex chain of signals that link together the eye, brain and arm. Damage to any part of that chain, such as a spinal injury, stroke or neurodegenerative disease, can make even the simplest tasks impossible.

    Stanford engineer Krishna Shenoy and a group… read more

    Boneless, brainy, and ancient

    November 28, 2001

    The Octupus arm could very well be the basis of next-generation robotic arms for undersea, space, as well as terrestrial applications.
    Each arm appears to contain an independent peripheral nervous system and neural circuitry, which carries out the order independent of any further involvement on the part of the brain itself.

    “How the octopus controls each arm so that tasks can be performed without chaos, and without the need… read more

    New gene therapy uses body’s own cells for delivery

    November 28, 2001
    Normal lung cells (rat)

    A radically new type of gene therapy for correcting genetic defects and treating pulmonary hypertension has been developed, based on research supported by United Therapeutics and Northern Therapeutics.
    Announced at the recent American Heart Association conference, the new process would use a sample of the patient’s own skin cells, which are transfected (combined) with a corrective gene (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) and then injected back into the patient’s bloodstream.… read more

    ‘Mesh radio’ can deliver super-fast Internet for all

    November 27, 2001

    A new type of high-capacity wireless network will deliver 4 megabits/sec to homes, starting with a trial in early 2002 in Wales.
    Unlike conventional wireless data systems, mesh radio avoids signal dropout by using small, low-power antennas on the roof of every customer to form the network.

    ’2001: HAL’s Legacy’ to air on PBS Nov. 27 (reminder)

    November 27, 2001

    Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Kurzweil, and other leading scholars in artificial intelligence and computer science will be featured in the forthcoming television documentary “2001: HAL’s Legacy,” to air nationwide on PBS stations starting Tuesday, November 27, according to Dr. David G. Stork, creator of the documentary.

    The experts reflect upon the state of the art, how far we’ve come, and how far we have yet to go… read more

    3D Technology: Ready for the PC?

    November 27, 2001

    Technology advances such as accelerated graphics cards and graphics ports have driven PC hardware capabilities up and prices down, making 3D more accessible to consumers and furthering research on methods and algorithms.

    Another key trends is overcoming network-bandwidth limitations by sending compressed content instead of full-resolution geometry.

    3D graphics can be used to visualize objects and products prior to construction, model weather systems for meteorologists, study medical anomalies… read more

    Scientists Design Molecules That Mimic Nanostructure of Bone

    November 26, 2001

    Self-assembling molecules developed by scientists at Northwestern University mimic key features of bone at the nanoscale level.Scientists at Northwestern University have become the first to design molecules that could lead to a breakthrough in bone repair. The designer molecules hold promise for the development of a bonelike material to be used for bone fractures or in the treatment of bone cancer patients and have implications for the regeneration of other… read more

    Intel’s unveils world’s smallest transistor with 15-nm device

    November 20, 2001

    Intel has developed a 15-nanometer device that will be used to make microprocessors and other chips by the end of this decade. The new technology is said to handle switching speeds of 0.38 picoseconds, or or 2.63 trillion switches per second.

    Kurzweil proposes national defense program for genetic, nanotechnology and robotics technologies

    November 19, 2001
    Judy Woodruff interviews Ray Kurzweil at Washington National Cathedral

    Washington, D.C. , Nov. 19 — Inventor-author Ray Kurzweil has proposed a major new national program to develop defensive strategies, technologies, and ethical standards to address the dangers of emerging genetic, nanotechnology and robotics technologies.

    “The program would be administered by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health,” said Kurzweil. “It would have a budget equaling the current budget for NSF and NIH.”

    Kurzweil made… read more

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