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Getting More From a PC’s Spare Time

September 11, 2003

A new program, Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (Boinc), will eventually allow the SETI@home project to join forces with other distributed computing initiatives so volunteers can take part in multiple projects instead of just one.

David P. Anderson, a scientist at the University of California’s Space Sciences Laboratory who directs SETI@home, said the program would increase efficiency.

Beyond Voice Recognition, to a Computer That Reads Lips

September 11, 2003

Scientists at IBM, Intel, and in many other labs are developing digital lip-reading systems to augment the accuracy of speech recognition.

CDs and DVDs for long-term achival storage

September 11, 2003

Computer scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are launching an effort to develop specifications for “archival quality” CD and DVD media that agencies could use to ensure the procurement of sufficiently robust media for their long-term archiving needs (i.e., 50 years and longer).

NIST press release: From Movies to Minutia: DVDs Eyed for Archival Uses

An Untouchable Video Screen

September 11, 2003

In Finland, a fog machine conjures up the Mona Lisa on an invisible sheet of water particles. Thousands of miles away, an American graduate student passes his hand through an image of a DNA strand produced — apparently out of thin air — by a modified video projector.

The two inventions represent the latest front in advanced computer displays — eliminating the screen altogether.

Black Hole Sound Waves

September 10, 2003

Sound waves 57 octaves lower than middle-C are rumbling away from a supermassive black hole in the Perseus cluster. The “note” is the deepest ever detected from any object in our Universe. The tremendous amounts of energy carried by these sound waves may solve a longstanding problem in astrophysics: how galaxy clusters, the largest structures in the Universe, grow.

No Joy for Sun Microsystems

September 10, 2003

Sun Microsystems said Tuesday that Bill Joy, its chief scientist and a software pioneer who became an outspoken critic of an over-automated society, is leaving the embattled computer maker he helped found.

No More Human Guinea Pigs

September 9, 2003

DARPA’s “Virtual Soldier” program plans to create an army of digital test subjects that can be subjected to new drugs, new medical procedures—even new weapons—without using soldiers as human guinea pigs. The “Virtual Soldier” will be an exact, computerized copy of every part of a person’s body.

Researcher Finds Method to Define Genetic ‘Words’

September 9, 2003

Stuart Kim, PhD, associate professor at the Stanford School of Medicine, has created a genome dictionary that could help researchers understand the role of newly identified genes. It also provides a glimpse into how a gene’s function has evolved over time.

Soundless Music Shown to Produce Weird Sensations

September 9, 2003

British scientists have shown in a controlled experiment at a concert that the extreme bass sound known as infrasound produces a range of bizarre effects in people including anxiety, extreme sorrow and chill.

Bacterial Battery Converts Sugar into Electricity

September 9, 2003

Researchers have developed a primitive microbial fuel cell that can convert simple sugars into electricity with 81 percent efficiency.

Nanotubes Exhibit ‘Ideal’ Photon Emission

September 8, 2003

Nanotubes have been shown to re-emit light (when radiated by a laser) at precise, stable frequencies, making them ideal for quantum cryptography and as sensors that can detect a single molecule of a substance.

Molecules of life come in waves

September 8, 2003

Scientists at the University of Vienna have observed an interference pattern for molecules of tetraphenylporphyrin, the key component of light-absorbing chlorophyll in plants and oxygen-binding haemoglobin in blood.

This quantum behavior was thought to be limited to subatomic particles and individual atoms. The finding raises questions about larger biological molecules and may have implications for the Penrose-Hameroff proposal that consciousness might arise from wave-like quantum-mechanical effects involving protein filaments… read more

Superworm To Storm The Net On 9/11

September 5, 2003

An analysis of Internet virus activity shows that on September 11th, an advanced worm attack is set to infiltrate the Internet and could potentially halt email traffic worldwide. We need to act now.

The Nanotechnology Revolution

September 5, 2003

From science fiction to the halls of Congress, the promise and perils of nanotechnology have become big news. But just what is nanotechnology, what are its prospects, and how should policymakers and citizens think about it? Adam Keiper explores the surprisingly varied meanings of nanotech, and the implications of our growing control over the very small.

Doomsday postponed

September 5, 2003

Astronomers have issued the “all-clear” on asteroid 2003 QQ47, suspected by some to be on a possible collision course with the Earth in just 11 years.

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