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The Future That Wasn’t

March 6, 2003

A new collection of images from the ’50s evokes a technologic optimism that makes the dotcom craze look conservative.

Toshiba boffins prep laptop fuel cell

March 6, 2003

Toshiba has figured out how to power a portable computer using fuel cell technology without the need for a power unit larger than the PC itself.

Making Robots More Like Us

March 6, 2003

The solution to developing machines that can move and work like humans may lie in getting robots and humans to interact better.

The Liver Chip

March 5, 2003

Researchers are building a miniature human liver on a silicon chip as a realistic model of the natural organ. Mass produced, such a chip could be a boon to companies developing drugs for hepatitis and other diseases, and for scientists investigating liver cancer and gene therapy and chemical firms testing the toxicity of new materials.

Robot finger has feeling

March 5, 2003

Scientists in Spain have developed a robotic finger with a sense of touch. It is made of a polymer that can feel the weight of what it’s pushing and adjust the energy it uses accordingly.

I Spy With My Eagle Eye

March 5, 2003

There are three ways to achieve supervision:

  • Adaptive optics to correct vision to 20/10, the limit of normal human sight, possibly leading to surgical and contact-lens breakthroughs.
  • Electrodes implanted in the brain’s visual center or the optic nerve.
  • Genetically engineered cones that could allow for seeing new colors and extending the visual spectrum.
  • Second Episode of The Animatrix Released

    March 5, 2003

    The second episode of Animatrix, part of The Matrix’s world, is now available for downloading.

    Convergence of P2P and Grid Predicted

    March 5, 2003

    The two current popular incarnations of distributed computing technology, Peer-to-peer (P2P) and grid computing, will converge. “The complementary nature of the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches suggests that the interests of the two communities are likely to grow closer over time.”

    DNA’s Disciples

    March 5, 2003

    At TIME’s Future of Life conference, Ray Kurzweil predicted that advancements in genomics, coupled with nanotechnology and the combination of human and computer intelligence, could extend our life span to 1,000 years.

    Kurzweil defined intelligence as “the ability to solve problems using limited resources. And the most limited resource is time.”

    The implication is that the smartest thing for us to do would be to eliminate the ravages… read more

    Low-k dielectric materials business plan wins Japanese contest

    March 5, 2003

    A business plan based on nano-structured low-k dielectrics has won the one-million yen grand prize in a contest in Japan intended to establish a business model for nanotechnology ventures.

    “Low-k dielectric materials are one of the key enablers to continue Moore’s Law,” said Nathen Fox, President and CEO of Atomic-Scale Design Incorporated, which won the award. “These materials are needed for the interlayer dielectrics (insulators) required in future computer… read more

    Microsoft researchers display their tinkering at TechFest

    March 5, 2003

    Microsoft researchers are developing computers controlled by waving a hand, tracking software that can find a person on an office campus, and an identification system that embeds a digitized image of the photo in the bar code, so forgers cannot simply paste on a picture to create a new ID.

    Robot finger has feeling

    March 4, 2003

    “Scientists in Spain have developed a robotic finger with a sense of touch. It is made of a polymer that can feel the weight of what it’s pushing and adjust the energy it uses accordingly.”

    Beaming Video at Speed of Light

    March 4, 2003

    A New Zealand company’s twist on free-space optics — which broadcasts data over visible light spectrum — promises to make wireless data transfer faster and cheaper. It can even beam high-quality video.

    IDC Finds that Broadband Adoption Will Drive Internet Traffic Growth

    March 2, 2003

    IDC predicts that the volume of Internet traffic generated by end users worldwide will nearly double annually over the next five years, increasing from 180 petabits per day in 2002 to 5,175 petabits per day by the end of 2007.

    “To put these figures into perspective, the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress amounts to only 10 terabytes of information. By 2007, IDC expects Internet users will… read more

    It Will Be a Smaller World After All

    February 28, 2003

    The United Nations has finally changed its demographic predictions. Instead of foreseeing population growth or even explosion, the new estimates acknowledge that world population is on course to shrink—with significant social, economic, and strategic implications.

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