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Accelerating-change conference announced

July 14, 2003

The Accelerating Change Conference (ACC2003): Exploring the Future of Accelerating Change, will be held at Stanford University, September 12-14, 2003.

ACC2003 speakers include Ray Kurzweil (via Teleportec’s 3D Telepresence Lectern); venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson; K. Eric Drexler, Founder and Chairman of Foresight Institute; Greg Papadopoulos, CTO of Sun Microsystems; Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly & Associates; Howard Bloom, author of Global Brain; and… read more

Intel keeping options open at 32-nm node

July 14, 2003

Despite its decision to pass on 157-nm lithography at the 45-nm node, Intel Corp. is “keeping all of its options open” for the 32-nm node, which moves into volume production toward the end of this decade.

Gladiator-style ‘wars’ select out weak programs

July 14, 2003

Computer scientists have found the ultimate way to debug their programs –let them compete against other programs in a gladiator-style tournament.

Dubbed Grid Wars II, the contest held at the ClusterWorld conference in San Jose, California, last month was like a software version of television’s Robot Wars and Battle Bots. In each battle, programs fought to gain control of processing power in a huge parallel computer.

‘Augmented reality’ speeding assembly and service tasks

July 14, 2003

Shorter development times and faster repairs are making “augmented reality,” a system for displaying electronic information in the form of images, a possibility.

“In one possible scenario, a technician with data goggles bends over the engine block of a luxury car and removes the covering. He is receiving instructions through an ear piece telling him what to do next while his data goggles mark the screws and bolts on… read more

Construction bugs find tiny work

July 11, 2003

“Biorobotic” bugs could help to construct nanoscale microscopic electrical circuits or other devices, using severed bacterial arms to lift and move objects, according to researchers speaking at the American Society of Microbiology’s Conference on Bio-, Micro- and Nanosystems.

Spin Me Right Round

July 11, 2003
A molecular motor moves its rotors in one direction because of hydrogen-bonding stations specific to its rotor rings, while sitting in molecules of dichloromethane.

Tiny rotary motors made of spinning molecules hold the promise of driving microscopic devices of the future. But so far, scientists have had a difficult time controlling which direction tiny artificial cogs spin. New interlocking rings designed by a team of researchers may solve that problem, bringing the vision of clockwork machinery on a molecular scale one step closer to reality.

UV laser bursts could easily make the rings… read more

Red-hot growth seen in wireless Internet hotspots

July 11, 2003

The number of worldwide “hotspots” for high-speed wireless Internet is expected to grow to at least 160,000 in 2007 from 28,000 this year, according to market research firm
Allied Business Intelligence.

Visionaries see flexible computers using less power

July 11, 2003

Computers will be more flexible, intelligent and require less power by the end of the decade, according to engineering groups meeting in Munich.

Machines that Reproduce May be Reality

July 11, 2003

Researchers have created a primordial soup that works like a digital DNA factory, where T-shaped “codons” swim in a computer-generated virtual liquid forming single, double, and even triple strands.

Like DNA, these digital particles “can be assembled into patterns that encode” information, claims robotics scientist Peter Turney. Given sufficient time, a soup of separated individual particles will “spontaneously form self-replicating patterns.”

A Garden of Robotic Delights

July 11, 2003

“The flowers in Cynthia Breazeal’s garden are like no blossoms you’ve ever seen. Fashioned of metal and silicon and embedded with electronic sensors, they are actually robots that react to light and body heat by bobbing, swaying, spinning and changing color….”

The Cyberflora Installation is now showing at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, through January 2004.

Miniature biolab embedded on silicon chip

July 10, 2003

Researchers from Cornell University have developed a miniaturized DNA-based biological testing system that fits on a silicon chip and can be customized to detect a wide variety of microorganisms.

The 2 cm x 4 cm chip captures the DNA from the sample and purifies it. A reaction chamber performs a polymerase chain reaction to rapidly replicate the selected segment of DNA, which can then be tested.

Cady and… read more

Talking computers nearing reality

July 10, 2003

The technical kinks, high costs and application misfires that have held back the acceptance of speech recognition and activation are being ironed out.

New Memory That Doesn’t Forget

July 9, 2003

With both Motorola and IBM firmly lined up behind a single contender, the five-year search for a “universal RAM” technology offering a combination of non-volatility and high-speed random access appears to be all but over.

MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory) uses magnetism instead of electrical charges to store data, unlike conventional high-speed memory devices. Benefits could include reduced data loss, shorter waits for data to load, increased… read more

Researchers envision intelligent implants

July 9, 2003

An interdisciplinary group of scientists envision an intelligent implant covered in microelectronic mechanical systems (MEMs)-based biosensors that could detect debilitating infections early and identify the bacteria responsible.

The implant would then provide therapy by dispensing the appropriate antibacterial compound from an internal reservoir and monitor the effectiveness of the treatment. In addition, the implant would be able to communicate what it had done back to a physician using wireless… read more

Rat brain cells control remote robot artist

July 9, 2003

U.S. and Australian researchers have created what they call a new class of creative beings, “the semi-living artist” — a picture-drawing robot in Perth, Australia whose movements are controlled by the brain signals of cultured rat cells in Atlanta.

The team hopes to bridge the gap between biological and artificial systems to produce a machine capable of matching the intelligence of the simplest organism.

Gripping three colored markers… read more

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