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China poised to take over world’s manufacturing

October 13, 2002

China is poised to take over the world’s manufacturing; individuals outside of China will be displaced on a large scale, according to the Oct. 11 Gilder Friday Letter from Gilder Publishing.

Reasons: some 18 million people enter the work force each year, typical wages are 60 cents a day, 700,000 engineers a year are trained and paid $4,800 to $8,800 a year, and there’s a “high-pitched level… read more

Darwin’s Theory May Explain Ill Health

October 11, 2002

Professor Randolph Nesse believes that conditions like heart disease, obesity and drug abuse can all be explained by the fact that the human body was not designed for the 21st Century. Nesse, professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, is one of the leading proponents of evolutionary or Darwinian medicine. Evolutionary medicine examines why some diseases still exist. According to Nesse, our bodies are designed to like things that… read more

20/20 Vision Awards honor Kurzweil, other innovative leaders

October 11, 2002

Ray Kurzweil has been included in CIO magazine’s 20/20 Vision Awards, which “honor outstanding individuals…20 creators and marketers of technology, and 20 practitioners who use IT to make great things happen.”
Kurzweil “created various artificial intelligence technologies, including speech recognition software used by doctors to dictate medical reports into a computer. Showing his range of vision, Kurzweil is currently at work on a book about reversing the aging process.… read more

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

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