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New Ideas in the War on Bioterrorism

October 10, 2001

Ideas for better technology to detect, diagnose and treat biological agents are currently being pursued in the nation’s newest medical battle -— the war against bioterrorism.
There are dozens of pathogens that might conceivably be used in an attack, including some unnatural ones made by genetic engineering, and it would be impractical to develop vaccines for all of them. So the new battle will be fought with the tools of… read more

Wristwatch gives remote control of computer

October 10, 2001

A new high-tech watchstrap that gives its wearer remote control over a wearable computer has been demonstrated in Switzerland.The GestureWrist, developed by Jun Rekimoto of Sony’s Computer Science Laboratory in Tokyo, Japan, uses sensors embedded into a normal watch strap. These track a wearer’s arm movements and the opening and closing their hand, relaying this information to a computer kept somewhere on their person.

GestureWrist uses a tilt sensor… read more

Optical DSPs promise tera-ops performance

October 10, 2001

An optically based digital signal processing engine (ODSPE) that has the potential to take DSPs from the current giga-operations-per-second (Gops) limit to tera (trillion) operations per second (Tops) by 2005 has been demonstrated by Lenslet Labs of Israel.
The company has already demonstrated an 8-Tops, 20-watt device. Using conventional DSPs to get that performance would require 40 FPGAs, according to the company.

The technology uses high-speed optical processing –… read more

Search for bin Laden extends to Earth orbit

October 9, 2001

U.S. military spy satellites are searching aggressively for signs of Osama bin Laden and are providing military planners with near-real-time, high-resolution photographs and data about specific regions of Afghanistan, officials say.

Soldiers for the first time can view spy satellite ground photos in near-real time, using the Broadcast Request Imagery Technology Experiment, or BRITE.

The compact system can be carried into the field and operated with a laptop… read more

Intel unveils breakthrough in chip technology

October 9, 2001

Intel has developed a new “bumpless” chip packaging technology that it says will enable it to build microprocessors with more than a billion transistors, compared with the 42 million now available on its current high-end Pentium 4 chip.
“Bumpless” packaging serves to eliminate the use of solder “bumps” that connect tiny wires to a chip.

“The problem with the use of bumps is that as chips become ever more… read more

IBM’s carbon nanotube FET hints at post-silicon circuits

October 9, 2001

IBM Corp.’s manufacture of a top-gate carbon nanotube field effect transistor (CNTFET) is a key breakthrough in post-silicon circuit design, according to a leading IBM researcher speaking at this weeks’ Nanotube Symposium. Now the company will work to shrink the gap for top-gate CNTFETs to 2 nanometers, which will increase the transistor’s performance exponentially and possibly fulfill the promise of carbon nanotubes as a nanoscale replacement for silicon circuits.… read more

Machines with a human touch

October 8, 2001

Perhaps the next stockmarket buzz will be neuromorphics. Instead of using the ones and zeros of digital electronics to simulate the way the brain functions, neuromorphic engineering relies on nature’s biological short-cuts to make robots that are smaller, smarter and vastly more energy-efficient, as a group of electronics engineers, neuroscientists, roboticists and biologists demonstrated recently at a three-week workshop held in Telluride, Colorado.
One of the many projects demonstrating this… read more

A Cautionary Tale for a New Age of Surveillance

October 8, 2001

It’s being proposed as a solution for terrorism. But once thousands of cameras from hundreds of separate closed circuit TV systems are able to feed their digital images to a central monitoring station, and the images can be analyzed with face- and behavioral-recognition software to identify unusual patterns, then the possibilities of the Panopticon (see-all surveillance system) will suddenly become very real.
The creation of a surveillance society in Britain,… read more

Securing the Lines of a Wired Nation

October 5, 2001

U.S. retaliatory strikes for the tragic Sept. 11 events may result in cyberattacks against the American electronic infrastructure, according to the Institute for Security Technology Studies.
Richard A. Clarke, who will head cyberterrorism efforts for the Bush administration’s Homeland Security Council, said in a speech last December that the government had to make cybersecurity a priority or face a “digital Pearl Harbor.”

A determined coalition of hackers, he said,… read more

Public Computing on a Super Scale

October 5, 2001

The Terascale Computing System (TCS) at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center — installed on Monday — is the second most powerful computer in the world, after ASCI White at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It offers the greatest computational power available today for public scientific research.

The National Science Foundation, which ponied up the $45 million to buy the hardware and software and keep it running for… read more

‘Rogue Spear’ to train military to tackle terrorists

October 3, 2001

Ubi Soft Entertainment is licensing technology used to create counterterrorist simulation game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear to help train soldiers.

The Department of Defense plans to use the game engine —- the programming that powers the game’s logic —- to train troops to fight terrorists in urban terrain. It will be modified to use maps and scenarios requested by the U.S. Army, and will teach strategy and… read more

Intelligence analysis software could predict attacks

October 3, 2001

Intelligence analysis software being developed in the US could be used to predict future terrorist attacks, claims Applied Systems Intelligence in Roswell, Georgia.Knowledge Aided Retrieval in Activity Context (KARNAC) uses “profiles” of different categories of terrorist attacks to seek out key components of possible events from existing databases of information, both public and private, and spotting suspicious patterns of activity.

The information for KARNAC would come from both structured… read more

Computer Robots Gather Intelligence

October 3, 2001

The U.S. military is testing software robots that can identify targets and present them to commanders much more quickly than a human could.

The software, known as the Control of Agent-Based Systems or CoABS, uses AI agents to sift through troves of images and intelligence data to find viable targets.
“It takes us too long to get the intelligence to a weapons system,” said James Hendler, the U.S. Defense… read more

Newsweek Cover: ‘How Scared Should You Be?’

October 1, 2001

The U.S. Department of Energy will test an early warning system for toxic chemicals in subway systems, and detectors have already been secretly installed in a Washington D.C. Metro station, Newsweek has learned, though nationwide implementation is years away. The DoE is also launching a project to install biodetectors in stadiums, convention halls and other large areas, all part of a multi-billion dollar effort to thwart biological and chemical attacks,… read more

Tech Companies See Market for Detection

October 1, 2001

Cutting-edge identification and detection technologies have helped specialists in the battle against terrorism, but the Sept. 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center could transform these once exotic gadgets into everyday tools of airport safety.
Biometrics technologies include detecting stress by reading flickering eye movements, X-rays to conduct virtual strip-searches, facial recognition (videotaping faces in a crowded room and matching them to known terrorists), measuring eye movements… read more

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