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The Even-More-Compact Disc

August 30, 2002

The new miniaturized DataPlay digital media offers CD performance and 500 MB storage at a tiny size but at expensive prices initially for media and players.

DataPlay discs will be available in blank, recordable form as well as prerecorded, copy-protected albums.

A Universal Tool to Rescue Old Files From Obsolescence

August 30, 2002

Dr. Raymond Lorie, a researcher at the I.B.M. Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., has developed a “universal virtual computer” for long-term preservation of obsolescent digital documents.

The system, which uses semantic tags, is designed to be logical and accessible so computer developers of the future will be able to write instructions to emulate it on their machines.

Kurzweil reviews Simone on NPR

August 30, 2002

Ray Kurzweil discussed the movie Simone on NPR’s Here & Now noon news and culture magazine show on Friday, August 30.’s Ramona avatar read the show’s credits.

The show archive can be heard here.

New Hard-Drive Tech Overcomes Magnetic Memory Problems

August 29, 2002

Seagate researchers now believe they can store as much as 50 terabits per square inch — equivalent to the entire printed contents of the Library of Congress — on a single disk drive for a notebook computer.Currently, the highest storage densities are around 50 gigabits per square inch.

The new techniques involves heating the memory medium with a laser-generated beam at the precise spot where data bits are being… read more

How Geckos Stick — New Find May Lead to New Glue

August 29, 2002
Copyright (c) 2000 Kellar Autumn

A team of biologists and engineers has cracked the molecular secrets of the gecko’s unsurpassed sticking power, opening the door for engineers to fabricate prototypes of dry, adhesive microstructures that work even underwater or in a vacuum.

The gecko’s amazing climbing ability, the researchers found, depends on weak molecular attractive forces called van der Waals forces (electrodynamic forces that operate over very small distances but bond to nearly any… read more

Forever Young: The new scientific search for immortality

August 29, 2002

Researchers are making a lot of progress in extending life span. Techniques being developed include calorie restriction, therapeutic cloning, genetic research for the longevity gene, anti-oxidants, getting cells to produce telomerase, hormone replacement therapies, genetic engineering, and nanomedicine.

Hindi chatbot breaks new ground

August 27, 2002

Computer science students in India are developing software that can converse intelligently with people in Hindi and could open up computer use to India’s illiterate millions.

The software reportedly becomes more intelligenc as it acquires more knowledge about the user.

Nanotubes speed up

August 27, 2002

Transistors fabricated from carbon nanotubes now have electrical characteristics that can rival silicon devices. For example, IBM researchers have developed a carbon-nanotube FET (field effect transistor) that can compete with the leading prototype silicon transistors currently available.Progress has also been made in reducing the resistance at the nanotube-electrode interface. This has allowed different nanotubes to be assembled into basic logic circuits, an important step towards nanoelectronics.

Limitations in manufacturing… read more

Chip design aims for quantum leap

August 23, 2002

University of Wisconsin researchers are designing a practical quantum computer using ordinary electronics rather than exotic laboratory equipment. Their design would incorporate thousands of individually-controlled electrons into a silicon chip that could be made much the same way as today’s computer chips.

Gates says smart computers far off

August 23, 2002

Bill Gates says he won’t live to see the day when computers think and act like people because the human brain is too complex to be compared to the logic gates and micro-circuitry of a computer chip.

In contrast, Ray Kurzweil predicts that a $1,000 computer in 2019 will have computational ability that roughly matches the human brain.

Microsoft is doing AI research, though, in more natural ways… read more

Eyes write

August 22, 2002

New software called Dasher could allow computer users with disabilities or busy hands to write nearly twice as fast, more accurately and more comfortably than before and could also speed up writing on palm-tops and typing in Japanese and Chinese, its developers say.
The software lets users select letters from a screen and calculates the probability of one letter coming after another. It then presents the letters required… read more

Bettering Ourselves Through Biotech: Greater Productivity, Sharper Memories, Hair Feathers

August 22, 2002

Beefing up muscle without steroids or hormones; rejuvenating damaged skin and heart tissue; ratcheting up memory function, and other therapies that promise to enhance human abilities are nearing the marketplace, thanks to ever-faster breakthroughs in biotechnology

Faster Chips That March to Their Own Improvised Beat

August 22, 2002

Self-timing, or asynchronous microprocessors will lead to improved computer performance, providing faster operations and reduced power consumption and electromagnetic emissions.

Sun Microsytems and Phillips Research are pioneering developments in this area.

NASA rejects claim it plans mind reading capability

August 21, 2002

NASA managers today said published media reports suggesting the agency plans to read the minds of potential terrorists go too far and ignore the facts and science behind the research. “NASA does not have the capability to read minds, nor are we suggesting that would be done,” said Robert Pearce, Director, NASA’s Strategy and Analysis Division in the Office of Aerospace Technology in Washington. “Our scientists were… read more

Bot Battle More of a Lovefest

August 21, 2002

The International Design Contest robot competition at MIT nvolved eight teams of students from seven countries to make a remote-controlled bot that can push hockey pucks and foam rubber balls across the shuffleboard-sized playing area and onto a scale at the end of the field.

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