science + technology news

Transcendent Man opens in top ten on iTunes in Canada; March 1 U.S. release planned

February 24, 2011

Los Angeles screening sold out two nights (photo: Chris Lorello)

The documentary film Transcendent Man (2011, 87 minutes), has been released exclusively on iTunes in Canada, rising to #7 among all movies in its first day of sales.

The critically acclaimed movie will be available March 1 on iTunes in the U.S. and on DVD in Canada the same day. It will also be available starting March 1 on Movies On Demand on cable in the U.S.… read more

2B: the Era of Flesh Is Over film to premiere at Woodstock Film Festival

October 1, 2009

2B: The Era of Flesh Is Over, a science-fiction film set in the near future, will have its world premiere at the 10th anniversary Woodstock Film Festival in Woodstock, NY on Friday, Oct. 2, 2009.

A panel discussion, “Redesigning Humanity: the New Frontier,” moderated by bioethicist James J. Hughes, including Ray Kurzweil, 2B film executive producer Martine Rothblatt, and author Wendell Wallach and… read more

Transcendent Man movie DVD now available in stores and online

May 24, 2011

Transcendent Man poster

Transcendent Man, the film about the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil by director Barry Ptolemy, is available today (May 24, 2011) on DVD in stores nationwide (Best Buy and Barnes and Noble), according to Ptolemaic Productions.

The DVD will also be available for order on,,, and, and on… read more

Transcendent Man, film heralding the coming Singularity, launches February 2011 via new distribution model

January 11, 2011


Ptolemaic Productions and Therapy Studios announced today the February 2011 release of their much-anticipated film Transcendent Man. Directed by Barry Ptolemy, Transcendent Man chronicles the life and controversial ideas of inventor, futurist, and author Ray Kurzweil.

On February 3rd, Transcendent Man will embark on a multi-city global tour beginning in New York and followed by San Jose, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston, London, and Toronto. Each… read more

@Google — @Twitter To Start Indexing Links For Search

May 7, 2009

Twitter Search will soon begin crawling the links that people tweet out and indexing them.

This immediately takes Twitter Search, which is still a very basic service, to the next level. This means that no longer will it just be a stream of textual tweets, but it will include millions of web pages as well.

A Better, Cheaper Multitouch Interface

April 1, 2009

NYU researchers have developed new technology called Inexpensive Multi-Touch Pressure Acquisition Devices (IMPAD) that can be made paper thin and can fit on small portable devices or cover an entire table or wall.

IMPAD measures a change in electrical resistance when a person or object applies different pressure to a specially designed pad, consisting of only a few layers of materials. It opens up a new dimension of pressure… read more

A $1.50 Lens-Free Microscope

October 25, 2010

(Changhuei Yang Research Group, Caltech)

Using a $1.50 digital camera sensor, scientists at Caltech have created the simplest and cheapest lens-free microscope yet. Such a device could have many applications, including helping diagnose disease in the developing world, and enabling rapid screening of new drugs.

A system of microscopic channels called microfluidics lead a sample across the light-sensing chip, which snaps images in rapid succession as the sample passes across and produces a video.… read more

A 10-Cent Blood-Type Test

June 9, 2010

(Gil Garnier)

Researchers at Monash University have developed the first dipstick-type test to determine blood type.

The test involves putting a drop of blood onto a thin piece of paper that has been specially printed with antibodies; as the blood seeps into different parts of the paper, the blood type is revealed. The researchers say the test, which costs pennies, could improve medical treatments in the developing world.

A 1km-high inflatable solar-energy chimney

December 6, 2013


Per Lindstrand, the engineer who broke numerous ballooning records with Richard Branson, is hoping to develop a 1km-tall inflatable chimney that can capture energy from the sun, The Engineer reports.

The tower uses rising air heated by the sun to drive turbines. It could provide an alternative to photovoltaic generation in remote areas of seismic activity where maintenance of power lines or solar panels would be difficult.… read more

A 25-Year Battery

November 17, 2009

Betavoltaics, batteries that harvest energy from the nuclear decay of isotopes to produce very low levels of current and last for decades without needing to be replaced, are being developed by Widetronix.

A 3,000-vehicle test of wireless crash-avoidance system

August 22, 2012


Tuesday’s launch of a new year-long test of “smart car” technology conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute is designed to save lives and reduce injuries among American motorists.

The researchers plan to install wireless communication devices on nearly 3,000 vehicles that will let passenger cars, commercial trucks, and transit buses “talk” to each other, as well as to traffic lights and other… read more

A 3-D human ‘organoid’ brain in a dish

Growing a miniature brain from cell scrapings could help diagnose brain disorders in the future, Gattaca-style
June 12, 2015

Neurons and supporting cells in the spheroids form layers and organize themselves according to the architecture of the developing human brain and network with each other. (credit: Sergiu Pasca, M.D., Stanford University)

Sergiu Pasca, M.D., of Stanford University and colleagues have developed “human cortical spheroids” — miniature cultured 3-D structures that grow and function much like the cortex of the brain of the person from whom they were derived.

These “organoids” (3-D complexes of cells that function like an organ) buzz with neuronal network activity. Cells talk with each other in circuits, much as they do in our brains.… read more

A 3-D View of the Brain

August 6, 2007

Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital have developed software that integrates data from multiple imaging technologies to create an interactive 3-D map of the brain.

The new imaging software collates data from different types of brain-imaging methods, including conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI (fMRI), and diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI). The MRI gives details on the anatomy, fMRI provides information on the activated areas of the brain, and DTI… read more

A $3.5 Billion Effort Aims to Help Tech Start-Ups

February 24, 2010

In an initiative called the Invest in America Alliance, Intel and 24 venture capital firms plan to invest $3.5 billion in American start-ups over the next two years.

In addition, Intel, Google, Cisco Systems, Microsoft and 13 other employers pledged to add jobs in 2010, by hiring 10,500 graduates of American colleges, largely those with computer science and engineering degrees.

Fewer than 10 percent of college graduates in… read more

A $35 Android tablet

October 6, 2011

Aakash (credit:

The Indian government is buying 100,000 Android tablets named “Aakash” (Hindi for “Sky”), build in India by UK company DataWind, and priced at $35 (for students, $60 for others), says ZDNet India IT blog. It will be available in November.


  • 7” Resistive touch screen (800×480)
  • Processor: 366 Mhz with Graphics accelerator and HD Video processor
  • Memory (RAM): 256MB RAM
  • Storage (Internal):

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