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A Cyber-Attack on an American City

April 23, 2009

The recent attack on the electronic infrastructure of the Northern California city of Morgan Hill, in which eight fiber cables were cut, demonstrated a severe fault in American infrastructure: its centralization.

Managers of critical services should reconsider their dependence on software-as-a-service rather than local servers, and install two-way radios, stand-alone pager systems, and radio repeaters that enable regional communications.

A dashboard for your body

August 5, 2011

Blood pressure monitor (credit: Withings)

Useful gadgets in the self-tracking or quantified self movement include:

  • Fitbit ($100) monitors movements while you sleep and counts your steps; it sends all the data back to Fitbit’s Web-based tracking program, which displays your activities on precise charts and graphs.
  • MyTrek, a wireless pulse monitor made by Scosche,
  • Withings WiFi Body Scale, an electronic scale with an Internet connection that displays your

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A Database for Disease

October 16, 2006

A newly developed genetic “roadmap” promises to streamline the drug discovery process. Called the Connectivity Map, this public database matches drug compounds with diseased cells and the processes occurring within them.

At any point in time, some genes in a cell are expressed, or “on,” while others are not. And a cell’s particular profile of activity is known as its gene-expression signature. When cells are exposed to a drug,… read more

A day at the office in 2013

January 20, 2003

We are at the beginning of an era of pervasive digital intelligence. When RFID and other sensors are pervasive, cost less than a penny, have more chip-to-chip intelligence, and transmit at distances far beyond 15 feet or even 300 feet, the potential for abuse will be significant.

A Deeper Look at Disease

July 12, 2007

VisEn Medical has developed an molecular imaging system that allows researchers to see deeper into the body and look at a wider range of chemical activity than is possible with existing imaging techniques.

It uses fluorescent-protein probes that interact with disease-related proteins in the body and allow researchers to see where they are and in what concentrations.

A Deeper U.S.-India Relationship

November 12, 2010

In his trip to India, President Obama announced Indian purchases of about $10 billion worth of American aircraft, locomotives, jet engines and gas turbines.

In exchange, the President announced American backing for a permanent seat for India on the Security Council.
Washington has also given a green light for high-technology exports to leading government agencies involved with space exploration, defense research and munitions development.

A Deluge of Data Shapes a New Era in Computing

December 16, 2009

Computational power created computational science, which produced
a “fourth paradigm” — the overwhelming flow of data that now requires a computing change, said Jim Gray, a database software pioneer and a Microsoft researcher, a few weeks before he was lost at sea off the California coast in January 2007.

The goal, he insisted, was not to have the biggest, fastest single computer, but rather “to have a world in… read more

A diabetes ‘breathalyzer’

June 12, 2013

A transmission electron microscopy image of the hybrid material revealing the formation of “titanium dioxide on a stick” (credit:

Diabetes patients often receive their diagnosis after a series of glucose-related blood tests in hospital settings, and then have to monitor their condition daily through expensive, invasive methods. But what if diabetes could be diagnosed and monitored through cheaper, noninvasive methods?

Chemists at the University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated a sensor technology that could significantly simplify the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes through breath analysis… read more

A Digital Health-Care Revolution

January 28, 2009

The more wired the hospital, the better off its patients: there are fewer deaths and complications, and lower bills. That’s the conclusion of a large study of Texas hospitals released earlier this week.

Unfortunately, only a small percentage of hospitals and doctors’ offices in the United States are wired, and the country lags far behind other developed nations in implementing such systems.

However, legislators and health-technology specialists hope… read more

A Digital Life

February 21, 2007

New systems may allow people to record everything they see and hear–and even things they cannot sense–and to store all these data in a personal digital archive

Microsoft Research’s Gordon Bell has launched a research project, called MyLifeBits, aimed at creating a digital archive of all his interactions with the world. Bell’s digital memories include documents from his long career in the computer industry, all the photographs he takes… read more

A digital ‘magazine’ with one subscriber

March 10, 2011

Zite is an iPad app that crawls a half million Web domains to find specific reading material that would be of interest to you, according to your social network and/or online reading behavior.

It evaluates this potential content by tracking signals (like tweets, comments, tags and sharing) from stories that indicate a certain level of social interest and momentum in the story. The result is a personalized magazine that… read more

A Digital World With Analog as Its Workhorse

August 9, 2004

The digital revolution is driving strong demand for advances in analog electronics.

A Dim View of a ‘Posthuman Future’

April 7, 2002

In a new book, “Our Posthuman Future,” political theorist Francis Fukuyama warns that biotechnology may disruptively alter human nature.Fukuyama, who is also the author of “The End of History and the Last Man,” is concerned about genetic engineering of the human germline, mood-altering drugs, and major increases in human longevity, all of which could change society and alter the balance of human nature and cause us to “lose our humanity,”… read more

A display that makes interactive 3D seem mind-bogglingly real

The Z Space display could be revolutionary for designers and animators, but might also inspire innovation in computer gaming and augmented reality
December 19, 2012

z-space1

The “Z Space” display, developed by Californian company Infinite Z, tracks a user’s eye and hand movements and adjusts the 3-D image that he or she sees in real-time, MIT Technology Review reports.

The resulting effect is stunning. Unlike the 3-D video seen in a movie theater or on a 3-D TV, you can move your head around an object — to look it from… read more

A Display That Tracks Your Movements

June 20, 2008

Samsung and interactive advertising company Reactrix Systems plan to bring 57-inch interactive displays to Hilton hotel lobbies by the end of the year.

These displays can “see” people in 3D standing up to 15 feet away from the screen as they wave their hands to play games, navigate menus, use maps –and interact with ads.

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