Reinventing the Wheel

December 3, 2001

Dean Kamen wants to change the world by changing how cities are organized. Segways, he believes, are ideal for downtown transportation. Unlike cars, they are cheap, clean, efficient, maneuverable. Unlike bicycles, they are designed specifically to be pedestrian friendly. He imagines them everywhere: in parks and at Disneyland, on battlefields and factory floors, but especially on downtown sidewalks.

How it works

The Sedway has a gyroscope… read more

Advances in Quantum Computing

December 4, 2001

Quantum computing borrows ideas from finance: a balanced portfolio of programs could mean a faster quantum computer.Strategies from the world of finance could help get the best out of quantum computers, say US researchers. The right portfolio of programs could solve a problem many times faster than a single strategem.

Quantum computers – purely hypothetical as yet – would be fast, but you could never be sure whether a… read more

Number takes prime position

December 5, 2001

The largest prime number yet discovered has just been revealed to the world.
The new number, expressed as 213,466,917-1, contains 4,053,946 digits and would take the best part of three weeks to write out longhand.

The prime number was discovered by Michael Cameron, a 20-year-old Canadian participant in a mass computer project known as the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (Gimps).

Mersenne primes are important for the theory… read more

Taking Curl for a Whirl

December 5, 2001

A new Web site technology called “Curl” that makes browsing and Web site development faster has been developed by Web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee and other MIT experts.

Curl’s speed acceleration is due to the use of a single application to run diverse content and a downloadable browser plug-in that uses the site visitor’s own CPU to process pages built with Curl for page redraws, graphics processing, database duties and… read more

Kurzweil to address Business Week conference

December 5, 2001

Ray Kurzweil will give the Special Address — “Accelerating Intelligence: Where Will Technology Lead Us?” — at BusinessWeek’s The Digital Economy New Priorities: Building A Collaborative Enterprise In Uncertain Times conference on December 6 in San Francisco. The address will introduce business CEOs to the Singularity — the moment when distinctions between human and machine intelligence disappear.

Quality leap for e-paper developers

December 6, 2001

Five-centimetre-square electronic display represents a leap in quality and brings affordable electronic paper a step closer, say its developers, Philips Research.The tiny display uses active matrix technology, the kind used in good quality laptop computer displays.

But this display is made of parts that use flexible plastic instead of silicon and should be cheap to make in bulk, Philips Research spokesman Koen Joosse told BBC News Online.

“In… read more

Studying, recreating sound in three dimensions

December 6, 2001

Realistic computer sound, specifically tuned for each listener, could get a little closer using a new, free public database of acoustic measurements developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis.
“We’ve captured the critical information needed to reproduce actual sounds as each listener perceives them,” said Ralph Algazi, who led the research team at the UC Davis Center for Image Processing and Integrated Computing (CIPIC).

Spatially realistic sound… read more

Jiminy Glick interviews Ray Kurzweil

December 10, 2001

Hollywood celebrity television reporter Jiminy Glick interviewed Ray Kurzweil at BusinessWeek’s Digital Economy conference during a special evening performance featuring Martin Short and the “Second City” Comedy Improv Group Thursday night.
Glick expressed a strong interest in Kurzweil’s research. “Forget AI, I need a Heimlich!” he said, apparently choking from munching nonstop jujus.

He was also fascinated with virtual reality. “Could a computer bring back Robbie Benson?” he asked,… read more

Innovative computer tech for the next boom

December 11, 2001
Kurzweil: exponential growth

Which innovative technologies will spur the next boom? That was a key question on the minds of executives attending the recent BusinessWeek Conference on the Digital Economy in San Francisco.
For consumers, seamless access to information will drive the future of the computer industry, according to Daeje Chin, president and CEO, Digital Media System Business, Samsung Electronics. For businesses, it will require seamless access to devices –-… read more

Nanotechnology: Six Lessons from Sept. 11

December 13, 2001

The Sept. 11 attacks confirmed the ongoing terrorist threat and the importance of proactive development of methods to prevent nanotech abuse, K. Eric Drexler, Chairman of the Foresight Institute said in a statement sent to institute members.”Foresight’s position favoring speedy development of advanced nanotech has also been strengthened,” he said. “The longer we wait, the better the infrastructure worldwide, the smaller the budget and project needed–and the easier… read more

British Scientists Use Nanotech To Create Secret Message Device

December 17, 2001

Scientists have created a new microelectronic device that can emit the smallest amount of light possible, a breakthrough that may lead to absolute confidentiality in communications involving finance, health care and other fields.A perfectly secure message impossible to eavesdrop on depends on communication signals that contain only one packet of light, or photon. Ordinary light sources, however, are not able to reliably generate these incredibly dim, one photon pulses.… read more

Another nanobrick in the wall

December 17, 2001

US researchers have made the world’s smallest building blocks. The nanocubes are just one nanometer across.Stacked like bricks, they could make up a range of materials with useful properties such as light emission or electrical conduction.

Many chemists are currently trying to develop molecular-scale construction kits in which the individual components are single molecules to provide the polymers of the future. Conventional polymers are chainlike molecules. These entangle to… read more

Scientists Seek Ways to Rebuild the Body, Bypassing the Embryos

December 19, 2001

Alternatives to controversial human embryonic stem cells are being explored for creating tissue needed to repair damaged organs.
Possibilities include:

  • Adult stems cells are rare, hard to isolate and purify, hard to grow in culture, and may not exist for all tissues. Some success has been achieved with umbilical cord blood and fat sources.
  • Other cells are created from various sources, such as human embryos (by
  • read more

    Apostle of Regenerative Medicine Foresees Longer Health and Life

    December 19, 2001

    Life in perpetuity will be secured by “rejuvenative medicine” — repairing the body by developing new tissues and organs as the old ones wear out — and nanotechnology, says Dr. William A. Haseltine, CEO of Human Genome Sciences.He sees rejuvenative medicine growing out of “regenerative medicine,” which will unfold in four phases.

    1. The first phase is using the body’s own signaling factors to stimulate healing… read more

    Women catch up on net use

    December 19, 2001

    Women are catching up with men when it comes to logging on to the internet, according to research.Figures from the Office of National Statistics show a steady increase in the number of people using the internet in Britain.

    But the number of women using the web leapt 12% on last year compared with a minimal change in figures for men.

    The results of the Expenditure and Food Survey… read more

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