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ABB’s FRIDA offers glimpse of future factory robots

April 20, 2011

(Credit: ABB)

This headless, two-armed robot may be tomorrow’s factory worker.

Its name is FRIDA (Friendly Robot for Industrial Dual-arm Assembly), and it’s a creation of ABB, the Swiss power and automation giant, which introduced it early this month at the Hannover trade show, Europe’s largest industrial fair.

Designed for assembly applications, FRIDA is capable of using its human-like arms to grasp and manipulate electronic components and other small parts.… read more

ABC’s FlashForward Goes Crazy With Online Content

September 28, 2009

ABC TV’s new FlashForward drama/mystery series could be one of the first major network dramas to understand the potential of social media.

Abdominal fat hormone promotes more abdominal fat

April 21, 2008

University of Western Ontario researchers have found that abdominal fat makes a hormone that both stimulates hunger and increases the number of fat cells, in a potentially vicious cycle.

It was previously thought that only the brain made Neuropeptide Y (NPY), the most potent appetite-stimulating hormone known, but in obese rats, NPY was produced locally by abdominal fat. NPY stimulates the replication of fat cell precursor cells, which then… read more

Ability to ‘think about thinking’ not limited to humans

Another distinction between "humans" and "animals" removed
April 4, 2013

Chimpanzee (credit: Thomas Lersch/Wikimedia Commons)

Humans’ closest animal relatives, chimpanzees, have metacognition — knowing what one knows, according to new research by scientists at Georgia State University and the University at Buffalo.

“The demonstration of metacognition in nonhuman primates has important implications regarding the emergence of self-reflective mind during humans’ cognitive evolution,” the research team noted.

Metacognition is the ability to recognize one’s own cognitive states. For example, a game show… read more

About Those Fearsome Black Holes? Never Mind

July 22, 2004

Stephen Hawking declared at a scientific conference in Dublin that he had been wrong in a controversial assertion he made 30 years ago about black holes.

He had said information about what had been swallowed by a black hole could never be retrieved from it. This would have been a violation of quantum theory, which says that information is preserved.

“I’m sorry to disappoint science fiction fans, but… read more

Accelerated electrons enable ‘extraordinarily strong’ negative refraction

May lead to ultra-powerful microscopes and ability to grab viruses and even individual molecules
August 2, 2012

Metamaterials test chamber (credit:  Eliza Grinnell, SEAS Communications)

Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), collaborating with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, have demonstrated a new way of achieving negative refraction in a metamaterial — as large as -700, more than a 100 times larger than most previously reported.

“This work may bring the science and technology of negative refraction into an astoundingly miniaturized scale, confining the negatively… read more

Accelerated Living

September 7, 2001

“Imagine a Web, circa 2030, that will offer a panoply of virtual environments incorporating all of our senses, and in which there will be no clear distinction between real and simulated people.” That’s part of Ray Kurzweil’s imaginative view of the future in PC Magazine’s special “20th Anniversary of PCs” issue.
Among Kurzweil’s other forecasts for the next 30 years:

  • Miniaturized displays on our eyeglasses will provide
  • read more

    Accelerating Change

    August 14, 2003

    The defining political conflict of the 21st century is shaping up to be the battle over the future of technology. Fortunately, technological progress doesn’t just have opponents; it also has boosters.

    The rise of neo-Luddism is calling forth self-conscious defenders of technological progress. Growing numbers of extropians, transhumanists, futurists and others are entering the intellectual fray to do battle against the neo-Luddite activists who oppose biotechnology, nanotechnology, and new… read more

    Accelerating Change 2005 focuses on AI and IA

    August 31, 2005

    This year’s Accelerating Change 2005 conference (AC2005), Sept. 16-18 at Stanford, promises to be “outstanding,” organizer John Smart tells Accelerating Intelligence news, with 51 top speakers and emcees.

    The conference focuses on “artificial intelligence and intelligence amplification transforming technology, empowering humanity.” Consistent with that theme, Ray Kurzweil will keynote the event and will distribute pre-publication signed copies of his The Singularity is Near to the first 250… read more

    Accelerating-change conference announced

    July 14, 2003

    The Accelerating Change Conference (ACC2003): Exploring the Future of Accelerating Change, will be held at Stanford University, September 12-14, 2003.

    ACC2003 speakers include Ray Kurzweil (via Teleportec’s 3D Telepresence Lectern); venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson; K. Eric Drexler, Founder and Chairman of Foresight Institute; Greg Papadopoulos, CTO of Sun Microsystems; Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly & Associates; Howard Bloom, author of Global Brain; and… read more

    Accelerator on a chip

    Could spawn new generations of smaller, less expensive devices for science and medicine say Stanford, SLAC researchers
    September 28, 2013

    The nanostructured glass chip is smaller than a grain of rice (credit: Stanford University)

    In an advance that could dramatically shrink particle accelerators for science and medicine, researchers used a laser to accelerate electrons at a rate 10 times higher than conventional technology in a nanostructured glass chip just .5 millimeters long.

    The achievement was reported in the journal Nature by a team including scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University.… read more

    Access to next-gen Internet may be uneven

    May 23, 2008

    Graham Finnie, chief analyst for the telecom research firm Heavy Reading, believes 13 percent of U.S. households will be connected to fiber by 2012. Since Verizon is the major builder, the vast majority of those will be in Verizon territory on the East Coast, Texas and California.

    “A quarter of the U.S. is going to get one of the best networks in the world,” said Dave Burstein, editor of… read more

    Acclaimed science series ‘Cosmos’ to be revamped with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    August 9, 2011

    Carl Sagan’s classic television series Cosmos, considered by many to be one of the greatest science series of all-time, is returning to television on Fox, reports Deadline.

    Standing in for Sagan as host will be famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. The show’s producers tell Deadline that the new Cosmos will tell “the story of how human beings began to comprehend the laws of nature and find our place in… read more

    Achieving fault-tolerant quantum computing

    September 20, 2013

    This schematic of a bismuth selenide/BSCCO cuprate (Bi2212) heterostructure shows a proximity-induced high-temperature superconducting gap on the surface states of the bismuth selenide topological insulator (credit: Berkeley Lab)

    Reliable quantum computing would make it possible to solve certain types of extremely complex technological problems millions of times faster than today’s most powerful supercomputers, or things not even feasible with today’s computers.

    But first, we need “fault-tolerant” quantum computers. A small but important step toward this goal has been achieved by an international collaboration of researchers from China’s Tsinghua University and the U.S. Department of Energy… read more

    Achieving Fiber-Optic Speeds over Copper Lines

    April 26, 2010

    Alcatel-Lucent has developed a prototype technology that could dramatically increase the speed of data communications, using two copper phone lines: 100 megabits per second at one kilometer.

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