January 7, 2003

Researchers in Beijing have demonstrated a way to hide messages in chaotic signals for two-way voice transmission on a computer network.

The researchers claim the scheme is reasonably secure (it would take an intruder armed with a personal computer more than a million times the lifetime of the universe to break the code) as well as being feasible in realistic, commercial settings.

Heads and tails: Practical quantum computers are another step closer

January 7, 2003

Researchers have developed a way to increase the number of qubits (quantum bits) that can be entangled (interact) from 10 to nearer 100. Since the power of a quantum computer should rise exponentially with the number of entangled qubits, that would have enormous consequences.

First speed of gravity measurement revealed

January 8, 2003

The speed of gravity has been measured for the first time. The landmark experiment shows that it travels at the speed of light, supporting Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The result should help narrow down the possible number of extra dimensions in the universe and their sizes.

Sensitive robots taught to gauge human emotion

January 8, 2003

Robotics designers are working with psychologists at Vanderbilt University to improve human-machine interfaces by teaching robots to sense human emotions.

The researchers measured electrocardiogram profiles for specific mental states and performed preliminary analysis of the profiles using signal-processing algorithms and experimental methods like fuzzy logic and wavelet analysis. They have found two EKG frequency bands vary predictably with changes in stress. They are now looking at skin conductance and… read more

Researchers improve tabletop EUV laser system

January 9, 2003

Researchers have modified a tabletop EUV (extreme ultraviolet) system, increasing the system’s output power from 100 watts to 1 megawatt and downsizing the wavelength of its laser beam from 30 nanometers to 7 nm, making it applicable to next-generation 13-nm EUV chip lithography.

In the future, the researchers hope to downsize the wavelength to 4 nm — what they call the “water- window” — a region of the spectrum… read more

Virtual bird brain matches nature’s tunes

January 9, 2003

Adding a model of brain circuits to a computer model of a singing bird has allowed scientists to figure out how birds compose their songs. The feat hints that we might one day be able to map some of the complex circuitry in an animal’s brain just by listening to its calls — or map a human’s brain using a computer model tuned to “talk” human-like gibberish.

‘Gadget printer’ promises industrial revolution

January 9, 2003

Research at the University of California at Berkeley will allow fully assembled electric and electronic gadgets such as light bulbs, radios, remote controls, mobile phones and toys to be printed in one go. The trick: print layers of conducting and semiconducting polymers in such a way that the circuitry is built up as part of the bodywork.

When the Athlete’s Heart Falters, a Monitor Dials for Help

January 9, 2003

Manufacturers are working on wearable heart monitors linked to cellphones that can sound an alert automatically, contacting a doctor, family member or Web site when trouble beckons.

Robots for the masses

January 10, 2003

Evolution Robotics announced a robot for industrial and consumer uses that can determine its position relative to its environment based on wheel sensors and a Webcam that cost less than $50. The robot uses a “visual simultaneous localization and mapping” system that creates a map of a space from the distance and direction that its wheels travel and from objects it recognizes with its camera and software.

Now Playing: Reality Without the Downside

January 10, 2003

“The first online getaway,” called “There,” is an multiplayer online service that features 3-D computer-generated environments, AI-based avatars, real-world physics, natural scenery and sounds, and the ability to interact freely with people and objects.

The stealth revolution: digital power technologies

January 13, 2003

“Photon-power technologies are now undergoing the kinds of breathtaking performance improvements that define highly disruptive industries and presage very rapid growth across a wide variety of formerly discrete markets,” advises The Friday Letter from Gilder Publishing.

The report recommends the Digital Power Report, which tracks investment opportunities in digital power technologies.

“The stealth revolution in power is centered on the rising power levels… read more

Internet helps write the book of life

January 13, 2003

A hugely ambitious project to find and name every species on Earth within the next 25 years has been launched by scientists.

The secret: combine the power of the Internet with the development of DNA sequencing.

Future-gazing in Las Vegas

January 13, 2003

A giant LCD panel that acts as computer display and TV, does facial recognition for home security; and users connecting to huge remote databases of archive material with massive educational potential linked to advanced, virtual reality technology were among the forecasts at a CES session.

Computer Animation Techniques

January 13, 2003

Some companies have developed a newer type of animation that requires less processing power.

At Big Consumer Electronics Show, the Buzz Is All About Connections

January 13, 2003

The digital evolution of consumer electronics has changed expectations for home entertainment devices. Now, people need media hubs and computer servers to store and organize photos, music and video; wired and wireless networks to move them around their houses; and portable gizmos to keep all the content in their pockets wherever they go.

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