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After 30 years, IBM says PC going way of vacuum tube and typewriter

August 11, 2011

IBM CTO Mark Dean, one of a dozen IBM engineers who designed the first PC unveiled Aug. 12, 1981, says PCs are “going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs.”

Dean’s remarks continue a debate over whether we are now in a so-called “post-PC” era, in which smartphones and tablets are replacing desktops and laptops.

“PCs are being replaced at the center of… read more

After 45 Years (and $700 Million), a Gravity Experiment Takes Flight

April 14, 2004

Gravity Probe B, to be launched next Monday, is an experiment to test Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which predicted the expansion of the universe and the existence of black holes.

The probe contains four gyroscopes and squids (superconducting quantum interference devices) to measure whether and how the spinning Earth twists space-time (frame dragging) and makes space-time sag (gamma).

It will give physicists precise measurements on ways that… read more

After an apocalypse, what’s left of digital stores of knowledge?

June 20, 2011

The editor of the Gawker media sci-fi blog io9, Annalee Newitz, is working on a book about how humans will regroup after the apocalypse. That such a book could be considered non-fiction is a remarkable commentary on the world we live in, with gold at a record high, the U.S. government on the verge of default, supplies of cheap oil running out and the environment crashing down on the heads… read more

After delay, hacker to show flaws in Siemens industrial gear

June 8, 2011

(Credit: Black Hat)

NSS Labs Researcher Dillon Beresford expects to go public at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on Aug. 2–3 with his research showing problems with Siemens computers used in power plants, heavy industry, and chemical plants.

In May, Beresford was pulled out of a Dallas hacking conference at the last minute when Siemens was unable to fix problems he’d found in the firmware of its S7… read more

After Hubble Repair, New Images From Space

September 10, 2009

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Astronomers on Wednesday unveiled dramatic new pictures and observations from the retrofitted Hubble Space Telescope.

After Stem-Cell Breakthrough, the Work Begins

November 27, 2007

Two biotechnology companies hope next year to begin the first clinical trials of therapies derived from human embryonic stem cells.

Geron plans to test a type of neural cell as a treatment for spinal cord injuries, and Advanced Cell Technology wants to plant retinal epithelium cells into the eye to treat retina diseases.

After the Double Helix: Unraveling the Mysteries of the State of Being

April 13, 2004

DNA discoverer Dr. Francis Crick and Dr. Christof Koch, a professor of computation and neural systems at the California Institute of Technology, are exploring the neural correlates of consciousness” (N.C.C.’s) — the neuronal states and processes associated with conscious awareness.

Koch and his graduate students are gaining experimental evidence for what Crick had termed the “awareness neurons” that enable us to see.

While many scientists assume that consciousness… read more

After the Transistor, a Leap Into the Microcosm

September 1, 2009

Silicon nanowires (IBM)

As scaling down the transistor approaches fundamental physical limits, researchers at IBM and Intel are developing new materials and fabrication techniques, including FinFET (transistors tipped vertically for greater density and insulation), nanowires, and DNA origami (for precision nanowire scaffolding).

Afternoon naps may boost heart health

February 13, 2007

A study of nearly 24,000 people found that those who regularly took midday naps were nearly 40 percent less likely to die from heart disease than non-nappers.

Researchers suggest that siestas might protect the heart by lowering levels of stress hormones.

Age-related memory deficits linked to disruption of hippocampal microcircuits

May 16, 2011

A classification task involving marking images of items as “new,” “old,” or “similar” to a prior set of images helps explain how and why older people have difficulty forming new memories and distinguishing similar objects from one another, Michael Yassa and his team at Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences found.

Using MRI, Yassa observed how the brains of college students are more likely… read more

Ageing mechanism linked to X-chromosome

February 16, 2004

University of Leuven scientists narrowed the search for a gene linked to aging on Friday and said it is probably located on the X chromosome, implying that longevity may be a trait inherited from the mother.

The research was based on measurements of the telomere length of white blood cell DNA (elderly people with longer telomeres live five to six years longer than people with shorter ones).

If… read more

Agency signs on digital star Lara Croft

May 21, 2002

Beverly Hills talent agency Creative Artists Agency announced they will represent digitally animated Lara Croft for new products and promotional tie-ins.The Lara Croft character has been featured in six video games and the “Tomb Raider” movie. Eidos plans to release the new “Lara Croft: The Angel of Darkness” video game this coming winter.

Agenda Set For Upcoming Planetary Defense Conference

February 26, 2007

The second Planetary Defense Conference will bring together scientists and engineers from the international space community on March 5 – 8 in Washington DC to assess our ability to discover and track near-Earth objects and deflect an asteroid or comet that poses a threat to Earth.

Agent-based computer models could anticipate future economic crisis

November 26, 2008

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory are trying to create new economic models that will provide policymakers with more realistic pictures of different types of markets so they can better avert future economic catastrophe.

They have created a new set of simulations called “agent-based models” to better anticipate how markets behave. These new models rely on information gleaned in part from surveys that ask respondents… read more

Agents of Change

September 7, 2004

Autonomous agents are still in the labs but could eventually play a critical role in areas ranging from setting market prices to creating more resilient networks.

Autonomous agents have the potential to become an extraordinarily powerful technology, with the capacity to learn, experiment and act independent of human control. Agents could ultimately improve productivity, increase software reliability and change the operation of markets, particularly supply chains.

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