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Quantum dots device counts single electrons

June 16, 2006

A device capable of counting the individual electrons in an electric current, by feeding them through a pair of quantum dots, has been developed at NTT Basic Research Laboratories.

Independent experts say the device could be used to study the fundamental behavior of electrons and as critical components inside quantum computers, which must exploit quantum physics to perform calculations.

Newspaper investigation highlights bioterror fears

June 14, 2006

The Guardian’s science correspondent unknowingly synthesized a smallpox fragment, synthesized by a mail-order biological-supplies company and delivered to his home address.

He can build them better, faster, sexier

June 14, 2006

MIT’s Media Lab researchers have developed a prosthetic “Rheo Knee” that uses AI to replicate the workings of a biological human joint and “bio-hybrids,” surgical implants that allow an amputee to control an artificial leg by thinking.

Software tracks proteins inside living cells

June 14, 2006

A computer system, called CellTracker, that automatically tracks the movements of proteins within a living cell has been developed by a team of Manchester University biologists and computer vision experts.

It could save researchers the hours often spent analyzing microscope images by hand to determine the way a cell works and allows for looking at live cells over time.

Computers being taught 3D vision

June 14, 2006

Carnegie Mellon University scientists say new machine learning techniques are allowing them to teach computers to perceive three dimensions in 2-D images.

The discovery may ultimately find application in vision systems used to guide robotic vehicles, monitor security cameras and archive photos.

Independent robots team up for search task

June 14, 2006

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have created a team of autonomous flying and ground-based robots that have successfully cooperated to search for and locate targets in the streets of an urban warfare training ground.

Google’s not-so-very-secret weapon

June 14, 2006

Google is working on a secret weapon in its quest to dominate the next generation of Internet computing.

It’s installing one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers — part of a worldwide computing system known as the Googleplex, reportedly with more than 450,000 servers in at least 25 locations around the world, with plans for 800,000 by 2011.

The new installation, near the Oregon-Washington border, is at the… read more

Google Earth v4 Released

June 13, 2006

A new beta version of Google Earth features 3D textured buildings, better user interface, and higher resolution images.

Heaven or hell?

June 13, 2006

Humanity is the verge of an incredible future. But experts like Ray Kurzweil, Bill Joy, and baroness Greenfield hold differing views.

Over the next three weeks, CNN Future Summit will hear arguments from the key thinkers involved in this debate.

Is Defeating Aging Only a Dream?

June 13, 2006

Independent scientists and technologists have reviewed biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey’s anti-aging proposals, responding to a Technology Review announcement of a $20,000 prize for any molecular biologist who could demonstrate that Aubrey de Grey’s SENS (for Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence), proposal “so wrong that it was unworthy of learned debate.”

The submissions include rebuttals de Grey.

The Future of AI

June 12, 2006

To explore the future of AI, IEEE Intelligent Systems invited well-known AI scientists to contribute articles speculating about where AI is headed and how we might get there.

This special issue commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Dartmouth summer workshop, which brought together the field’s lead¬ing researchers.

Articles may be downloaded free.

Problems That Lie Ahead

June 12, 2006

We’re approaching a critical period in the history of humankind. The choices we make — or don’t make — over the next five to fifteen years could have consequences that will be felt for centuries to come.

A Sixth Sense for a Wired World

June 12, 2006

What if, seconds before your laptop began stalling, you could feel the hard drive spin up under the load? Or you could tell if an electrical cord was live before you touched it?

For the few people who have rare earth magnets implanted in their fingers, these are among the reported effects — a finger that feels omagnetic fields along with the normal sense of touch.

Browse the Web in Three Dimensions

June 12, 2006

An XML format called X3D that can “represent and communicate 3D scenes and objects” on the Web is starting to take hold.

A Dose Of Genius

June 12, 2006

The use of “smart pills” that increase concentration, focus, wakefulness and short-term memory is soaring.

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