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Next year’s models

November 6, 2006

A personal iPod theater, bultra-mobile Windows PC, and mobile video telephone are among the gadgets available in Tokyo and that may be available in the U.S. in the future.

Nuclear steps put region on brink of most fearful era yet

November 6, 2006

The Middle East may now be entering the most precarious era of its history, with the announcement Friday that Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and smaller states such as Tunisia and the UAE want to acquire nuclear technology.

Berners-Lee, universities launch ‘Web science’ initiative

November 6, 2006

Representatives from MIT and the University of Southampton have announced the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), a multidisciplinary project to study the social and technological implications of growing Web adoption.

Berners-Lee, who is also a senior research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), detailed the initiative with other organizers at MIT here on Thursday.

The universities intend to combine several disciplines, including social sciences,… read more

Researchers teach computers how to name images by ‘thinking’

November 2, 2006

Penn State researchers have “taught” computers how to interpret images using a vocabulary of up to 330 English words.

The new system, which can automatically annotate entire online collections of photographs as they are uploaded, means significant time-savings for the millions of Internet users who now manually tag or identify their images. It also facilitates retrieval of images through the use of search terms.

Rerouting Brain Circuits with Implanted Chips

November 1, 2006

A new, implantable and wireless brain chip can create artificial connections between different parts of the brain, paving the way for devices that could reconnect damaged neural circuits.

University of Washington scientists say the chip sheds light on the brain’s innate ability to rewire itself, and it could help explain our capacity to learn and remember new information.

Artificial memory aid mimics the brain’s audio cues

November 1, 2006

An artificial memory aid that mimics the way the human brain replays verbal information could help people with brain damage, Alzheimer’s or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The handheld device is modelled on a function of the brain known as the “phonological loop.” It has a microphone and controls for recording and playing audio.

To use it, a user presses “record” and says a phrase they want to keep… read more

The quantum world is about to get bigger

November 1, 2006

The quantum world is about to get bigger, thanks to a technique that will allow objects big enough to see with the naked eye to exist in two places at once.

The trick: eliminate thermal vibrations by bombarding a mirror of roughly 10^14 atoms with photons in a way that damps out thermal vibrations and cooling it to 135 millikelvin.

Nanotube Computing Breakthrough

November 1, 2006

A method for sorting nanotubes by electronic properties could help make widespread nanotube-based electronics a reality.

The new process separates metallic and semiconducting nanotubes. It also segregates them by diameter (another important parameter for reliable computer chips) and eliminates contaminants, such as other forms of carbon.

Buckyballs with a Surprise

November 1, 2006

Luna nanoWorks is nearing commercialization of a novel version of buckyballs that could improve magnetic resonance imaging and lead to high-efficiency solar cells.

Each buckyball is made of 80 carbon atoms with metal-nitride clusters trapped inside, creating a nanomaterial with novel electronic, optical, and magnetic properties.

A Practical Fuel-Cell Power Plant

November 1, 2006

GE’s advance allows for a solid-oxide fuel cell to use coal-based fuels at costs approaching that of conventional power plants.

The final product can be built for about $800 a kilowatt, which starts to approach the $500-to-$550-per-kilowatt cost of building a conventional gas-fired power plant.

High-Tech Military in Due Course

November 1, 2006

The kind of a war scenario seen in a science fiction film like Star Wars is likely to become a reality in about 10 years, as the government is accelerating plans to equip the South Korean military with high-tech unmanned weapons systems and versatile combat robotic systems.

By 2025, the Army plans to introduce unmanned state-of-the-art vehicles, called Experimental Autonomous Vehicles (XAV), for use in light and heavy combat… read more

One for the Ages: A Prescription That May Extend Life

October 31, 2006

In the last year, calorie-restricted diets have been shown in various animals to affect molecular pathways likely to be involved in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and cancer.

Researchers studying dietary effects on humans claim that calorie restriction may be more effective than exercise at preventing age-related diseases.

Dr. Richard A. Miller, a pathologist at the University of Michigan, estimated that a pill… read more

Computing, 2016: What Won’t Be Possible?

October 31, 2006

Computing and algorithmic processes are transforming business, the gloabl economy, culture, and even social sciences.

Future trends in computer imaging and storage will make it possible for a person, wearing a tiny digital device with a microphone and camera, to essentially record his or her life. The potential for communication, media and personal enrichment is striking.

British scientists grow human liver in a laboratory

October 31, 2006

British scientists have grown the world’s first artificial liver from stem cells in a breakthrough that will one day provide entire organs for transplant.

The liver tissue was created from stem cells found in blood from an umbilical cord minutes after birth. They were then placed in a bioreactor and various hormones and chemicals were added to coax the stem cells into turning into liver tissue.

The scientists… read more

Engineers building first space supercomputer

October 30, 2006

Engineering researchers at the University of Florida and Honeywell Aerospace are designing and building the computer projected to operate as much as 100 times faster than any computer in space today.

Expected to be launched aboard a NASA rocket on a test mission in 2009, the computer is needed to process rapidly increasing amounts of data gathered by advanced scientific satellites. It is also needed to help space probes… read more

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