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In a Wired South Korea, Robots Will Feel Right at Home

April 3, 2006

South Korea, the world’s most wired country, is rushing to turn what sounds like science fiction into everyday life. The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households, plans to put a robot in every South Korean household between 2015 and 2020.

HUMOR | The Cure For Information Overload

April 2, 2006

The Singularity may bring major information overload. Is this a cure — or a cause?

Gold Nanoparticles Emit Intense Heat

March 31, 2006

Nanoparticles of gold can act as tiny, precise and powerful heaters for an area up to 1,000 times its size when stimulated with the right frequency of laser light. They could be used in biomedical applications.

Source: Ohio University news release

Nanodots may unlock power of superconducting wires

March 31, 2006

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed the next generation of superconducting wires by depositing lines of 10-nanometer-wide, non-conducting dots of barium zirconate at fixed distances along the wire to suppress disruptions from fluctuating magnetic fields on the wires.

IBM develops method to control atom-scale magnetism

March 31, 2006

IBM scientists have developed a new technique called spin-excitation spectroscopy to explore and control magnetism at its fundamental atomic level.

The method promises to be important in designing future computer circuits and data-storage elements as they shrink toward atomic dimensions and in laying the foundation for new materials and computing devices that leverage atom-scale magnetic phenomena, such as quantum computers.

Spin-excitation spectroscopy uses IBM’s low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope… read more

When it comes to intelligence, size isn’t everything

March 30, 2006

Intelligence has more to do with when and how the brain grows rather than its overall size, suggests a new study.

In the brightest children, the thickness of the prefrontal cortex — a brain region thought to be responsible for many facets of intelligence — increased rapidly through their pre-teen years before thinning out again after the age of 11. The pattern was the same in those of average… read more

Your secrets are safe with quasar encryption

March 30, 2006

Japanese scientists have come up with a method for encrypting messages using radio waves from quasars.

The researchers believe quasars could make an ideal cryptographic tool because the strength and frequency of the radio pulses they emit is impossible to predict. Each communicating party would only need to know which quasar to monitor and when to start in order to encrypt and decrypt a message.

Scientists divided over longevity

March 29, 2006

Aubrey de Grey’s claims for long life based on SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) have drawn criticism from some gerontologists.

Cell Phones, Reality Gaming

March 29, 2006

Games are becoming vastly more lifelike — more realistic. The addition of voice, initially driven by Xbox Live on consoles and TeamSpeak on PCs, is now improving to VoIP levels driven by Vivox.

A gaming platform called AI.Implant is helping to drive improvements in gaming AI. Implant specializes in easily giving game characters complex personalities so that the experience is more realistic. Characters act and react to players and… read more

Holographic breakthrough crams in 0.5TB per square inch

March 29, 2006

InPhase Technologies claims to have broken the record for the highest data density of any commercial storage technology after successfully recording 515Gb of data per square inch.

InPhase promised to begin shipping the first holographic drive and media later this year. The first-generation drive has a capacity of 300GB on a single disk with a 20Mbps transfer rate. The first product will be followed by a family ranging from… read more

Artificial Intelligence: Working backwards from HAL

March 28, 2006

The first part of a three-part special report, looking at the past, present and future of AI, examines the origins of machine intelligence and neural networks.

Chip ramps up neuron-to-computer communicati

March 28, 2006

A specialised microchip that could communicate with thousands of individual brain cells has been developed by European scientists.

The device will help researchers examine the workings of interconnected brain cells, and might one day enable them to develop computers that use live neurons for memory.

It is capable of receiving signals from more than 16,000 mammalian brain cells in vitro, and sending messages back to several hundred cells.

Towards a new test of general relativity?

March 27, 2006

Scientists funded by the European Space Agency have measured the gravitational equivalent of a magnetic field for the first time in a laboratory. Under certain special conditions the effect is much larger than expected from general relativity and could help physicists to make a significant step towards the long-sought-after quantum theory of gravity.

The research demonstrates that a superconductive gyroscope is capable of generating a powerful gravitomagnetic field, and… read more

Online test calculates brain speed

March 27, 2006

San Francisco-based Posit Science unveiled a program that tests how fast a person’s brain can process information, based on his or her hearing speed.

New data transmission record — 60 DVDs per second

March 27, 2006

German and Japanese scientists recently collaborated to achieve a newworld record for data transmission.

By transmitting a data signal at 2.56 terabits per second over a 160-kilometer link, the researchers bettered the old record of 1.28 terabits per second held by a Japanese group. By comparison, the fastest high-speed links currently carry data at a maximum 40 Gbit/s, or around 50 times slower.

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