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Top 10 Strangest Gadgets of the Future

May 30, 2006

Citizen Japan has unveiled a new LCD technology called “memory liquid crystal” that retains the image even when turned off; the Origami DVD Player concept uses a fully-flexible display technology (e-paper) to ensure maximum portability; and the Self Cooling Beer Can features an integrated self-cooling device that reduces the “contents by a minimum of 30° Fahrenheit (16.7° C) in just three minutes.”

The next wave of the web

May 30, 2006

The imminence of wireless broadband for mobiles means we are about to enter the phase of mobile and ubiquitous computing. It is also going to bring the Internet to the hundreds of millions of people who have no Internet access.

The Web is already full of knowledge-intensive AI components. Take Bayesian methods, a branch of statistics that allows a machine to make decisions, shifting probabilities based on its past… read more

Heart may be home to its own stem cells

May 30, 2006

New York Medical College researchers have discovered the “home” of stem cells in the heart, lending credence to the idea that the heart has the capacity to repair itself. The finding raises the possibility that these cardiac stem cells could one day be manipulated to rebuild tissues damaged by heart disease.

Google users promised artificial intelligence

May 26, 2006

A search engine that knows exactly what you are looking for, that can understand the question you are asking even better than you do, and find exactly the right information for you, instantly is a future predicted by Google.

Google co-founder Larry Page said one thing that he had learned since Google launched eight years ago was that technology can change faster than expected.

Google is also looking… read more

The Rise of Crowdsourcing

May 26, 2006

Technological advances in everything from product design software to digital video cameras are breaking down the cost barriers that once separated amateurs from professionals. Hobbyists, part-timers, and dabblers suddenly have a market for their efforts, as smart companies in industries as disparate as pharmaceuticals and television discover ways to tap the latent talent of the crowd. The labor isn’t always free, but it costs a lot less than paying traditional… read more

New Samsung Notebook Replaces Hard Drive With Flash

May 26, 2006

Samsung Electronics plans to launch two mobile computers in early June that will do away with hard drives altogether, replacing them with 32 gigabytes of NAND flash memory.

Physicists draw up plans for real ‘cloaking device’

May 26, 2006

Physicists have drawn up blueprints for a cloaking device that could, in theory, render objects invisible to the human eye.

John Pendry and colleagues at Imperial College London, UK, have calculated that materials engineered to have abnormal optical properties, known as metamaterials, could make light pass around an object as so it appears as if it were not there at all.

No aging, robot cars — and radical business plans

May 26, 2006

If Ray Kurzweil is right, the business landscape — indeed, the entire human race — is about to be transformed beyond all recognition.

Here’s the question Kurzweil is asking these days: What if the exponential growth shown in Moore’s Law applies not just to etching transistors in silicon chips, but to all of human progress and innovation?

Found: Artifacts from the future

May 25, 2006

Wired News’ books of the future include “Coping with Post-Singularity Depression” by Ray Kurzweil, “Talking to Your Kids About Mitochondrial De-Aging” by John Sperling, and “The End of History: This Time For Sure” by Francis Fukuyama.

From a Poet’s Failing Sight, a Novel ‘Seeing Machine’ Emerges

May 25, 2006

A poet and artist has enlisted the help of scientists and engineering students to create a “seeing machine” that may eventually help people like her, with severely impaired vision, to read, look at pictures and explore landscapes and buildings.

The $4000 system consists of a projector, computer, monitor, eyepiece and a joystick for zooming in and out, and light-emitting diodes, and uses a “visual language” that combines letters and… read more

The Great Woz Tells All

May 24, 2006

“I’m looking forward to the day when a computer can be a teacher,” says Apple computer inventor Steve Wozniak. “We’re not there yet, since we haven’t yet conquered artificial intelligence. Once we’ve made a robot that can make a cup of coffee, then we’ve probably got enough artificial intelligence. Then we can have 30 teachers in a class of 30 kids, and the computers can go at different rates with… read more

DSL Prime: Free Nationwide Wireless

May 24, 2006

One company has applied to the FCC for 20 MHz of spectrum in return for providing 95 percent of U.S. customers free high speed wireless Internet coverage.

Synthetic biologists reject controversial guidelines

May 24, 2006

Researchers in the new field of synthetic biology have pledged to develop better tools to identify anyone trying to order the DNA needed to make deadly pathogens. But at the Synthetic Biology 2.0 meeting in Berkeley, California, they decided against adopting a controversial code of conduct intended to prevent their technologies being used to make new bioweapons.

Web inventor warns of ‘dark’ net

May 24, 2006

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee warned that if the US decided to go ahead with a two-tier Internet, the network would enter “a dark period.”

vCJD may lurk in more people than realised

May 22, 2006

The deadly human form of mad cow disease, vCJD, may have infected far more people than previously thought, suggests a new study in the British Medical Journal.

Variant Creutzfelt-Jakob disease is linked to eating meat infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad-cow disease. A rogue version of a prion protein proliferates in the brain, leading to distressing mental deterioration, loss of motor control, and eventually death.

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