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Vision-body link tested in robot experiments

October 30, 2006

“Embodied cognition” experiments involving real and simulated robots suggest that the relationship between physical movement and sensory input could be crucial to developing more intelligent machines.

This crop revolution may succeed where GM failed

October 30, 2006

New agricultural technology called marker-assisted selection (MAS) offers a sophisticated method to greatly accelerate classical breeding.

A growing number of scientists believe MAS will eventually replace GM food.

Rapidly accumulating information about crop genomes is allowing scientists to identify genes associated with traits such as yield, and then scan crop relatives for the presence of those genes.

Lighting up the $1 trillion power market

October 30, 2006

Silicon Valley firms are driving a sizzling $11 billion worldwide market in solar energy, part of a rapidly expanding alternative-energy economy that promises to shake up the way power is produced and consumed as profoundly as the region’s computer and Internet companies upended global communications and commerce in the late 20th century.

Fears about global warming have triggered public and political demand for renewable energy, which is expected to… read more

Are we the Mongols of the Information Age?

October 30, 2006

The future of U.S. power rests in its Industrial Age military adapting to decentralized adversaries.

Firms point to biometric future

October 27, 2006
Three dimensional facial images can be created and stored in seconds

Keys, cards, passports and PINs could soon be a thing of the past as biometric technology makes our bodies the only passwords we need.

Launching a new kind of warfare

October 27, 2006

By 2015, the US Department of Defense plans that one third of its fighting strength will be composed of robots, part of a $127 billion project known as Future Combat Systems (FCS), a transformation that is part of the largest technology project in American history.

Honeybee genome sequenced

October 26, 2006

The just-completed genome sequence of the western honeybee may help explain the molecular and genetic basis of this insect’s unusual sociality.

The Baylor College of Medicine in Houston scientists found that several types of honeybee genes are more similar to vertebrate genes than to other insect genes, including many involved in circadian rhythms, RNA interference, DNA methylation, and learning and memory.

A Growing Intelligence Around Earth

October 26, 2006

NASA’s EO-1 is a new breed of satellite with AI programming to notice things that change (like the plume of a volcano) and take appropriate action, such as monitoring that specific location.

EO-1 can re-organize its own priorities to study volcanic eruptions, flash floods, forest fires, disintegrating sea-ice, and other unexpected events. It can also use sensors on other satellites or on the ground as a “sensorweb.”

WWF: Humanity Using Resources Too Fast

October 26, 2006

The Earth’s ecosystems are being run down faster than ever because humanity is using more natural resources than our planet can replenish, the World Wildlife Fund said Tuesday.

Eventually, ecological assets, such as forests and fisheries, will be harvested to such a degree that they might disappear altogether.

Researchers make important advancement in unraveling mysteries of fusion energy

October 26, 2006

University of Nevada researchers have used a plasma confinement system that can generate 100-nanosecond pulses exceeding 20 million amps to create the microscopic effects that cause inefficiencies limiting the conversion of electrical energy required for implosion energy.

‘Tower of Babel’ translator made

October 26, 2006

A new device being created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University uses electrodes attached to the neck and face to detect the movements that occur as a person silently mouths words and phrases.

Using this data, a computer can work out the sounds being formed and then build these sounds up into words. The system is then able to translate the words into another language, which is read out… read more

160-lumen white power LED lighting

October 25, 2006

New LED lamps capable of 70 lumens per watt may cut our light-based electrical bill ultimately by more than 90 percent.

And Toyota has said that replacing a car’s lights with LEDs would be equivalent to getting an extra 20 percent mileage through reducing vehicle weight.

Software generates video news bulletins

October 25, 2006

Software that automatically generates timely video news bulletins, presented by computer-animated characters, could revolutionize news broadcasting.

The system, called News at Seven, can produce reports tailored to a person’s particular interests.

Using keywords entered by the user, the program selects news site RSS feeds and specific stories to focus on. The next step is to extract further key terms from these reports and use these to search for… read more

Human v 2.0: Ray Kurzweil vs. Hugo de Garis

October 24, 2006

“Meet the scientific prophets who claim we are on the verge of creating a new type of human – a human v2.0.

“It’s predicted that by 2029 computer intelligence will equal the power of the human brain. Some believe this will revolutionise humanity – we will be able to download our minds to computers extending our lives indefinitely. Others fear this will lead to oblivion by giving rise to… read more

Chiang Mai University involved in tiny nanobot’s human voyage

October 24, 2006

A Chiang Mai University team has developed a motor that will power a microscopic robot on an expedition through human blood vessels, looking for such things as tiny tumors in internal organs.

The piezoceramic device is remote controlled by low-voltage electric current or microwaves, and is propelled by changing its size.

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