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Why computers are like the weather

July 12, 2005

The behavior of the complex microchips that drive modern computers is inherently unpredictable and chaotic, researchers at the National Research Institute for Information and Automation in Orsay, France have found.

With robots, you can live forever

July 12, 2005

Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes immortality is ours if we program the human body like a computer.

Will RFID-guided robots rule the world?

July 12, 2005

Scientists envision a myriad of uses for mobile, RFID-guided robots, such as assisting blind people while they shop, helping them navigate stores and find merchandise, and help families tend to elderly or disabled relatives, dispensing medicine and performing household chores.

Teleportation: Express Lane Space Travel

July 12, 2005

In his new book, Teleportation – The Impossible Leap, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., writer David Darling contends that “”One way or another, teleportation is going to play a major role in all our futures. It will be a fundamental process at the heart of quantum computers, which will themselves radically change the world.”

Darling senses the day may not be far off for routine teleportation of… read more

The Dream of a Lifetime

July 11, 2005

Moore’s law predicts that transistor density will in 10 years be about 100 times what it is now. In thinking about the future of computing, do we understand what another 100-fold increase in computing power will mean? It should enable big new dreams, says Bill Joy.

We should boldly set our sights on Doug Engelbart’s goal of augmentation of the human intellect.

Witnesses to History

July 11, 2005

The London terrorist attack moved the current “citizen journalism” trend to a new level, using text messaging, cameras, and the ability to record and transmit video through the Internet.

It was the first widespread use of that technology in covering a major breaking news story.

New optical disc has 100 gigabytes memory

July 11, 2005

Sharp Corp. says it has developed a technology to manufacture a new optical disc with 100 gigabytes of memory.

Television That Leaps Off the Screen

July 10, 2005

The first rear-projection, no-glasses 3-D television set has been developed by Deep Light of Santa Monica, CA.

“HD3D” television sets, with 1,280 lines of resolution, could be available by next year for $10,000, according to Deep Light’s co-founder Dan Mapes.

The design also uses multiple “blades” of video to enable one screen to show different programs to different viewers at the same time.

Carbon nanotubes help heal broken bones

July 8, 2005

Carbon nanotubes make an ideal scaffold for the growth of bone tissue, chemist Robert Haddon of the University of California, Riverside, has found.

The new technique could change the way doctors treat broken bones, allowing them to simply inject a solution of nanotubes into a fracture to promote healing.

Bone tissue is a natural composite of collagen fibers and hydroxyapatite crystals. Haddon and his coworkers have demonstrated for… read more

Researcher sees huge growth in podcast audience

July 7, 2005

Researchers at the Diffusion Group predict that the U.S. podcast audience will climb from 840,000 last year to 56 million by 2010. By that time, three-quarters of all people who own portable digital music players will listen to podcasts, they predict.

Harvard project to scan millions of medical files

July 7, 2005

Harvard scientists are building a powerful computer system that will use artificial intelligence to scan the private medical files of 2.5 million people at local hospitals, as part of a government-funded effort to find the genetic roots of asthma and other diseases.

Giving Genetic Disease the Finger

July 6, 2005

Scientists are closing in on techniques that could let them safely repair almost any defective gene in a patient, opening the door for the first time to treatments for a range of genetic disorders that are now considered incurable.

The breakthrough relies on “zinc fingers” (amino acid protuberances that emanate from a zinc ion). When inserted into human cells, the fingers automatically bind to miscoded strands of DNA, spurring… read more

How cells with damaged DNA alert the immune system

July 6, 2005

University of California, Berkeley researchers have found that damage to a cell’s DNA sets off a chain reaction that leads to the increased expression of a marker recognized by the body’s immune system, allowing it to differentiate cells that are cancerous from those that are healthy and attack them.

Cells with damaged DNA can also involve other cells in the fight, triggering a mechanism that signals other cells –… read more

Science’s greatest questions revealed

July 6, 2005

A special, free news feature in Science magazine explores 125 big questions that face scientific inquiry over the next quarter-century.

The questions include:

What Is the Universe Made Of?

What is the Biological Basis of Consciousness?

Why Do Humans Have So Few Genes?

To What Extent Are Genetic Variation and Personal Health Linked?

How Far Can We Push Chemical Self-Assembly?

What Are the… read more

Laser pulses could power quantum logic gate

July 5, 2005

Hewlett-Packard and the National Institute for Informatics in Tokyo have devised a quantum computer that uses powerful laser pulses to process quantum bits.

The system would use laser beams as a communication channel between optical qubits. Information on the quantum state of qubits would be combined in the beam, and then processed by measuring the beam. This would make it easier to process quantum information, as beams can be… read more

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