science + technology news

Red light debut for exotic ‘metamaterial’

December 19, 2006

The race to build an exotic material with a negative refractive index for visible light has been won by a team of University of Karlsruhe researchers in Germany. The demonstration could open the door to a new generation of optical devices such as superlenses able to see details finer then the wavelength of visible light.

NASA Ames Schedules Briefing to Discuss Google Agreement

December 17, 2006

NASA Ames Research Center plans to announce a NASA/Google collaboration Monday to make NASA’s vast collection of data and imagery more easily available to the world.

Researchers Demonstrate Direct Brain Control Of Humanoid Robot

December 17, 2006

“Thought commands” generated by analysis of EEG signals can control the actions of robots, University of Washington researchers have found.

Tech lessons learned from the wisdom of crowds

December 17, 2006

Google, HP Labs, Yahoo, and Microsoft are among companies using “prediction markets” to improve forecasts.

The technique rewards employees for success in making predictions.

Computers ‘could store entire life by 2026′

December 15, 2006

A device the size of a sugar cube will be able to record and store high resolution video footage of every second of a human life within two decades, according to speakers at the Memories for Life conference at the British Library.

Also see: Memories for life: a review of the science and technology, J. R. Soc. Interface (2006) 3, 351-365

Nano-cables convert light into electricity

December 15, 2006

Nanocables that convert light into electricity could one day be used to power nanorobots, because of their similarity in size and function to the antennas used by bacteria for photosynthesis.

New surgical center is a big technological cut above the rest

December 15, 2006

The movie magic that allowed Gollum to lurch across the screen in the Lord of the Rings films or capture the great ape’s naturalistic movements in the remake of King Kong is now being used in operating room research and training in the new Maryland Simulation Training and Innovation Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

By recording how expert surgeons move during simulated surgeries, researchers hope to… read more

10 Tech Concepts You Need to Know for 2007

December 15, 2006

PRAM (Phase-Change Random Access Memory), Printed Solar Panels, Body Area Network, VoN (Video on the Net), and Data Cloud are among the technologies you’ll be talking about next year.

Researchers Find Surprise in Makeup of a Comet

December 15, 2006

Comets are not all made of interstellar dust and ice, but instead may contain material shot from the heart of the solar system during its tumultuous birth, scientists reported Thursday after examining pristine particles of a comet that were brought back by the Stardust spacecraft.

Geomagnetic storm impacts the Earth

December 15, 2006
SOHO EIT 304 Latest Image

A geomagnetic storm began on December 14, produced by a large Earth-directed coronal mass ejection on Dec. 12, according to an Official Space Weather Advisory issued Dec. 14 by the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Strong to severe geomagnetic storming is expected to last through Friday, December 15. Impacts from this event can cause problems with high frequency (shortwave) communications and satellite operations, and can induce… read more

Google searches U.S. patent database

December 15, 2006

Google’s new site,, lets anyone search for U.S. patents by keyword, patent number, inventor and filing date, and makes it easier to find relevant patents than the USPTO site.

Plastic Sheet of Power

December 14, 2006

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have demonstrated a prototype consisting of plastic and flexible electronics that can wirelessly supply power to any device that touches its surface.

Cloning Nanotubes

December 14, 2006

Researchers at Rice University have demonstrated that carbon nanotubes can be chopped into small pieces to form “seeds” that grow more nanotubes of precisely the same type.

The method could eventually make it possible to grow large amounts of carbon nanotubes with identical structure and properties, which could pave the way for vastly improved electrical transmission lines and ultracompact, high-performance computers.

IBM to Open Islands in Virtual World

December 14, 2006

IBM has created 12 islands in the popular virtual world Second Life, where employees and customers can hold meetings, take orientation and training sessions and discuss projects. IBM also hopes to use Second Life to interact directly with customers.

Kevin Warwick: The ITWales Interview

December 14, 2006

Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at Reading University, says he has achieved the world’s first purely electronic communication from brain to brain, and therefore the basis for thought communication.

Warwich, who has an implant in his arm linking his nervous system to the internet, making him a human cyborg, is able to communicate this way with his wife, who has a similar implant.

“We’re looking at the first… read more

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