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The Future Is Now

May 15, 2006

The Tofflers’ new book, “Revolutionary Wealth,” argues convincingly that we are on the verge of a post-scarcity world that will slash poverty and “unlock countless opportunities and new life trajectories,” at least if we avoid the rapidly escalating risks to such progress.

Taking control: Lab testing you order for yourself

July 21, 2003

Healthcare consumers can now order laboratory tests on themselves in more than 30 states. “Direct Access Testing” is on the verge of tremendous expansion in providing laboratory services such as allergy, cardiac risk, and Diabetes screening tests to the patient population.

American Association for Clinical Chemistry press release

Time-travelling browsers navigate the web’s past

November 19, 2009

Finding old versions of web pages could become far simpler thanks to Memento, a “time-travelling” web browsing technology being pioneered at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Race Is on to Advance Software for Chips

April 30, 2008

Three rival teams of computer researchers are working on new types of software needed for parallel computing.

Stanford University and six computer and chip makers plan to announce on Friday the creation of the Pervasive Parallelism Lab, joining the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in this research.

Intel acknowledged in 2004 that it had hit what was essentially a heat barrier in… read more

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

Smartphone battery life could dramatically improve with new invention

September 16, 2011

University of Michigan computer scientists have developed a new “subconscious mode” for smartphones and other WiFi-enabled mobile devices that could extend battery life by as much as 54 percent for users on the busiest networks. It’s called E-MiLi (Energy-Minimizing Idle Listening).

Even when smartphones are in power-saving modes and not actively sending or receiving messages, they are still on alert for incoming information and they’re… read more

Greenpeace Wades Into Nano Debate With Report That Calls For Caution

July 28, 2003

Greenpeace has entered the debate over nanotech’s impact on the environment and society with a study that calls for the industry to “demonstrate a commitment to (environmental concerns) by funding the relevant research on a far greater scale than currently witnessed.”

Greenpeace explores the idea that “quantum dots, nanoparticles, and other throwaway nanodevices may constitute whole new classes of non-biodegradable pollutants that scientists have very little understanding of.”… read more

Turkey tests new means of Internet control

December 1, 2009

Turkish engineers are working on “the Anaposta,” which would provide email accounts with a quota of 10 gigabytes to all of Turkey’s 70 million citizens at birth, with the email address written on his/her identity card; and a Turkish search engine with better “editorial judgement” than Google (i.e., omit whatever leaders of the Muslim world find offensive).

This is consistent with Article 301 of the Turkish Constitution, which restricts… read more

Self-perfection in nanomanufacturing

May 5, 2008

Researchers at Princeton University have demonstrated a new method, “self-perfection by liquefaction (SPEL),” that removes nanostructure fabrication defects and improves nanostructures after fabrication.

Error-check breakthrough in quantum computing

June 8, 2006

An error-checking method that could prove crucial to the development of a practical quantum computer has been developed.

Physicists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have discovered a new way to check how much the information stored inside a quantum computer has decayed. This is an impressive feat since measuring the state of a qubit normally destroys its quantum properties.


September 23, 2011



Holographic data storage: Light on the horizon

August 5, 2003

The first commercial holographic memory should be on the market next year. Theoretically, it’s possible to store a terabyte of data on a CD-sized disk, with transfer rate of a billion bits a second (at least 60 times faster than current DVDs).

Researchers show brain waves can ‘write’ on a computer in early tests

December 7, 2009

Brain waves can be used to type alphanumerical characters on a computer screen by merely focusing on a letter, with near 100 percent accuracy, Mayo Clinic and University of North Florida researchers have found.

They used electrocorticography (ECoG), in which electrodes are placed directly on the surface of the brain in patients to record electrical activity produced by the firing of neurons.

Biologists Enlist Online Gamers

May 9, 2008

Players of a new online game called Foldit will help design three-dimensional protein structures for HIV vaccines, and enzymes for repairing DNA in diseased tissues.

David Baker, a leading protein scientist at the University of Washington, teamed up with computer scientists to create the game.

How much do we need to know?

June 21, 2006

We should limit access to information and technologies that could put unprecedented power into the hands of malign individuals, says Bill Joy in the June 17 New Scientist magazine (subscription required).

“Rather than regulate things, we could price catastrophe into the cost of doing business,” he advises. “Right now, if you want approval for things, you go through a regulatory system. If we used insurance and actuaries… read more

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