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Computer Robots Gather Intelligence

October 3, 2001

The U.S. military is testing software robots that can identify targets and present them to commanders much more quickly than a human could.

The software, known as the Control of Agent-Based Systems or CoABS, uses AI agents to sift through troves of images and intelligence data to find viable targets.
“It takes us too long to get the intelligence to a weapons system,” said James Hendler, the U.S. Defense… read more

Google Calling

March 12, 2009

Google plans to announce a new service called Google Voice today that assigns users a phone number that consolidates voice mails and text messages from their various phone numbers and stores them in a single location that can be accessed remotely.

Google Voice will also let users make free phone calls over the Internet, and it provides transcription of voice mail to machine-written messages, which can be sent to… read more

Infrared-based haptic ‘buzz’ device found to work as well as vision in experiment

August 12, 2014

University of Cincinnati psychology grad student Luis Favela has tested the ability of blind people* to navigate a house-like structure using a device called the Enactive  Torch.

Favela found the device enables the visually impaired to judge their ability to comfortably pass through narrow passages, like an open door or busy sidewalk, as well as if they were actually seeing such pathways themselves.

The… read more

Invention: Microsoft mind reader

October 16, 2007

Because it’s hard to properly evaluate the way people interact with computers, Microsoft wants to read the data straight from the user’s brain as he or she works away.

They plan to do this with electroencephalograms (EEGs) to record electrical signals within the brain, using a patented-applied-for method to filter out artifacts and noise.

Robots That Act Like Rats

February 23, 2005

Researchers have recorded the behavior of rat pups and built rat-like robots with the same basic senses and motor skills to see how behavior can emerge from a simple set of rules.

University Of California – Davis news release

Fastest movie in the world recorded

January 13, 2011

HZB/Eisebitt

Scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) and the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) have developed a method that takes step towards producing a “molecular movie.” They can record two pictures at such a short time interval that it will soon be possible to observe molecules and nanostructures in real time, they suggest.

A “molecular movie” that shows how a molecule behaves at the crucial moment of a… read more

Developing Warning System for Biological Attack Proves Difficult

October 29, 2001

Designing early warning detectors for biological attacks has proved difficult, but developments are underway.The Army’s Joint Program Office for Biological Defense is currently testing the Joint Biological Point Detection System at Dugway Proving Grounds.

The Department of Energy is trying to use off-the-shelf technology to build a system for use in civilian areas like airports, stadiums and subways and during the Winter Olympics next February. It uses air samplers… read more

A Machine That Speeds Up Evolution

March 17, 2009
(George Church)

George Church and his colleagues have developed a new technology that can make 50 changes to a bacterial genome nearly simultaneously–an advance that could be used to greatly speed the creation of bacteria that are better at producing drugs, nutrients, or biofuels.

Next-Generation Sports Doping

October 26, 2007

Two new classes of experimental drugs shown to have powerful muscle-building capabilities–selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) and myostatin inhibitors–have been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of prohibited substances for 2008.

Unlike with testosterone and other anabolic steroids, the action of SARMs and myostatin inhibitors is restricted to muscle, likely limiting side effects.

Stem cell therapy safety boosted

March 10, 2005

A new way of growing human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory will reduce the risk that their use in therapy could go wrong, say scientists.

At present the cells are cultured using live animal cells, which carries the risk of contamination with viruses and other harmful agents. Researchers at Advanced Cell Technology in Boston have developed a method that replaces the use of animal cells with a sterile… read more

First silicon entanglement will aid quantum computing

January 20, 2011

John Morton of the University of Oxford and colleagues achieved entanglement in silicon for the first time by using a half-millimeter-wide crystal of silicon studded with phosphorus atoms.

The feat could lead to quantum computers made like ordinary computer chips. To do that, the team must create a “huge 2D grid of entanglement,” says Morton, in which nuclei are entangled with other phosphorus nuclei, as well as electrons.

Boneless, brainy, and ancient

November 28, 2001

The Octupus arm could very well be the basis of next-generation robotic arms for undersea, space, as well as terrestrial applications.
Each arm appears to contain an independent peripheral nervous system and neural circuitry, which carries out the order independent of any further involvement on the part of the brain itself.

“How the octopus controls each arm so that tasks can be performed without chaos, and without the need… read more

Microsoft, NASA put universe back on the Web

March 25, 2009

Microsoft and NASA plan to make planetary images and data — including high-resolution scientific images and data from Mars and the moon –explorable on Microsoft’s online virtual WorldWide Telescope.

The WorldWide Telescope assembles imagery from ground- and space-based telescopes for a seamless, rich media-guided exploration of the universe.

Google Enters the Wireless World

November 6, 2007

Google, which wants to be as central to the coming wireless Web as it is to today’s PC-dominated Internet, announced on Monday that it was leading a broad industry effort to develop new software technologies aimed at turning cellphones into powerful mobile computers.

By giving outside software developers full access to a Google-powered phone’s functions, the alliance members hope for a proliferation of new PC-style programs and services, like… read more

Computers gain power, but it’s not what you think

March 21, 2005

Performing complex tasks at lightning speed is the machine’s greatest strength; thinking and intelligence are still in our heads.

After decades of trying to create machines that can think, researchers now just want to take advantage of computers’ speed and make them less stupid.

Intellext’s Watson, which uses pattern recognition to find relevant documents, is one example of software that takes advantage of more powerful computers. Another is… read more

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