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Windows, lose, draw

July 30, 2002

University of Alberta researchers have developed a poker-playing computer program that successfully guesses whether an opponent is bluffing, wavering or playing his hands straight.

It records a player’s habits or biases as the game progresses and uses algorithms to mix that information with baseline probabilities, creating the effect of both reason and intuition. The program now defeats 90% of opponents.

Cheap, clean drinking water purified through nanotechnology

August 14, 2008

Scientists at the University of South Australia have discovered a simple way to remove bacteria and other contaminants from water using tiny particles of pure silica coated with a nanometer-thin layer of active material based on a hydrocarbon.

Futurists look beyond, and it’s not mere sci-fi

August 1, 2005

Imagine a future in which terrorists seize an embassy and police can send in a remote-controlled insect outfitted with a microscopic video camera that reveals where the gunmen are hiding and what kind of weapons they hold.

Or a time when adventure travelers fly to the moon to spend a week at a space colony.

Over 1,000 futurists arriving in Chicago for the annual conference of the World… read more

Top secret quantum messages for your room only

April 28, 2010

A new scheme for a quantum communications link that will only allow a message to be read if a recipient is in exactly the right location has been devised by inventor Robert Malaney at the University of New South Wales.

Biology Seeks a Few Good Geeks

August 20, 2002

As chairwoman of the inaugural IEEE Computer Society Bioinformatics Conference, held at Stanford University last week, Vicky Markstein is trying to recruit the leading minds of computer science into what she calls “the industrial revolution of biology,” an anticipated period of discovery resulting from the analysis of genomic information.
Computer scientists will be essential for deriving useful knowledge from the large databases of genomic data that have recently become available,… read more

Google to Invest in Geothermal

August 20, 2008

Google.org is investing a little over $10 million in the development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems, or EGS.

EGS drills deep — miles down — to access layers of heated granite that exist underfoot everywhere on the planet. Water can be circulated downward for heating, and then upward to drive turbines and generate electricity.

Long Live AI

August 10, 2005

We can meet the hardware requirements for “strong” AI — machine intelligence with the full range of human intelligence — by 2020, says Ray Kurzweil.

“I figure we need about 10 quadrillion calculations a second to provide a functional equivalent to all the regions of the brain. IBM’s Blue Gene/L computer is already at 100 trillion. If we plug in the semiconductor industry’s projections, we can see that 10… read more

UCLA researchers use new microscope to ‘see’ atoms

May 5, 2010

UCLA researchers have used cryo-electron microscopy to image a virus structure at 3.3 angstroms (.33 nanometer), a resolution high enough to “see” atoms.

The technology allows samples to be imaged in their native environment, so the structural model is faithful to the original sample, and without needing to grow a crystal.

More info: UCLA news

Augmented-reality rope lets you team up to fly a kite

February 28, 2012

vrkite

A new game called Rope Revolution developed by graduate student Lining Yao and colleagues at MIT uses an augmented-reality rope to allow players to fly a kite, ride a horse, or skip with a partner across the globe, New Scientist TV reports.

The rope controller recognizes various gestures, using a sensor in the wall attachment and an accelerometer built into the rope handle. For the… read more

AMD fabricates double-gate transistor for 10-nm designs

September 11, 2002

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. here today announced it has fabricated the world’s smallest double-gate transistors, measuring 10 nanometers.

Google Rolls Out Tool That Suggests Search Queries

August 27, 2008

The new Google Suggest feature aims to help users to better formulate queries, reduce spelling errors, and save keystrokes by suggesting queries as uses type letters and words.

The suggestions are based on an aggregate of Google searches. Yahoo Search Assist and Microsoft Live Search offer similar services.

Researchers Devise New Technique for Creating Human Stem Cells

August 22, 2005

Researchers have developed a new technique for creating human embryonic stem cells by fusing adult somatic cells with embryonic stem cells.

The fusion causes the adult cells to undergo genetic reprogramming, which results in cells that have the developmental characteristics of human embryonic stem cells. The new technique may permit scientists to derive new human embryonic stem cell lines without the need to use human embryos.

This approach… read more

Simple Vibrating Bot Climbs Tubes With Ease

May 13, 2010

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a robot that can climb three-dimensional tubes.

Its simple motor turns an unbalanced mass at a uniform velocity. As the mass swings around, it causes the robot to bounce back and forth between the tube walls. Two rubber o-rings let the researches specify the exact contact points and increase friction with the walls.

Thousand-chamber biochip debuts

October 3, 2002

California Institute of Technology researchers hope to replace large chemistry equipment with devices based on a fluidic storage chip that can store 1,000 different substances in an area slightly larger than a postage stamp.

The technology could eventually allow experiments that involve hundreds or thousands of liquid samples to run on desktop or even handheld devices, potentially reducing the cost and complexity of medical testing, genetics research and drug… read more

Study says eyes evolved for X-Ray vision

September 1, 2008

A new study by Mark Changizi, assistant professor of cognitive science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has uncovered an to binocular vision: our ability to see through clutter.

Changizi says human eyes have evolved to be forward facing, but that we now live in a non-cluttered environment where we might actually benefit more from sideways-facing eyes.

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