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IBM: New transistor to boost chip speed

December 3, 2001

IBM will describe a new type of Double Gate transistor this week that it says will vastly increase the performance and reduce the power consumption of chips in the coming decade.
Double Gate transistors improve on existing designs, according to IBM, because they effectively double the electrical current that can be sent through a given transistor, or, alternatively, lower the amount of electricity running through a given gate for better… read more

Can internal ‘brain music’ be used in therapy?

April 27, 2009

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggest that piano renditions of an individual’s cerebral music can help in dealing with insomnia and fatigue in the aftermath of a stressful experience.

The DHS researchers hope to record the brain’s natural activity during periods of calm or alertness. Human Bionics will convert the signal into an audible polyphonic melody. Individuals will be asked to listen to the tracks at… read more

Multiview 3D photography made simple

June 24, 2013

Because a light-field camera captures information about not only the intensity of light rays but also their angle of arrival, the images it produces can be refocused later (credit: Kshitij Marwah)

A new technique enables the conversion of an ordinary camera into a light-field camera capable of recording high-resolution, multiperspective images.

Lytro photograph: click to refocus, double-click to zoom
(credit: Amara D. Angelica)

Computational photography is the use of clever light-gathering tricks and sophisticated algorithms to extract more information from the visual environment than traditional cameras can.

The first commercial application of computational photography is… read more

Common sense boosts speech software

March 24, 2005

MIT researchers have combined speech recognition software with The Open Mind Common Sense Project database to distinguish among words that sound the same or similar.

The database contains more than 700,000 facts that MIT Media Lab researchers have been collecting from the public.

Invention: green power special

December 11, 2007

Four new patent applications show advances in green power technologies.

They include kidney cells used as biobatteries, a new method to remove contaminant from hydrogen, buckyballs used to improve methanol fuel cell efficiency, and a process to use naturally occurring anaerobic microbes to produce ethanol from biomass without the use of enzymes.

Videos of 28th Chaos Communication Congress talks

January 4, 2012


Videos of the 28th Chaos Communication Congress (28C3) are now available.

The four-day conference on technology, society, and utopia, offered  lectures and workshops on effects of technological advances on society.

The recordings are available for download and can be viewed on the 28C3 Youtube channel.

See also: Cory Doctorow keynote talkread more

‘Alien’ message tests human decoders

January 9, 2002

A message that will be broadcast into space later in 2002 has been released to scientists worldwide, to test that it can be decoded easily. The researchers who devised the message eventually hope to design a system that could automatically decode an alien reply.

The new binary message can be downloaded from the CETI home page. The project leaders hope that it will be transmitted by… read more

Austrian breakthrough in quantum cryptography

May 4, 2009

A team from Austria’s Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) sent entangled photons 144 kilometers and suggests it is now feasible to send this kind of unbreakable encrypted communication through space using satellites.

The Coming Chip Revolution

April 8, 2005

Carbon nanotubes are emerging as a leading candidate to replace silicon in future chips.

One IBM prototype device using carbon nanotubes can carry up to 1,000 times the current of copper wires used in today’s silicon chips, making it vastly more efficient.

In addition to being excellent conductors of heat, nanotubes are 10 times stronger than steel and are resistant to radiation. This matters because as chips get… read more

Neuronal circuits able to rewire on the fly to sharpen senses

December 17, 2007

Researchers have for the first time described a mechanism called “dynamic connectivity,” in which neuronal circuits are rewired “on the fly” allowing stimuli to be more keenly sensed.

This new, biologically inspired algorithm for analyzing the brain at work allows scientists to explain why when we notice a scent, the brain can quickly sort through input and determine exactly what that smell is.

Congress considers paywalling science you already paid for

January 9, 2012


Should you be able to read research you’ve helped to fund?

A few years ago, Congress approved an access policy that makes most taxpayer-funded research freely available online within 12 months of publication. It has proven a huge boon to researchers and the public.

Now, however, as UC Berkeley evolutionary biologist Michael Eisen relates, a proposed bill threatens to reverse this policy, Wired Scienceread more

Tracing the Neural Circuitry of ‘Second Sight’

February 7, 2002

Researchers have traced the light sensing circuitry for a type of “second sight” that is distinct from the conventional visual system and seems to interact directly with the body’s internal clock. The researchers speculate that subtle genetic malfunctions of this machinery might underlie some sleep disorders.In an article published in the February 8, 2002, Science, a research team led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator King-Wai Yau described the circuitry,… read more

Star Trek’s Warp Drive: Not Impossible

May 7, 2009

The faster-than-light warp drive, one of Star Trek’s hallmark inventions, is not strictly impossible, according to some researchers.

“The idea is that you take a chunk of space-time and move it,” said Marc Millis, former head of NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project.

At One Trillion Degrees, Even Gold Turns Into the Sloshiest Liquid

April 20, 2005

Scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island have produced a state of matter that flows better than water at about a trillion degrees instead of turning into a gas, as expected.

The scientists stopped short of announcing that they had created a subatomic soup known as quark-gluon plasma. Physicists are interested in quark-gluon plasma because it will help them understand the “strong force” that holds protons and… read more

Spy planes to recharge by clinging to power lines

December 20, 2007

The US Air Force Research Lab is developing an electric motor-powered micro air vehicle that can “harvest” energy when needed by attaching itself to a power line, even temporarily changing its shape to look more like innocuous piece of trash hanging from the cable.

Much of the “morphing” technology to perform this has already been developed by DARPA, the Pentagon’s research division. Technologies developed in that program include carbon… read more

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