July 11, 2002
Inside a Soviet-style training camp, corporate scientists are reengineering neuro-mechanics, blood chemistry, and brain waves. Welcome to the Oregon Project, where Nike is rebuilding the US marathon team one high tech step at a time.
In the near future, all citizens will wear a centrally-controlled, super iPhone that tracks your movements and can scan everyone around you to divulge their net worth, their shopping history and their dating potential.
The concept is described by Gary Shteyngart in the satiric novel “Super Sad True Love Story.”
“The RateMe Plus technology is its most important part; the fact that it immediately ranks you,” he says.… read more
Dutch psychologists found that people struggling to make complex decisions did best when they were distracted and were not able to think consciously about the choice at all.
The research not only backs up the common advice to “sleep on it” when facing difficult choices, but it also suggests that the unconscious brain can actively reason as well as produce weird dreams and Freudian slips.
“Darknets,” private Internet communities using encrypted communication, are popping up for trading pirated music and movies as well as secure corporate communications.
In Decoding Reality, physicist Vlatko Vedral argues that we should regard the entire universe as a gigantic quantum computer, as MIT scientist Seth Lloyd has suggested in a series of papers and his 2006 book, Programming the Universe.
Herbertsmithite could be the new silicon — a building block for quantum computers.
Unlike conventional error-prone quantum computers using electron spin, a new stable design may be possible, using a “string-net liquid” — a potentially new state of matter — with elementary and quasi-particles at the end of “strings.”
Physicists could manipulate these particles with electric fields, braiding them around each other, encoding information in the number of… read more
In 100 billion years, everything we can see except local galaxies will have been pushed so far away by the universe’s expansion that all other sources of light will have been redshifted beyond our ability to detect them, according to a paper that will appear in October.
All matter other than that in our galaxy will be invisible, and our view of the universe will look like it did… read more
If things keep going the way they are, Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University and Robert J. Scherrer of Vanderbilt University calculate, in 100 billion years the only galaxies left visible in the sky will be the half-dozen or so bound together gravitationally into what is known as the Local Group, which is not expanding and in fact will probably merge into one starry ball.
Unable to see… read more
“The unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is the first tangible evidence of [a] robotic future….If the UCAV program succeeds, it could lead us to a distant point on the horizon where no Americans in uniform will ever again fight on the battlefield — automated submarines launching cruise missiles, divisions of unmanned ground vehicles racing toward enemy capitals. Autonomous helicopters will charge ahead of the columns, flying 15 feet off the… read more
Bill McKibben’s new book, Enough: Staying Human in An Engineered Age, warns about the dangers of technological advances in biology (especially germline engineering), nanotech, and robotics. “I am very afraid of these technologies, for a long list of reasons….”
Ten years from now, a visit to the doctor could be quite different than it is today. How different? Imagine tiny particles that “cook” cancers from the inside out; “smart bomb” drugs that detonate only over their targets; and finely structured scaffolds that guide tissue regeneration.
Academic labs, small startups, and giant pharmaceutical companies are working to turn these proofs-of-principle into approved therapies.
Penn State researchers have devised a virtual stomach, a computer simulation of the gastric motions, stresses and particle breakdown as the belly contracts, based on fluid mechanics.
The simulation may one day help researchers improve the composition of tablets that break down slowly over many hours before proceeding to the small intestine, where drugs are taken up. It may also help understand why nutrients are sometimes released too rapidly… read more
Given the pace of virus development, we are probably going to see even nastier criminal attacks in the future.
Some academics have predicted the rise of “cryptoviruses” — malware that invades your computer and encrypts all your files, making them unreadable. “The only way to get the data back will be to pay a ransom,” says Stuart Schechter, a doctoral candidate in computer security at Harvard.
Antivirus companies… read more