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Amazon creates artificial artificial intelligence

November 7, 2005 has launched a new program called Amazon Mechanical Turk, through which a computer can ask humans to perform tasks that it can’t do itself, such as identifying objects in photographs.

Earth-like planets in our galactic neighborhood

February 17, 2009

“There are something like a few dozen solar-type stars within something like 30 light years of the sun, and I would think that a good number of those — perhaps half of them — have Earth-like planets,” says Alan Boss, an astrophysicist from the Carnegie Institution for Science.

“So I think there is a very good chance that we will find some Earth-like planets within 10, 20 or 30… read more

When the Athlete’s Heart Falters, a Monitor Dials for Help

January 9, 2003

Manufacturers are working on wearable heart monitors linked to cellphones that can sound an alert automatically, contacting a doctor, family member or Web site when trouble beckons.

Google Sponsors $30 Million Lunar X PRIZE to put robotic rovers on the Moon

September 14, 2007

The X PRIZE Foundation and Google Inc. has announced the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a $30 million prize purse.

Google Lunar X PRIZE Vision

Private companies from around the world will compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending… read more

Nanotubes beam out bright light

November 19, 2005

Physicists have generated extra-bright beams of infrared light from single-walled carbon nanotubes. The new technique is more efficient than many existing methods for producing light and could have applications in optoelectronics.

The IBM-Duke team found that when certain voltages were applied, the nanotubes emitted infrared light localized in a nano-sized area. This resulted in a very bright source of light: a 3 milliamp current was able to produce about… read more

Astronaut-authored report says NASA needs new direction

February 25, 2009

NASA needs “serious reform or significant organizational overhaul,” Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin and colleagues say in a draft paper.

They advise that it should replace George W. Bush’s 2004 Vision for Space Exploration, which called for returning astronauts to the Moon by 2020, with a plan that focuses on sending astronauts first to new targets, such as asteroids or the L2 libration point, which could host a space-station-like outpost… read more

Molecular dots rise for information storage

January 24, 2003

Researchers have made a new molecular device that could store up to 100 gigabits of data per square inch, using molecules called “rotaxanes.”

Singularity Summit 2007 audio is now online

September 21, 2007

Audio for all talks and panel discussions at the recent Singularity Summit 2007 is now available free online and via iTunes podcast.

Robots aim to explore and build on other worlds

December 5, 2005

NASA is offering two new $250,000 prizes to stimulate advances in the use of robots in planetary exploration and automated construction.

The Telerobotic Construction Challenge aims to promote the development of semi-autonomous robots that can build complicated structures with minimal remote guidance from human controllers.

The other competition will award funding to teams that build an uncrewed, auto-piloted plane that can follow a complex flight path using only… read more

Graphene: Carbon As Thin As Can Be

March 3, 2009
Graphene transistor (Phaedon Avouris/IBM)

Surprising mechanical, structural, and electronic properties of one-atom-thin graphene sheets are grabbing widespread attention for its uses in future flexible displays, transistors, and advanced wearable and flexible personal electronic systems.

Nonbiological intelligence will dominate: Kurzweil in Time magazine

February 11, 2003

“Within a quarter-century, we will have completed the reverse engineering of the human brain and will understand its principles of operation,” says Ray Kurzweil in Time Magazine’s Feb. 9, 2003 issue on “The Secret of Life.”

The special issue explores how cracking the DNA code has changed how we live and features an invited panel of scientists and science writers who imagine the world 50 years from now.… read more

It’s All in Your Head

October 2, 2007

The Library Journal has compiled a useful online list of reference books, textbooks, general books, periodicals, web sites, and DVDs on neuroscience.

Space ‘spiders’ could build solar satellites

December 15, 2005

A mission to determine whether spider-like robots could construct complex structures in space is set to launch in January 2006. The spider bots could build large structures by crawling over a “web” released from a larger spacecraft.

The engineers behind the project hope the robots will eventually be used to construct colossal solar panels for satellites that will transmit solar energy back to Earth. The satellites could reflect and… read more

Thought-propelled wheelchair developed in Italy

March 9, 2009

A wheelchair that obeys mental signals sent to a computer has been developed by researchers at Milan’s Polytechnical Institute.

The Singularity Is Near ranks in top-selling science and tech books in 2005

December 17, 2005

After an extended run as #1 on the science, technology, and philosophy lists since its publication, Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology ends 2005 as the fourth best-selling science book in 2005, even though published late in the year (September 26).

The book was also selected by the Amazon editors as #6 on their “Best Books of 2005: Science” list.… read more

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