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Charting Virtual Worlds

October 1, 2001
3D hyperbolic view of Internet topology

The Atlas of Cyberspace is a large-format, full-color book with with more than 300 full-color maps of the Net’s infrastructure and traffic, maps of the Web and websites, charts of social interactions such as Usenet or e-mail, and artists’ visualizations of cyberspace.

Inexpensive scanners can ‘fingerprint’ paper, researchers say

March 11, 2009

Researchers at Princeton University and University College London say they can identify unique information, essentially like a fingerprint, from any sheet of paper using any reasonably good scanner.

The technique could be used to crack down on counterfeiting or even keep track of confidential documents.

‘Electromagnetic Wormhole’ Possible with Invisibility Technology

October 15, 2007
One of the views through the "wormhole." Credit: University of Rochester

University of Rochester researchers have developed cloaking technology that opens the possibility of building a sort of invisible tunnel between two points in space.

New Methods of Solving Combinatorial-explosion Problems

February 22, 2005

Researchers have developed tools to solve many so-called intractable computer problems, at least in certain practical situations, by using methods that avoid searching the lengthy paths that occur in “heavy tails” of a path distribution.

One of the most effective approaches is to find a “backdoor set” — a small number of key variables whose values can be fixed in advance. In an airline scheduling problem with 10,000 variables,… read more

The Singularity: Humanity’s Last Invention?

January 12, 2011

NPR interviewed Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Microsoft Research AI researchers forĀ  Tuesday’s “All Things Considered.” (Audio)

Subliminal study shows subconscious learning is possible

October 26, 2001

Subconscious learning probably is possible, say Boston University researchers, and subconscious learning may affect our conscious decisions — without our realising it.

Takeo Watanabe and his colleagues at Boston University found that people who had watched a particular direction of subliminal dot movement during a letter-naming trial were significantly better at picking it out later.

The finding challenges the idea that attention is an essential element of the… read more

New form of ‘Mobius’ carbon predicted

March 17, 2009

A new form of crystalline carbon made entirely of Mobius-molecules of graphene is suggested by calculations by Universidade Estadual de Campinas scientists.

Strips with an odd number of half twists (and one with six half turns) ought to have a magnetic dipole moment, making the molecules crystalise.

The Prize Is Won; The Simplest Universal Turing Machine Is Proved

October 25, 2007

University of Birmingham Alex Smith has won a $25,000 prize for proving that the simplest possible Turing machine is in fact universal, Stephen Wolfram has announced.

“Perhaps one day there’ll even be practical molecular computers built from this very 2,3 Turing machine,” said Wolfram. “With tapes a bit like RNA strands, and heads moving up and down like ribosomes. When we think of nanoscale computers, we usually… read more

Ghosts in a machine

March 10, 2005

What is it that triggers the brain to produce a religious experience? One route to understanding is the Shakti headset, which puts brain stimulation back in the hands of the individual rather than being something done to people in a lab.

As an American chronicler in this field, John Horgan, has remarked: “Trying to understand mystical experiences without having one, is like a eunuch trying to understand sex.”

’2001: HAL’s Legacy’ to air on PBS Nov. 27 (reminder)

November 27, 2001

Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Kurzweil, and other leading scholars in artificial intelligence and computer science will be featured in the forthcoming television documentary “2001: HAL’s Legacy,” to air nationwide on PBS stations starting Tuesday, November 27, according to Dr. David G. Stork, creator of the documentary.

The experts reflect upon the state of the art, how far we’ve come, and how far we have yet to go… read more

Innovation: A licence to print gadgets

March 25, 2009

Wallpaper with changing designs, bulbless lamps that shed light from their shades, and scrolls that unroll to become flexible full-color displays are a few of the new devices the approaching era of printed electronics could bring.

Crops That Shut Down Pests’ Genes

November 5, 2007

Monsanto is developing genetically modified plants that use RNA interference to kill the insects that eat them.

Nanotechnology’s progress and challenges addressed during ACS meeting

March 18, 2005

More than 60 presentations, in symposia ranging from medicine to the environment to business, highlight nanotechnology’s progress and challenges during the 229th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, March 13-17.

American Chemical Society news release

Drexler Warns Terror Symposium: Nanotech Has ‘Extreme Downsides’

December 19, 2001

The scientist who coined the term nanotechnology warned Tuesday that development of “extremely powerful, extremely dangerous technologies” must be shepherded by stewards tutored in both its promise and its peril.
“One of my profound hopes is that the new spirit of seriousness about life and death issues that we see in the wake of Sept. 11…will encourage people to pay a little less attention to politics and a little more… read more

Can fractals make sense of the quantum world?

March 31, 2009

The mathematics of fractals could help make sense of out quantum weirdness, says physicist Tim Palmer.

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