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Has Viral Gone Viral?

March 30, 2010

Chatroulette’s viral growth — a million unique visitors a day after just three months, without any advertising or promotion, aided by social media, suggests that the already speedy clock of Internet time is running faster than ever.

Nissan teams up with EPFL for BMI-assisted driving

September 30, 2011

The BCI simulator used in the lab

The car of tomorrow will scan your thought patterns and predict your next, says Nissan, which is collaborating with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland (EPFL).

Brain machine interface (BMI) systems developed by scientists at EPFL already allow disabled users to maneuver their wheelchairs by thought alone.

“The idea is to blend driver and vehicle intelligence together in such a way that… read more

Controlling a Gut Bot’s Position

July 31, 2008
(Metin Sitti, Carnegie Mellon University)

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a tiny capsule robot adhesive enough to anchor inside an intestine and yet gentle enough not to tear soft tissue.

They looked to beetles, which secrete oil-like liquids along their foot hairs to stick securely to surfaces, and coated the robot’s feet with a similarly viscous liquid for more adhesion, using a surface-tension component.

Future possible uses include biopsy and… read more

‘Nanofingers’ sensors developed

December 9, 2003

Future sensors may take the form of microscopic finger-like structures developed at Ohio State University. The “nanofingers” are carved onto the surface of inexpensive ceramic material and consist of a single crystal of titanium oxide.

The 50-nanometers-wide nanofingers provide a large surface area, making them good for capturing chemicals from the air, gathering light for electricity-generating solar cells, or for photocatalysis, in which light activates chemical reactions that clean… read more

H.P. Sees a Revolution in Memory Chip

April 8, 2010

Hewlett-Packard scientists plan today to report advances in the design of memristors, a new class of devices capable of replacing transistors, using a vast three-dimensional array, which allows for ultradense computing devices.

HP now has working 3-nanometer memristors that can switch on and off in about a nanosecond. HP says it could have a competitor to flash memory in three years that would have a capacity of 20 gigabytes… read more

It May Come as a Shock

November 7, 2006

Two different kinds of stimulatory devices are now in large-scale clinical trials for possible use in patients with the most severe migraine cases.

The two approaches are occipital nerve stimulation, or ONS, and transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. Experts say approaches like these represent a powerful new trend in migraine research.

New Google tool aims to provide more insight into online searches

August 7, 2008

Google has launched Google Insights for Search, an extension of Google Trends, designed to be used by advertisers, small business owners, academics and others.

Like Google Trends, the Insights software lets users type in search terms and then see search volume patterns over time and the top related and rising searches. But users can also now compare volume trends across multiple search terms, vertical industry categories, geographic regions and… read more

Optical fibres cut their losses

December 18, 2003

New super-thin optical fibers confine light signals much more securely than their thicker counterparts. The new low-loss design will combat the leaks that can severely weaken a telecommunications signal when conveyed over many kilometers.

The new fibers are 50 nanometers across — around 10,000 times thinner than current optical fibers. They are also highly flexible, so they can guide light signals around tight bends, which will help the production… read more

Maxed out: Testing humans to destruction

April 20, 2010

How far can you push the human body before it fails? New Scientist explores 12 extremes of endurance, from vacuum exposure to memory marathons, in a special feature.

New media bypassing TV channels, book publishers

October 18, 2011

YouTube has been striking deals with several content providers (such as Warner Bros., BermanBraun, FremantleMedia and Shine Group) to add about two dozen channels offering original shows, with TV-style entertainment and news, says Hollywood Reporter. Sources indicated Google would spend as much as $150 million on the effort.

Meanwhile, Amazon is signing up new authors, bypassing book publishers and agents, says The New York Times. … read more

Big brother is listening to you

November 20, 2006

To prevent fights breaking out, surveillance cameras in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands have been adapted to listen out for voices raised in anger. Microphones attached to the cameras feed the sound signals to software that can detect voices that are aggressive in tone.

In a trial earlier this year, police made three arrests after being alerted by the system

Spin flip trick points to fastest RAM yet

August 14, 2008

Researchers in Germany have built a Magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) system that is 10 times faster than existing MRAM systems.

MRAM is a faster and more energy efficient version of the RAM used in computers today, and hardware companies think it will in a few years dominate the market.

Caltech lecture by Crichton on ‘consensus science’

January 5, 2004

Michael Crichton understands the core values of science better than some prominent scientists, as he showed in this lecture at Caltech about the dangers of “consensus science”: “I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.

“Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter… read more

New Way To Guide A Car: With Your Eyes, Not Hands

April 26, 2010

German researchers have developed a new technology, “eyeDriver,” that lets drivers steer cars going 31 mph (50 kph) using only their eyes.

Bio-inspired Assembly of Nanoparticle Building Blocks

November 30, 2006
V-shaped amphiphilic molecules containing gold nanoparticles form cylindrical micelles when exposed to water

Chemists at Rice University have discovered how to assemble gold and silver nanoparticle building blocks into larger structures based on a novel method that harkens back to one of nature’s oldest known chemical innovations — the self-assembly of lipid membranes that surround every living cell.

Researchers believe the new method will allow them to create a wide variety of useful materials, including extra-potent cancer drugs and more… read more

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