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Cycorp: The Cost of Common Sense

February 28, 2005

The time may come, Cycorp CEO Doug Lenat says, when a greatly expanded Cyc will underlie countless software applications. But reaching that goal could easily take another two decades.

Atomic construction yields punchier power store

March 16, 2009

Devices from electric cars to laptops could benefit from a new kind of battery-capacitor using 10 billion tiny capacitors, each just 50 nanometers across, per square centimeter.

A single kilogram could deliver one megawatt of power and store 2500 joules.

What ultra-tiny nanocircuits can do

February 10, 2011

Researchers have used germanium wires to create a 'nanochip'. (Lieber Group/Harvard Univ)

Engineers and scientists collaborating at Harvard University and the MITRE Corp. have developed and demonstrated the world’s first programmable nanoprocessor.

The groundbreaking prototype computer system, described in a paper appearing Feb. 9 in the journal Nature, represents a significant step forward in the complexity of computer circuits that can be assembled from synthesized nanoscale components.

It also represents an advance because these ultra-tiny nanocircuits… read more

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

November 6, 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

New mathematical model predicts more virulent microbes

October 18, 2007

As effective population size increases and as immunodeficiency increases due to the spread of HIV infection and an aging population, there will be more virulent organisms, predicts a new mathematical model devised by NYU professor Martin J. Blaser, a microbiologist renowned for his study of H. pylori and a mathematician, and Denise Kirschner of the University of Michigan.

As even larger societies developed, more virulent organisms, such as measles,… read more

DNA with three base pairs may expand genetic code

March 15, 2005

Scientists at Scripps Research Institute have reported progress toward the creation of a system for replicating a modified form of DNA containing an unnatural base pair.

According to the scientists, this finding is a significant step towards expanding the genetic code and the ability of DNA to act as an information storage and retrieval system in the test tube and in simple, engineered organisms, such as yeast or bacteria.… read more

Jacket Lets You Feel the Movies

March 20, 2009

Philips Electronics researchers have developed a jacket they have lined with vibration motors to study the effects of touch on a movie viewer’s emotional responses to what the characters are experiencing.

The jacket contains 64 independently controlled actuators controlled by microprocessors.

An Inventor Unveils His Mysterious Personal Transportation Device

December 3, 2001
Patent drawing for "Ginger"

Inventor Dean Kamen plans to demonstrate today the much-anticipated Segway Human Transporter (code-named “Ginger” or “It”), a two-wheeled battery-powered device designed for a single standing rider. Its chief novelty lies in the uncanny effect, produced by a finely tuned gyroscopic balancing mechanism, of intuiting where its rider wants to go — and going there.

Segway Web site

Powerful Molecular Motor Permits Speedy Assembly of Viruses

October 30, 2007

A team of physicists has shown that a tiny viral motor generates twice as much power, relative to its size, as an automobile engine. The finding explains why even very large viruses can self-assemble so rapidly.

The researchers say that their work could ultimately lead to better ways of designing antiviral medications. Drugs that target the DNA-packaging process could block the infection cycle by preventing viral assembly.

Such… read more

Cheap material makes speedy memory

March 24, 2005

A low-cost, high-speed nonvolatile memory made from polystyrene and gold nanoparticles is being developed by researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles and the Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials Company.

The memory can be easily manufactured from inexpensive materials, making it potentially much cheaper than today’s flash memory chips; it can be read to and written electronically, making it potentially much faster than today’s CDs and DVDs.… read more

So Long, Energizer Bunny

March 27, 2009

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have built a piezoelectric effect (mechanical pressure converted to electricity) nanogenerator, the first to use this effect at the nanoscale.

This could allow microsensors and miniature medical devices to derive their electrical needs from their surroundings instead of from batteries.

Pacemaker the size of a tic tac

February 28, 2011

(Image: Metronic)

Medtronic is using microelectronics and chip manufacturing to create pacemakers so small that they could be injected.

Medtronic’s new prototype is smaller than a tic tac and could be installed in the body via a catheter, avoiding invasive surgery. Such a small device would also be a more efficient and safer pacemaker than the larger models in use today. It could be on the market in five years.

The components include circuit board, oscillator… read more

As Chips Reach Speed Limit, Makers Tap Into ‘Clockless’ Logic

January 9, 2002

A worldwide community of private and academic researchers are perfecting a kind of lateral-thinking, anarchic method of chipmaking based on asynchronous logic, which does away with the clock altogether. Clockless chips, in addition to being more energy efficient, can also work faster, more quietly and more securely than synchronous chips. All of which makes them perfect for applications such as computer networks, mobile phones, smart cards and embedded medical devices.… read more

How Silicon Valley could become the Detroit of electric cars

November 8, 2007

Last week’s announcement by Shai Agassi, a former SAP executive based in Palo Alto, that he’s raised $200 million for Better Place, a company that will try to revolutionize the electric car industry, is the latest sign of this region’s growing role in one of the hottest sectors of the automotive industry.

Gordon Moore on 40 years of his processor law

April 7, 2005

Gordon Moore is skeptical about quantum dots, nanotechnology, an other new technologies replacing mainstream digital silicon in the future.

“You can clearly make a tiny little transistor by these techniques with potentially great high frequency, but can you connect a billion of them together? That’s really the problem; it’s not making a small transistor.”

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