science + technology news

People of the Year: Bloggers

January 3, 2005

Bloggers are among “World News Tonight’s” People of the Year.

Bloggers have taken the lead over traditional media on a number of stories.

This week, their influence has become readily apparent. Dozens of bloggers have been filing firsthand reports from the areas devastated by southern Asia’s deadly tsunamis. Bloggers around the world have made themselves useful, encouraging donations to relief groups, posting the names of the missing and… read more

Zeitgeist 2010: Year in Review

December 10, 2010


Flowing liquid revealed as quantum wave

July 9, 2001

Researchers have shown that a liquid, ultra-cold helium-3, demonstrates quantum interference, just as the classic “two-slits” experiment shows that a beam of light is a quantum wave.

This quantum interference is identical to the interference between light waves, electrons, atomic beams and electrical currents in solid superconductors. It had never before been observed in a liquid.

The findings by UC Berkeley researchers was published in Nature… read more

The Cellphone, Navigating Our Lives

February 18, 2009

With the dominance of the cellphone, the map is emerging as a new metaphor for how we organize, find and use information.

A new generation of smartphones like Google’s Android G1 and a range of Japanese phones now “augment” reality by painting a map over a phone-screen image of the user’s surroundings produced by the phone’s camera.

With this sort of map it is possible to see a… read more

Multiple Sclerosis patients walk faster thanks to VR technology

September 17, 2007

Using virtual reality technology coupled with sensors, scientists at Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology, have developed a system to enable people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis to walk more effectively.

A small screen attached to glasses projects a moving, virtual ground computed using sensors that measure the user’s eye and body movements. This “virtual floor” apparently improves the walking ability of MS sufferers, and helps them to remain stable. The… read more

Nanoneedle gets into cells

January 12, 2005

Japanese scientists have used nanoneedles attached to an atomic force microscope to penetrate the nucleus of living cells.

The needles could be used to deliver molecules such as nucleic acids, proteins or other chemicals to the nucleus, or maybe even to carry out cell surgery.

The nanoneedles the scientists tested were 200-300 nm in diameter and 6-8 microns long. They were etched from pyramidal silicon AFM tips using… read more

World champion to battle chess supercomputer

August 2, 2001

World chess champion Vladimir Kramnik will play the “Deep Fritz 7″ chess supercomputer in an eight-game match in Bahrain in October.
This will be the first man vs. machine chess showdown since IBM Corp.’s “Deep Blue” RS/6000-based parallel computer defeated former world chess champion Garry Kasparov 3.5 points to 2.5 points in 1997.

Deep Fritz has been built from scratch by an independent group of computer and chess specialists,… read more

Most powerful ever quantum chip undergoing tests

February 25, 2009

A prototype chip built by D-Wave Systems is designed to handle 128 qubits of information, more than any previous device.

‘Self-aware’ space rovers would be speedy explorers

September 24, 2007

Josh Bongard of the University of Vermont has designed a simulated rover that shows how to work much faster.

This rover “imagines” itself and its immediate surroundings, and heads off to explore the areas that stimulate its curiosity. The approach lets it navigate uncharted territory much more quickly without putting itself in undue danger.

‘Clang’: Science fiction author Neal Stephenson kickstarts video game career

July 11, 2012

Clang (credit: Subutai Corporation)

Science fiction author Neal Stephenson came up with a concept for a  fantasy sword-fighting game called “Clang“ and successfully funded its development by raising $500,000 via Kickstarter.

But selecting a realistic controller was his main concern. “In our minds, a game was inseparable with a hardware controller,” he said. “It had to be shaped like the handle of a controller, and you had to move… read more

Blazing Speed: The Fastest Stuff in the Universe

January 24, 2005

Astronomers are now measuring matter that moves at 99.9 percent of the speed of light.

The fast-moving material consists of blobs of hot gas embedded in streams of material ejected from hyperactive galaxies known as blazars; and ultra high-energy cosmic rays.

AI researcher Hugo de Garis joins Utah State University Computer Science department

August 27, 2001

AI researcher Hugo de Garis has accepted a tenure-track Associate Professor position in the Computer Science department at Utah State University (USU), starting September 10, 2001, has learned.
“I will continue my artificial brain work of course, for the next 20 years, corresponding with the “Moore window,” in which Moore’s law remains valid until it hits the atomic barrier around 2020,” de Garis said. “The next-smallest thing to atoms… read more

Why robots can’t be trusted with weapons

March 3, 2009

The idea that robots might one day be able to tell friend from foe is deeply flawed, says roboticist Noel Sharkey of the University of Sheffield, commenting on a report calling for weapon-wielding military robots to be programmed with the same ethical rules of engagement as human soldiers.

The Problem with Atheism

October 3, 2007

“I think that ‘atheist’ is a term that we do not need, in the same way that we don’t need a word for someone who rejects astrology. We simply do not call people ‘non-astrologers,’” says author Sam Haris in a talk given at the Atheist Alliance conference in Washington D.C. on September 28th.

“All we need are words like ‘reason’ and ‘evidence’ and ‘common sense’ and ‘bullshit’ to put… read more

The Business Of Nanotech

February 4, 2005

Hew nano-based products that could have a big impact are only a step or two away.

Within the next two years, diagnostic machines with components built at the nano scale should allow doctors and nurses to carry pint-size laboratories in their briefcases, perhaps to test for HIV or count white blood cells on the spot. Nano sensors will scour airports and post offices for anthrax and sarin. Toward the… read more

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