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World’s poor to get own search engine

July 17, 2003

MIT researchers are developing a search engine designed for people with a slow net connection.

The user would e-mail a query to a central server in Boston. The program would search the net, choose the most suitable webpages, compress them and e-mail the results a day later.

Singularity University Executive Program: Ray Kurzweil’s Opening Address

November 16, 2009

Over the last week, Singularity University has been holding an Executive Program with the goal of preparing executives for the “imminent disruption and opportunities resulting from exponentially accelerating technologies.”

Simple brain exercise can boost IQ

April 29, 2008

Experiments by University of Michigan at Ann Arbor neuropsychologists showed improved “fluid intelligence,” or Gf, the ability to reason, solve new problems and think in the abstract.

The first part of the “dual n-back” exercise involves small squares on a screen that pop into a new location every three seconds. Volunteers have to press a button when the current location is a duplicate of two views earlier.

For… read more

MIT’s Speech Recognition Baby

May 19, 2006

MIT may be on the verge of a revolutionary development in speech and video algorithmic technology. Their test subject: a 9 month-old baby boy, who is the center of a project called “The Human Speechome Project.”

Associate Professor Deb Roy, head of the MIT Media Lab’s Cognitive Machines research group, has wired his home with 11 overhead, omni-directional fisheye video cameras and 14 ceiling-mounted microphones. It will record all… read more

Your Permanent Record

July 24, 2003

By the decade’s end, we’ll have a fully realized digital memory management system, with the storage capacity approaching the largest paper-and-ink archive on earth, says Microsoft CTO David Vaskevitch.

Every picture or video snippet that you shoot be embedded with date and GPS location information. Your OS will include sophisticated face-matching software. Photos will categorize themselves “automagically” and provide us with a second memory system — a backup for… read more

Light resonators used to move nano-sized objects

November 23, 2009

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Scientists at Cornell University report they can now use a light beam carrying a single milliwatt of power to move nanoscale objects, and change the optical properties of silicon from opaque to transparent at the nanoscale.

A Price Drop for Solar Panels

May 1, 2008

A shortage of the silicon used in solar panels is almost over, industry analysts predict. This could lead to a sharp drop in prices over the next couple of years, making solar electricity comparable to power from the grid.

Added silicon production capacity is now starting to begin operations. While only 15,000 tons of silicon were available for use in solar cells in 2005, by 2010, this number could… read more

Proposal to Implant RFID Chips in Immigrants

June 5, 2006

VeriChip Corporation has proposed implanting the company’s RFID tracking tags in immigrant and guest workers.

AI quest goes small-concept

July 31, 2003

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has poured hundreds of millions into every aspect of “big” artificial intelligence-expert systems, with little tangible return.

Now DARPA plans to attack the big-AI problem by providing its own quantitative measures of success. Part of that process will involve approaching AI in smaller chunks, with more task-specific platforms that prove AI’s utility for real-world tasks, via a new generation of compelling “mini AI”… read more

Music and Speech Based on Human Biology, New Evidence Shows

December 3, 2009

Evidence of a deep biological link between human music and speech has been found by Duke University neuroscientists.

They found that the musical scales most commonly used over the centuries are those that come closest to mimicking the physics of the human voice, and that we understand emotions expressed through music because the music mimics the way emotions are expressed in speech.

The showed that the harmonic structure… read more

Lab in a Drop

May 7, 2008

Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore have developed a rapid test for genetic diagnosis that combines the preparation of biological samples with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on one chip.

The “laboratory device” for all steps in this system is a single drop containing magnetic nanoparticles, which is moved across the chip by a magnetic field.

Google’s not-so-very-secret weapon

June 14, 2006

Google is working on a secret weapon in its quest to dominate the next generation of Internet computing.

It’s installing one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers — part of a worldwide computing system known as the Googleplex, reportedly with more than 450,000 servers in at least 25 locations around the world, with plans for 800,000 by 2011.

The new installation, near the Oregon-Washington border, is at the… read more

‘Spintronics’ could enable a new generation of electronic devices

August 11, 2003

Theoretical physicists at Stanford and the University of Tokyo says they have discovered the equivalent of a new “Ohm’s Law” for spintronics.

”Unlike the Ohm’s Law for electronics, the new ‘Ohm’s Law’ that we’ve discovered says that the spin of the electron can be transported without any loss of energy, or dissipation,” says Shoucheng Zhang, a physics professor at Stanford. “Furthermore, this effect occurs at room temperature in materials… read more

Robotic Arms Avoid Collision

December 8, 2009

Experimental software developed by Harris Corporation could help make robots less clumsy and dangerous, by allowing a factory robot to sense and avoid objects while still moving quickly.

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Nanohealing Material Heads to Market

May 12, 2008

Arch Therapeutics plans clinical trials of a nanostructured fluid that stops bleeding almost instantly by transforming into a gel in the presence of blood.

Eventually, the material could be used by first responders to stop bleeding at accident sites and on the battlefield.

The material, a synthetic peptide, was discovered at MIT in the early 1990s.

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