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The universe is a string-net liquid

March 15, 2007

Herbertsmithite could be the new silicon — a building block for quantum computers.

Unlike conventional error-prone quantum computers using electron spin, a new stable design may be possible, using a “string-net liquid” — a potentially new state of matter — with elementary and quasi-particles at the end of “strings.”

Physicists could manipulate these particles with electric fields, braiding them around each other, encoding information in the number of… read more

The universe will destroy the evidence of its origin

July 2, 2007

In 100 billion years, everything we can see except local galaxies will have been pushed so far away by the universe’s expansion that all other sources of light will have been redshifted beyond our ability to detect them, according to a paper that will appear in October.

All matter other than that in our galaxy will be invisible, and our view of the universe will look like it did… read more

The Universe, Expanding Beyond All Understanding

June 6, 2007

If things keep going the way they are, Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University and Robert J. Scherrer of Vanderbilt University calculate, in 100 billion years the only galaxies left visible in the sky will be the half-dozen or so bound together gravitationally into what is known as the Local Group, which is not expanding and in fact will probably merge into one starry ball.

Unable to see… read more

The Unmanned Army

April 21, 2003

“The unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is the first tangible evidence of [a] robotic future….If the UCAV program succeeds, it could lead us to a distant point on the horizon where no Americans in uniform will ever again fight on the battlefield — automated submarines launching cruise missiles, divisions of unmanned ground vehicles racing toward enemy capitals. Autonomous helicopters will charge ahead of the columns, flying 15 feet off the… read more

The unnatural man/A search for meaning in a genetically engineered future

May 22, 2003

Bill McKibben’s new book, Enough: Staying Human in An Engineered Age, warns about the dangers of technological advances in biology (especially germline engineering), nanotech, and robotics. “I am very afraid of these technologies, for a long list of reasons….”

The Ups and Downs of Nanobiotech

August 30, 2004

Ten years from now, a visit to the doctor could be quite different than it is today. How different? Imagine tiny particles that “cook” cancers from the inside out; “smart bomb” drugs that detonate only over their targets; and finely structured scaffolds that guide tissue regeneration.

Academic labs, small startups, and giant pharmaceutical companies are working to turn these proofs-of-principle into approved therapies.

The virtual anatomy, ready for dissection

January 9, 2012

biodigitalhuman

The New York University School of Medicine is using 3D digital technology for teaching anatomy, a “Google Earth for the human body.”

BioDigital, the developer, plans to develop the virtual cadaver further on its new medical education Web site, biodigitalhuman.com, with the aim of providing a searchable, customizable map of the human body.

It will be available as a free, easy-to-use public Web site (now available… read more

The Virtual Stomach

November 1, 2002

Penn State researchers have devised a virtual stomach, a computer simulation of the gastric motions, stresses and particle breakdown as the belly contracts, based on fluid mechanics.

The simulation may one day help researchers improve the composition of tablets that break down slowly over many hours before proceeding to the small intestine, where drugs are taken up. It may also help understand why nutrients are sometimes released too rapidly… read more

The Virus Underground

February 11, 2004

Given the pace of virus development, we are probably going to see even nastier criminal attacks in the future.

Some academics have predicted the rise of “cryptoviruses” — malware that invades your computer and encrypts all your files, making them unreadable. “The only way to get the data back will be to pay a ransom,” says Stuart Schechter, a doctoral candidate in computer security at Harvard.

Antivirus companies… read more

The Wall Has Fallen: 3 Augmented Reality Apps Now Live in iPhone App Store

August 30, 2009

Three augmented reality apps (overlaying information on the camera view) have come to the iPhone, thanks to an unofficial developer workaround (Apple’s next OS, due this Fall, will support AR apps officially).

The Way We Nest Now

November 18, 2003

“Smart helpmeets” are on their way: our homes, our offices, our cars and our clothes. They are meant to be aware, not dumb; proactive, not inert.

“Desks and doors, televisions and telephones, cars and trains, eyeglasses and shoes and even the shirts on our backs — all are changing from static, inanimate objects into adaptive, reactive systems,” wrote Alex Pentland, a pioneer in smart environments at the M.I.T. Media… read more

The Way We Will Be 50 Years From Today

April 17, 2008

In the new book The Way We Will Be 50 Years From Today: 60 Of The World’s Greatest Minds Share Their Vision Of The Next Half-Century (Thomas Nelson, April 2008), Mike Wallace asks a group of visionaries, including 15 Nobel Prize winners, to describe the next half-century.

Among the forecasts:

- Our grandchildren will live to be 140 years old.
- Diseases such as breast cancer and heart… read more

The Web Time Forgot

June 17, 2008
(Mundaneum)

In 1934, Belgium visionary Paul Otlet sketched out plans for the the Mundaneum — a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes”) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files.

He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole… read more

The Web’s crystal ball gets an upgrade

November 14, 2011

The link-shortening service Bitly has reached a data-sharing agreement with authentication services provider VeriSign, merging their shared database of 130 million customers to improve future forecasting.

The Wi-Fi Boom

December 12, 2002

High-speed Wi-Fi wireless access to the Internet in public and private spaces is a growing national trend.

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