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August 2009: How Google beat Amazon and Ebay to the Semantic Web

August 2, 2004

You can see why Google was a natural to put it all together. Google already searched the entire Web. Google already had a distributed framework with thousands of independent machines. Google already looked for the links between pages, the way they fit together, in order to build its index. Google’s search engine solved equations with millions of variables. Semantic Web content, in RDF, was just another search problem, another set… read more

KurzweilAI newsletter publishing glitch

August 17, 2010

KurzweilAI experienced an unusual glitch in its newsletter publishing process Monday that made the newsletter received by some subscribers unreadable. The problem was caused by a timeout created by a temporary slow or bad Internet connection between two servers.

Monday’s news can be read in the KurzweilAI¬†News section.

‘Invisible’ transplant organs now in sight

November 17, 2008

Organs that are invisible to our immune system, so they won’t be rejected when they are transplanted, could be ready within 10 years, thanks to a faster way of genetically engineering pigs developed by Hammersmith Hospital in London and California Institute of Technology researchers.

Get slim on the office treadmill

May 17, 2007

Mayo Clinic obesity experts have developed a vertical workstation that helps employees take exercise and lose up to 30kg a year weight as they work.

Biology Enters Fourth Dimension

August 13, 2004

A new microscope that lets scientists peer deeper into living organisms than ever before and in real time has been developed by researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

The technology, called Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy, or SPIM, allows scientists to study relatively large (2 to 3 millimeter) live organisms from many different angles, under real conditions and with minimal disruption to the specimen.

SPIM shines a very… read more

Google Gives Real-Time Search Its Own Page

August 27, 2010

Google’s new real-time search page displays only results from timely sources, like updates from Twitter, Buzz, Facebook, Friendfeed, MySpace, Jaiku and

Google sorts real-time search results based on many elements, including how many followers the writer has, how often the subject is being written about and how many times people are reposting messages.

Plumbing the oceans could bring limitless clean energy

November 21, 2008

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) — which exploits the difference in temperature between seawater near the surface and deep down — has the potential to become the biggest source of renewable energy in the world, says Robert Cohen, who headed the US federal ocean thermal energy program in the early 1970s.

Extending future electric-car battery life, range

January 12, 2014

A hybrid anode made of graphite and lithium could quadruple the lifespan of lithium-sulfur batteries (credit: Huang et al, Nature Communications)

A hybrid anode developed at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) could quadruple the life of the lithium-sulfur batteries proposed for use in electric vehicles.

“Lithium-sulfur batteries could one day help us take electric cars on longer drives and store renewable wind energy more cheaply, but some technical challenges have to be overcome first,” said PNNL Laboratory Fellow Jun Liu. “PNNL’s new anode… read more

Moon-based climate monitoring station proposed

May 29, 2007

University of Michigan geophysicist Shaopeng Huang is proposing a network of observatories on the moon, dedicated to studying climate change on Earth.

He recently showed that surface temperatures on the near side of the moon accurately record important information about Earth’s climate system.

Polyester enables next generation of hard disk drives

August 29, 2004

The next generation of hard disk drives will require lubricant coatings that can hold up to faster speeds and denser data. Perfluoropolyethers (PFPEs), the current industry standard, are running up against the polymer’s limits in protecting hard drives against daily wear and tear.

So University of Illinois Ph.D. candidate Wei Xiao developed an entirely new lubricant called SHP — sterically hindered polyester, based on inexpensive and abundant polyester.

Mumbai Attacks: Twitter Adds to the Noise but Is Still Valuable

November 28, 2008

First-hand accounts of the deadly Mumbai attacks are pouring in on Twitter, Flickr, and other social media, scooping traditional media with timely reports.

Twitter has fresh news and comment every few seconds, on Mumbai, Bombay, #Mumbai, and @BreakingNewz. The November 2008 Mumbai attacks Wikipedia page provides ongoing comprehensive coverage, including 198 current references.

Interactive paper sounds exciting

June 6, 2007

Boring billboards can be turned into interactive displays by using conductive inks to print touch sensors and speakers onto paper, say Swedish researchers.

To make the paper surfaces interactive, the team screen prints patterns using conductive inks containing particles of silver that overlap, allowing a current to flow.

Speakers are made by printing electromagnets out of conductive ink and stretching the paper over a cavity like a speaker… read more

The Evolution Will Be Mechanized

September 8, 2004

“A singularity looks great in special f/x, but is there any substance in the idea?” asks writer Bruce Sterling.

“When Vinge first posed the problem, he was concerned that the imminent eruption in artificial intelligence would lead to ubermenschen of unfathomable mental agility. More than a decade later, we still can’t say with any precision what intelligence is, much less how to build it. If you fail to define… read more

Intel Claims Significant Breakthrough in Silicon Photonics Development

December 8, 2008

Intel Labs researchers say they have achieved an important new step in developing silicon photonics (transmitting data via light): a silicon-based avalanche photodetector, or APD, that detects and amplifies light signals.

An avalanche photodetector is a sensor that both detects light pulses and amplifies them as light is directed into the silicon. Unlike other photodetectors that absorb one photon pulse and produce one electron, an APD can absorb and… read more

Stretchable Silicon May Inspire a New Wave of Electronics

June 14, 2007

Scientists have created a form of nanoscale silicon that is stretchable. The new material may help pave the way for a class of stretchable electronic devices, such as “smart” surgical gloves and personal health monitors, that are not possible to create using current technology and materials.

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