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The virtual anatomy, ready for dissection

January 9, 2012


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,, 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

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.


December 6, 2005

“Q: As consumer products gain more computer intelligence, how will they change?

“A: Three trends are at work. Wi-Fi connects our portable devices at tremendous speeds. These devices sense where you are, so you get media associated with that location. All products are getting radio frequency ID tags.

“… Q: How does computer intelligence come into this?

“A: It’s all about systems anticipating your needs. The location-based… read more

The Wiki Workplace

March 25, 2007

The information and communication technologies that are transforming media, culture, and the economy are also reshaping how companies and employees function. New social computing tools such as wikis and blogs put unprecedented communication power in the hands of employees.

Wikis, blogs, and other tools will arrive in the workplace whether companies are ready or not, as younger employees tend to develop their own self-organized networks that cut across traditional… read more

The wisdom of herds: How social mood moves the world

May 26, 2010

Empirical evidence suggests that events taking place in periods of positive social mood are of a dramatically different character from events you can expect when the mood is negative — thus the importance of mood as an early-warning indicator for extreme events in human society, suggests futurist John Casti.

One very useful measure of the social mood, reflecting both actions and herding, is a financial market average.

The World According to Google

December 12, 2002

Google is transforming the masses into data-miners and becoming a cultural phenomenon.

But its founders have even bigger plans. “The ultimate search engine would be smart; it would understand everything in the world,” says Larry Page. “I view Google as a way to augment your brain with the knowledge of the world,” says Sergey Brin. “It will be included in your brain.”

The world as free-fire zone

How drones made it easy for Americans to kill a particular person anywhere on the planet
June 13, 2013

Reaper Drone (Credit: USAF)

“The rise of the drone is not a case of technology run amok. It is the result of human decision: of political calculation and, too often, strategic evasion,” says author Fred Kaplan in MIT Technology Review.

“Judging from its expanded use over the past five years, the drone’s chief danger is that it makes war too easy — so easy that commanders, including the commander-in-chief, can fool themselves… read more

The world can be powered by alternative energy, using today’s technology, in 20-40 years

January 27, 2011


If someone told you there was a way you could save 2.5 million to 3 million lives a year and simultaneously halt global warming, reduce air and water pollution and develop secure, reliable energy sources – nearly all with existing technology and at costs comparable with what we spend on energy today – why wouldn’t you do it?

According to a new study coauthored by Stanford researcher Mark Z.… read more

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