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Nanotubes boost storage

October 16, 2003

Scientists have demonstrated that multiwalled carbon nanotube tips can be used to write more than 250 gigabits per square inch of data onto a polymer film.

The power efficiency of indent writing with MWCNT tips was found to be higher than that of conventional silicon tips owing to better heat transfer at the tip-polymer interface.

Lantz, M. et al. Carbon nanotube tips for thermomechanical data storage.read more

Precision nanoprinting could foil the forgers

September 5, 2007

A novel printing method that involves positioning individual nanoparticles with great accuracy could make smaller electronic circuits, and might eventually help prevent banknote counterfeiting, IBM researchers say.

Physicists invent ‘QuIET’ — single molecule transistors

August 30, 2006

University of Arizona physicists proposed to turn single molecules into working transistors as small as a single nanometer.

The Quantum Interference Effect Transistor (QuIET) design uses a benzene ring-like molecule with two molecular electrical leads attached to create two alternate paths through which current can flow and a third lead to turn the device on and off, the “valve.”

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

Orgasmatron Puts Tech in Sex

October 27, 2003

A Texas company claims to have invented a kind of Orgasmatron for women — an electrical stimulation device that takes women to a pre-orgasmic state.

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

Tiny fuel cell might replace batteries in laptop computers, portable electronics

September 13, 2006

Chemists at Arizona State University have created a tiny hydrogen-gas generator that they say can be developed into a compact fuel cell package that can power electronic devices three to five times longer than conventional batteries of the same size and weight.

The generator uses a special solution containing borohydride, an alkaline compound that has an unusually high capacity for storing hydrogen, a key element that is used by… 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.

Promise and Peril of the 21st Century

November 4, 2003

“Future dangers from new technologies may appear alarming when considered in the context of today’s unprepared world,” says Ray Kurzweil. “The reality is that the sophistication and power of our defensive technologies and knowledge will grow along with the dangers.

“GNR [genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics] technologies cannot be stopped, and broad pursuit of relinquishment will only distract us from the vital task in front of us: to rapidly… read more

‘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.

Powerful Batteries That Assemble Themselves

September 29, 2006

Biology may be the key to producing light-weight, inexpensive, and high-performance batteries that could transform military uniforms into power sources and, eventually, improve electric and hybrid vehicles.

Through a combination of genetic design and directed evolution, Angela Belcher, an MIT professor of biological engineering and materials science, and colleagues have created viruses that coat themselves with inorganic materials they wouldn’t touch in nature, forming crystalline materials, which are doped… 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.

New transistors: An alternative to silicon and better than graphene

January 31, 2011

A model showing how molybdenite can be integrated into a transistor. (EPFL)

Smaller and more energy-efficient electronic chips could be made using molybdenite. In an article appearing online January 30 in the journalNature Nanotechnology, EPFL’s Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) publishes a study showing that this material has distinct advantages over traditional silicon or graphene for use in electronics applications.

A discovery made at EPFL could play an important role in electronics, allowing us to make transistors that are… read more

Memories in the Corner of My Eye

November 12, 2003

Glasses with a tiny television screen embedded into one of the lenses and hooked up to a PDA are being used to project 1/180-of-a-second subliminal reminders to wearers.

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

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