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A Soldier, Taking Orders From Its Ethical Judgment Center

November 26, 2008

“My research hypothesis is that intelligent robots can behave more ethically in the battlefield than humans currently can,” said Ronald C. Arkin, a computer scientist at Georgia Tech, who is designing software for battlefield robots under contract with the Army.

He and others say that the technology to make lethal autonomous robots is inexpensive and proliferating, and that the advent of these robots on the battlefield is only a… read more

World’s First Robot Census

October 12, 2010

Heather “Marilyn Monrobot” Knight, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, plans to take the world’s first robot census, eventually canvassing as many of the home-brew and university robotics efforts as possible.

Knight’s inspiration for initiating the census is her own work in integrating robots into people’s everyday lives. By showcasing the incredible variety and utility of the robots at Carnegie Mellon and elsewhere, Knight thinks… read more

Study: Chip-Tools Spending To Double

July 13, 2004

The semiconductor-tools industry is poised for dramatic growth in 2004, according to a new report from research firm Gartner. Demand is being driven by a seemingly insatiable consumer appetite for electronics devices, such as cell phones.

Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is on pace to reach US$44.8 billion this year, growing 50.9 percent from 2003, according to Gartner. Capital equipment spending is forecast to grow 63.5 percent in 2004.… read more

New distance record for quantum communication

June 4, 2007

A quantum communication has been sent across a record 144 kilometers (90 miles) using a process that may one day be used to send secret messages across space via a network of satellites.

‘Unzipped’ carbon nanotubes could help energize fuel cells and batteries, Stanford scientists say

May 29, 2012


Multi-walled carbon nanotubes riddled with defects and impurities on the outside could replace some of the expensive platinum catalysts used in fuel cells and metal-air batteries, according to scientists at Stanford University.

“Platinum is very expensive and thus impractical for large-scale commercialization,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford and co-author of the study. “Developing a low-cost alternative has been a… read more

The Next Human Genome Project: Our Microbes

May 2, 2007

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is now considering a project, dubbed the human microbiome, to sequence the microorganisms that inhabit our bodies.

The project could reveal whether different organisms are correlated with different health states, and could ultimately become a routine part of medical exams, perhaps used to diagnose different diseases.

Universe’s dark matter mix is ‘just right’ for life

December 5, 2008

University of California, Berkeley scientist Ben Freivogel combined the cosmological models of large-scale structure formation with the physics of dark-matter axions to predict the most likely value for the ratio of dark matter to normal matter that would allow observers like us to emerge, assuming that the number of observers in a universe is proportional to the number of galaxies within it.

Supporting the antropic principle, his calculations show… read more

Bendable Memory Made from Nanowire Transistors

October 20, 2010

Nanowire transistors ( Junginn Sohn, Cambridge Nanoscience Center)

University of Cambridge researchers have made a new kind of flexible, nonvolatile nanoscale memory component that could someday be used to pack more data into gadgets.

The device stores bits of information using the conductance of nanoscale transistors made from zinc oxide. The new memory cannot hold data for as long as flash, and it is slower and has fewer rewrite cycles, but it could potentially be made smaller and… read more

Handheld Computer-Phone Is Here

July 27, 2004

T-Mobile USA and Hewlett-Packard will introduce the first-ever handheld computer that also works as a cell phone and can tap into the Internet using high-speed wireless hot spots next month.

More-Accurate Video Search

June 13, 2007

EveryZing has launched a search engine that it hopes will change the way that people search for audio and video online. Formerly known as PodZinger, a podcast search engine, EveryZing is leveraging speech systems developed by technology company BBN that can convert spoken words into searchable text with about 80 percent accuracy.

Scientists look high in the sky for power

May 10, 2007

Scientists are eyeing the jet stream, an energy source that rages night and day, 365 days a year, just a few miles above our heads. If they can tap into its fierce winds, the world’s entire electrical needs could be met, they say.

Dozens of researchers in California and around the world believe huge kite-like wind-power generators could be the solution.

Inventor builds She-3PO robo

December 11, 2008

Inventor Le Trung from Ontario, Canada, has built his dream girl, Aiko, who reads headlines, recognizes faces and speaks 13,000 sentences.

Once perfected, he hopes to sell Aiko clones for use as home helpers.

Mayo Builds Toward Customized Medicine

August 9, 2004

Hoping to customize medical treatments to individual patients, Mayo Clinic and IBM are applying pattern recognition and data mining to the electronic records of about 4.4 million Mayo patients.

The goal is to find patterns–based on age, medical history, genetics, and other factors–related to how patients respond to various treatments and adapt care accordingly. The researchers will also search patient data for relationships among particular proteins, genetic makeup, and… read more

Nanospheres leave cancer no place to hide

June 21, 2007

Gold-coated silica nanospheres can reveal the location of tumors and then destroy them minutes later in a burst of heat.

Using these particles to detect and destroy tumors could speed up cancer treatment, reduce the use of potentially toxic drugs, and make treatment cheaper.

Nanotube textile could make super-light armour

May 24, 2007

A breakthrough textile made from carbon nanotubes could make lighter bullet-proof clothing, wiring for aircraft and more efficient power transmission lines.

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