December 22, 2010
In The Journey of the e-Book, Fast Company illustrates some of the forms that electronic reading has taken and might take.
Autistic savants are born with miswired neurons—and extraordinary gifts. Geneticists are starting to pinpoint the DNA anomalies found in savants. More than a dozen genes may contribute to autism. Several other forms of mental impairment also produce islands of startling ability—known as splinter skills—as if fragments of savant code are scattered throughout the genetic database.
Amazon’s new Kindle 2 e-book reader, now shipping, wirelessly offers a choice of 240,000 books to mobile readers for $10 a book or less.
Biotechnology’s advance could give malefactors the ability to manipulate life processes, create biological weapons, and even affect human behavior.
Elite athletes always have and always will pursue every competitive advantage — health and the law be damned. Is genetic manipulation next?
Scientists and businesspeople may inhabit different cultures, but they’re looking for the same thing: patterns.
The trick is in reading the data points better or faster — or gathering more data — than anyone else. The winner is the one who needs the fewest clues to make out the big picture. They can extract more insight from a set of facts or generate data that reveal more about how… read more
Bionic eye implants are finally hitting the market — first in Europe, and hopefully soon in the U.S., ExtremeTech reports.
These implants can restore sight to completely blind patients — though only if the blindness is caused by a faulty retina, as in macular degeneration.
A molecule, polyguanidine, that flips its arms like the slats on a Venetian blind might in future find uses in computer displays, computer memory, or even windows that become tinted at the flick of a switch.
A new European project using plastic fiber and off-the-shelf components could make optical networking so cheap and simple that in the future, anyone could install it, bringing ultra-high speed (1 to 10 gigabits/sec) telecom lines into every home.
THE US Department of Defense has revealed plans to develop a lie detector that can be used without the subject knowing they are being assessed.
The Remote Personnel Assessment (RPA) device will also be used to pinpoint fighters hiding in a combat zone, or even to spot signs of stress that might mark someone out as a terrorist or suicide bomber.
The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit that seeks to protect people from some seriously catastrophic technology-related events. It funds research that would prevent a situation where technology has run amok, sort of like a pre-Fringe Unit.
The organization has a ton of areas that it’s looking into, ranging from artificial intelligence to asteroids. A particular interest for the group revolves around building shields and lots of them, such… read more
Robert X. Cringley predicts the coming demise of the landline telco monopolies from VoIP (voice over Internet) and Linux running on the latest generation of WiFi routers connected to local subscribers via a mesh network.
“The result is a system with economics with which a traditional local phone company simply can’t compete,” he says.