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The Internet Meets the Neural Net

July 26, 2004

New technlogies for interfacing brain and computer include low-cost EEG, optical signals, and direct neural interfacing.

The ‘Internet of cars’ is approaching a crossroads

June 27, 2013


Wireless vehicle networks could make driving safer, more efficient, and less polluting, but the cost of deployment will be significant, MIT Technology Review reports.

This week, officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC, will see the technology in action, in a demonstration organized by experts from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute and various communications equipment and car manufacturers.… read more

The Internet of Things will thrive by 2025 but raise privacy, complexity concerns, experts say

May 15, 2014

(Credit: IBM)

The Internet of Things will make substantial inroads into many aspects of everyday life in the next decade, according to predictions by more than 1,600 experts cited in a report (summarized here) about the future of the Internet by the Pew Research Center Internet Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center.

According to futurist Paul Saffo, managing director of… read more

The Internet takes to the air

January 15, 2003

On Jan. 15, Lufthansa will give travelers access to the net and let them send and receive e-mails in real time. Boeing has signed up 15 airlines to the in-flight service, which uses satellite links.

The Internet’s New Shortcut

August 21, 2008

University of Washington and Yale University researchers have developed a faster way to send data across the Internet, accelerating peer-to-peer traffic.

Their algorithm, which they call P4P or “local file-sharing,” finds the shortest path across the Internet by tracking users’ locations and ISP network maps without revealing details to either side. In tests, users could download files about 20% faster than conventional file-sharing, while cutting the bandwidth requirements by… read more

The Internet’s perilous New year’s resolution

December 27, 2011

Internet legislation that is scheduled for a vote in the U.S. Senate next month would aim to stop the unlicensed downloading of billions of dollars’ worth of movies and music — as well as the trade in counterfeit drugs and other goods — by blocking access to certain websites, many of them registered abroad. But its basic strategies could lead to trouble on several fronts.

If the U.S. government… read more

The intersection of information and energy technologies

April 30, 2012


Idealab‘s Bill Gross thinks computational power will solve the world’s energy problems in this century.

Everything is getting more expensive because billions of people are trying creatively to repackage and consume limited, expensive materials, he says. But there is one resource whose price has consistently has gone down: computation — atoms are going up in price while bits are going down.

“The power, cost,… read more

The interspecies internet

Could the Internet connect us with dolphins, apes, elephants and other highly intelligent species?
March 2, 2013

(Credit: Peter Gabriel)

At TED 2013 Thursday, Diana Reiss, Peter Gabriel, Neil Gershenfeld, and Vint Cerf launched the idea of the “interspecies internet.”

Diana Reiss, a cognitive psychologist, has been been teaching dolphins to communicate through an underwater keyboard of symbols that correspond to whistles and playful activities.

Through this keyboard, the dolphins learned to perform activities on demand, and also to express their desire for them. (Also see… read more

The Intimate Machine

October 24, 2002

In the first show of the new Scientific American Frontiers series on PBS TV, “The Intimate Machine,” Alan Alda visits the MIT Media Lab, where researchers are working to make machines smarter, more empathetic and easier to work with.

The series, which premiered Oct. 22, airs on Sundays at 9 PM ET/PT. It can also be viewed online.

The Invincible Man

November 5, 2007

Aubrey de Grey, 44 Going on 1,000, Wants Out of Old Age.

With adequate funding, de Grey thinks scientists may, within a decade, triple the remaining life span of late-middle-age mice. The day this announcement is made, he believes, the news will hit people like a brick as they realize that their cells could be next. He speculates people will start abandoning risky jobs, such as being police officers,… read more

The Invisible Fighter

December 30, 2004

Researchers may be developing an invisibility cloak for soldiers and vehicles using digital cameras that can capture nearby surroundings and then project that scene on uniforms and vehicles.

The system would create a mobile movie screen that is indistinguishable from the surrounding cityscape.

The island where people forget to die

October 26, 2012


For a decade, with support from the National Geographic Society, I’ve been organizing a study of the places where people live longest, Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zoneswrites in The New York Times.

The project grew out of studies by my partners, Dr. Gianni Pes of the University of Sassari in Italy and Dr. Michel Poulain, a Belgian demographer. In 2000, they identified a region of… read more

The Jetpack: From Comics to a Liftoff in the Yard

July 30, 2008

An inventor has unveiled what he calls “the world’s first practical jetpack.”

The journey of the e-book

December 22, 2010

Alan Kay with Dynabook (Wikimedia Commons)

In The Journey of the e-Book, Fast Company illustrates some of the forms that electronic reading has taken and might take.

The past:

The future?

The Key to Genius

January 13, 2004

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.

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