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Computer model forecasts crime sprees

August 19, 2003

A more powerful tool for forecasting crime is emerging from a huge electronic database of six million crimes.

A team from Carnegie Mellon University analyzed the data in two ways: A statistical analysis that spots broad trends allowed researchers to quantify the rules of thumb that police officers often learn from experience; and a list leading indicators — minor offences such as vandalism and trespassing that crime analysts believe… read more

Aggregators Attack Info Overload

August 19, 2003

A new breed of software, called newsreaders or aggregators, is helping manage information overload by allowing users to subscribe to feeds from diverse news sources and blogs.

Gamma-ray weapons could trigger next arms race

August 19, 2003

An exotic kind of nuclear explosive being developed by the US Department of Defense could blur the critical distinction between conventional and nuclear weapons. The work has also raised fears that weapons based on this technology could trigger the next arms race.

One gram of fully charged hafnium isomer could store more energy than 50 kilograms of TNT. Miniature missiles could be made with warheads that are far more… read more

Company Plans Power ‘Valve’ Employing Superconductors

August 18, 2003

To suppress surges, Intermagnetics General plans to use superconductors as valves on the electric-utility power grid, letting their temperature rise to choke off the flow of power. The device would also generate a magnetic field, which further lowers superconductor conductivity.

The idea is to reduce the surge to a level that conventional circuit breakers can handle.

Human-rabbit embryos intensify stem cell debate

August 18, 2003

“Human” embryonic stem cells have been harvested from cloned embryos created by fusing human cells with rabbit eggs, claims a soon-to-be published report by Chinese scientists.

The goal of the experiments: create a new source of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), which can transform into any tissue, making them potential sources of replacement cells for the treatment of many diseases.

Unlike controversial fertilized human embryos, which must be destroyed… read more

Power Up!

August 18, 2003

The electricity grids of all the nations of North and South America should be interconnected within the next 10 years. Twenty years from now, the whole world will be sharing electricity through one grid.

By making electric power as easily transferrable as data, analysts expect a global grid to smooth the market spikes out of the world’s most useful commodity.

For Those Needing 32 More Bits

August 18, 2003

The arrival of 64-bit desktop processors signifies a new era of computing — initially for professionals who are bumping up against the memory limits of existing PC’s. Soon afterward the new chips will affect everyday computer users, for whom a new generation of media machines should offer remarkable improvements in audio and visual effects.

DNA Power Computing? Could Be

August 18, 2003

A growing amount of research supports the idea that DNA, the basic building block of life, could also be the basis of a staggeringly powerful new generation of computers.

Columbia University researcher Milan Strojanovic and a colleague published a paper in the current issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology describing how they built a biological-based computer that can’t lose a game of tic-tac-toe to man and doesn’t need any… read more

It’s a Flawed World After All

August 18, 2003

The recent MSBlaster worm and power blackout incidents have laid bare the brittleness of increasingly complex, interconnected systems, leading some to question their near-total dependence on them.

Smart chips making daily life easier

August 18, 2003

The Smart-Its Project has a vision to tag almost any object in the home with microchips to make peoples’ daily lives easier.

For examples, the sensors would recognize if has fallen on the floor or can’t stand up, which is less intrusive than cameras.

Are Pulsar Signals Evidence of Astro-Engineered Signalling Systems?

August 18, 2003

In his recent book, The Talk of the Galaxy, Dr. Paul LaViolette shows how new high-resolution recordings of pulsar signals reveal features that are inconsistent with the long-standing “neutron star lighthouse” pulsar model.

LaViolette argues compellingly that the interesting and quite intricate behaviors of pulsars fit much more easily with a model of an extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) beacon carrying information.

For example, pulse transmissions may be interrupted for… read more

Unplugged: Without the Grid, Modern Man Is Totally in the Dark

August 16, 2003

Perhaps this is time for everyone to take stock of their dependence on invisible technologies.

Ray Kurzweil, author of “The Age of Spiritual Machines,” says the Blackout of 2003 shows that the electrical grid is merely a first Industrial Revolution technology. It’s highly centralized. It’s old-fashioned. We are now in the midst of the second Industrial Revolution, which favors decentralized technologies such as the Internet.

“The second is… read more

Sandia team develops cognitive machines

August 15, 2003

Sandia National Laboratories is developing cognitive machines that accurately infer user intent, remember experiences with users, and allow users to call upon simulated experts to help them analyze situations and make decisions.

The initial goal of the work was to create a “synthetic human” that could think like a person. Work on cognitive machines took off in 2002 with a contract from DARPA to develop a real-time machine that… read more

Total recall

August 15, 2003

“Tremendous promise exists for the development of hybrid technologies … in which self-assembling materials are integrated into existing manufacturing processes to deliver nanoscale control and meet exacting fabrication constraints,” says University of Wisconsin-Madison Prof. Paul Nealey.

Biotech a healthy market for chips

August 15, 2003

Intel is planning to develop medical devices using nanotech chips and sensing technology.

Ideas include constructing hemoglobin molecules that can carry 10 times as much oxygen, a diagnostic lab on a chip, toxin-detecting and analysis-capable bandaids, ulcer-detecting stockings for diabetics, and computer feedback systems for diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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