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Write speeds for phase-change memory reach record limits

June 28, 2012


By pre-organizing atoms in a bit of phase-change memory, information can be written in less than one nanosecond, the fastest for such memory.

With write speeds comparable to the memory that powers our computers, phase change memory could one day help computers boot up instantly.

Phase-change memory stores information based on the organization of atoms in a material, often a mixture of germanium, antimony, and tellurium (Ge2Sb2Te5 or… read more

Wristwatch gives remote control of computer

October 10, 2001

A new high-tech watchstrap that gives its wearer remote control over a wearable computer has been demonstrated in Switzerland.The GestureWrist, developed by Jun Rekimoto of Sony’s Computer Science Laboratory in Tokyo, Japan, uses sensors embedded into a normal watch strap. These track a wearer’s arm movements and the opening and closing their hand, relaying this information to a computer kept somewhere on their person.

GestureWrist uses a tilt sensor… read more

Wrinkled metamaterials for controlling light and sound propagation

January 28, 2014


MIT researchers have developed flexible, layered metamaterials textured with nanoscale wrinkles that could provide a new way to control the distribution of sound or light signals, such as changing the materials’ color or making it optically or acoustically invisible.

The technology could be used for nondestructive testing of materials, new medical diagnostic tools, and sound suppression in a certain volume (location) in space rather thanread more

Wrinkled cell nuclei may make us age

April 28, 2006

A new study shows that cells from people over the age of 80 tend to have specific problems with the nucleus. The elderly nucleus loses its pert, rounded shape and becomes warped and wrinkled.

The National Cancer Institute team suggests that healthy cells always make a trace amount of an aberrant form of lamin A protein, but that young cells can sense and eliminate it. Elderly cells, it seems,… read more

Wrapping Solar Cells around an Optical Fiber

October 30, 2009

Researchers at Georgia Tech have made dye-sensitized solar cells with a much higher effective surface area by wrapping the cells around optical fibers.

These fiber solar cells are six times more efficient than a zinc oxide solar cell with the same surface area, and if they can be built using cheap polymer fibers, they shouldn’t be significantly more expensive to make.

Wozniak’s New Goal is Efficient Housing

August 15, 2007

Steve Wozniak is developing techniques to build homes with the least energy usage and pollution (using, for example, ram-dirt) and the least energy to operate.

Wow! That’s fast TCP!

December 14, 2004

Data has been sent across a wide-area optical network at 101Gbit/sec., the fastest-ever sustained data transmission speed, equivalent to downloading three full DVD movies per second, or transmitting all of the content of the Library of
Congress in 15 minutes.

It was demonstrated by a High Energy Physics research team that included the California Institute of Technology, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratories (FNAL).… read more

Would you use eye-tracking instead of passwords?

July 18, 2013

The prototype was built to simulate an ATM screen. In this scenario, users followed the highlighted dots with their eyes and the technology tracked their unique eye movements.

Biometric authentication technology systems for fingerprint, eye, and face recognition have failed to go mainstream to replace the unreliable password system.

University of Washington engineers are trying to figure out why. They found in a recent study, funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, that one of the reasons face- and eye-recognition systems haven’t taken off is because the user’s experience often isn’t factored into… read more

Would you trust a humanoid robot?

July 7, 2010


Northeastern University psychology professor David DeSteno and colleagues are conducting innovative research to determine how humans decide to trust strangers — and if those decisions are accurate.

The researchers are examining whether nonverbal cues and gestures could affect our trustworthiness judgments. “People tend to mimic each other’s body language,” said DeSteno, “which might help them develop intuitions about what other people are feeling — intuitions about whether they’ll… read more

Would you pay $68,000 to unlock the secrets of your genetic code?

May 1, 2009

Bidding kicked off last week at $68,000 on a 10-day eBay auction whose prize includes personal genome sequencing, analysis, and interpretation services provided by Cambridge, Mass.-based genetics firm Knome, Inc.

The auction’s winner also participates in a roundtable discussion with Knome’s geneticists, clinicians and bioinformaticians to review the winner’s sequence data, and a private dinner with George Church, co-Founder and Knome’s chief scientific advisor.

The auction is intended… read more

Would you have allowed Bill Gates to be born?

June 1, 2005

There is a good chance we will soon have a genetic test for detecting the risk of autism in an embryo or fetus.

The development of such a screening tool raises the possibility that parents might one day have the option of preventing the birth of a child with even a mild form of the disorder.

As genetic testing moves into the world of mental health, we are… read more

Would you give up your immortality to ensure the success of a posthuman world?

July 30, 2007

On Wednesday at TransVision 2007, Marvin Minsky puckishly suggested we could solve any population problem by uploading the minds of 10 billion people and running them on a computer that occupies a few cubic meters and costs only a few hundred dollars to run.

Ray Kurzweil claimed that longevity trends are accelerating so fast that the life expectancy will increase more than one year for each year… read more

Would you eat ‘eco-friendly’ meat created from stem cells?

May 23, 2014

cells to food

In a paper in the Cell Press journal Trends in Biotechnology, Cor van der Weele of Wageningen University in The Netherlands and coauthor Johannes Tramper describe a potential meat manufacturing process, starting with a vial of cells taken from a cell bank and ending with a pressed cake of minced meat.

Cor van der Weele  point out that the rising demand for meat around the world is… read more

Would You Buy a Car From a Robot?

December 12, 2002

Honda is using its Asimo walking-talking robot as a promotional tool, reciting information about cars in showrooms and appearing in commercials and at events.

Asimo uses the visual information from a camera to recognize ten different preprogrammed faces, follows movements, and takes direction for its movements.

Worse Than Gray Goo

February 24, 2004

“If we ever get to the point where script kiddies can release dangerous gray goo, we’re probably doomed –since it’ll surely be harder to stop goo than to stop slow-moving, slow-thinking meat robots from pushing the wrong buttons, says Center for Responsible Nanotechnology Director of Research Chris Phoenix.

“But we will have much more severe dangers to deal with before that point. Like nano-arms races with weapons much more… read more

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