Monthly Archives: March 2010

From Observation to Vision: The promise of human-future interaction

A human’s ability to think about the future is still in beta.” ~ Jason Tester, IFTF

by David Sherwin, Design Mind (via The Institute For the Future)

Imagining a sustainable future is like observing a series of waves crashing upon a shore, imperceptibly eroding the sand away.

It isn’t clear whether we’re at high or low tide, so we can’t be sure how far to stand from the water. We try to judge, in the far distance, if there are large waves that may get our feet wet, or even worse, pull us out in the undertow. There are a fearless few out surfing the breakers, but most people are content to rest on their towels, sun themselves, and read a book or two. There is no clear understanding of how our actions on the shore will change the quality of the water, or what lives beneath the surface. Our influence on the known world is intangible. [Read on]

Nanosatellite to extract space debris

from BBC:

UK researchers have developed a device to drag space debris out of orbit. They plan to launch a demonstration of their “CubeSail” next year. It is a small satellite cube that deploys a thin, 25-sq-m plastic sheet.

“It would help make space a sustainable business. We want to be able to keep on launching satellites to provide new services; but unless we do something, the amount of junk up there is going to grow exponentially.”

“Wet computer” that mimics neurons to be created

from whatisartificialintelligence.com:

The project “Wet computer” also known as Chemical or Molecular computing is a form of computational model that mimics the characteristics of the human cells, particularly the brain cells called neurons.

As described by Dr. Klaus-Peter Zauner, project collaborator of the University of Southampton, “wet computer” takes advantage of the lipid-forming characteristic of stable “cells” that forms a coating spontaneously and uses chemistry to establish interactions among these cells similar to that of human neurons.

Video: Touchscreen wall explores gigapixel photos

from Singularity Hub:

Students at the University of Tromso in Norway have built an amazing multitouch wall with a mind-blowing 7168×3072 resolution – 22 megapixels!

The WallScope has 28 projectors whose graphics are fueled by 31 nodes in a cluster. A series of 16 cameras on the floor create a 2D ‘multitouch plane’ so you can control the WallScope without making contact with the wall.

HP demos rollup flexible displays

from Physorg: <- Video at link

The Flexible Display Center, at Arizona State University, hopes to have flexible displays ready for test trials in approximately three years.

The displays can be mass produced by using a production method called Self-Aligned Imprint Lithography (SAIL). By manufacturing the displays in the form of rolls instead of sheets makes the production method more cost effective.

Video: Computer-controlled bacteria build a miniature pyramid

from PopSci:

By using a computer-controlled magnetic field, the researchers turned the bacteria into fully-compliant biological nanorobots.

The trick was using a type of microbe known as magnetotactic bacteria. These critters have little internal compasses, and will follow the pull of a magnetic field. By manipulating a magnetic field, the researchers tricked the bacteria into forming a giant, computer-controlled swarm.

EOT Report #1: “Fixing Cognitive Biases to Shape the Next Generation of Humans“

Edge of Tomorrow Report - 3.25.2010
an interview with João Fabiano (translated from Portuguese)
by Carlos R. B. Azevedo (@crbazevedo)

João Fabiano is a journalist, philosopher, specialist on cognitive bias, and the founding member of the Analytical Philosophy research group of Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.

Click here for the interview and commentary.