Monthly Archives: January 2010

Organic transistor paves way for next generation of neuro-inspired CPUs

from Science Daily:

For the first time, researchers have developed a transistor that can mimic the main functionalities of a synapse.

A newly developed organic transistor has opened the way to new generations of neuro-inspired computers, capable of responding in a manner similar to the nervous system.

Envisioning the future of Augmented (hyper)Reality


According to the filmmaker Keiichi Matsuda, “Augmented reality may recontextualise the functions of consumerism and architecture, and change in the way in which we operate within it.”

And to display some less-than-optimistic viewpoints:

The ‘most beautiful’ math structure appears in lab for first time ever

from NewScientist:

A complex form of mathematical symmetry linked to string theory has been glimpsed in the real world for the first time, in laboratory experiments on exotic crystals.

Mathematicians discovered a complex 248-dimensional symmetry called E8 in the late 1800s. The dimensions in the structure are not necessarily spatial, like the three dimensions we live in, but they correspond to mathematical degrees of freedom, where each dimension represents a different variable.

Supercomputer shares universe simulations

from MSNBC:

Fully-rendered simulation streaming online allows scientists to collaborate

Supercomputing has helped astrophysicists create massive models of the universe, but such simulations remain out of reach for many in the United States and around the world. That could all change after a successful test allowed scientists in Portland, Ore. to watch a Chicago-based simulation of how ordinary matter and mysterious dark matter evolved in the early universe.

Optomec can now print touch-screen displays


“You would have crashed your stupid flying car anyway”

From Three Panel Soul:

Could written language be rendered obsolete?

from SmartMobs:

THE FUTURIST – January 29th, 2010

If written language is merely a technology for transferring information, then it can and should be replaced by a newer technology that performs the same function more fully and effectively. But it’s up to us, as the consumers and producers of technology, to insist that the would-be replacement demonstrate authentic superiority. It’s not enough for new devices, systems, and gizmos to simply be more expedient than what they are replacing—as the Gatling gun was over the rifle—or more marketable—as unfiltered cigarettes were over pipe tobacco. We owe it to posterity to demand proof that people’s communications will be more intelligent, persuasive, and constructive when they occur over digital media, and proof that digital media, and proof that illiteracy, even in an age of great technological capability, will improve people’s lives.

I first see a form of visual language overtaking our present rudimentary mouth-sounds. But after that – who knows?

How to accidentally double-click into financial meltdown

from Futurismic:

Ars Technica has an interesting article about a couple of recent stock-market glitches caused by high-frequency trading algorithms run amok. Long story short: a screw-up at Credit Suisse was caused by “a trader who accidentally double-clicked an icon in a trading program’s interface, when he should’ve single-clicked. Yipes.

OK, so it’s not quite the same as a tired technician leaning on the nuclear launch button by accident, but given the utter dependence we have on the instruments of high-speed high finance, similar mistakes could cause global catastrophes.

‘Haptic’ coat is a wearable cane for the blind


Fascinating. Designed by Lynne Bruning, “Bats Have Feelings Too” is a fashionable haptic coat for the blind, or, in her term, “a wearable cane.”

Also see:  ‘Haptics’ display sought to bring graphics to the blind

For the National Science Foundation funded haptic-display project, West wants to turn this concept around, by sending signals to an electro-active polymer that responds with motion on its surface. The researchers hope their efforts will result in a display of graphical patterns for the blind to feel with their hands.

io9: Three reasons why we’re closer than ever to fusion power

from io9:

It seems like we’re constantly just around the corner from fusion power, and that soon it’ll solve our energy woes. While we’re not quite there yet, three new reports all indicate we’re at least getting a little closer.


from paleofuture:

What we now call user-generated content was predicted in the 1981 book Tomorrow’s Home by Neil Ardley. I dare say that this is the most accurate prediction we’ve looked at in 2009…

MIT: Top 10 technology research to watch

from M.I.T.’s Technology Review:

  • Printcasting
  • Ushahidi Engine
  • Digital Preservation Europe
  • Peer-to-Peer Video Broadcast System
  • Google Listen
  • SixthSense
  • TV Everywhere
  • 4G Cellular Network
  • High-Performance Video Coding
  • Advertising Works

Could 3D printing be the next revolution in cooking?

from Gizmag:

Wouldn’t it be great to have a digital food machine sitting in your kitchen that could create any dish, real or imagined, from scratch at the touch of a button?

Cornucopia: Digital Gastronomy is a concept design that uses the well-established principles of 3D printing – plus precisely timed and temperature-controlled mixing and cooking – to open the door to a virtually limitless realm of replicable, creative cuisine in shapes and combinations that are simply impossible using our current, centuries-old cooking techniques. It’s a wonderful look into the future of cooking, from the creative food lover’s perspective.

IFTF Health: ‘Biological previews’

from the Institute For the Future:

Looking for a way to see if a drug might give you side effects–without having to deal with the whole pesky process of experiencing those effects?

Science writer David Ewing Duncan highlights an experimental technology from Cell Dynamics International involving reverse engineering cells from the body, such as blood cells, into pluripotent stem cells, and then engineering them back into organ cells in order to test out how different stimuli and medications might impact one’s cells.

Innovision’s Plug & Play ‘Holographic’ Projector (vid)

from Singularity Hub:

We may not have true holographic displays for several years yet, but in the meantime, there are plenty of people willing to provide us with something that looks pretty darn close. The latest of these is Innovision Labs out of Taiwan, which has started to sell its Holo AD, a 3D display case that is (nearly) plug and play.

MIT quantum computer successfully simulates a hydrogen molecule

from WIRED:

[…] Within its filters and polarizers and beam splitters, just two photons at a time traveled simultaneously, their particle-like yet wavelike natures playing peek-a-boo in clouds of probability just as quantum mechanics says they should.

“Men Who Plan Beyond Tomorrow”

How 1940s whiskey ads predicted the cell phone, the 3D movie, videoconferencing, and sports bars…

from Power Line:

In the mid-1940s, Seagram’s advertised its VO whiskey with a series of magazine ads about “Men Who Plan Beyond Tomorrow!” The ads’ images were a delightful blend of macho and futuristic. And, in some cases, they were prophetic.

HP plans a line of (relatively) affordable 3-D printers

from GadgetLab:

Printers equipped for 3-D are poised to go mainstream, now that Hewlett-Packard plans to start selling them. The company’s inkjet and laser printers are staples in offices and homes.

The devices, which can crank out three-dimensional plastic models through a process similar to printing text on sheets of paper, have until recently been available only to high-end industrial designers. HP’s devices will be targeted at a broader market of mechanical-design professionals, and will probably cost less than $15,000.

“This is the boldest step we have seen so far in 3-D printing,” says Scott Summit, chief technology officer for Bespoke Innovations, a company that creates 3-D artifacts for medical use. “A lot of people want to do 3-D printing but it is a mysterious world. With HP embracing it, it is likely to demystify the idea to many consumers.”

Also see: 3-D Printers Make Manufacturing Accessible

3-D printers can take blobs of plastic and shape them into almost any object you desire. Now, thanks to open source hardware designs and enthusiastic do-it-yourselfers, these printers are increasingly popular and accessible. People are using them to fabricate iPod docks, plastic bracelets, hair clips and miniature teapots at home.

SherWeb: Top 10 tech inventions shaping 2010

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from SherWeb:

  1. Sixth Sense
  2. The Electric Eye
  3. NASA Kepler Space Telescope
  4. Teleportation
  5. XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System
    (i.e. The Smart Bullet)
  6. Microsoft Project Natal
  7. Robotic Exoskeleton
  8. The Smart Thermostat
  9. Android Phone
  10. 3M/Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 With Zargis Cardioscan

DIY biohacking gaining popularity

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from H+ Magazine via  futurismic:

It‘s not just enhancement technology that can benefit from DIYbiology. As the popular distrust of doctors grows, people will want to understand and monitor their own body.

Likewise, as personalized medicine becomes a reality, we will probably see a rise in the number of hobbyists who treat their own bodies as machines to be worked on — like a radio or a car — branching out from personalized genomics to things like DIY stem cell extraction and manipulation, DIY prosthetics, DIY neural prosthetics and sensory enhancements (infrared vision, anyone?), immune system testing, and general tweaking of whatever system strikes the hobbyist‘s fancy.

This hacker‘s paradise has not yet come to pass, but it is, perhaps, our exciting future.

Personally, this sounds like it might be a little dangerous. What do you think?