The Robopocalypse Cometh: IBM's Cyberbrain Smart as a Cat, Getting Smarter If the Matrix or I, Robot's view of artificial intelligence sent chilly shivers down your spine, then prepare for frostbite: IBM's artificial brain is now as smart as a cat--just a stop or two down the line from human powers. Speaking at the SC09 high-performance computing conference this week, IBM representatives from the cognitive computing team will be unveiling all the technical details behind their successes with large-scale cortical simulation and brain-like emulation. But it boils down quite neatly to news that the team has, for the first time, performed an in-computer simulation of a brain's workings at a near-instantaneous speed. The magic is all done in software, with particularly clever program elements that emulate the biochemical and electrical activity of neurons and synapses in real flesh-and-blood brains. Which is where the other bit of IBM's research comes in. Making cyberbrains more like real human ones means better understanding how our brains work. [Via VentureBeat]
Through a glass, clearly One of the most instantly recognizable features of glass is the way it reflects light. But a new way of creating surface textures on glass, developed by researchers at MIT, virtually eliminates reflections, producing glass that is almost unrecognizable because of its absence of glare — and whose surface causes water droplets to bounce right off, like tiny rubber balls. The new “multifunctional” glass, based on surface nanotextures that produce an array of conical features, is self-cleaning and resists fogging and glare, the researchers say. Ultimately, they hope it can be made using an inexpensive manufacturing process that could be applied to optical devices, the screens of smartphones and televisions, solar panels, car windshields and even windows in buildings. Photovoltaic panels, Park explains, can lose as much as 40 percent of their efficiency within six months as dust and dirt accumulate on their surfaces.
Breakthrough Nanotechnology Will Bring 100 Terabyte 3.5-inch Digital Data... Have you ever dream of 100 terabyte of data per 3.5-inch disk? New patented innovation nanotechnology from Michael E. Thomas, president of Colossal Storage Corporation, makes it real. Michael invented and patented the world's first and only concept for non-contact UV photon induced electric field poling of ferroelectric non-linear photonic bandgap crystals, which offers the possibility of controlling and manipulating light within a UV/Deep Blue frequency of 1 nm to 400 nm. It took him 14 years to find a practical conceptualization that would work to advance the storage industry; 3D Volume Holographic Optical Storage Nanotechnology, for which Michael holds the patents. • Join PhysOrg.com on Facebook! This invention and patents on a technique for changing matter at the molecular level is one of the World's only new enabling technologies, having many hundreds of electro-optic applications. “In 1974 I was making 5 Megabyte disk packs - the biggest at that time in the world.
3D holograms enter the fourth dimension - tech - 03 November 2010 Video: Holograms go 4D Holography has just gained a fourth dimension, bringing the prospect of Star Wars-style holographic telepresence into the real world. Ever since Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks made the first laser holograms in 1963, holography has been the future of three-dimensional imaging. Once created, a hologram can be illuminated to create a pattern of light waves that replicates the light reflected by the original object, generating a 3D image without the need for special glasses. As such, holography seems an ideal medium for three-dimensional telepresence, like the famous "hologram" of Princess Leia in the first Star Wars movie. During its 2008 presidential election night coverage, CNN's coverage used what appeared to be holographic technology, with anchor Wolf Blitzer talking face-to-face with a virtual 3D correspondent, Jessica Yellin – but the impressive visuals were added to the camera feed rather than being projected live onto the studio floor. Plastic pictures
Universal robotic gripper Robert Barker/University Photography The human hand is an amazing machine that can pick up, move and place objects easily, but for a robot, this "gripping" mechanism is a vexing challenge. Opting for simple elegance, researchers from Cornell, the University of Chicago and iRobot Corp. have created a versatile gripper using everyday ground coffee and a latex party balloon, bypassing traditional designs based on the human hand and fingers. They call it a universal gripper, as it conforms to the object it's grabbing, rather than being designed for particular objects, said Hod Lipson, Cornell associate professor of mechanical engineering and computer science. The research is a collaboration between the groups of Lipson, Heinrich Jaeger at the University of Chicago, and Chris Jones at iRobot. John Amend The robotic gripper conforms to the shape of the item it is lifting. "This is one of the closest things we've ever done that could be on the market tomorrow," Lipson said.
Smartphone Biosensor Devised to Detect Toxins, Pathogens | Science Business Biosensor smartphone and cradle (Brian Cunningham, University of Illinois) Engineers at University of Illinois in Urbana created a system harnessing an iPhone’s camera to turn the phone into a biosensor that can detect proteins, bacteria, viruses, and toxins. The team led by engineering professor and entrepreneur Brian Cunningham published its findings in a recent online issue of the journal Lab on a Chip (paid subscription required). The biosensor is based on the ability of photonic crystals to alter the frequency of light, which are then captured by the smartphone’s camera. The materials in a photonic crystal block certain wavelengths, creating a gap in the wave bands. These crystals, and their corresponding band gaps, can be structured to control light energy in predictable ways, analogous to integrated circuits controlling the flow of electrons. The technician inserts the slide with the specimen sample into the cradle and the reflected light spectrum is measured. Read more:
iRing - The first motion controller for all your music apps and more Take Control Now control your music apps and effects without touching your device with the iRing™ touchless controller for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The new iRing uses hand gestures to control parameters of effects and other items in your music apps, allowing you to create stunning and dramatic music in an incredibly fun way by simply moving your hands in front of your device. iRing uses patented advanced image-recognition, motion control and precise geometric positioning technology to give you control of assignable parameters within your apps. Making music and creating killer real time effects for nonstop dance music and grooves is now easy and as simple as moving your hands… something you probably already do. The ABCs of XYZ Okay, so how does this thing work? Pretty slick, huh? Okay, but in practical terms… Let’s say for instance you want to control an audio effect. The Engine: iRing FX/Control App Music Judo What you get *Legal detail | Warranty
Racetrack memory will make computers 100,000 times faster - Tucson Technology Researchers at the Laboratory of Nanomagnetism and Spin Dynamics are working on a form of memory that will work 100,000 times faster than today’s hard drives. Not only are they faster, they are also far more efficient. Current computers take an average of 2-3 minutes to transfer information from the hard disk to the RAM. This new technology would allow for computers to boot up instantly and retrieve data 100,000 times more rapidly. In addition to lightning fast speeds it is also extremely efficient. EPFL explains how it works: Like the tried and true VHS videocassette, the proposed solution involves data recorded on magnetic tape. EPFL is currently working with IBM to create a prototype. For more info: EPFL
Amp Up a Laser Pointer From Wired How-To Wiki Illustration by Lab Partners Your laser pointer could be doing so much more than highlighting PowerPoint slides and blowing your cat's mind. It could be sculpting ice, sparking campfires, or searing one bad mofo on your leather jacket. Here's how to give a standard pointer a power upgrade. This article is a wiki. 1 Disassemble the unit by removing the batteries, opening the housing, and taking out the laser module. 2 Search the circuit board for a variable resistor. 3 To intensify the beam, use a small screwdriver to gently tighten the resistor. 4 Reassemble and aim your potent pointer at safe targets like ice, wood, or plastic. Contributed by Terrence Russell
The Anonymous Tor Network Now Comes in a Box Photo via Flickr I have the Tor browser running on my computer, and it took me about two minutes to download. Once you're surfing through the network there are plenty of daunting technical options to dig into, but accessing the onion network for basic, everyday web use was as easy as clicking download, opening the program, and then struggling to remember all my no-longer-stored passwords. Still, Tor is best known as a niche tool for hackers, whistleblowers, criminals, activists, or folks with otherwise something to hide. So goes the thinking behind Safeplug, a new hardware adapter that basically puts Tor in a box. The adapter comes from hardware company Pogoplug, which announced its new product yesterday and hopes it will bring Tor to the mass market by offering more consumer-friendly access. Sure, more people using Tor would be great. Nor is the adapter necessarily easier to use than the downloadable Tor browser bundle.
An Interactive Infographic Maps The Future Of Emerging Technology Can speculation about the future of technology serve as a measuring stick for what we create today? That’s the idea behind Envisioning Technology's massive infographic (PDF), which maps the future of emerging technologies on a loose timeline between now and 2040. Click to enlarge. On it you’ll find predictions about everything from artificial intelligence and robotics to geoengineering and energy. In 30 years, it will also be a great reference for where we thought we might end up. You can download a PDF for free, or--should you want to track our progress toward artificial photosynthesis and space-based solar power by X-ing out accomplishments on your wall--purchase a poster version here.