Saturday, November 26, 2005

Plastic computer chips

Plastic Diode Could Lead To Flexible, Low Power Computer Circuits, Memory

This could lead to some interesting things, I don't think the developers give their results enough credit. I think this could lead to ubiquitous computing, with truly personal computers, woven into our clothes, and even more of the products we use daily.

Space -- Former X Prize Rivals Announce Partnership

This could lead to very good things, if they can get some contracts going, this would speed the commercialization of space, they would also give some competition to SpaceX, both which would be a very good thing.

Synthetic muscle

New Scientist Breaking News - Light could trigger super-fast synthetic muscles

Synthetic muscle based on the current polymers could be 100000 times faster than they currently are, if we used a different way of triggering them. Researchers suggest that the technical challenges put this a decade or more away, but that's probably based on linear thinking, so I'd say 5 maybe on this one.

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Fusion power

Focus Fusion Reactor - a Plasma Focus Device plus Hydrogen-Boron Fuel

This promises to be a great thing if it ends with success. It would eventually eliminate our dependance on fossil fuels, once our infrastructure converted over. This could also give a push to the hydrogen car movement, with these generators to split the water, you wouldn't be dependant on fossil fuels for that.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Google Print

Vast cyberlibrary unveiled by Google (Update)

This has the possibilty of becoming something like a modern day , if only people would give it a chance. I don't see the problem with the way Google is implementing this. If you're not going to have an issue with a public library allowing people to borrow books, why would you have an issue with this? I see this as yet another symptom of the litigious society that we have become.

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Solar Tower and Space Elevator

The Speculist: The Solar Tower and the Space Elevator

This looks like there could be some good synergy between these two projects, but like one of the comments said, you couldn't locate the space elevator in Australia, that has to be located at the equator.

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Light chips

New Scientist Silicon chip works on the speed of light - Breaking News

Seems like it was just two weeks ago when the possiblity of computers made of light was brought up. Oh wait, it was. IBM has made a prototype switching chip using photon waveguides which can slow down light, with the idea that such a device could synchronise data streams by slowing some streams, allowing others to catch up. However heating the waveguides takes a long time compared with the switching speed needed in an optical network. And the waveguides have to be carved with an accuracy of 1 nanometre.

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Friday, November 04, 2005


Biotechnology, which is known primarily by its medical and agricultural applications, is increasingly being focused on the building of new biological materials and machines in an astonishing diversity of structures, functions, and uses. The advent of nanotechnology has accelerated this trend.

And it is information technology that is pulling all this together. Information technology has been the catalyst behind the convergance off these technologies, allowing much greater collaboration, search, information dispersal, and far easier research.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

1918 Flu virus again

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Safety in Knowledge
Someone who supports my earlier position on the publication of the 1918 flu virus genome


Reason: NanoBioEthics: Advancing past the "carbon barrier"
as much damage as future nanotech devices might cause, it’s nothing
compared to the damage that bad policies or overly cautious ethical
fatwas can make. Is humanity ready to break the carbon barrier? We’re about as ready as we’ll ever be.

I would normally agree with Ronald Bailey on this one, waiting for ethical policies and regulation are the road to stagnation, just look at what the FDA has done to the drug industry. In this scenario I think we have to be careful though, this has an importance that is even higher than the nuclear dilemma we faced a couple of generations ago, as it could become more destructive, or more beneficial.

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Stronger Than Steel, Harder Than Diamonds: Researcher Developing Numerous Uses For Extraordinary 'Buckypaper'

This material has an incredible range of applications, from military armor to computer displays. They didn't say in the article if the single layer paper was flexible, but if so this could also be used as electronic paper. It could also take care of two applications at once, acting as both armor and .

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Electronic paper

World's First 10.1" Flexible Electronic Paper Display

This looks promising, now we can do away with print newspapers, books, magazines, etc. This could also have some interesting military applications, can you say active camouflage, I knew you could.

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Hydrogen biofuel cell

Outlook bright for hydrogen biofuel cell

As an alternative to the car that makes it's own fuel, we have this little number that uses an enzyme as catalyst instead of precious metals. Seems we are going to get to the hydrogen economy one way or another.

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Richard Smalley

Responsible Nanotechnology: Richard Smalley: 1943-2005

We will all miss the passing of this great man in nanotech, despite the fact that he didn't believe in the possibility of molecular machines as Eric Drexler envisions them, his views did stimulate the discussion and get some press. Here is a link to the famous Smalley vs. Drexler counterpoint debate:

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