Science Fiction in the News:
Science and Technology News

The Blind May See - In The Dark
A number of companies and research laboratories are working on optical prostheses; devices that are actually implanted in the eye of a person who is unable to see. Some allow a patient to see in the far-infrared. (re: Bruce Sterling)

GlowRing: Light Without Power
The GlowRing will glow for up to ten years in funky colors. GlowRings do not require any external power source (and no internal source - a battery - either!) (re: Frank Herbert)

Global Water Crisis
An excellent article from The Scientist provides excellent details about the global water crisis, and some possible solutions. (re: Frank Herbert)

Electrolux Death Ray
"The Rolls-Royce of atomic weapons?" Maybe. Take a look at sculptor Greg Brotherton's Electrolux Death Ray, and decide for yourself. (re: Larry Niven)

Diamondoids From Crude Oil Aid Nanotechnology Research
Diamondoids are now being refined from crude oil in sufficient quantities to allow for formal research and development in nanotechnology. Diamondoids are not for jewelry; each one is only .000000000000000001 carat in size. (re: Neal Stephenson)

InTouch Companion: Medical Rounding Robot
InTouch Health is now leasing a remote-controlled telepresence robot called The Companion to hospitals and nursing homes nationwide. The 200 pound robots stand about five feet tall and have computer screens for "heads." (re: Peter Watts)

Biometric Identification Finally Gets Started
Problems with the fingerprint and iris-recognition hardware and software forced a three month delay in the project. (re: Frank Herbert)

Raven - VectraSense ThinkShoe With DigitalDNA
The Raven ThinkShoe, an atheletic shoe that senses activity levels and adjusts dynamically, is now available from Vectrasense. (re: Bruce Sterling)

Tooth Bud From Stem Cells Looms Large
Implanted tooth buds created from stem cells may replace false teeth. This procedure has been shown to work in mice, and may work in humans as well. (re: William Gibson)

Cloned Cats Have 9+n Lives
Genetic Savings and Clone can fix you up with a clone of your cat for just $50,000. Better hurry; work starts in May (re: Frank Herbert)

China May Issue A Billion RFID-Based ID Cards
A speaker representing China's radio frequency identification (RFID) initiative said he expected China to issue over a billion identification cards - one to every citizen. (re: John Brunner)

Biomolecular Computer: The Tiniest Doc?
The vial at shown here contains trillions of tiny doctors capable of both diagnosing a particular form of cancer as well as administering an anti-cancer agent. (re: Greg Bear)

ThereminVision Sensor: Robot Proximity Detection
ThereminVision is a robotic sensing system that uses the same basic principle as the world's first electronic musical instrument, the Theremin. (re: William Gibson)

High Speed Hand Dryer
It's fast, it's neat, it pushes water off the palms and backs of your hands in one easy motion. No, it's not from Ronco - it's a Mitsubishi Electric design, until now available only in Japan. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Escapin: Anti-Bacterial Sea Slug Protein Prevents Biofilm Build-Up
Escapin, an anti-bacterial protein found in the ink of sea slugs, could help marine equipment stay clean enough for golden age science fiction. (re: Bruce Sterling)

The Latest In Quantum-Dot Switches
Quantum dot switches made up of pairs of tiny puddles of forty to sixty paired electrons show promise as the building blocks for quantum computers. (re: Greg Bear)

Microvision Laser Monocle: Technician Retina-Vision
Microvision's Nomad Expert Technician System shines laser light right onto your retina, providing images and diagrams that seem to float in the air in front of you. (re: Frederik Pohl)

Robotic Safety Barrels: Smart Traffic Cones
Robotic Safety Barrels (RSBs) developed by Shane Farritor may be the kind of smart traffic cones that can save many lives and $100 billion per year in losses due to accidents and delays on U.S. highways. (re: Bruce Sterling)

Active Denial Technology: Directed Energy Weapons
Active Denial Technology disables enemy soldiers or crowds with a painful beam of electromagnetic energy that inflicts a disabling, burning pain over the body by triggering heat receptors in the skin. (re: William Gibson)

Arachnid Adhesion: The Sticky Feet Of Spiders
We've all seen spiders crawl up a glass window, then hang upside down from the ceiling. This study used a scanning electron microscope to find out how they do it - and how humans might make sticky things stickier. (re: William Gibson)

Nanowire Memory Cells: Compact Data Storage
Is it possible to achieve data storage rates of 40 Gigabits per square centimeter? Scientists at USC and the NASA Ames Research Center think so - with nanowire. (re: Frank Herbert)

Phraselator P2: Speech Recognition And Translation
VoxTec is now taking orders for the Phraselator P2, an improved version of its original product. The new device is a complete redesign, with longer battery life, higher-fidelity audio, better speech recognition and improved ergonomics. (re: William Gibson)

Liquid Armor In Two Flavors: Shear Thickening and Magnetorheological
Liquid armor using shear thickening fluid and magnetorheological fluid is being developed to protect soldiers and law enforcement personnel. (re: Greg Bear)

Phone Dial Web Browser
David Lu's Phone Dial Web Browser is a web browser that uses a rotary phone dial as an interface. (Just dial 64.78.51.83 for Technovelgy.com.) (re: William Gibson)

Road Stud Traffic Camera Reads License Plates
A traffic surveillance camera concealed in a road stud can read your license plate as you drive by; it can even see if your tires are bald at 150 miles per hour. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Koolio: Autonomous Refrigerator Robot
Professors work hard - and they deserve refreshment. At the Machine Intelligence Lab at Benton Hall at the University of Florida, they are served by Koolio, the autonomous refrigerator Robot. (re: Harry Harrison)

Baja Beach Club Implants VeriChip In Customers
The Baja Beach Club in Barcelona, Spain is the first business to use the VeriChip System to grant customers access to VIP areas and provide an easy payment option. (re: Neal Stephenson)

EyeBall: Omni-Directional Smart Eye Sensor Update
O.D.F. Optronics has created a small spherical sensor called the EyeBall that can transmit a 360 degree "omni-directional" image and can hear everything within a twenty-five meter area. (re: Robert Silverberg)

RAFFE Helps Remote Mobile Investigator Gather Fingerprints
The Pedsco RMI robot, used for remote handling of explosive devices and other hazardous materials, now has the ability to gather fingerprints. Good news for the humans who might otherwise perform this task. (re: Isaac Asimov)

MusicPad Pro: Digital Sheet Music File Player
You can store your entire music library on this device, using digital sheet music brought in from music composition programs and even scanned sheet music files. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Church of Fools: The Coming Of The Avatar?
The Church of Fools, an experiment in online, interactive worship, will open its virtual doors this coming May 11th. The service will be lead by real priests or pastors who appear as "avatars." (re: Neal Stephenson)

Lexar 8Gb Compact Flash Memory Doubles The Record
Lexar's new 8Gb Professional Series CompactFlash card doubles the old record of 4Gb (gigabytes) for the largest compact flash memory size. (re: Dan Simmons)

Bradbury: Missions To Moon And Mars Will Inspire Humanity
Science Fiction Grandmaster Ray Bradbury spoke before a presidential commission reviewing American space policy - specifically, missions to Mars. (re: Ray Bradbury)

Pentagon Asks For Digital Dog Tags
RFID-based "dog tags" may help troops identify each other in the field. The unit is intended to allow a shooter to query his target - "friend or foe?" (re: Alexander Besher)

A First: Planet Found With Gravitational Microlensing
The first discovery of a planet around another star using gravitational microlensing was announced yesterday by two research teams - OGLE and MOA. (re: Larry Niven)

SPHERES - Mini Satellites Fly In Formation
Rather than bet all the marbles on one large satellite, MIT undergraduates are trying a different strategy. The SPHERES project imagines lots of small volleyball-sized satellites flying together in formation, working in concert. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Sapphire (Novec 1230): Liquid That's Not Wet
Sapphire, a revolutionary liquid fire retardant chemical, has one big advantage over water for putting out fires - nothing gets wet! (re: Kurt Vonnegut)

ULTra - driverless automatic taxi
The ULTra, an automated, driverless taxi system, offers a small private car (up to four passengers) that goes straight to the destination set by the user. (re: Larry Niven)

Roomba's Brother PackBot
iRobot's Roomba cleans up around the house - their PackBot helps soldiers clean up on the battlefield, doing duty as HAZMAT assistant, targeting aid, and bomb discovery droid. (re: Karel Capek)

Yoda - The World's Oldest Mouse Update
Yoda, the world's oldest mouse, lives at the UM Medical School. Not the best place for a mouse to attain longevity - but Yoda was born into a geriatrics lab. (re: Larry Niven)

COTS Scout: Team Building Robot
The COTS Scout robot is learning to play well with others - and to work as part of a search and rescue team. (re: Neal Stephenson)

VolksVegan - Biodiesel Powered Vehicles
The VolksVegan biodiesel is a great little car; any diesel vehicle can be converted to run on vegetable oil. Rudolph Diesel would have approved! (re: William Gibson)

Obtaining Unobtainium at DARPAtech 2004
DARPA searches for impossible materials - unobtainium - and is succeeding. (re: William Gibson)

Sky Ear: Mobile Phones and Helium Balloons
Sky Ear on May 4th - a glowing "cloud" of mobile phones and gauss meters attached to helium balloons with lights is released into the air so that people can dial into the cloud and listen to the sounds of the electromagnetic sky. (re: Roger Zelazny)

Russian Flying Saucers Coming to USA
Flying Saucers from Russia are coming to our skies - and the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command invited them. (re: Robert Heinlein)

AirScooter II Ultralight: Heinlein's Copter Harness?
In 1954, Robert Heinlein described a "copter harness" - you will soon be able to buy the AirScooter II, an easy-to-fly ultralight aircraft that comes pretty close. (re: Robert Heinlein)

JewelEye - Innovative Body Piercing Update
You've seen it everywhere (and lots of places you haven't seen it) - piercings and tatooing. But you'd need to go to the Netherlands to see eyeball jewelry. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Tunnel Boring Machine B6 For Sale
580 tonne boring machine used to dig the Eurotunnel on sale now - perfect ornament for the garden. (re: Jerry Pournelle)

Parasitic Power Harvesting - Dada Sprees Supreme Shoes
The Dada Sprees Supreme atheletic shoes have an unusual feature - a "spinnah" built into the outside wall of the show just above the ankle actuated by heel power. (re: Frank Herbert)

Digital Squab Line (DSL) Has High Bandwidth
Which is faster - ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) or DSL (Digital Squab Line)? If you're thinking pigeons are faster - you're right. (re: Frank Herbert)

Bradbury's Green Bullet Made Possible With Bluetooth
The new Nextlink Bluespoon 5g cell phone headset is so small, Captain Beatty may not notice it if you wear it while driving the salamander back to the firehouse. (re: Ray Bradbury)

Transparent Aluminum Used To Make Tinfoil Hats
The tinfoil hat, once the protective device of choice, has become little more than a crude joke in recent years. Improved headgear is now available. (re: Harlan Ellison)

Google AdCense Improves Olfactory Relevancy
Google AdCense computers look at the ad content on your site, and deliver a relevant and vaguely agreeable odor. (re: Frank Herbert)

FlashMob I Supercomputer Takes On Linpack Update
University of San Francisco students attemtp to create an "instant supercomputer" with their FlashMob I Supercomputer software. (re: Larry Niven)

Gear For The Timelady: Phone Watch
The pleasures of the rotary phone dial can be yours again in this way retro phone-shaped watch. Not a watchphone - that's Bruce Sterling you're thinking of. (re: Bruce Sterling)

VLe Provides Non-Lethal Response
The VLe handgun provides variable-lethality in the same weapon, giving law enforcement and homeowners a non-violent alternative; like Stephenson's Loogie Gun, only less icky. (re: Neal Stephenson)

NASA Debates Terraforming Mars
NASA will hold a formal debate on terraforming Mars tomorrow night at its third Astrobiology Science Conference. (re: Larry Niven)

StrikeAlert Personal Lightning Detector Gives Warning
There are 8,600,000 lightning strikes per day on Earth - better get your StrikeAlert detector before the Mother of Storms comes to an open field near you! (re: John Barnes)

Tmsuk T52 Enryu Support Dragon Hyper Rescue Robot
Enryu, a telefactoring rescue robot capable of lifting steel girders and tearing the doors off cars, was demonstrated to the press yesterday. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Futureme.org: Contact Your Future Self
Have you got something to say to yourself - next year? Futureme.org lets [the present day] you give [the future] you a piece of your mind. (re: John Varley)

Sony LIBRIe E-Ink Electronic Book Update
The Sony LIBRie electronic book solves the most serious problems of past e-book hardware. And, in the near future, it may be able to replace parchment copies of The Daily Prophet, the wizard newspaper from Harry Potter. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Frank Herbert's Odalarm - Scent-Based Alarm Clock Update
In his 1977 novel The Dosadi Experiment, Frank Herbert wrote about an "odalarm" - an alarm clock that worked by scent. You can buy one now from Hakugen Online. (re: Frank Herbert)

Quik House: Neal Stephenson's U-Stor-It?
Meet the quik house - a prefabricated kit house made from recycled shipping containers. Sounds like what Hiro Protagonist from Snow Crash lived in. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Cypak Disposable Paper Computer With RFID Antenna
The company uses conductive ink and adhesives to print electronic circuits and antennas on paper and plastic. The RFID antenna allows for transmission over short distances. (re: Frank Herbert)

Projection Commercials: Extreme Plasma Television
X3D Technologies has created a projection system for three-dimensional product advertisements. Author Alfred Bester has seen this future, and walked right through it. (re: Alfred Bester)

Water Taxi Himiko and the Nautilus: Separated at Birth?
Anime artist Leiji Matsumoto designed a 114-ton Japanese water taxi to "appeal to the younger generation." (re: Jules Verne)

Toshiba SD-Book: An E-Book With Two Pages
This unique electronic book has two LCD displays in a very familiar configuration. You have your favorite book open before you, and read it without ever turning a page. (re: Neal Stephenson)

9X Media Video Wall: Bradbury's Parlour Walls Come To Life
The 9X Media Video Wall, a massive flat panel video display, is probably too expensive to buy on a fireman's salary, but they come very close to the parlour walls from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. (re: Ray Bradbury)

Diebold ATM Crashes, Dispenses Tunes - Not Money
A Diebold ATM crashed on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University, and then rebooted without bringing up the ATM software, alarming financial institutions and Americans concerned about e-voting alike. (re: William Gibson)

Nokia Lifeblog Multimedia Diary
It's all important - it's your life, isn't it? Why not keep a permanent record of every last detail. Nokia knows you want to do it.
Just watch out for overuse of that annotation feature. (re: William Gibson)

E. Coli Forced To Evolve: Old Bacterium Learns New Trick
The general method was remarkably similar to a technique used by award-winning sf author Theodore Sturgeon in his classic 1941 story Microcosmic God. (re: Theodore Sturgeon)

Nanotechnology Grand Challenge Events Called For
We've all had fun watching the recent Grand Challenge race run by DARPA. Let's help DARPA set up the nanotechnology Grand Challenge for very small vehicles. (re: Technovelgy.com)

da Vinci Surgical Robot: Dr.'s Helper
A 2004 University of Michigan study noted that patients who were operated on with robotic surgeon assistance recovered more quickly with fewer or less obtrusive scars using a surgical robot. Similar devices are used in telemedicine; read a wry encoun (re: Peter Watts)

Contour Crafting: 3D House Printer
Perhaps you've used those programs that let you design your dream house, creating a Computer Aided Design (CAD) file. Not quite ready to take up the hammer and start building? What if you could just "print" your house? (re: Murray Leinster)

RobotCop III - Not Quite R. Daneel Olivaw
In his classic 1953 robot story Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov teamed a human detective with a robotic one - R. Daneel Olivaw. Hong Kong has been testing robotic police officers for years, and has now introduced RobotCop III. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Poweriser: Extreme Sports Gear from The Diamond Age
In The Diamond Age, author Neal Stephenson creates a vivid picture of a future Shanghai. The novel mixes "futuristic" devices based on nanotechnology with simpler mechanical devices that are almost Victorian in their simplicity... Imagine my surpri (re: Neal Stephenson)

DARPA's BigDog Robot And Bradbury's Mechanical Hound
In his chilling 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury created the mechanical hound, a robot that accompanied the firemen and helped with their work... DARPA has made a multi-million dollar investment in the soldier of the future's best friend - Big (re: Ray Bradbury)

Ghostrider Robot: Sterling's Smart Motorcycle?
The Ghostrider Robot (aka Dexterit), an entrant to the upcoming "Grand Challenge" race sponsored by DARPA, is an autonomous self-balancing robotic motorcycle.< (re: Bruce Sterling)

Chameleon Card: Simmons' Universal Credit Card?
The new Chameleon Card (and associated Pocket Vault) provides a single card that gives access to all of your bank and credit card accounts. (re: Dan Simmons)

BLEEX: Robotic Exoskeleton Making Strides
The Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton (BLEEX), a DARPA robotics engineering project that is designed to help foot soldiers carry more supplies for longer distances, was demonstrated in California earlier this week. (re: Robert Heinlein)

SenseCam Camera: Your Personal Black Box Update
SenseCam is a Microsoft research toy, a badge-sized camera that can capture up to 2000 VGA images per day. It also monitors movement, light level and temperature. It's been compared to the airplane "black box." (re: John Barnes)

Philips FluidFocus: Variable Focus Fluid Lens
Philips FluidFocus - a variable-focus lens system with no mechanical moving parts - is very similar to Frank Herbert's oil lens in Dune (1964). (re: Frank Herbert)

Reversible LCD: Two-Sided Electronic Paper
Mitsubishi has a prototype reversible LCD panel; a two-sided liquid crystal display that can show different images on each side. Like two-sided smart paper! (re: Neal Stephenson)

Gene Expression of Microbes Changes in Low Gravity Bioreactor
The tiniest astronaut? Easy - the trillions of bacteria that accompany every manned space flight. With talk of moon bases and extended space travel back in the news, NASA again focuses on the question of how microorganisms behave in space. (re: Bruce Sterling)

Musclebot: Microrobot with a Heart
A microrobot designed by microengineer Carlos Montemagno walks with the aid of living heart muscle at the University of California, Los Angeles. (re: Jack Vance)

Nerve Cells Grown On Microchip
Nerve cells grown on a microchip have been shown to learn and memorize information, according to researchers from the University of Calgary. (re: Peter Watts)

Gene Therapy Builds Muscles Fast
Lee Sweeney (University of Pennsylvania) has shown that gene therapy can build muscles fast in rats - and maintain their size - even without an exercise program. (re: William Gibson)

DARPA Seeks Metabolic Dominance
DARPA has initiated a new program called "Metabolic Dominance" to assure that soldiers have superior physiological qualities. Frank Herbert had the answer sooner, though. (re: Jack Vance)

Humans Teach Bacteria New Language
A group of scientists lead by Professor James C. Liao are engineering an artificial cell-to-cell communication network by teaching bacteria to communicate with each other and to work together in a whole new way. (re: Greg Bear)

StratoSail & Altair: Mars Robot Balloons
StratoSail, a NASA-funded robotic balloon with a wing, and Altair, a Welsh robotic balloon, may hold the key to future Mars exploration.< (re: Larry Niven)

Feral Robotic Dogs Run in Packs
A pack of cooperative robotic dogs wired at Yale have been put to work sniffing for arsenic, lead and other pollutants in soil around schools and homes. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Siemens PenPhone Watches While You Write
The PenPhone has an integrated handwriting recognition facility; the device will interpret hand movements during the act of writing and translate them directly into SMS. (re: Frank Herbert)

Mydoom Email Worm (aka Novarg Mimail)
Virus protection makers are scrambling to keep the Mydoom email worm from spreading quickly over the Internet. (re: John Brunner)

Robotic Bird Has USAF Flocking
A prototype of a small robotic bird created from carbon fiber composites and Mylar has the U.S. Airforce flocking nearby for a closer look. (re: Greg Bear)

Yumemi Kobo - Lucid Dream Workshop
Takara Co of Japan claims to have a machine that allows users to have the dreams they want - a dream factory. (re: Peter Watts)

Digital Press Corps Gadget Freaks
The New York Times today published a story on how wireless laptops and digital tape recorders and other high tech gadgets are quickening the pace of news reporting. (re: John Varley)

Philips Rollable Display (Active-Matrix)
These remarkable displays are flexible, and can be rolled up and put away when not needed. (re: Larry Niven)

Weightless Science Attracts Students
A team consisting of four UC Davis students studying the formation of new materials got the chance to test their theories in NASA's "Weightless Wonder" (popularly known as the "Vomit Comet"). (re: Jules Verne)

Toshiba 0.85 Inch Diameter Hard Drive
Guiness World Records announced on March 16th that the Toshiba Drive is the smallest in the world. The 0.85-inch HDDs will start mass production at the end of the year. (re: Larry Niven)

Skyray Human Glider Flight
Tired of dawdling along at one hundred and twenty miles an hour, a typical terminal velocity for human-shaped skydivers? Can you go faster? and farther? (re: Robert Heinlein)

Bees Key To Cooperative Robots
How can robots learn cooperative behavior, and learn to work with each other? Automated analysis of the movements of honeybees may provide the answer. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Real Organleggers: Human Organ Trafficking
What has been described as an "international human organ trafficking syndicate" has been discovered in South Africa. Nine Brazilians and two Israelis have been arrested in Brazil. (re: Larry Niven)

Extreme 2003: Hydrothermal Vent Grind
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is hosting students from around the world on a 23-day research expedition to the Pacific Ocean floor: Extreme 2003 - To the Depths of Discovery. (re: Peter Watts)

Polymer Takes Cue From Glow Worms
How many times have you opened a bag or other enclosure, only to find that you don't have enough light to be able to see what's inside? An Austrian company may have a solution.< (re: Richard Morgan)

Paraglider To Fly From Greece to Egypt
An Austrian extreme sports enthusiast hopes to take a world's record for his planned flight from Kalamata, Greece to Alexandria, Egypt. (re: Larry Niven)

Artificial Cornea Helps Pigs See
According to the Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Sciences, scientists have succeeded in creating artificial corneas. (re: William Gibson)

Bush Signs Nanotech R&D Act
At 2:10 P.M. EST this afternoon, President Bush is scheduled to sign the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act into law. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Robovac Visualizes Your Home
The Samsung robotic vacuum cleaner draws a three-dimensional map of its environment to enable more efficient (both in time and energy) cleaning. (re: William Gibson)

EMBRIO Embodies The Tumblebug
Bombardier recently came up with a new concept vehicle that "promises a whole new experience on the road." The EMBRIO would be a single-wheeled vehicle that used gyroscopes and sensors to maintain proper attitude. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Planets May Wander Alone
Astronomers at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh claim that planets can be created by the same processes that create stars. (re: Larry Niven)

Veripay Credit-Card Implant
Advanced Digital Solutions intends to use its implanted RFID (radio frequency identification) VeriChips as a method of payment at the upcoming ID World 2003 in Paris, France. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Desktop Manufacturing - 3D 'Printouts'
Unlike other systems that are more expensive and energy intensive, this machine can work with a relatively low-tech electrical heater filament. (re: William Gibson)

Vocaloid Voice - Soul Singing Synthesis
Are you tired of listening to poor quality voice synthesis? Had enough of those monotone recitations of email? Wondering what to do with all those song lyric sites strewn across the Internet? You're in for a treat. (re: William Gibson)

GloFish First Genetically Modified Pet Update
The first genetically modified pet to go on sale in the US is available now, in time for Christmas. The GloFish fluoresces bright red. (re: Frank Herbert)

Berlin Gets Talking Trash Cans
Next spring, Berlin trash experts will build electronics into some of the city's wastebaskets that will allow them to speak - or even sing! - to the public.< (re: Bruce Sterling)

Biometric ID Cards Doomed To Fail
The UK plans on issuing large numbers of biometric ID cards to stop fraud and terrorism; travellers to the United States will be required to have visas with biometric data by October of 2004. (re: Frank Herbert)

LingoPhone Provides Mobile Translation
LingoPhone now provides mobile, on-the-spot translation services via cellphone. The service works with any mobile phone equipped to send and recieve text messages. (re: William Gibson)

Smart Home Provides Elder Care
The University of Florida has created what they call "an assistive environment" which goes far beyond the assistive devices that we are used to hearing about. (re: Ray Bradbury)

ARPANET Turns 30
The ARPANET (Advanced Research Project Agency NETwork) turns thirty this week. The original network was used to pioneer many of the techniques and protocols we take for granted on the Internet. (re: William Gibson)

DARPA Wants Exoskeletons
In a briefing today on GovExec.com, a variety of projects from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) demonstrate that some science fiction thinking is good. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Epson uFR Micro Flying Robot
Epson announced today that it has developed the uFR Micro Flying Robot, a prototype using micromechatronics (hey - and you were looking for a new-word-for-the-day) technology. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Chess Computer Ties Kasparov
Gary Kasparov, the world's number one chess player, has drawn X3D Fritz, the chess playing supercomputer. Fritz succeeded in beating rival Deep Blue, which had defeated Kasparov in 1997. (re: Ambrose Bierce)

New Technique Detects False Memories
Recent research indicates that it may be possible to distinguish between a false memory and a memory of actual events. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Virtual Reality and Your Spider Sense
Recent work at the University of Washington has shown that combining tactile input with virtual reality can improve the usefulness of aversion therapy. (re: William Gibson)

Speech Recognition Algorithms Improve
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have created a new formula that improves upon the Good-Turing algorythm and may lead to better quality speech recognition. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Three Dimensional Flat Panel Screen Announced
On October 13, 2003 Sharp Electronics released the first laptop computer capable of 3D images without needing to use special glasses, the Actius RD3D. (re: Robert Heinlein)

HOAP-2 Robot Masters Sumo And Linux. RoboShiko!
This robot performs moves from the Chinese martial art taijiquan; it also does Sumo wrestling stances. All that and it's Linux-based! (re: Roger Zelazny)

First Flight of a Laser Powered Airplane
Today, NASA tested a laser-powered airplane: a 312-gram (11-ounce), 1.5-meter (five-foot) wingspan plane. A laser beam struck the photovoltaic cells that powered the tiny motor that turned its propeller. (re: Larry Niven)

VeriChip Provides Emergency ID
A radio frequency identification (RFID) product called VeriChip is now being used in a controversial pilot program in Mexico to help identify missing children. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Underwear Detects Heart Problems
Recently, Philips Electronics came out with a network of sensors woven into ordinary clothing, like underwear. (re: Rudy Rucker)

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