Science Fiction in the News:
Science and Technology News

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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