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Broad-Spectrum White LEDs

October 25th, 2005 | Filed under: Fabrication Tech, Future, Lighting, Nanotech, Products, Sustainability | No Comments »

Anyone who has bought “white” LED devices knows that the light is not quite white. Michael Bowers, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, has discovered an alternative method of producing white LEDs with a broad spectrum while remaining cool to the touch. This discovery will certainly make its way to architectural lighting and large scale applications as LED production costs drop. Bowers’ method also indicates possibilities to provide illumination through chemical processes in a luminescent paint to transform any surface into an light source.

via Exploration | Treehugger | Worldchanging


10,000 Year Clock : The Long Now

October 19th, 2005 | Filed under: Future, Mechanical Tech, Social, Sustainability, Technology | 3 Comments »

W. Daniel Hillis of Applied Minds, Inc. is designing a perfectly synchronized 10,000 year clock / sculpture / statement with the Long Now Foundation. Everything about this clock is deeply unusual. For example, while nearly every mechanical clock made in the last millennium consists of a series of propelled gears, this one uses a stack of mechanical binary computers capable of singling out one moment in 3.65 million days. . . Unlike any other clock, this one is being constructed to keep track of leap centuries, the orbits of the six innermost planets in our solar system, even the ultraslow wobbles of Earth’s axis. . .”The ultimate design criterion is that people have to care about it,” says Hillis. “If they don’t, it won’t last.”

via Discover

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Morphology database going global

October 16th, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Future, Mapping | No Comments »

Morphbank is an open web repository of images serving the biological research community. It is currently being used to document specimens in natural history collections, to voucher DNA sequence data, and to share research results in disciplines such as taxonomy, morphometrics, comparative anatomy, and phylogenetics. With a $2.25 million NSF grant, Fredrik Ronquist and his team at Florida State University hope to eventually have a database accessible by everyone from kindergarteners to researchers with user friendly features such as image recognition to identify the species of an organism from a user-uploaded photograph.

via Biology News Net | FSU

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Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines

October 12th, 2005 | Filed under: Books, Fabrication Tech, Future | No Comments »

Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, by Robert A. Freitas Jr. and Ralph C. Merkle, is a comprehensive review of theoretical and experimental kinematic replicator projects of all scales as of 2004 (available for free online).

via KurzweilAI


Supersolids : Solids passing through solids

October 9th, 2005 | Filed under: Future, Materials, Science, Technology | 1 Comment »

What!? Moses Chan and his colleagues at Pennsylvania State University have created the world’s first “supersolids“, bizarre crystals that slide through each other like ghosts. [article 2005] [article 2004]

via NS


New Songdo City : U-City

October 6th, 2005 | Filed under: Architecture, Design, Future, Social, Sustainability, Urbanism | 6 Comments »

New Songdo City, a man-made island being privately developed from the ground up by Gale International and POSCO E&C, is gaining much attention due to its contemporary nature and its willingness to experiment with ubiquitous technology from phase 1 to its completion of phase 5 in 2014. Dubbed ‘the Hong Kong of the 21st century’ or ‘Ubiquitous City’, the South Korean government’s scheme to attract multinational corporations with technology and a ‘Free Economic Zone’ will surely be something to watch.

via WorldChanging | wmmna | NYT

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AI Weather-talk

September 30th, 2005 | Filed under: AI, Future, Mapping, Technology | 1 Comment »

Weathermen don’t know what they’re talking about. Or, more precisely, have biased vocabulary when it comes to describing the weather. So, computer scientists at the University of Aberdeen, UK have created an AI WeatherAgent (part of the SumTime project) that interprets numerical data sets into a written summary to dish out unambiguous descriptions. [SumTime demo]

via NS


Non-Invasive Brain-Computer Interface

September 28th, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Computing, Future, Virtual Reality | 1 Comment »

Brain-computer interfaces (BCI), like the one developed at the Graz University of Technology in Austria, places electrodes in key locations on the user’s scalp to detect nerve activity which is then translated to walking or movement of the virtual character’s hands. The team at the Graz University of Technology have incorporated a fully immersive Virtual Cave for a mind bending walk by thinking. [nature article]

via KurzweilAI

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Self-Assembling Viral Battery

September 26th, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Biotech, Fabrication Tech, Future, Materials, Nanotech, Science | 3 Comments »

Dr. Angela Belcher and her group at MIT are developing an organic-inorganic hybrid method of growing batteries. By forcing viruses to interact with materials like metals, Dr. Belcher is exploring new materials that are self assembling with a high degree of control based on the chosen DNA sequence. Imagine selecting DNA for any type of material you want the virus to grow. [Discover Article]

via Medgadget | ScienCentral


Dermal Nanotech Display

September 26th, 2005 | Filed under: Biotech, Future, Health, Nanotech | No Comments »

Robert A. Freitasdermal display concept functions as a medical nanorobot control center to keep one’s health in check. His book, Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities, is the first technical design study of nanotechnology in medicine and medical nanorobotics. Watch Gina Miller‘s animation of the dermal display concept. [video (qt)]

via Medgadget