Better late and good than on time and really bad…

A couple of days ago we heard that “Microsoft will delay Windows Vista

So we figured that “heads will roll” at Microsoft … and so they did:

Microsoft names new head of Windows business

I’ll have a corporate copy (which will probably not be dealyed much) so the Vista announcement probably won’t affect me much if at all, but I was a VAR for several years and holiday sales are “where it’s at” in retail. There’s no doubt that this delay will hurt the retail partners where it really counts.

When you buy grandma a cheap computer at the nearest BigBox retailer, do you want a really really really buggy Vista loaded on it or would you be willing to wait and get a Vista version thats not so buggy? Well … slightly less buggy than it would have been without the delay.

Carbon nanotube chip functions without supercooling!

IBM devises carbon nanotube chip

This is the Test Circuit:

A photograph of the ring oscillator used to test the performance of a single nanotube. Note the nanotube protuding from the circuit in the inset, upper right. The entire circuit is several times smaller than the thickness of a human hair. (Source: IBM)

EETimes reports:
IBM Corp. claims to have developed a device that incorporates an integrated circuit on a carbon nanotube. The technology could one day boost the speeds of next-generation chip products.

IBM has built a five-stage ring oscillator that comprises of 12 field-effect transistors (FET) side-by-side, along the length of an individual carbon nanotube, according to the journal Science, which is expected to be released on Friday (March 24).

And an important consideration is:

The device combines the best of carbon nanotubes and FETs. “Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have been shown to exhibit excellent electrical properties, such as ballistic transport over several hundred nanometers at room temperature,” according to IBM.

All of which adds up to a huge step toward creating nano-scale processors. So “Moore’s Law” is safe!

There is a more comprehensive news report here from LinuxWorld

The research could have a large impact on the design of faster processors. Forty years after Intel cofounder Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors on a chip would double every two years, engineers are finding it hard to keep up with “Moore’s Law.”

One company, Nantero, is using nanotubes to create high-density nonvolatile memory. Other scientists are using the thermal conduction properties of nanotubes to draw heat away from processors. That work is happening at Fujitsu and NanoConduction.

“IBM’s work is different, because no one has really looked at using carbon nanotubes as a replacement for silicon,” Mamikunian said. “Now they have to scale that up to gigahertz and terahertz levels. They haven’t found a switching speed limit yet, so theoretically it shouldn’t be a problem.”

We’ll have fond memories of the good old days of 3.6 GHz processors and giant tower computer cases, oh how we’ll laugh and laugh.

A Port Postmortem … VDH slaps just about everyone … and deservedly so

A Port Postmortem
by Victor Davis Hanson

In retrospect, America went collectively insane over the possibility that a company owned by Dubai’s government would operate several of our ports.

Rarely has reason been so routed by pure emotion. Dubai is a Westernizing state that long ago left the 8th century and accepts the modern world of globalized commerce and finance. This member of the United Arab Emirates has — especially after Sept. 11 — passed on intelligence, hosted our fleet and provided a foothold in the Gulf near Iraq and Iran.

No doubt some members of its extended government, as is true of many of the monarchies of the Gulf, have triangulated against the United States. But then so have China, Russia and most of Europe.

Yet if we are going to win this war against radical Islam, it will be through drawing the Arab world into the global system of Western jurisprudence, politics and business. The perceived defamation of a proven Arab consortium only hurts our cause.

To understand the fiasco, we must allot blame to almost everyone involved. A Republican administration — almost daily accused of talking down to “the people” — somehow feels no need to reveal how its own familiar world of transnational corporations works. Much less does anyone up on Olympus explain to us mere mortals below why our long-term strategic interests would remain safe with ports owned by Dubai’s government.

The result of still more of this Harriet-Meyers “trust me” approach is that the ports deal is pilloried as near traitorous by prairie-fire conservative talk radio, blogs and cable news. The administration apparently never thought that the hyped caricature of Arabs guiding cranes on our docks was going to provide good fodder.

Meanwhile, the Democrats, who have lectured us ad nauseam about ethnic stereotyping, couldn’t resist the political opening. So they jettisoned this old sensitivity to score jingoist points by suggesting that an Arab fifth column could, in theory, gain control of our ports.

It was surreal to hear Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., the multicultural guru, lecture us about the dangers of these Gulf middlemen — even as her huckstering husband advised the United Arab Emirates how to finesse the American Congress.

The American public was supposedly outraged that an Arab country would oversee the operation of its major ports. Yet did we have a clue that a Chinese company took over operation of Panama Canal ports during the Clinton administration? Do most realize that the People’s Republic has amassed such a pile of U.S. dollars that it soon will control the very financial solvency of the United States?

Read it all…

Anti-Human earth worshipers are at it again!

Report: Species loss worst since the dinosaurs

OSLO, Norway (Reuters) — Humans are responsible for the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs and must make unprecedented extra efforts to reach a goal of slowing losses by 2010, a U.N. report said on Monday.

Habitats ranging from coral reefs to tropical rainforests face mounting threats, the Secretariat of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity said in the report, issued at the start of a March 20-31 U.N. meeting in Curitiba, Brazil.

“In effect, we are currently responsible for the sixth major extinction event in the history of earth, and the greatest since the dinosaurs disappeared, 65 million years ago,” said the 92-page Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 report.

I love it when the Wiccans, the pagans the earth mother gaia worshippers, the pretendians, and all of the other religious nature nuts (AKA environmentalists in general) make these sweeping pronouncements.

And the Antique Media laps it right up. When with just a tiny effort we find that we really have no idea …

How many species inhabit the planet?

Scientists and policy makers who want to slow the rate at which species are being lost face a conundrum: No one knows how many different plants and animals there are.

“Some people who study insects think there may be as many as 100 million species out there,” said Jeff McNeely, the chief scientist at the World Conservation Union.

“But if you took a poll of biologists, I think most would say there are somewhere around 15 million,” he told Reuters by telephone from the organization’s Swiss headquarters.

Don’t you just hate it when mere facts get in the way of good fear mongering?

I actually laughed out loud at the “But if you took a poll of biologists” quote.

See. There is no poll! But Jeff McNeely and the author both have complete faith that earth mother has opened the eyes of those “biologists”. And naturally (pun intended) they will have seen the light and agree with the author that we know exactly how many species there are, and exactly how many have gone extinct, and that every extinction is of course the fault of human existence.

Update: Rains kill Kenyan wildlife after several succumb to killer drought

The park’s chief warden said, a long-running drought had decimated several wildlife, but now the animals are also dying because of bloating.

“Once the grass sprouted, the animals fed excessively and many died owing to bloat that is caused by dew,”

I know, I know … Humans fault! … Global Warming …

Cyborg Insect Soldiers in the Future?

Insect ‘cybug’ plan hatched

US defence researchers are all abuzz about the possibilities of recruiting an insect army capable of being controlled remotely to perform military operations.

The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has already envisaged a wide range of users for such an army of “cybugs”, but is seeking outside expertise to help it overcome some of the more challenging technical hurdles.

The plan is to integrate tiny micro-computer systems into a range of insects during the early stages of their lives when they are still pupa. As the insect progresses from one metamorphic stage to the next DARPA hopes the components could be designed to bond in a bio-electromechanical way with their internal organs.

Wow … Imagine giant swarms of smart ants with bad attitudes. Or worse yet smart bees … or wasps! The mind boggles!

Three stories, One trend.

DNA Art: Origami Goes Nano

The software of life has now been woven into smiley faces, snowflakes and stars.

Caltech researcher Paul Rothemund calls his new technique “DNA origami,” and he can weave any two-dimensional shape or pattern using DNA molecules. The technology could one day be used to construct tiny chemical factories or molecular electronics by attaching proteins and inorganic components to DNA circuit boards.

Before he works with real DNA, Rothemund uses a computer to design the shapes and patterns and to determine the snippets of DNA code for the staples. He says the design program is so simple high school students could use it.

When heated in a salt solution, the long DNA strand and the staples come together automatically to form the desired shape.

I saw this a couple of days ago but didn’t post my thoughts about it. It got me thinking about Artificial Life. Then I saw this…

Computer Simulation of an Entire Life Form

It’s a simple little virus — so simple that biologists often refer to it as a “particle” rather than organism, so small and primitive that it can only proliferate in a cell that’s already been hijacked by another virus. But a recent simulation of the satellite tobacco mosaic virus is also a striking first. There’s never been a computer simulation of an entire life form at atomic detail. Until now.

And this story just crossed my desk a few hours ago…

Researchers Grow Bone Cells On Carbon Nanotubes

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have published findings that show, for the first time, that bone cells can grow and proliferate on a scaffold of carbon nanotubes.

Bone cells appear as a clump at left, carbon nanotubes appear on the right. (Image courtesy of University of California – Riverside)

And so extropian trends continue.

Highly Energetic Fuels Power Improved Artificial Muscles

University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) nanotechnologists have made alcohol- and hydrogen-powered artificial muscles that are 100 times stronger than natural muscles, able to do 100 times greater work per cycle and produce, at reduced strengths, larger contractions than natural muscles. Among other possibilities, these muscles could enable fuel-powered artificial limbs, “smart skins” and morphing structures for air and marine vehicles, autonomous robots having very long mission capabilities and smart sensors that detect and self-actuate to change the environment.

All of the possibilities listed are cool and all, but they left one out. Artificial Muscles winning an arm wrestling contest