Nanotech and immortality

John Carroll reviews Ray Kurzweil’s “The Singularity is Near,”

we are all a bunch of nano-machines that have evolved over the course of billions of years. Weird stuff, and even weirder is to think that this kind of thing happened all on its own. That’s probably the reason some think there had to be some rational guiding principle to it all, as spontaneously self-organizing nano-machines seems too weird…
623_rel.jpg
…unless that says something about the inherent structure of the universe, which in itself is weird. What a confusing puzzle we live in.

Read the review, read the book!

Radius 320 monitor: Three screens in one

I was looking at this (50-inch (diagonal) screen with a massive resolution of 4,800 x 1,200 pixels that you can use with any machine) on the scifi.com Blog. I really need one of these units for usability testing. Yea! that’s it! Testing!

Solving the Embryonic Stem Cell Political and Ethical Debate

New stem cell technique may help solve political, ethical debate

A group of U.S. scientists has for the first time extracted stem cells from human embryos without destroying a budding life in the process.

The breakthrough technique, pioneered at a Massachusetts-based biotech firm, could yield a source of human embryonic stem cells for medical research — and possibly, future treatments — free of the moral and ethical concerns that have mired the field.

By plucking a single cell from a human embryo at a very early stage, researchers at Advanced Cell Technology say they have generated two new stem-cell lines while the embryos remained intact and continued to develop.

Robert Lanza, senior author of the report to be published Thursday in the journal Nature, said in an interview this week that he will soon be heading to Washington to describe the advance.

“Embryonic stem cells have been synonymous with destroying life,” said Dr. Lanza, “But if you’re not hurting the embryo, why wouldn’t you be able to move ahead?

“We think this will solve the current political impasse.”

Once the Political and Ethical concerns are resolved, the two current fields of study (Adult and Embryonic Stem Cell research) should eventually merge. If the scientists and researchers could get back to doing real science and not have to worry about politicking or offending either side of the Embryonic Stem Cell research debate, (thus reducing funding) some true breakthroughs may finally be realized in the Embryonic Stem Cell research arena.

Read the whole article…
Thanks to the University of Wisconsin for the cool Stem Cell image.

Is Dark Matter becoming the “Aether” of the 1800’s?

Ether returns to oust dark matter
aether.jpeg

Starkman and colleagues Tom Zlosnik and Pedro Ferreira of the University of Oxford are now reincarnating the ether in a new form to solve the puzzle of dark matter, the mysterious substance that was proposed to explain why galaxies seem to contain much more mass than can be accounted for by visible matter. They posit an ether that is a field, rather than a substance, and which pervades space-time. “If you removed everything else in the universe, the ether would still be there,” says Zlosnik. This ether field isn’t to do with light, but rather is something that boosts the gravitational pull of stars and galaxies, making them seem heavier, says Starkman. It does this by increasing the flexibility of space-time itself . “We usually imagine space-time as a rubber sheet that’s warped by a massive object,” says Starkman. “The ether makes that rubber sheet more bendable in parts, so matter can seem to have a much bigger gravitational effect than you would expect from its weight.” The team’s calculations show that this ether-induced gravity boost would explain the observed high velocities of stars in galaxies, currently attributed to the presence of dark matter.

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing. It’s an interesting concept.

The Future of Robots

The Future of Robots
Futurist Ray Kurzweil explains how the boundary between man and machine is quickly disappearing.
Human experience is marked by a refusal to obey our limitations. We’ve escaped the ground, we’ve escaped the planet, and now, after thousands of years of effort, our quest to build machines that emulate our own appearance, movement and intelligence is leading us to the point where we will escape the two most fundamental confines of all: our bodies and our minds. Once this point comes—once the accelerating pace of technological change allows us to build machines that not only equal but surpass human intelligence—we’ll see cyborgs (machine-enhanced humans like the Six Million Dollar Man), androids (human-robot hybrids like Data in Star Trek) and other combinations beyond what we can even imagine.

Read the rest…

Nanotech Assembler Illustration Video

We hear a lot of talk about nanotech, and nano-assembly. Here is a fascinating video that provides a good illustration of nanotech and nano-manufacturing concepts.

Finally True HDTV: 1080p!

UPDATE January 9, 2007: Not so fast!!!

quadhd.jpg

Westinghouse shows off a 2160p HDTV

1080p is really what you should be looking for in a new high-definition HDTV, but the next generation is just around the corner: Westinghouse showcases a 2160p – commonly referred to as a Quad HDTV.

The manufacturers have committed to the technology; and now the prices are getting down to competitive levels. The question remains, how long do broadcasters, producers and publishers wait to roll out actual high definition shows and games?

xbox360-component-cable.jpg
1080p HDTVs Compared

Here’s a look at three 2006 big-screen HDTVs that have the highest-available native resolution, known in the industry as 1080p. These sets have their work cut out for them competing against the 2005 models, despite all sharing the ability to accept 1080p sources.

More here…

1080i vs. 1080p HDTV: should you care?

Update: For a more recent discussion of this same topic, check out 720p vs. 1080p HDTV: The final word.

Now if we could just get some true high-def content! It’s too late to avoid the new alphabet soup of HD Disk drive formats.

UPDATE:
Is the XBox 360 capable of 1080p? Back in ’05 The Xbox 360 Fanboy thought so! (Thanks go out to The Xbox 360 Fanboy for graphic too!)