[>Htech] Nanotechnology Slashdot-like site

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From: Eugene Leitl (Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)
Date: Thu Jun 29 2000 - 03:16:50 PDT

So far, news are of a high quality (not really surprising, given the
posters' names). 'gene sez: check out http://nanodot.org

posted by ChrisPeterson on Wednesday June 28, @02:38PM
from the nanomania?-sounds-fun dept.

>From BradHein's site we find The New York
Times reports: "Once it is possible to create
molecular circuits (as opposed to silicon-based
chips) on a mass, affordable scale -- by about
2010, according to some industry researchers --
prepare for nanomania...If this vision turns out to
be accurate, then we will find ourselves, before too long, in a
previously unfathomable medical and ethical terrain. Our
relation to aging, to mortality, to the messages sent us by our own
bodies may be forever altered by infinitesimally small computers
that diagnose our diseases, repair our ravaged cells and ultimately
transform -- for better or for worse -- what it means to be
human." CP: But can we live without mortality?

( Read More... )

Globally Distributed Evolutionary Nanotechnology?

posted by ChrisPeterson on Wednesday June 28, @02:12PM
from the intriguing-but-scary dept.

davesag writes "The gRobots project is a
forthcoming distributed supercomputing platform
specifically developed for the simulation of
evolvable nanotechnology. The project is both for
the use of evolutionary computation to simulate the
design of nanotechnological devices, and for the ongoing
simulation of self-replicating devices. The system will be
open-sourced so that the broadest range of researchers,
evolutionary computing enthusiasts, simulation geeks, chemists,
engineers, students and others can participate. " From the site:
"We think that the safest and best way forward as these fields
merge is to provide a virtual environment for self-replicating
machines running evolving software to be tested, evaluated and
even farmed." Good idea or too risky--what do you think?

( Read More... )

Newest Nanotech Spokesman Wows Crowd

posted by ChrisPeterson on Wednesday June 28, @11:55AM
from the when-he's-famous-will-he-still-talk-to-us dept.

Senior Associate Ka-Ping Yee (Ping) launched
his future-tech lecture career with great success,
earning a standing ovation and great media
coverage for his inspirational talk including
nanotechnology and machine intelligence. What
advice do you have for Ping and other
Foresight speakers?

( Read More... )

Allocating our Altruism Effectively

posted by ChrisPeterson on Wednesday June 28, @11:09AM
from the all-we-need-is-love dept.

Strongly recommended by Foresight chairman
Eric Drexler is this essay by David H. Miller: "If
one wants to understand how a political order, a
constitutional structure, or an economic system
will actually work, one must understand how
effectively it makes use of the limited altruistic
impulses available among the members of society. If a society is
to avoid widespread misery and suffering, it must make effective
use of the existing potential for altruism, and it must not require
levels of altruism exceeding that which is available. In short, it
must do an adequate job of economizing on love." CP: Those of
us able to direct our altruism to longer-term goals have a
comparative advantage in doing so. How are you leveraging
your limited supply of altruism?

( Read More... )

Reforming Intellectual "Property" Law

posted by ChrisPeterson on Wednesday June 28, @11:04AM
from the hurry-or-they'll-copyright-our-memories dept.

Ownership of coming powerful technologies will
determine how many are benefited, and how
quickly. In a paper prepared for this year's spring
Foresight Gathering, Senior Associate Markus
Krummenacker presents four scenarios for how
intellectual property laws could operate in the future: the two
extremes (no IP, suffocating IP) and two compromise proposals.
Let's pick one, or come up with a better one, and make it happen.
Which scenario do you prefer, and why? Or propose another.

( Read More... )

Newt says 20 years to nanotech

posted by ChrisPeterson on Wednesday June 28, @10:46AM
from the molecular-rotor-rooters-fan dept.

Senior Associate TomMcKendree alerts us to The
Age of Transitions by Newt Gingrich:
"Nanotechnology is probably twenty years away
but it may be at least as powerful as space or
computing in its implications...This approach to
manufacturing will save energy, conserve our raw
materials, eliminate waste products and produce a dramatically
healthier environment. The implications for the advancement of
environmentalism and the irrelevancy of oil prices alone are
impressive....Imagine drinking with your normal orange juice
3,000,000 molecular rotor rooters to clean out your arteries
without an operation." Read More for further comments from
Tom. Comment below on your views of Newt: useful to us or

( Read More... | 1660 bytes in body )

Bioengineering Nanotechnology Initiative

posted by DaveKrieger on Tuesday June 27, @11:21PM
from the a-nanogram-of-sugar-helps-the-nanomedicine-go-down dept.

Robert Freitas writes "NIH is issuing Small
Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants for
projects on nanotechnologies useful to biomedicine.
The grants provide funding to develop near-term
nanomedical applications involving primarily
engineered nanomaterials and biomaterials. While
the goals are admittedly modest by MNT standards --
nanomedicine with a small 'n' -- at least they are
experimentally accessible now. The level of federal interest in
this area is clearly growing. Here, NIH appears to be bending the
usual federal rules a bit to help jumpstart the 'nano' sector of
biomedicine. I've excerpted the most important parts of the
announcement [Read More below]; the full text is at

( Read More... | 12183 bytes in body )

Progress in Computational Power

posted by ChrisPeterson on Tuesday June 27, @12:41PM
from the Palm-Pilot-will-be-smarter-than-we-are dept.

Senior Associate Ka-Ping Yee (ping) writes "For a
recent keynote talk i gave on the future of technology,
i put together a chart of computing power based on
the data in Ray Kurzweil's book, The Age of
Spiritual Machines. I wasn't too happy with the
readability of the chart in the book, so i asked
myself "What would Tufte do?" and tried to design a clearer
layout. A couple of things to note (if you have not already read
Kurzweil's book):

     The vertical scale is a log scale, yet the best fit is not a
     straight line. It still curves upward slightly. (Try to fit a
     straight line and you'll see that it doesn't work.)
     We aren't just plotting maximum available computing
     power here -- it's computing power available for a modest
     amount of money ($1000 in 1999 dollars).
     All the data, except for the last point (the Athlon) is taken
     from the book.

What do you think? Are we on schedule? Any bets for when
the computational power of an affordable desktop machine
will approach the computational power of a human brain? "

( Read More... | 15 of 15 comments )

Space: the Final (Nanotech) Frontier

posted by ChrisPeterson on Tuesday June 27, @12:27PM
from the turning-space-into-a-place dept.

Senior Associate TomMcKendree is the only
one we know working on a PhD in
nanotechnology for space applications. He spoke
at an internal NASA planning conference,
"Turning Goals into Reality": I put together a
new presentation, based on NASA's technical
goals, my work on MNT and space, and lifting heavily from
JoSH's aircar study, since a majority of their technical goals
related to aircraft. The charts are available at link ...A partial
transcript is at link "Read More" for the full story.

( Read More... | 1601 bytes in body | 1 of 1 comment )

Republicans cut Nanotech Initiative

posted by ChrisPeterson on Tuesday June 27, @04:16AM
from the if-it's-Clinton's-idea-they-don't-like-it dept.

SteveLenhert writes "The $500 million US
nanotechnology initiative proposed by US
President Clinton for the year 2001 may not
happen as planned. While Congress supported
the increased NIH spending, many cuts were
proposed in the various other initiatives,
including nanotechnology." See also the Clinton
Administration's protest.

(older news)

Monday June 26

 Gene Mods for Malaria Mosquito (2)
 Stanford biophysicist critiques
nanoenthusiasts (5)
 Xerox PARC's JSB on nanotechnology
 Beginner's Guide to Complexity (0)
 Must We Technologists Interact with
Government? (4)
 Geckos use 200-nm hairs to climb (0)

Sunday June 25

 Dangers of Nanotech "Relinquishment"
 Nanotech's effect on Intellectual
Property (6)
 Jef Raskin's The Humane Interface (0)

Saturday June 24

 Possible Model for Nanotech: Open
Source Standards (3)

Friday June 23

 First Draft Map of the Human Genome
Completed (3)
 Sounds like sf: Nanotech report from IOP
 Develop Nanotechnology using Open
Source Methods? (6)

Wednesday June 21

 Tensile Strength of Carbon Nanotubes
Measured (0)

Tuesday June 20

 Why the future needs Bill Joy (6)
 Nanotech-specific search engine (0)

Monday June 19

 DoD Funding Nanotechnology (0)

Sunday June 18

 Big discussion of Foresight Guidelines on
nanotech safety (1)

Friday June 16

 Coarse-Grained Agoric Computing (2)

Thursday June 15

 Gene Scientists bet on size of Human
Genome (0)

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