David Kirkpatrick

July 11, 2008

A whole slew of nanotechnology news

In a departure from the usual format, here’s a roundup of nanotech news from the last two days of KurzweilAI.net’s e-newsletter. There’s so much here these bits are taken straight from the email.

Controlling the Size of
Nanoclusters: First Step in Making
New Catalysts
KurzweilAI.net July 10, 2008
Researchers from the U.S.
Department of Energy’s (DOE)
Brookhaven National Laboratory and
Stony Brook University have
developed a new instrument that
allows them to control the size of
nanoclusters — groups of 10 to 100
atoms — with atomic precision. The
device could allow for making
nanoclusters with predetermined
size, structure and…

Nanotubes Hold Promise for
Next-Generation Computing
Wired July 9, 2008
Two groups of researchers have
recently published papers
demonstrating advances in creating,
sorting and organizing carbon
nanotubes so they can be used in
electronics. Stanford electrical
engineers addressed the problem of
getting nanotubes straightened out
so they could be put to work in
chips, by growing the nanotubes on
crystalline quartz,…

Assembling Nanotubes
Technology Review July 10, 2008
Stanford University and Samsung
Advanced Institute of Technology
researchers have developed a new
method for sorting single-walled
carbon nanotubes by electronic type
and arranging them over a large
area; it could be useful for
manufacturing high-performance
displays and other electronic
devices. (Melburne LeMieux /
Stanford University)…

Nanotubes bring artificial
photosynthesis a step nearer
New Scientist news service July 11, 2008
Carbon nanotubes are the crucial
chemical ingredient that could make
artificial photosynthesis possible,
say Chinese researchers. Artificial
photosynthesis could efficiently
produce hydrogen that could be used
as a clean fuel and also mop up
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
By covalently bonding a large number
of phthalocyanine molecules…

June 25, 2008

The petabyte age

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:25 pm

From KurzweilAI.net, Wired’s Chris Anderson has an interesting piece on the “petabyte age,” Google and the business of doing science.

The Petabyte Age: Because More Isn’t Just More — More Is Different
Wired, June 23, 2008

The new availability of huge amounts of data, along with the statistical tools to crunch these numbers, offers a whole new way of understanding the world, suggests Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson.

Science can advance even without coherent models and unified theories, letting statistical algorithms find patterns where science cannot.
Read Original Article>>


From the original article:

The Petabyte Age is different because more is different. Kilobytes were stored on floppy disks. Megabytes were stored on hard disks. Terabytes were stored in disk arrays. Petabytes are stored in the cloud. As we moved along that progression, we went from the folder analogy to the file cabinet analogy to the library analogy to — well, at petabytes we ran out of organizational analogies.

At the petabyte scale, information is not a matter of simple three- and four-dimensional taxonomy and order but of dimensionally agnostic statistics. It calls for an entirely different approach, one that requires us to lose the tether of data as something that can be visualized in its totality. It forces us to view data mathematically first and establish a context for it later. For instance, Google conquered the advertising world with nothing more than applied mathematics. It didn’t pretend to know anything about the culture and conventions of advertising — it just assumed that better data, with better analytical tools, would win the day. And Google was right


May 22, 2008

Peter Thiel invests in libertarian micronations

From KurzweilAI.net — I’ve recently blogged about PayPal founder, Peter Thiel. He’s making news again by investing in offshore communities destined to become libertarian strongholds. Pretty cool idea if you ask me …

Peter Thiel Makes Down Payment on Libertarian Ocean Colonies
Wired, May 19, 2008

With a $500,000 donation from PayPal founder Peter Thiel, a Google engineer and a former Sun Microsystems programmer have launched The Seasteading Institute, an organization dedicated to creating experimental ocean communities “with diverse social, political, and legal systems.”

Artist’s conception of a large seastead based on the spur design (Valdemar Duran)

The seasteaders want to build their first prototype for a few million dollars, by scaling down and modifying an existing off-shore oil rig design known as a “spar platform.”

Read Original Article>>

February 27, 2008

Beautiful nanotech image

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:28 pm

A tip of the hat to Boing Boing for pointing my browser to this awesome nanotech photo and short bit from Wired.


As described in the article:

An array of ZIF, or zeolitic imidazolate framework, crystals that were photographed by a robotic microscope using polarized light to show detail. ZIF crystals are the primary substances that Yaghi and his crew develop. The nicely formed and innately beautiful crystals at left await further testing in the lab. The finer specimens may be individually mounted and imaged using X-ray crystal diffraction.

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