Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends

Posts Tagged ‘nanotech’

In Media Res

Posted by cadsmith on February 14, 2011

Pen.io publishes pages. SpeakerText does transcription. TigerText does secure texting. Mobile Basecamp released. Automated reading clarifies historic maps. Cloud contest announced. HP challenges Google for cloud. Paygr does service classifieds. DIY blogs Ramshackle Solid and Homegrown Evolution feature case studies.

Universal flu vaccine handles all strains. DNA adhesives used to label valuables.

Anonymous claims Stuxnet source. Night Dragon virus penetrates energy firm systems. Medical Device Innovation Initiative fast tracks regulatory approvals. Unmanned combat air system US Navy X-47B tested.

Motorika provides robotic rehab. Affetto does realistic faces. Bilibot Project makes robotics cheaper. eRockit and YikeBike offer electric bikes.

Nanowires do computing. On-chip photonics speed up processing. There were twenty-five recent links.

Book review:

Verification and Validation in Scientific Computing, Oberkampf and Roy, 2010

Scientific computing is finding more uses in engineering and research. This book is about model verification. The questions are how well a simulation matches an actual activity, or how to get experimental data for a mathematics of micro- and nano-scales, and whether reviewers will find the results credible. Verification activities are shown for software, solution, model and management. Predictive capability is summarized in several steps for identifying sources of uncertainty, characterizing them, estimating error and uncertainty in the system response quantities (SRQs), updating the model, and analyzing sensitivities. There are five parts for sixteen chapters, and an appendix.

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Area Than Light

Posted by cadsmith on August 23, 2010


The real world gets a game layer, iris scanning, risks, relief, aquabatics and solar sails.  See new AI, telepresence and climate control videos. Smartphones support sign language, and publishing does augmented reality. Economists seek new values amid a network of cities. Machine learning gets a prediction API. Semantic web and simulation get faster. Cyberpunk titles get reviewed.

Original scifi Streetseekers and mystery Casadrome added to previous Last of the Humans. Also from Amazon.

Recent links (about 23):


YouTube – Eliezer Yudkowsky – The Challenge of Friendly AI (1/3)

YouTube – Peter Molyneux demos Milo, the virtual boy

augmented-reality Can Augmented Reality Help Save the Print Publishing Industry?

books Global Catastrophic Risks, edited by Nick Bostrom and Milan M. Cirkovic, 2008

crowdsourcing Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief

economics America’s Lost Decade(s) – Umair Haque – Harvard Business Review

games YouTube – Seth Priebatsch: Building the game layer on top of the world

internet Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: The Fear-Based Psychology of the “Internet Kill Switch”

machinelearning Google Prediction API – Google Code

mobile Better Than FaceTime? Researchers Test New Mobile Technology for Deaf

nanotech YouTube – The Weather Machine: Nano-Enabled Climate Control for the Earth – 1

ocean Innespace

optical Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: Using Einstein’s Relativity to Speed up Supercomputer Simulations 10,000%

satellite NASA – Sailing Among the Stars


Infoquake, David Lewis Edelman, 2006

Halting State, by Charles Stross, 2007

The Mirrored Heavens, David J. Williams, 2008

search The Future of Internet Search – Project Syndicate

security Iris Scanners Create the Most Secure City in the World. Welcome, Big Brother | Fast Company

semantic-web Dr Dobbs – Semantic Web Bottleneck

social-networks Flowr. Real-time Collaboration, knowledge exchange and smart information flow.

telepresence YouTube – John Delaney: Wiring an interactive ocean

urban Beyond City Limits – By Parag Khanna | Foreign Policy

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Posted by cadsmith on July 17, 2010


Fact and intuition may often be invisibly superimposed. The effort to organize scenarios and to verify assumptions can separate them consciously. The resemblances may then indicate bounding characteristics of the observer.

Recent links (about 74): test: Apple wireless, JDSU, software quality, quality metric, quality basics, internet: Finland, user-interface: MS Milo, Intel touchscreen, robotics: Bina48, computation: Wolfram, socnet pattern matching, semantic web: Bestbuy, software: Android app inventor, inDinero accounting, media: Youtube Leanback, digital arts, Plato code, graphics: Kirsch’s pixels, facial camouflage, space: NASA video game, Project M, e-commerce: Google checkout, Rofo real-estate.

Book reviews:

Cognitive surplus, Clay Shirky, 2010

Cognitive surplus results from more free time and creates new social opportunities through public media. The author looks at current social movements to determine why they occur and the results that they get. This includes the free, voluntary and democratic uses of the internet. Some of these have historically long cultural roots, but the time was not right for them before. Others that have been recently tried were opposed by existing industries. Academics promote knowledgeable discussion. Publishing has never been easier. Collaboration is reflexive. Valuation is auctioned. Radicalists and traditionalists negotiate a transition. Interactive participation covers the entire media environment. This affects productivity processes. There are seven chapters and thirteen pages of notes.

No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale, Frankel and Whitesides, 2009

The nanotechnology approach of visualization and manipulation is presented as a framework of sixty topics in seven chapters. Each group has processes that range in scale but have some commonality of theme, e.g. dein photolithography to MRI, or internet to photosynthesis. Pictures provide at-a-glance analogs of the subject of discussion. The text poetically connects simple descriptions of techniques and findings to profound meanings. The reader is encouraged to further combine the pieces together imaginatively for a sense of where the applications may go. The audience is introduced to the smallness of nanotubes, quantum duality, 3D jigsaw puzzles, nanobots, the safety of microreactors, and literal fuel cells. A visual index lists the pictures and attributions, the construction of five of which is detailed in another coda about the artistically enhanced digital photographs. For example, a seeming contradiction is illustrated by a round apple which casts a rectangular shadow that has a bright reflection cast into the middle. The dialogue between the writer and photographer makes the volume unique.

Understanding Change: Theory, Implementation and Success, Holbeche, 2005

Change theory has themes about types, needs, history, leaders, philosophy, internal effects, and environment. There are checklists for managers helping people through transitions, and for generating strategic influence. Lessons from Roffey Park Institute research on M&A are presented. Cultural meaning is interactive, however it may be closed, and difficult or opposed to change. High performance organizations have known methods to get results. Communications need to be both planned and immersive. Leaders are transformational change agents for culture, behaviors and mindset. Stakeholders determine success. Change is ongoing. Longer-term sustainability is necessary. A psychological contract will set and meet the expectations of the staff. Three parts have sixteen chapters, each ending in summary conclusions. There is a seventeen page list of references.

Videos of interest:

Benoit Mandelbrot: Fractals and the art of roughness

Carter Emmart demos a 3D atlas of the universe

Clay Shirky

Ellen Dunham-Jones: Retrofitting suburbia

Blogs of interest:

Paul Dirac on theory

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Posted by cadsmith on June 16, 2010


Nanotech is a computer-aided approach which is transforming many fields and stimulating new industries. Expectations are that it is a next-big-thing equivalent to what personal computers, the internet and web were when they began. The ethics, engineering, effects on medicine and exciting scifi are reviewed below. If all goes well, perhaps this civilization’s legacy will be more than just space junk.

Recent links (about 23): computer: quantum, semantic web: Kingsley Idehen, finance: startups in Boston, minerals in Afghanistan, nanotech: architecture, FDA, futurist: singularityspace: lunar water, NSWP, Kepler exoplanets, presentation: glogster, virtualization: skype, energy: urban, disaster recovery: gulf oil spill, historical chart, photography: photoshop.

Book reviews:

What Is Nanotechnology and Why Does It Matter: From Science to Ethics‎, by Fitz Allhoff and others, 2010

After a basic introduction, e.g. recalling Drexler’s molecular assemblers from 1987, this book delves into the social concerns about nanotechnology. The authors are a scientist and a pair of philosophers. Scale reduces energy consumption. Tools include the electron microscope, scanning transmission (STEM), scanning probe microscopy (SPM), and atomic force microscope (AFM). The engineering challenge is to industrialize scientific development in terms of specification, monitoring and mass production. Among major philosophical topics is the risk in terms of conditions, probability and expected impact. Though the state of the field incrementally improves existing products, present laws do not account for the downsides to humans and animals. Better testing processes are necessary. There is a detailed analysis of the objections to stricter laws. Enhancement integrates tools into anatomy, always on, and is expected to revolutionize engineering. Sleep may become more of a bimonthly rather than nightly requirement. Nanomedicine ethics are discussed, e.g. Bawa and Johnson. The developing world may not be seen as profitable. In this book, in the context of distributed justice, nanotechnology is not unique in unfairness of accessibility to cognitive advances, e.g. similar to university costs. Privacy has been demonstrated as an issue, e.g. related to RFID tags. Potential uses to impose biases for individual control by bureaucracy, e.g. patriotism, may themselves be hard to limit. Defense probably develops war robots and the arms race turns to miniaturization.
This does not cover longevity, space or molecular manufacturing, laws or regulations, or economic impacts

Handbook of Nanoscience, Engineering and Technology, William A. Goddard, 2007

This textbook presents a set of themes describing the current state of nanotech. There are five sections containing twenty-four chapters on potential, concepts, processes, assembly, and functions. About a couple of dozen organizations contributed from US, Russia and Venezuela. Most are academic, e.g. universities of Illinois, North Carolina or Northwestern, and there are some US government space and defense researchers. Feynman introduces the subject. Most chapters have multiple authors, some have a single, and a couple of authors wrote or participated in a pair of chapters, e.g. Karl Hess for U of Illinois or Sergey Lyshevski of RIT. The contents are technical, including equations and graphs, and there is some Matlab source code. Chapters have intros and conclusions, acknowledgements and many references. There is no glossary, though there is an index and digital versions would have search. As an example, the final section has eight chapters on functional structures and mechanics. Nanomechanics links science and engineering, e.g. multiscale multiphysics schemes. Figure 20.1 shows the history of the tech from Mayan age ceramics after 10k BC to synthetic control of macromolecular structure now, and discusses biomimicry through dendrimer assembly. Atomic simulation resolution doubles every 19 months. Strength and fracture properties are outlined. A challenge is to control carbon nanotube growth chirality and diameter for computing-related applications. The optical properties of materials are engineered in photonic crystals. Preparation techniques are being developed for bulk production of nanostructured materials. Modeling and CAD are used in multidisciplinary confluent engineering, e.g. for nanoarchitectronics. In summary, there is a lot of general interest in convergence of nano, bio, info quantum and cognitive tech and this book has supporting examples.

The Handbook of Nanomedicine, Kewal K. Jain, 2008

The title of this book denotes types of tools and approaches rather than a medical specialty. It is derived from biotech and nanotech. The initial applications are expected to be for personalized medicine, e.g. cancer therapies. New tools include 3D nanomaps and the scanning mass spectrometer probe (SMS) used for drug design at cellular level. Nanoparticles can be coated or chemically altered so as to be nontoxic, though they can also be effective for nanoviricide. There are many types of applications, e.g. sunscreens or donor-derived exosomes for organ transplant acceptance. A lab-on-a-chip has chemical experiments for use in battlefield exposure testing. It allows platforms for precise imaging, diagnosis, targeting, drug delivery, destruction, treatment, and therapy. Nanomedicine can also be used in combination with other approaches, e.g. radiotherapy or physical modalities of therapy. There are public misconceptions and fears, so education is warranted, and there will probably be FDA regulation. The detailed table of contents hints at the depth of coverage in the eighteen chapters. There are many new structures and techniques, e.g. devices, machines, chips, robotics, materials, implants, barcodes, needles, tweezers, motors, shells, tubes, fibers, scaffolds, valves, pores, filters, coatings, crystals, emulsions, filaments, lasers, fluidic channels and wire. The nano prefix can be applied to several new fields including biotech, systems biology, bacteria, antibodies, genomics, proteomics, pharma, encapsulation, diagnostics, surgery, therapeutics, dermatology, dentistry, immunology, geriatrics, pulmonology, neurology, and regenerative medicine. The author also lists vendors and academic research centers.

Small Miracles, Edward M. Lerner, 2009

“Speech was so old species” says one of the emergent characters who considers humans to be Neanderthals in this transhuman techno adventure. Where Daniel Suarez had a parasitic AI influencing a group of people, and Robert J Sawyer had one further connected cybernetically through an eye implant, Lerner adds nanobots. This doesn’t go as far as Paolo Bacigalupi in genetically engineering creatures, but it does have a lot of detail about how humans might be medically enhanced. Initially intended to support first aid for government security equipped with new nanosuits, the temptation for a hybrid augmented reality awareness captures human nature. Without further spoilers, it is clear that the author researched the topic. His characters and dialogue are vivid. Italics are used occasionally for thoughts. The backgrounds of at least three of the main characters are fleshed out in separate parts well into the story. Settings are briefly sketched except, for example, to indicate heightened visual acuity in places or where necessary for action such as weather conditions. There are eight sections for about four dozen brief chapters. It is told in the third person omnisciently, including emotions, and an occasional machine perspective. Medical terms and R&D equipment get added detail. The plot may be more convincing since it is near future and there are not a lot of other inventions. The year is 2015 and the pacing opens dramatically with a threat to the main character’s survival. The total duration is about two years. Each chapter is titled by a date, a few have times if a couple are on the same day, and the Reaping has nine times before the epilogue. Success of the authors’ series above may hint at a sequel.

Documents of interest:
Communicating Nanotechnology, European Commission, 2010 (16.4MB ZIP PDF)
Human Enhancement Ethics: The State of the Debate, Bostrom and Sarulescu, 2008 (PDF)

Blogs of interest:

Nick Bostrom home page

Videos of interest:
David Byrne: How architecture helped music evolve
Reducing Existential Risks [UKH+] (1/3)
John Underkoffler points to the future of UI

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Posted by cadsmith on October 29, 2007

Reviewed Nanoconvergence, William Sims Bainbridge, 2007. Video from 2006.

Convergence of nano, bio, IT and cognitive (NBIC) sciences leads to human transcendence. The history, state-of-the-art, luminaries, and grand challenges of each field are discussed. Nanotech is immediately a multiplier and eventually a unifier. Social science may be more popular going forward than computer science was over the past half century. Imagines how convergence might occur and what its effects would be, e.g. on government. A challenge is that a lack of scientific evidence results in a false unity of ideas. A convergence cube is proposed to connect conservation, indecision, configuration, interaction, variation, evolution, information and cognition. Nanotech began with NASA space manufacturing research, so book looks forward to future space systems. Other applications such as personality transfer modules are also illustrated. It shows what individuals can do to get expertise and contribute research, suggests R&D for scientists and engineers, and defines the factors of a social movement. Author’s link.

The personality archives seem to have different assumptions than research which finds genetic components, e.g. in results from identical twins versus fraternal ones. Another direction of study might be along the lines of synthetic personalities created by using reasonable results from the population of all possible element settings. These personalities can be combined with eachother using different relation models, e.g. competition, cooperation, curative, constraint or other capacities, to form teams or groups. How these evolve over time might indicate new factors.

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