Cool self-reconfiguring robot: Polypod: Example Locomotion with Reconfiguration. They’ve really built a prototype of this robot, but the niftiest stuff is in the movies of what they might be able to do some day. It’s creepy to watch this robot walk like a caterpillar, then crawl like a snake, then mutate into a spider-like tetrapod. But don’t worry. It’s just a movie. For now.
Next-new-thing stories are a dime a dozen these days, but this strikes me as something worth getting excited about: spintronics and magnetic memory chips (from the New York Times).
Does the decoding of the human genome mean those zany creationists will shut up and go home? Well, of course not. This article from Family.org is a good example of the kind of weird argument whereby creationists use scientific reasoning to refute scientific reasoning. Look guys, just say: “God made everything six thousand years ago and I ain’t gonna talk to you no more!” It’s much less convoluted way of saying the same thing.
No matter how good your vision is, adaptive optics can make it better. Nifty lasers and flexible mirrors can give all but the legally blind 20/10 Super Vision. As a spin-off from the Cold War, this beats the pants off of Tang.
Good list: Jakob’s Heuristics for User Interface Design.
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