sampling new cultural
tuesday :: august 28, 2001
| Human Markup Language (HumanML)
for conveying human characteristics within
The OASIS HumanMarkup Technical Committee will work to develop
Human Markup Language (HumanML), a schema for embedding contextual
human characteristics -- cultural, social, kinesic (body language),
psychological and intentional features -- within information. Internet
users have already developed an informal and rudimentary system
to achieve some of this -- like emoticons and acronyms. -- "They
have enhanced human expression, but their benefits are informal,
non-standard and ultimately limited. However, with the current XML
framework we now have, we can finally integrate much deeper human
aspects within our communication," said Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga, chair
of the HumanMarkup TC.
on a Unified Code for 'LOL' or :) by Thor Olavsrud*, InternetNews,
August 21, 2001.
monday :: august 27, 2001
| first logic circuit within a single molecule
carbon nanotubes to replace silicon in microchips
IBM team made first functional logic circuit within a single molecule,
an achievement that could one day help to replace silicon in microchips.
"We believe that carbon nanotubes are now the top candidate to replace
silicon when current chip features just can't be made any smaller,
a physical barrier expected to occur in about 10 to 15 years," said
Phaedon Avouris, manager of Nanometer Scale Science and Technology
at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center.
The research paper is available August 26 at http://pubs.acs.org/nano
saturday :: august 25, 2001
| 10th anniversary of Linux
the open source operating system
Linux is written and maintained by Linus Torvalds and contributors
from around the world using the Internet for their development efforts.
Primarily an advanced network operating system intended for servers,
it has become one of the fastest growing operating systems in the
world today. Supports two graphical user interface, KDE and GNOME.
There are thousands of applications running on Linux worldwide (as
can be seen next days LinuxWorld Conference and Expo will be held
in San Francisco).
Information on related events at *Linux10*
for world's biggest computer. january 31, 2002
on playstation 2. january 30, 2002
first linux-only mainframe. january 25, 2002
friday :: august 24, 2001
| chip-based power plant
new devices developed from microchips
"About 10 years ago people starting thinking: Ścan we take the
same fabrication methods for silicon chips and instead of using
them for electronics, use them for something else?ą" In an experiment
at the Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico scientists created
a miniature geared engine on a chip. A recent experiment in Germany
demonstrated that a hydrogen micro-fuel cell powered a laptop computer
for up to ten hours whereas the operating time of an ordinary rechargeable
laptop battery is generally about two hours. "At Lehigh our chip-based
micro-chemical plant will take a reagent, such as methanol, or a
hydrocarbon, like diesel or gasoline, and carry it to a tiny reactor
to produce hydrogen."
plant on a chip? Lehigh scientists consider it no small matter*
by David Colley, August 22, 2001
wednesday :: august 22, 2001
| agrobacterium genome
ongoing second green revolution in agriculture
Agrobacterium has the unique property of inserting small pieces
of genetic material into a plant, animal or fungal cell that it
colonizes. Is a basic tool for genetic engineering of foodstuffs
to produce crops that are more nutritious, less allergenic and disease-,
insect-, salt- and cold-resistant. Work (available at http://www.agrobacterium.org)
made at the University of Washington. They say "this revolution
holds the promise of meeting the needs of an increasing world population
at a time when water, agricultural land, and forests are becoming
make key genome public on the Internet* August 21, 2001
tuesday :: august 21, 2001
| physicists produce doubly strange nuclei
strange science has taken a great leap forward
Physicists have produced a significant number of "doubly strange
nuclei," or nuclei containing two strange quarks. Studies of these
nuclei will help explore the forces between nuclear particles, particularly
within so-called strange matter, and may contribute to a better
understanding of neutron stars -- the only place in the universe
scientists believe such strange matter exists in a stable form --.
With the ability to produce appreciable numbers of doubly strange
nuclei, "Brookhaven is now the best place in the world to study
physicists produce doubly strange nuclei. First large-scale production
of nuclei containing two strange quarks* August 20, 2001
friday :: august 17, 2001
| smil 2.0
The World Wide Web Consortium released the Synchronized Multimedia
Integration Language (SMIL) 2.0 as a W3C Recommendation. SMIL (pronounced
"smile") defines an XML-based language that authors can use to write
interactive multimedia presentations. Version 2.0 includes approximately
one hundred predefined transition effects, and support for hierarchical
layout and animation.
2.0 Becomes a W3C Recommendation*
August 9, 2001
thursday :: august 16, 2001
| eyes and ears understand differently
We understand spoken and written language differently. In the first
imaging study that directly compares reading and listening activity
in the human brain, Carnegie Mellon scientists discovered that the
same information produces systematically different brain activation.
"The brain constructs the message, and it does so differently for
reading and listening. The pragmatic implication is that the medium
is part of the message." Study suggests that there is more semantic
processing and working memory storage in listening comprehension
than in reading.
medium and the message: Eyes and ears understand differently, Carnegie
Mellon scientists report in the journal Human Brain Mapping*
wednesday :: august 15, 2001
| eye's photoreceptor control biological clock
Four cells in the human retina capture light and form the visual
system. One type, rod cells, regulates night vision. The other three
types, called cone cells, control color vision. The uncovered fifth
human photoreceptor control the biological effects of light. "In
the long range, we think this will shape all artificial lighting,
whether it's used for therapeutic purposes, or for normal illumination
of workplaces, hospitals or homes - this is where the impact will
be. Broad changes in general architectural lighting may take years,
but the roundwork has been laid."
Neuroscientists Uncover Novel Receptor In The Human Eye To Control
Body's Biological Clock*
tuesday :: august 14, 2001
| first light
"Using light from the most distant object known, astronomers have
found traces of the first generation of atoms in the universe, 14
billion light years from Earth. The observations are the first of
the cosmic "Dark Age" between the Big Bang and the first visible
stars and galaxies... These observations provide our first glimpse
at truly primordial material."
Light: Astronomers Use Distant Quasar to Probe Cosmic 'Dark Age,'
monday :: august 13, 2001
| structure of the early universe
"NASA's FUSE satellite has given astronomers their best glimpse
yet at the ghostly cobweb of helium gas left over from the big bang,
which underlies the universe's structure. The helium is not found
in galaxies or stars but spread thinly through the vastness of space.
The helium traces the architecture of the universe back to very
early times... Matter in the expanding universe condensed into a
web-like structure pervading all of the space between galaxies."
View of Primordial Helium Traces the Structure of Early Universe*
August 9, 2001. The Space Telescope Science Institute.
sunday :: august 12, 2001
| ibm pc anniversary
On Aug. 12, 1981 IBM introduced their first Personal Computer -
with Intel microprocessor and MicroSoft operating system -. The
personal computer became a business machine. "IBM's late entry into
the personal computer market gave it the significant advantage of
the use of sixteen bit second generation microprocessors, which
would make this product significantly faster... The IBM computer
became an immediate success, and the presence of the IBM logo legitimized
the personal computer, with the machine becoming an industry standard."
Personal Computer by Dick Reiman*
IBM PC turns 20* from Geek News
saturday :: august 11, 2001
| the secret life of maps
The British Library presents *Lie
of the Land: The Secret Life of Maps*, on view through April
7, 2002. "Can you rely on a map to tell you where you are? What
we see on a map is rarely the same as the land under our feet. Come
to the exhibition and you'll never look at maps in the same way
again. You'll find that maps you thought only recorded geographical
features have their 'hidden agenda'... "
friday :: august 10, 2001
| napster alternatives
Napster has been offline since July 2. According to Google user
search behavior, the top 5 Napster alternatives are =
Zeitgeist*, updated August 7, 2001.
Other alternatives= Bearshare,
thursday :: august 9, 2001
| sampling solar matter
Genesis spacecraft launched. "Genesis will become the first mission
ever to return a sample of extraterrestrial material from beyond
the Moon when it catches a piece of the Sun to return to Earth.
In September, Genesis will arrive at a point where the gravities
of the Sun and Earth are balanced. It will open its collector arrays
and begin to monitor and collect the solar wind, ions flowing from
the outer layer of the Sun. The samples of solar wind it returns
will help scientists understand how the solar system evolved."
Riding High to Catch Some Rays.
August 8, 2001.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory News Release
wednesday :: august 8, 2001
| what can be to live in orbit
"Imagine waking up, startled by the bright flash of a cosmic ray
inside your eyes. Groggy from sleep, you wonder ... which way is
up? And where are my arms and legs? Throw in a dash of vertigo and
occasional mild illusions, and you're beginning to sense what it
can be like to live in orbit."
Up in Space by Patrick L. Barry and Dr. Tony Phillips