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>august 2001
sampling new cultural context
tuesday :: august 28, 2001
Human Markup Language (HumanML)
for conveying human characteristics within information

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.

>from *Working 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*

related context
> linux for world's biggest computer
. january 31, 2002
> linux on playstation 2
. january 30, 2002
ibm 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."

>from *Power 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 increasingly scarce."

>from *Researchers 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 strange matter."

>from *Brookhaven 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.

>from *SMIL 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.

>from *The 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."

>from *Jefferson 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."

>from *First Light: Astronomers Use Distant Quasar to Probe Cosmic 'Dark Age,' Universe Origins*

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."

>from *New 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."

>from *The Personal Computer by Dick Reiman*
Read *The 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 =
Morpheus, Audiogalaxy, Imesh, Mp3Pro and Aimster
From *Google Zeitgeist*, updated August 7, 2001.

Other alternatives= Bearshare, Gnutella, KaZaA, WinMX ... tbc

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."

Spacecraft 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."

Mixed Up in Space by Patrick L. Barry and Dr. Tony Phillips
from Science@NASA

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