We mentioned earlier the Harvard Business Review list of Breakthrough Ideas for 2007. Nanotechnology shows up again in another idea on the list — this one rather more controversial. Phillip Longman observes that falling birthrates lead, over time, to an increase in families with more conservative values, because they reproduce more. Seems plausible. He then [...]
Archive for the 'Lifestyle' Category
Nanodot and Foresight do not normally do product endorsements, but here’s a first from Foresight director Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, regarding his Thanksgiving experiment with near-term nano: “I never bought the nano-pants, but I cooked (and ate) all day yesterday in this “Nano-Tex” stain-resistant shirt and, well, it works — it looked just as fresh [...]
Richard Jones asks: “Why does the molecular manufacturing community seem to have many fewer members in the UK than it does in the USA? I don’t think it’s fair to say that the dramatic vision of molecular manufacturing is pursued in a contextual vacuum – I think there is quite a well-developed world view that [...]
nanobot writes "knh productions based in Toronto has made a documentary on nanotechnology. Produced by Ken Hama, Naomi Matsuura and Selva Nair, this documentary claims to explore "the hypes, hopes and facts of this fascinating field as seen through the eyes of award-winning scientists, industry leaders and writers." Find out more"
Ed. Note. It would appear that they may have confined themselves to researchers in Canada. None of the cited participants are names that I recognize as major players in "real" molecular nanotechnology. They may have interviewed some very fine scientists but there are a lot of fine scientists who haven't bothered to read (and understand) Nanosystems leaving the open question as to whether such a documentary could be considered balanced.
InfoComm writes "The convergence of nanotechnology with the world of communications – nanomobility – creates a whole new industry segment for the commercialization of solutions. When combining nano-scale applications to the Personal Area Network ecosystem, for example, what type of products and services do you foresee in the market 5, 10, 15 years from now?"
Roland Piquepaille writes "Let's face it. Our computing devices are going faster year after year. But our laptop batteries don't show the same performance improvement. They still work only for a few hours, just a little bit more than ten years ago. Several companies want to change this, according to this UPI report, "Nanotechnology improving energy options." For example, mPhase Technologies plans to introduce smart batteries based on millions of silicon nanotube electrodes. These nanobatteries, to be introduced before the end of 2005, will last longer than traditional ones and will be respectful of our environment. Meanwhile, Konarka Technologies wants to reduce the weight of batteries with its flexible solar-fueled nanobatteries. You'll find more details and pictures in this overview."
Roland Piquepaille writes "Cosmetics companies are always launching new products. And they are increasingly turning to nanotechnology to improve these new cosmetics. For example, L'Oréal introduced nanocapsules in its products since 1995. These nanocapsules release their active components when the skin's enzymes dissolve their envelopes. Now the company wants to closely look to your individual skin. It has developed a sensor on a chip, the SkinChip, in collaboration with STMicroelectronics. In "Skin Science," ScienCentral News says that the SkinChip takes very detailed images of your skin, up to the nanoscale level. The company hopes that it will help to tailor its products to individual customers. This overview contains more details and pictures."
Gina Miller writes "Tired of re-reading those same old boring statistics on your cereal box, well I bet you would have loved to have this one on your breakfast table this morning! The German division of the Kellogg company has afforded room for nanotechnology on the entire backside of their 'Toppas' cereal. Now you see it … (PDF file)."
JeremyTurner writes "Here is an abstract I proposed in 2003 about MNT's potential impact on the contemporary artworld. I was hoping to get some feedback from Nanodot users about the subject and advice as to the types of venues and resources that are currently available for me to publish this abstract and develop the research in further detail.
from the invitation-for-discussion dept.
"October 26, 2001…
Dear Nanodot members and readers,
I was just wondering if the Nanotech initiative will eventually cover an arts/cultural wing? Some individuals such as myself eagerly await the creative benefits towards the Arts and Entertainment industries…In fact, K. Eric Drexler mentioned towards the end of his "Engines of Creation" book that the end-goal of an advanced nanotechnological civilization would be the proliferation of performance and interdisciplinary art. I am worried that due to the recent climate, most of the research will go towards defense and security and little towards health, strategic diplomacy, the environment and culture…Any thoughts on how our country will utilize this emerging technology to our creative benefit? I was also wondering if those outside the United States will benefit and how long would it take for a trickle down effect to occur once corporations such as the Texas-based Zyvex make that ultimate breakthrough?
[Editor's note: the mandate for the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (currently) includes a component to examine the "societal implications" of nanotechnology. To date, the most significant result of this part of the initiative has been a NSF report issued early in 2001.]
from the shape-of-things-to-come dept.
WillWare writes "Eugene Leitl posted this story by New Scientist to the nsg-d list, regarding recent advances in stereolithography and other 3D printing techniques, particularly the innovation of printing multiple materials in the same session. Some tantalizing quotes from the article:
Geometric complexity is largely irrelevant… You can design the internal and external geometry of a part, and its electrical, mechanical and thermal properties exactly how you want them to be.
Dickens says he knows of a number of companies who are looking at mass-producing 3D printersfor less than £1000 apiece… They could be available within a couple of years if one of the companies decided to go for it.
At the current exchange rate, £1000 is $1440. It is quite likely that such printers will be very popular. If large numbers of people buy one, much of what we normally imagine as the nanotech post-scarcity economy will appear overnight. 3D printers will offer an early preview of some of the important challenges of nanotech.
The intellectual property issues involved will be essentially identical to those of nanotechnology. Toy companies (and others previously engaged in manufacturing) will fight against the AutoCAD-file version of Napster. The status of patents and other mechanisms of IP protection will come under scrutiny.
There will doubtless be circulating CAD files for guns, knives, and other dangerous trinkets, and an associated rash of urban legends (recall Monty Python's "spring surprise"). This will provoke thought and discussion which will later pertain to military and terrorist applications of nanotechnology.
It's a good thing to see these issues come into the public eye in a context far less dangerous than nanotech. The task of public education will then require only the elucidation of what differentiates nanotechnology from 3D printer technology."
from the Spanglesi-spoken-here dept.
James Murdoch (crown prince of father Rupert Murdoch's enormous News Corp. media empire, which includes Fox TV and movies, the Times of London, the worldwide Sky TV satellite service, and tabloid newspapers everywhere) offers his take on the future of language in big media and on the Internet over the next decades. Rather than an English-dominated mediasphere, he sees four major languages dominating: Mandarin (835 million native speakers), English (470M native, fewer than 800M as a second language), Spanish (330 MNS), and Hindi (300 MNS). He points to the influence of global media on standardization of language (broadcast Spanish from Chilean television is replacing native Rapanui on Easter Island, for example).
from the who-says-it's-not-easy-being-green? dept.
AlterNet reports that the Internet is already having tremendous positive effects on the environment: "The emerging new economy created by the Internet is producing more than just a business revolution — it is also generating enormous environmental benefits…. While the nation's economy grew by more than 9 percent in 1997 and 1998, energy demand stayed almost flat in spite of very low energy prices, marking a major departure from recent historical patterns."
from the the-future-arrives-too-soon-and-in-the-wrong-order dept.
WIRED reports on the 2000 installment of the Next Twenty Years discussion series. The SF participants included Paul Saffo (of the Institute for the Future), Stanley Williams (HP Labs), and Bill Gurley (Benchmark Capital), who all gave their views of general societal trends, and also reported their predictions for specific goodies to be on hand by 2020: home electric fuel cells that will enable you to go live off the grid anywhere; gigabyte email attachments; and "browsable desktop economies".