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Archive for the 'Abuse of Advanced Technology' Category

What Singularity?

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on September 3rd, 2009

There’s an interesting piece up at the IEEE robotics blog, by Alfred Nordmann, with the subtitle “The story of the Singularity is sweeping, dramatic, simple–and wrong.” He argues that far from accelerating, technological progress is slowing down: The trouble begins with the singularitarians’ assumption that technological advances have accelerated. I’d argue that I have seen [...]

Nanotechnology for chemical and biological defense: the book

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 2nd, 2009

Here at Foresight our main focus is on longer-term technologies such as molecular manufacturing, but we keep an eye on what’s arriving along the nearer-term pathways as well.  In 2007 I attended a workshop on “Nanotechnology for Chemical and Biological Defense” and the proceedings volume of that meeting, with the same name, is now available. [...]

Back again

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on August 18th, 2009

Nanodot appears to be back on the air again. Our outage was an aftereffect of the hack attack we had a few weeks ago. This, and the other lingering effect (de-listing of the main site from Google) are both not actual results of the hacking (which put code in that popped up ad windows) but [...]

Site hacked — apologies

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on August 4th, 2009

Spammers hacked into recently and inserted junk into some of our pages;  we think we’ve gotten rid of it but let us know if you see any more!

(note to commenters)

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on July 10th, 2009

WordPress seems to be queueing comments somewhere in the system and I’m not seeing them for moderation till days later sometimes — even my own!  Once you have a comment approved, tho, all further comments by you should be posted automatically.  (A spam control measure, as you can imagine.) Josh

Proposal for Arabs to address molecular manufacturing

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 26th, 2009

From The Gulf Times via Nanowerk: The proposal for establishing an Arab Council on Nanotechnology (ACON) was presented by Al-Quds University’s Mukhles Sowwan while discussing about ‘Nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing: Towards balanced plans for responsible worldwide use.’ “The mission of ACON should be to raise awareness of the benefits and dangers of molecular nanotechnology, and [...]

Replicating nanofactories redux

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on May 4th, 2009

Over at Accelerating Future, Michael Anissimov continues the discussion about nanofactories. He says a number of reasonable things, but then mischaracterizes, or at least greatly oversimplifies, Foresight’s position on nanofactories and self-replicating machines in general: The general implied position of the Foresight Institute appears to be, “we’ll figure these things out as we go, MNT [...]

Self-replicating nanofactories?

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on April 30th, 2009

Over at Accelerating Future, Michael Anissimov has a post about self-replication in which he seems to find it remarkable that Foresight, among others, can view a world containing mechanical replicators with aplomb: What is remarkable are those that seem to argue, like Ray Kurzweil, the Foresight Institute, and the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, that humanity [...]

Conference to tackle ethics of nanotechnology and human enhancement

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 25th, 2009

Conference to tackle what they claim is “the single most important issue in science & society in this century.”

Civil nanotechnology: Open source sensing in Seed magazine

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 16th, 2009

From the February 2009 issue of the “science is culture” publication Seed magazine, not yet online: Hypothesis: Civil Nanotechnology Starting in 2009, nanotech-based sensing will enable a level of environmental monitoring that could help reduce pollution tremendously. Such devices could be of immense benefit to the environment, but unfortunately, without careful attention they will trigger [...]

NanoPhobia … Phobia

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on December 10th, 2008

In an interesting coincidence and counterpoint to Jim’s Nanophobia post this morning, I ran across the following on Nature News: Fearing the fear of nanotechnology. It is, surprisingly perhaps, by our old friend Richard Jones. The thrust of the article is that a study in Nature Nanotechnology seems to show that the public’s reaction to [...]

Nanodot readers invited to create/edit nano-scenarios

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 8th, 2008

We’ve received an invitation to participate in the Center for Nanotechnology in Society’s project to build and critique nanotechnology scenarios. Current topics to edit in the wiki, or you can add your own: * Barless Prisons * Bionic Eyes * Living with a Brain Chip * Disease Detector * Automated Sewer Surveillance * Engineered Tissues

Maximizing benefits, minimizing downsides of nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 11th, 2008

Longtime Nanodot readers and Foresight members know that our goal here at Foresight is to maximize the benefits and minimize the downsides of nanotechnology. Our friends over at the Wilson Center’s Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies share that goal, as shown in their mission statement: The Project is dedicated to helping ensure that as nanotechnologies advance, [...]

World Economic Forum takes on nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 28th, 2008

Nanowerk brings news that the World Economic Forum is both rewarding nanotechnology pioneers and taking a look at potential risks of nanoparticles. Excerpts: Over the past few years, the Global Risk Network team has released an annual report. This years’ report “Global Risks 2008″ (pdf download, 1.6 MB) was published two weeks ago. In it, [...]

Steering nanotechnology to beneficial uses

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 25th, 2008

Sonia Arrison over at TechNewsWorld takes on the issues of genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and steering innovation toward responsible uses: “When we look at cells as machines, it makes them very straightforward in the future to design them for very unique utilities,” Venter told participants at DLD. Of course, Venter has often referred to the possibility [...]

Nanotechnology-based surveillance predicted

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 18th, 2008

For many years, Foresight has been pointing out that nanotechnology will be used for surveillance. Now Kevin Mitnick makes a long-term prediction on nanosurveillance. An excerpt: Warrantless Surveillance: The Worst is Yet to Come …Far from censuring the president, most of Congress seems completely unconcerned by the issue of warrantless surveillance. And telecom companies are [...]

Nanotechnology for surveillance vs. privacy

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 13th, 2007

Nanowerk brings our attention to a story at looking at anticipated developments in sensing and monitoring: At their annual meeting this fall in Montreal, there was little of the traditional talk among the international privacy people about the nuts and bolts of data protection. Instead, there were urgent and distressed discussions about “uberveillance,” “ambient [...]

Nanotechnology in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 16th, 2007

In their current issue, the folks who usually focus on nuclear war take a look ahead to nanotech war, via a book review by CRN’s Mike Treder of the book Military Nanotechnology: Potential Applications and Preventive Arms Control by Jürgen Altmann. Deeply researched and carefully worded, Military Nanotechnology is an overview of an emerging technology [...]

Russian nanotechnology "weapons": defensive or offensive?

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 14th, 2007

Although it is distressing to read the headline from ITAR-TASS “Russia to design nanotechnology weapons — commander“, when one reads the text, at first these “weapons” sound more like defensive protection than offensive weapons: Principally new weapons based on nanotechnology will be designed in Russia within 15 years for combating radiation, chemical and biological terrorism, [...]

Nanotechnology views wanted by EC, including on enhancement

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 19th, 2007

In the process of preparing a nanotechnology Code of Conduct, the European Commission is requesting public input on a consultation paper. It sounds as though everyone is welcome to contribute. Being from Europe, the paper cites the precautionary principle, but goes further by listing some areas which may be too risky or unethical or rights-violating [...]