Foresight Update 23.24: Preserving Security and Civil Liberties in the Sensor Age - June 11, 2009
Discuss these news stories at http://foresight.org/nanodot.
A new open source-style project to promote Open Source Sensing has been started, with the goal of bringing the benefits of a bottom-up, decentralized approach to sensing for security and environmental purposes.
"The intent of the project is to take advantage of advances in sensing to improve both security and the environment, while preserving — even strengthening — privacy, freedom, and civil liberties," said Christine Peterson…
… The first nanofactories will probably be DNA/RNA/protein gadgets requiring thousands of steps by skilled scientists to coax them to build a new gadget (which will consist only of DNA/RNA/protein), or diamondoid gadgets in high vacuum requiring thousands of steps by skilled scientists to coax them to build a new gadget (which will consist only of diamondoid), or possibly even tungsten carbide gadgets doing EDM with nanotubes, requiring thousands of steps by skilled scientists to coax them to build a new gadget (which will consist only of tungsten carbide, the nanotubes having to be supplied from outside). Early nanofactories will be cranky and experimental, expensive, require expensive inputs, be able to produce only very limited products, and be very lucky to replicate themselves before they break down…
… I think that history shows that pretty much any desktop manufacturing system will be called a nanofactory, and we purists will be left arguing that there ought to be something in there about mechanosynthesis and atomic precision to the few who will listen…
What will your car run on in 2020 or 2030? What form of energy storage and transmission will allow intermittent energy sources, such as wind and solar, to be a viable input to the economy?
There's a good chance, of course, that cars will still run on gasoline — its demise has been predicted early and often — but there are also lots of reasons that petroleum will not be a sound basis for a rapidly-expanding economy. We'll want to save the hydrocarbons as a feedstock to our nanofactories…
The Nanomanufacturing Summit, held in Boston recently, was largely what you would have expected — near-term bulk-tech approaches to nanostructured materials, some interesting research aimed at new electronics, and so forth. Notable, however, was a plenary talk by M. C. Roco, who appears to have changed his tune to the extent of predicting nanorobotics and "molecular nanosystems" (see slide 5) and "Hierarchical nanomanufacturing with atomic / molecular precision" (slide 29)…
June 17-18, 2009
July 30, 2009
August 20-22, 2009
Advancements in technologies such as nanotech, robotics, and biotech are promising to make major differences in our lives in the not-too-distant future, as the Industrial Revolution did to the agrarian world — to do for the physical world what the computer and Internet have done to the world of information.
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Converging Technologies for 21st Century Security
Organised crime, terrorism, civil conflict, and natural disasters are sadly commonplace in global society and have developed increasingly complex dimensions. To counter such threats, civil security and emergency response teams are looking towards new technologies that offer more sensitive, rapid, and accurate detection methods; that provide the means to neutralise or effectively deal with the outcomes of such incidents; and that provide greater protection to personnel.
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