|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Monday, April 08, 2002
Japan'S AIST Develops Ultra Low-Power Carbon Nanotube Field
: The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has developed a carbon nanotube field emitter, and succeeded in discharging electrons by applying 4V, 1/10 to 1/100 the level of conventional silicon or metal-based field emitters. .. pav[ing] the way to use field emitters for low-power flat panel displays including mobile device displays" 10:21:24 PM
What Do You Mean, 'Terrorist'?
"It is not an ideology or a political doctrine, but rather a method — the substate application of violence or the threat of violence to sow panic and bring about political change," the historian Walter Laqueur wrote ... "[some]groups will be justified and will also be open to a political solution. Others will be justified but may collide with the equally justified claims of another group. And still others may simply be beyond rational discourse and any known approach of conflict resolution."
It seems safe to class Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in that last category, bent as they are on destruction of what they see as a corrupt and competing civilization. "I don't see any sort of halfway houses in that sort of rhetoric," Mr. Fuerth said. But the Palestinian cause, like that of the Irish Republican Army and the African National Congress, has always been more about nationhood than nihilism.
Jessica Stern, a lecturer on terrorism at Harvard: "I don't think it's useful to focus on the perpetrator, because then it just becomes an epithet. It's a technique that can be used by nonstate actors, as well as states. I believe that when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, terrorizing the Japanese population was a very deliberate strategy." 2:43:57 PM
: MIT's BioInstrumentation Laboratory is building an fleet of thumb-sized robots that will be able to measure and assemble structures at a molecular level. "Nanowalkers" have been able to take 4,000 nanoscale steps per second—that is, steps that are only a few billionths of a meter each. They envision one hundred or more robots deployed on a project, each equipped with a different instrument, working on separate but related tasks: While one NanoWalker tests a material's strength, another would measure its optical properties. Both would transmit their results to the central computer, which would incorporate the information and then issue new directions. 12:19:23 PM
Holographic DVDs and other high-density disks:
InPhase Technologies, an offshoot of Lucent Technologies ' research arm Bell Labs, shows the first commercial holographic video recorder. It holds 100GB of data on a single CD-sized write-once disc as a succession of 1.3MB holograms. The first product is aimed at professional video editing, effects and archival use, with initial production at the end of 2003 and full manufacturing in 2004. Smaller formats like postage stamp and credit card sizes are projected. Other methods of achieving similar densities are under research. 12:14:25 PM
Nanocoating protects materials, making 'nanosteel'
: "A composite material, made up of steel alloy clumps with only a few molecules per particle, could turn inexpensive, ordinary metals into durable building materials, researchers at the Idaho National Energy and Environment Laboratories said. The ... method involves creating alloys that solidify in a glass-like structure. Crushing the alloy creates a powder that, when applied at high temperature, bonds with other metals to form a very dense coating, with each particle about 50 nanometers in diameter. This process allows stronger atomic bonds in the material..." 12:09:01 PM
Flexible Transistors on a Roll
: Rolltronics, based in Menlo Park, CA, layers silicon circuits onto rolls of plasitc. They are planning to incorporate flexible, roll-to-roll electronics into radio-frequency ID tags, digital X-ray detector panels, biometric sensors and backplanes, the layers of electronics that control the pixels in active-matrix displays, and 'electronic paper'. The feature size is 10 microns, well above chips but small enough for displays. Pricing is projected at under 10 cents per square centimeter. 12:04:09 PM