Friday, June 6, 2008

IEEE Spectrum June 2008 Issue

Some interesting articles in the June edition of IEEE Spectrum. One mentions transistors that could be built of graphene instead of silicon (or more recently carbon nanotubes). Some gains mentioned there are faster operation (100 times faster than the silicon-based one) and smaller in size (one atom thick by 10 to 50 atom wide).

Another article talks about Radiation Sensors that can monitor a tumor from within to detect for example how much radiation that tumor is getting. The challenging part in making the sensor was not the detector itself, which consist of a modified capacitor attached to an inductor, but making it small enough to fit inside a hypodermic needle (2 centimeters long).

Furthermore, you can learn new means of securing your laptop, using Yoggie Gatekeeper Pico, a USB stick to be used as a replacement for all the security software we have on our computer and which run under Windows. The Pico device runs Linux on an Intel processor, and all wired or wireless network traffic will first go through Pico. The author went one step further than me and actually tested the small device.

The central theme for this issue (encompassing several articles), and what I found to be truly interesting, is the human brain, how it creates the mind, about the singularity, a term I have heard of for the first time, about consciousness, the future of machine intelligence, efforts in mapping the human brain so that in the end we could re-create it. Remarkable information in each of these articles.

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