Breakthrough Can Put 100 DVDs on a Disc

A disc that can store 500 gigabytes (GB) of data, equivalent to 100 DVDs, has been unveiled by General Electric. The micro-holographic disc, which is the same size as existing DVD discs, is aimed at the archive industry. But the company believes it can eventually be used in the consumer market place and home players. More here.

Read the article: Optical disc offers 500GB storage

Revolutionary Espresso Book Machine

It’s not elegant and it’s not sexy — it looks like a large photocopier — but the Espresso Book Machine is being billed as the biggest change for the literary world since Gutenberg invented the printing press more than 500 years ago and made the mass production of books possible. Launching today at Blackwell’s Charing Cross Road branch in London, the machine prints and binds books on demand in five minutes, while customers wait.

The Espresso Book Machine — which actually is a self-contained 150 pages-per-minute printing and binding machine — can produce a full book in five minutes from a catalog of 400,000 references. It only takes one button. High-speed all-in-one printing-and-binding machines are not new, but this idea is. Using the Espresso Book Machine, any customer can walk in, pick any book from a touchscreen (or bring its own in CD or USB stick,) and walk away with a “real book” in five minutes. The price? Around $43 for a 300-page out-of-copyright book.  Some photos here.

Read the article: Revolutionary Espresso Book Machine launches in London

Obama names first US Chief Technology Officer

US President Barack Obama on Saturday named a Harvard-educated Indian-American to the newly created post of Chief Technology Officer in an appointment much-awaited by Silicon Valley.

As the country’s first Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, 36, will use technology to “improve security, ensure transparency, and lower costs,” Obama said in his weekly address to the nation.

Read the article: AFP: Obama names first US Chief Technology Officer

How to be clever

Poor people have I.Q.’s significantly lower than those of rich people, and the awkward conventional wisdom has been that this is in large part a function of genetics. If intelligence were deeply encoded in our genes, that would lead to the depressing conclusion that neither schooling nor antipoverty programs can accomplish much. Yet while this view of I.Q. as overwhelmingly inherited has been widely held, the evidence is growing that it is, at a practical level, profoundly wrong.

New research strongly advocates intensive early childhood education because of its proven ability to raise I.Q. and improve long-term outcomes.

Read the article: How to Raise Our I.Q.

Precision hacking ‘The 2009 TIME 100 Poll’

A fascinating description of how the current 2009 Time 100 poll of “the world’s most influential people in government, science, technology and the arts” has been precision hacked to include a message from the folks, and to vote 4chan.org founder moot at the top!

Please note that this article assumes computer knowledge!

Read the article: Inside the precision hack

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Browsing sites more conveniently with Firefox add-on Autopager

The AutoPager Firefox extension automatically loads the next page of a site inline when you reach the end of the current page for infinite scrolling of content. By default, AutoPager works with a ton of sites including Google, Digg, Reddit, Hacker News, Lifehacker, New York Times etc. AutoPager is free, works wherever Firefox does.

Read the article: AutoPager Automatically Loads the Next Web Page Inline

MIT designs viruses to grow “greener” batteries

Researchers constructed a lithium-ion battery, similar to those used in millions of devices, but one which uses genetically engineered viruses to create the negatively charged anode and positively charged cathode. The virus is a so-called common bacteriophage which infects bacteria and is harmless to humans. “The advantage of using genetics is that things can be made better and better”…

Read the article: Virus battery could ‘power cars’

The End of Science

Scientists are trained to recognize that correlation is not causation, that no conclusions should be drawn simply on the basis of correlation between X and Y (it could just be a coincidence). Instead, you must understand the underlying mechanisms that connect the two. Once you have a model, you can connect the data se ts with confidence. Data without a model is just noise.

There is now a better way. Petabytes allow us to say: “Correlation is enough.” We can stop looking for models. We can analyze the data without hypotheses about what it might show. We can throw the numbers into the biggest computing clusters the world has ever seen and let statistical algorithms find patterns where science cannot. Via Computer Program Self-Discovers Laws of Physics.

Read the article: The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete

Light and Cheap, Netbooks Are Poised to Reshape PC Industry

Get ready for the next stage in the personal computer revolution: ultrathin and dirt cheap. Personal computers — and the companies that make their crucial components — are about to go through their biggest upheaval since the rise of the laptop. Netbooks are a big success story in the PC industry, with sales predicted to double this year, even as overall PC sales fall 12 percent, according to the research firm Gartner. By the end of 2009, netbooks could account for close to 10 percent of the PC market, an astonishing rise in a short span.

The new breed of netbooks, built on cellphone innards, threatens to disrupt that oligopoly. Intel and Microsoft, which make the chips and software that run most PCs — face an unprecedented challenge to their dominance. The big winners in the rise of netbooks that use cellphone chips could be the cellphone carriers, which would have access to a whole new market: PC users.

Read the article: Thin and Inexpensive Netbooks Affect PC Industry