Pigeon bombs …

A friend of mine sent me the link to this article on a ‘plan for kamikaze pigeons’
to be used to deliver biological weapons.  This is great stuff …
amazing what creative people we have working around the world!

The best quote that I saw in the article – that prompted me to blog this – was:

“A thousand pigeons each with a two-ounce explosive capsule landed at intervals
on a specific target might be a seriously inconvenient surprise.”

Inconvenient … yeah … it might be …

Dish Network and Sirius Radio

Last night when I got home, I turned on the TV to take a quick look at
the news.  I have a Dish Network satellite system, and when I
turned it on I was surprised to see a whole new set of channels. 
It appears that Dish has now added the full range of radio channels
from Sirius – the new competitor to XM Radio.

I have often thought about exploring these products, however I just
never got past the part of  paying for radio.  Now that I
have these on my TV I have to admit that I am impressed by the
content.  I don’t watch a lot of TV, however I do enjoy the music
that is provided … and now there is even more to choose from.

I’m hoping that Dish is going to keep these on for their customers, and
if I get to where I really like them on TV … I might consider buying
a subscription for my car.  My guess is that this is their
marketing plan …

K. Eric Drexler … the father of nanotechnology?

It is always interesting to hear K. Eric Drexler
talk about the current state of nanotechnology. He recently
created a new web site to reference a lot of general information about
Nanotechnology called e-drexler.com … it has a lot of good links on the subject.

It is obvious that Eric is still driven to communicate the
possibilities and benefits surrounding nanotechnology, and he is
passionate about it. There is considerable issue around the debates between Eric and Richard Smalley. Even Ray Kurzweil has his thoughts on the subject.

I have to agree with Eric … I do not question the feasibility … and
I believe it would be irresponsible to not pursue the conversation.

Ralph Merkle … Distinguished Professor of Computing

I really enjoy listening to Ralph Merkle speak. He obviously
loves what he is doing, and he knows a lot about his field. He is
working at Georgia Tech … or should I say playing … and is involved with the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing. He is currently co-Authoring a book with Robert A. Freitas Jr.Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines … A general review of the theoretical and experimental literature pertaining to physical self-replicating systems

He is really up on the current arguments about What is nanotech? and has a long list of examples of numerous nanotech products that are arrivingon the market –
from cosmetics to kitchen and bathroom surfaces, sun glasses coatings, etc.

There are also a variety of lawsuits are now arguing “What is
nanotech and what is not?” due to funds that are claiming nanotech

The arguments against the feasibility of molecular manufacturing are
causing more and more critical examination … and more people are
starting to see the possibility.

It’s always great to hear the details of the “State of NanoTech” from someone that is so plugged in.

Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson …

There are few people that can see the potential of future
technologies. I believe that it takes someone with both technical
and business sense that can see what is possible … and someone who
does not limit their thinking. Steve Jurvetson is such a person.

Steve is a Managing Director of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson
… one of the firms that I believe really understands what to look at
in Nanotech. It was cool to see that several of their portfolio
companies joined together to build a NanoCar

There was a lot of good information and perspectives about NanoTech …
that Nanotech is the overlap of numerous disciplines … Lab
experiments are moving from real
to simulation (e.g. using wind tunnels moving to simulation of wind
tunnels) … and that Patents are continuing to be an issue that
are going to require exploration. He talked about many of the
perspectives on the importance of education, and showed some very
interesting graphs on the growth of PhD grads in America.

DFJ has a large portfolio that I have to admit I really like … some
of the areas of their investments are: Bio-Nano-Organic Hybrids,
Bioinformatics & Materialinformatics, Nano Manufacturing and Tools,
Photonics, Optical Integrated Circuits, MEMs, and many others.

I’m going to look into many of their investments … they are in
various stages of growth with many of them already offering
products. This is a list that I was able to put together:

  • Zettacore – molecular memory
  • Arryx – holographic laser steering
    • Steve showed an amazing video of using Arryx laser tweezers to trap, hold and move a
      single sperm, and then weigh the DNA of that sperm to determine if it contained male or female DNA. This sorting is designed for the cattle industry to pick cows and bulls for different purposes. The same laser can then kill the sperm if it’s the wrong type!
  • EGeen – biotechnology
  • Intematix – Combinatorial Materials R&D
  • D-Wave Systems – commercializing superconducting quantum computational systems
  • Imago – providing 3-dimensional imaging and analysis capabilities to nanotechnology
  • HyperNex – crystallographic microstructure monitors for production control in semiconductor
  • Media Lario – design, manufacture, characterisation and assembly of high precision mechanical
    and optomechanical systems
  • Nano Opto – creates new classes of densely integrated, modular nano-optic components
  • Microfabrica – a leader in microdevice manufacturing
  • NeoPhotonics – integrate optical communication on a low cost, proprietary, scalable
    manufacturing platform
  • BinOptics – designs, develops, and manufactures monolithically integrated optoelectronic
    components based on indium phosphide and other semiconductor materials
  • SiWave – specializes in Optical MicroSystems and MEMS Fabrication and Product Development
  • Luminus Devices – solid state lighting through practical applications of photonic lattice
  • SoliCore – superior energy products through technology advancements – Solicore’s exclusive
    next generation Polymer Matrix Electrolyte and unique processing technologies
  • FlexICs – pioneering the manufacturing of semiconductors on plastic at ultra low
  • Molecular
    – offers a novel technique of lithography and 3-dimensional printing, capable of
    patterning nano-scale devices and structures
  • Konarka Technologies – builds revolutionary, light-sensitive products using next generation
    nanomaterials that are coated on rolls of plastic
  • Coatue – organic electronics (acquired
    by AMD)

  • NanTero
    – developing NRAM™, a high-density nonvolatile random access memory chip, using

  • NanoCoolers
    creating tiny machines without moving parts that will cool electronic devices

Ken Novak, Bloglet, and virtualization …

I was in the middle of debugging my problems with Radio categories last night, when in walked Ken Novak.  I met Ken Novak a number of
years ago at the Foresight Institute conference. He is always
involved in some interesting and exciting areas … I always like to
hear about his work. Last night as we talked about our use and
experiences with RSS, Radio, and various RSS related companies and
products. I have been looking at an idea that I described to Ken
and he pointed me to Bloglet … my idea already exists! This is a very cool idea … a variation on what News Gator is doing … converting RSS feeds into e-mail messages.

We also spent some time laughing about the current state of Userland’s
Radio … it is becoming clear that most experienced users just plain do not mess with it
once it is working well for them.  I’m going to keep pushing the
limits to get my categories going … and I’ll keep backing things up
on the way.

We also talked about virtualization technologies … his interest and
recognition of the value, and my experiences with Virtual PC
2004.  We talked about how we both expect to see people begin to
trade in Virtual Hard Disks … the large files created by Virtual PC
that contain the hard disk information.  We both see that this
goes another step beyond the current file-trading that people are doing

I had hoped he would be here the rest of the weekend … we’ll have to catch up on-line …

accelrys – amazing software company …

Last night there were two presentations by accelrys … a company that is developing amazing software for nanotech and other areas. They are a public company (ACCL) and been growing … this page
from their web site has more about them.  I’m considering an
investment … they are trading below $10US and this is a huge market.

The first speaker presented their perspective of the tools that they
provide, and indicated the various levels at which they allow
researchers to experimnet and simulate.  They have a killer gallery
of the types of images they can create.  He talked about the ways
they can use approximation to simulate … and the types of solutions
they can provide.  He talked about how they can evaluate and
experiment on molecular structures to determine cause and effects.

Later in the evening one of their engineers did some real demonstrations of the types of work that can be done with Materials Studio … a tool where the average person running Windows can create all sorts of new molecular-level products!  😉

P.S. They also have regular Webinars on the subject … I was thinking of checking some of these out.  They have one coming up on the 20th – Quantum Mechanical Modeling of Chemical Reactions: a Practical Approach

Foresight Institute – Senior Associates Gathering 2004

I am attending the Foresight Institute Vision Weekend – Senior Associate Gathering again this year. I first heard about this organization when friends taold me about Eric Drexler and his famous book on nanotechnology – Engines of Creation.

The weekend runs from Friday evening through Sunday and has always
provides incredible insights into the state of research and development
with respect to nanotech. The conference is “off the record” and
so I’ll be carefully commenting on the things that I can. Some of
the thoughts and comments of speakers are fairly “out there” …
however in my opinion it is only the main-stream public that are not
ready to hear what they are saying.

The conference is being held in the Bay Area of California … it
attracts a lot of big names. I’ll post about last night … it
was already impressive …

3Ghz and rising …

I just completed the migration of my parents computer to a new 3Ghz
clone PC. It is pretty amazing … and it is fast! This is
the fastest PC that I have ever worked on. I picked it up from DreamTech today, and set-up the Windows XP Pro that they are now going to use.

One thing that was cool was how the Intel Hyper-Threading
support in Windows XP recognized the Pentium 4 processor as *two*
processors. When you open Task Manager it appears to be running
on a two-processor box. And does it scream … it’s amazing to
think that we’ll probably be seeing another 1Ghz added by Christmas and
break the 4Ghz mark …

I also picked up a copy of IBM’s Via Voice today. I want to see
where voice recognition is at these days. I’ll write about my
experience … or maybe I’ll “talk” about my experience in my blog!

Radio still not baked …

I have to say that I really like Userland’s product – Radio – and I
really hate it. It is *almost* the solution that I am looking for
… it just doesn’t seem completely baked. I recently updated to
the latest version – and paid for it – and the basic functionality
works … some advanced stuff is crippled.

I am using it for the management of several blogs that I create – for
both public and private consumption – and it is the “category”
capabilities that just are not there. For the first time I
started to configure the various categories, and the pages just do not
render properly. I get back cryptic error messages that are
completely misleading and incorrect. Searching on-line there are
numerous people having these same problems … the solutions are seldom
related to the error message … many are never fixed. I’m looking
for where I am
suppoed to go for support …

This sucks … ;-(