Special Cell Phone Allows You to ‘Feel’ Callers

Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts have developed a new vibrating rubber cellphone that can transmit vibrations along with words.

Unlike other cellphones that vibrate instead of ringing, the MIT latex prototype has five tiny speakers that you wrap your fingers around and which vibrate against the skin at around 250 times per second. More here.

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2002 World Robot Soccer Championships

While the rest of the world is watching the soccer world championships in Korea and Japan this summer, at the same time the Robocup 2002 competition for soccer-playing robots is to take place there – the sixth time the tournament has been held, with 35 countries competing and this time including a “humanoid league” competition. The purpose is to foster research in robotics, with the aim of building a team of robots that can play and win against the best human teams by 2050. One of the pre-tournament favourites this year is Iran, who did well in 2000 but not in 2001.

The Swedish team includes a star player named Priscilla, described as “looking like a sister of the Terminator”. One of the Swedish designers comments: ‘you don’t want to give too much freedom to the robots as they will go crazy.’ Much like flesh-and-blood highly-paid sports stars really
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China’s Internet Usage Leaps to 2nd in the World

China now ranks second in the world for home internet use and could leapfrog the US as the biggest online nation in the next few years.

Interviews with Chinese householders conducted by US-based internet analysis firm Nielsen//NetRatings suggests that 56.6 million Chinese people now use the internet at home.

This promotes China to second place in the world rankings, ahead of Japan, which has 51.3 million users, Germany (32.2 million) and the UK (29.0 million). The US still leads the pack by some way with 166 million users.

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Three Cloned Pregnancies Now Exist

An Italian fertility specialist who has said he intends to create the world’s first human clone told a television show on Wednesday three women were pregnant.

Earlier this month a Middle East newspaper whipped up a storm of controversy by quoting Severino Antinori as saying that a woman in his program was pregnant, but did not provide details making it clear whether it was the result of cloning.

The Italian doctor has refused to confirm or deny the story, but told Italy state television on Wednesday that three cloned pregnancies existed in the world at the moment.

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The Future of Cellular Communications

Cellular industry analysts have predicted that by 2006 one in four human beings will possess a cellphone, or roughly 1.7 billion people.

We know that the cellular industry is growing at a rate of kilo-knots, but what’s happening in the rest of the world? Bluetooth appears to be all the rage, as well as the introduction of a 3G network which will provide greater bandwidth and faster speeds across the network. All sorts of wireless devices are being touted, from vending machines that dispense Coke simply by dialling a number, to internet browsers and more. We take a look at the state of cellular communications across the globe.
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Living In The Internet’s Glass House

Five British volunteers have decided to give their lives to the Internet for fifteen days, and allow Internet users to make important decisions in their lives for them. The five are taking part in a Big Brother-style web experiment, and are completely at your mercy. Time to get nasty.

Every day for fifteen days the contestants must come up with an important decision that needs to be made in their lives, and Internet voters have to vote on which way they think each person should swing, so to speak.

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Bizarre Patent Of The Week

Initiation Apparatus

Inventor John Milton Seibert
Patent No 819,814
Filed 24 July 1905
Awarded 8 May 1906

This invention relates to that type of theatrical appliances known as ‘initiating apparatus’ designed for use in lodges and secret societies for initiating a candidate into the secrets and forms of the order. To this end the invention contemplates a simple and practical form of apparatus entirely harmless in its action and results, while at the same time producing an amusing and entertaining effect.

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World’s Fastest Wearable Computer

Charmed Technology, founded by MIT Media Lab graduates, announced what it claims is the world’s fastest wearable computer — 800Mhz Crusoe TM5800 processor. The CharmedIT comes standard with a 266 Mhz Pentium MMX for about $2k. The Crusoe upgrade costs another $500. The OS is extra ($250 for RedHat or Debian), as is the display, input device, carrying case, battery, charger, usable application … if that isn’t enough options, you can also get a DIY kit.
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Space Junk Monitoring May Cease

NASA’s 2003 budget does not include funding for its Orbital Debris Program Office, which monitors space junk that could damage or destroy satellites and other spacecraft. If funding is not restored by the end of September, the program will cease operations Oct. 1.

The program
, begun in 1979, has helped reveal the existence of more than 100,000 bits of small, mostly human-made space debris that are not tracked by any other agency. The junk has the potential to damage space shuttles, the international space station and other spacecraft.
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Brain: The Science Behind Decision Making

Using a revolutionary method of imaging the brain, researchers from the Open University and the London Business School say they have identified the brain region that becomes active as the shopper reaches to the supermarket shelf to make their final choice.

The scientists used a technique known as magnetic encephalography (MEG) — the fastest of all scanner methods — to measure the minute magnetic fields around the brain and identify regions that are active during the second or so it takes for a person to make their shopping choice.
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Tiny Tube Allows Heart Surgery Without Stitches

A tiny tube that connects fragile arteries without the need for a needle and thread could revolutionise Britain’s most common heart operation.

The Y-shaped connector, inspired by the nuisance of inverted shirt sleeves and trouser legs, could be used in life-saving coronary by-pass operations within a few years. Using the plastic device, a graft artery can be connected in about 90 seconds, far quicker than in conventional surgery.

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