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Science Fiction in the News Articles
Related to material in Dune
by Frank Herbert

An exceptional novel, but not for everyone. This is one of those books that people either worship or can't finish. Remarkable attention to every detail of life on Arrakis, the desert planet, should appeal to the scientist; social and religious philosophy appeal to the humanist. The villains are more vile, the heroes are more heroic; great action make this a memorable book.

Science fiction in the News articles describe real-world events that relate to the ideas and inventions in sf novels and movies. Select a news article:

Philips FluidFocus: Variable Focus Fluid Lens
   Philips FluidFocus - a variable-focus lens system with no mechanical moving parts - is very similar to Frank Herbert's oil lens in Dune (1964).

Digital Squab Line (DSL) Has High Bandwidth
   Which is faster - ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) or DSL (Digital Squab Line)? If you're thinking pigeons are faster - you're right.

Parasitic Power Harvesting - Dada Sprees Supreme Shoes
   The Dada Sprees Supreme atheletic shoes have an unusual feature - a "spinnah" built into the outside wall of the show just above the ankle actuated by heel power.

Nanowire Memory Cells: Compact Data Storage
   Is it possible to achieve data storage rates of 40 Gigabits per square centimeter? Scientists at USC and the NASA Ames Research Center think so - with nanowire.

Biometric HandReader - Frank Herbert's Palm Lock?
   IR Recognition Systems has released a biometric hand reader that is able to simultaneously analyze more than 31,000 points. The system records 90 different measurements of your hand: length, width, thickness and surface area.

Ornithopters In Fact And Fiction
   An ornithopter (a flapping wing aircraft) under development at the University of Toronto's Institute for Aerospace Studies may yet make Leonardo da Vinci's dream a reality. Frank Herbert fully visualized them in Dune.

Water-Repellent 'Bumpy' Glass Mimics Lotus Leaves
   The lotus is a good model for a water-repellent surface; they are waxy and covered with tiny bumps that make water roll off. Surfaces like ordinary glass are naturally wettable; when water is poured onto it, its surface tension is reduced so it sprea

ShasPod - Compact Talmud Study Aid
   The ShasPod is a twenty-gigabyte iPod loaded with 2,711 shiurim, one for each page of the Talmud. A shiur is a brief (30-60 minute) discussion by a religious teacher. Each shiur is in English mixed with Aramaic (the language of the Talmud) and some h

Fighting MUSA Robot Unveiled (Kendo, Not Rock'em Sock'em)
   The MUSA kendo robot is a logical extension of the traditional "mechanical" aids used for centuries in martial arts.

NASA And Water Security Working On A Stillsuit
   Rather than spend $7K per pound on water, recycling would make more sense - now they have a way to do it.

Backpack Generator Harnesses Power Of Walking
   The brisk strides of hikers converted into electricity.

USB Bible Tougher Than Filament OC Bible
   More durable than the filament paper book; good for space travellers.

Religion In Space
   How can you face Mecca when circling the Earth every 90 minutes? Just one problem faced by Muslims in space.

Heliodisplay M2i - Interactive Midair Touchscreen
   The newest Heliodisplay offers interactive 'touch screen' features - but you don't actually touch the display that hangs in mid-air. So, it's actually a 'no-touch-screen...'

Namib Desert Beetle-based Dune Dew Collectors
   They're not chromoplastic, but this new material could be used in Frank Herbert's dew collectors from Dune.

Aqua Sciences Water From Atmospheric Moisture
   Remarkable (and secret!) technology to lower the price of water to troops in Iraq, and help people in need.

RealSnailMail With RFID-Chipped Snails
   You just thought you've been using snail mail - this is email, with real snails.

Digital Bible Player
   At last - a pious portable media player.

WiiBot Kuka Robot Controlled WiiMotely
   Two engineers create a non-trivial fencing and tennis-playing robot - part Kuka, part Wii.

Varioptic Liquid Lens For Phone Cameras
   The oil (and water) lens finally makes it into consumer products that will be available near you.

Intellidrug Medication Dispensing Tooth
   Interesting idea from overseas on how to help patients take medications regularly.

Remote-Controlled Pigeon Could Enable DSL
   Cyborg pigeons fill the skies! Okay, there is one prototype pigeon, but it seems to work.

Your Chemical Wake Up
   Science fiction fans have asked for it - now you've got it - a fictional wake up pill.

Nanogenerator Harvests Mechanical Energy
   We might not need to keep track of a half-dozen little charger devices if this works.

Burj al-Taqa Dubai Energy Tower - High Tech Badgir
   The planned Burj al-Taqa tower takes an energy efficient design of the ancient world into the future.

Biometric Deadbolt Lock Like A Palm Lock
   Frank Herbert's palm lock always seemed like an ideal way to do locks - and now Biolock has the idea.

Tiny Portable Biosensor Detects Contaminants In Food
   Frank Herbert calls it once again; finally, we're starting to get our remote-cast snoopers.

Hitachi Brain-Machine Interface Applications
   Once a working brain-machine interface is developed, who knows what sort of devices we'll have.

Vibration Energy Scavenging By Tiny Generator
   This tiny generator might appear in a heart near you.

Fujitsu PalmSecure Hand Vein Scanner
   New device for biometric security reads not just palms, but veins under the palm.

Raytheon Creates Pain Box From Dune
   Raytheon has unwittingly created the pain box straight out of Frank Herbert's Dune novels.

Plasteel? UM's New Ultrastrong Nanocomposite
   Nifty new material built in layers like mother of pearl has the strength, if not the ductility, of steel.

Eyeball Tattoo Creates Eyes Of The Ibad
   These guys look like something straight out of a Dune movie casting call.

Flexible Integrated Energy Device (FIED) - Wearable Rechargers
   One is fictional, the other one doesn't exist yet - but engineers are working on it.

Breath Powered USB Charger (And Stillsuit)
   It appears that a key element of Frank Herbert's stillsuit is now available to help you recharge your gadgets.

WatAir Dew-Harvesting 'Web' Kit
   Dune fans are not surprised at this development; dew is a remarkable water source.

Biomechanical Energy Harvester Is The Bee's Knees
   Waste not the body's moisture - or its many free ergs of power.

Piezoelectric Zinc Oxide Nanowire Fashions For Spring
   When I think of all the energy wasted in the sixties from corduroy pants alone, it makes me weep.

Break a Glass With Your Voice
   If you want your own weirding module, you should start small - on a glass - before testing it out on Sardaukar.

So You Want To Be A Mentat
   What does it take to develop yourself into a Mentat, the human computers from Frank Herbert's Dune?

Two Plastics Merge To Create 'Metal'
   Interesting combination of insulators produces a conductor.

Breast Motion Power Harvesting iPod-Charging Bra
   Interesting engineering challenge with several possible solutions; women may one day charge their iPods with their bras.

Microwave Drill Heats And Pokes
   Interesting development is a new twist on a basic requirement; drilling holes through different kinds of materials.

The Fremen Urinal Frank Herbert Never Imagined
   These devices could save countless gallons of water, which helps even on water-rich planets.

Liquid Camera Lens Controlled By Sound
   Using a liquid as a lens? I read about it forty years ago.

NTT Energy-Generating Shoes Are Squishy
   I really like the cool retro technology used to power these power walkers.

Tunable Liquid Lens Glasses For The Masses
   A retired British physics professor has created simple spectacles that can be fitted to most people who need glasses - cheaply and without an optometrist.

Giant Sand Worms Once Roamed The Earth
   Bless the Maker! Distant ancestors of Shai-hulud once roamed our own Earth. May His passage cleanse the world. Dune fans around the world tremble in fear.

Water Purity Detection In Real Time
   'Will someone try chaumurky tonight - poison in the drink?' Not if Professor Katzir has anything to say about it.

TruFocals Glasses Do Not Use Hufhuf Oil
   Eyeglasses suitable for the Kwisatz Haderach, if he needed glasses.

Sietch Nevada Dune-Inspired Underground Communities
   How would you like to live in a Dune-style sietch in the waterless desert wastes of the American West? This fabulous concept should get your imagination going.

Thermeleon Roof Tiles Change Color To Save Energy
   Very clever project could greatly save on heating and cooling costs. I also like the name chosen for the team that developed the material.

Date Rape Prevention Lip Gloss Kit
   Women should take their 2 Love My Lips lip gloss when clubbing, because you never know when someone will try chaumurky.

DEXI Scanner Looks Inside Air Travelers
   How far will we go in searching air travelers?

Implantable Energy-Harvesting Rubber Sheets
   This remarkable material can let us take energy from movements we make anyway. Take a deep breath, and power up that cell phone!

Flexible Nanowire Data Storage
   Interestingly, the creators of this material see it being used concealed in ordinary day-to-day devices.

Nanogenerator Intros New Energy Unit - The Pinch
   Just the thing for the stillsuits of the future.

Fog Harvesting For Fresh Water
   Like water off your back - if you're a Namib beetle

NASA's Forward Osmosis Bag (For Stillsuits?)
   Perfect for astronauts - and maybe Fremen.

JediBot Robot Arm Senses The Force
   How many novels can you think of that combine swords and robots?

Energy-Harvesting Shoes With Reverse Electrowetting
   A new energy-harvesting technology that could be embedded in your shoes.

Generate Elecricity From Breathing With Microbelt PVDF Device
   Unique method of harvesting energy from low speed airflows will have many applications.

10 Exotic Human-Energy Harvesting Devices And Technologies
   Presented all on one page! and yet, profusely illustrated.

Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surface
   Get the last little bit from containers, thanks to materials science.

Raincatch Raincoat Has Dune-Style Watertube And Catchpocket
   'And us sipping our catchpockets the instant they show dewsparkle.'

LiquiGlide Coating, Your New Condiment Lubricant
   'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension...'

Hydrolemic Systems Prepares For Water Shortages
   '...Living on reclaimed moisture from his own breath and body.'

Gideon eBibles And Frank Herbert's OC Bible
   The Gideons are surprising liberal in their approach, btw.

iTube Platform Lets You Test Your Food
   and the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers...- Frank Herbert, 1965.

Project Your Personality In Photos
   '...portraiture reproduced through a shigawire projector that is ... said to convey the ego essence.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

A Big Collection Of Small Books
   'Black, oblong, no larger than the end of Paul's thumb... It's a very old Orange Catholic Bible made for space travelers.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

Sweat Be Gone! Non-Wetting Fabric
   'The skin-contact layer is porous.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

pd.id Personal Drink ID Device Like Dune 'Poison Snooper'
   'The jeweled hands clutching drinks (and the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers)...'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

Baidu Kuaisou Dune Poison Snooper Chopsticks
   'Unobtrusive inspections with... snoopers... Will it be chaumas - poison in the food?'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

'Digital Drugs' (Like Herbert's Semuta?) Dismays Saudis
   'The effect (described as timeless, sustained ecstasy) is elicited by certain atonal vibrations...'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

Secrets Of Charismatic Speakers Revealed
   'The tone, the timbre excellent - imperative, very sharp.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

Laser Etching Makes Metal Super-Hydrophobic
   'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

Skin Wearable Harvests Power With Triboelectric Effect
   'He had tightened the chest to gain maximum pumping action...'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

This Robot Swordmaster: Yaskawa Bushido Project
   'The instrument of prisms and target could not think, feel caution or remorse. And it carried a real blade.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

Growing Metal In The Shape You Want
   What more do you need, engineers?

Chaac Ha Dew Collector ala Dune
   'The surface condenses moisture out of the air. That moisture trickles down...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

New Super Slippery Surface Better Than Nature's
   'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

Cool Chaac Ha Dew Collector Video
   'The surface condenses moisture out of the air...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

3D Printed Pluto And Charon, For Imperial Collectors
   'It was the kind of globe made for wealthy collectors or planetary governors of the Empire.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Self-Filling Water Bottle Is Beetle-Based
   'That moisture trickles down...', Frank Herbert, 1965.

Nima Portable Gluten Tester
   '... the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers...'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

Sip From Your Ford When Catchpocket Shows Dewsparkle
   '... living on reclaimed moisture from his own breath.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

CloudFisher - Moroccan Fog Farmers Harvest Moisture From The Air
   'That moisture trickles down...', Frank Herbert, 1965.

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
   'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
   'It's basically a micro-sandwich...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

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Science Fiction
in the News

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
re: Niven, Pournelle, Flynn
(11/16/2017)

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
re: Larry Niven
(11/15/2017)

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
re: Neal Stephenson
(11/14/2017)

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