Science Fiction in the News:
Science and Technology News

'Air Laser' Long-Range Sensor
The stronger signal should also allow for detection of much smaller concentrations of airborne contaminants. (re: Gene Roddenbaerry)

Egypt Drops Dime, Pulls Plug On Internet
The government of Egypt made a few phone calls and poof! Its citizens have no Internet access - and we have no access into the country from outside. (re: John Brunner)

China's Megacity 'Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One'
Even larger urban zones are planned. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Cultybraggan Nuclear Bunker Perfect For Data Crypt
Perfect for 'secure, anonymous, unregulated data storage.' (re: Bruce Sterling)

Ikaros Solar Sail Craft Photo Of Venus
Impressive proof of the value of solar sail-powered vessels. (re: Cordwainer Smith)

DLR Robotic Hand-Arm Is Super-Strong, Super-Tough
Take a look at a video of this robotic hand/arm system taking a beating from well-meaning researchers at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics in Germany. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Mall Robotic Ad Won't Leave You Alone
Does this sound familiar, Belgian shoppers? 'Morris pushed wearily past the salesrobot, up the sidewalk toward the residential-block that contained his living-unit.' (re: Philip K. Dick)

Antenna Repairmen In Fact And Fiction
'I am completely operational, and all my circuits are functioning perfectly.' (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Wasp Micro-UAV Used By Texas SWAT
Tiny surveillance drones are starting to appear over US cities. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Textile Energy Storage
It's a prototype systematic fiber-based electrochemical micro-supercapacitor. (re: Murray Leinsrer)

Curvilinear Camera Combines Your Eye With Zoom
Going beyond the human eye? Someday, we will rebuild you better than you were before (re: EE 'Doc' Smith)

Kiosk Looks At You, Then Decides On Your Meal
Machines will tell you what to eat, just by looking at you. (re: Douglas Adams)

E-Camouflage - Invisible Tanks
How about an invisible jumping robot spider tank? (re: Various)

PrimeSense WAVI Xtion Gesture Control Of TV
The same company that created Microsoft's Kinect wants to do more for you in your living room. (re: Douglas Adams)

Magnetic Pills Steered Within The Body
Precise drug delivery could be achieved by controlling a special pill as it moved through the patient's gastrointestinal tract. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Evolutionary Robotics To Design Better Robots
Robots seem to walk better when they evolve the ability to do so. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Cliodynamics: Modeling Complex Societies Mathematically
'The basis of all valid psychohistory lies in the development of the Seldon Plan.' (re: Isaac Asimov)

GhostBot Robotic Ghost Knifefish
This robot is highly maneuverable, thanks to its body-long fin. (re: Michael Swanwick)

Moon Mining And Space Lawyers
Need a good space-lawyer? SF readers have been looking for one since 1941. (re: Nat Schachner)

When You're Smiling, The World's Machines Smile With You!
The machines know when you're happy, so smile! (re: Various)

EDV-01 Instant Self-Sufficient House
'There was nowhere on the planet where science and technology could not provide one with a comfortable home...' (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Robot Japan Dance Contest
Dancing robots have been seen in futuristic films before. (re: Fritz Lang)

Mammoths In Five Years?
The plan to create living mammoths using mammoth DNA is apparently back on track. (re: John Varley)

XWave Apps For iPhone See Brainwaves
Brainwave sensors for entertainment goes back at least a generation in sf. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Autonomous Construction By Teams Of Quadrotor Robots
These little robots buzz like wasps, and cooperate in the building of tower structures. (re: James P. Hogan)

Biotic Video Games Use Living Cells
'The Ganymedean life form did not experience pain and had not yet objected to being made over into a portion of an electronic system.' (re: Philip K. Dick)

Ad-Supported Free Telephone Calls
To make a free international call, just listen to a short ad or two. For now. (re: J.G. Ballard)

400 People Volunteer For Mars
Would you volunteer to colonize Mars? (re: Robert Heinlein)

Metallic Glass Stronger Than Steel
The new metallic glass is a microalloy featuring palladium. (re: Various)

Philip K. Dick Robot Head Rebuilt Video
This newly posted video seems to indicate that PKD's robotic head has been rebuilt. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Uno By BPG Motors Transformer Like RIDEBACK
Is this the first real transformer vehicle? (re: Tetsuro Kasahara)

Miami-Dade Police First To Use UAV Drones?
What US city will be the first to deploy surveillance drones developed by the military? (re: Larry Niven)

iRobot AVA Telepresence Robot With iPad
If iRobot is entering the field of tele-operated robotics, the business case must be good. (re: Niven and Pournelle)

Polaroid GL20 Video Sunglasses
Lady Gaga demonstrates this product, which she designed with Polaroid. (re: David Brin)

Realtime Holographic Motion Display Video
In the case of 3D display gaming, it is best to let the Wookie win. (re: William Tenn)

Samsung 19 Inch Transparent AMOLED Display
Will those open laptops on conference room desks be less of a barrier if their displays are transparent? (re: H.G. Wells)

US Mil Gorgon Stare Lacks Multiheaded Basilisk Capability
This device is able to look down and photograph a four square kilometer section of a city. But that's all. For now. (re: Charles Stross)

Living Earth Simulator For 'Ultimate Answers'
It's an explorational device, like the Large Hadron Collider. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

Digital Radiation Spectrometer
Mr. Spock, if you could take just one tool down to a new planet, what would it be? (re: Gene Roddenberry)

iRing Lunar Flex-Wheel
Might these wheels also work on Earth? Lunar expeditions are somewhat chancy these days. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Read Google EBooks On Google TV
Isaac Asimov had a name for that. (re: Isaac Asimov)

See Jesus? There's An App For That
AppTech intends to 'offer religious themed content through the various Smartphone operating platforms.' (re: Roger Zelazny)

HRP-2 Auld Lang Syne Theremin
Happy New Year! (re: Herbert Goldstone)

PR2 Robot Wanders 100 Km Autonomously
This is PR2 - why don't they let it wander around my house, folding the laundry? (re: Gregory Benford)

ETH Quadcopters Perform Jingle Bells On Real Piano
They can do more than just watch you; they can entertain you over the holidays. (re: Herbert Goldstone)

Nao Robot Video Demonstrates Improvements
Just in time for the holidays, the Nao robot has improved specifications and histrionics. (re: Various)

Romeo Robot A Robant For Elder Care
Grasping the firm arm of my trusted robot Romeo, I totter into a brave new future. (re: Philip K. Dick)

China's Spherical Walking Robot With Retractable Arms
Updated! Favorite design of supervillains patented! Diagrams show this walking spherical robot with retractable arms. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Fracking Earthquakes
Oil companies pump a dense slurry into the rocks far under a town, hoping to create fractures to release natural gas. What could go wrong? (re: Various)

MGX 3D Printed Goods Almost Has it
They almost have that Gibsonian business model figured out. (re: William Gibson)

NASA Rail Launch In Supermarionation
Where should we look to find new ideas on how to get spacecraft into orbit? I'll give you three guesses. (re: Gerry Anderson)

Earthworms Absorb Copper Nanomaterials From Soil
Update! on copper nanoparticle toxicity study. Engineered nanomaterials can be taken up from the environment and moved up the food chain. (re: Larry Niven)

Robot Pianist Is Self-Correcting
This little robot is just starting out, but it can listen and learn from its own mistakes. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Invisibility Cloak Fools Naked Eye
interesting new technique uses naturally-occurring materials to form an invisibility cloak. (re: EE 'Doc' Smith)

Wet Kissing Cell Phone Prototype
Skip all that texting and smiley faces nonsense; these cell phone prototypes deliver the emotional goods. (re: Frederik Pohl)

Medical Researcher 'Discovers' Integration
Updated! Do we need a specific type of scientist or researcher that specializes in knowing the specifics of many different fields of knowledge? (re: A.E. van Vogt)

Binishells Graceful Housing
This may just be the quickest way to construct a permanent shelter. (re: Larry Niven)

Snakebot Conquers Obstacle Course
Snake robots are becoming surprisingly versatile in their movements. (re: Greg Bear)

New ESAIL Video: Deploy Tethers!
'A magsail can get you to Mars in about the same time it took the Mayflower to cross the Atlantic.' (re: Michael Flynn)

Autonomous Adaptive Structure Uses Shape Memory Polymer
Part of an autonomous adaptive structure created at MIT. (re: J.G. Ballard)

DoDAMM Autonomous Robot Sentry Gun
This gun targets and fires automatically. (re: Michael Crichton)

Stretchable Silicon Electronics For Sports Apparel
Maybe Reebok could include a stopwatch along with the sensors; that's what Niven and Barnes fans are hoping. (re: Niven and Barnes)

Robot Waiters And Receptionists In China Restaurant
Robotic waiters get better and better, take a look at this restaurant in China. (re: George Lucas)

Sonic Screwdrivers Using Ultrasonic Force Fields
Ultrasonic force fields can apply real forces to tiny objects. (re: Various)

Will Lucas Resurrect Dead Actors Digitally?
Is George Lucas obsessed with bringing dead celebrities back to life? He'd need at least one sfna-only technology to do it. (re: Various)

UAVs Schooled In Thermals By Peregrine Falcons
The more efficiently a UAV can maneuver, the longer it can stay on station. Birds have millions of years of experience; let them teach us. (re: Roger Zelazny)

Robots With Knives 3, Irregularly Shaped Meat 0
This HAMDAS-R robot is the latest in bots with knife-wielding skills; can you name any others? (re: Robert Silverberg)

Google Ebookstore - Great Expectations In The Cloud
A few glitches in the cloud not withstanding, Google's eBookstore is open for business. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

New Black From NASA Uses Nanotubes
This new material is blacker than black paint. (re: E.E. 'Doc Smith)

Electronic Sunglasses Designer Needs Your Help!
Ever wanted to be a venture capitalist? Bring these glare-reducing glasses into reality as a consumer product at KickStarter. (re: Larry Niven)

New Building Block For Alien Life Discovered
Amazing discovery appears to show that we must add at least one element to our list of possible building blocks of life. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Pocket God's Hundreds Of Ways To Play God
Let's not forget who thought about this idea long before The Sims - the amazing Stanislaw Lem. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

Pi4-Workerbot Adapts Quickly
This adaptable robot is available to fill in on those shifts where no short-term human help is available. No, it's not an American robot. (re: Harry Harrison)

Robot Picks Strawberries, Doesn't Eat Any
This way, we humans get all of the strawberries. (re: Various)

Computers Need Your Help In Image Recognition
Science fiction fans benefited from the work of Harry Harrison, who discussed the kinds of help that human beings could give to computers and robots fifty years ago. (re: Harry Harrison)

Samsung Flexible 3D AMOLED Display
Creative concept from Samsung may provide a better way to present stereoscopic images. (re: E.C. Tubb)

Synthespian Wannabe: Tron Legacy's Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges enjoyed being scanned into the movie Tron: Legacy. His original character did not enjoy being scanned into the video-game Tron. (re: William Gibson)

Stem Cell Spray For Burn Healing
Ready for your art-derm spray? It's on trial now at the University of Utah Burn Care Center. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Hey WikiLeaks! Where's My Shockwave Rider App?
John Brunner had a pretty good idea about this some forty-five years ago. (re: John Brunner)

Space Junk-Eating Pod-Craft
Some day, a solution to the problem of orbital debris will get off the ground. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Disposable E-Readers?
E-Readers could be cheap enough to read the content and then throw away. (re: Neal Stephenson)

'Super Photons' Blob State Matter
Amazing new material reveals once again the quantum nature of light. (re: John W. Campbell)

Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot (BEAR) Evolves
Pulled out of battle by a robot? It could happen. (re: Takazawa Kijuro)

Land Crawler eXtreme Ready For Humma Kavula
If you are looking for a unique, child-sized riding robot, look no further. (re: Various)

CyberTherapy Avatar Will See You Now
Cybertherapists use avatars to help patients in a virtual therapeutic environment. (re: Orson Scott Card)

3D Nano Molecular Structures Can Be Built On A Surface
Working nanotechnology gets a bit closer with this first time development. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Morphy Nanny Robot Teaches, Learns From Babies
How much longer till we have all of the elements for a nanny robot? (re: Philip K. Dick)

Blitz Chess Terminator's Speedy Robot Arm
Robots are beating humans (or at least fighting them to a draw) much faster these days. (re: Ambrose Bierce)

Business Leaders Brain-Scanned
The world of work will never be the same; business leaders distinguished by brain scan. (re: Philip K. Dick)

DEFLEXION Apparel For Superheroes
High impact protection while retaining excellent breathability and washability. (re: Larry Niven)

Robots In Advertising Mostly CGI, Fortunately
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling.' Thanks for warning us, PKD. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Agrarian Detroit, Your Harvest Home
The Vegetable City? It doesn't quite have the same ring as 'The Motor City', but give it time. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Spacetime Cloak Of Invisibility Conceals Events
This unusual suggestion from UK physicists may provide a unique kind of temporal shield. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Brick Road-Printing Machine
Now with Disney and Thunderbirds update! Pretty impressive machine performs a difficult task admirably well; those of us who have done this task by hand salute the designers. (re: China Mieville)

Cognitive Enhancement (For Us) Vs. Degradation (For The Enemy)
Philip K. Dick was also fascinated with the idea of targeted weapons that degraded enemy performance. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Kinect Hack Yields 'Minority Report' Interface
Very convincing video shows the potential of this 'toy' - somebody should whisper in Steve Ballmer's ear about this one. (re: Steven Spielberg)

Computer Recognizes Human Emotions From Conversation
What are the practical applications of a computer that can correctly infer emotions from speech? (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

IEM Pill Microchip Remote Monitoring Of Dosage
It sends data to a Bluetooth-enabled dermal patch. (re: William Gibson)

Ping Pong Robot Analyzes Own Game
Sure, you might be able to beat this prototype robot. For now. (re: Frederik Pohl)

Virtual Star Hatsune Miku In 3D Hologram Concert Video
Amazing HD video of this live concert presented by an idoru, a personality-construct famous in Japan. (re: William Gibson)

Gold Nanoparticles To Make Trees Into Street Lights?
What would a forest of luminous trees look like? (re: Jack Vance)

Marvin Minsky's Tentacle Arm Video
Even in 1968, it was time to 'Beware the 'long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'' (re: H.G. Wells)

Sponge Bath Robot (And Human Volunteer)
Helpful health care robots are starting to provide a wide variety of care. (re: Katsuhiro Otomo)

Boeing Sixth Gen Fighter Needs No Pilot
How can pilots survive the high-gee maneuvers of the 21st century? (re: Various)

Small Human Livers Grown In Lab
The shortage of livers for transplant may be a solvable problem. (re: Larry Niven)

Holographic Videoconferencing
Amazing display could be large enough to display a full-size live image of a person or even a car. (re: Edmond Hamilton)

EO To Asimo: Walking Robots Evolve 1986-2010 Videos
The history of ASIMO's walking evolution in videos. (re: Various)

Outlandish Disguise Fools Airline Security
I'm not sure if disguises are getting better or people are becoming more desperate. (re: Paul Verhoven)

Microwave Thermal Thruster With Beamed Propulsion
Yes, we're ready for thrusters. And what about those warp drives? (re: Gene Roddenberry)

E-Voting Simple And Verifiable
Does David Bismark have the best idea for a simple, verifiable and transparent means of electronic voting? (re: John Brunner)

TEMPO2 Uses Pulsars For Celestial GPS
Ah, the age of the space beacon is upon us at last! (re: George O. Smith)

Rice-Planting Robots Rescue Japanese Farmers
Rice-planting robots help out in the fields. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Robofish Quick As Startled Pike
Admire the quickness of this new robotic fish; it's eight times quicker than previous robofish. (re: Michael Swanwick)

Virtual Eternity Digital Clones By Intellitar
Prepare for eternity with the Intelligent Avatar Platform. Do it for your children. Do it soon, because you never know. (re: Various)

Print Out New Skin Directly Onto Your Body
In situ printing of brand new skin may eclipse some other technologies already under development. (re: Various)

Airbus Proposes Invisible Plane
Airbus has a great idea for a transparent fuselage - I wonder where they got that idea? (re: Various)

Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit
This elastic garment should reduce the effects of microgravity environments. (re: C.J. Cherryh)

Flexible Nanowire Data Storage
Interestingly, the creators of this material see it being used concealed in ordinary day-to-day devices. (re: Frank Herbert)

Q Sensor Wristband Detects Emotions
This device brings hope to those who care for autistic children. (re: Various)

Robots Mix, Flip Pancakes Made From Scratch
These bots can visit my kitchen anytime. (re: Anthony Boucher)

Gas Giant Exoplanet Can Has Moons?
Is it possible for a gas gian to form in a binary star system? And could that exoplanet have moons? (re: Various)

CamBall Smallest Personal Camcorder
Yes, but can you drop them from orbit? (re: Robert Silverberg)

Cubelets - Buy A Robot Swarm For $300
UPDATED with Terrahawks! Now here's a great toy from the future - and you can buy it in time for the holidays! (re: Philip K. Dick)

Hair Brush Reads Your Mind
A whole new kind of consumer brain scanning has been opened up today. (re: Philip K. Dick)

EARL Robot Bowler Perfect-300-Gamebot
Mano-a-roboto in bowling. (re: Various)

One-Way Human Mission To Mars
Plans to colonize other planets have stalled; maybe we should just go for it. (re: Various)

ACM-R4H Snake Robot Duct Inspector
It can slither and undulate and even raise its head like a cobra. (re: Various)

Babies Treat Robots Like Human Beings
If babies accept expressive robots as friends, would they accept robots as nannies? (re: Philip K. Dick)

Dancing HRP-4C Robot Uncanny Valley Girl
This robotic dancer is a real trouper; 'her' movements are artful and realistic. (re: Various)

Army Wrist Display Uses 4.3 Inch OLED
Field trials of this thin, lightweight and ruggedized communications device are underway. (re: Roger Zelazny)

Undersea Mining With Nautilus Minerals Seafloor Production System
Nautilus Minerals is developing the first seafloor gold and copper exploration and mining operation. (re: Jules Verne)

AutoNOMOS Robotic Taxi Called By iPad App
This modified VW Passat can be called and controlled with an iPad. (re: Philip K. Dick)

When Do I Get My Language Rectifier?
Two giant corporations, each with their own approach to the problem, each with vast resources. (re: Hugo Gernsback)

SBU Self Balancing Unicycle Perfected In V2.0
Revolutionary device now in its second iteration; comfortable, fast and environmentally responsible transportation is ready today. (re: Robert Heinlein)

MIT Glider Lands On a Perch Like A Bird
This little glider has an amazing biomimetic feature. (re: Roger Zelazny)

MovieReshape Like Bruce Sterling's Video-Manicuring
Impressive video shows what can be accomplished with image manipulation. (re: Bruce Sterling)

Berkeley Bionics eLEGS Exoskeleton
Exoskeletons will be available in US clinics early next year. (re: Fritz Leiber)

Google's Autonomous Robotic Car
Self-driving cars have put over 140,000 miles on the road. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Sony Internet TV Foreseen In 1946
'It looks like a vision-receiver used to, only it's got keys instead of dials and you punch the keys for what you wanna get.' (re: Murray Leinster)

Earth's Alien Life Forms In Avatar
Sometimes sf writers draw inspiration from the alien life forms present right here on our own planet. (re: James Cameron)

Stretchable Electronic Skin Input Device Video
Let your fingers do the walking - on your own skin. (re: John Varley)

Fujitsu Social Robot Bear Video
Soon, this little robot will be ready for grandma and grandpa - or the grand kids. (re: Harry Harrison)

NEC Billboard Minority Report-Style
John Anderton - I'm a billboard, and I can guess your gender, age and ethnicity while you walk by, and show you an appropriate ad. (re: Steven Spielberg)

NELL Computer Learns To Surf The Web For Facts
This computer spends more time on the Internet than you do. (re: Robert Heinlein)

eXistenZ iPhone Charger Cable
This umbilical cord-inspired iPhone charger may make you think about Halloween early this year. (re: Various)

Permanent Mechanical Heart A First For Children
Philip K. Dick talked about artificial mechanical organs almost sixty years ago. (re: Philip K. Dick)

MobilePay USA Credit Card App For Smartphones
Frederik Pohl called this one in 1965 - just one of the characteristics of his prescient joymaker concept. (re: Frederik Pohl)

DEMON UAV Has No Moving Flaps
Successful demonstration of 'flapless flight' in this unmanned aerial vehicle. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Habitable Planet Gliese 581g Is A 'Ribbon World'
Asimov described planets like this one as 'ribbon worlds' and extolled the virtues of their unusual microclimates. (re: Isaac Asimov)

XOS 2 Raytheon Gen 2 Exoskeleton For Ironman 2
Iron Man, your new suit awaits! (re: Fritz Leiber)

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