Science Fiction in the News:
Science and Technology News

'Smart Dust' Spacecraft Swarm Saves Earth?
Smart dust tells us when to duck. The only trick - getting them to one of the Lagrange points. (re: Various)

Fujitsu Teddy Bear Robot Prototype Spotted
It's lovable, it's cuddly, its - robotic. (re: Harry Harrison)

Marvel's iPad Battery-Powered Comic Book
SF fans, at least, are not surprised or unprepared by Marvel's new comic book app for the iPad. (re: Philip K. Dick)

MIT 3D One-Leg Hopper Robot Circa 1983
One legged hopper robots in fact and fiction; yes, you can ride them! Now with a better sf reference. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Dark Cloud: The Future Of (Anti-)Social Networking
In which two books, read at the same time, coincidentally make each other more interesting. (re: Barnes/Lanier)

PaPeRo Robot Cashier's Helper
PaPeRo, that lovable little robot, follows in the fictional footsteps of Artoo-Detoo. (re: George Lucas)

The Cygnus Bubble And Astroengineering
Enjoyable space image helps sf fans stretch their imaginations a bit. (re: Larry Niven)

PR2 Laundry-Folding Robot
Very practical robot develops very practical skills. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Ballbot Robots Balance On Balls
Here's a ballbot roundup for you; balancing on balls could get to be a habit with robots. (re: Various)

pCubee 3D Display Skips iPad For iCube
Pretty neat hack lets you hold three dimensions in the palm of your hand. Is this the next generation iPad? (re: Robert Heinlein)

Gigapixel Display Like Blade Runner Photo Analysis
When Harrison Ford did this, he had it attached to a cheap TV. The real-life version of today is somewhat larger. (re: Ridley Scott)

Kebab Robot Hyperslicer
This robot carves flesh with the best of them. (re: Various)

Text 2.0 Smart Text
Are you reading it, or is it reading you? (re: Neal Stephenson)

Sand Pirates In Indonesia
Slowly, the natural features of our solar system disappear, thanks to the Better Building Conglomerates. (re: Alfred Bester)

Armed Robots Bad Idea
Many, but not all, sf writers agree that armed robots are a bad idea. Can you think of exceptions? (re: Philip K. Dick)

Robot Journalist Provides Autonomic News Coverage
Philip K. Dick, your autonomic interviewer is just about ready. (re: Philip K. Dick)

HLYWD Migratory Anagram
Unusual art project suggests that the HOLLYWOOD sign letters should be allowed to roam at will. (re: Alan Nelson)

Human Vein Bioprinted In 3D
Organic artificial organs, printed by request, from ready-mix prepared from your own cells, avoiding that annoying need for lifelong anti-rejection drug cocktails. Excellent. (re: Larry Niven)

MeBot Gesturing Robot Videos
MeBot is a fascinating experiment in telepresence robotics. I found an additional video, as well as lots of supportive research on the premise that gesturing robots communicate well with humans. (re: Various)

Judges Who Google: The Tip Of The Iceberg?
Just how connected should judges be? And when justice delayed is justice denied, how fast are human judges anyway? (re: Harry Harrison)

Chinese Netizens Demand Info To Achieve Doublethink
It should be obvious that you can't be expected to censor yourself unless you have access to information to which you shouldn't have access. (re: George Orwell)

Robotic Underground Munitions
I think that if you want to destroy enemies in bunkers, you go with claws or robotic earthworms, courtesy of Philip K. Dick and Harry Harrison. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Repo Men, Artiforgs And Health Care
I just wanted to make sure everyone knew where all this was coming from. And one other thing. (re: Various)

Scanner Could Let You 'Rip' Books
If this device could be commercialized, you could 'rip' a book like you can rip a CD, digitizing its contents for easy storage on your computer. (re: Vernor Vinge)

Teen's Solar System Travel Software Wins Intel Prize
This Albuquerque teen won the highest award for software to help NASA navigate the solar system. (re: Edmond Hamilton)

Smart Video Cams - DARPA's Mind's Eye
It would be cool to have a sort of video camera robot that could make its own surveillance videos for you. Well, it's been done in sf and done in real life. (re: Karen Traviss)

Robocopter Listens And Obeys
Excellent video shows a small robotic copter obeying your every command. (re: Philip E. High)

Little Robotic Fish Has Solid-Polymer Fuel Cell
Surprisingly small, this little robot uses a unique power source and design. (re: Michael Swanwick)

iCub Robot Now Even More Childlike
This humanoid robot just got an upgrade, and is more childlike than ever. (re: Brian Aldiss)

X-37B/OTV Unmanned Spacecraft
This unmanned military spacecraft is scheduled for launch on April 19th; it will enter orbit, function for up to 270 days and then land on Earth autonomously. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

FCC Wants Nationwide Wireless Public Safety Network
The FCC has proposed significant funding for a wireless network for use by police and emergency workers; they might want to read Halting Space to see how to use it. (re: Charles Stross)

Farmigo For Nascent Darknet Farms
How far away from sfnal darknet farms are we? Farmigo is building up the infrastructure. (re: Daniel Suarez)

iPad With VoiceOver Reads Aloud
It's been an important part of e-readers for almost sixty years. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

'Wheelie' Robotic Server
This small robot is like a portable serving table. (re: Stephen Barr)

Cauliflower-Picking Robot
Autonomous vegetable picking machines creeping through fields near you. (re: )

Buy Martin Jetpack This Fall
Ah, how long we've been waiting for a usable jetpack. Remember those sf ideas of yesteryear? (re: John W. Campbell)

Robosoft Kompai Robot Assistant For Elderly
Sounds like one of Philip K. Dick's robants. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Robots May Repair Pipes From Inside
Six billion gallons of drinkable water are wasted every day. But robots can help. (re: Various)

ASUS Windows Phone 3D Games
I'm not sure why I'd want a phone with a 3D display, but I'll reserve judgement until I can see one. (re: George Lucas)

GåågleBot Vacuums, Indexes Your Stuff
It's like google street view for your house! (re: Various)

Multi-Page E-Book Tablet Roundup
Did you know that Microsft's innovative design for an ebook was introduced six years ago by Toshiba? Even earlier by Neal Stephenson. (re: Neal Stephenson)

No Cussing Week Morality Statute
No Cussing Week is just the start. (re: Various)

A Timeline of Science Fiction Inventions: Weapons, Warfare and Security
Lots of people wondered if there was a place where you could get more information about these sf inventions and ideas. (re: Various)

Robot Babies M3-neony And M3-synchy
These baby robots have been designed to help human beings understand their own process of development. (re: Brian Aldiss)

Anubis Tactical MAV For Time-Sensitive Fleeting Targets
It's incredible how close this science-fictional scenario is to playing out in real life. (re: Philip E. High)

Robot Sorts Plastic Recyclables With Laser
This robot uses laser light to distinguish between plastics because human recyclers cannot. (re: Harry Harrison)

Paparazzi Bots Get The Picture
This news-gathering robot has the tools for persistent robotic reporting. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Skinput Uses Your Skin As An Input Device
Nifty input technology takes advantage of your biggest organ to provide you with easy input. (re: John Varley)

MeBot Robot Avatar Telepresence
Interesting telepresence robot from MIT specializes in non-verbal communication. (re: Niven and Pournelle)

Quadrotor UAV Makes First Arrest In UK
Looks like a UAV has assisted in its first arrest in the UK. (re: Michael Crichton)

Twitter 360 Augmented Reality
It's funny, but I just read about this in Daniel Suarez' new novel. (re: Daniel Suarez)

Targeted Audio Ads On Your Cell Phone
Your cell phone is a radio, after all. (re: J.G. Ballard)

NASA Project M Robot Avatar On Moon
Would it be possible to wake up on the Moon, Avatar-style? Interesting proposal to put telepresence robots on the Moon. (re: Pournelle and Niven)

Ocean Bacteria Bond Avatar-Style With Electrical Symbiosis
Research suggests that ocean bacteria are able to use 'microbial nanowires' to communicate with each other, in a manner similar to that of the creatures of Avatar. (re: James Cameron)

Earthquake Machine Simulator Video
Is research at UC Davis more precise than research done at MGM studios over thirty-five years ago? You be the judge. (re: Various)

Korean Robot Teaching Assistants
Ready or not, Korea is rolling out robot help in the classroom. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Flyfire Micro-Helicopter Display
Tiny UAVs fly in formation like fireflies, 'self-stabilizing and precise controlling technology' makes a 'spatially animated viewing experience' possible. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Bloom Box Brick Powers Your Home
This Silicon Valley start-up wants to power your house and thereby take you off the grid. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Augmented Reality Tattoo Flaps Wings
Well, if you can't implement it in hardware, maybe you can make it work in software. (re: Samuel R. Delany)

Can Brains Erase Memories?
Do human beings have the capacity to actively erase memories, rather than simply letting them dim over time? (re: Philip K. Dick)

Make Way For The Padloids
Sure, we've been shown the high-concept version of news on a tablet computer. But what about bringing the real news stand into the digital age? (re: John Varley)

Warp Speed Kills
What actually happens when a spacecraft starts to approach the speed of light in interstellar space? Read one scientist's take on the subject. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

School Surveillance Via Student Laptop Webcams
Cory Doctorow alerted us to this possibility - and provides the solution. (re: Cory Doctorow)

Tweeting Tree Like Blish's Message Tree
I've heard of whispering pines, but twittering trees? Sony Ericsson does it again. (re: James Blish)

Robust Automatic Translation Of Speech DARPA's Universal Translator
I am fluent in six million forms of communication. I am a small yellow fish. I also work for DARPA. What am I? (re: Hugo Gernsback)

Augmented (Hyper)Reality Video
What will our augmented reality future actually look like? I think that Keiichi Matsuda has presented an interesting view in this short video. (re: Various)

Nokia Feel Emotional Recommendation Engine
Is Nokia really this far behind Apple in the cellphone business? (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

BeBionic Robotic Hand With Powered Wrist
This remarkable prosthetic also has advanced silicone skin which will be available in 19 colors and custom fitted nails. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Plasma Gas Hand Sanitizer
Doctors and nurses can save a lot of time, assure a clean environment and avoid badly chapped hands with this amazing invention. (re: Various)

Terabyte Flash Drive In 2012
Postage-stamp drive also has a fast transfer speed. (re: Dan Simmons)

Laser Fusion Test Successful
Successful test at National Ignition Facility shows that laser-plasma interactions may not be a problem in the pursuit of thermonuclear fusion. (re: Robert A. Metzger)

Space Was A Battlefield
Battlestar Galactica publicity shot proves US was ready to go ahead with the Strategic Defense Initiative. (re: Various)

Airborne Laser Destroys Missile
Ray gun fans, rejoice! A successful test of the Airborne Laser Testbed has been accomplished. (re: H.G. Wells)

Laser-Based Mosquito Killer Demonstrated
First public demonstration of a 'bee-zapper' ala David Brin at TED conference. (re: David Brin)

Mycotectural Buildings Made Of Fungus
Fungus bricks - the building material of the future? It can also be used as packing material to replace non-biodegradeable styrofoam. (re: Jack Vance)

Police iDrone UAVs With Tasers
The idea of a small flying surveillance vehicle that does more than just watch has been around for quite a while. (re: Larry Niven)

Google Translator Phone Is Ralph 124c 41 + Approved
Although the technology could take many years to perfect, Hugo Gernsback's 1911 dream of talking in English to French girls may yet come true. (re: Hugo Gernsback)

Dancing DIY Hexapod Robot Video
Take a look at this learning robot and enjoy the soundtrack on the video, which sets a new standard for robotic presentation. (re: Michael Crichton)

CubeSats Miniature Satellites With Mini-Thrusters
Fascinating tiny satellites maneuver with thrusters on a single chip. (re: George Lucas)

Wearable Telecommunicator T1 Robot
Not your average telepresence robot, this one requires that your friend carry you along. (re: Various)

Put MercuryHouseOne Anywhere
This retro-futuristic mobile pod lounge can be placed anywhere for off-the-grid comfort. (re: Clifford Simak)

Computational Wood: Grow Circuits In Living Trees
Is computational wood possible? The harvesting of circuits? Or even Avatar-style living memory? (re: Dan Simmons)

SIRI Virtual Assistant Like Pohl's Joymaker
If this iPhone app actually does what it says on the tin, this really is Frederik Pohl's joymaker come to life. (re: Frederik Pohl)

Liquid Glass Universal Spray-On Protectant
This unique spray-on coating creates a flexible protective barrier that can be used on almost anything. (re: Clifford Simak)

WIND Wearable Robot Controller
Robot wirelessly sense, robot do. Kind of like a full-torso waldo. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Gesture Cube Touch-Free Input
Just think of the gestures you'll use with this lovely cube that you can take with you throughout your domicile. (re: Douglas Adams)

IMPASS Robot 'Smart Wheel' Video
They're making great progress with Neal Stephenson's 'smart wheels' - take a look at the video. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Predator, Prey Robots Evolve
Just how much help should human beings give to robots as they evolve toward greater functionality? (re: Various)

Mind-Control Lights At Vancouver Olympics
This doesn't quite bring The Game (from ST:TNG) to the Olympic Games, but close. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

PALRO Companion Robot
Who's your favorite companion robot? Little PALRO might fit the bill. (re: Douglas Adams)

Wasabi Smoke Alarm Now Available
Oh, this will get you out of bed all right. (re: Frank Herbert)

First Transistor That Mimics Brain Synapse
The only way to get human-style computer brains is to get the components right. This is the first transistor that really mimics brain connections. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Legged Squad Support System Monster BigDog Robot
This robotic pack mule for soldiers will carry 400 pounds of gear while exhibiting frisky gaits as trotting, running and even bounding. (re: Anthony Boucher)

Spyder Olympic GS Suit With d3o
Skiers at the Vancouver Olympics will use the latest in 'impact suits' made with d3o. (re: David Gerrold (w. L Niven))

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! (re: Frank Herbert)

Bose Ride System Smooths Your Ride
Yes, you'll ride the spaceways - uh, roads - in much greater comfort with a highly technological seat. (re: John W. Campbell)

Steam Infrastructure-Powered Music
What happens when city steam infrastructure is dedicated to the production of music? (re: Allan Dean Foster)

Sound Reactive Nightgown
An unusual demonstration piece, this garment is very sensitive to noise. (re: JG Ballard)

Finding A Habitable Planet
The perfect book for those of us who would like to go 'looking for our own piece of real estate.' As RAH once said. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Does PETA Dream Of Electric Groundhogs?
SF fans have a tender spot in their hearts for robotic animals; as it turns out, PETA's wish has already come true. (re: Philip K. Dick)

iPad Newspad Calculator Pad Trek Pad - And More
Clarke versus Asimov, readers; who foresaw the iPad? (re: Various)

Panopticlick Browser Ident-Key You Didn't Know You Had
If your device fingerprint is unique, every web page you access can be tracked. Which sf author saw this problem coming almost fifty years ago? (re: Philip K. Dick)

NASA's Reconfigurable Space Suit
110 years after the basic idea is described, NASA is still working out the design. Now, they're reconfigurable and plug-n-play. (re: Garrett P. Serviss)

Emperor Gaming Station Like Sith Speeder
I can't help but think that this elegant device had an inspiration that came from the Dark Side. (re: George Lucas)

Slime Mold Network Engineering
It turns out that the yellow slime mold Physarum polycephalum is a very clever little engineer. Greg Bear, are you listening? (re: Greg Bear)

Chavez: US 'Tectonic Weapon' Caused Haiti Quake
Just how much sci-fi has this guy been reading? (re: Various)

Herti Drones To Surveil UK Civilians
Autonomous drones designed for military operations in Afganistan come home to keep close tabs on you and me. (re: Greg Bear)

WeCU Mind-Reading Scanners For Airports
Which does more of a number on your privacy - a full body scanner that leaves nothing to the imagination, or a mind-reading machine? (re: Various)

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy For Iraq Vets
Extensive study now being done on the uses of virtual reality in combatting PTSD in returning veterans. (re: Roger Zelazny)

'Space Diver' To Leap From 121K Feet
120,000 feet is not quite as high as sf movies depict, but when done in reality, will be quite high enough. (re: E.E. 'Doc' Smith)

'HPEMS' Means 'STOP' In Cop Speak
It induces strong disabling currents in vehicle ignition and control systems. (re: Various)

App Turns iPhone Into Autodoc (Almost)
It doesn't treat your injuries (yet), but the Pocket First Aid & CPR app provided enough information and assistance to save the life of a man trapped by the earthquake in Haiti. (re: Larry Niven)

Security Robots Mujiro And Ligurio
These bots from the recent past have retractable 'capes' that conceal their helpful robotic arms. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Kava 'Anti-Energy' Drinks
Tired of those frenetic energy drink ads? Why not relax? (re: Neal Stephenson)

James Cameron's Avatar Synthespians
Updated with comment by Jeff Kleiser and a video. Is the world ready for artificial actors? James Cameron's technology in Avatar may make this long-delayed idea a reality. (re: William Gibson)

Petri Dish Pork Lookin' Purty Good
Ah, just cast your eyes upon this tasty photomicrograph of pork-in-a-dish. (re: H. Beam Piper)

Hexapod Robot Has Neural Net Gait Selection
Like the Gambler, this robot knows when to walk away and knows when to run. (re: Various)

Mahru-Z Robot Maid
Roomba is great, but it won't pick up after me. This robot can do it! (re: Robert Heinlein)

DiGORO Robot Learns By Watching Humans
Now that robots can learn by watching people, what will you teach robots to do? With video. (re: Stephen Barr)

Quicklauncher Space Cannon
Nifty idea requires $500 million funding, a drop in the bucket compared to current cost to orbit. With excellent presentation video by John Hunter. (re: Jules Verne)

LG Display Flexible Newspaper-Sized E-Paper
Very impressive prototype display makes a fictional technology a reality. (re: Stephen Spielberg)

HDTV Videophone From LG And Panasonic
I'm not sure whether marketing departments have asked whether people really want to be seen in high definition on their videophone. (re: E.M. Forster)

HAMLeT Hazardous Material Localization And Person Tracking
This system can actually track the movement of a person carrying a banned material; can you name the movie that used a similar system? (re: Jim Thomas)

Smart Second Skin Dress Interacts With Wearer
Why be satisfied with that 'inert-wear' that you usually put on in the morning? Why shouldn't you have clothing that interacts with you? (re: J.G. Ballard)

Subway Outlet Will Climb To 105th Floor
You're building the 105th floor of a building, and you're looking for some lunch. Oh - there's a Subway! (re: Various)

Sea Slug Performs Photosynthesis
This amazing little slug can convert sunlight into energy all on its own. (re: John Scalzi)

AirMule - A Star Wars Landspeeder By Urban Aeronautics
An interesting vehicle with multiple uses - one day, it might be just the thing for speeding around on desert planets. (re: George Lucas)

Waveface Flexible OLED Tablets
These design prototypes deliver sfnal quality displays in a variety of forms. (re: E.C. Tubb)

ENON Upgraded To Sales Robot
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling...' Philip K. Dick, 1954. With video. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Vitalsens Continuous Medical Monitoring
Why shouldn't your doctor be able to check up on you between office visits - if you want him or her to be able to do so? (re: Gene Roddenberry)

DEXI Scanner Looks Inside Air Travelers
How far will we go in searching air travelers? (re: Frank Herbert)

Roxxxy Sex Robot From TrueCompanion
This robot is guaranteed to converse with you on your wavelength - just like the 'manufactured wife' imagined more than 100 years ago. (re: Alice W. Fuller)

Nexus One Not Ballardian Free Ad Phone
J.G. Ballard gave us a very good idea what this would be like in 1963. (re: J.G. Ballard)

Nozzl Real-Time Local News
Interesting experiment in real-time, localized automated news. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Viruses Inserted 8% Of Human Genome
Just how human are we? Fascinating study gives you something to enter into your calculations. (re: Various)

Samsung Transparent OLED Laptop
Very cool demonstration video; I'm still trying to figure out what I would do with a transparent screen laptop. Other than make sure I kept the keyboard clean. (re: H.G. Wells)

Parrott AR.Drone Quadricopter Video
Gamers and surveillance dweebs alike will exclaim 'There's an app for that!' (re: Ray Cummings)

Muscle-Computer Interface Video
Excellent short video illustrates muscle-computer interfaces, as seen in sf (thanks, readers!). (re: Harry Harrison)

Cybercrimes Of The Decade
Cybercrime is larger and more varied, what will the next decade bring? (re: John Brunner)

iRobot's Five Million Home Robots
If you've been looking for a nice round number to express the penetration of robots into the consumer market, this is a nice round number. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Burj Khalifa Tallest Building At 828 Meters
And do you know the three measures for height accepted by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat? Burj Khalifa is the tallest by all three. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Fingertip Tracking Interface For Mobile Phones
Will the multi-touch give way to the multi-gesture? Watch the video and judge for yourself. (re: Douglas Adams)

Skiff Reader Solves Apple Tablet Problems
You might like this one better if you're just interested in reading. (re: Vernor Vinge)

Man Wisely Surrenders To Robot
SF film goers are, of course, familiar with instances in which people have failed to appropriately surrender to robots. (re: Various)

KINGK N99 Phone Has Round Display
I can't resist this retrofuturistic phone, with its classic fin de siecle (that's end of the nineteenth century) round screen. (re: H.G. Wells)

Epoc Headset Brainwave Controller
Who could have predicted that EEG would become a popular consumer device. Philip K. Dick - who else? (re: Philip K. Dick)

Roboxotica Festival For Cocktail-Robotics
A conference and exposition to showcase unusual DIY robotic bartenders. What a concept. (re: Alfred Bester)

The Miraculous Stigmatabot Robot Bartender
Penitents are invited to place their grail below the Stigmatabot's wound spigot, which should give you some insight into this mad creation. (re: Anthony Boucher)

Electric Jet Planes With Superconducting Generators
A recent study blames 15-20% of arctic melting on high altitude emissions from jet planes. Could electric jet planes work? (re: John W. Campbell)

Samurai CCTV System Targets Suspicious People
And you used to be concerned about human beings watching you on CCTVs, looking for suspicious behavior. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

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