Science Fiction in the News:
Science and Technology News

Software Helps Computers Find Attractive Women
This software application can tell what beauty looks like - in women, anyway. Men are described as 'too difficult' by researchers. (re: Various)

Multi-Touch Illuminate Table
The GestureTek device beats the MS Surface in at least one important respect; ordinary consumers can buy one now. (re: Various)

Ion-Etched Human Hair Shows Branding Possibilities
Interesting idea, I'm sure I've seen something like this before. (re: Ridley Scott)

High Technology In Vintage Ad Style
Here's an idea - what would it look like if you tried to sell cellphones and Segways at the end of the 19th century? (re: Various)

MIT Nexi Robot Expresses Emotions
This robot is quite expressive, but I can think of several others, and one of them is a girl. Robot. Android. (re: Various)

CV08 Suburb-Eating Robot Concept
This is an interesting concept, but America will need something much bigger. Thankfully, Philip Reeve has already given us a full description. (re: Philip Reeve)

Sensisphere Multitouch Hemisphere Display
The Sensisphere is a design concept prototype that may be less practical than MS Surface, but it's still cool. (re: Various)

Six-Legged Robot Lunar Bases Change Everything
This is a huge shift for NASA; from a fixed moon base exploration strategy, to imagining astronauts as nomadic explorers, taking their habitat with them. (re: Various)

CardioArm - Snakelike Surgical Robot
The body of this robot will follow exactly the movement of its head through the body. (re: Emmett McDowell)

Graphene Reveals Fine Structure Constant
This amazing nanofabric is just one atom thick; physicists looking through this material can see one of the most mysterious fundamental constants known to science. (re: Roger Zelazny)

WiiMote Control Packbot
The Packbot is the latest in Wiimote-controlled devices. (re: Various)

AND The Kitchen Sync
Interesting idea for a different kind of appliance in your kitchen - a more usable cookbook. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Holon Fembot From Real Drive Anime
Meet Holon, the latest in fembot technology from your friends at Kokoro. She's a character from a new anime from the Ghost in the Shell people. (re: Masamune Shirow)

Jules Verne ATV Docks Autonomously On First Try
The remarkable autonomous space freighter from the ESA did it right on the first try. (re: Robert H. Wilson)

Inferno Sonic Barrier Is A Sonabarrier
The Inferno device is intended to create a barrier impassable by human beings. (re: Frank Herbert)

Microbead-Based Bacteriophages Kill Superbugs Alien-Style
Researchers have found a way to make bacteria like MRSA, who laugh at antibiotics, fear us. (re: Various)

ReWalk Medical Powered Exoskeleton
The ReWalk device is slim enough that you can even fit it under your clothes, which you can't say about some of those other exoskeletons. (re: John W. Campbell)

Treepee Crude By Iszic Standards
Your chances for elegant living in trees are better, now, with the introduction of the Treepee. (re: Jack Vance)

Acoustic Bazooka Concept
Can the Acoustic Bazooka exist? What would it be good for? (re: Various)

BigBelly Solar Compactor Vs. WALL-E Robot
Pixar has long delayed the release of WALL-E, the story of an autonomous compactor; they'd better hurry up. (re: Pixar)

Zoltan's Fembot Wife
Zoltan says that he is not very good with relationships; that's why he built himself a girlfriend that he could get along with. (re: Fritz Leiber)

JewelEye Extraocular Implant Video
Would you get this piercing done? Not me. (re: Various)

Can Men Really Get Pregnant?
You'll have to be the judge; sf fans are as qualified as anyone to imagine the possibilities. (re: Barry Longyear)

Hackers Induce Epileptic Seizure Like 'Press Enter'
John Varley suggested this idea a quarter-century ago. I can't believe that people would actually try this. (re: John Varley)

HeartLander Robotic Device Crawls Onto Your Heart
Nothing to worry about, just a friendly little robotic device crawling along the epicardial surface of your heart... (re: )

T-Sketch The Whiteboard T-Shirt
Oh, sure, I've seen this before. You remember those bell-shaped aliens from another universe in that 1931 story, right? Okay, maybe not. But I do. (re: Schachner/Zagat)

Degu Rodents Now Use Tools Like Little Fuzzy
Diligent scientists continue in their efforts to bring civilization to the lower orders; I've added two great examples. (re: H. Beam Piper)

Super-Suit Fabric Now Available In T-Shirt
Super-fabrics are good; when they come in t-shirt form, even better. (re: Various)

Sewer Gas-Based Suspended Animation
Researchers are once again putting mice at the forefront of science-fictional-medicine-made-real. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

MindMentor Computer-Based Psychotherapy
Does the Eliza computer therapy method actually work? Two Dutch psychiatrists think so. (re: James Blish)

Sajjdah 1426 LED Prayer Rug Has Mecca-Glow
This prayer rug always knows how to orient itself. (re: Frank Herbert)

MegaLondoner Arcology Fantasized
London is going to need something spectacular, if there really are a million more people planning to live there in the next eight years. (re: Pournelle and Niven)

Tmsuk Robot Babysitter Knows Your Kid
Tmsuk's new mechanical babysitter is starting to catch up with those sfnal robot nannies. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Metal Prices High Enough For Robot Sacrifice
When will we program robots to recycle themselves? (re: Various)

Emotiv Headset Mental Gaming Is All In Your Head
Not really a spectator sport, mindgaming may come into its own this year with the introduction of a new headset from Emotiv. Almost as cool as those Krell headsets. (re: )

Small Robot Surveillance Balloons Like Niven's Copseye
I think that Niven's idea is close enough to be cited as prior art for this patent. I can just see troops carrying a bunch of what looks like party balloons... (re: Larry Niven)

InVitroMeat Foundation
Nothing like meat fresh from the vat - this foundation is organizing to make it a reality. (re: H. Beam Piper)

Aptera Electric Vehicle So Cool It's On Star Trek
Just the kind of flivver James Tiberius Kirk would need to be BMOSAC - big man on Starfleet Academy campus. (re: John Jacob Astor)

Gesture Recognition TV Watches You
Would you want a set top box with a camera in it watching you watch television? (re: George Orwell)

NovaDreamer Dream Induction
This little kit can provide you with some measure of control over your own dreaming sensorium - the ultimate virtual reality device. (re: Peter Watts)

DIY Robotic Suicide Booth Used In Australia
An Australian man facing life in assisted living chooses to build a suicide robot instead. (re: Various)

Anatomy Tattoos: Showing The Inside On The Outside
Now this is really a case of thinking ahead - having anatomical details tattooed in advance. (re: Various)

Implantable Prosthetic For The Blind
Interesting follow-up to the story about an implantable optic prosthesis to help the estimated 45 million people in the world without sight. (re: Roger Zelazny)

Virtusphere Videos
This ultimate gaming environment has been installed in a number of places; good videos are now available. (re: )

Cyber-Crime Cops Get Organized
Cyber-cops are getting organized; the cyber-criminals already have mature crime-kit markets. (re: Various)

Arthur C. Clarke v1.0 Dead At 90
Arthur C. Clarke will be missed; I've put together his 90th birthday video along with about thirty of his ideas and inventions. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Finca Bellavista Treehouse Village Endor-Style
So, you've been looking for the perfect place to fulfill your dream of living like an Ewok? Got it right here. (re: George Lucas)

COM-BAT Robotic 'Bat' On Order From UM
This intriguing development popped up right in my own backyard; UM researchers will attempt feats of micro-miniaturization to make this work. (re: Roger Zelazny)

NET-2000 Shooting Net Rod Nails Perps Spidey-Style
What device catches thieves just like flies? Look out, it's the NET-2000 Shooting Net Rod. Unlike other sites, I provide two videos, one for picture, one for the correct sound. (re: Stan Lee/Steve Ditko)

Wasabi-Based Odor Alarm
What would be a good name for an odor alarm? Perhaps an ... odalarm. (re: Frank Herbert)

BigDog Robass More Coordinated Than I Am
I was startled to observe this level of progress in the creation of quadrupedal robots. (re: Anthony Boucher)

Wheat-Killing Fungus Destroys Entire Fields
This fungus that has destroyed entire wheat fields on two continents will hopefully not lead to the death of all grasses. (re: John Christopher)

SYMBRION - Symbiotic Evolutionary Robot Organisms
Interesting European project on the possibility that small, simple robots could evolve their own adaptive software strategies. Stanislaw Lem described this in detail fifty years ago. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

Modu Cell Phone Module Adds Connectivity To Everything
The remarkable Modu is a transformational cell phone concept; use it to add connectivity to practically anything - with the right sleeve. (re: Various)

RobuCAB Robotic Taxi
RobuCAB looks kind of cute, and it doesn't need space for a driver. What writer could think of a good personality for a robot cab driver? (re: Philip K. Dick)

Audeo Neckband Voiceless Phone Calls
The new neckband allows you to 'think' and speak. This will really mess up the 'Can you hear me now?' cell phone pitch; you'll just watch the guy sitting there. (re: David Brin)

'Tunnel Of Truth' Total Recall-Style
Interesting concept seems to reveal that the Transportation Security Laboratory Director is a sf movie fan. (re: Paul Verhoeven)

Chassis The Drink Dispensing Robot
Ah, a homebrew bartender capable of dispensing your favorite, uh, brew. (re: Mike Resnick)

Forget The Wookie - Two Robots Play Board Game
What's a robot to do when tired of hirsute aliens making threats while playing board games? (re: George Lucas)

Duroquinone Molecule Nano-Brain
Absurdly small computer can outperform the typical transistor. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Steampunk Crab Fort Art
Really terrific art concept for a Victorian nightmare. (re: Various)

New Porter Robot - Matsushita Mechanorg
Very nifty autoporter robot can find its way around in airports - and follows you where ever you go. (re: John Brunner)

Should Website Advertisers Know Your Name?
John Anderton! Your future ads are ready for you now, John Anderton. We do all this for you, John Anderton! (re: Steven Spielberg)

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. (re: Frank Herbert)

Sociable Garbabge Can Robot
This little trash can robot prototype may remind you of an upcoming Pixar film - or a Bruce Sterling novel from twenty years ago. (re: Bruce Sterling)

'Jules Verne' ATV Launch Video
Very nice work by the ESA on the Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle - can you think of an earlier fictional reference to a vehicle capable of automated space docking? (re: Gene Roddenberry)

iRex Iliad E-Book Reader AND Writer
For an alternative to the Amazon Kindle, consider the iLiad device from iRex. No mere reader, it also lets you write all over your ebooks. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

e-Menu Interactive Restaurant Menu
This is a very nicely done implementation of a great idea - you'll think of this one the next time you're wondering 'where is my waiter?' (re: Edgar Rice Burroughs)

Iron Man Dreaming of Biological Fabrication of Circuits
I've always admired the diatoms - they are truly our friends. But now, they might even be able to help us make smaller circuits. (re: Unknown)

Solar Leaves - Electrochemical and Biological
There are TWO uses for artificial solar leaves - do you know what they are? Also, not all artificial solar leaves are electrochemical. (re: Thomas Easton)

Codename 'Reynard' - Hunt Terrorists In Virtual Worlds
Terrorists are expanding their efforts on the 'net; al Qaeda alone has at least 5,600 websites online. (re: John Brunner)

Microsoft Surface Sphere: Multi-Touch Crystal Ball
And who do we know who would possibly be interested in something as far-fetched as a spherical computer display? (re: Frank Baum)

Top Ten Star Trek Techs Made Real
The top ten science-fictional technologies from classic Star Trek? Sounds like something I might have done. (Actually, I did.) (re: Gene Roddenberry)

NASA's Chariot Is Not Your Father's Moon Rover
NASA has a prototype of their new moon rover; take a look at the video, and consider what Clarke and Heinlein described for lunar travel. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Smart Paint: Electronic Power System Surfaces
Ah, remember those days when the label on a plastic bottle or similar surface was static? Soon, companies will be able to change it even after you buy the product. (re: Steven Spielberg)

DARPA Vulture Five Year Flying Wing
DARPA sets yet another ambitious goal; I don't understand why nobody remembers the amazing prototype aircraft that reached 100,000 feet on solar power alone a few years ago. (re: E.E. 'Doc' Smith)

Smart Goggles Identify, Remember What You See
Interesting prototype system cuts across a variety of science-fictional ideas, among them, an AI that has people working for it - identifying common objects. (re: Amitav Ghosh)

Zimmer Frame-based Nursing Home Positioning System
Nifty invention provides navigational support for people with short term memory problems. (re: Various)

ReadyBot Robot Ready To Clean Your Kitchen
This little robot is made from common components to do a common job - clean up the kitchen. (re: Various)

Mars Phoenix Lander On Wide World Of Mars
This is an amazing use of resources - who knew we had so many resources on Mars? (re: George O. Smith)

WCCTV 3G Covert Backpack - A Surveillance Vest
This little item could be used for surveillance, yes, but also sousveillance. And it has a built-in panic button. (re: David Brin)

Rain-Making Bacteria May Affect Climate
If we knew more about how rain forms, we might be able to have some control over rainfall. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Hospital Bed Of The Future From The EU
Futuristic hospital beds are not yet being designed according to specs - specs provided by Heinlein, Pohl and Otomo. (re: Frederik Pohl)

iPhones For Freshmen At ACU
This video shows some near-future applications for iPhones that will be used by freshmen at ACU this fall. (re: Frederik Pohl)

Autonomous Robot Weapons For Terrorists?
This may sound a bit far-fetched, but insurgents have always been adaptive. (re: William Gibson)

Tactical Ground Reporting System - TIGR By The Tail
Charles Stross writes about this idea very convincingly, and with lots of good applications, in his most recent novel. (re: Charles Stross)

Nokia Morph Cell Phone Concept
The funny thing about this advanced concept is that parts of it are already available from other cell phone makers. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Ribbit Amphibian Cellphone Internet Mashup
Ribbit is an interesting cell phone start-up from those people in Silicon Valley. Why did it take so long for them to start a phone company? (re: Frederik Pohl)

LENA: Baby's Verbal LifeLog
Do we really want our children tagged, recorded and analyzed like dolphins and bears? Apparently, yes. (re: Various)

Transparent Mobile Search - Just Frame The Question
Fascinating interface design presents an interesting solution to the problem of stating (framing) your search query. (re: Charles Stross)

Adobe Light-Field Lens Video - Blade Runner Cluster
The Adobe superlens cluster seems pretty close to what Deckard used in Blade Runner to find amazing details in a photograph. (re: Ridley Scott)

Tattoo Display Fueled By Blood
Ever misplaced your cell phone, or forgotten to charge it? If this concept becomes reality, your problems are solved. (re: John Varley)

Honeywell Micro Air Vehicle Tested By Miami Police
Tested extensively in Iraq, the Honeywell MAV is on its way to your neighborhood as part of police surveillance. (re: Michael Crichton)

MIT Biorubber-Based Band-Aid Geckohesive
I was just joking around last week, but researchers are way ahead of the rest of us in their use of nanopatterning. (re: Various)

Momenta PC Lifelog For Most Exciting Moments
This interesting concept has a neat twist on the lifelog idea. (re: Charles Stross)

Electronic Taster Has A Nose For Coffee
There are more than 1,000 different volatile chemicals that create the taste and aroma of coffee. Can a machine equal human judgement? (re: Ray Bradbury)

Shuttle Atlantis Landing Video, As Per Heinlein
I know, this story has been covered all over, but did you know that Robert Heinlein was an early visionary on the idea of a space shuttle? (re: Robert Heinlein)

MoonLITE 'Mole' Penetrators For Lunar Exploration
Intriguing proposed mission between cooperating space agencies would deliver penetrating mole-like instrument packages into the lunar crust. (re: EC Tubb)

Sleep Waking Robot: Your Dreams Via Interpretive Dance
A person's sleep data are presented (or interpreted) by a robot. I was tempted to call it 'Humans Learn Nothing From Forbidden Planet.' (re: Various)

BIOTACT Whiskered Robot Rat
Nature may have figured out the best way of sensing the immediate environment in poorly-lit, cluttered places. (re: Ray Bradbury)

MDI OneCat AirCar Breezes Toward Consumers
The AirCar concept still seems to be sound; the Tatas don't put their money in products that don't work. (re: Various)

Self-Cleaning Wool And Silk Fabrics
Self-cleaning clothing would be great; it would be particularly good for clothes that ordinarily must be dry-cleaned, like wool and silk. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Radio Telescopes On Moon's Farside
This telescope array might be the best way to answer the really big questions about the origin of the universe. (re: Various)

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. (re: Frank Herbert)

BodyMod In Old School SF - Quant Suff!
Phantasmagoric body modification may be new in the meat space near you, but sf writers have been thinking about it for generations. (re: Samuel R. Delany)

Readius Polymer Vison E-Ink Video
This video lets you see the future in the palm of someone else's hand. (re: William Gibson)

Motorized Web Will Keep Hearts Beating
This fabric will be an artificial myocardium that wraps around the heart, squeezing it on the beat. (re: Various)

Eon Neurostimulation Lasts 10 Years
Alfie Bester wrote about a cool power pack that could supercharge human performance. This isn't quite it, but we're getting there. (re: Alfred Bester)

Kiyomuri Samurai Robot Now With Improved Gait Stabilization
Kiyomuri may not have much in the way of sword-wielding skills, but he's got the walk down pat. (re: Various)

Robotic Flying Saucer Drones
This company also has big plans for this little unmanned aerial vehicle. (re: Michael Crichton)

Nanofibers In Unlimited Lengths Now Available
I don't need fibers that are actually unlimited; nanotubes that were long enough to reach the ISS are probably long enough... (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Mosquito Device - Project X For Kids?
Is the Mosquito device a harmless way to disperse crowds of unruly teens, or is it the indiscriminate use of a sonic weapon on children? (re: Ayn Rand)

RoboPorter Carries Your Baggage, Guides You
Use this handy robot to carry your bags - and it can even guide you to your destination. (re: John Brunner)

Antarctic ENDURANCE Robot Helps NASA Explore Europa
Get closer to Jupiter's moon Europa at the University of Wisconsin campus this week. (re: Michael Swanwick)

Talking Lights Help Patients Navigate
This is a unique system to help people find their way around in one of the most confusing environments in the world - hospitals. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Nautilus Home Theater Causing Nemo-Envy
One can almost imagine Prof. Arronnax, Conseil and Ned Land, smoking cigars made from nicotine-rich seaweed, enjoying the latest moving pictures. (re: Jules Verne)

Smart Pal Robot Hangs Up Clothes
Now, that's a service robot. And, it even looks like something out of Disney's version of 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' (think broom with arms). (re: Philip K. Dick)

Sensium Wireless Monitoring Band-Aid
These 'digital plasters' take band-aids into the 21st century; if you're clever, you could even make them stickier. (re: Various)

Garbage-Eating Factories Now, Voracious Cities Later
Isn't it odd how sometimes machines shrink down, and others grow to giant size? (re: Philip Reeve)

Biomechanical Energy Harvester Is The Bee's Knees
Waste not the body's moisture - or its many free ergs of power. (re: Frank Herbert)

Wiihab - Just What Rehab Doctor Ordered
It turns out that the Wii is its own cure; physical therapists like the Wii for lots of reasons. (re: Various)

Military To Create Human, Social And Cultural Simulations
The military is showing a greater interest in the value of simulation technology to prepare personnel for insurgencies. (re: Frank Herbert)

Robot Chef Makes Octopus Balls
It's time to take those robots off the assembly line, and put them to work making dinner! (re: Anthony Boucher)

Three Genetic Parents? How About Seven?
Fortunately, science fiction writers have been thinking ahead on the idea that a single child might have three or more genetic parents. (re: William Tenn)

Robotic Observatory Opens On Antarctic Plateau
This observatory is almost more remote than Hubble - and built with similarly automated equipment. (re: Harry Harrison)

Multi-Touch Collaboration Wall Gives CNN Magic
I'd like to see multiple CNN news personalities using this device at the same time - fighting over screen real estate. (re: Steven Spielberg)

The Bestial Future Of Bionic Legs
This dark vision of robotic satyr legs attached to world-class athletes might actually happen. (re: Various)

3D DNA-Directed Nanoassembly
First instance of three-dimensional self-directed nanoassembly; building materials from the bottom up. (re: Raymond Z. Gallun)

Holland Now Built To Float
Holland has dealt with flooding for centuries; now they are working with it in a new way. (re: John Shirley)

Blue Collar Bot Pumps Gas Update
Remember those friendly gas station attendants of yesteryear? They're back and... they're robots. Updated with a new sf ref and video. (re: Harry Harrison)

AquaScript Information Waterfall Display
Do you sometimes feel drenched in an endless rain of information? Well, now you really can - text and graphics both. (re: Various)

Bone Transplant Grown In Patient's Abdomen From Stem Cells
This is a remarkable result; let's hope that stem cell research is allowed to proceed in this country as well. (re: Various)

Navy EMRG Hypervelocity Projectiles
This weapon can even strike targets on the other side of mountains. (re: Various)

Luke Arm Robotic Prosthesis
This is a different type of device; one of the design requirements was that it had no invasive controls. Just strap it on and go. (re: Martin Caidin)

MacBook Air: What Vision Is This?
Oh, yes, you can buy your own MacBook Air and take it home. But why are you going to? (re: Various)

Rush Japan Mixes Tourism, Treasure And Nintendo DS
Don't throw away that DS - you'll need it to find the treasure. (re: Various)

Voxonic Software Lets You Sing, Speak In Any Language
This software-based translation method can take a sample of your voice, and then translate you into any of almost 1,500 different languages. (re: Hugo Gernsback)

Claytronics: Robot Swarm-Based 3D Shape-Shifting Objects
This is pretty much a blue-sky project, but I did like the video; any help remembering the sf reference would be appreciated. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Mercury 'Spider' Has Fans Seeing Babylon 5 Shadow Ships
The mysterious spider feature on Mercury - there's nothing like it elsewhere in the solar system. (re: Various)

Robotic Exoskeleton For Construction Workers
Exoskeletons for soldiers are cool, but I'll never use one. An exoskeleton that could help me drywall my garage - now you're talking. (re: Various)

Will Scientists Learn How To Fine-Tune Autism?
Far out speculation on the possibility of ways to get more focused for tests, then defocus in time for the weekend. (re: Vernor Vinge)

Scientists Add New Letters To DNA's 'Alphabet'
Astonishing and troubling development has scientists rewriting genetic code - with new letters. (re: Chris Carter)

Japanese Water Horse Goes Back To The Future
Very striking video of the 3D advertisement created in Japan for the premiere of the film The Water Horse; the idea for 3D ad effects premiered in what movie? (re: Steven Spielberg)

Ginormous Mech Animals Only Way To Travel
You may not make it all the way to the planet of the Overlords, but you can seriously ride on these animals. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

HI-MEMS: Control Circuits Embedded In Pupal Stage Successfully
Researchers have succeeded in implanting electronic control structures in the early stages of metamorphosis, ensuring a viable controllable insect. (re: Thomas A. Easton)

HI-MEMS: Cyborg Beetle Microsystem
Those DARPA scientists had the help of a futuristic blueprint provided by sf writer Thomas Easton. (re: Thomas A. Easton)

Cyberattack Blacked Out Cities, CIA Admits
This is apparently the first time that the government has confirmed that cyberattacks have caused a power outage. (re: Various)

Bluetooth-Enabled Robot Legs Talk To Each Other
These legs are not yet bionic, but they do help a double-amputee vet by talking with each other - using the same technology you use with you cell phone. (re: Martin Caidin)

Robovie Crowd-Monitoring Robot
This robot has a good sense of who is lost and who is just standing around. It uses a remarkable array of sensors to accomplish this task. (re: Various)

SpaceShipTwo Spaceliners From Virgin Galactic
Remarkable aeronautical designs from Virgin Galactic take you to the very edge of space. (re: Various)

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