Science Fiction in the News:
Science and Technology News

Wapix YJMM Chrono-Pictographic Frames (From Hogwarts?)
Interesting art project prototype has literary antecedents. (re: J.K. Rowling)

'Sex Chip' Like Niven's Ecstasy Plug
Would-be wireheads will no doubt rejoice at this news; others may be less sanguine. (re: Larry Niven)

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. (re: Frank Herbert)

Basil Reification Robot
A general purpose household robot should be able to easily identify household items like chairs - but until now, they couldn't do it very well. (re: Robert Heinlein)

NSA Patents Herbert's Network Snooper Catcher
The NSA apparently forgot to search for prior art when patenting ways to determine if someone is tampering with network communication. (re: Frank Herbert)

NanoTouch Touchscreen Works From The Back
Radical solution to a common problem is slick - but will people like using it? (re: Various)

RFID-Enabled Poker Table
This project brings to mind several new possibilities for poker players and poker tournament audiences. (re: Various)

Book Time Page-Turning Robot
Simple but effective 'robot' helps hospitalized readers. Now with video! (re: Robert Heinlein)

Twendy-One Selected Human-Symbiotic Robot
What characteristics are needed in a 'human-symbiotic' robot? (re: Various)

Virtual Body-Swapping Tech
Can you accept the illusion of having swapped bodies with someone or something else? Yes you can! (re: William Gibson)

NTT Billboards Are Watching You Look
When every surface is covered with ads, how can a business see if passersby are looking at their particular ad? (re: Various)

KAR Kitchen Assistant Robot Joins Kitchen Bot Squad
KAR will need to work with all the other helper robots in the kitchen - take a look at the competition for this new bot from Panasonic. (re: Various)

Carp Barrier Finished For Years, Never Activated
The barrier is ready to repel invaders! But a squabble between agencies will apparently result in a carp invasion AND the waste of $ millions. (re: Roger Zelazny)

Huggable Robotic Bear Video
This is an informative video; however, the pictures of Huggable without his outer skin may be shocking. (re: Anne McCaffrey)

Gel Remote Concept Like Metaflesh
Perhaps it would be better for us if our TV remotes repulsed us. (re: David Cronenberg)

DARPA Seeks Self-Repairing Hunter-Killers?
Not content to have effective robotic weapon systems, DARPA wants to make sure they are 'damage tolerant.' (re: Joseph E. Kelleam)

Virtual Philadelphia More Interactive Than Street View
Walking through Virtual Philadelphia is so real, you can talk with shopkeepers. You can even make your avatar fly, just like in The Matrix. (re: Various)

'Comical Robot' An Aid To Conversations
Ah... how do you fill those awkward silences? This little robot can help. (re: William Tenn)

Micro Air Vehicle Video Shows SF Style
This is a pretty cool concept video that lays out the ideas; Zelazny, Gallun, Dick, Vance and Noon all wrote about something similar. (re: Various)

New Super-Wipe Best On Stains, Mustard Gas
Sure, you've got your favorite brand of wipes; we all do. But give this new product a try. Especially for those really tough spills. (re: E.E. 'Doc' Smith)

Aiko Fembot No Stepford Wife
She might be more like the original than the Stepford version. Reads everything and does complex math in her head. (re: Fritz Leiber)

Therapists To See (Maybe Enter?) Dreams
Finally, psychotherapists can take a direct look at those troubling or odd dreams of yours. 'Hmmm... it looks like ... your mother.' (re: Satoshi Kon)

Eyeborg 'Little Brother'
Would you feel unhappy about being filmed by someone with an eyeball camera? How do you feel when you are filmed in the mall or in a convenience store? Rob Spence wants to know. (re: D.G. Compton)

Lrry-1 Fire-Breathing, Riding MechaDog Video
You'll need to look at the video before you decide what this thing really is; from the Mutoid Waste Company. (re: Anthony Boucher)

Kickbee Fetal Twitter Posting
I was thinking of calling this article 'Tweets from Web 3.0' but it's just a prototype anyway. Nothing ever came of prototypes... (re: Various)

Extract Images Directly From The Human Brain
Remarkable results appear to duplicate work done in cats almost ten years ago. But still, this is human brain reading. (re: Cordwainer Smith)

Energy Cannon Now On Order
These lightweight laser-based energy weapons should be able to shoot down tactical targets like surface-to-air missiles and rockets. (re: Jack Vance)

Spy Moth Cyborg On/Off Switch Perfected
Another piece of the fully-controllable insect cyborg spy is now in place. (re: Thomas A. Easton)

Smart Fabrics For Biomonitoring
New development could make the development of a heartshirt cheap, and not merely possible. (re: Rudy Rucker)

Nanohmics Flash Grenade And Blade
It turns out that a working prototype very similar to the UV grenades in Blade has been created. (re: Various)

Virtual Faces With Personality And Emotion
Computer personalities get a leg up on reality using this new model developed by Diana Arellano, a PhD student. (re: William Gibson)

Laser Aircraft Refueling: Power Transfer Beams?
Patent application provides hope that there will be air travel after the age of oil. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

MKV-L Multiple Kill Vehicle Video
Defensive weapon video shows successful test; video also shows the basic concept for the MKV-L. (re: George Lucas)

Marauder's Map From RFID Plus Social Networking
Thanks to the Open Attendee Meta-Data (OpenAMD) system and, a version of the HP Marauder's Map will come to life. (re: Cory Doctorow)

Living Floor Like Heinlein's Grass Carpet
Jeri has found the secret to true relaxation - a living green carpet. Walk on living things? It is a goodness. (re: Robert Heinlein)

RoboClam Smart Anchor
Another fascinating biomimetic robot; researchers want to know how Nature can do ten times better than human ingenuity. (re: Murray Leinster)

Reactogon Synthesizer - Chain Reactive Performance Arpeggiator
Fascinating musical interface is a cross between a board game and an instrument. (re: Various)

Jollbot Robot Ball Jumps, Bounces And Rolls
Unique robot solves two problems at once; it may remind fans of past sf television shows of a favorite villain 'bot. (re: Various)

Portable MRI Scans For Psychopathy Like Voight-Kampff
As scientists try to understand psychopathy, their use of machines and images seems almost phildickian. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Nearly Immortal Hydrozoan Colonizes Oceans
No one noticed that these creatures have spread around the world. Oh, and they can live practically forever. (re: Various)

Table Robot Balances On Two Wheels
Very spartan robot balances on just two wheels to carry your tray or bring your drinks; two table robot videos for your viewing enjoyment. (re: George Lucas)

Face Dancer Puts Fizz In Your Phizz
This artist makes sure that his music appreciation is right in sync with the music. With video. (re: Frank Herbert)

The Truman Syndrome
An interesting example of the connection between popular culture and mental health. (re: Various)

Space Beer In (Very) Limited Distribution
What might have happened to that barley on board the ISS? Only thirty lucky couples will find out. (re: Various)

Guided Bullets By Exacto From DARPA
DARPA once again pushes the envelope in a way that was clearly foreseen in books and movies. (re: Nolan and Johnson)

Winboni Window-Washing Robot
Very neat little robot is a real winner - of a prestigious award for students. Check the video. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Robot Prepares Pancakes For Breakfast
These manufacturing robots work well in the home kitchen with their redesigned, smaller form factor. Enjoy! (re: Anthony Boucher)

Choking On Our Own Waste Heat
Interesting speculation by two UK professors; even if we solve global warming due to greenhouse gases, this problem still exists. (re: Larry Niven)

Samsung Folding Screen Cell Phone Video
I think that William Gibson called this one pretty closely back in 1986; watch the video and read the excerpt from the novel and judge for yourself. (re: William Gibson)

Thought-Screen Helmets A Classic American Craft
Fashionable, practical and above all, home made. I also have some new materials to recommend. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Precrime CCTV Cameras Now In Britain
Portsmouth now sports a CCTV camera system that can detect crimes before they happen - sometimes. (re: Philip K. Dick)

DoD Computers Penetrated In Cyber-Attack
Attacks on DoD computers forced military leaders to brief President Bush this week; I wonder if they read to him from Neuromancer to help him understand it? (re: William Gibson)

BAM! It's More Slippery Than Teflon (And Greener)
Remarkable material is super slick and super hard, even in the thinnest coating. (re: Clifford Simak)

'Plastic Steel': Optically Transparent Plastic Nanocomposites
Sounds pretty close to transparent aluminum to me; and it's available in thin sheets like Visqueen or Mylar. (re: Various)

Moller M400 SkyCar Taking Too Long
What exactly is keeping this guy? Don't we all want skycars? Robert Heinlein certainly did. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Boeing A160 Hummingbird Has Whisper Mode
This autonomous surveillance drone helicopter has something in common with the fictional movie copter Blue Thunder. (re: Various)

Carbon Nanotube Speakers Are Flexible, Transparent
This material could be an enabler for a variety of science fictional ideas, Update: a reader has found a great precursor to the idea of a flexible speaker. (re: Bruce Sterling)

Graphene Memory Arrays Are Stackable, Awesome
Amazing advance could bring storage devices of sfnal capacity even closer. (re: Dan Simmons)

Launch-Abort Motor For NASA: The Next Generation
Testing the 'ejection seats' for the new Constellation space craft. And thanks to readers who made 2,000 SF in the News articles possible! (re: Murray Leinster)

I-Ball Grenade Cam Just Lob And View
Unique surveillance device can be tossed, lobbed or even grenade launched; it sends back 360 degree views. (re: Robert Silverberg)

Smule Ocarina First iPhone Instrument
This amazing application for the iPhone not only makes the first true iPhone musical instrument possible, it broadcasts your music around the world. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Laser Welding Skin Closure Like Star Trek
Laser welding now useful in the body; this article also includes a handy compendium of Star Trek medical instruments made-real. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Tivo, Facebook: Online Pizza Deliverators Proliferate
Why pause for even a moment from your electronic nirvana; now digital ordering leads to real world satisfaction - pizza-wise. (re: Various)

Artist Blogger Vlach Wants Webcam Eye
This one-eyed San Francisco artist wants to replace her blind prosthesis with a working web cam. (re: Various)

G-Speak Compared To Minority Report Gesture Interface
This software platform looks a lot like the one in the movie, and there is a good reason for that. (re: Steven Spielberg)

Geoplasma Plasma Refuse Plant
Neat idea to use Sixties NASA tech to turn trash into electricity. Hope it works. (re: Various)

Pico Satellite Swarms
These small machines will orbit the Earth sometime next year for a test run. (re: George Lucas)

First Optical Image Of Planet Orbiting Sun-Like Star
Very exciting development from Hubble demonstrates exoplanets can be normal-sized and be in orbit around Sun-like stars. (re: Various)

Rocket Balls - Pentagon's Kinetic Fireball Incendiaries
This looks a lot like a diagram of the mechanical theory of heat; I want to know what happens if the walls start to close in. (re: Philip E. High)

TroopTube: YouTube For Military And Families
The U.S. military takes a cautious step into interactive social media for use by troops and families. (re: Varioius)

Jules Robot Now Matches Your Smile
This robotic head represents the latest efforts by Hanson robotics, who brought you the Philip K. Dick robotic head several years ago. (re: Various)

Laser 'Breathalyzer' To Diagnose Cancer, Diabetes
New technology may provide a non-invasive way to detect disease processes early. (re: Various)

Google Flu Trends - Dr. Google Beats CDC
It turns out that Google is way ahead of the CDC in predicting flu activity. The nose knows. (re: E.M. Forster)

NEC Robot Demands Cash VIa Cellphone FeliCa RFID
This robot has its eyes - and its RFID reader - on your money. However, you're safe as long as you don't have an RFID-enabled cellphone. (re: Various)

Bach Organ Recital - On Mars
Sure, space probes have cameras, and that's great. But what about... microphones? (re: Various)

RESURRECT High-Fidelity Computer Battlefield Simulations
How would you face the no-win scenario? DARPA wants to know, and I think they want a very visceral kind of test. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Hyperion Power Module Neighborhood Nuclear Reactor
The story about small 'nuclear batteries,' small plants that produce enough power for small towns or big neighborhoods, just keeps coming back. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Top Footballers Face 7/7 Testing
Top flight soccer players in the UK now face Olympic-style restrictions during the season. What if there was a league that embraced performance enhancement? (re: Chris Nakashima-Brown)

Yamaha Deus Ex Wearable Motorcycle Concept
Although only a concept, the 'Deus Ex' may remind you of another vision of the wearable motorcycle. (re: Various)

The Digital Dark Age And Bene Gesserit House Records
Fortunately, Frank Herbert has given us a glimpse of what this future will be like. (re: Frank Herbert)

Wearable Field Hospital On A Chip
New concept in the works to create a kind of hospital uniform to minister to the troops. (re: Various)

'Mycodiesel' From Patagonian Tree Fungus
Interesting find in the rainforests of Patagonia; the only organism that produces ready-to-use fuel. Put a fungus in your tank. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Vlingo Voice-Enabled Blackberry Smartphone
This company seems to think the same way that Frederik Pohl did in 1965; voice is the best interface for a smartphone. (re: Frederik Pohl)

Mcor Matrix 3D Paper Printer
This device prints out three-dimensional objects using regular paper. It seems like only yesterday that I brought home my MX-80. (re: William Gibson)

Mobile Satellite Ventures Hybrid Satellite Network
MSV is starting to move into areas outlined by engineer and sf writer George O. Smith two generations ago. (re: George O. Smith)

Honda Walking Assist Device
Nifty invention from Honda also illustrates some differences between people in the US and people in Japan. (re: Fritz Leiber)

Diamagnetic Cavity Shield For Spacecraft?
New research provides a way to protect space travelers heading out past Earth's atmosphere and magnetosphere. (re: E.E. 'Doc' Smith)

Blackhawk Built-In Tourniquet Pants, Shirts
Radical clothing system has real practical value; I can see this for extreme hikers, mountain climbers, etc. as well. (re: Joe Haldeman)

LCD Panel Fingerprint Scanner
Interesting LCD display has a hidden function - it can also take your fingerprint. (re: George Orwell)

Live Via 'Hologram' On CNN
Interesting technique used to project the 3D image of a correspondent back to the studio for use in a live broadcast. Not a true hologram, but it looks like telestereo to me. (re: Edmond Hamilton)

Mouse Cloned From 16-year Frozen Tissue
Remarkable feat by Japanese researchers shows that even damaged frozen tissue can yield viable DNA for cloning. (re: Michael Crichton)

Injectable Ice Slurry To Cool Organs
Fascinating technique may soon allow doctors to selectively cool individual organs, improving the chances for surgical success. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Integrated Cyber Defense To Recode Cyberspace
The US military, father of the Internet, is trying to rewire its child. For protection. (re: Various)

SkyV SkyCeiling From The Sky Factory
Now that we have amazing sky ceilings, it's time to get to work on those vast underground cities I've been reading about. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

'E' Digital Essence Of Evil Like SID 6.7
Researchers create pure evil in the laboratory; 'E' uses both definitions of evil and case studies of evil persons. (re: Eric Bernt)

Bombproof Trash Can Secures Rubbish
These rubbish bins are not only protective, but informative. Coming soon to London streets. (re: Harry Harrison)

GPS Lingerie 'Find Me If You Can'
Misplaced your girlfriend? No problem - if she wants to be found. With video. (re: Murray Leinster)

Universe Kits Now Available From Jonathon Keats
With this do-it-yourself kit, attractively packaged in a small tin, you can create new universes on a whim. (re: Edmond Hamilton)

SideSight Virtual Touchpad - But Does It Have Air Quotes?
Interesting development brings gesture to control to very small devices. (re: Various)

Earth Now Needs Agricultural Worlds
SF writers pondered this problem a generation ago, and came up with the answer. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Amnesia Beam Under Dev - Uh, What Was I Saying
Is it possible to produce amnesia with beams? Some effects have been noted. (re: Various)

SkyBot High-Rise Window Cleaning Robot
SkyBot is a rigorously tested solution for a problem that kills 70 workers in the U.S. alone - high-rise window washing. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Hover Chair Like Star Wars Landspeeder
Keith Dixon makes himself a hover chair - it's like floating on a cloud. For $9,600 I was hoping to go find some droids... (re: George Lucas)

Vote Flipping Video Shows Poor Electronic Plebiscite
Video of how a voting machine fails to properly register a voter's choices makes me think that paper ballots might have a future. (re: John Brunner)

SOTHOC Submarine-Launched UAV
Submerged submarines will have more information-gathering options with this sub-launched Submarine Over the Horizon Organic Capabilities device. (re: Various)

Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Like Thunderbirds' Fireflash?
Nuclear-powered aircraft could make a comeback after being given the axe in the 1950's. (re: Various)

Palm Pistol Defensive Firearm
Interesting little device is a pretty close analog to an Isaac Asimov device from the 1950's. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Flapping Display From Samsung Breezy OLED
Okay, marketing guys, I really want to show off just how thin this OLED display is, how flexible the substrate. EC Tubb nailed this one in 1958. (re: E.C. Tubb)

Labyrinth Aquarium Has Swimming Tubes
A Habitrail for your fishy friends, it's all the rage among the Gowachin. (re: Frank Herbert)

Toyota Robot Maid Learns From Mistakes
Great-looking robot maid from Toyota and Tokyo University researchers goes slow, but learns to avoid mistakes and memorizes good strategies. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Artificial Heart Beats Like Yours
Remarkable new mechanical heart may give you even more choices. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Australia Building Real 'Eureka' Tech City
The University of Queensland, in Australia has been watching Eureka, the TV series about a town full of geniuses - or so it appears - because they want to build one for real. (re: Various)

Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation Device
DARPA is trying to bring this device into being to help save the lives of wounded soldiers; it quickly coagulates blood to prevent bleed-out. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Jambot Music Improvisation Robot
This device takes the unusual step of improvising music to accompany human musicians. (re: Herbert Goldstone)

Fishbowl Spaceship From Armadillo Aerospace
I'm sure it would be a spectacular ride, but I think I'd want a good crash couch and the Puppeteer guarantee before I went up in one. (re: Larry Niven)

Multi-Robot Pursuit System: We'll Be Back!
I'm sure that everything will go fine with this project, which could have useful applications in search and rescue, fire fighting and for all I know, the food service industry. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Online Death Leads To Offline Arrest
Bizarre case of broken hearts and avatar erasure. (re: Various)

Atomic Pen Uses Atoms For Pixels
Technique allows researchers to write with atoms; talk about a very tiny point size. (re: Ridley Scott)

Terminator Seeds Deployed To Iraq
Order 81 provides the authority to require Iraqi farmers to use genetically altered seeds that do not produce naturally viable offspring. (re: Jack Vance)

GOCE Sat Delay Puts Off Gravimetric Weapons
A disappointing delay for the GOCE satellite. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

You Can't Hide From DARPA
DARPA wants to be able to fully visualize the interior of a ten-story building - right into the basement - without having to obtain the architect's drawings. (re: Various)

Self-Balancing Unicycle - Heinlein's Tumblebug
Nifty cycle looks a lot like what Heinlein described in the 1940's. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Selective Memory Deletion In Mice
New technique demonstrates how specific memories can be blocked in mice; sf writers and movie makers have been predicting this one for decades. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Solar Satellites Beam Back Energy
This is really a great idea, but I can only go back to 1941 for the earliest kind of reference. Anybody earlier? (re: Clifford Simak)

Virtual Wife Nags Via Email
Solicitous correction and help from your virtual wife, presented with helpful sfnal references. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Walking House Ambles Away From Disaster
Fascinating project puts a robotic base under an ancient lifestyle. (re: Jack Vance)

Walking iPhone Robot - Not The First 'Mobile' Phone
What happens if you are stuck in one place and you can't get to your iPhone? What if it could walk to you? (re: Various)

XM25 Individual Air Burst Weapon Like Judge Dredd's
New smart gun fires rounds that detonate where you want them to, even in mid-air. (re: Various)

Exact Number Of ET Civilizations Now Known
Now that an exact number is known, we can begin construction of vast architectural works to bolster the galactic government bureaucracy. (re: George Lucas)

3rd Space Vests Lets You Feel Game Hits
Any engineer will tell you that a system with no negative feedback goes out of control. Feel the pain in your game and stop the spiral. (re: Various)

Buckypaper To Go Commercial Soon
Fascinating material may actually be available soon in commercial quantities as a product for use in aerospace and other industries. (re: Various)

Logic Gates Built Inside Living Cells
Remarkable development allows logic gates to be placed inside living cells. (re: Greg Bear)

PlantBot: Humans Provide Gift Of Greater Mobility With 'Skrodes'
Unusual work by an unusual group gives us a glimpse of what Vernor Vinge had in mind fifteen years ago. With interview and moving image. (re: Vernor Vinge)

Alien Languages Translated By Computer Program?
Interesting effort by British researcher to take a shot at understanding alien languages - when we actually get a sample. (re: Various)

FlowerBot Robotic Flower Follows And Grabs
Neat little robot looks just like a flower; take a look at the video to see it work. (re: Jack Vance)

Rocket Races Approved For Earth Only, Unfortunately
I'm certainly in favor of rocket racing and this is a good start. However, I can recall at least one sf work that offered rocket racing on somewhat larger scale. (re: Lester del Rey)

Spam Kiwi Kings Of Spam Sent Third Of All Spam Emails
Two men stand accused of being the kings of spam; shutting them down may decrease world spam by one-third. (re: Greg Egan)

NTT Energy-Generating Shoes Are Squishy
I really like the cool retro technology used to power these power walkers. (re: Frank Herbert)

Net Surfing For Brain Development
It turns out that clicking on links at improves brain function. No really; the more stories you read at, the smarter you get. New research proves what you already knew. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Digital Zebrafish Embryo 3D Development
Interesting new technique provides remarkable details in the first 24 hours of life - from 1 to 20,000 cells. (re: Joan Slonczewski)

Secure Help Vending Machine: RoboSodaPopCop
If you think that this machine has some moxie, I've got an sfnal device in mind that really knows how to dish it out. (re: William Gibson)

Spider Robot Chair Like Star Wars
Slightly creepy furniture takes you for a robotic ride. (re: George Lucas)

Machine Prints Lights In Sheets
Even though these won't fit in any of those 20 billion light sockets, sheets of light are worth looking at. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Looking For Earth-Like Worlds With Nulling Interferometry
No need to go into orbit to look for Earth-like worlds, not when you have nulling interferometry on your side. (re: Edmond Hamilton)

Paul Krugman's Asimov Inspiration
Dr. Paul Krugman has an interesting connection with sf; his career choice was inspired by a well-known work by Isaac Asimov. (re: Isaac Asimov)

OLO iPhone-based Laptops
This is a really slick idea if you haven't seen it; at the right price point, this would be a great answer to those small net-surfing laptops. (re: Various)

World's Thinnest TV - Sony Bravia ZX1
This television is pretty close to being the same size and thickness as a poster, which might get some Niven fans thinking. (re: Larry Niven)

IBEX Interstellar Boundary Explorer
Satellite boosted into high earth orbit looks into processes taking place in the farthest reaches of the solar system. (re: Various)

Zhu Bot Zhejiang Scrap Metal Transformer Sculptures
Transformers are near and dear to the hearts of scrap metal enthusiasts in China. As you can see. (re: Various)

FLARE Creates 'Skin' For Buildings
Interesting idea for a flexible, interactive membrane that would allow a building to let air and light in, and let freedom of expression out. (re: James Boswell)

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