Science Fiction in the News:
Science and Technology News

Newspapers Doomed - SF Writers
Do you think that newspapers have a future? SF writers aren't so sure; Cory Doctorow is just the latest. (re: Cory Doctorow)

iCub Robot Humanoid Child RobotCub
This European open-source robot child is intended to explore human cognition through the medium of a 3 year-old child. With video. (re: Brian Aldiss)

DubMeNow Business Cards Update Magically
Interesting concept for exchanging virtual business cards that opens a link between you, allowing auto-updated information. With video. (re: Neal Stephenson)

Nanny Robot Senses Emotions Of Autistic Children
This robot may be able to use its emotion-sensing abilities to take over for people in the care of autistic children. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

Mii Avatar Wanted Poster For Non-Virtual Manhunt
This story could go in either of two ways - not surprisingly, I like them both. With a surprise reference to Michael Crichton's Runaway. (re: Michael Crichton)

Mobius Circuit Perfect For Science-Fictional Electronics
This seems like the perfect start to your science-fictional electronics project. (re: Various)

BERTI Robot Gestures, Plays Rock-Paper-Scissors
This robot has been practicing conversational gestures to help robots be better understood by humans. With video. (re: Various)

Stanford Writes Nano Letters 35 Bits Per Electron
Can you read the fine print? Imagine a dot matrix printer using drops just 0.3 nanometers in size. (re: Ridley Scott)

Samsung Transparent OLED Display And H.G. Wells
As shown in H.G. Wells' 1936 movie Things to Come - here's your transparent display. They could be a bit larger... With video. (re: H.G. Wells)

BaR2D2 Mobile Bar
Nifty DIY project by Jamie Price would also look good on Jabba's sailbarge. (re: George Lucas)

Taliban Looking For Right iPhone App
In which I put together a Mullah, a iPhone and a missile-launching app. (re: Various)

Kindle 2 Reads Aloud, As SF Writers Predicted
The idea of a mechanized 'book reader' or 'news reader' has been around for more than 100 years; take a look at the imaginative works of five sf writers. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

Bionic Body Armor Makes You Dodge Bullets
Fascinating patent idea by IBM turns everyone - yes, everyone - into a bullet-dodging Neo. (re: Various)

Robotic Breast Exam And Biopsy
The tabletop robot doctor research you read about (here) last summer continues to advance. (re: Michael Crichton)

Robot Baby Crib By Suima
If you have one of those kids who just don't sleep well, there's this mechanical baby bed. (re: David H. Keller)

ITPP Boosts Blood Oxygen Like Star Trek Triox
Tired of fighting aliens on planets where the oxygen level in the atmosphere is too low? Now, you can get an injection that improves the ability of hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the body. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

Star Trek Laser Tissue Bonding Video
Laser tissue welding like on Star Trek (those are the Professor's words, not mine) offers a lot of advantages over conventional sutures. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

'Immaculate' Prosthetic Design Makes Fashion Statement
Interesting design concept opens up a new field for fashion - designer prosthetics. (re: Various)

Pharm Animals - Engineered Goat Makes Drugs In Milk
Amazing genetically engineered goats are the USDA's first approved 'pharm animals' - or fabricows. (re: David Brin)

Yellow Treehouse Cafe - A Tree House Restaurant
Made for a TV ad, this functioning treehouse restaurant would please the Iszic, perhaps. (re: Jack Vance)

Axel Rover Robotic Crater Explorer Yo-Yo-Bot
Nifty video shows the Axel rover, a tethered marsupial rover. Yes, you read that right. (re: E.E. 'Doc' Smith)

Robot Brain Grows As It Learns
New technique - an incremental evolutionary algorithm - lets this robot add layers to its physical brain. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Gundam Robot Slippers Have Giant Mech Sound
I'm still working on an sfnal twist to this story - other than the Gundam angle, of course. (re: Yoshiuki Tomino)

Rotundus Groundbot Robotic Spherical Guardian Video
Take a look at the latest version of the Rotundus spherical robot - it's a beauty. With a GroundBot's eye view video. (re: Niven and Pournelle)

Prism 200 And See Through Walls 3 Other Ways
The Prism 200 is just the latest way to see through walls; I show you three (now FOUR!) other X-ray spec-worth devices. (re: E.E. 'Doc' Smith)

Meet Your Miniature Android Duplicate
New company makes bespoke androids based on your photograph; Chuckie never had it so good. (re: Manly Wade Wellman)

Waterproof Sand Could Green A Desert Planet
It won't be easy to coat each grain of sand in a desert, but hard tasks need hard ways. My legions of Fremen will be using very small brushes. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

Hoverit Lounger Suspended Vonnegut Dream
Quite the lifestyle enhancement, this clear acrylic lets you lounge upon an invisible field of magnetic force. Now with Hoverit Lounger video! (re: Kurt Vonnegut)

Cloaca No. 5 Bionic Bowel, At Last
This art project has a somewhat more serious side; some people with gastric, colon or other cancers could use a bionic replacement. (re: Various)

Skynet Now Generating Paralinguistic Phenomena Via Markup In Text-to-Speech Syntheses
New IBM speech tech simulates human speech so well, you may not be able to judge by voice alone whether it is your mother - or a Terminator. (re: Various)

Reputation As Property
Whether you say 'whuffie' or 'strakh,' young and old sf fans understand the value of reputation. (re: Jack Vance)

Pong-Playing Robot Plus Three Bonus Robot Gamers
This simple yet sort of scary robot excels at one task - computer pong. Oh, and see 3 more examples of robots playing as well as you. (re: Various)

Radio-Controlled Beetle By UC Berkeley
The researchers picked rhinoceros beetles because they look cool - enslaved. (re: Thomas A. Easton)

EATR - DARPA's Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot
Is a voracious autonomous robot able to feed itself and sustain free movement throughout all of eternity a really neat idea? DARPA thinks so - and so do I. (re: Philip Reeve)

Minority Report Ads Watching You Always
Those Minority Report ads that looked stylish in 2002 are starting to look a bit more intrusive now. (re: Steven Spielberg)

Dynamic Agenda Wallpaper Glows With Your Achievements
This room-sized tribute to your busy life is the best possible way to dominate a meeting. (re: Issac Asimov)

Inflatable Church Bouncy Like Heavenly Clouds
Inflatable churches make a lot of sense, just as they did in the novel I read over thirty years ago. (re: John Brunner)

Samsung W7900 Show Cell Phone Digital Projector
Video shows an impressive little projector inside a cell phone; wouldn't you rather watch your pocket videos on a larger screen? (re: Jack Vance)

Planetary Hard Drive
Storing information in natural deposits and fields. (re: Roger Zelazny)

Roadside LED Signs May Not Be Believed
Got kind of a whiff of Neuromancer from this story; makes me think twice about those signs, though. (re: William Gibson)

Chrysler To Help Battle Skynet
Hopefully, they won't be saying 'I'll be back - for more money' anytime soon. (re: Various)

Sweatbot SAM - Sweating Agile Manniquin
Handy industrial research robot or metaphor for our consumer culture? You be the judge. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Biomimetic Robots Blow Your Mind
Robot models challenge your perception of the entire industry; shockingly Suessian. (re: Various)

Japan's Double-Armed Rescue Vehicle
It's handy to have a rescue vehicle with two arms; Ripley might be able to fight aliens with it, too. (re: Various)

Brain Stimulation Enhances Motor Skill Learning
Any shortcuts to learning are appreciated; when can we get it in a convenient helmet form? (re: James Blish)

Rebuild Highways - Or Think Differently
It turns out that Larry Niven had an interesting idea for what to do with highways in our modern age. (re: Larry Niven)

Robots Plus Virtual Reality Equals Better Rehab
Performing physical therapy with a robotic device while under the spell of a virtual reality scenario helps patients do their bets. (re: Various)

Texting UK Police May Control Your Car
This technology may be familiar to fans of Greg Bear. (re: Keith Laumer)

Doll Fabbed From Living Cells
Research brings the fabrication of structures like human organs closer, not to mention android 'blanks.' (re: Gene Roddenberry)

T-34 Security Robot Throws Nets Spidey-Style
This humble robot packs an unusual weapon - a net to cast over intruders. (re: Philip K. Dick)

'Volume Control' Ear Protein Uncovered
Research shows at least part of the mechanism for our ability to protect our ears against extremely loud noises. (re: Larry Niven)

Surgical Robot Bores Into Brain Like Wasp
Let's hope DARPA doesn't get interested in these brain-boring robots. Not that I'm paranoid. (re: Emmett McDowell)

JALURO Lunar Robot - 2-Wheeled Open Source
The Team FREDNET lunar robot offers a unique two-wheeled design; is it stable? See a picture and judge for yourself. (re: Arthur C. Clarke)

i-Limb Bionic Arm Video Embraces The Future
The bionic arm is now easier to use; take a look at the video of the i-Limb arm. (re: Various)

Farmer Exoskeleton Video
This video presents the robotic farmer suit; just the thing for those repetitive motions. (re: Various)

Therapeutic Medical Exoskeleton Prototype
Interesting use of robotics to both amplify lost muscle power and assist in rehabilitation when possible. (re: Fritz Leiber)

Proteus Microrobot Video: A Fantastic Voyage
Scientists have named their microrobot the Proteus, after the 1966 movie. With video. (re: Isaac Asimov)

Broadband Invisibility Cloak - Now You See It
This breakthrough demonstrates that it is possible to build a single material that reroutes light over a broad swath of light wavelengths. (re: Ray Cummings)

Gel Tactile Display
Unique display uses a hydrogel to communicate information via touch. (re: Various)

SG5 Solar Mesh Wetsuit For Aquatic Superheroes From Billabong
This nifty item of apparel is exactly what you aquatically based superheroes have been looking for. (re: Varioius)

Google Maps Public Transit Layer
Google maps has caught up with a sixty-year-old vision of Stanislaw Lem's. Nice going, Google! (re: Stanislaw Lem)

Star Wars Force Trainer (NeuroSky, Not Sith)
Ah, those playful Sith at NeuroSky are at it again. Now, they have a toy for your kids. The 'Force Trainer' is a powerful ally. (re: George Lucas)

Farmer Loves Robot More Than Son
Just to prove to yourself that robot research comes from more places than fancy universities and spotless corporate research labs, take a look at what one Chinese farmer has accomplished. (re: Various)

Transparent Thin Film Transistors Fabbed With Nanotubes
If you could implant some sort of flexible display right in (or on) your skin, what would you display on it? (re: Schachner and Zagat)

RealView 3D Scanner - For Your Desk
This handy little desktop wonder can bring at least the external details of any object (that fits) right in to the digital world. (re: Jack Vance)

Robotic Suit For Farmers In Japan
No more (non-powered) squatting and pulling; now, robotics are on your side too, farmers. But what about droids who do the work for you? (re: Robert Heinlein)

Tetris Reduces Emotional Scars
No wonder people in advanced technological societies have been playing so much Tetris - and no wonder it was invented in the former Soviet Union. (re: Philip K. Dick)

Swarm-Bots Take Small Children Away
It's really up to you whether you are pleased with the idea of a couple dozen swarming robots autonomously finding a small child and pulling her away. (re: Stanislaw Lem)

Flexible OLED Wrist Display Like Pip-Boy
Flexible OLED display now available in a wrist-worthy format. (re: Roger Zelazny)

That's Mr. Gasification, Not Mr. Fusion
Take a look at a cool video showing a real-life version of a car that runs on miscellaneous bits of trash. Just like in the movies. Almost. (re: Various)

Space Toilet Diaper From Japan
There's always something on the drawing board at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; this time, it's a very personal space toilet. (re: David H. Keller)

Meatricity - Meatrical Energy From Meatric Sources
Are we heading toward a human-powered future? Probably not, but the power goes out in our neighborhood often enough to check it out. (re: Various)

Cymascope CymaGlyphs - Dolphin Picture Words
How can we translate the language of another species? The CymaScope may give the answer. (re: Various)

Hotel Room Of The Future Is German, Retrotastic
This 'hotel room of the future' video provides a review of a retrotastic future too kitschy to believe; with memories of future rooms from the past century of science fiction. (re: E.M. Forster)

3G Watch Phone From LG Electronics
Remarkable technology from LG electronics promises to bring video to a wrist near you. (re: H.G. Wells)

EarthNow! Landsat Images Now Available
Gaze down upon the Earth from orbit like the astronauts do with this handy online viewer. (re: Various)

Therapeutic Ultrasound Now Pocket-Sized
Fans of Star Trek's Dr. McCoy may be thinking that they are seeing miniaturized medical instruments in the near future. (re: Gene Roddenberry)

NEC Thermal Scans For Flu
NEC is taking no chances at their corporate headquarters - the flu patrol is looking for you! (re: Michael Crichton)

Attention Assist - Drowsy-Driver Detection Standard
German engineering gives rise to the exact opposite of a famous sfnal automotive prediction. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Teen Arrested For Home Chemistry Lab
Should ordinary people, like this teen-aged college student, be allowed to experiment? (re: Various)

SCIgen - Computer Generates CS Papers
Read about this paper-generating program and wonder at a brand new, ground-breaking paper by five science fiction titans - Asimov, Gallun, Herbert, Russell and Heinlein. (re: Robert Heinlein)

Lipodiesel - Energy From Liposuction Fat
In which Dr. Bittner makes a wrong turn on the road to a more fuel-efficient society. (re: Various)

Biohackers - Genetic Engineering Home Hobbyists
Hobbyists have made important contributions to many fields. Why not genetic engineering? (re: Frank Herbert)

Micro-Mouse Robots With Grippers Tournament
New development at the 29th All Japan micro-mouse games held at the Tsukuba International Congress Center. Now, they have arms. (re: Eric Frank Russell)

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)

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