Oct 02 2005

MIT Plans for a $100 Linux Laptop

MIT's $100 LaptopNicholoas Negroponte, chairman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, spoke recently at their annual Emerging Technologies Conference confirming that MIT is planning to provide low cost computers to underprivileged children in developing countries globally as well as to students here in the U.S. The One Laptop per Child nonprofit group is the offshoot of the Media Lab that will handle coordinating this ambitious plan. Five countries have already committed to participating including Brazil, China, Egypt, South Africa, and Thailand. Massachusetts is the first state to discuss using these machines in it’s public schools.

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Sep 30 2005

A Robot That Preschoolers Can Call Their Own

Robosapien Junior

Playskool Robosapien Junior

Gadget Madness is reporting today the first official sighting in the wild of the newest member of the Robosapien family, the Robosapien Junior by Playskool. Like it’s older siblings, the original Robosapien and the Mini Robosapien, Junior is one tough-looking robot. With “Bump-n-Giggle” technology (Hasbro’s term, not mine), it’s usefulness as a hacking platform is questionable at best, but I can’t think of a better (or cuter) way to introduce robots to the next generation of hackers, programmers, and scientists.

Robosapien Junior product page

Sep 29 2005

Kurzweil: Singularity by 2045

Ray Kurzweil

Futurist Ray Kurzweil

CNET posted an interview with one of my favorite authors, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil to promote his new book “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology.” Kurzweil, whose previous books include “The Age of Intelligent Machines” and “The Age of Spiritual Machines,” predicts that we will reach the Singularity, a time when changes to ourselves and our environment due to advances in computing, AI, nanotechnology, and biology will exceed the ability for pre-Singularity humans to understand or even predict, by 2045. This belief is rooted in his now famous 2001 essay, The Law of Accelerating Returns, in which he generalizes Moore’s law to include technologies outside of the integrated circuits that Moore’s law covers.

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Feb 16 2005

Neuroscientist to Become His Own Monkey

In an effort to explore the relationship between brain activity and consciousness, Stanford University nueroscientist Bill Newsome is currently seeking regulatory approval to implant an electrode into his own brain. Engadget has a summary of an interview MIT Technology Review did recently with Newsome in which he explains his obsession with determining how brain functions give rise to consciousness and why the limitations of studying animals have driven him to propose this extraordinary experiment.

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