Saturday, March 08, 2008

Progress











T
he current issue of Technology Review
features its annual list of  10 technological innovations for 2008. New ideas that offer a tonic to audiences grown weary of a steady diet of negative political campaigning, celebrity gossip, and tales of economic catastrophe. More comfort for a change to settle in with the objectivity and far reaching hope of these novel solutions to present day constraints.

This is work ready to emerge from the lab, in a broad range of areas: energy, computer hardware and software, biological imaging, and more. Two of the technologies--cellulolytic enzymes and atomic magnetometers--are efforts by leading scientists to solve critical problems, while five--surprise modeling, connectomics, probabilistic CMOS, reality mining, and offline Web applications--represent whole new ways of looking at problems. And three--graphene transistors, nanoradio, and wireless power--are amazing feats of engineering that have created something entirely new.


All of these developments have a common theme of taking older technologies and improving them, by miniaturizing to widen the range of applications, using newer materials in different more economic ways and of using algorithms to provide answers to real world limitations in unexpected ways.

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