Thursday, December 9

Monday, December 6

Has it flown away,
The cuckoo that called
Waking me at midnight?

Yet its song seems
Still by my pillow.

Oh this world of ours-
There is no way out!

With my heart in torment
I sought the mountain depths,
but even there the stag cries.

Fujiwara Shunzei

Friday, November 19

Tuesday, November 16

Nanotubes Make Antennas for Light

Technology Review: Nanotubes Make Antennas for Light
November 15, 2004

An antenna transmits and receives electromagnetic waves at wavelengths that are close to the length of the antenna, and it does so by converting electrical current to electromagnetic waves and vice versa. The electromagnetic spectrum spans radio waves, microwaves, heat waves, visible lightwaves, ultraviolet waves, x-rays, and gamma rays.

Carbon nanotubes, which are rolled-up sheets of carbon atoms that can be smaller than a nanometer in diameter, can act as antennas, but instead of transmitting and receiving radio waves, which are at the longest end of the electromagnetic spectrum, antennas of their size pick up the nanoscale wavelengths of visible light. A nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter. In contrast, radio wave wavelengths are measured in meters.

Researchers at Boston College, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center, Mega Wave Corporation and Florida International University have demonstrated the light antenna effect using arrays of multiwalled carbon nanotubes.

The method could be used to convert optical signals to electrical signals in communications equipment, to carry out optical computing, to detect different wavelengths of light including the infrared wavelengths used in telecommunications equipment, and to convert sunlight to electricity in solar energy applications, according to the researchers.

To make the light antennas, the researchers grew arrays of multiwalled carbon nanotubes that were 50 nanometers in diameter and varied in length from 200 to 1,000 nanometers. Visible lightwaves range from 400 to 700 nanometers long from crest to crest, which is about ten times smaller than a red blood cell.

The researchers measured the behavior of the carbon nanotube arrays by recording the lightwaves that the minuscule antennas reradiated.

Practical nanotube antennas could be developed in two to five years, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the September 27, 2004 issue of Applied Physics Letters."

Friday, November 5

democracy perfected!

"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

--- H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

The Most Important Terrorism is 'Ours'
- John Pilger

Failures in Iraq Repeat History

A Soldier Speaks

Friday, October 22

Halo 2 breaks records with 1.5 million preorders

Anticipation for Bungie's latest promises one of the biggest entertainment launches ever

Microsoft has announced that pre-orders for Xbox-exclusive title Halo 2 have passed 1.5 million in the United States alone, breaking videogame records and guaranteeing first-day revenues higher than any movie in history.

Over 6,500 stores in the USA are planning to open at 12.01 AM on the morning of Tuesday, November 9th, to sell copies of the game, with the first retail copy set to be distributed at midnight in the Toys 'R' Us store in New York's Times Square.

Additionally, 1,125 further retailers worldwide are planning celebration events for the launch of the game - which will take place between November 9th and November 11th in every Xbox territory, covering 27 countries with seven different language versions.

Anticipation for the sequel to the biggest-selling Xbox game ever doesn't appear to have been dulled by the release of a pirate version onto the Internet last week - a move which has mainly been greeted with outrage by fans of the game.

"Halo 2 is expected to be the biggest 24 hours for a video game title in retail history," boasted Microsoft's VP of worldwide publishing and marketing for Xbox, Peter Moore, in a statement this week, "and is projected to bring in more revenue than any day one box office blockbuster movie in the United States."

The original Halo, which was also Xbox-exclusive originally but was later released on PC and Mac platforms, has now sold over five million units worldwide and is still a regular entry in the monthly top ten sales charts in North America.

Rob Fahey

Wednesday, October 20

Technology Light & Heavy

wanna light technology read?
try the free downloadable

philosophical tech?
then get smart with
John Smart

Sunday, October 17

Nanokiwi Best of 2004 :: Health

15 Minute Yoga Box
my highest recommendation
after two decades of nightly back pain
nothing I've done has been as lifechanging
as these simple yoga stretches
some kind of miracle. .

Sunday, October 10


I think I could turn and live with animals,
they are so placid and self-contained.
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God.

Not one is dissatisfied,
not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another,
nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago.

Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.

- Walt Whitman

Friday, October 8

Xbox2 Preview: Monster Machine

The release of Xbox2 in about a year looks to be a significant event in the history of computing. The first Xbox, though impressive, was very much a console version of current PC technology. Xbox2, codename Xenon, will push computing power to levels not seen outside supercomputing facilities.

The PC world has seen clock speeds hover at the 3ghz mark for a few years now, with heat problems apparent at higher speeds. This would have been part of the motivation for Microsoft's shock switch to IBM and its Power processor architecture (as used by Apple, most recently in the G5 iMac).

The Xenon will feature three(!) Power5 processors and running at a total of over 10ghz. This will be combined with ATI's latest R500 chip, which they claim will be ready to ship Q1 2005. So late 2005 looks a cert for the next Xbox.

What will this mean for gaming? The first xbox got rid of the jaggies and allowed the best gaming ever. Halo2 anyone? The next will see something approaching a photorealistic look. Though the latest software tools make game programming easier, its going to be quite a challenge for game companies to "direct" games which more and more resemble the cinema.

But if Xbox2 is the most exciting product of 2005, Sony looks to steal the show in 2006, with the much anticipated cell processor. Cell architecture is completely new and if the hype is to be believed will make the fastest PCs of today look like pockets calculators (again).

And behind it all: IBM

Essential Links:
Xbox2 Inside & Out
Xbox2 Specs

Thursday, October 7

nanokiwi nanotsunami

ive been invited to be
guest writer at
im happy my rantings will reach a wider audience
and later. . . world domination!

click the nanotsunami
gif on the right
to catch the wave. .

also on the right
links to my art page
and friend's blogs

hi friends!

Tuesday, September 28

Mr. Clean


To find Kim Hyung Gyoon's office in Samsung's R.-and-D. complex, just follow the baskets of dirty clothes. No, Kim is not running the company Laundromat. As chief of Samsung's washing and cleaning technology group, he is the man behind a new washing machine that deposits tiny silver particles - about 11/410,000 the thickness of a human hair - onto clothes to make them bacteria-and odor-free without the use of hot water. The device represents the first mass-produced application of this type of nanotechnology - the science of very small structures - to home appliances. "In the summer of 2002, I asked everyone in the office to take off their socks," says Kim, 48. "I took one sock from each person and placed it in a regular washing machine; the others were washed in a machine with the Ag+ Nano System. The next day I asked everyone to check the odor of their socks after a day's wear. One began to stink, and the other was odorless."

Here's how it works: a grapefruit-size device near the tub uses electric currents to nano-shave two silver plates the size of chewing-gum sticks. The resulting silver particles are sprayed into the tub during the wash cycle. The silver ion inhibits bacterial growth. According to the Korea Testing & Research Institute for the Chemical Industry, Samsung's device kills 99.9% of bacteria and fungi. Kim says garments stay germ-free for up to a month after being laundered. The Ag+ Nano device went on sale in March 2003 (just ahead of other silver-nanotech appliances from competitors LG and Daewoo) and costs around $1,150. The revolutionary technology is also being used in Samsung's refrigerators and air conditioners.

No wonder: consumers seem to like a little silver in their spin cycles. Since Samsung's nano-armed products were first launched, they have brought in an estimated $779 million in revenue. Overall, nanotechnology has been one of science's fastest-growing fields in recent years, with potential applications in fields as diverse as energy production and toothpaste manufacture. The nanotech market is projected to be worth $1 trillion by 2015.

Because this is such a hotly competitive field - Daewoo has introduced air conditioners that spray vitamin C into the environment - Kim isn't about to divulge what other nanotech projects he's working on. But one thing is for sure ‹ from now on, even his dirtiest clothes will have a silver lining.

--By Mingi Hyun/Seoul

Sunday, September 12

Free Nanotechnology Now!

Since Freetopia is now
and there's plenty of room at the bottom
i thought i'd better make some nanoposts
why not visit as i do the well equipped
smalltimes or nanotech-now
or get the whole kaboodle with a
free nanotech course

my favourite nanothing?
carbon nanotubes since they
seem good for just about anything

and how about a downunder rant!

Nanokiwi Best of 2004 :: Comedy

Ali G

Universal Truths
Angry Rants Teenstyle
Bill Hicks - Genius lives on

Thursday, September 9

Ducks just let you be

Terrorism blows you up
Nastiness grinds you down
Stupidity wears you out
The media sucks you in, drags you under
Politics does you over
Up, down, in, out, under, over!
But ducks ...
Ducks just let you be.

- Michael Leunig

Friday, September 3

riddle me terror

riddle me this
how many western non
peeps have been
killed by terrorist acts
in the last decade?

6000? or
one in a million
about that i'd say

if you were worried about terrorism
based on previous levels of activity
youd be plain crazy to be concerned for
more than a moment

terrorists just arent that busy

but if you want to worry
think dirty bomb or some other techy thing
since if a crazed ex priest can catch marathon man
its shows its pretty easy to sneek through security

the media feeds us a diet of fear
terrorism is the most distilled form of this
because what can you do about it?

i for one would give palestine and chechnya back
i mean if someone wants something so much you
should probably just give it to them, no?

not likely!

those fighting for a piece of nationhood
used to be called "freedom fighters"
but to merit that name they must stop targeting civilians
otherwise the public will naturally sympathise with the victims

Sunday, August 29

The Stone Mind

Hogen, a Chinese Zen teacher, lived alone in a small temple in the country. One day four traveling monks appeared and asked if they might make a fire in his yard to warm themselves.

While they were building the fire, Hogen heard them arguing about subjectivity and objectivity. He joined them and said: "There is a big stone. Do you consider it to be inside or outside your mind?"

One of the monks replied: "From the Buddhist viewpoint everything is an objectification of mind, so I would say that the stone is inside my mind."

"Your head must feel very heavy," observed Hogen, "if you are carrying around a stone like that in your mind."

Sunday, August 1

The Age of Kurzweil Inc.

Book Review: The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil

I have long been interested in AI and more recently reading about an idea called the "singularity" on the Internet: the idea that technology, specifically computing power, is improving so rapidly that were will soon live in a world of superintelligent AI. The average 2004 computer may have the equivalent intellectual capacity of a mouse, but by 2020 (or 2030 or 2010) a computer will have the processing power of a human brain, with capacities way beyond the human brain shortly thereafter.

The manifesto of "accelerating returns" reaches its most detailed expression in "The Age of Spiritual Machines" by Ray Kurzweil.

Most of the book is philosophy of mind, something I am familiar with having taken philosophy of mind to Masters level. The basis with which Kurzweil argues is called "physicalism": the belief that all processes are ultimately physical processes. Thus all states in humans are due to the states of their cells, specifically neurons (hormones are not mentioned: perhaps because they are too messy). The brain is thus a kind of computer.

I was surprised he did not cite the bible of neural physicalism, Churchlands' "Neurophilosophy".

There is a branch of AI that seeks to model computational processes after neurons called "neural networking" or "connectionism". Software has been developed in attempt to have computers function in ways analogous to a human brain. Experiments in this area have proven fruitious, it is possible to teach neural networks to recognise patterns and learn in remarkably human way. Kurzweil has examples of computer generated poetry and even painting that defy judgement that it is machine made. I found this section of the book interesting. Since computers are able to do so much that we previously though to be exclusively human, Kurzweil argues, we can extrapolate this trend into the future to find there will be (virtually) nothing a human can do that can't be done by a machine. If a machine has as much processing power as a human, can do all a human can, its spiritual status is something like that of a human. It will have a mind because "mind", according to physicalism-connectionism, is a by-product of complex computational ability.

This is a well known position in philosophy of mind called "epiphenomenalism".

Although Kurzweil doesn’t use the term, his entire book is based around it. I was surprised to find that the basis for Kurzweil’s position was a citing of all the things computers can do that are considered "intelligent" in humans. While this may be a basis for an argument that machines could be considered intelligent, it says nothing on the possibility of machine consciousness or spirituality. It is just assumed they will follow. Now I'm not saying they will not follow, it could happen IF physicalism AND connectionism AND epiphenomenalism were true. But Kurzweil never enters into any arguments about this, instead he spends much of the book providing screeds of evidence for the ongoing increasing processing power of computers.

Kurzweil uses the time honoured method of developing an argument ignoring the strongest objections whilst deftly demolishing the "straw men", or minor ones.

Yes, Ray, carbon nanotube computing will provide the power of the worlds current fastest computer, the NEC Earth Simulator, in a cubic millimetre. Great! But will they be conscious? Will they be spiritual? Will it be immoral for us to pull the plug on such machines?

To me the book lacked a sense of spirituality. Ray's trinity appears to be cybersex, self-promotion and money.

Sometimes I got the feeling the book was just a big promo for Ray Kurzweil Enterprises Incorporated. But I hasten to add it is well written as far as it goes, with lots of provocative ideas. Plenty of food for the mind, if not the soul.

Tuesday, July 27

Humans, Technology Mesh in Fascinating Ways

Mac News: Commentary: Humans, Technology Mesh in Fascinating Ways

When microchips give way to nanobots which are replaced by organic arrays nearly indistinguishable from our own cells -- passed from one generation to the next, evolving by design -- then our own connected future may lie not in the light of fiber optics, but in the spectrum of a new kind of ESP (what I will call "Engineered Sensory Perception"), a means of interpersonal communication that makes a gigabyte per second look like two children with a garden hose, funnels held to mouth and ear.


naked buttresses
 ............of gallantry
dressed for her...
   in fine bearing
- aromatic

Wednesday, July 21

short film

man captured by hoods
gag him, dressed in black
taken to darkened room
lit by large fishtank

gag removed the man splutters
but he's not gonna squeal

then goggleyed stares at the tank
something had been dropped in
(a finger?) cas it turns out the fish are piranas
the other figure in the room casually
continues his questioning
the feeding frenzy continues

cut to the men dressed in black
who are dropping in fish fingers
"yeah uncle tony's got good interview skills"

or something. . .