In the 1990s, we dubbed the Internet the `information superhighway`. So why is it still so hard to find what we are looking for online? According to Prof. Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton, it is because the web is mostly linkless. What`s more, if we want the Web to be useful in our daily lives, web links will have to become much more personal.
Prof. Hall is head of Southampton`s Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia (IAM) Research Group. She says that hand-crafted websites generally c
A balanced portfolio of programs could mean a faster quantum computer.
Strategies from the world of finance could help get the best out of quantum computers, say US researchers 1 . The right portfolio of programs could solve a problem many times faster than a single strategem.
Quantum computers – purely hypothetical as yet – would be fast, but you could never be sure whether a program was going to work or not. You would have to keep running the program until
Surprising black hole weigh-in has astronomers scratching their heads.
Forty thousand light years away, on the other side of the Milky Way, lies object GRS1915+105. It is a giant star and a black hole orbiting one another, blasting out X-rays and ejecting gas and dust at close to the speed of light.
Now measurements of this “extreme and puzzling” object are casting doubt on current theories of how such binary systems form and behave. Astronomers have weighed its black hole,
Devices with DNA software may one day be fitted into cells.
“If you wear the right glasses, a lot of what you see inside the cell is computation,” says Ehud Shapiro of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. Now Shapiro and his colleagues have turned the computational power of biological molecules to their own ends 1 .
The researchers have built a machine that solves mathematical problems using DNA as software and enzymes as hardware. A trillion such biomol
Ultra-minaturized electrical components could shrink supercomputers.
Researchers in the Netherlands and the United States have constructed simple computer circuits with electrical components many times smaller than those on commercial silicon chips 1 , 2 . These ultra-minaturized logic circuits hold out the prospect of hand-held computers as powerful as today’s state-of-the-art supercomputers.
Cees Dekker and co-workers at the Delft University
Silicon still has a lot to offer the microelectronics industry
The end is not nigh for silicon chips. They have “enormous remaining potential”, predicts a new analysis of the limits of integrated circuit technology 1 .
By around 2011, chips could be holding thousands of times more transistors than the billions they house today, calculate James Meindl and colleagues at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Trillion-transistor chips are known as ’terascal