Saturday, September 20, 2008

Nanobot Model

The picture above is a model of a nanobot attempting to repair a red blood cell. This was created in Second Life.

Successful Prediction - The Permanent World Encyclopa

H.G. Wells, an excellent writer, was also an excellent futurist. Many ideas that he had wrote about have come true in some respect.

One such idea was the thought of a permanent library ( or a 'World Brain." He said tat there will be a need for a more advanced encyclopaedia to help increase knowledge. Schools are born all the time back then, however the current encyclopaedias were "for gentelmen by gentlemen." Universal education was not something that was thought of as much back then.

Have we such an encyclopaedia now? I think we do. The Internet has all sorts of information, spans multiple cultures and is available to anyone with a computer. We can get to it on our cell phones and other personal equipment, making it even more accessible.

Myself, I have used my phone to win (and lose) debates with friends. What are the lyrics of this song? When was it produced? All of this is available to us.

So yes, I think we do have a permanent world encyclopaedia. Maybe not as H.G. Wells had invisioned, but his prediction has come true.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Audacity - Podcast Creation Software

I have made my first podcast today! To do so, I utilized a tool called Audacity.

Audacity is a very powerful tool that allows you to create a podcast and save it in a variety of file formats. The software provides many different effects that you can execute on your podcast giving it some individuality.

I thought the tool was pretty easy to use, although it wasn't perfectly stable for me. The program did crash once while I was creating my podcast, however that is not bad for a Windows system anyway!

All in all, the tool was great, although there is a lot more to podcasting than I had thought. There was a bit more to it than just recording the file. Blogger doesn't host the file natively, so I had to find a place to host it. Once that was found, however, things were fairly easy.

That would be an excellent addition in the future Blogger!!!

Future Prediction Podcast

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This picture illustrates what a nanoprobe may look like. This particular probe would have the ability to remove toxin from the human body, perform tests and ultrasounds, as well as perform surgery on a cell level.

The capabilities of such nanodevices are just starting to be realized, and will continue to do so in the future.

The future - Nanobots

We have made great strides in robotics, including the ablity to build very small machines, called nanobots or nanites. These devices have a large potential as they can be used in everything from manufacturing components on a small scale to use in the medical professions by having the ability to repair tissues within the human body.

I believe that their use in medicine, or nanomedicine rather, will greatly increase in the next 10-15 years. These small devices are capable of performing diagnostics on the human body, deliver medication specifically to where they need to be, as well as check the toxicity levels in specific organs much more effectively than current capabilities allow.

Unfortunately, there are some concerns about using such technique, namely ethical concerns [1]. While nanotechnology has the ability to provide powerful tools to the medical profession, people are worried things can go too far. Such technologies allow 'enhancement' to the human body much more powerful than steroids. Software is not perfect, so there is a chance the nanotechnology can cause more harm than good due to a coding error (we have seen what happens with simple unit conversions with NASA's Mars probes).

Currently the National Institute of Health is providing grants for further study into the capabilities of nanotechnologies in the medical profession. They tend to agree that some of the advances found will be seen in 10 or so years [2].

As with any new technology, there are things that must be worked out, either technical or ethical. Nanotechnology has advanced, but the ethics still need to be worked out. Within the next 10-15 years nanotechnology will become more common, and I think that many of the ethical concerns will be worked out. There will be government legislation regulating the use of this technology, to be sure.

Just imagine the possibilities. Cancer cells individually destroyed or repaired in place of current treatments. Taking a pill to clean the plaque in our arteries. The future looks very promising indeed!

1. The potential and the pitfalls of nanomedicine, May 7 2007, Nanowerk,

2. Nanomedicine - Overview, National Institute of Technology,

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Twitter - What's the point?

Interestingly, today a friend of mine had invited me to Twitter. I thought I would check it out.

It appears to be simply a service that lets people know what you are up to. Alerts can be configured so every 24 hours if you have not posted an update on what you are doing, it will remind you to do so. Mobile updates can be configured as well, fo those that really want to keep an eye on what others they are 'following' are up to.

I must be missing something with Twitter... I don't see the point. So many other, more capable sites, provide similar functionality. FaceBook for example allows me to provide a quick message allowing me to provide my status, as well as offering other functionality such as games and other content.

Perhaps the draw to this site is the simplicity of it. It really is pretty simple to use, however MySpace and FaceBook on the other hand can be a bit confusing to newcomers. And, there have been instances where news is posted on Twitter before it actually makes it into the media, such as in the case of the Los Angeles earthquake a few weeks ago, however even then it isn't a profitable venture as of yet.

We'll just have to see how Twitter evolves in the future. I hope they add some unique functionality that FaceBook and MySpace don't already offer.