Tech universe: Friday, 13 August

By Miraz Jordan

A round-up of the latest technology news from around the globe.

SO THEY SAY: Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, says every 2 days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilisation up until 2003. Nicholas Negroponte says digital books are going to replace physical books. Bill Gates
says 5 years from now you'll be able to find the best lectures in the
world on the web for free and it'll be better than any single
university. Senator Ted Stevens, killed in a plane crash on 9 August 2010, said in 2006: "The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes." Stephen Hawking says threats to the human race mean we must move to outer space within a century.

SPIN DATA: Ohio State University recently read and wrote data on a computer's memory strip a bit differently: by controlling the spin of electrons, rather than detecting their presence.

Spintronics, flipping the spin of an electron, doesn't take much energy, and creates almost no heat. Think faster, smaller, cooler hard drives. Flipping electrons!

MAGNETIC SURGERY: Brain tumours are very hard to treat. A Taiwan hospital coated nanoparticles with an anti-cancer drug then used a magnetic field to guide them to where they were most effective. Rats treated this way received 15 times more of the drug and survived 66% longer than untreated rats. Where there are rats there's hope. Details at TechDailyNews.

TOUGH AS PAPER: Aerogels are very light and extremely rigid. Researchers freeze dried specially treated cellulose to make an aerogel that could be either a highly absorbent sponge, or a tiny piece of magnetic nanopaper able to support 400,000 pounds per square inch. Tiny but tough. More at ArsTechnica.

LIQUID METAL: Apple now has access to all the Intellectual Property of Liquidmetal Technologies. Liquidmetal products are made of "amorphous" metal alloys that are light, strong and resistant to metal fatigue. Your next iPhone may weigh less but be stronger. Now just add magnetic nanopaper! Details at ArsTechnica.

- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz.

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