When Americans are wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq, no expense is spared to save their lives. But once they're home, if they have suffered an amputation of their arm, they usually end up wearing an artificial limb that hasn't changed much since World War II.
In all the wonders of modern medicine, building a robotic arm with a fully functioning hand has not been remotely possible.
For more of CcBetty.com, see Rafe Needleman's blog post.
Five years after a Netroots candidacy didn't quite get him into the White House, online support for Howard Dean is back.
Fans of the former Vermont governor and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate are turning to Facebook and online liberal mainstays like FireDogLake to make the case for why President Obama should nominate Dean to run the Health and Human Services Department.
After Obama's first choice for the job, former senator Tom Daschle, withdrew his nomination because of tax problems, the Obama administration told The New York Times that "there was no Plan B." Yet online, the … Read more
Dean Kamen is best known as the inventor of the Segway scooter and medical devices including a portable insulin pump, a stair-climbing wheelchair, and a robotic prosthetic arm. Like any good inventor or mad genius, Kamen can be called eccentric. He lives in a hexagonal-shaped home, commutes to work via helicopter, and owns his very own island. Kamen has declared his island, the three-acre North Dumpling Island off the coast of Connecticut, an independent state with its own constitution, currency (based on Pi), and navy (a lone amphibious vehicle). The island comes complete with a replica of Stonehenge.
And soon, … Read more
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Segway inventor Dean Kamen on Monday detailed two of his design firm's latest projects aimed at the developing world--a water filtration machine and electricity generator that runs on cow dung.
Kamen gave a talk at the Lux Executive Summit here about science and innovation. But he had a clear ulterior motive: convince a room full of technologists to address the "chilling" need for more scientists and engineers to solve the world's worsening problems.
"I am scared to death of the way this world is heading," Kamen said. "The best resource (to … Read more
NEW YORK--In technology circles, Dean Kamen is probably best known as the guy who invented the Segway.
But Kamen, also the creator of an array of medical devices and the founder of a worldwide organization that encourages students to study science, is perhaps most passionate about solving third-world health problems as basic as getting access to drinkable water and electricity.
Now he thinks cell phone manufacturer Nokia may be able to help out.
Thursday morning, Nokia is expected to announce its "Calling All Innovators" competition, a global contest that will split up to $150,000 among several winners. … Read more
SANTA CLARA, Calif.--At the Flash Memory Summit taking place here this week, makers of solid-state drives cited their worries about lackluster performance on Windows Vista and, with no small irony, the dangers of hype.
Solid-state drives have become the de facto storage device for the category of small, inexpensive notebook PCs called Metbooks, and they're offered in high-profile laptops such as the MacBook Air and ThinkPad X300.
While Don Larson, product line manager at Intel NAND Products Group, said the tiny size and low power requirements of Netbooks make them an ideal product for solid-state drives (adding that … Read more
It used to be that your plans to marry had to be read out in churches. (This allowed parishioners to raise an objection. "He's stumpy and stupid." "She's far too beautiful for you." That sort of thing.)
Now, divorce settlements are being slapped on websites.
Gary Dean, a British businessman, who seems to have made quite a lot of money out of advertising, is deeply sensitive to public relations.
He was so upset that people were calling him unpleasant names like "greedy" when he divorced his wife of nineteen years that he … Read more
Dean Takahashi sent me an e-mail pointing to a piece he wrote on VentureBeat describing statements Wednesday by Intel's Chief Technical Officer Justin Rattner targeted at NVIDIA. CNET's own Brooke Crothers covered the same story and provides additional background here.
The technology at issue relates to 3D graphics for PCs. All current PC graphics chips use what's called polygon-order rendering. All of the polygons that make up the objects to be displayed are processed one at a time. The graphics chip figures out where each polygon should appear on the screen and how much of it will be visible or obstructed by other polygons.
Ray tracing achieves similar results by working through each pixel on the screen, firing off a "ray" (like a backward ray of light) that bounces off the polygons until it reaches a light source in the scene. Ray tracing produces natural lighting effects but takes a lot more work.
(That's the short version, anyway. For more details, you could dig up a copy of my 1997 book Beyond Conventional 3D. Alas, the book is long since out of print.)
Ray tracing is easily implemented in software on a general-purpose CPU, and indeed, most of the computer graphics you see in movies and TV commercials are generated this way, using rooms full of PCs or blade-server systems.
Naturally, Intel loves ray tracing, and there are people at Intel working to… Read more