1959 Richard Feynman said that all the information
accumulated in all the books in the world
could theoretically fit in a cube 1/200th
of an inch on a side. Looks like he got it
tool makes bugs sing
In the real world, bugs make noise. Bestowing a
singing voice on the bugs that torment computer
programs could make rooting out programming mistakes
a bit easier. An experiment in musical programming
points to new ways of interacting with data.
grown in place
Nanotubes have a lot of promise. They just need
a little direction. The rolled-up sheets of carbon
atoms ordinarily grow in a random tangle, like a
pile of cooked spaghetti. A process that gets one
or more of the tiny tubes to form between a pair
of electrodes could go a long way toward realizing
nanotubes' potential to revolutionize electronics.
secrets ride phone lines
An experiment in transmitting perfectly secret messages
between two cities in western Switzerland one photon
at a time over regular fiber-optic phone lines shows
that quantum cryptography is ready for prime time.
You can even buy the system -- all you need is a
PC and a leased line from the phone company.
keeps atoms in line
One way to pack more data into storage devices is
to coax small numbers of metal atoms to line up
at regular intervals on a silicon chip. Atom-by-atom
construction would also make it easier to combine
the electronics of computers with the optics of
communications. Making metal and silicon meet at
the right concentration and temperature might just
do the trick.