July 14/21, 2004   

   Messenger taps social nets
It often ends up that the information you need is just beyond your immediate reach, but probably sits at the ready in the mind of an unidentified friend of a friend of a friend. Extending the capabilities of ubiquitous communications tools like instant messaging and email could make that information easier to come by.
Full story
Quantum crypto network debuts
Quantum cryptography has been extended beyond point-to-point links with a six-node network under the streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The network is the first step toward bringing the potentially perfect security of quantum cryptography to the Internet.

Teleport lifts quantum computing
Two research teams have been able to teleport the quantum states of atoms on demand, providing a reliable and stable method of transmitting quantum information. In addition to bringing teleportation to the realm of matter, the feat boosts the prospects for building quantum computers that employ trapped ions, quantum particles that live long enough to carry out multiple computations.

Probabilities ease genetic logic
Genetic algorithms are turning out to be useful for optimizing designs and solving problems. Parallel processing would help, but passing information about the many individuals that make up a population back and forth among processors cuts the efficiency. Exchanging probabilities about the population rather than information about individuals speeds the process.

Ultraviolet powers pixels... Nanorods gain gold tips... E-ink drawing pad closer to paper... Retinal display guides near-blind... Multi-projector system gets diverse... Laser tweezer traps nanotubes.

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