April 6/13, 2005   

   Programmed DNA forms fractal
Artificial DNA molecules that form fractal sets of triangles within triangles prove that molecular self-assembly can be used for all manner of technologies. Getting from theory to computational and nanotechnological reality, however, involves finding ways to correct copious errors.
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Dialogue system juggles topics
You can dictate to a computer that is able to recognize words. Conversing with a computer, however, requires the computer to have some sense of what you're talking about. A system that anticipates the type of conversational tack you're likely to take next is able to keep track of multiple conversation threads at once and better recognizes your words.

Scheme reverses light pulses
Sending a light pulse back in the direction it came from in exactly the same size and shape it started out is a lot harder than simply bouncing light off a mirror. A scheme for time-reversing light pulses using photonic crystal could lead to faster optical communications and sharper image processing.

View from the High Ground
An email conversation with Yale University computer science professor Joan Feigenbaum: sensitive data, the post-petroleum society, rights and responsibilities in cyberspace, intellectual-property law, analog-era content distributors, diffuse computing, and detective novels.

Tough material gets functional... Water shifts rubber's shape... Interference scheme sharpens focus... System forms light necklace... Trapped light pulses interact... Optics demo does quantum logic... Strained material cleans up memory.

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