September 12/19, 2001   

   Internet stays small world
No matter how big the Internet grows, it's likely to remain a small world -- at least in terms of how many hops it takes to get from one point to another. A study shows that the structure of the Internet means you'll never be all that far from anything on the Net.
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Tools automate computer sharing
Grid and peer-to-peer computing could turn computer processor time and disk space into commodities available by the hour. First, someone has to figure out how to keep track of who has what available when, who used what for how long, and how much it all cost.

Nanotube kinks control current
Put a couple of well-placed kinks in a vanishingly small carbon nanotube and you have a transistor that controls the flow of electricity one electron at a time. The bent tubes could be building blocks for superfast computers.

Hydrogen chip to fuel handhelds
Fuel cells will be the power source of the future if researchers can figure out how to generate hydrogen on the fly. A chip that pulls hydrogen out of a mixture of methanol and water could lead to longer-lasting portable devices.

Scheme harnesses Internet handshakes
Imagine if every time you shook somebody's hand you could secretly exploit their muscle movement, getting them to unwittingly contribute a little manual labor to the task of your choice.

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