September 27, 2000   

   Ants solve tough problems
Ants are simpleminded animals, but they hold the keys to solving some of the toughest problems in computing. It turns out simplemindedness is part of the answer. With everyone following a few simple rules, and no boss looking over everyone's shoulders, the colony thrives. Full story
Camera gets all the exposure
By underexposing and overexposing the same image all at once, a camera under development at Columbia University can get it just right.

Coated specks form nano building blocks
Wrap tiny particles of metal in plastic and a sticky obstacle to nanotechnology goes away.

Sturdy virus makes tiny container
Researchers notice that a particularly hardheaded virus resembles a microscopic barrel complete with watertight seal.

Freezing speeds rapid prototyping
Automated ice sculptures could help manufacturers clean up their design act.

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