October 31, 2001   

   Address key locks email
Securing your email messages from prying eyes usually means looking up the recipients' public encryption keys. A crypto scheme gets rid of this step by using email addresses to automatically make the keys.
Full story
Speech recognition to sort Holocaust tapes
Thousands of hours of video of Holocaust survivors recounting their experiences is invaluable for historians and educators, but annotating the collection by hand to make it searchable is a daunting task. An ambitious project aims to use speech recognition technology to automate the annotation process.

Sensitive sensor spots single photons
Making sensors that can detect the smallest amount of light possible is tremendously difficult but not impossible. The key to making them useful is making them fast.

Synced lasers pulse shorter
Merging two laser pulses actually makes a shorter pulse than either of the originals, if the two are different colors. The trick is perfectly synchronizing pulses that are far shorter than the blink of an eye. The payoff is faster data communications.

Electrons clean wire machine
One way to build wires only a few hundred atoms wide is to fill electrified microscopic molds with metal vapor. Reversing the current turns out to be a good way to keep the molds from clogging, which makes for longer wires.

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