The world is getting too strange II

More tools robots can use, and a random note about the latest Harry Potter(TM) related scandal.

Perfect surrogate memory would be supplemental to, but ultimately as good as, your original memory. … It could let you listen to every conversation you had when you were 21 or find that photograph of the obscure date you had on summer vacation….it would “supplement (and sometimes supplant) other information-processing systems, including people.”

Sounds like science fiction, but according to a story on Fox News.com it is on the drawing table at Microsoft.

I’ve been thinking for years that somebody should start working on this:

As part of the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, last week, Peking University students created tiny assembly lines out of bacteria. Their entry, “Towards a Self-Differentiated Bacterial Assembly Line,” won them the grand prize among 50 teams from around the world.*

It certainly solves the union problem. When the bacteria go on strike, just have the robots spray them with Penicillin.

From Slashdot, a case of He said She said where he and/or she do not actually exist. Sort of:

“Apparently famous authors don’t like it if you try to make a buck using their imaginary property because J.K. Rowling is suing the publishers of the Harry Potter Lexicon for infringement. This should prove an interesting test case for fair use given that the lexicon contains mostly factual information about the series, not copies of the books’ text. Of course, both sides seem a bit touchy about imaginary property rights, with Rowling’s lawyers being miffed after being told to print it themselves when they asked for a paper copy of the lexicon’s website, and the lexicon website itself using one of those insipid right click disabling scripts.”

Comments

  1. #1 JimV
    November 16, 2007

    I said, years ago (you could ask my friend Mario), that the government or somebody should develop an accurate lie-detector – using some kind of brain-scan technique like an MRI, coupled with research on how the brain works when one is fabricating something. (Assuming there are detectable differences.). Think of the crimes we could solve, the long trials we could skip, if we could just ask, “Did you do it?” and get an accurate answer. Plus we could hook political candidates up to it during debates, check our intelligence sources with it, et cetera. Mario poo-pooed the idea as usual, but I think I saw something recently to the effect that it may be feasible.