The U.N. and the Internet

Smaller, less developed countries are starting to gripe to the U.N. (also known as “Your Future One World Government”) about the influence that the USA has over how the Internet is run worldwide.

Key issues range from adding new top-level domains, assigning blocks of IP addresses, and operating the root servers that direct all Internet traffic. Other responsibilities that would fall under the umbrella of this new organization would include Internet surveillance, “consumer protection,” and perhaps even the power to tax domain names to pay for “universal access.” “Universal access”, according to U.N. documents, sounds like the phone tax that you pay to provide Internet service to schools.

Some of the complaints are on their face, patently silly –

Syria: “There’s more and more spam every day. Who are the victims? Developing and least-developed countries, too. There is no serious intention to stop this spam by those who are the transporters of the spam, because they benefit…The only solution is for us to buy equipment from the countries which send this spam in order to deal with spam. However, this, we believe, is not acceptable.”

Yes, we should have to take directions from Syria, lover of terrorists, on how to combat spam. Spam doesn’t just affect developing nations. It affects everybody. Please.

Part of the Bush Administration’s response to this call for internationalization included their stating that the Root servers would remain under U.S. control no matter what was decided.

Beyond the usual levers of diplomatic pressure and public kvetching, Brazil and China could choose what amounts to the nuclear option: a fragmented root. That means a new top-level domain would not be approved by ICANN—but would be recognized and used by large portions of the rest of the world. The downside, of course, is that the nuclear option could create a Balkanized Internet where two computers find different Web sites at the same address.

“It wasn’t until now” that a fragmented root was being talked about, says Milton Mueller, a professor at Syracuse University and participant in the Internet Governance Project. “China and other countries might be pursuing responses that lead to fragmentation.”

Such an outcome remains remote, but it could happen. That possibility means an obscure debate about Internet governance has suddenly become surprisingly important.

Know this – the U.N. wants control of the Internet. They may do whatever they feel they have to do to wrest control of it from the United States.

shudder

ITER Now Scheduled for France

Well, I guess the French can kiss that American money goodbye on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. The Japanese got some perks out of letting the Frogs have the reactor ($500 million worth of contracts for constructing ITER could go to Japanese companies, Japan could provide 20% of the 200 researchers in return for meeting 10% of the total cost, blah blah blah), but it just seems like another France vs. U.S. situation to me. My prediction? Look for a possible proposal of a competing reactor in the States.

Nanotech Underwear

This is not one of the products of the future that I was looking forward to, but if it gets rid of that sweaty boxer feeling (if you live/have lived in Texas, and you’re a guy, naturally, you know what I mean) then I might give it a try.

Some company called Green-shield out of Taiwan, “a Taiwanese nanotech company specializing in socks and underwear designed to protect you from the traditional discomforts that plague these items”. Now that’s ingenuity.

The article where I read about this is basically all promo-speak, but here’s some from it-

They have created articles of clothing that they claim can eliminate up to 99.99 percent of bacteria, 90 percent of odor and 75 percent of sticky moisture within the cloth as well as contributing to the overall health of the wearer.This is achieved through nanotechnology. Before the material is woven and sewn together to create garments, Green-shield’s fibers are altered through a patented process so that they begin to release a constant stream of negative ions and far-infrared rays.

The negative ions create a magnetic field that inhibits the reproduction of bacteria, thus eliminating odor and lowering the risk of skin infection or irritation. The negative ions also help to increase circulation and eliminate toxins from the blood by reacting with them and breaking them down.

Meanwhile, the far-infrared rays are absorbed by cells—not just in the skin but throughout the body—causing all the individual atoms to begin vibrating at a higher frequency, which speeds up the metabolism and the elimination of wastes. This is particularly helpful for alleviating soreness due to fatigue or injury, according to Green-shield.

Well, thank god for a constant stream of negative ions and far-infrared rays around your privates. One question though about reducing 90% of the odor – either these people need some FDS or maybe they should just wipe better, huh?

Smallest Man-Made Organic Particles Created

Don’t feel like paraphrasing. Let’s just block quote

Scientists who have created the smallest precisely crafted organic particles are billing their breakthrough as a potential boon to medicine and technology.The tiny structures could one day be used as vehicles for delivering drugs or genes into the human body or perhaps imaging you from the inside-out, the researchers said today. They might also find uses in electronics.

The nanotechnology industry has long been making strong claims, and this latest process is in its infancy. And it is no longer a big feat to make small things. Other scientists have created molecule-sized structures and even microscopic motors in the nanometer range. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.

But traditional nano-products are made mostly of metals and other inorganic materials that must be baked, etched or processed with solvents that would destroy fragile DNA or drugs.

The new structures are made of organic materials without all the harsh treament and can be constructed as spheres, rods, cones, or trapezoids. They could be made biodegradeable to disintigrate after insertion into the body.

“We believe that the particles will offer breakthroughs in the delivery of therapeutic, detection and imaging agents for the diagnosis and treatement of disease,” one of the study’s leaders, Joseph DeSimone of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told LiveScience. “In the elctronics industry, we believe we can make new materials for high speed, high-resolution optical displays.”

The new manufacturing process is called Particle Replication in Nonwetting Templates, or PRINT, and was detailed in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation.

DeSimone and his colleagues have formed a new company, called Liquidia, to attempt to commercialize the discovery.

Flying the Friendly 011100110110101101

Meet the future of teleportation

Well, Wallace and Gromit are the inspiration for it at least.

Professors Todd Mowry and Seth Goldstein of Carnegie Mellon University came up with an interesting take on teleportation based on stop-action clay animation.

“We thought that a good analogy for what we were going to do was claymation – something like the Wallace and Gromit shows,” Dr Mowry told BBC World Service’s Outlook programme.

What these two guys dreamed up was a novel solution to a sci-fi problem.

(The professors) think that, within a human generation, we might be able to replicate three-dimensional objects out of a mass of material made up of small synthetic “atoms”.Cameras would capture the movement of an object or person and then this data would be fed to the atoms, which would then assemble themselves to make up an exact likeness of the object.

Professor Goldstein has envisioned that, eventually, the objects will be built with “nano-dust” – tiny objects that can be programmed to bind to each other and move – but currently they are trying to build at a much larger scale, working with objects the size of table-tennis balls.

Their original plan was for the application to work in face-to-face interaction.

The technology mirrors that used to create the character of Gollum.
“I’m in Pittsburgh, and you’re in London. How do we make that happen?” Dr Mowry said.

“We can’t teleport somebody – nobody’s going to travel anywhere – but if we’re in our own rooms a system of cameras will capture exactly what’s in each room.”

Interesting. And very cool.

Electronic Paper

I’d read about E-Paper a couple of years ago, but this is nice tech. A micro-thin Citizen clock.

It utilizes E-Ink, which relies on negatively charged black particles and positively charged white particles. When a backing layer of circuitry either charges negatively or positively, it will draw or repel the particles based on their charge. The display also has an inherently stable “memory effect” which requires no power to maintain the image, drastically increasing the battery life. The result is 1/100 the power consumption of traditional display options.

Citizen has not yet announced a launch date for the product, but it is expected to be sold in Japan starting this year. Plans for the international launch are under consideration, along with other design interpretations.

Give. Me. One. Now.

Tiles That Reduce Pollution

An Italian tile manufacturer known as Gambarelli has definitely been thinking outside of the box with a new kind of tile they’ve developed. Called the Oxygena line, the new tile, when exposed to sunlight activates a reaction similar to that of chlorophyll photosynthesis in plants. In lab tests one square meter of tile has been able to purify 72 cubic meters of air.

Coated in titanium dioxide, the tile’s photocatalytic properties cause a reaction between air and sunlight where active oxygen is produced which, when it comes in contact with pollutants such as nitrogen monoxide and dioxide (found in vehicle emissions) activates a chemical reaction which destroys the pollutant, transforming it into harmless salts.

So, could you season a tenderloin with some pollution? Pretty cool.

Say… That’s a Nice Bike…

Look at this bad boy. It’s called the EMBRIO (what it stands for is a mystery to me) and it’s being designed by some Canadian company called Bobadier. From Gizmag-

This hydrogen fuel cell powered, gyroscopically balanced, one-wheeled recreational and commuting vehicle provides an extraordinary vision of the kind of personal transport we could be using 20 years from now. The design brief for Bombadier EMBRIO Concept was to “create highly innovative, functional and exciting products to exceed people’s recreational needs” and find the “next thing” in recreational vehicles. The result is a futuristic and minimalistic one-wheeler that is as about far away as you can get from the conventional image of a uni-cycle – a mode of transport normally associated with circuses and street parades. The riding position will be similar to a motorcycle with a complex series of sensors and gyroscopes balancing passengers on the single wheel. The rider activates a trigger on the left handlebar to accelerate and turns are made by shifting body-weight rather than actually steering.

Sweet. I’d ride one. Very “Minority Report”.

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