Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #111
May 21st, 2006

Here is my weekly selection of articles that were not mentioned here — except if I missed them.

Sensors Without Batteries

In the future, the environment could be pervaded by sensors using the same power-scavenging techniques as RFID tags.
Source: Kate Greene, Technology Review, May 15, 2006

Virtual nightclub offers teens alter egos

School dances were once the training grounds for teens to learn to interact with the opposite sex. [But if] Andrew Littlefield has his way, young people will hone their social skills within his virtual nightclub, which features all the trappings of a trendy hotspot: dim lights, Jacuzzi and bouncers. Littlefield is the architect of The Lounge, an Internet nightclub that threw open its virtual doors on Monday.
Source: Greg Sandoval, CNET News.com, May 14, 2006

SCAMPI trawls the internet

Network traffic management is becoming increasingly important as computer networks grow larger and more complicated. A EU project has developed a combination of hardware and software to create new, open tools for high-speed network monitoring, addressing a costly bottleneck for companies wanting to extract the full potential of their bandwidths.
Source: IST Results, May 17, 2006

Lenders, Borrowers Hook Up Over the Web

Prosper.com and other sites provide forum for individual bidders willing to offer small loans.
[Here are some examples:] A priest near Orlando, Fla., borrows $9,000 for home repairs at an annual rate of 17.75%. A second-year Harvard Business School student wants $15,000 for foreign travel and gets a loan at 8%. A stepmother in suburban Sacramento needs $4,000 to cover the legal expenses of adopting her stepson and gets a loan at 23.75%.
Source: Jane Boon Pearlstine, special to The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2006 (Paid registration required)

Searching for the soul in the machine

If computers could create a society, what kind of world would they make? Thanks to the work of an ambitious project that adds a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘computer society’, in which millions of software agents will potentially evolve their own culture, we could be about to find out.
Source: IST Results, May 18, 2006

Winning (and Losing) the First Wired War

The Iraq war was launched on a theory: That, with the right networking gear, American armed forces could control a country with a fraction of the troops ordinarily needed. But that equipment never made it down to the front lines, David Axe (just back from his 6th trip to Iraq) and I note in this month’s Popular Science. Which is a problem, because the insurgents using throwaway cellphones and anonymous e-mail accounts to stitch together a network of their own.
[Note: the full article is on Popular Science.]
Source: Noah Shachtman, with David Axe in Iraq, Popular Science, June 2006

See you next week…


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