June 2/9, 2004   

   Recognition keys access
Researchers are working on various ways of providing access security that don't involve the burdensome task of recalling passwords. Some are using the recognition of previously-viewed pictures to make passwords easier to remember. One team is abandoning passwords altogether.
Full story
Rules aim to get devices talking
There's no guarantee that future household devices that are designed to be smart will be able to get along with each other in order to seamlessly serve our needs. Realizing the vision of ubiquitous computing will require giving devices a means of cooperating and even getting them to agree on basic concepts. A set of game-like rules could help devices solve these types of problems by themselves.

Access patterns organize data
An information retrieval method that mimics the way the brain links neurons causes data to organize itself. The more people follow a path through a set of data, the more visible the path becomes.

Atom-photon link demoed
Atoms are relatively sturdy, as quantum particles go, making them particularly suitable for storing and processing quantum information. Photons, the other hand, are hard to hold onto but good for transmitting quantum information. Getting atoms and photons to exchange information is crucial for many quantum computer designs. The first verified atom-photon entanglement shows that it's not so hard to do, as long as you can accept a low success rate.

Plastic nanowires sense gasses... Process nets cheap microstructures... Cursor speed shows virtual bumps... Sensors track martial arts blows... Nanotube moves molten metal... Buckyballs gain smaller kin.

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