August 22/29, 2001   

   Nets mimic quantum physics
Some people will tell you the software market is full of vapor. Others will say that dominant players like Microsoft freeze the market. It turns out that Microsoft's dominance is moving the software market toward a frozen vapor phase, mathematically speaking.
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Teamed filters catch more spam
It seems that you either have to tolerate at least some spam or accept that some of your legitimate email will get caught in a spam trap along with the chaff. A method that stitches together several spam filters could help minimize your pain.

Software eases remote robot control
The driver's seat for a future Mars rover could be the chair at your desk or even the back seat of a taxi. Software that turns Web browsers and PDAs into remote robot interfaces is just the thing for the space scientist on the go.

Ion beams mold tiny holes
Making a hole seems straightforward but below a certain size it's actually quite difficult. Harvard researchers have figured out how to precisely control the size of holes as small as a few millionths of a millimeter. Holes that size can be used for, among other things, measuring individual strands of DNA.

Unusual calms tell of coming storms
When complicated systems suddenly get neat and tidy, watch out. A mathematical model that looks for signs of regular behavior could help predict network outages, traffic pileups and stock market crashes.

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