November 15, 2000   

   Biometrics takes a seat
Some computers recognize voices, others recognize faces. A smart chair under development at Purdue University uses similar technology to collect data from an entirely different angle. The sensitive chair could eventually prevent you from falling asleep at the wheel, or remind you that slouching now will hurt later. But can you truly relax in a chair that tracks your every move?
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Oversize oddity could yield quantum computers
Strange quantum behavior is supposed to be confined to atoms and subatomic particles, but researchers have conjured a quantum effect in currents made of millions of electrons. Current that flows both ways at the same time could yield quantum computers.

Switch narrows molecular-macroscopic gap
The bottom-up and top-down approaches to nanotechnology need to come together. Tethering gold nanoparticles to a surface with molecules that readily shed and acquire electrons is a step in the right direction.

Tiny metal wires chart nanoelectronics
Though there's nothing small enough for them to connect, researchers at Bell Labs have produced metal wires only 10 atoms thick. When electronic devices eventually get that small, researchers will have a better idea what to expect.

Chip techniques block power leakage
A set of computer chip design changes aims to do the equivalent of turning out the lights in all unoccupied rooms.

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