Long Live the Web

November 22, 2010

The world wide web went live, on my physical desktop in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 1990. It consisted of one Web site and one browser, which happened to be on the same computer. The simple setup demonstrated a profound concept: that any person could share information with anyone else, anywhere. In this spirit, the Web spread quickly from the grassroots up. Today, at its 20th anniversary, the Web is thoroughly integrated into our daily lives. We take it for granted, expecting it to “be there” at any instant, like electricity.

The Web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles and because thousands of individuals, universities and companies have worked, both independently and together as part of the World Wide Web Consortium, to expand its capabilities based on those principles.

Site – http://www.scientificamerican.com

Antimatter Atoms Trapped for First Time

November 19, 2010

For the first time, scientists have trapped antimatter atoms—mysterious, oppositely charged versions of ordinary atoms—a new study says.

Though the achievement is “a big deal,” it doesn’t mean the antimatter bombs and engines of science fiction will be igniting anytime soon, experts say.

Site – http://news.nationalgeographic.com

What’s the Matter with the Higgs Boson?

November 17, 2010

The search is on for the Higgs boson, and it seems likely that soon we’ll find this mysterious particle that creates matter in the universe. But what if we don’t? In this week’s “Ask a Physicist,” we’ll find out.

The Higgs boson has the unique distinction of being the only particle in our standard model of particle physics that we haven’t yet discovered. We may be on the verge of detecting it in the next few years, and yet, for some reason, almost nobody has asked anything about it, even though I’ve been chomping at the bit to write about it.

Site – http://io9.com/

What are the ingredients for great science fiction?

September 22, 2010

What makes for truly great SF?  Consider 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, Ender’s Game, The Forever War, even the Foundation trilogy. Then it struck me that isn’t simply this dystopian, social commentary mold.  Great science fiction deals first and foremost with the human condition – who and what we are, how and why we live together – and what that implies for the world and our future.  In science fiction we’re looking at conditions at the edge of what we know, we’re asking what we might feel and do, what we may become, if we pushed things beyond the here and now. The worlds of science fiction have to be plausible or else there is nothing new to learn. Ask what we would become and the answer not only sheds light on who we are now, but on what we feel about the worlds we might create for ourselves.

Site – http://io9.com/

A Wrinkle in Time?

August 3, 2010

Unusually short but intense “fireballs” in the distant universe might be created by the plucking of invisible cosmic strings—ultradense flaws in space-time—a new study suggests.  Some gamma-ray bursts stay visible for several seconds to a few minutes. Scientists think these long-duration bursts are created when the cores of very massive stars collapse and explode.  Other bursts are much more brief—sometimes lasting just fractions of a second—and it’s unclear what triggers them.

Site – http://news.nationalgeographic.com

10 Explanations of What Our Internet is Turning Into

July 9, 2010

How do we explain the Web and what it means? With so many innovations changing our lives, that’s a complex explanation. Now what if you had to do it in only a few words?

Marshall Kirkpatrick recently asked some of our readers that very question. We then picked 10 responses most worth sharing.

Site – http://www.readwriteweb.com

The City & The City

July 5, 2010

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Besźel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlű of the Extreme Crime Squad.  To investigate, Borlű must travel from the decaying Besźel to its equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the vibrant city of Ul Qoma.  But this is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a seeing of the unseen.  What stands against him are murderous powers in Besźel and Ul Qoma – and most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.

In April 2010, the novel was named a 2010 Hugo Award nominee in the Best Novel category.  In the same month, it won the BSFA Award for Best Novel of 2009, as well as the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award.

With shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & The City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

Site – http://en.wikipedia.org