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Newsletter December 24, 2001


o Editorial
o Download of the week
o Technologies

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EDITORIAL
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An agent under my skin?

Since the beginning of time, Man has attempted to transform himself and his environment, to cover his weaknesses or to improve his capacities. In a car, people are able to travel prodigious distances in a short time; planes make it possible to fly, free from the constraints of gravity.

From being completely external, technology became "embarked": men and women use glasses, and more recently contact lenses, to see better, and a portable telephone to be permanently in contact with the rest of the world. Today, human beings are on the point of entering a new phase of their evolution.

Now, Man is able to directly modify his body. With pacemakers, an artificial heart or limbs, Man can already add technology to his body to solve physical problems. Principally used for the medical reasons at the moment, this growing trend is likely to go beyond this sector. The potential applications are numerous, and suddenly aging science-fiction novels are becoming less fictive, and closer to science. Researchers are currently exploring the possibilities offered by computing, such as implanting microchips under the skin. Digital information can now be stored within our body, and our capacities grow as a result. Who can say how far Man will go in this mutation, as pace of technological development continues to increase. Will the future involve implanting an intelligent agent under our skin?

__________________/ CHRISTMAS STORE \_________________
_
_     AgentLand offers you a selection of robots, video games and software agents
_     that would fit neatly into Father Christmas's bag of presents
_     http://www.agentland.com/pages/noel
_
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DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK
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> CyberDetective
http://www.agentland.com/Download/Intelligent_Agent/583.html
If privacy is a concern of yours, then CyberDetective can help. You can enable the toolkit while you go away from the computer and all activities while your away are logged. As a parent, you always wonder about how your child uses the computer. With CyberDetective, all usage is logged.

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TECHNOLOGIES
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> Battlebots: gladiator robots
http://www.battlebots.com/
In Battlebots, contestants design and build radio-controlled robots that employ destructive weaponry in the ultimate game of engineering creativity and strategy - a mechanical death match. Likewise, the Battlebots Web site is a showcase of developer creativity and strategy - a virtual showcase of what takes place in the ring, where site visitors can build and drive a robot and learn about the mechanics of the weaponry and movement.

> Verbarium: give life to your messages
http://www.fondation.cartier.fr/verbarium.html
"Verbarium" is an interactive text-to-form editor on the Internet. User can write text messages and these messages function as a genetic code to create a visual three-dimensional form. Each message creates a different form. Depending on the composition of the text, the form can either be simple or complex, abstract or organic. All the text messages are used together to build a collective and complex three-dimensional image.

> An implanted chip that contains personal information
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A62663-2001Dec18
A New Jersey surgeon has embedded under his skin tiny computer chips that can automatically transmit personal information to a scanner, a technology that may someday be widely used as a way to identify people. The "Digital Angel" chip has been developed by Applied Digital Solutions. Company officials said they hope to sell the device to patients with pacemakers, artificial hips and other implanted devices. The idea is that the chip will provide prompt and accurate medical information in the event of an emergency

> Is the computer funnier than a human?
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99991719
An experiment to uncover the world's funniest jokes has found that some computer-generated gags can be more amusing than those thought up by humans. Jason Rutter, a research fellow at Manchester University, says: "Humour is a very interesting way to look at artificial intelligence because at some point something has to have two meanings, which is not easy to do with a computer." An example of a computer-generated gag: "What kind of murderer has moral fibre? A cereal killer"

> British Scientists use nanotech to create secret message device
http://www.smalltimes.com/document_display.cfm?document_id=2735
Scientists have created a new microelectronic device that can emit the smallest amount of light possible, a breakthrough that may lead to absolute confidentiality in communications involving finance, health care and other fields. A perfectly secure message impossible to eavesdrop on depends on communication signals that contain only one packet of light, or photon.

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