Shrimp eyes inspire optical tech

Publication:   Date: June 27, 2011   View Article

The future of CD and DVD technology may be found in the eyes of peacock mantis shrimp, an international team of engineers recently reported.

The shrimp are one of the few animals in the world that are able to see circularly polarized light, the type of light used to make 3-D movies.

Scientists believe this ability is related to sexual signaling, Roy Caldwell, a biologist at the University of California at Berkeley, told me on Friday.

What? You Didn’t Get the E-mail?

Publication: MSN Tech & Gadgets   Date: September 2, 2008   View Article

E-mail is a nuisance for Mike Geile, as it is for many people. But his beef is different than most. The 36-year-old carpenter from Ketchum, Idaho, doesn’t have an electronic post office box. Nevertheless, every day someone – a friend, relative, co-worker, bill collector, store clerk – asks for it.

“I don’t have one,” he tells them.

“What?” they say.

Technology overload? Experts offer advice on coping

Publication: MSN Tech & Gadgets   Date: June 18, 2008   View Article

The sun’s out. You decide to log off and go to the park. Upon arrival, you subconsciously check for the smart phone that’s always in your pocket. It’s not there. Now what?

According to a recent report, 68 percent of us would feel disoriented and nervous, a phenomenon labeled “disconnect anxiety.” Instead of relishing the break, we freak out.

How to get ready for the switch to digital TV

Publication: MSN Tech & Gadgets   Date: March 5, 2008   View Article

On Feb. 17, 2009, millions of Americans may turn on their TVs and get nothing but white noise. Don’t be one of them. It’s easy to get ready now for the switch to digital television. Here’s what you need to know.

Virtual Life Forms Mutate, Shedding Light on Evolution

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 7, 2003   View Article

They don’t sting or bite. They don’t cause diarrhea or headaches. They don’t even exist in a tangible form. But “digital organisms”— special programs that reproduce, mutate, and adapt —can thrive inside computers, and they are teaching scientists several lifetimes worth of information about evolution.

These artificial “bugs” show that complex functions that are the digital equivalent to something like human eyesight can evolve from the simplest of functions via a long and winding road of gradual mutation, according to a team consisting of a biologist, a computer scientist, a philosopher, and a physicist.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach