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Comment Re:Estate has authorized some of these before... (Score 1) 426

Hmm, have to disagree there... while I rather liked the two Renshai trilogies, the Bifrost Guardians was pretty crappy. In fact, enough elements turn up in both the Bifrost books and the first Renshai trilogy that I decided it was likely that the author wanted a second go at the cooler concepts in a better work.

Comment Re:About time! (Score 1) 392

The thing that is still "theoretical" isn't so much that black holes exist- it's pretty clear that objects with their gravitational influence on the universe exist- but whether they have all the properties that we ascribe to black holes. Most importantly, whether or not they are true singularities. The singularity, if it's there, is truly unobservable, hiding behind its event horizon. An object that is just extremely dense and massive would look identical to us from the outside as an object that is infinitely dense and massive. By current understanding of the nature of the universe and relativistic and QM theories, that level of "extremely" dense is impossible (it has to collapse further into a singularity)... but if those theories someday get revised, we may find that the black holes all over the universe are not actually the mathematically ill-behaved singularities we currently think they are.


Robot Composed of "Catoms" Can Assume Any Form 168

philetus writes "An article in New Scientist describes a robotic system composed of swarms of electromagnetic modules capable of assuming almost any form that is being developed by the Claytronics Group at Carnegie Mellon. 'The grand goal is to create swarms of microscopic robots capable of morphing into virtually any form by clinging together. Seth Goldstein, who leads the research project at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in the US, admits this is still a distant prospect. However, his team is using simulations to develop control strategies for futuristic shape-shifting, or "claytronic", robots, which they are testing on small groups of more primitive, pocket-sized machines.'"

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