writes "If you have seen the movie The Matrix then you are familiar with 'jacking in' — a brain-machine neural interface that connects a human brain to a computer network. For the time being, this is still a sci-fi scenario, but don't think that researchers are not heavily working on it. What is already reality today is something called neuroprosthetics, an area of neuroscience that uses artificial microdevices to replace the function of impaired nervous systems or sensory organs. Different biomedical devices implanted in the central nervous system, so-called neural interfaces, already have been developed to control motor disorders or to translate willful brain processes into specific actions by the control of external devices. These implants could help increase the independence of people with disabilities by allowing them to control various devices with their thoughts (not surprisingly, the other candidate for early adoption of this technology is the military). The potential of nanotechnology application in neuroscience is widely accepted. Especially single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) have received great attention because of their unique physical and chemical features, which allow the development of devices with outstanding electrical properties. In a crucial step towards a new generation of future neuroprosthetic devices, a group of European scientists developed a SWCNT/neuron hybrid system and demonstrated that carbon nanotubes can directly stimulate brain circuit activity. Read more: http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=2177.php"Link to Original Source
writes "Bob Williams in Consumers Union's "Now Hear This" communications and media issues blog writes about how AT&T is imposing inexplicable early termination penalties on iPhone customers.
From the blog:
"All those sleek new iPhones that have been flying off the shelves at $600 a pop have a built-in feature that isn't being touted by Apple or network provider AT&T — an inexplicable early termination penalty of $175.
Wireless phone carriers have imposed such penalties for years, arguing that they are necessary to help make up for lost revenues from discounted or free phones they use to coax customers into signing long term contracts.
But Apple and AT&T are not offering any sort of discount on the highly-coveted iPhones, which went on sale last Friday. Customers were actually camping out in line just to buy one.
Which brings us to the other — and probably more important — reason wireless carriers impose early terminiation penalties on their customers. It's because long term contracts with early termination penalties are devastatingly effective in keeping customers from switching carriers.""