We’ve had magnetic memory, semiconductor memory, and memristors: now we have thermal memory with the attendent field of study phononics:
In the current study, Wang and Li take the field of phononics one step further and show the feasibility of a thermal memory that can store data with heat. The scientists predict that such a heat memory could be experimentally realized in the foreseeable future with rapidly advancing nanotechnology. Their work is published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.
It seems that just about anything can be turned into a computer or computer component.
[from Physorg][image from sah5515 on flickr]
Charles Stross points to this fun datacentre in Sweden:
This underground data center has greenhouses, waterfalls, German submarine engines, simulated daylight and can withstand a hit from a hydrogen bomb. It looks like the secret HQ of a James Bond villain.
And it is real. It is a newly opened high-security data center run by one of Sweden’s largest ISPs, located in an old nuclear bunker deep below the bedrock of Stockholm city, sealed off from the world by entrance doors 40 cm thick (almost 16 inches).
Also Strosscommenters point to another Dr. Strangelove-referencing movie-design essay on the design of supervillain’s lairs: Who Stole My Volcano? Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dematerialisation of Supervillain Architecture.
[via Charles Stross, via Magical Nihilism][image from the article on Royal Pingdom]
The ICC’s Live Piracy Map does exactly what its name suggests – it collates reports of modern piracy (the ocean-going sort, not kids using peer-to-peer networks), and plots them out as a Google Maps layer:
What’s interesting to me (as someone who works in maritime history) is how some of the hotspots are comparatively new, but others are almost as old as ocean-going commerce itself – a reminder that geography remains unconquered by technological progress, at least as far as supply chains of physical goods are concerned. [story and screenshot via the indispensable BLDGBLOG]
It also suggests that Sven’s armed cruise ship story wasn’t quite as implausible as some seemed to feel…