close this bookVolume 8: No. 34.2
View the documentFunding news
View the documentIndustry news
View the documentTechnology and speculation
View the documentApplied jobs (in our CAJ 8.34 digest this week)
View the documentRobotics and invention
View the documentComputists' news

IBM has a 5,800-chip supercomputer operating at 3.9TFLOPS (at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory), and hopes to reach 10TFLOP by 2000 and 100TFLOP by 2004. [NYT, 28Oct98. Edupage.]

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) uses a 70GFLOP processor analyzing 58M frequency channels simultaneously. New systems are planned that will be a thousand times that fast, permitting search for Earth-equivalent technology out to hundreds of light years. [Peter R. Backus, seminar notice, 22Oct98. Bill Park.]

Sylvia Engdahl's essay at suggests that humans must expand into space or destroy ourselves on Earth, and that we will soon lose the technological resources and social will for space exploration if we don't act now to move heavy manufacturing into orbit (where energy is plentiful, materials can be mined from the moon, and pollution won't poison Earth). She sees human exploration of Mars as a diversion, but one necessary to build public interest in orbital or near-Earth manufacturing and colonization. [MindsI, 03Nov98.]

(The MindsI site at has been seconded by Kurt Reiser as a very interesting forum for futurism discussions -- including speculation this week on harnessing the energy and quantum computational power of the the Big Crunch.)

MIT is continuing its Fall 1998 public lecture series on "GOD AND COMPUTERS: Minds, Machines, and Metaphysics." Brian Cantwell-Smith and Joel Moses will be speaking on 11Nov98 and 09Dec98. . [Anne Foerst , mit.lcs.seminar, 9/23/98.]

Bill Park reports a current New Scientist article which says Stanford physicists are doing tabletop experiments that might lead to direct interaction with a fifth spatial dimension, warp space, form a black hole, and create new universes. [, 25Oct98.] (Bill suggests that the environmental impact report may delay them a bit.)