Universal scaling laws from cells to cities:

Sign up to View a lecture by SFI President Geoffrey West at Imperial College, London, on his work developing a unified quantitative theory of biological and social structure and organization. Here he describes scaling -- whereby many of life’s most fundamental and complex phenomena scale with size in a surprisingly simple fashion.
Read More

Will the QC kill the PC?

Traditional computers shuffle information in the form of binary numbers, the digits 1 and 0, which are remembered by the "on" and "off" positions of tiny switches, or "bits", on the circuit boards. Quantum computers use atoms and subatomic particles as the switches that perform the memory and processing tasks. As the threat posed by internet viruses and hackers to people's personal computers increases, quantum cryptography could become a standard feature of desktop computers to ensure safe internet communication. (SFI External) Professor Seth Lloyd, a quantum mechanical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes this property of quantum computing has opened up another new possibility, that is of growing concern to internet users. His research has revealed a way of using quantum computing to keep personal information private. Currently, internet sites and search engines can keep large amounts of information about people's computer and search practices. "If you use what I am calling quantum private queries, it would allow you to ask a question of a search engine like Google, but keep your own information private. If they try to keep your information, you will know about it. It will allow computer users to know no one else is snooping on their information," said Professor Lloyd.
Read More

Gorbachev To Lecture in Santa Fe: Former Soviet leader expected to speak on the environment and nuclear disarmament

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the pro-green, antinuke message that Mikhail Gorbachev is expected to deliver during a speech in Santa Fe next month will come perhaps at a fitting time for northern New Mexico. While Gorbachev prefers to deliver his remarks from notes jotted down on a notepad, an associate said environmentalism and nuclear disarmament -- both hot topics in the City Different -- will likely be themes of a lecture he'll give during an April 14 visit, which is a fundraiser for the Santa Fe Institute. "He's called for the abolition of nuclear weapons," said Matt Peterson, head of Global Green USA, the U.S. affiliate of Green Cross International, which Gorbachev founded in 1993.
Read More

COMMENTARY The Coming Ad Revolution by (SFI Trustee) Esther Dyson

The discussion about privacy is changing as users take control over their own online data. While they spread their Web presence, these users are not looking for privacy, but for recognition as individuals -- whether by friends or vendors. This will eventually change the whole world of advertising. The current online-advertising model will become less effective, even as it gets increasingly sophisticated.... This approach (called behavioral targeting and already in service by ad networks that track users through so-called tracking cookies) undercuts traditional online publishers, who employ content to lure users and to sell adjacent ads....This does not mean that traditional online advertising will go away, just that it will become less effective. Value is being created in users' own walled gardens, which they will cultivate for themselves in real estate owned by the social networks. The new value creators are companies -- like Facebook and Dopplr -- that know how to build and support online communities.
Read More

EBay cuts listing fee for sellers at online auction website

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - EBay said on Tuesday it is cutting fees it charges people to offer items for sale and raising standards at the online auction website. In a move aimed at staving off increasing competition from the likes of Google and Craigslist, eBay is trimming fees it charges aspiring sellers by as much as halfThis is the first time eBay has offered incentives and discounts to sellers since it was founded in 1995 by (Santa Fe Institute Trustee and) French-born Iranian computer programmer Pierre Omidyar
Read More

Study Could Affect HIV Vaccine

In today's issue of Science Magazine SFI Professor Tanmoy Bhattacharya and Visiting Researcher Bette Korber report the findings of a study that could affect an HIV vaccine. Friday's New Mexican quotes Korber as saying, "Since HIV escapes the immune system of the human host by mutation, and the virus finds multiple ways of escaping immune recognition, our findings have practical implications for defining relevant variants for inclusion in vaccine antigens"
Read More

Secondary School Honors

SFI is pleased to honor eleven Santa Fe area high school seniors and one area teacher with the 2006 Prize for Scientific Excellence.
Read More