DIY Diamonds

Wired magazine details two new processes for producing artificial (but cheap) diamonds - potentially revolutionary breakthroughs. In the future diamond will replace silicon in computer chips allowing much faster speeds. The question for now is whether consumers are happy to buy artifical diamond engagement rings - and break De Beers stranglehold on the market.Read the article - which comes complete with DIY instructions...

Posted by on 14 Aug 2003
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Six degrees of email

There's an article in Scientific American about Duncan Watts et al's Small World experiment where the team at Columbia tried to repeat Stanley Milgram's famous experiment from the 1960s but using email. Fascinating stuff. His book's not bad either.Read the article.

Posted by Paul Miller on 13 Aug 2003
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Nano-marketing

Apparently nano is not just a new technology, but also the latest buzz word for marketing all sorts of goods and services.One of these is the 'nano-bag' to put babies in (?!), but there has been an explosion of others too.Read more here

Posted by Gillian Thomas on 12 Aug 2003
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Hypochondriacs anonymous?

The New Yorker (via aldaily.com) has a story about the rising costs of hypochondria on the health system."Studies show that at least a quarter of all patients report symptoms that appear to have no physical basis, and that one in ten continues to believe that he has a terminal disease even after the doctor has found him to be healthy. Experts say that between three and six per cent of patients seen by primary-care physicians suffer from hypochondria, the irrational fear of illness."...

Posted by Paul Miller on 12 Aug 2003
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News Flash

London's first Flash Mob is going to take place on Thursday... find out more here.

Posted by Paul Miller on 05 Aug 2003
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How to be good

Can you teach people how to be good in one day of training? Boeing seem to think so. Following a high-profile scandal regarding government satellite launch contracts (where it became clear that Boeing's success in bidding was boosted by the hiring of two former staff from arch-rival Lockheed, who brought with them several suitcases full of sensitive documents) their entire defence division closed down for a day, with all its staff - from interns to division CEOs - attending a four hour co...

Posted by on 04 Aug 2003
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Being complex

This week I have mainly been doing complexity. Lots of it. I'm at a Complexity in Social Science summer school in Baeza, Spain with about 40 people from all around the world who work on exploring complex systems.I'll give everybody in the office a full update on Monday but I've learned absolutely loads, especially about the techniques that are emerging for social network analysis. As a case study, we've been studying the social network that has developed between the participan...

Posted by Paul Miller on 01 Aug 2003
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And here's one he made earlier

So former Blue Peter presenter John Leslie walks free. But amid the flurry of Christine Hamilton soundbites, Ulrika hate pieces and close-up images of Leslie's busty blonde girlfriend, the most refreshing commentry comes from none other than the unlikely source of the Sun. Oh yes, Sun Woman editor, Sharon Hendry, pens an opinion piece today that sounds over the self-righteousness of Leslie's lawyers and the calls for media anonymity like a ringing bell. Her argument involves pointing ...

Posted by on 01 Aug 2003
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G and T with Patrick

Melissa and Nic went to meet the bastion of English astronomy on Tuesday, Sir Patrick Moore. This man is a legend. After leaving Eton at 16, he was a fighter pilot in the war before becoming the most famous "amateur" astronomer of the century. His maps of the moon were used by NASA and the Russians during the Space Race and an uninterrupted 45 years of his BBC The Sky at Night programme makes it the longest-running TV programme in history. An asteroid has been named after him and hi...

Posted by Paul Miller on 31 Jul 2003
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co-production

Co-production is the idea that public goods and services are best understood not as being 'produced' by the state on behalf of citizens or consumers, but rather 'co-produced' by citizens and the state working in partnership, because the consent and participation of citizens is so crucial to the quality of the goods and services they receive. But although it's become very fashionable in UK policy circles over the last few years it actually has a much longer history, par...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 30 Jul 2003
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