Buzz Bonus: See It All in 3D; That's a Worm, Mac

Japanese scientists demonstrate mid-air 3D technology. Plus, Window users take pleasure as Mac users brace for worms.

February 24, 2006

2 Min Read
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This deserves a triple take: Scientists at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan have demonstrated a new technology that creates an actual 3-D display in midair .

Unlike conventional 3-D displays, which create an optical illusion through sophisticated computer graphics, the new technology uses multiple infrared lasers aligned to create small amounts of plasma. The plasma acts as a floating "dot" atop the laser grid, and the lasers pulse across several reflectors, creating 100 dots per second. The result is a floating, 3-D image that can be viewed from all sides.

We're a long way from the "Star Trek" holodeck here, and we're pretty sure it's not safe to reach out and touch laser-generated plasma. But the idea has potential. --Tim Wilson, [email protected]

'Schadenfreude' is a German word that means taking pleasure in another's misfortune. For years, Mac users have experienced a great deal of schadenfreude at the expense of Windows users for the incessant rain of worms and viruses targeting Microsoft's OS.

But what schadenfreude giveth, it also taketh away. Last month, the first worms ever to target the Mac OS X platform appeared on consecutive days. The first worm, Leap.A, spreads through an attachment in the iChat instant messaging program. It includes a touch of social engineering, using the file name "latestpics." The second worm, Inqtana.A, spreads through a Bluetooth vulnerability.

Of course, the joy of Windows users will be short-lived. Neither worm is virulent, and given the Mac's miniscule market share, a Internetwide outbreak is unlikely. But perhaps two worms in two days will wipe the smug look off Mac users' faces. Nah, who are we kidding? --Andrew Conry-Murray, [email protected]

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