from the still-working-on-seeing-through-cats-and-dogs dept.
wisebabo writes "I think it was Newton who said if you knew the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, you could predict the future down to the effect the flutter of a sparrow's wing would have on the weather. Aside from quantum indeterminacy (which, of course, he knew nothing about) and questions of free will, it is clear we are a long long way from getting even close to the theoretical limits of prediction. Still, here's something that, to me, is very impressive. Some researchers manage to track raindrops (or snowflakes) in front of a light and, in real time, change the beam so that they are not illuminated! This drastically reduces glare. The obvious application is for driving cars in inclement weather. I'm hoping we're entering a new age where computers (and cheap sensors) have become so powerful as to make possible a whole host of 'magical' (like Arthur C. Clarke predicted) applications."
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)