Innovations in 5: Watch the world’s smallest stop-motion film

May 1, 2013

Here’s what we’re reading today:


A still from the IBM stop-motion film “A Boy and his Atom.” (IBM/Associated Press)

1) IBM research has created what is being called “the world’s smallest movie.” The film, “A Boy and His Atom” features atoms arranged into an animation of a boy dancing. The atoms were moved around a copper surface and are magnified over 100 million times, according to the video. It’s well worth a watch.

According to Extreme Tech’s Sebastian Anthony and the Associated Press, Guinness World Records has certified that the movie is indeed the world’s “smallest stop-motion film.”

And, in case you’re wondering, here’s a video showing how the film was made:

Anthony writes:

“The ultimate goal of IBM’s [scanning tunneling microscope] STM-based research is to investigate possible pathways around the ever-narrowing bottleneck of Moore’s law, which we should start to feel in the next few years as transistors head below 14nm.”

2) Apple CEO Tim Cook will be speaking at the All Things D Conference this year. That’s according to the All Things D blog:

“It will … be interesting to talk about the changes at Apple under the leadership of Cook, who took over from the late co-founder and industry legend Steve Jobs, as well inquiring about what new products are in the pipeline and how the company is faring in an increasingly high-pressure market.”

The D11 conference is about a month out. Cook spoke at the conference for the first time last year.

3) A house painter, a drifter and a nun walk into the “Fort Knox of Uranium.” The Post’s Dan Zak outlines the story, complete with graphic novel art.

4) Is it finally Internet TV’s time? ReadWriteWeb’s John Paul Titlow says it is:

“For evidence of the mainstreaming of Web-first TV, look no further than the online revival of All My Children and One Life to Live. … Citing an “inflection point for online television”, the shows’ backers are betting big on the notion that enough people watch TV online these days to make this a profitable endeavor. If recent history is any indication, it’s a safe bet.”

5) And, finally, an interesting read from Jim Tankersly on how innovation is the “jackpot for American manufacturers”:

“Manufacturers keep getting better and better at doing more with fewer people. This makes factory production critical to the health of the economy — but not in the jobs-centered way most politicians like to frame the issue.”

Tankersly’s piece is part of the Washington Post Live special series on the future of American manufacturing. It’s definitely worth checking out (not that we’re biased or anything).

Read more news and ideas on Innovations:

Harvard’s Ash Center announces ‘Top 25 Innovations in Government’

Self-driving cars, 4D printing and our manufacturing future

Chat with me: The failure trap for chat apps

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