Make those walls transparent at the flip of a switch or programming matter

Programmable Matter FAQ
From the FAQ
Programmable matter is any bulk substance whose physical properties can be adjusted in real time through the application of light, voltage, electric or magnetic fields, etc.¬† Primitive forms may allow only limited adjustment of one or two traits (e.g., the “photodarkening” or “photochromic” materials found in light-sensitive sunglasses), but there are theoretical forms which, using known principles of electronics, should be capable of emulating a broad range of naturally occurring materials, or of exhibiting unnatural properties which cannot be produced by other means.

About Jaron’s concept of phenotropics

4. In Praise of Diversity – Ideas 2003: Jaron Lanier On Software Design – CIO Magazine Jan 1,2003

“The thing I’m interested in now is a high-risk, speculative, fundamental new approach to computer science. I call it phenotropics,” says the 42-year-old Lanier. By pheno, he means the physical appearance of something, and by tropics, he means interaction. Lanier’s idea is to create a new way to tie two pieces of software together. He theorizes that two software objects should contact each other “like two objects in nature,” instead of through specific modules or predetermined points of contact. With this type of protocol, there would be no previous agreement or expectation regarding the character of the exchange. Each software object would be responsible for “learning” how to interact with the other.

See the citations

CiteSeer: The NEC Research Institute Scientific Literature Digital Library
From the site:
CiteSeer is a scientific literature digital library that aims to improve the dissemination and feedback of scientific literature, and to provide improvements in functionality, usability, availability, cost, comprehensiveness, efficiency, and timeliness.

Rather than creating just another digital library, CiteSeer provides algorithms, techniques, and software that can be used in other digital libraries. CiteSeer indexes Postscript and PDF research articles on the Web, and provides the following features.

Light, light, light

SPIE–The International Society for Optical Engineering. The Optics, Photonics, Fibers, and Lasers Resource.

SPIE is a not-for-profit society that has become the largest international force for the exchange, collection and dissemination of knowledge in optics, photonics and imaging. Founded in 1955, SPIE is the growing legacy of those who seek to learn, discover and innovate by building a better world with light.