Why the grief?
ev Seriously, why is everyone giving him so much grief? First off, there has been intelligent dust in at least some sci fi since at least the 1960s. Just aying..
But, to those that say this is absurd, I thik that is absurd. I'm not saying there WILL be intelligent dust, but look at what exists now.
1) Research into nanomotors. This part's been done already in the lab, so the intelligent dust can maneuver to some extent in the airstream, or perhaps anchor itself to surfaces to some extent.
2) Distributed sensor networks. These will self-organize into a network to pass data around (so if there's a "line" of them going out the vent to the outdoors for instanfe the data will make it out). There are two parallel paths on this -- the physical, and the software. Physically, these are down ot the size of a pebble, and this is at a university, not using some very low nanometer scale process like AMD or Intel use for instance. In the software terms, research is being done into having these very low processing power, low memory, and so on, devices be able to combine resources to some extent so the total is much more than the sum of it's parts.
3) Quite simply, Moore's law hasn't died out yet.
4) There's also research into high density power storage, and new methods to collect power, and improvements to current methods to increase efficiency.
Will intelligent dust exist in the future? I won't say yes. But these people who make it sound ridiculous, I just don't buy that either given easy extrapolations of current technology.