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The End of the Oil Industry

November 7, 2003

Advances in technology are allowing the developed world to diversify supplies of energy and reduce their demand for petroleum, thus loosening the grip of oil and the countries that produce it.

Biologists discover rotational motion of breast cells, required to avoid malignancy

January 27, 2012

After five days of mitosis and CAMo, polarized breast cells have assembled into an acinar sphere with a lumen in the center (inset) (credit: Berkeley Lab)

In a study that holds major implications for breast cancer research and basic cell biology, scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a rotational motion that plays a critical role in the ability of breast cells to form the spherical structures in the mammary gland known as acini.

This rotation, which the researchers call “CAMo,” for… read more

Skype Goes 720p HD, Big Screen Calls Coming to LG and Panasonic HDTVs

January 5, 2010

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Skype 4.2 beta users can now make HD video calls (720p HD and 30 frames per second) if they have an HD webcam* and sufficient bandwidth and processing power.

LG Electronics and Panasonic will introduce HDTVs at CES with Skype software embedded.

* A few companies will introduce HD webcams designed for Skype’s software at CES.

Computer model knows what you’re thinking

May 30, 2008

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have built a computer model that can predict which concrete noun (things that one can see, hear, feel, taste or smell) one is thinking about based on brain scans.

The model was trained to look at how words relate to sensory and movement information (“hammer” with movement areas), and how nouns are associated with 25 basic verbs (“celery” but not “airplane” with “eat”).

Volunteers… read more

Software Being Developed to Monitor Opinions of U.S.

October 5, 2006

A consortium of major universities is developing natural language processing software that would let the government monitor negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas.

The researchers have complied a database of hundreds of articles that it is being used to train a computer to recognize, rank and interpret statements.

The Way We Nest Now

November 18, 2003

“Smart helpmeets” are on their way: our homes, our offices, our cars and our clothes. They are meant to be aware, not dumb; proactive, not inert.

“Desks and doors, televisions and telephones, cars and trains, eyeglasses and shoes and even the shirts on our backs — all are changing from static, inanimate objects into adaptive, reactive systems,” wrote Alex Pentland, a pioneer in smart environments at the M.I.T. Media… read more

Giving Electronic Commands With Body Language

January 12, 2010

In the coming months, PV makers and other companies will begin selling gesture-powered devices that will allow people to flip channels on the TV or move documents on a computer monitor with simple hand gestures.

Stand in front of a TV armed with a gesture technology camera, and you can turn on the set with a soft punch into the air. Flipping through channels requires a twist of the… read more

Wireless sensor network keeps tabs on the environment

June 5, 2008

University of Alberta researchers are building a wireless sensor network that allows for clandestine data collection of environmental data in remote locations, with monitoring from anywhere in the world.

The sensors can continuously monitor data like temperature and luminosity. They’ll be deployed in two locations–including a rainforest–in Fall 2008.

University of Alberta News Release

Say hello to your robot self

October 16, 2006

Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro is at the forefront of designing machines that look just like us.

Equipped with off-board cameras, microphones and floor sensors, Repliee Q1Expo, an android copy of Ayako Fujii, a real newscaster, can detect human presence and interview people with a microphone, moving its upper body in a smooth, natural fashion.

Dr. Ishiguro can remote-control it, Wizard of Oz-style, using a motion-capture system that transmits his… read more

Wireless World

November 26, 2003

In a few years, wireless will become the dominant form of communication service in the U.S. Already there are about 147 million cell phones in the country, compared with 187 million traditional phone lines, according to FCC figures.

Nike Launches Impressive Hyper-Local iPhone App

January 18, 2010

Nike has launched an iPhone app called True City that provides hyper-local, real-time information for 6 European cities.

It combines expert curation of news and events info, crowdsourced information discovery, push notifications, QR codes printed and posted around the city, and augmented reality.

‘Skin-tenna’ wireless signals creep over human skin

June 9, 2008
(QUB/W Scanlon)

A wireless antenna that channels signals along human skin could broadcast signals over your body to connect up medical implants such as pacemakers or portable gadgets.

Developed at Queen’s University in Belfast, the new design’s ability to produce signals that travel along the skin makes it more efficient than existing battery-hungry technologies such as Bluetooth.

‘Tower of Babel’ translator made

October 26, 2006

A new device being created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University uses electrodes attached to the neck and face to detect the movements that occur as a person silently mouths words and phrases.

Using this data, a computer can work out the sounds being formed and then build these sounds up into words. The system is then able to translate the words into another language, which is read out… read more

Scientists present method for entangling macroscopic objects

October 30, 2006

Scientists have developed a theoretical model using entanglement swapping in order to entangle two micromechanical oscillators.

One potential use for entanglement swapping is in quantum repeaters for future quantum computers, which would amp up the signal over long distances to prevent it from being buried by noise and dying out.

Digital, P.I.

December 15, 2003

The new “digital detective” firms are developing technologies that can monitor everything from deciphering buying trends in retail outlets to identifying dangerous chemicals.

The companies include Imagen, which makes software that recognizes patterns and identifies faces or scans circuit boards for flaws; Alien, which makes RFID chips that can be embedded in thin plastic sheets that can be attached to almost any type of product to track it on… read more

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