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‘No morsel too minuscule for NSA,’ says New York Times

November 5, 2013

NSA

“From thousands of classified documents, the National Security Agency emerges as an electronic omnivore of staggering capabilities, eavesdropping and hacking its way around the world to strip governments and other targets of their secrets, all the while enforcing the utmost secrecy about its own operations,” The New York Times claims.

“A review of classified agency documents obtained by Mr. Snowden and shared with The New York Timesread more

Making robots more like us

November 4, 2013

NaoBOT robot

Robots are beginning to move around in the world and perform tasks as humans do, The New York Times reports.

Many of the new generation of robots are tele-operated from a distance, but are increasingly doing tasks independent of direct human control. …

Today’s robot designers believe that their creations will become therapists, caregivers, guides and security guards, and will ultimately perform virtually any form of… read more

New implantable sensor may allow long-term monitoring of cancer cells and glucose

Carbon nanotubes that detect nitric oxide can be implanted under the skin for more than a year
November 4, 2013

Hydrogel_carbon_nanotubes

MIT chemists have built a sensor using carbon nanotubes that can monitor nitric oxide (NO) in living animals for more than a year.

Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most important signaling molecules in living cells, carrying messages within the brain and coordinating immune system functions. In many cancerous cells, levels are perturbed.

“Nitric oxide has contradictory roles in cancer progression, and we need new… read more

Americans’ media consumption to soar in 2015

Predicts by 2015, average media consumption will be 15.5 hours a day per person
November 4, 2013

HMM

A total of 6.9 zettabytes of media flows to individuals and households in a year — that’s 6.9 million million gigabytes.… read more

Google’s secret revealed: barge to offer high-end showrooms, party deck

November 3, 2013

google_barge_up_close

Google’s mysterious floating barge on San Francisco Bay will feature luxury showrooms and a party deck for the tech giant to market Google Glass and other gadgets to invitation-only clients, according to KPIX 5 in San Francisco.

The station cited “multiple sources” including at least one who has been aboard the barge, and said it was dreamed up at Google X, the company’s secret facility.… read more

How economic growth has become anti-life

November 3, 2013

"Economic growth begins when seeds are genetically modified and patented, leading to farmers having to buy seeds every season" (credit: Raminder Pal Singh/EPA)

“An obsession with growth has eclipsed our concern for sustainability, justice and human dignity. But people are not disposable — the value of life lies outside economic development,” writes philosopher, environmental activist, and author Vandana Shiva at The Guardian.

“Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians,” she says. “It is seen as a measure of progress. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed… read more

Hangout on Air: Which technologies will have the biggest impact by 2025?

November 2, 2013

London Futurists

Which five futuristic technologies are likely to have the biggest impact by 2025? And what can people start doing, from today, to prepare for the changes and to ensure positive outcomes?

This London Futurists Hngout on Air featured a live discussion between futurists Kevin Russell,Peter Rothman, Riva-Melissa Tez, Clyde DeSouza, and José Luis Cordeiro.

When: 7 pm to 8.30 pm London time (2 pm to 3:30 pm EST) on… read more

Study with totally blind people shows how light helps activate the brain

November 1, 2013

Photoreceptive ganglion cell (credit: David Berson's lab/Brown University)

Light stimulates brain activity during a cognitive task even in some people who are totally blind, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“We were stunned to discover  that the brain still responds to light in these rare three completely blind patients  despite having absolutely no conscious vision at all,” said senior co-author Steven… read more

Neurocam wearable camera reads your brainwaves and records what interests you

November 1, 2013

neurocam

The neurocam is the world’s first wearable camera system that automatically records what interests you, based on brainwaves, DigInfo TV reports.

It consists of a headset with a brain-wave sensor and uses the iPhone’s camera to record a 5-second GIF animation. It could also be useful for life-logging.

The algorithm for quantifying brain waves was co-developed by Associate Professor Mitsukura at Keio University.

The… read more

Video game playing found beneficial for the brain

November 1, 2013

Super Mario 64 (credit: Nintendo)

Playing the Super Mario 64 video game causes increased size in brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning as well as fine motor skills, a new study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus has found.

The positive effects of video gaming may also be useful in therapeutic interventions targeting psychiatric disorders.

To investigate… read more

How Google Glass will usher in an era of superhuman vision

November 1, 2013

augmented realilty

Stanford professor Marc Levoy sees a combination of computational imaging and new-form-factor camera-equipped devices that will allow for a set of what he described as “superhero vision” capabilities, Extreme Tech reports.

Rapidly increasing processor power will help fuel this new world of powerful new photographic tools. Levoy, a pioneer in both computer graphics and computational imaging, noted that GPU power is growing by roughly 80% per year,… read more

An Earth-like exoplanet in mass and size discovered

October 31, 2013

Gliese436b

MIT researchers have found that Kepler 78b, a small, intensely hot planet 400 light-years from Earth discovered by the researchers in August, shares Earth’s mass.

By analyzing the movement of its host star, Kepler 78, the scientists determined that the exoplanet is about 1.7 times as massive as the Earth.

From the same measurements, they calculated that the planet’s density is 5.3 grams… read more

Drive wearing Glass, get a ticket

... and Glass updates
October 31, 2013

Google-Glass-photo_610x306

In a possible first, Cecilia Abadie received a traffic ticket Tuesday for wearing Google Glass while driving in San Diego, she noted on Google+:

According to CNN, the California law cited in Abadie’s case, V C 27602, prohibits televisions and similar monitors from being turned on and facing the driver. “There are exceptions for GPS and mapping tools and… read more

A multifunctional nano carrier to detect, diagnose, and deliver drugs to cancer cells

October 31, 2013

uc_nano_carrier

A unique nanostructure developed by a team of international researchers* promises improved all-in-one detection, diagnoses, and drug-delivery treatment of cancer cells.

It can carry a variety of cancer-fighting materials on its double-sided (Janus) surface and within its porous interior and can:

  •  Transport cancer-specific detection nanoparticles and biomarkers to a site within the body, e.g., the breast or the prostate. This promises earlier diagnosis than is

read more

NSA hacks Yahoo, Google data-center cables worldwide

October 30, 2013

NSA-Google

The NSA has secretly broken into fiber-optic cables that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world — positioning itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials, the Washington Post reported today.

According to a top-secret accounting dated… read more

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