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Your virtual avatar can impact your real-world behavior, researchers suggest

February 13, 2014

Can playing these characters affect your behavior differently? (Credit: Jim Lee and Scott Williams/DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures)

How you represent yourself in the virtual world of video games may affect how you behave toward others in the real world, new University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign research published in Psychological Science suggests.

“Our results indicate that just five minutes of role-play in virtual environments as either a hero or villain can easily cause people to reward or punish anonymous strangers,” says lead researcher Gunwoo Yoon.

The… read more

Your Thoughts Are Your Password

April 28, 2006

Researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, are exploring the possibility of a biometric security device that will use a person’s brain wave patterns to authenticate her or his identity.

Your smartphone and tablet may be making you ADHD-like

Is digital information overload also killing our capacity for contemplative, abstract thought --- permanently altering the wiring and circuitry of our brains?
May 10, 2016

notifications ft

Smartphones and other digital technology may be causing ADHD-like symptoms, according to an open-access study published in the proceedings of ACM CHI ’16, the Human-Computer Interaction conference of the Association for Computing Machinery, ongoing in San Jose.

In a two-week experimental study, University of Virginia and University of British Columbia researchers showed that when students kept their phones on ring or vibrate and with notification… read more

Your secrets are safe with quasar encryption

March 30, 2006

Japanese scientists have come up with a method for encrypting messages using radio waves from quasars.

The researchers believe quasars could make an ideal cryptographic tool because the strength and frequency of the radio pulses they emit is impossible to predict. Each communicating party would only need to know which quasar to monitor and when to start in order to encrypt and decrypt a message.

Your Robotic Personal Assistant

November 28, 2007
Stanford

New software lets robots pick up objects they have never seen before–an important step toward creating multifunctional domestic helpers.

Some roboticists are building perception systems for robots that look for certain features on objects that are good for grasping. A Stanford team has approached the problem by collecting a number of previously fragmented technologies, such as computer vision, machine learning, speech recognition, and grasping hardware, and put… read more

Your phone records are for sale

January 9, 2006

The Chicago Police Department is warning officers their cell phone records are available to anyone — for a price. Dozens of online services are selling lists of cell phone calls, raising security concerns among law enforcement and privacy experts.

To test the service, the FBI paid Locatecell.com $160 to buy the records for an agent’s cell phone and received the list within three hours, the police bulletin said.

Your Personal Genome

December 6, 2007

George Church, a Harvard geneticist and pioneer in developing gene-sequencing technology, is spearheading the Personal Genome Project, a nonprofit effort to make both the DNA sequence and the health records of many individuals publicly available.

The project, which is now recruiting 100,000 people to have parts of their genomes sequenced, aims to serve as a test bed for technological, security, and ethical issues that might arise with the growing… read more

Your Permanent Record

July 24, 2003

By the decade’s end, we’ll have a fully realized digital memory management system, with the storage capacity approaching the largest paper-and-ink archive on earth, says Microsoft CTO David Vaskevitch.

Every picture or video snippet that you shoot be embedded with date and GPS location information. Your OS will include sophisticated face-matching software. Photos will categorize themselves “automagically” and provide us with a second memory system — a backup for… read more

Your next mayor: a computer

April 23, 2012

city_pulse-84ac7

Three years ago, 100 Parisians volunteered to wear a wristband with a sensor in it. The sensors measured air and noise pollution as the wearers made their way around the city, transmitting that data back to an online platform that created a virtual map of the city’s pollution levels, which anyone with an Internet connection could take a look at.

This was a peek at ab urban… read more

Your next battery

November 25, 2003

Scientists are scrambling to perfect the fuel cell as a methanol-powered source for energy-hungry laptops and other portable devices.

Your memory can be altered by interfering information

A six-hour window
June 6, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

You can manipulate an existing memory simply by suggesting new or different information, Iowa State University researchers have shown.

The key is timing and recall of that memory, said Jason Chan, an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State.

“If you reactivate a memory by retrieving it, that memory becomes susceptible to changes again. And if at that time, you give people new contradictory… read more

Your Life: The Shirt-Pocket Movie

March 23, 2010

uCorder

With an $80 miniature wearable camcorder called the uCorder, you can document every mundane aspect of your life.

Your Lapel Is Ringing

June 22, 2004

Wrist-watch phones, minute handsets woven into clothes, and more are already on sale in Asia. Expect to see them in the U.S. over the next 12 months.

You’ll see cell phones that are cleverly disguised in watches, bracelets, jacket lapels, backpacks — any imaginable place that will make gabbing a fashion statement.

NTT DoCoMo is developing a technology called FingerWhisper that uses a hand’s bone structure. When a… read more

Your genome in minutes: New technology could slash sequencing time

December 20, 2010

DNA sequencing tool (Imperial College London)

Scientists from Imperial College London are developing technology that could ultimately sequence a person’s genome in mere minutes, at a fraction of the cost of current commercial techniques.

The researchers have patented an early prototype technology that they believe could lead to an ultrafast commercial DNA sequencing tool within ten years. Their work is described in a study published this month in the journal read more

Your entire viral infection history from a single drop of blood

June 8, 2015

VirScan-ft

New technology called called VirScan developed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers makes it possible to test for current and past infections with any known human virus by analyzing a single drop of a person’s blood.

With VirScan, scientists can run a single test to determine which viruses have infected an individual, rather than limiting their analysis to particular viruses. That unbiased approach could uncover unexpected… read more

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