science + technology news

Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes

November 17, 2005

“Are you ready to see the Net privatized from the bottom to the top? Are you ready to see the Net’s free and open marketplace sucked into a pit of pipes built and fitted by the phone and cable companies and run according to rules lobbied by the carrier and content industries?

“Do you believe a free and open market should be ‘Your choice of walled garden’ or ‘Your… read more

Saving the universe

February 11, 2003

NASA is expected to announce this week that it has proved the existence of “dark energy,” a cosmic force that counteracts gravity and will keep the universe expanding forever. The announcement will effectively demolish the theory that life will be wiped out in a “big crunch” when the universe collapses, and should end decades of academic dispute.

NASA has found a pattern of “hot spots” which proves that the… read more

Saving the universe by restricting research

April 15, 2003

History’s worst technological catastrophes could kill millions or billions of people in this century, and to prevent them, society may need to consider restricting specific types of scientific research, says Sir Martin Rees, Britain’s astronomer royal, in the book, “Our Final Hour.”

His concerns include gray goo (nanobots out of control) and experiments that could create a black hole. “I think the odds are no better than 50-50 that… read more

Say goodbye to the computer mouse

July 18, 2008

A Gartner analyst predicts the demise of the computer mouse in the next three to five years for home entertainment or working on a notebook.

Taking over will be gestural computer mechanisms like Nintendo’s Wii, multitouch screens like the iPhone, and facial recognition devices such as products from Sony, Canon and other video and photographic manufacturer.

Also see:

Super-sensitive controller opens Wii to music

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

Say Sayonara to Blurry Pics

November 22, 2005

A computer science Ph.D. student at Stanford University has outfitted a 16-megapixel camera with a bevy of micro lenses that allows users to take photos and later refocus them on a computer using software he wrote.

Ren Ng’s camera pits about 90,000 micro lenses between the main lens and sensor. The mini lenses measure all the rays of incoming light and their directions of origin. The software later adds… read more

Scaling Up a Quantum Computer

August 7, 2009

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO, have demonstrated multiple computing operations on quantum bits–a crucial step toward building a practical quantum computer.

Scalp-implanted chip for deep brain stimulation developed

June 29, 2010

An experimental chip that could one day provide therapeutic deep brain stimulation (DBS) for drug resistant epilepsy and other conditions has been developed by Tel Aviv University researchers.

The Rehabilitation Nano Chip (ReNaChip) is implanted under the scalp and connects to DBS electodes implanted in the brain of animal models to rehabilitate motor-learning functions lost due to brain damage. The researchers hope that as chips become smaller, the ReNaChip… read more

Scan anything and let your phone do the rest

October 26, 2011
Digimark

DigimarcĀ  has developed Discover, a free iOS and Android app that uses a smart phone’s camera and microphone to “capture” a sample of audio or an image, barcode, or QR code, then identifies it through Digimarc’s database and searches for related material online.

As of yet, this system is only implemented by a small number of publications. It requires “digital watermarks” to identify images and video.

Scan ‘shows if people trust you’

April 6, 2005

MRI brain scans of volunteers playing a money game showed that a brain region called the caudate nucleus lights up when it receives or computes data to make decisions based on trust.

Scanadu Scout ‘Tricorder’ launches on indiegogo

May 23, 2013

Scanadu Scout (credit: Scanadu)

Scanadu has announced updates to its Scanadu Scout, the “first medical Tricorder,” a prototype device designed to measure vital signs; and the launch of anĀ indiegogo campaign.

A first-edition Scout can be reserved on indiegogo and will be available in March 2014.

The Scout is sold as an exploratory tool. “By helping us collect data, we can file our application to the FDA for market… read more

Scandinavian scientists designing robotic snakes

June 26, 2008

The Sintef Group of Trondheim, Norway is designing a robot modeled on snakes to inspect and clean complicated industrial pipe systems that are typically narrow and inaccessible to humans.

The intelligent robots have multiple joints to enable them to twist vertically and climb up through pipe systems to locate leaks in water systems, inspect oil and gas pipelines, and clean ventilation systems.

Scanner ‘reads minds’ to spot early signs of dementia (article preview)

November 4, 2008

New software helps non-specialists diagnose dementia from PET scans by comparing a scan of activity levels in a patient’s brain — revealed by the rate at which the brain takes up a radioactive glucose substitute that shows up on the scan — with a database.

Scanning with robots

March 15, 2005

Engineers at Imperial College’s mechatronics in medicine laboratory are developing a robot system to allow more accurate biopsies to be taken within the cramped conditions of an MRI chamber.

The extremely strong magnetic fields generated by MRI scanners rule out the use of motors to operate the robot. So the team is investigating the use of piezo-ceramic actuators, which deflect when a voltage is applied to them, allowing them… read more

Scanning your home with kinect could improve 3D robot vision

August 29, 2012

kinect-at-home

Seeking a way to crowdsource better computer vision, roboticists have launched a website that allows users to record pieces of their environments in 3-D with a Kinect camera, Wired Science reports.

Called Kinect@Home, the open-source and browser-based effort remains in its infancy. Users have uploaded only a few dozen models of their living room couches, kitchen countertops and themselves.

Should the project catch on,… read more

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