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Social networking sites to go 3D

April 9, 2008

Vivaty of Menlo Park, California, is creating a hybrid of conventional social networking sites such as Facebook and virtual worlds like Second Life.

To be offered to Facebook users, Vivaty users will get access to a virtual room where they can adorn the walls with photos, watch a virtual television that plays YouTube, invite friends over to join them, and chat via 3D avatars.

Social networking’s good and bad impacts on kids

August 9, 2011

Social media present risks and benefits to children but parents who try to secretly monitor their kids’ activities online are wasting their time, says Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D., professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Rosen identifies potential adverse effects of social media, including:

  • Teens who use Facebook more often show more narcissistic tendencies, while young adults who have a strong

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‘Social voting’ really does rock the vote

September 14, 2012

The experiment and direct effects. Examples of the informational message and social message Facebook treatments (a) and their direct effect on voting behaviour (b). Vertical lines indicate s.e.m. (they are too small to be seen for the first two bars). (Credit: /Nature)

Brace yourself for a tidal wave of Facebook campaigning before November’s U.S. presidential election. A study of 61 million Facebook users finds that using online social networks to urge people to vote has a much stronger effect on their voting behavior than spamming them with information via television ads or phone calls, Science Now reports.

The study follows a Science paper that tracked howread more

Society for Neuroscience 2011 meetups

November 11, 2011

Dr. Randall Koene is planning several meetups at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting 2011, in Washington, D.C., starting on Saturday Nov. 12 with a Whole Brain Emulation Social (see for details).

Society’s vital networks prone to ‘explosive’ changes

March 17, 2009

Random networks, such as the Internet and global flight connections, have the potential for extreme behavior never seen before, suddenly gaining a central backbone of connections that make it simple to travel between any two points, researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz and elsewhere have found.

The addition of just one link triggers an instantaneous phase change and the network becomes fully connected.

Soft arrays of miniature electrodes for improved Parkinson’s treatment

February 19, 2013


Miniature, ultra-flexible electrodes could be the answer to more successful treatment for Parkinson’s diseases, according to Professor Philippe Renaud of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

He has developed soft arrays of miniature electrodes in his Microsystems Laboratory that open new possibilities for more accurate and local deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Some 90,000 patients per year are treated for Parkinson’s disease, a number that… read more

Soft Drinks Linked To Heart Disease Via Metabolic Syndrome

July 25, 2007

In a new study, the large-scale ongoing Framingham Heart Study has found that drinking more than one soft drink a day, whether regular or diet, may be linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease, via an increase in metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms such as excess waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol) and… read more

Soft memory device opens door to new biocompatible electronics

July 16, 2011

Jello Memory

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a soft memory device design that functions well in wet environments and has memristor-like characteristics, opening the door to new types of smart biocompatible electronic devices.

A memristor (“memory resistor”) is an electronic device that changes its resistive state depending on the current or voltage history through the device.

The ability to function in wet environments and… read more

Soft microrobots that simulate unicellular water microorganisms

December 6, 2013


Miniaturized robots that could one day function medically inside the human body are being designed by researchers in Trieste and Catalonia.

The robots of the future will be increasingly like biological organisms, with the same “softness” and flexibility as biological tissues, according to Antonio De Simone from SISSA (the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste) and Marino Arroyo from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, who have… read more

Soft robotics ‘toolkit’ features everything a budding robot-maker needs

September 24, 2014

(Credit: Eliza Grinnell, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)

Several Harvard University labs in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin have developed the Soft Robotics Toolkit — an online treasure trove of downloadable open-source plans, how-to videos, and case studies to assist users in the design, fabrication, modeling, characterization, and control of soft robotic devices.

With the advent of low-cost 3D printing, laser cutters, and other advances in manufacturing technology, soft robotics is emerging as an increasingly… read more

Software Advance Helps Computers Act Logically

June 16, 2005

A new software language, ISO 18629, promises to enable computers to reason much more precisely and thus better reflect subtleties intended by commands of human operators.

ISO 18629 uses AI and language analysis to represent computer commands in the context of a manufacturing plan. Researchers have incorporated approximately 300 concepts, such as “duration” and “sequence,” into its software structure. Computers using software with this expanded, though still primitive AI… read more

Software aims to put your life on a disk

November 21, 2002

Engineers at Microsoft’s Media Presence lab in San Francisco are aiming to build “MyLifeBits,”
a multimedia database that chronicle people’s life events and make them searchable.

Each media file saved in MyLifeBits can be tagged with a written or spoken commentary and linked to other files. Spoken annotations are also converted into text, so the speech is searchable, too.

The system could also help us preserve our experiences… read more

Software automatically transforms movie clips into comic strips

March 19, 2012

A comic page generated from a movie clip of “Titanic” (credit: Wang, et al./IEEE

“Movie2Comics” software can generate comics automatically, including comic panels of different sizes, positioning word balloons, and rendering movie frames in a cartoon style.

The researchers used the new method to transform 15 movie clips into comic strips.

Ref.: Meng Wang, et al. “Movie2Comics: Towards a Lively Video Content Presentation, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, 2012 [DOI: 10.1109/TMM.2012.2187181]

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.

Software detects motion that the human eye can’t see

Video technique could lead to remote diagnostic methods
July 24, 2012


A new set of software algorithms can amplify aspects of a video and reveal what is normally undetectable to human eyesight, making it possible to, for example, measure someone’s pulse by shooting a video of him and capturing the way blood is flowing across his face, Technology Review reports.

The software process, called “Eulerian video magnification” by the MIT computer scientists who developed the program,… read more

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