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Twitter mood maps reveal emotional states of America

July 22, 2010

The mood of the nation at midday and 11 pm EST (Alan Mislove/Sune Lehmann/Yong-Yeol Ahn/Jukka-Pekka Onnela/J. Niels Rosenquist, 2010)

Emotional words contained in 300 millionĀ tweets suggest that the West Coast is happier than the East Coast, and across the country happiness peaks each Sunday morning, with a trough on Thursday evenings, computer scientists at Northeastern University have found, describing the technique as “the pulse of the nation.”Ā 

To glean mood from the 140-character-long messages, they filtered the tweets to find ones that contained… read more

Avogadro Scale Computing : digging into Gernshenfeld’s Presentation from the Singularity Summit

October 31, 2008

One of the major highlights of the Oct 25, 2008 Singularity Summit was the presentation by Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, presenting a “20 year road map to the Star Trek replicator.”

Nanotechnology offers hope for spinal cord, diabetes, Parkinson’s

April 24, 2007

After being exposed to bioactive nanostructures developed in Samuel I. Stupp’s laboratory at Northwestern University, Mice recovered from the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and recovery of heart function after an infarction.

Stupp and his coworkers designed molecules with the capacity to self-assemble into nanofibers once injected into the body with a syringe. When the nanofibers form they can be immobilized in an area of tissue where it is necessary… read more

Digital Image Sensor

July 8, 2004

In North America, digital cameras may nearly replace film cameras by 2008, according to InfoTrends/CAP Ventures. The trend is being fueled partly by improvements in the digital sensors that capture images in lieu of film.

The latest: the X3 from Santa Clara, CA-based Foveon. It has three layers of silicon, as opposed to one in conventional sensors, which produce sharper, truer-colored photos.

Foveon partnered with Polaroid and this… read more

Brain Scans Teach Humans to Empathize with Bots

August 2, 2010

robot+human

To test whether the sections of the brain that are activated when a human sees a robot expressing powerful emotions are the same as when a human sees another human expressing them, an international group of researchers stuck volunteers into an fMRI machine. They did not respond to the robots’ facial movement. But when they were told to concentrate on the emotional content of the robots’ expressions, their brains evidenced… read more

US Army to Push X-Files Tech Development, Invade World of Warcraft

November 6, 2008

The US Army is ramping up the development of technology that is “making science fiction into reality” as Dr. John Parmentola, Director of their Research and Laboratory Management, puts it.

The research includes regenerating body parts on “nano-scaffolding,” telepathy through electronic impulses in the scalp, and self-aware virtual photorealistic soldiers that can be deployed in the battlefield through “quantum ghost imaging.” To test these they want to use them… read more

A good night’s sleep with the flip of a switch?

May 1, 2007

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to stimulate the slow waves typical of deep sleep by the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to send a harmless magnetic signal through the skulls of sleeping volunteers.

UCLA Scientists Control a Single Electron’s Spin With Commercial Transitor

July 23, 2004

A UCLA team succeeded in flipping a single electron spin upside down in an ordinary commercial integrated circut chip for the first time, and in detecting that the current changes when the electron flips.

“Our research demonstrates that an ordinary transistor can be adapted for practical quantum computing,” said UCLA professor of physics Hong Wen Jiang.

They flipped the spin of the electron by changing a microwave radio… read more

The First Church of Robotics

August 10, 2010

“By allowing artificial intelligence to reshape our concept of personhood, we are leaving ourselves open to the flipside: we think of people more and more as computers, just as we think of computers as people,” says author and computer scientist Jeron Lanier. “The constant stream of stories about AI suggests that machines are becoming smart and autonomous, a new form of life, and that we should think of them as… read more

Is nanotechnology a health timebomb?

November 12, 2008

Emerging nanomaterials need to undergo urgent testing to assess their effects on health and the environment, the UK’s Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution said in a report released this week.

Gene mutation linked to cognition is found only in humans

May 9, 2007

Neuropsin, a protein that plays a role in learning and memory, is expressed only in the central nervous systems of humans and originated less than 5 million years ago, Chinese Academy of Sciences researchers have found.

R&D eyes novel, nonvolatile memories at nanoscale

August 4, 2004

R&D projects based on such techniques as carbon nanotubes, molecular electronics and atomic force microscope probe arrays appear to be converging on the ideal of a universal high-density, high-capacity, nonvolatile, low-power read/write memory technology.

Candidate technologies include Millipede (using arrays of cantilevered atomic-force microscope tips to read tiny indentations in a plastic membrane), spintronics-magnetic RAM (MRAM), nanotubes, and self-assembled porphyrin molecular films.

Google Offers Cloud-Based Learning Engine

August 20, 2010

Google has launched a service that could bring machine learning to many more apps. Google Prediction API provides a simple way for developers to create software that learns how to handle incoming data.

For example, the Google-hosted algorithms could be trained to sort e-mails into categories for “complaints” and “praise” using a dataset that provides many examples of both kinds. Future e-mails could then be screened by software using… read more

Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory

November 18, 2008

The multiverse may well be the only viable non­religious explanation for what is often called the “fine-tuning problem” (or the anthropic principle)– the baffling observation that the laws of the universe seem custom-tailored to favor the emergence of life.

Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind thinks the various versions of string theory may describe different universes that are all real. He believes the anthropic principle, the multiverse, and string theory are… read more

Holographics set to feed a market hungry for data backup

May 20, 2007

The world’s first commercial holographic storage system will be launched this autumn, with the product able to store 600GB on a disc about the size of a CD.

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