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Tech helps blind ‘see’ computer images

October 25, 2002

A simple touch display for the visually impaired soon could provide access to computer-generated images.

The prototype tactile display is a set of 3,600 small pins, about 10 per inch, which “prints” an image by using an extendable pointer to raise selected pins into a line drawing of the image.

The device is being developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The tactile display also would… read more

Tech lessons learned from the wisdom of crowds

December 17, 2006

Google, HP Labs, Yahoo, and Microsoft are among companies using “prediction markets” to improve forecasts.

The technique rewards employees for success in making predictions.

Tech predictions for businesses in 2014: mobility, wearables, intelligent assistants, gestural computing, facial recognition

December 31, 2013

Ready for facial recognition in stores? (Credit: Warner Brothers)

J. P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research serving Infrastructure & Operations Professionals offers these predictions for 2014 for businesses:

  • Mobility: Customers will actively shun businesses that lack mobile applications to enrich their experiences.
  • Wearables: will come to the enterprise, often in customer-facing situations. Google Glass could be the next big App Platform.
  • Intelligent assistants:  Intelligent agents like Siri and

read more

Tech Science Out on a Limb

June 29, 2004

From tiny memory chips to fanless cooling systems, cutting-edge researchers are investigating new ways to make computing devices smaller, faster and cheaper.

From organic computer memory cells to super-nanocapacitors, many of the most promising lines of research involve molecular scale technology.

Tech suits endanger innovation

May 30, 2012


Regardless of the legitimacy of their claims, aggressive litigation could have a devastating effect on society as a whole, short-circuiting innovation.

For example, a series of court decisions in the 1990s made hip-hop music sampling all but impossible, forcing artists to get permission for every snippet they used — a logistical and financial nightmare. Lawsuits flew against several rappers, and a form of cultural expression virtually disappeared.

This… read more

Tech tools tap into Web for election info

November 4, 2008

Election tech tools include Google’s new “In Quotes” service, Google Maps for polling places, “#votereport” added to Twitter messages (appear on, and to submit videos on polling experiences.

Technique Images Brain Activity When We Think Of Others

May 20, 2008
(Rebecca Saxe)

The temporoparietal junction (TPJ) area of the brain is active when people think about other people’s thoughts, MIT neuroscientist Rebecca Saxe has found, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Many neuroscientists doubted that an abstract high-level cognitive process like understanding another person’s thoughts would be conducted in its own private area of the cortex.

Technique May Help Revive Head-Injury Victims

October 16, 2006

Doctors yesterday reported the first evidence that targeted electrical deep brain stimulation (DBS) may help head-trauma victims stuck in a state of semiconsciousness, after an experiment apparently restored some of one patient’s abilities to function and communicate.

The technique, which has been shown to be effective for treating some patients with Parkinson’s disease, severe pain, epilepsy, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder, involves inserting tiny electrodes into the brain to stimulate… read more

Technique quickly identifies bacteria for food safety

December 29, 2006

Researchers at Purdue University have used a new technique to rapidly detect and precisely identify bacteria, including dangerous E. coli, without the time-consuming treatments usually required.

Called desorption electrospray ionization, or DESI, it could be used to create a new class of fast, accurate detectors for applications ranging from food safety to homeland security.

Techno hits basic beat

January 7, 2004
Complexity of nine musical genres

Physicists have quantified differences in the patterns of various musical genres and their correlations to subjective, qualitative musical aspects of these genres by using a technique called detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA). DFA has been used to study complicated signals in economic, genetic and heartbeat data.

The method produces a number, “alpha,” that quantifies the complexity of patterns in a signal, in this case, the volume of music. Western classical… read more

Techno sniffer dog debuts at Heathrow

March 18, 2003

London’s Heathrow airport has unveiled a new electronic “sniffer dog.” The Sentinel II analyzes air that is blown across passengers’ bodies for particles of explosives or other banned substances.

Technological Singularity and Acceleration Studies: Call for Papers

April 9, 2010

The 8th European conference on Computing And Philosophy – ECAP 2010, Technische Universitat, Munich, Germany has issued a call for papers on Technological Singularity & Acceleration Studies, with a submission deadline for extended abstracts of May 7, 2010.

“We invite submissions describing systematic attempts at understanding the likelihood and nature of these projections. In particular, we welcome papers critically analyzing the following issues from a philosophical, computational, mathematical, scientific… read more

Technology 25 Years Hence

December 29, 2010

“The law of accelerating returns is the only reliable method I know that allows us to forecast at least certain aspects of the future,” said Ray Kurzweil in “Why Do We Need Predictions?,” a New York Times special feature published Monday.

“A computer that fit inside a building when I was a student now fits in my pocket, and is a thousand times more powerful despite being… read more

Technology Could Enable Computers To ‘Read The Minds’ Of Users

October 2, 2007

Tufts University researchers are developing techniques that could allow computers to respond to users’ thoughts of frustration (too much work) or boredom (too little work).

They are using light-based functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technology to monitor brain blood flow as a proxy for workload stress.

Technology Doesn’t Dumb Us Down. It Frees Our Minds.

September 22, 2008

Over the course of human history, writing, printing, computing and Googling have only made it easier to think and communicate, says Times writer Damon Darlin, challenging an article in The Atlantic magazine called “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

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