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Sprouting ideas in 3D with a novel ‘blended reality’ device

October 30, 2014

Sprout (credit: HP)

What happens when you combine a scanner, depth sensor, high-resolution camera, projector, Windows 8.1 desktop computer with Intel i7 processor and 1TB of storage, and two touch screens, all squeezed into a single device?

HP calls it “Sprout,” part of a new immersive “Blended Reality” ecosystem that is “designed to break down the barriers between the digital and physical worlds.”

A friendly maker tool

HP pitches… read more

Spy Fears: Twitter Terrorists, Cell Phone Jihadists

October 27, 2008

A draft Army intelligence report warns that Twitter, mobile phone cameras, and GPS utilities could be used in combination as effective tools for coordinating terrorist attacks.

Spy planes to recharge by clinging to power lines

December 20, 2007

The US Air Force Research Lab is developing an electric motor-powered micro air vehicle that can “harvest” energy when needed by attaching itself to a power line, even temporarily changing its shape to look more like innocuous piece of trash hanging from the cable.

Much of the “morphing” technology to perform this has already been developed by DARPA, the Pentagon’s research division. Technologies developed in that program include carbon… read more

Spy-camera robot penguins infiltrate bird colonies

February 13, 2013

penguinbbc_610x329

A BBC documentary team unleashed 50 spycams into penguin colonies, including cameras that served as eyes for robotic penguins, to capture stunning close-up footage of the unusual birds, CNET reports.

“Penguins: Spy in the Huddle” documents nearly a year hanging out with penguins through the surrogate eyes of 50 different spycams. Some of the spycams were disguised as chunks of snow or small boulders, but… read more

Spying an intelligent search engine

August 21, 2006

While most would agree that Google has set the current standard for Web search, some technologists say even better tools are on the horizon thanks to advances in artificial intelligence.

Square launches iPad point-of-sale service

May 24, 2011

Card Case

Mobile commerce company Square has launched Square Register iPad app, which allows merchants to use an iPad instead of a cash register or credit card terminal. Now available to download, the app facilitates retail checkout, sales tracking, and customer communication.

Square also launched Card Case, a consumer app for both iPhone and Android users that complements the Square Register merchant app. Card Case stores virtual merchant-branded… read more

Squeezed light breaks quantum barrier

August 22, 2003

Physicists have made a new type of ultra-precise laser pointer by “squeezing” a beam in two directions. They are able to position the beam with a precision of 1.6 Angstroms, almost 1.5 times better than the theoretical limit for a conventional laser.

The team now hopes to exploit the technique in atomic force microscopy, measurements of refractive index and studies of molecules in living cells.

News tip: Walter… read more

Squid and zebrafish cells inspire camouflaging smart materials

May 2, 2012

chromatophores

Researchers from the University of Bristol announced May 2 they have created artificial muscles that can be transformed at the flick of a switch to mimic the remarkable camouflaging abilities of organisms such as squid and zebrafish.

They demonstrate two individual transforming mechanisms that they believe could be used in “smart clothing” to trigger camouflaging tricks similar to those seen in nature.

The soft, stretchy, artificial muscles are based on… read more

Squid May Inspire New Nanolights

January 13, 2004

A Hawaiian squid has a built-in flashlight made up of a previously unknown type of protein that could help researchers design novel nanoreflectors.

Glowing bacteria provide the light source, which is surrounded by stacks of reflective plates. The team notes that the reflectins are “a marked example of natural nanofabrication of photonic structures” and should inspire bottom-up synthesis of new spectroscopic and optic devices.

Squirrel and bird deception techniques inspire military-robot design

December 5, 2012

Deceptive Robots (credit: Arkin et al./Georgia Institute of Technology)

Using deceptive behavioral patterns of squirrels and birds, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed robots that are able to deceive each other.

The research is led by Professor Ronald Arkin, a Regents Professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing, who suggests the applications could be implemented by the military in the future.

Animal deception tactics

Squirrels gather… read more

SRI International releases report on costs and benefits of online learning programs

March 21, 2012

A new SRI International report prepared for the U.S. Department of Education provides guidance to educational leaders as they work to implement successful, cost-effective online learning programs for secondary schools.

The report, “Understanding the Implications of Online Learning for Educational Productivity,” summarizes past research on the cost and outcomes associated with online learning programs in higher education and offers strategies for implementing such programs effectively… read more

Sri Lanka to be first country in the world with universal Internet access

July 29, 2015

(credit: Google)

Sri Lanka may soon become the first country in the world to have universal Internet access. On July 28, the government of Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Google to launch Project Loon, according to Sri Lanka Internet newspaper ColumboPage.

Google is providing high-altitude balloons, using the standard telco high-speed 4G LTE protocol, according to Project Loon project lead Mike Cassidy, in a… read more

St Lawrence of Google

January 13, 2006

Google is already working on a massive and global computing grid. Eventually, says Mr Saffo, “they’re trying to build the machine that will pass the Turing test,” in other words, an artificial intelligence that can pass as a human in written conversations. Wisely or not, Google wants to be a new sort of deus ex machina.

Stable polymer nanotubes may have a biotech future

February 3, 2006

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have created polymer nanotubes that are unusually long (about 1 centimeter) as well as stable enough to maintain their shape indefinitely.

The nanotubes may have biotechnology applications as channels for tiny volumes of chemicals in nanofluidic reactor devices, for example, or as the “world’s smallest hypodermic needles” for injecting molecules one at a time.

References:

J.E. Reiner,… read more

Stable, self-renewing neural stem cells created

April 26, 2011

Stained Neuron

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and colleagues have reported the creation of long-term, self-renewing, primitive neural precursor cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) that can be directed to become many types of neurons without increased risk of tumor formation.

To produce the neural stem cells, the researchers added small molecules… read more

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