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Braille-like texting app speeds up typing on smartphones

February 21, 2012

Braille Touch

Ever need to text a note under the table during a meeting or during class without anyone knowing it?

Georgia Tech researchers have a solution: a free open-source iPhone app called BrailleTouch.

No, it’s not a solution for texting while driving.

“Research has shown that chorded, or gesture-based, texting is a viable solution for eyes-free written communication in the future,” says Mario Romero, Postdoctoral Fellow… read more

BPA, Chemical Used To Make Plastics, Found To Leach From Polycarbonate Drinking Bottles Into Humans

May 25, 2009

Study participants who drank for a week from polycarbonate bottles — the popular, hard-plastic drinking bottles and baby bottles — showed a two-thirds increase in their urine of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), Harvard School of Public Health researchers have found.

Heating has been shown to increase the leaching of BPA from polycarbonate, so BPA levels might have been higher had participants drunk hot liquids from the bottles.… read more

Boyden to share prestigious brain prize

March 18, 2013


Ed Boyden, a faculty member in the MIT Media Lab and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, was named a recipient of the 2013 Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize. The 1 million Euro prize is awarded for the development of optogenetics, a technology that makesread more

Boxer bares all

December 8, 2005

Researchers have published the full genetic code of a dog. It should make it easier to find the causes of genetic diseases, such as cancer, that affect both dogs and people.

The scientists involved in the effort, whose research appears in Nature on December 8, say the genome has already helped them to pinpoint a group of DNA sequences that do not code for specific genes, but are extremely… read more

Boundless Informant: the NSA’s secret tool to track global surveillance data

June 9, 2013

The Guardian says it has acquired top-secret documents about the NSA datamining tool, called Boundless Informant, that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.

The focus of the internal NSA tool is on counting and categorizing the records of communications, known as metadata, rather than the content of an email or… read more

Bouncing data would speed up data centers

December 20, 2011

Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Intel’s labs in Oregon have come up with a clever solution to move information between different machines in data centers: bouncing wireless signals off the ceiling, which they say could boost data transmission speeds by 30 percent.

They used 60-gigahertz Wi-Fi, which has a bandwidth in the gigabits-per-second range.

Bouncing beads outwit Feynman

June 14, 2010

University of Twente researchers have built a machine that harnesses energy from the random motion of bouncing beads to perform work, challenging physicist Richard Feynman’s dictum that work can’t be extracted from such a system.

Newly created machine from Science News on Vimeo.

Bottlenose social-media dashboard launches

December 13, 2011

Bottlenose Sonar view


Bottlenose today announced the launch of its private beta. Bottlenose, the “smartest social media dashboard,” intelligently sorts streams, finds and visualizes trends, and provides groundbreaking social assistance capabilities that help users engage more effectively, using natural language processing, the startup claims.

Bottlenose first puts all of your streams (Twitter, Facebook, Yammer, others) in one place, providing a unified, holistic view. Then, Bottlenose automatically sorts… read more

Bottled Wind Could Be as Constant as Coal

March 11, 2010

Iowa Compressed Air Plant

The Electric Power Research Institute and the Department of Energy have identified grid-scale storage as a key need for the rapidly diversifying electricity system, and compressed-air energy storage looks like the cheapest option available.

In the last four months, four compressed-air projects have gotten new funding.

Bots on The Ground

May 9, 2007

Battle bots are teaching us how easily we identify our own creations as animate.

Bots on the ground

Robot generators on wheels could power emergency and military operations
September 26, 2014


Michigan Technological University engineers have developed a tabletop model of a robot team that can bring power to emergency workers, starting with cell towers to restore communications.

“If we can regain power in communication towers, then we can find the people we need to rescue,” says Nina Mahmoudian, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering–engineering mechanics. “And the human rescuers can communicate with each other.”

The team has programmed… read more

Bots Get Smart

December 4, 2008

The GAMES group at the University of Alberta is using AI to develop the next generation of interactive video games.

Today, many video games create only an illusion of intelligence, using a few programming tricks. But in the not-so-distant future, game bots will routinely use sophisticated AI techniques to shape their behavior, the researchers say.

With their PaSSAGE game, the computer learn players’ interests and preferences and molds… read more

Botox could stop disease in its tracks

June 8, 2009

Botox has been modified so that it could one day be used to treat asthma and possibly even cancer, by inhibiting the release of cytokines (overproduced in cancer) and mucin (oversecreted in asthma).

Botanists building ontologies to cope with information overload

August 22, 2012


Botanists are building ontologies such as the Plant Ontology (PO) to transform plant science by facilitating new ways of gathering and exploring data, Ramona Walls (New York Botanical Garden) and colleagues explain in an open-access article in the American Journal of Botany.

An ontology (in the information science meanng) is a description of the types of entities within a given domain and the relationships among them. When data… read more

Bot Battle More of a Lovefest

August 21, 2002

The International Design Contest robot competition at MIT nvolved eight teams of students from seven countries to make a remote-controlled bot that can push hockey pucks and foam rubber balls across the shuffleboard-sized playing area and onto a scale at the end of the field.

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