Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 389
For those of you who don't know, there is a 400m-wide asteroid called "2005 YU55" that will fly past us (and in-between the Moon) on November 9. It will fly past at just 324,600km away, which is 0.85 the distance of the Moon itself, it won't kill us; but it is close enough to be news-worthy.
According to NASA, the "trajectory of asteroid 2005 YU55 is well understood", so there's no dangers whatsoever. The asteroid won't have any gravitational influence on Earth, so it won't make volcanoes go off or cause Earthquakes, etc. But, our gravitational pull might re-direct 2005 YU55. This is something NASA don't really cover, because it will [of course] most likely cause panic.
Also remember, that on the same day, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) along with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be running a nationwide event coordinated by those agencies and administrations. Come November 9, there will be a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) in which the test will be heard on the radio and seen on local, cable and satellite TV.
Fathers of the iPod, Ton Fadell who created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three versions of the iPhone, and Matt Rogers who was responsible for iPod software development at Apple, have a new startup: Nest Labs. Their first product? The Nest Learning Thermostat, which is designed to intelligently "learn" the behaviors of the user and adjust accordingly.
During the first seven days of use, the customer will set base temperatures using a single dial which is like a big click wheel. Click the wheel right for the temperature to increase and the display to turn orange, or to the left, to bring it down and the display turns blue. The Nest then records your initial settings and starts to take over after the first week or so. As usage continues, Nest will fine-tune settings using sensors, algorithms and cloud computing.
As an example, Nest is able to detect when users have left the house using a motion sensor and it will throttle back heating or cooling accordingly. The thermostat also includes an ambient light sensor and will adjust the brightness of the display relative to the surrounding light in the room to not cause eye strain.
The operation was overseen by Dr. Eric Leuthardt, a man previously responsible for developing another Brain-Computer Interface that allowed patients to control video-games with their minds. Clearly, the good doctor's philosophy has taken a turn from "Let's play Space Invaders with our minds!" to "Let's invade Space with Cyborgs". This particular BCI is a net of ECoG (electrocorticographic) electrodes that was temporarily placed beneath the dura, a layer of connective tissue in the brain. Scary? Scarier is that it took some of the patients a mere 4 minutes to get used to the interface and operate a computer with ease. Leuthardt believes this will be instrumental in the operation of bionic prosthetics- I'll be damned if this doesn't get creepier by the word.
Here's a promotional video with more details. Hit the link above to read more about the technical stuff.
The idea isn't new, field programmable gate array (FPGA) is a similar technology which is used in some finished devices or prototypes before production begins. But right now FPGA chips are large as they require all the space for the reprogrammable circuitry. This of course makes them slow and expensive.
The memo is brief but it's from an Air Force informant about "flying saucers". The memo has FBI agent Guy Hottel saying what an "investigator for the Air Forces" told him about what is called "the Roswell incident", Hottel says:
Three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico . . . they were described as being circular in shape with raised centres, approximately 50 feet in diameter . . . Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in a metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed flyers and test pilots.
Lining Yao, Anthony DeVincenzi, Ramesh Raskar, and Hiroshi Ishii from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab have developed a prototypal teleconference interface demonstration using Microsoft's Kinect sensor array.
Featured in their demo video, Lining (Lizzie) and Anthony (Tony) show off some of the features they managed to successfully implement. In their interactive interface, speakers will be given time-bubbles that pop up over their respective heads, tracking the length of time that each is speaking. Amazingly, the clock stops as soon as the person stops speaking, meaning the program is recognizing voices individually. A cool feature (that may need a bit of tweaking, but cool nonetheless) they also included is the automation of focus- when a person is speaking, the focus of the camera changes, ensuring that everything but the speaker is blurry. This wasn't as successfully implemented as the time-tracker, but a very interesting idea, especially for someone like me with rampant ADD.
Speaking of ADD, I have many problems when it comes to not answering or responding to portable phone vibrations, so this next feature made me sigh in relief that someone was actually working on it. The MIT team developed a way that a person in a teleconference can actually freeze an image of themselves, for instance sitting at a table with a rapt...
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph yesterday, Skinner said she would not rule out job cuts and wanted bureaucrats in "ivory towers" to get back to working in hospitals.
The 2nd Generation Core i Series, code name Sandybridge have been knows for sometime, with their official release happening back at CES. What this launch was about was getting Taiwan excited about the processors hitting the streets and becoming available for purchase. Intel APAC GM Navin Shenoy swung Taipei to join in the celebration that involved all of Taiwans major OEMs.
In case some how you've managed to miss it, highlights of the 2nd Gen processors are built around a new 32nm microarchitecture. This includes more energy-efficient performance and improved 3D and graphics performance along with the latest version of Intel's Turbo Boost 2.0.
We're particularly excited about the improved video editing capabilities of this series so we can render video's like the one above quicker!
Elon Musk made a fortune by co-founding PayPal and lives the kind of life Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) but, in real life. He's a billionaire who is also the founder of Space X. He is also the co-founder of Tesla Motors and has spent $400 million of his own fortune to advance Space X to it's current point in time.
The chair is called the GymyGym and the thing is billed as the world's first ergonomic exercise chair. The chair comes in several colors and appears to have stretch exercise bands to hold you up. The chair has a couple elastic resistance bands that have handles on it and you can grab them and get your workout in.