Technology

Fri
30
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Vulcan Mind Meld Becomes a Reality, Sort Of

A University of Washington scientist has transmitted his own thoughts over the Internet in order to make another man's finger move. But he insists this breakthrough isn't quite Star Trek-style Vulcan mind control. The project is designed to explore ... the way the brain operates with electrical signals. (Source: washington.edu ) Professor Rajesh Rao wore a special cap that monitors the electrical signals, or brainwaves, in the skull. Although he didn't physically move, he imagined moving his finger. To make the thought "more powerful", he did so while looking at a computer screen showing a video ... (view more)

Mon
19
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Scientists Building Chip That Mimics Our Brains

There's no denying that computers -- whether they're in desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet form -- are becoming both more powerful and complex. Most of the smartphones on the market today are far faster than the desktop PCs we used just a few ... years ago. Still, researchers aren't convinced that today's cutting-edge computers are a match for the highly-adaptive human brain. But that could soon change, thanks to the work of a Boise State University research team. Electrical and computer engineering faculty at the school are currently using a three-year $500,000 National Science Foundation ... (view more)

Thu
15
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Tesla Chief Proposes 600 MPH 'Hyperloop' Train

Elon Musk, the head of Tesla Motors and several other companies, has unveiled a design for a train that could get from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just half an hour. Musk described the solar-powered 'Hyperloop' train as a cross between a Concord ... jet and an air hockey table. Musk says he came up with the design because he was disappointed by the California government's plans to spend $68 billion on a more traditional high-speed rail link that would make the LA-San Francisco trip around two hours and forty minutes long. He argues that's too much time given the project's enormous cost. Musk' ... (view more)

Tue
13
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Baby App Makers Accused of Misleading Parents

Fisher Price has been accused of producing misleading advertisements for 'educational' applications aimed at children. The allegations come from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). It has filed formal complaints with the Federal ... Trade Commission (FTC) against Fisher Price and Open Solutions. The CCFC says Fisher Price claims its 'Laugh and Learn' range of apps can help young children advance their math and language skills. Open Solutions makes similar claims about apps featuring reading and spelling challenges. According to the CCFC, "neither company offers any evidence to ... (view more)

Mon
12
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

KeyMe App Makes a Backup of Your House Keys

We've all lost our keys at some point or another. But now there's a way to avoid having the locksmith make a house call: KeyMe, a new app that stores an image of a physical key. The image can then be used to create a new key at the local locksmith. ... The app requires the user take a photograph of the front and back of their key using the camera on their mobile device. Photographs must be taken within four inches of the key or the backup won't work properly. Once acceptable photographs have been taken, KeyMe stores them in the cloud. It then calculates the key type and the corresponding serial ... (view more)

Fri
09
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Flaw Results In Xerox Scanners Making Costly Errors

Xerox has admitted that some of its scanners mix up numbers. It's a problem that could prove costly for business users. Surprisingly, the problem isn't related to optical character recognition, which turns a scanned document into text; instead, the ... mixed-up numbers are right there on the scanned image. David Kriesel, a computer scientist in Germany, discovered the problem when scanning construction documents. The documents Kriesel scanned were related to three rooms of different sizes. However, after making the scan Kriesel found the document showed all three rooms as the same size -- a clear ... (view more)

Thu
25
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Experimental Device Turns Sweat Into Drinking Water

Clean drinking water is a precious resource. As the world becomes more polluted, the demand for healthy water only increases. But now there's some good news on this front: a new invention from Sweden turns sweat into water that can be safely ... consumed by human beings. The device, which has not yet been named, was developed by private researchers and Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology. Andreas Hammer, who helped to design and build the sweat-conversion device, says it will be used by the United Nations and Unicef to help give people access to clean drinking water. Recent studies have shown ... (view more)

Mon
22
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

High-Tech Patch Keeps Bugs at Bay

For many Americans, camping is the best kind of vacation. It's a simple and cheap way to unwind and 'disconnect' from the busy working world. But there are drawbacks to heading into the bush on a hot weekend in July -- for one, there's a good chance ... you'll be 'eaten alive' by merciless, blood-sucking mosquitoes. Until recently, keeping the bugs at bay meant lathering one's self in smelly sprays and lotions. But a new, high-tech patch could make you practically invisible to bugs for a full two-day period. Special Patch Blinds Mosquitoes It's called the Kite Patch and it uses a mixture of non- ... (view more)

Mon
22
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Text Message Tricks Phones Into Giving Up Your Info

A security researcher says hundreds of millions of mobile phones could easily be hacked with nothing more than a specially crafted text message. The hacker could then intercept calls or use the compromised phone to make cash. Karsten Nohl says the ... problem is with SIM cards, which are used to tell a phone which account to use and the number on which to send and receive calls and messages. He says many SIM cards still use an outdated algorithm for encryption to stop other people accessing information about the account. (Source: srlabs.de ) Nohl says his testing found a major flaw with these SIM ... (view more)

Thu
18
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Survey Reveals America's Smartphone Addiction

What's the extent of America's addiction to smartphones? A recent study shows that most Americans keep a smartphone nearby, while nearly one in ten have used such a device during intimate encounters. The study, which is being called the '2013 Mobile ... Consumer Habits Survey', was carried out by Harris Interactive on behalf of mobile credit card validation company Jumio. The survey included more than 2,000 people from the United States (of which 1,102 were actual smartphone owners) and was carried out in mid-June 2013. (Source: latimes.com ) Most Smartphone Users Keep Their Device Nearby -- All ... (view more)

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