Kinect To Revolutionize Videoconferencing?

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kinected
The Kinect has already done a lot for a $150 webcam designed to imitate a Wiimote. It's been hooked up to a PS3, used to control medical robots, created "Minority Report"-style displays, and even create stereoscopic 3D. Now there's an application that means your dad will be trying to steal your Kinect for the office: videoconferencing with all the bells and whistles.

New Space Suits Help Astronauts in Distress

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orlanmk
The first step in any emergency is to stay calm, but that might not be so easy when you're literally floating out in space. To alleviate this concern, astronauts on the International Space Station tested new Russian-made suits with mini-computers embedded into the life support. In the case of a malfunction, the astronaut is notified, then given instructions on how to proceed via an LCD screen...

Obama to Name Cyber Czar

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obamatechnology
Who started this meme of calling government heads "czars?" Are they aware that this term primarily defines pre-revolution Russian emperors? Anyhow, President Barack Obama is picking someone of this caliber to lord over cyberspace. This person will report to both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. Though it's not clear exactly what the job will entail, the cyber...

Atlantis Shuttle Landing Delayed

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iss_spacewalk
There's something eerie about the methodical way the New York Times describes repairs to the Hubble Telescope. The story makes it sound like a routine mechanical job, but then you realize it's happening in freakin' space. That's why we interview astronauts and get all envious. Anyway, the Atlantis crew repaired the massive space telescope with great success, but now they're having trouble...

Analyst's Talk of Cyberwar Arms Race: Questionable

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tron3
Computing has become such a massive part of our lives, in both work and liesure, that forecasts of cyberwarfare seem logical enough. But the assertions by one analyst that the US needs to begin a computer arms race with China are now being questioned. Ars Technica did the due diligance and looked into these widely-reported claims from Technolytics Institute security expert Kevin G. Coleman and...

Opportunity.gov: Get Learned About Education

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obama-opportunity-org
You wanted the government to be transparent and connected through the Internet? You got it, with a new Web site accompanying President Barack Obama's latest plan to give money to the unemployed, should they choose to enroll in college instead of looking for another job. Opportunity.gov outlines the steps you can take to get Pell grants, which are traditionally available for low-income...

Raser Technologies Gives the NYSE List a Hybrid Heartbeat

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hummer_at_nyse
Raser Technologies Joins the NYSE - In a heartwarming tale of business-types giving the nod to greening, Wall Street let Raser Technologies ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange today. Why do we care? Because Raser is an energy technology group that helped develop an electric Hummer, essentially rendering the consumer car market's most notorious gas guzzler...

Robotic Shimon is Ready to Jam

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shimon
Man, the gig is tonight and you've got no cool cats around to play mallets! Maybe it's time to give Shimon a call. The robotic Marimba player isn't your average automatic musician. This one is built for improv, listening to piano accompaniment and spitting back counterpoint. The feature list sounds like fun: live synchronization, anticipation and beat tracking, dynamic rhythmic gestures, chord...

Probo Will Not Try to Kill You

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probo01
Unhappy and slightly overweight, Probo is a robot for modern times. As a construction whose current purpose entails providing moral support to hospitalized children, you'd think that Probo would be capable of expressing a little more joy. Instead, the closest we come is a look of shock, while the average emotion hovers somewhere between acerbic and calculating, as in "how can I murder these...

Mobile Camera Phone Knows What It's Looking At

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0 (99)
[youtube lUUxGvDqok4 570 380] We're one step closer to creating the Terminator with iVisit's "SeeScan" object recognition technology. Intended for the blind and visually impaired, enabled mobile devices can announce the name of an object after looking it over with its camera. Identification only takes a second or two, and the video above shows how the device even recognizes a $20 bill even when...

US Snipers to Get Guided Bullets, Other Tools

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silentscope
With everyone talking about the daring rescue of a Navy captain from Somali pirates with only three sniper shots, it would seem the US has the whole proficiency thing down. But not content with skills alone, the defense department is looking ahead to more advanced sniping. The EXACTO (Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance) program, in development now, hopes to create advanced ammo that changes...

Asthmap: GPS Tracking Inhaler Maps Asthma Hotspots

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asthmap
For people who suffer from severe asthma, sometimes the cause of an attack is obvious -- pollen in a field of blooming flowers, or dander from a pack of pets -- but that's not always the case. With the help of willing asthmatics, David Van Sickle, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is looking for a better way to hunt down triggers. His team of students will use global...

Visualizing Flickr: Web 2.0 as "The World's Eyes"

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the-worlds-eyes_mit-sensable-labs_msp1
When uploading to Flickr, users set tags, locations and other data-- upon which an enterprising group of MIT researchers have built a project called "The World's Eyes".  Now exhibited in the Design Museum in Barcelona, "Los Ojos Del Mundo" tracks photographers both local and tourist throughout their photographic adventures in Spain.  As described by MIT's SENSEable City Lab: When...

60-Foot Tall Gundam Robot Invading Tokyo

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60ftgundam
Godzilla better watch its back, because toy maker Bandai is going to erect a 60-foot tall Gundam robot suit at an artificial Toyko Bay island (pardon the obvious Godzilla joke there, it was too good to pass up). Bandai is creating the statue in honor of the anime series' 30th anniversary. The steel-framed statue is in production now and should be ready to defend Tokyo by July. However, it'll...

DIY Home Solar Power from Veranda Solar

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veranda-solar-panel
Though the details are a bit fuzzy, these solar panels from start-up Veranda Solar are a promising new product that could revolutionize the concept of solarizing your home. Sure everyone wants to go solar...in theory. But who actually goes the full mileage and procures the funding, installs all the equipment and gets their house producing its own energy from sunlight? Not seeing a lot of...

People Get GPS-Tracked, Makes for Great Graphs

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[vimeo 3281700 570 380] Armed with Garmin GPS devices, fourteen test subjects are living their lives and beaming their moveent to the Centre for Advanced Spacial Analysis at UCL in London. The result is, well, not particularly surprising. Saturday is a peak activity day, for example, and most of the weekday movement happens between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Also, not much changes from week to week....

NASA to Help BMW With Efficiency

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bmw-activehybrid-71
When it comes to improving a car's mileage and power consumption, the answer for BMW lies in space, sort of. The luxury automaker is looking to NASA for efficiency solutions, adding thermoelectric generators similar to those used on satellites. Though BMW's version obviously lacks nuclear power, the generators pull heat exhaust from the engine to generate up to 200W of power. In addition to...

One Man's Quest to Build a Bionic Eye

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[vimeo 3481857 570 380] There are already a couple of bionic eye experiments floating around in the scientific world, but one man is working full-time on a DIY solution. As a child, Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence lost one of his eyes in a shotgun accident. Now, with the help of "whiz kid" Kosta Grammatis, Spence wants to stick a tiny camera onto his glass eye, with no budget and only a handful...

Virtual Reality is Back and Better Than Ever

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vr
Back in the late 80's/early 90's I was totally psyched for virtual reality. Virtual sex with Sandra Bullock [Demolition Man ] ? Count me in. It seemed like it was just around the corner, then it kind of fizzled out without much fanfare. What the hell happened to all that hype? Thanks to a team of British academics from York and Warwick universities, it's back with more...

Windows of the Future

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rioe-oled1
Imagine sitting in your home, watching the sun set onto the ocean through your picture window. As the light finally  retreats into the horizon and your view turns to black, your window suddenly comes to life and enthralls you with a dazzling light show. Personally, I would never leave that couch. This scenario might sound slightly ridiculous by today's standards, but in a few years it could...