Aug 19, 2014

Which cyborg implant should you get?

posted by Laura Domela

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Aug 19, 2014

How fast you drive reveals where you drive

posted by Larra Morris

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Don’t believe the hype. Insurance companies wanting  information about what you do in your car say that they can’t use it to track your location. But a team of computer engineers at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J., have shown that to be untrue. The engineers say they’ve figured out how to create a fairly accurate map of where a car has traveled based solely on where it started and a stream of data indicating how fast it has gone—no GPS or cellular triangulation is necessary.
via IEEE Spectrum

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Aug 19, 2014

Clever carpet "printer" brushes pictures onto your rugs

posted by Larra Morris

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You know that incredibly satisfying feeling of seeing a freshly vacuumed carpet with the fibers all perfectly upright and unmarred by footprints? Designer Yuta Sugiura has found a way to take advantage of that effect to print detailed images on a rug or carpeting using a handheld machine he developed and built.

It works kind of like a vacuum, but instead of suction it uses a series of moving agitators to flatten or raise carpet fibers to produce a static monochrome image—but with surprising detail. An accompanying piece of software lets any image be converted into carpet imagery, meaning it could be used to display everything from corporate logos to fine art.
via Gizmodo

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Aug 19, 2014

Violinist fiddles with a smart bow during his brain surgery

posted by Larra Morris

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It's common for brain surgery patients to stay awake. That's how surgeons know everything is going smoothly, after all. When concert violinist Roger Frisch started suffering from tremors that are only a problem when he's playing, however, Mayo Clinic doctors had to resort to some rather unusual technology to find out if they were installing the necessary brain pacemaker correctly. The surgical crew gave Frisch a bow equipped with a motion-tracking sensor and asked him to fiddle during the operation; the team knew it had electrodes in the right spot when the musician's performance was steady.
via Engadget

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Aug 18, 2014

Mom creates app so kids can't ignore her calls

posted by Laura Domela

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Sharon Standifird served in the Gulf War. She's climbed mountains.

So how hard could it be to get her kids to show a little respect?

Her teens, you see, tended to do what teens do. So when she called them on their cell phones, their natural instinct was to press "ignore."

What's a mom to do? Get mad? Or get spectacularly, ingeniously even?

She chose the latter. She began to consider what sort of app might get her teens to see the light. The result was Ignore No More.

This charming addition to her kids' phones does something very simple: if the kids don't pick up mom's calls, the app locks their phones.
via cnet

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Aug 18, 2014

Los Angeles moves to begin fining people for loud parties and barking dogs

posted by Laura Domela

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Los Angeles is getting super-serious about what surely must be a terrible citywide epidemic of loud parties and noisy dogs. The City Council's Public Safety and Personnel and Welfare and Animal Services Committees have recommended approval of a new pilot program, called Administrative Citation Enforcement, that would let police officers hand out tickets and hefty fines—$250 for the first offense, $500 the second time around, and $1,000 for third-timers—to people who commit "quality of life" crimes like throwing loud house parties or using gas-powered blowers outside of the approved times, says the LA Daily News.
via Curbed

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[Dog via Eric Isselee / Shutterstock]

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Aug 18, 2014

A "sound camera" zeroes in on buzz, squeak, and rattle

posted by Laura Domela

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Annoying noise—what the automotive industry calls “buzz, squeak, and rattle” (BSR)—is the leading cause of customer complaints about new cars. Eliminating noise during the design and prototyping phase can pay big dividends…but locating transient, intermittent, ill-defined sounds like BSR or cricket chirps can be exasperatingly difficult.
via IEEE Spectrum

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Image: Hyundai Motor Group and SM Instruments

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Aug 18, 2014

The man who created the first pop-up ad says 'sorry'

posted by Larra Morris

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"I'm sorry. Our intentions were good."

Ethan Zuckerman was a designer and programmer for the early web-hosting serviceTripod.com when a car company freaked out. The unspecified manufacturer had bought a banner ad on a page that "celebrated anal sex," and was not too pleased at the association of its brand with sexual escapades. Tripod had the solution: what if an advert could launch in its own window? Zuckerman wrote the code for the world's first pop-up ad, and for many years it was impossible to browse without being inundated by pop-ups.
via The Verge

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Image: PA Computer Guys

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Aug 18, 2014

Facebook is testing a 'satire' tag to help you figure out what's real and what's not

posted by Larra Morris

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Sure, you're smart enough to know that "New Study Finds Humans Shouldn't Spend More Than 5 Consecutive Hours Together" is a headline from well-known satirical publication The Onion. But not everyone is, which could lead to some misdirected -- and embarrassing -- outrage. That could be a thing of the past, however, as Facebook is currently testing a "Satire" tag that'll distinguish fake news from the real deal. Ars Technica found that if you click through an Onion article, for example, Facebook would then automatically tag related articles with the aforementioned "satire" text in the headline (see screenshot after the break). A Facebook spokesperson confirmed this with the following statement:

"We are running a small test which shows the text '[Satire]' in front of links to satirical articles in the related articles unit in News Feed. This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units."
via Engadget

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Image: Steve Rhodes/Flickr

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Aug 18, 2014

How a 3D-printed wind turbine could power your gadgets

posted by Larra Morris

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3D printers are a technology with tons of potential applications, we just have to dream them up. Polish 3D printer manufacturer Omni3D decided to dream big with its wind power project. The team hopes to create an easily portable wind turbine that can pump out up to 300 watts of energy. Not enough power to keep your home running, but more than enough to power laptops, smartphones, and other gadgets.

The project, called AirEnergy 3D (AE3D), could be discarded as another pie-in-the-sky alternative energy solution that will never come to pass. It's definitely a hard sell to developed countries who subsist on more reliable and regretfully dirtier methods of energy. But AirEnergy 3D begins to make sense when you consider far-flung regions where electricity is scarce.
via Gizmodo

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