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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - Rethink Robotics' New Robot Aims for Global Market

Submitted by gthuang88
gthuang88 (3752041) writes "Rethink Robotics has unveiled a new manufacturing robot called Sawyer. The robot has one arm, a gripper, and a head, and is equipped with new force sensors, actuators, and computer vision that make it more agile and precise than the company’s previous robot, Baxter. Founder Rodney Brooks says Sawyer is designed for two new market areas---electronics assembly and international factories in Europe and Asia. It also took only one year to build, as compared to almost four for Baxter. Still, the question is whether manufacturers are ready to adopt robots to work alongside people in factories."

+ - Testing New Digital Therapies for Mental Health->

Submitted by gthuang88
gthuang88 (3752041) writes "Startups and medical groups are testing new digital approaches to mental-health treatment, in efforts to clear clinical and regulatory hurdles. Pear Therapeutics combines drugs, apps, and virtual-reality software to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction. Akili Interactive Labs is using a video-game platform to diagnose and treat brain injuries, ADHD, and autism. And Partners Healthcare is running a 100-patient study of a tablet app that delivers cognitive behavioral therapy for depression. These efforts face big challenges in showing clinical results, but could point toward an eventual merging of drugs and digital therapies."
Link to Original Source

+ - A Tech Rebellion Brewing?->

Submitted by gthuang88
gthuang88 (3752041) writes "Joi Ito is a rebel, but he’s also head of the MIT Media Lab and depends on funding from big companies like Fox, Intel, and Google. Anil Dash is a Web entrepreneur, but he wants the industry held responsible for its nefarious terms of service, poor civic track record, and lack of diversity. Ayah Bdeir runs a hardware startup, but she rails against blind consumption of apps and devices. A recent PopTech gathering shows tech leaders are wrestling with their role in society. It also uncovers a fundamental tension between rebellious startups and the institutions they seek to disrupt."
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+ - Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk->

Submitted by gthuang88
gthuang88 (3752041) writes "Spider silk is touted for its strength and potential to be used in body armor, sports gear, and even artificial tendons and implants. Now several companies including EntoGenetics, Kraig Labs, and Araknitek have developed genetic approaches to producing commercial quantities of the stuff. One method is to implant spider genes into silkworms, which then act as spider-silk factories. Another is to place the gene that encodes spider web production into the DNA of goats; these “spidergoats” then produce milk containing spider-silk proteins that can be extracted. There’s still a long way to go, however, and big companies like DuPont and BASF have tried and failed to commercialize similar materials."
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+ - What's After Big Data?->

Submitted by gthuang88
gthuang88 (3752041) writes "As the marketing hype around “big data” subsides, a recent wave of startups is solving a new class of data-related problems and showing where the field is headed. Niche analytics companies like RStudio, Vast, and FarmLink are trying to provide insights for specific industries such as finance, real estate, and agriculture. Data-wrangling software from startups like Tamr and Trifacta is targeting enterprises looking to find and prep corporate data. And heavily funded startups such as Actifio and DataGravity are trying to make data-storage systems smarter. Together, these efforts highlight where emerging data technologies might actually be used in the business world."
Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997->

Submitted by gthuang88
gthuang88 (3752041) writes "In the 1990s, Microsoft was in position to own the software and devices market. Here is Nathan Myhrvold’s previously unpublished 1997 memo on expanding Microsoft Research to tackle problems in software testing, operating systems, artificial intelligence, and applications. Those fields would become crucial in the company’s competition with Google, Apple, Amazon, and Oracle. But research didn’t do enough to make the company broaden its businesses. While Microsoft Research was originally founded to ensure the company’s future, the organization only mapped out some possible futures. And now Microsoft is undergoing the biggest restructuring in its history."
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