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+ - Authenticating user by their ear using touchscreen of phone

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: A team of researchers from Yahoo Labs have created a new technology called ‘Bodyprint’ that turns your smartphone’s touchscreen display into a biometric scanner.

Recent mobile phones integrate fingerprint scanners to authenticate users biometrically and replace passwords, making authentication more convenient for users. However, due to their cost, capacitive fingerprint scanners have been limited to top-of-the-line phones, a result of the required resolution and quality of the sensor.

This new biometric authentication system "Bodyprint" detects users' biometric features using the same type of capacitive sensing, but uses the touchscreen as the image sensor instead. While the input resolution of a touchscreen is ~6 dpi, the surface area is larger, allowing the touch sensor to scan users’ body parts, such as ears, fingers, fists, and palms by pressing them against the display.

+ - "Acoustruments" could add physical controls to Smartphones just by using plastic->

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Disney Research have invented a unique type of accessory called “Acoustruments” for smartphones and other gadgets. They’ve come up with a way of utilizing ultrasonic waves to make smartphones even smarter.

The researchers got the inspiration for their invention from the wind instruments

The idea is to use pluggable plastic tubes and other structures to connect the smartphone’s speaker with its microphone. The device can then be controlled by acoustically altering sounds as they pass through this system. i-e they can control phones with sounds from their own speakers

Using smartphones as computers to control toys, appliances and robots is already a growing trend. Acoustruments can make the interactivity of these new ‘pluggable’ applications even richer

The researchers have used Acoustruments to build an interactive doll, which responds when its tummy is poked; a smartphone case that can sense when it has been placed on a table or is being hand carried; and an alarm clock that provides physical on/off and snooze buttons.

Acoustruments can be made with 3-D printers, with injection molds, or even by hand in some cases

The plastic tubing is designed to limit external noise interference, and the emitted ultrasonic frequencies are inaudible to the human ear. Experiments carried out by the researchers showed the control method to be impressively precise – achieving an accuracy of 99 percent when controlling a smartphone.

And, the researchers highlight smartphone-powered virtual reality headsets as a product category that could benefit from this technology, where users are physically unable to interact with a touchscreen interface.

Link to Original Source

+ - WikiLeaks lets you search Sony's hacked emails->

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: When a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace hacked Sony Pictures in late 2014, thousands of private emails and information about top executives, actors and Hollywood hotshots hit the 'net. The messages revealed pay discrepancies between male and female stars, and contained copies of films that hadn't yet seen release. Some of these emails contained racist and derogatory comments from Sony Pictures staff, including co-chair Amy Pascal, who consequently left the company in February. Now, all of these emails are available in searchable form on WikiLeaks. Anyone interested in digging through Sony Pictures' email archives can now search by specific term, sender, recipient, attached filename or email ID.
Link to Original Source

+ - Mark Zuckerberg clarifies net neutrality of Internet.org in India->

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: Recently there is a huge talk about net neutrality in India. Especially Net neutrality supporters were accusing Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s initiative Internet.org. So, 6 companies out of 38 were pulled out from the internet.org program.

Now Mark Zuckerberg has clarified about his Internet.org by posting a status message in his facebook account.

He says that he fully supports net neutrality and wants to keep the internet open. Net neutrality ensures network operators don’t discriminate by limiting access to services you want to use. It’s an essential part of the open internet, and they are fully committed to it.

And, he says, net neutrality is not in conflict with working to get more people connected. These two principles — universal connectivity and net neutrality — can and must coexist.

Link to Original Source

+ - Google Search to locate Android phone

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: Just type the words 'find my phone' into any google search bar from your computer and in seconds Google will locate your android device on a map and give you the option to make it ring.

You have to log into your browser with the same Google account as your phone.
And, you’ll instantly get a map of your mobile phone's location, along with the option to ring it.

If you choose the ring option your mobile phone will start ringing immediately.

+ - World's First Robotic Kitchen unveiled. It can cook by mimicking Chef.

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: The world’s first Automated Kitchen is unveiled at a Robotic showroom. This Robotic system features a dexterous robot integrated into a kitchen that cooks with the skill and flair of a master chef.

This Robotics system does not cook like a machine – but it captures human skills in motion, and recreates it for cooking the receipe.

The robot can learn anything, so it can interact with any type of hob, oven or dishwasher, once it has been taught how to do that.

A smartphone app is used to control the robot remotely. It is useful for telling it to start cooking a meal just before you leave the office.

+ - Carbon Nanotube for "unconventional" Computing

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: Currently silicon-based transistor is the fundamental building block of electronic devices.
As we approach the miniaturization limits of conventional electronics, now researchers are exploring alternatives to silicon-based transistors.
Inspired by the way living organisms have evolved in nature to perform complex tasks with remarkable ease, a group of researchers is exploring similar "evolutionary" methods to create information processing devices.

In the Journal of Applied Physics, the group describes using single-walled carbon nanotube composites (SWCNTs) as a material in "unconventional" computing. By studying the mechanical and electrical properties of the materials, they discovered a correlation between carbon nanotube concentration/viscosity/conductivity and the computational capability of the composite.

Instead of creating circuits from arrays of discrete components like transistors, their work takes a random disordered material and then 'trains' the material to produce a desired output.

This emerging field of research is known as "evolution-in-materio". An interdisciplinary field blends together materials science, engineering and computer science. Although still in its early stages, the concept has already shown that by using an approach similar to natural evolution, materials can be trained to mimic electronic circuits — without needing to design the material structure in a specific way.

The material used by the researchers, is a mixture of carbon nanotubes and polymer, which creates a complex electrical structure.

When voltages are applied at points of the material, its electrical properties change. When the correct signals are applied to the material, it can be trained or 'evolved' to perform a useful function.

While the research group doesn't expect to see their method compete with high-speed silicon computers, it could turn out to be a complementary technology. With more research, it could lead to new techniques for making electronics devices.

+ - This bendable Aluminium battery can charge phone in one minute

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: Scientists at Stanford University have invented the first high-performance aluminum battery that’s fast-charging, long-lasting and inexpensive. Researchers say the new technology may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames. The new battery won’t catch fire, even if you drill through it.

Smartphone owners know that it can take hours to charge a lithium-ion battery. But the Stanford team reported “unprecedented charging times” of down to one minute with the aluminum prototype

+ - Eyedrops provide Night vision to see up to 50 meters in Darkness.

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: A group of scientists in California have successfully created eye drops that temporarily enable night vision.

They use mixture of Insulin and a chemical known as "Ce6" (Chlorin e6) as eye drop for getting the night vision. It allows the user to view the objects clearly up to 50 meters in darkness.

This chemical "Ce6" is found in some deep-sea fish and is often used to treat cancer and night blindness.

The Ce6 solution will start work in as little as one hour after getting injected into eyes using micropippette. And the Night vision effect will be lasting for “many hours” afterwards, and the test subject's eyesight will become normal the next day.

The organisation "Science for the Masses" has released a paper that detailed the experiment in their website.

+ - Facebook's Drone will beam Internet Access to Billions of People from Sky

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: At its F8 conference in San Francisco, Facebook announced the first hardware it plans to use to beam the Internet down to billions of people around the world.

Codenamed "Aquila", the solar-powered drone has a wingspan comparable to a Boeing 737. But it weighs less than a small car.

It will be powered by solar panels on its wings and it will be able to stay at altitudes of more than 60,000 feet for months at a time.

Facebook says it’ll begin test flights this summer, with a broader rollout over the next several years.

+ - Unexpected role for green tea in MRI->

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: Scientists report in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces that they successfully used compounds from green tea to help image cancer tumors in mice. Using a simple, one-step process, the researchers coated iron-oxide nanoparticles with green-tea compounds called catechins and administered them to mice with cancer. MRIs demonstrated that the novel imaging agents gathered in tumor cells and showed a strong contrast from surrounding non-tumor cells. The researchers conclude that the catechin-coated nanoparticles are promising candidates for use in MRIs and related applications.
Link to Original Source

+ - Scientists built new nanolaser using a single atomic sheet 1

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: The Scientists at University of Washington and Stanford University built a new nanometer-sized laser which uses a tungsten-based semiconductor only three atoms thick as the “gain material” that emits light.

The UW nanolaser is energy efficient, easy to build and compatible with existing electronics. This technology is described in a paper published in the March 16 online edition of Nature.
Compared to other nanolaser designs, that makes them difficult to build and integrate with modern electrical circuits and computing technologies.
But this UW’s nanolaser can be easily fabricated to work with silicon components common in modern electronics.

+ - Mark Zuckerberg tells about the threats he faced from extremist from Pakistan

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz writes: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg has posted a status update in his Facebook account about the Threats he had faced from extremist from Pakistan. In his Facebook status message he says,

few years ago, an extremist in Pakistan fought to have me sentenced to death because Facebook refused to ban content about Mohammed that offended him. We stood up for this because different voices — even if they’re sometimes offensive — can make the world a better and more interesting place. Facebook has always been a place where people across the world share their views and ideas. We follow the laws in each country, but we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen