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Submission + - Knight Rider chip could see well enough to drive (

Barence writes: Eugenio Culurciello of Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Science has developed a supercomputer on a chip that he claims has enough power to navigate through busy streets. Dubbed NeuFlow, the system takes its inspiration from the mammalian visual system, mimicking its neural network to quickly interpret the world around it. “One of our first prototypes of this system is already capable of outperforming graphic processors on vision tasks,” Culurciello said. “The complete system is going to be no bigger than a wallet, so it could easily be embedded in cars and other places.” According to the scientists, the system could also be used to improve robot navigation, to provide 360-degree synthetic vision, or in assisted living environments to call for help should an elderly person fall, for example.

Submission + - Low-level iOS4.1 exploit discovered ( 1

exomondo writes: It seems the exploit that could pave the way for an iOS4.1 Jailbreak has been discovered, and it's a low-level bug that — unlike the one used by the jailbreakme website — may be a little more difficult for Apple to patch.

The exploit in the boot ROM of iOS devices was first announced by iPhone Dev-Team member pod2g. It was soon confirmed by other hackers, who said that because the exploit targets such a low-level part of the operating system, Apple won't be able to stop jailbreakers without making significant hardware changes.

Submission + - SPAM: Reprogrammed cells remember their cells of origin

GisG writes: Investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Regenerative Medicine have confirmed that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) retain some characteristics of the cells from which they were derived, something that could both assist and impede potential clinical and research uses."How faithfully iPSCs can be reprogrammed into a truly embryonic state has been a longstanding question, and we have found that the cell of origin does affect the capacity of iPSCs to differentiate in vitro into particular cell types," says Konrad Hochedlinger, PhD, of the MGH Center for Regenerative Medicine who led the research team.

Submission + - Open Source Projects Announced Collaboration (

sevarac writes: Two major open source neural network projects for the Java platform, Encog ( and Neuroph ( have announced collaboration on the development of advanced Java neural network technology. The basic idea for collaboration is to provide the best of both worlds: Encogs speed (support for multicore and GPU) and Neurophs easy to use neuron-based interface on top, for advanced neural network research. This will be accomplished by creating a high performance Encog kernel which will also be used by Neuroph.

Submission + - The Android Gets its HyperCard

theodp writes: Steve Jobs & Co. put the kibosh on easier cellphone development, but Google is giving it a shot. The NY Times reports that Google is bringing Android software development to the masses, offering a software tool starting Monday that's intended to make it easy for people to write applications for its Android phones. The free software, called Google App Inventor for Android, has been under development for a year. User testing has been done mainly in schools with groups that included sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students and university undergraduates who are not CS majors. The thinking behind the initiative, Google said, is that as cellphones increasingly become the computers that people rely on most, users should be able to make applications themselves. It's something Apple should be taking very seriously, advises TechCrunch.

Submission + - Phantom Data Sent By Sleeping iPhones (

Stoobalou writes: Now that just about every airtime provider is rethinking its mobile data plans, with most putting an end to unlimited contracts, it looks like iPhone users are paying more attention to their bills, and in particular how much data they are using.

A large number of users in the USA and here in the UK have discovered that their iPhones are apparently sending large chunks of data during the wee small hours using the 3G network.

Submission + - Being Wrong is What Makes Humans Smart 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "Kathryn Schulz has an interesting article in the Boston Globe about how the more scientists understand about cognitive functioning, the more it becomes clear that our capacity to make mistakes is utterly inextricable from what makes the human brain so swift, adaptable, and intelligent and recognize that human fallibility is part and parcel of humans' brilliance. Neuroscientists increasingly think that inductive reasoning undergirds virtually all of human cognition — the decisions you make every day, as well as how you learned almost everything you know about the world and that we use inductive reasoning to learn language, organize the world into meaningful categories, and grasp the relationship between cause and effect in the physical, biological, and psychological realms. "The distinctive thing about inductive reasoning is that it generates conclusions that aren’t necessarily true. They are, instead, probabilistically true — which means they are possibly false," writes Schulz. "Because we reason inductively, we will sometimes get things wrong." Schulz recommends that we respond to the mistakes (or putative mistakes) of those around us with empathy and generosity and demand that our business and political leaders acknowledge and redress their errors rather than ignoring or denying them. "Once we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity, or evil intent, we can liberate ourselves from the impossible burden of trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition that we could be in error, without deeming ourselves idiotic or unworthy.""

Submission + - First replicating creature spawned in simulator (

Calopteryx writes: "This is arguably the single most impressive and important pattern ever devised," says a Game of Life enthusiast. New Scientist has a story on a self-replicating entity which inhabits the mathematical universe known as the Game of Life. The existence of Gemini could help us understand how life on Earth began, or inspire strategies to build tiny computers

Submission + - Impact on Jupiter Observed by Amateur Astronomers (

Omomyid writes: Space Weather has the story of a bright impact observed on Jupiter, they also have video (WMV file) from one of the amateur sky watchers — pay attention, it goes by quick! From the article:

The nature of the impactor is presently unknown. It might have been an asteroid or a comet. In either case, a dark and cindery debris field is expected to develop around the impact point; that's what has happened in the aftermath of previous Jupiter impacts. Professional and amateur astronomers are encouraged to monitor Jupiter in the hours ahead, and stay tuned for updates.

Submission + - Scientists create mini 'black hole' (

An anonymous reader writes: A group of Chinese researchers have created an artificial mini "black hole" capable of absorbing electromagnetic waves coming in from all directions, according to research published in the current issue of New Journal of Physics. The researchers took advantage of the special properties of metamaterials, a class of ordered composites which can distort light and other waves, to realize a an omnidirectional electromagnetic absorber in microwave frequencies.

Submission + - Israel attacks international humanitarian convoy ( 23

chainLynx writes: Israeli forces attacked an international aid flotilla bringing much-needed supplies to the blockaded Palestinian territory of Gaza. Israeli commandos dropped from helicopters onto the ship and used live ammunition, killing at least 10 people and wounding others. The convoy has many noted participants, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.

Submission + - "Argonaut" Octopus Sucks Air Into Shell as Ballast (

audiovideodisco writes: Even among octopuses, the Argonaut must be one of the coolest. It gets its nickname—"paper nautilus"—from the fragile shell the female assembles around herself after mating with the tiny male (whose tentacle/penis breaks off and remains in the female). For millennia, people have wondered what the shell was for; Aristotle thought the octopus used it as a boat and its tentacles as oars and sails.

Now scientists who managed to study Argonauts in the wild confirm a different hypothesis: that the octopus sucks air into its shell and uses it for ballast as it weaves its way through the ocean like a tiny submarine. The researchers' beautiful video and photographs show just how the Argonaut pulls off this trick. The regular (non-paper) nautilus also uses its shell for ballast, but the distant relationship between it and all octopuses suggests this is a case of convergent evolution.

Submission + - Machine learning and game theory

Bill_s16 writes: Space War reports in "Game Theoretic Machine Learning Methods Can Help Explain Long Periods Of Conflict" on a study in PLOS Computational Biology that tends to deemphasize individual influence on instigating fights and asserts that history carrying forward from past conflicts may be more influential. In other words...grudges. And perhaps a step along the path toward something akin to an approximation of Asimov's Psychohistory.

Submission + - Modern photo taking etiquette - Any thoughts? 1

qwerty8ytrewq writes: Image capture devices are everywhere these days and with the erosion of privacy controls in Facebook, etc. I think 'private' and 'public' as we understand it is changing, public is starting to mean 'in front of a camera'. I would like to know if anyone has any practical, pragmatic,workable suggestions for ways to manage this is a private setting. (eg. at the next work Christmas party that I organise.) I have considered a 'photos only here zone' policy, a photo booth, check your phone at the door... Ideas?

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