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Friday, July 31, 2015

Email Archives of Modern Historical Figures

Stanford University Libraries Develops New Software to Give Researchers Unprecedented Access to Email Archives

The privacy and access challenges of archives containing electronic communications of enduring historical value are addressed in the Libraries’ latest release of ePADD

Gabrielle Karampelas | July 29, 2015

Despite rapid growth of email use since its inception 40 years ago, and the increasing presence of email within research collections, the vast majority of email archives of modern historical figures remain inaccessible to researchers. Repositories that seek to make email content available for research face significant copyright and privacy issues and can be daunted by the sheer volume of email transferred. 

Source: (Infografic: The History of Email. June 21, 2011)

<more at; related link: (New Email Archive Tool to Sift Literary Legacies; New software developed at Stanford is allowing digital archivists to sort through thousands of emails. July 29, 2015)>

Biblical Text Recovered Using "Virtual Unwrapping"

Biblical Text Revealed from Damaged 1,500-year-old Scroll

University of Kentucky | July 29, 2015

For the first time, advanced technologies made it possible to read parts of a scroll that is at least 1,500 years old, which was excavated in 1970 but at some point earlier had been badly burned. The scroll was discovered inside the Holy Ark of the synagogue at Ein Gedi in Israel. High-resolution scanning and University of Kentucky Professor Brent Seales' revolutionary software prototype designed to do “virtual unwrapping” of surfaces from within volumetric scans revealed verses from the beginning of the Book of Leviticus suddenly coming back to life.

wrapped texture image of the Ein Gedi scroll, produced by Seales and his research team, showing letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
Wrapped texture image of the Ein Gedi scroll, produced by Seales and his research team, showing letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Source:
<more at; related links: (Seales' Research Team Reveals Biblical Text From Damaged Scroll. July 20, 2015) and (University of Kentucky computer science chairman, students decipher ancient Hebrew scroll. July 20, 2015)>

Nokia VR Camera

Nokia Reveals Ozo, a Futuristic new Camera for Filming Virtual Reality

Designed for Hollywood, not consumers

Casey Newton | July 28, 2015

When Microsoft bought Nokia's handset business in 2013, two big questions hovered above all. The first was "why?" and we never got a convincing answer: Microsoft wrote off $7.6 billion in Nokia costs this month, higher than the purchase price. The second question was what would become of the rest of Nokia, which had just exited the business it had once dominated. The company said it planned to focus on maps, network infrastructure, and "advanced technologies" — but what those technologies would be went unsaid.


<more at; related links: (Nokia Launches Virtual Reality Camera for 3D Video. July 29, 2015) and (Meet Ozo, the First Nokia Virtual Reality Camera. July 29, 2015)>

Open Access and Libraries

Librarians Leap to the Aid of Researchers Whose Funding Will Soon Depend on Open Access

Mary Ellen McIntire | July 30, 2015

As more federal agencies begin requiring grant recipients to make research results freely available to the public, college librarians have taken on a new role: helping researchers comply with open-access rules.

A February 2013 memorandum from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said federal agencies with more than $100 million in research-and-development expenditures would have to require that results be available within a year of publication.

<more at; related links: (Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research. February 22, 2013) and (Libraries cheer passage of strong open access legislation in U.S. Senate)>

Thirty Years of Microsoft Windows

Here's What We Thought About Windows 30 Years Ago

Chloe Albanesius | July 30, 2015

Windows 10 arrived this week, and PCMag concluded that it "seems destined to win the hearts of all of those who were averse to Windows 8, bringing back familiarity and a bounty of new capabilities." Since the upgrade is free for those on Windows 7 and 8.1, making the leap "is a no-brainer for most," we said.

<more at; related links: (30 years of Windows, condensed into a single infographic. July 29, 2015) and (See How Microsoft Windows Has Evolved Over 30 Years. July 29, 2015)>


Makerspaces in Libraries 

Theresa Willingham and Jeroen DeBoer | (forthcoming) August 16, 2015

Makerspaces in Libraries
<more at>

According to Amazon (, highlights and best practices include: 

  • budgeting and business planning for a librarymakerspace,
  • creating operational documents,
  • tools and resources overviews,
  • national and international case studies,
  • becoming familiar with 3D printers through practical printing projects (seed bombs),
  • how to get started with Arduino (illuminate your library with a LED ambient mood light),
  • how to host a FIRST Robotics Team at the library,
  • how to develop hands-on engagement for senior makers (Squishy Circuits), and
  • how to host a Hackathon and build a coding community

Robots in Our Future

Robot Could Be Models Of The Future

Edwin Kee | July 29, 2015

The world of fashion can be deemed to be a quirky one – and it is far from surprising at all to see how robots can play a role in fashion. Androids have made their way into fashion magazines as well as runways recently, where designers like Thom Browne and Rick Owens, alongside newcomers like David Koma, have touched on fembot imagery in the fall 2015 collection. Basically, models dressed in frocks that have been patterned with soldering dots and faux computer circuitry strutted their stuff.

Of course, uncanny merging between the two might also be rather uncomfortable for some, just like how zombies have become popular culture of late. Such next generation robots are depicted by actual humans, but they will be decked out in robotic details, as well as advanced motor skills. 

<more at; related links: (Fashion Finds a More Perfect Model: The Robot. July 29, 2015) and (Fashion Robot To Hit Japan Catwalk. Uploaded March 16, 2009)>

Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Happy Birthday" To You?

Filmmakers Fighting "Happy Birthday" Copyright Find Their "Smoking Gun"

A 1927 kids' songbook proves "conclusively the song is in the public domain"

Joe Mullin | July 27, 2015

It's been two years since filmmakers making a documentary about the song "Happy Birthday" filed a lawsuit claiming that the song shouldn't be under copyright. Now, they have filed (PDF) what they say is "proverbial smoking-gun evidence" that should cause the judge to rule in their favor.
The "smoking gun" is a 1927 version of the "Happy Birthday" lyrics, predating Warner/Chappell's 1935 copyright by eight years. That 1927 songbook, along with other versions located through the plaintiffs' investigations, "conclusively prove that any copyright that may have existed for the song itself... expired decades ago."

<more at >>

From the website
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the song generated $15,000 to $20,000 per year. Through the 1960s, it made closer to $50,000 annually, and over $75,000 during the 1970s. By the 1990s, the song was generating well over $1 million per year. In the last few years, WMG has pulled in over $2 million a year in royalties. It will continue to do so until the year 2030. (

<Related link: (Who Wrote "Happy Birthday to You" (and Who's Collecting the Millions in Royalties)? July 24, 2012)>

Hacktivists Dump Data from US Universities

Team GhostShell Hacktivists Dump Data from US Universities and Hundreds of Sites

The hacker group GhostShell is back, claiming to have access to billions of accounts, trillions of records, hacking sites and dumping data to show that governments, educational institutions and other sites still have shoddy cybersecurity

Computerworld | July 1, 2015

It’s been some time since Team GhostShell was active, but the hacker group kicked into high gear, referenced “dark hacktivism” and started tweeting about hundreds of hacked sites and linking to dumps with plundered data. The group should sound familiar as back in 2012 the hacktivists pounded on government agencies such as the Pentagon, NASA, ESA, the Federal Reserve and Interpol before dumping 1.6 million records.

<more at; related link: (Hacktivist Group GhostShell Claims it Hacked Over 300 Websites. July 2, 2015)>

Bike Sharing

Bike Sharing Grows in Cleveland, with Art Museum, Library, Other New Locations

Alison Grant | July 28, 2015

Bike-sharing is on a roll again in Greater Cleveland, with Zagster announcing five new locations where you can rent a bike for $3 an hour.

<more at; related link: (Bike Sharing Takes Over America. October 25, 2012)>

Libraries and 3D Printing

Libraries Are the Future of Manufacturing in the United States

Public libraries are becoming a one-stop shop for manufacturing in the digital age. Because libraries are investing in machines like 3-D printers, someday soon everyone with access to a public library could become an inventor or create something

Justin Lynch | July 27, 2015

In the Chicago area, there’s a nearly exact replica of a 10-year-old boy’s head. It’s not an exact replica because, last year, he had a cranial defect. Doctors needed to perform craniofacial surgery on his skull to protect his brain.
Operating on the brain or skull leaves little room for error. “If something goes wrong I can destroy that person's character ... forever,” said noted neurosurgeon Henry Marsh in the 2009 documentary The English Surgeon.

Img M488

<more at; related links: (Libraries Are the Future of Manufacturing in the United States. July 27, 2015) and (The future of manufacturing. Making things in a changing world. March 31, 2015)>

University Costs for Repair and Modernization

Universities Creatively Find Money for Repair, Upkeep, Modernization

Tara Garcia Mathewson | July 29, 2015

Deferred maintenance is plaguing colleges and universities across the country, but there are key ways to set aside the necessary funds once institutions prioritize the range of maintenance projects on campus.

<more at; related links: (Budgeting for building upkeep. Strategies for tackling deferred maintenance across campus) and (Capital Expenditure Plans. FY 2015 to FY 2019)

Intellectual Propety (IP) Protection for 3D Scanning and Printing

3D Scanning: the Achilles Heel of IP Protection for 3D Printing

John Hornick and Carlos Rosario | July 28, 2015

Jerry Fisher unexpectedly found himself in legal hot water after publishing 3D models of a famous Michelangelo statue located on Augustana College’s campus. Mr. Fisher used hundreds of photographs of the statue to create a 3D model. After uploading the model to MakerBot’s Thingiverse, Augustana College requested that Mr. Fisher take it down, on the grounds that he had violated copyright law.

<more at; related link: (3D Printing at the Center of Controversial Intellectual Property Debate. January 6, 2015) and (Germany: 3D Printers And Intellectual Property Rights. August 21, 2014)>

Textbooks for $400

The New Era of the $400 College Textbook, Which is Part of the Unsustainable Higher Education Bubble

Mark J. Perry | July 26, 2015

A new milestone must have been established recently – we’re now officially in a new era of the $400 new college textbook and the $300 used college textbook, see graphic above showing the top 15 most expensive textbooks at the University of Michigan-Flint based on a new unpublished report by Matthew Wolverton, an electronic resource management librarian at the Thompson Library (UM-Flint’s library). 

How often are we going to use our $400 textbook?
<more at; related link: (The Dawn of the $400 Textbook and Helping College Students Fight These Costs. July 28, 2015>

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tech Taxi

U Oklahoma IT Engages Users With Tech Taxi Service

Dian Schaffhauser | July 27, 2015

Information Technology at the University of Oklahoma (OU) is going all out to tell the campus community about its services, including giving people lifts while sharing whatever's new on the technology front.

Tech Taxi

This summer the IT organization launched "Tech Taxi," an idea suggested by IT student interns. The free golf-cart service stops and asks people if they'd like a ride to wherever they're going next. Two people work the cart, one operating and both facilitating conversations.

<more at; related link: (Tech Taxi! July 21, 2015>

Getting an iPad 'on the Cheap'

A Parent's Dilemma: Replacing the Family iPad on the Cheap 

CNET's Marguerite Reardon helps a busy working mother figure out how not to break the bank when a work-issued iPad has to go back

Marguerite Reardopn | July 25, 2015

What's a busy working mama to do when the family iPad suddenly has to be returned to the office? The first thing is not to panic.

Kids and iPads are like peanut butter and jelly -- they just go together. Sure, there are lots of debates about the appropriate age for when kids should be allowed to use tablets and smartphones. There are warnings about limiting kids' screen time, even as they get older.
The reality is that children are among the heaviest users of tablets.

<more at>

Hands Free Kinesic 'Mouse' Wins AT&T Accessibility Award

AT&T awards $100K for tech to help people with disabilities

Twenty-five years after President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, AT&T called on developers to use existing technology to create solutions for people with disabilities

Marguerite Reardon | July 27, 2015

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, AT&T teamed up with New York University's Ability Lab to challenge app developers to use their network and technology to make life easier for people with disabilities.
Together they launched the Connect Ability Challenge, designed to spur innovation for people with physical, social, emotional and cognitive disabilities. Winners of the contest, which saw a total of 63 submissions, were announced Monday.

<more at; related links: (AT&T, NYU Announce Winners Of $100,000 Connect Ability Tech Challenge To Improve The Lives Of People Living With Disabilities. Senator Charles Schumer and Disability Advocates Join in Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Grand Prize Awarded to Kinesic Mouse, a Mobility Solution that Allows Users to Control a PC Hands-free) and (Help us, help millions. (+Video). ); further:,2817,2488633,00.asp (Hands-Free 'Mouse' Wins AT&T Accessibility Award. July 28, 2015)>

State Law and Copyright

Georgia Sues Legal Rebel for Posting State’s Copyrighted Law Online (+Video)

Well, it's OK to copy the actual law. But if you copy the state-ordered summaries...

David Kravets | July 27, 2015

The pages of Ars Technica are littered with stories in which owners of copyrights are suing others for exploiting those works without permission. Think of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, to name but two of the key litigants. Whether groups like the MPAA and RIAA are being overbearing about it depends on where you line up on the debate.
The same can be said about the latest entrant into the Copyright War—the state of Georgia.


<more at; related links: (CODE REVISION COMMISSION on Behalf of and For the Benefit of the GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA, and the STATE OF GEORGIA, Plaintiffs v. PUBLIC.RESOURCE.ORG, INC., Defendant) and (Georgia claims that publishing its state laws for free online is 'terrorism'. July 27, 2015)>

College Bookstores Today

Reinventing the College Bookstore in the Online Era

Leaders discuss how the college bookstore is becoming a tech-enabled, data-rich cornerstone of campus life

Meris Stansbury | July 24, 2015

They still sell t-shirts for proud parents and coffee mugs with catchy slogans, but college bookstores are also going through a renaissance of sorts, using technology-supported measures to become an integral cornerstone of campus life.


<more at (Bookstores have larger role on campus than just selling books. July 26, 2015)>

NEH "Public Scholar" Program

NEH Creates New “Public Scholar” Grant Program Supporting Popular Scholarly Books in the Humanities (+Video)

National Endowment for the Humanities | December 1, 2014

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced a new grant opportunity that encourages the publication of nonfiction books that apply serious humanities scholarship to subjects of general interest and appeal.
The new NEH Public Scholar awards support well-researched books in the humanities conceived and written to reach a broad readership. Books supported through this program might present a narrative history...

<more at [Summary: The Public Scholar program supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership. Although humanities scholarship can be specialized, the humanities also strive to engage broad audiences in exploring subjects of general interest. They seek to deepen our understanding of the human condition as well as current conditions and contemporary problems. The Public Scholar program aims to encourage scholarship that will be of broad interest and have lasting impact. Such scholarship might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Books supported by this program must be grounded in humanities research and scholarship. They must address significant humanities themes likely to be of broad interest and must be written in a readily accessible style. Making use of primary and/or secondary sources, they should open up important and appealing subjects for wider audiences. The challenge is to make sense of a significant topic in a way that will appeal to general readers. By establishing the Public Scholar program, NEH enters a long-term commitment to encourage scholarship in the humanities for general audiences. In the early rounds of the competition, NEH especially welcomes applicants who are in the writing stages of their projects or who already have a commitment from a publisher.  However, the Public Scholar program also supports projects in the early stages of development. The program is open to both individuals affiliated with scholarly institutions and independent scholars.]; related links: (N.E.H. Announces First ‘Public Scholar’ Grants. July 28, 2015) and (Public Scholar Program); further (New NEH grant program supports the writing of "popular scholarly books")>

University Presses

What University Presses Have Done for Urban Design

Anna Clark | July 27, 2015

Think of universities as a series of ivory tower silos? Think again. Not only can urban-set institutions of higher learning be vital anchor institutions in their neighborhoods, university presses throughout the U.S. play a pivotal role in publishing game-changing work about cities. Those books, both practical and philosophical, result in real benefits to our built environments.


<more at; related link: (American Association of University Presses)>

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Project Connect Toolkit

Project Connect Develops Toolkit for Future-Ready Librarians

Dian Schaffhauser | July 27, 2015

Project Connect, an initiative sponsored by Follett, is promoting "future-ready" libraries and librarians in K-12. To meet this goal, a library leadership committee met during the recent International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Philadelphia, where it developed plans for a "toolkit for transformation." The toolkit will include a framework for revamping relevant job descriptions, roles and evaluation rubrics for school librarians.

<more at; related links: (What is Project Connect?) and (Project Connect Brings School Librarians, Superintendents to the Same Table | AASL 2013. November 19, 2013)>

Minneosota Vikings

Vikings to Implement Virtual Reality Technology (+Video)

Craig Peters | July 26, 2015

The Vikings are the fourth NFL team reported to have a partnership with STRIVR Labs, Inc., a provider of virtual reality instructional technology. The list also includes the Cowboys, Patriots and 49ers, who will host the Vikings in the 2015 season opener on Sept. 14.
“We are constantly looking for opportunities to help our players prepare and improve on the field,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said. “This is just another example of the Wilf family’s commitment to helping our team compete for championships.”

<more at; related links: (Virtual Reality for sports training has arrived. "STRIVR Labs, Inc. is committed to providing high school, college, and NFL football teams with a virtual reality solution platform that is highly customized, technologically innovative, and superior in quality to any other offering available.  STRIVR Labs’ patent-pending technology was developed and proven during the 2014 football season at Stanford University.  If you would like more information about how your team can benefit from STRIVR Labs’ innovative VR platform, please get in touch below.") and (Vikings going high tech with virtual reality cameras. July 27, 2015)>

Tech Goes Home

The Best Screen Time

A program to help low-income parents learn alongside their children in the hope that they will encourage more productive screen time

Chris Berdik | July 23, 2015

The library in Boston’s Haynes Early Education Center is a bright, cheery space filled with well-stocked bookcases, tables ringed by small wooden chairs, art supplies, cushions for story time, and dozens of laminated vocabulary words strung below an oversize paper alphabet. But one of the most important learning tools here is a small gray box lit by a blinking green LED, perched well above kid-height on a yellow wall by the door. It’s the Wi-Fi transponder that brings broadband Internet to the fingertips of about 175 small children—preschool through first grade, mostly from low-income black and Hispanic families. 


<more at; related links: (Tech Goes Home) and (National Tech Goes Home)>

Libraries and Distance Education

Do Libraries Matter in Distance Education?

Meris Stansburg | July 20, 2015

With the explosion of distance education, librarianship is changing from managing books to connecting people and quality resources while at the same time delivering resources effectively and providing the best customer service possible.

Flowchart describing the process of finding journals for distance education students. Boston University.

<more at; related links: and (The Roles that Librarians and Libraries Play in Distance Education Settings. Amanda Corbett and Abbie Brown. Abstract: This article explores the literature that focuses on the various roles librarians and libraries play in distance education settings. Learners visit libraries either in person or via networked computing technology to ask for help with their online courses. Questions range from how to upload a document with a learning management system, to how to use software and hardware, to more complex questions about how to locate and research articles for term papers. The literature reviewed provides a glimpse into the historical roles, current roles, as well as possible new roles that libraries and librarians may play in the future. This article identifies various library services that are essential to distant learners and distance education settings, and will explain how librarians and libraries are providing these services online.>

Blue Light and Macular Degeneration

New research is showing that blue light contributes to macular degeneration to a far greater degree than previously understood.

The effects are greater the older the person affected. Blue light does not refer just to UV light, but includes our normal spectrum with indoor lighting and computer displays. In particular, LED lighting, which is becoming very popular due to energy savings and high output for the amount of electricity, introduces more blue light. The link below is just one example of a rather extensive inventory of research taking place now on blue light issues. A recent visit to the eye doctor was a chance to see non-power blue light filtering lenses for protection while working at computer terminals. It is expected that soon a blue-light blocking coating will be available for prescription glasses as well. They demo’ed using a blue laser how much light is blocked by the coated lenses. You might find the article below of interest. There are many others.


The Lowdown on Blue Light: Good vs. Bad, and Its Connection to AMD. (Review of Optometry. February 2014)

Computer Display Using Fabric

F21 Thread Screen Displays Instagram Images Using Fabric

Adam Williams | July 23, 2015

Most Instagram users probably check their feed with a smartphone or similar device. New York-based studio Breakfast, however, has created a machine that displays Instagram images and basic animations using thousands of spools of thread.
F21 Thread Screen was created to promote clothing brand Forever 21
F21 Thread Screen was created to promote clothing brand Forever 21.
<more at; related links: (Forever 21 Reveals Massive Mechanical Screen Made of thread; 6,400 spools of that that display your instagrams) and (Forget 4K: This Low-Res Screen Creates Images Out of Thread)>

Each strip of fabric can display 36 colors, and the temperature and humidity of the machine must be regulated to ensure each strip has the proper tension.
Each strip of fabric can display 36 colors, and the temperature and humidity of the machine must be regulated to ensure each strip has the proper tension. Source:

FirstNet Secure Broadband Network est. 2012


Website: FirstNet was established as a secure broadband network by an Act of Congress in 2012.

It reserved a portion of the communications spectrum for a nationwide public safety broadband network. The Brazos County Sheriff's Office (Texas) is bringing up its public safety officers on the network. The portion of the spectrum set aside for national public safety was to ensure that a part of the spectrum would be reserved for safety issues. It is envisioned that eventually schools, colleges and universities would eventually become part of FirstNet.


From the website. About: Signed into law on February 22, 2012, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). The law gives FirstNet the mission to build, operate and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. FirstNet will provide a single interoperable platform for emergency and daily public safety communications.

Brazos County Lieutenant Thomas Randall's office's involvement in the pilot grew out of a long-standing partnership with Harris County on their Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems.
Brazos County Lieutenant Thomas Randall's office's involvement in the pilot grew out of a long-standing partnership with Harris County on their Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems. Source:
This broadband network will fulfill a fundamental need of the public safety community as well as the last remaining recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. FirstNet will bring 21st century tools to millions of organizations and individuals that respond to emergencies at the local, state, tribal and federal levels.
The FirstNet organization is the first of its kind. Never before has Congress established an independent government authority with a mandate to provide specialized communication services for public safety. Using nationwide 700 MHz spectrum, FirstNet will put an end to decades-long interoperability and communications challenges and help keep our communities and emergency responders safer.
The law gives FirstNet a blueprint for its mission. It outlines processes and guidelines that FirstNet must follow in building the network. FirstNet is tasked with cost-effectively creating a nationwide network and providing wireless services to public safety agencies across the country. Through the assessment of fees, FirstNet must generate sufficient funds to enable the organization to operate, maintain and improve the network each year.
Congress made history by allocating valuable spectrum and up to $7 billion in funding for the construction of the FirstNet network. To create a nationwide network, all 56 U.S. states and territories must have a radio access network that is connected to the FirstNet core network. To contain costs, FirstNet is tasked with leveraging existing telecommunications infrastructure and assets. This includes exploring public/private partnerships that can help support and accelerate the creation of this new advanced wireless network.
FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. FirstNet is governed by a 15-member Board consisting of the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and 12 members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. The FirstNet Board is composed of representatives from public safety; local, state and federal government; and the wireless industry. These dedicated individuals bring their expertise, experience and commitment to serving public safety and meeting the FirstNet mission.
FirstNet is a new and growing organization. The search for talent to fill management, outreach and technical positions is actively underway. We invite you to support our mission and visit our website regularly to follow our progress.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Security with Bank Cards

Secure PIN Transactions With Photons

Photonics Online | July 9, 2015

Criminals are very inventive when it comes to hacking payment terminals, bank cards, IDs or credit cards. Unfortunately for these malefactors, however, researchers at the University of Twente from research Institute MESA+ have now devised a solution that provides better protection to banks, businesses and consumers. UT awards researcher Bas Goorden a PhD for his work on developing a method to equip bank cards with secure ‘keys’ that are impossible to duplicate. He achieved this by cleverly combining the scattering of light with the quantum properties of photons.

MESA+ has a 1250 m2 state-of-the-art NanoLab which consists of three closely intertwined units: the cleanroom, analysis facilities and the BioNanoLab. Source:

<more at; related link:!/2015/7/376305/secure-pin-transactions-with-photons (Secure PIN Transctions with Photons. July 9, 2015)>

Computer Recognition of Hand Drawings (Sketch-a-Net)

New Computer Program Recognizes Sketches Better Than Humans

Catherine Griffin | July 22, 2015

A new computer program may be better at recognizing sketches than you. Scientists have created a program, called Net, that's capable of correctly identifying the subject of sketches 74.9 percent of the time as opposed to humans, which only are correct 73.1 percent of the time.
Like Us on Facebook.
Sketches are intuitive to humans, and have been used as a communication tool for thousands of years. However, recognizing free-hand sketches can be difficult since they're abstract, varied, and consist of black and white lines rather than colored pixels like a photo.


<more at; related links: (AI triumphs at Pictionary-like sketch recognition task. July 22, 2015) and (Sketch-a-Net that Beats Humans. [Abstract:  We propose a multi-scale multi-channel deep neural network framework that, for the first time, yields sketch recognition performance surpassing that of humans. Our superior performance is a result of explicitly embedding the unique characteristics of sketches in our model: (i) a network architecture designed for sketch rather than natural photo statistics, (ii) a multi-channel generalisation that encodes sequential ordering in the sketching process, and (iii) a multi-scale network ensemble with joint Bayesian fusion that accounts for the different levels of abstraction exhibited in free-hand sketches. We show that state-of-the-art deep networks specifically engineered for photos of natural objects fail to perform well on sketch recognition, regardless whether they are trained using photo or sketch. Our network on the other hand not only delivers the best performance on the largest human sketch dataset to date, but also is small in size making efficient training possible using just CPUs]; further: (New computer program is first to recognise sketches more accurately than a human. July 24, 2015)>

China's Online Population

Nearly Half of China's Population Now Online

France 24 | July 23, 2015

China has 668 million Internet users, accounting for 48.8 percent of the country's total population, as e-commerce boomed in the world's second-largest economy, authorities said.
A total of 18.94 million new users -- more than the population of Chile -- were added in the first six months of this year, the semi-official China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said in its biannual report.


<more at; related links: (China Internet Network Information Center) and (The Internet Industry Has Become the Growth Engine of China)>

Research Data

Scientists Are Hoarding Data And It’s Ruining Medical Research

Major flaws in two massive trials of deworming pills show the importance of sharing data — which most scientists don’t do

Ben Goldacre | July 22, 2015

We like to imagine that science is a world of clean answers, with priestly personnel in white coats, emitting perfect outputs, from glass and metal buildings full of blinking lights.
The reality is a mess. A collection of papers published on Wednesday — on one of the most commonly used medical treatments in the world — show just how bad things have become. But they also give hope.
...A decade later, in 2013, these two economists [Edward Miguel and Michael Kremer] did something that very few researchers have ever done. They handed over their entire dataset to independent researchers on the other side of the world, so that their analyses could be checked in public. What happened next has every right to kick through a revolution in science and medicine.

<more at; related links: (When scientists hoard data, no one can tell what works. July 23, 2015) and (Medicine’s Big Problem with Big Data: Information Hoarding)>

U. S. Copyright Office

The Copyright Office Belongs in a Library

Parker Higgins | July 23, 2015

It's been an exciting summer for the Library of Congress. Last month, the Librarian Dr. James Billington announced he would soon be stepping down, vacating a seat he's held for some 28 years. That announcement came hot on the heels of a new legislative proposal—the nigh-ungooglable CODE Act, which stands for “Copyright Office for the Digital Economy”—to spin the Copyright Office out of the Library and into its own independent agency. 

...Libraries—and especially the Library of Congress—have an institutional obligation to the public, to the cause of intellectual freedom, and to the principle of access. As the Library puts it, its mission is “to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.” Given the purpose of copyright itself—to promote the progress of science and the useful arts—that should be the Copyright Office’s mission as well.

<more at

Jordan to Launch Digital Learning Platform

Universities to Launch Digital Learning Platform

Venture Magazine | July 21, 2015

Jordan’s public universities are aiming to increase their Internet presence through a new online platform that will pool lectures, examinations, and lesson plans.
The Jordan Universities Network (JUNet), in partnership with Microsoft Jordan, will launch the Jordan Open Courseware Platform——in the autumn.


<more at; related links: (Jordanian Universities Network. [About:Jordanian Universities Network. We are a private organization aimed to serve public and private universities in Jordan through shared services framework model. Our core business is managing the national broadband network of fiber optic cables interconnecting Jordanian public universities for the benefit of cross-collaboration in eLearning, research and multimedia communications. We also offers aggregated services such as Internet connectivity, software licensing, training and ICT and communications infrastructure support.]
 and (Microsoft Jordan partners with Jordan Universities network to launch Jordan Open Courseware platform for public universities. June 8, 2015>

Google Expeditions

Google Wants to Take Students Around the World and Beyond with Expeditions (+Video)

Will Fulton | May 29, 2015

Short of the Magic School Bus, class field trips are a logistically-complicated affair, and generally limited to places within easy driving distance of the school. One of the long-promised goals of virtual reality is to enable students to explore the whole universe without leaving the classroom’s confines. Google has now taken tangible steps to make that possibility available to students with the announcement of Expeditions at I/O 2015.


<more at; related links: (Expeditions. Bring Expeditions to Your School or Become a Partner) and (What Google’s virtual field trips look like in the classroom. July 23, 2015)>

Sunday, July 26, 2015

New Dr. Seuss Book Found -- In a Box

New Dr. Seuss Book 'What Pet Should I Get?' Discovered in a Box in his Home

Victoria Ahearn | July 23, 2015

Cathy Goldsmith never thought she'd see a brand new development in Seussville.
The Random House associate publishing director is the last remaining employee at the company to have worked with the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss.

When he died in 1991, she envisioned future publications featuring his older material. But not a completely new book from him.
But as "The Cat in the Hat" says: "But that is not all. Oh no. That is not all."

<more at; related links: (Dr. Seuss Book: Yes, They Found It in a Box. July 21, 2015) and (How a Dr. Seuss tale lost in a box found a new life. July 21, 2015)>