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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

You Might Actually Welcome This $599 Robot In Your Home

Meet Zenbo, the Asus Robot That Costs No More Than a Smartphone

Voice-controlled companion, whose touchscreen face shows its emotions, can entertain kids and control the lights

Samuel Gibbs | May 31, 2016

The Taiwanese electronics manufacture Asus has unveiled a home robot called Zenbo that can talk, control your home and provide assistance when needed – all for the cost of a top-end smartphone.
The $599 (£410) robot rolls around on two wheels in the shape of a vacuum cleaner ball with cameras an oblong head extruding from the top with a colour touchscreen displaying a face with emotions. It is capable of independent movement, can respond to voice commands and has both entertainment protocols for keeping kids amused and home care systems to help look after older people.
Jonney Shih, the Asus chairman, said: “For decades, humans have dreamed of owning such a companion: one that is smart, dear to our hearts, and always at our disposal. Our ambition is to enable robotic computing for every household.”

"Asus aims for the heart of the home with cute do-it-all robot." (May 30, 2016) Source:

"Asus Zenbo robot is a connected assistant and playmate" Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Asus aims for the heart of the home with cute do-it-all robot. May 30, 2016) and (Asus Zenbo robot is a connected assistant and playmate. May 30, 2016)>

Robot Spiders Get Involved In New Form Of 3D Printing

Robot Spiders Weave Products from Plastic in a New Spin on 3-D Printing

Siemens is testing teams of creepy-crawly 3-D-printing robots. Their descendants might make manufacturing lines far more efficient.

Will Knight | April 29, 2016

Robot Spiders Weave Products from Plastic in a New Spin on 3-D Printing
Siemens is testing teams of creepy-crawly 3-D-printing robots. Their descendants might make manufacturing lines far more efficient.
by Will Knight April 29, 2016
If you’re afraid of spiders, then you might find Siemens’s vision for future manufacturing lines a bit alarming.
In a lab in Princeton, New Jersey, the company’s researchers are testing spider-like robots that extrude not silk but plastic, thanks to portable 3-D printers. The robots can work together autonomously to create simple objects.
The work is at an early stage, but it hints at where manufacturing may be headed, thanks to more sophisticated robot hardware, smarter control software, and new ways of forming components using 3-D printing.

"The first prototypes of robots SiSpis or Siemens Spiders in the research laboratories of Siemens in Princeton." Source:

"SpiderFab robot spider in space." (SpiderFab Spider Robots To Weave Space Structures. March 28, 2015) Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Siemens Spiders, workers of the future? May 7, 2016) and (SpiderFab Spider Robots To Weave Space Structures. March 28, 2015)>

British Library Makes Available 20th Century Literature Online

The British Library Puts Treasure Trove of 20th Century Literature Online for Your Browsing Pleasure (+Video)

Peter Weber | May 31, 2016

If you want to read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway or George Orwell's Animal Farm, you can head down to your local public library. If you want to read Woolf's original draft manuscript and notes, or a letter from T.S. Eliot explaining why he wouldn't publish Animal Farm, the British Library just made your day. The UK's national library just posted more than 300 treasures of 20th century English literature online for the world to peruse, plus articles exploring "the extraordinary innovation demonstrated by key writers of the 20th century," according to digital programs manager Anna Lobbenberg.

First Edition Ulysses
"“Until now,” says Anna Lobbenberg, the Library’s Digital Programmes Manager, “these treasures could only be viewed in the British Library Reading Rooms or on display in exhibitions—now Discovery Literature: 20th Century will bring these items to anyone in the world with an internet connection.” It truly is, for the lover of books, a brave new world (a book whose 1932 original dust jacket you can see here)." Source:

<more at; related articles and links at: (Discovering Literature: 20th century) and (The British Library Digitizes 300 Literary Treasures from 20th Century Authors: Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce & More. May 2016)>

Solving Shortages Of Food And Water With Nanotechnology

How Nanotechnology Can Help Us Grow More Food Using Less Energy and Water

Ramesh Raliya and Pratim Biswas | May 29, 2016

With the world’s population expected to exceed nine billion by 2050, scientists are working to develop new ways to meet rising global demand for food, energy and water without increasing the strain on natural resources. Organizations including the World Bank and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization are calling for more innovation to address the links between these sectors, often referred to as the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus.
Nanotechnology – designing ultrasmall particles – is now emerging as a promising way to promote plant growth and development. This idea is part of the evolving science of precision agriculture, in which farmers use technology to target their use of water, fertilizer and other inputs. Precision farming makes agriculture more sustainable because it reduces waste.

"Nanotechnology in Food, Foodprocessing , Agriculture, Packaging and Consumption." Source: 

<more at; related articles and links: (As food shortage worsens, Zimbabwe refuses GMO food aid, has to import food from afar. April 6, 2016) and (Nanotechnology in Agriculture: Which Innovation Potential Does It Have? Leonardo F. Fraceto, Renato Grillo, Gerson A. de Medeiros, Viviana Scognamiglio, Giuseppina Rea and Cecilia Bartolucci. Frontiers in Environmental Science, March 22 2016. [Summary: Recent scientific data indicate that nanotechnology has the potential to positively impact the agrifood sector, minimizing adverse problems of agricultural practices on environment and human health, improving food security and productivity (as required by the predicted rise in global population), while promoting social and economic equity. In this context, we select and report on recent trends in nanomaterial-based systems and nanodevices that could provide benefits on the food supply chain specifically on sustainable intensification, and management of soil and waste. Among others, nanomaterials for controlled-release of nutrients, pesticides and fertilizers in crops are described as well as nanosensors for agricultural practices, food quality and safety.]>

Digital Skills Training For Africa

Google to Train a Million Young Africans in Digital Skills (+Video)

Google Africa via | May 24, 2016

According to Google, there'll be half a billion internet users in Africa by 2020. It sees this as a great opportunity for African businesses and digital entrepreneurs, but they've identified a gap in digital skills.
"To help close this knowledge gap, Google is pledging to train 1 million young people in Africa in digital skills in the next year, as part of our contribution to growing Africa's digital economy," Bunmi Banjo, Google Africa marketer and digital education lead, writes on the company's blog.

<more at; related articles and links: (+Video) (Dignify Africa: Kickstart Your Digital Hustle Today [beta]. Apply now for Digify Pro, a free 11 week digital marketing course currently in South Africa) and (A growth engine for Africa: Training 1 million young people in digital skills. April 12, 2016)>

What Countries Would Profit Most If We Do Away With Cash?

The Countries That Would Profit Most from a Cashless World

Bhaskar Chakravorti, Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi and Benjamin Mazzotta | May 31, 2016

It’s been nearly 300 years since paper money became accepted as legal tender. While much has changed about how we make, sell, and buy goods, cash has stuck around. It’s been only recently that the road to a wider cashless society has started to really take shape. From apps such as PayPal, Venmo, or Square Cash to mobile payment platforms like Kenya’s mPesa, Bangladesh’s bKash, or Apple Pay, there are signs that cash is following the path of other “information goods,” such as printed photographs, cassette tapes, and DVDs in being replaced by digital alternatives.

"Is a cashless society on the cards?" (July 9, 2014) Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Who would actually benfit from a cashless society? January 30, 2016) and (Deutsche CEO predicts cash will be gone in a decade. January 20, 2016)>

Do You Want Ads Showing Up On Your TV?

Your Samsung TV Is about to Be Flooded with Ads

Chris Smith | May 31, 2016

If you own a Samsung Smart TV, then you should know you’re in for a much more annoying experience in the near future, because the South Korean giant is reportedly making big changes to its on-TV advertising campaigns. According to a new report, the company is looking for new revenue streams to offset its slowing TV business.
According to The Wall Street Journal, former Google exec Lee Won-jin, who is currently Samsung’s Executive Vice President, is leading the effort. Samsung added tile ads to the main menu bar of its premium TVs in the US last June, and it’s looking to expand its program to Europe in the coming months.


<more at; related articles and links: (Samsung is adding new obtrusive ads to your old smart TV. May 30, 2016) and (You're Going to Need an Ad Blocker for Your Next TV. January 21, 2016)>

Monday, May 30, 2016

Is 3D Printing Able To Provide Mass Manufacturing?

Can HP Make 3-D Printing into a Mass Manufacturing Technique?

The tech giant says its new $130,000 printers will produce plastic parts quickly and inexpensively.

Mike Orcutt | May 17, 2016

Despite the flexibility of 3-D printing, it still cannot compete with conventional injection molding for making large volumes of high-strength plastic parts. Hewlett-Packard says its new printing technology will change that.
Today HP will begin taking orders for systems that print parts in a process it calls Jet Fusion. The company will start shipping the printers, which start at $130,000, in October. It also announced several industrial partners, including BMW and Nike.

LITE-ON Mobile uses Optomec 3D printing systems for mass production (millions) of consumer electronic devices. (Photo courtesy of LITE-ON Mobile)
"LITE-ON Mobile uses Optomec 3D printing systems for mass production (millions) of consumer electronic devices." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (+Video) (LITE-ON Uses Electronics 3D Printing for Mass Production. March 25, 2016) and (Optomec 3D Printing Systems Used in Mass Production of Consumer Electronics. March 23, 2016)>

Google Plans To Kill Passwords By 2017

Google Trust API Plans to Replace Your Passwords with Trust Score

Swati Khandelwal | May 24, 2016

The importance of increasing online security around personal information has risen due to the increase in cyber attacks and data breaches over recent years.
I find it hilarious people are still choosing terrible passwords to protect their online accounts.
The massive LinkedIn hack is the latest in the example that proves people are absolutely awful at picking passwords. The data breach leaked 167 Million usernames and passwords online, out of which "123456" was used by more than 750,000 accounts, followed by "LinkedIn" (172,523 accounts), and "password" (144,458 accounts).

The Google Trust API (Project Abacus) will incorporate biometric data, such as the way you type on your keyboard. Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Google's Abacus Project: It's All about Trust. May 30, 2016) and (Google plans to bring password-free logins to Android apps by year-end. May 23, 2016)>

Fake USB Chargers Can Wirelessly Record Everything Your Type

Beware of Fake USB Chargers That Wirelessly Record Everything You Type, FBI Warns

Mohit Kuman | May 24, 2016

Last year, a white hat hacker developed a cheap Arduino-based device that looked and functioned just like a generic USB mobile charger, but covertly logged, decrypted and reported back all keystrokes from Microsoft wireless keyboards.
Dubbed KeySweeper, the device included a web-based tool for live keystroke monitoring and was capable of sending SMS alerts for typed keystrokes, usernames, or URLs, and work even after the nasty device is unplugged because of its built-in rechargeable battery.

"KeySweeper internals." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (+Video) (KeySweeper. January 12, 2015) and (+Video) (FBI finally warns private businesses about snooping KeySweeper devices. May 24, 2016)>

National Borders Are Often Internet Borders

Censorship and VPNs: How Real-World Borders Change the Way We Use the Internet

Chris Sutcliffe | May 26, 2016

We think of the internet as being inherently international, almost a cross-border digital nation available to everyone, but in a lot of ways media is just as bound by national borders as it's ever been.
While many of us pay lip service to the idea of an open internet, in some cases we'll make allowances for countries who are fiercely protective of their national identity and security. China, for instance, is the country with the largest number of internet users in the world, and still exists behind the grossly-named Great Firewall [...]
Here is a basic list of countries that are known to block services and websites.
Bahrain is known to block some content. Bahrain is said to block some websites
Belize blocks VOIP & Skype. It is being reported that the main telco is responsible for these blocks.  It is not clear if any other services or web sites are blocked in Belize.
Brazil Blocks VOIP Services. We've found reports that VOIP services are widely blocked by the main ISP in Brazil.  It is unclear if other sites and services are being blocked.
Caribbean Blocks VOIP/Skype Services. In most Caribbean countries where Cable & Wireless operates it is being reported that all VOIP/Skype services are being blocked.  We have not heard reports about whether other content is being blocked or if any other provider has placed any blocks on services.
China blocks VOIP, Skype & Website Content. China is known to block VOIP, Skype (some report it is usable on your computer but via phone), and many websites such as YouTube, Facebook etc.. are blocked
Egypt is reported to block all VOIP/Skype Services & many web sites/web content. Egypt is known to have blocks on many websites.
Iran is known to block many websites. Iran is said to heavily filter a large number of websites
Jordan is reported to block all VOIP/Skype Services & many web sites/web content. Jordan is known to have blocks on many websites.
Kuwait is reported to block all VOIP/Skype Services & many web sites/web content. Kuwait is reported to block all VOIP/Skype Services & many web sites/web content.
Libya is known to block web content. Libya blocks some websites.
Malasyia is known to block websites/webcontent. Malaysia is widely known to block specific websites and content.
Mexico blocks VOIP/Skype services. Various ISPs in Mexico are said to be blocking VOIP related services.   It is unclear if any other services or content are being blocked.
Morocco blocks some web content. Morocco is known to block some web content including VOIP, Skype, Whatsapp, Viber.
Myanmar is known to block many websites. Myanmar is known to block lots of content.
North/South Korea are known to block VOIP and other web content. The North is said to have more restrictive policies towards content.  In South Korea it is said that only VOIP/Skype services are blocked.
Oman blocks all VOIP/Skype services and web content. Oman is blocking all VOIP/Skype services and many web sites.
Pakistan is reported to block VOIP/Skype & web content. Pakistan is known to have a lot of content and service restrictions including VOIP & Skype.
Paraguay is known to block all VOIP/Skype services. Paraguay blocks all VOIP and Skype services
Qatar blocks VOIP/Skype & Other Web Based Content. Qatar is reported to block all VOIP/Skype Services & many web sites/web content.
Saudi Arabia blocks many websites. Saudi Arabia is known to block lots of content.
Syria. Syria is known to have blocks on many websites.
Thailand. Thailand is known to block different content from the web.
Tunisia is known to block many websites. Tunisia is known to block lots of content.
Turkey. Turkey is known to block specific web sites and services.
United Arab Emirates (UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi) Blocks VOIP/Skype & Other Websites/Services. Both ISPs DU & Etisalat are known to block all forms of VOIP and many websites.
Vietnam blocks different web content. Vietnam is known to have blocks on many services websites and web/content.
Yemen blocks many websites. Yemen is known to block lots of content.

<more at; related articles and links: (The Ins and Outs of The Great Firewall of China. November 13, 2015) and (How anti-NSA backlash could fracture the Internet along national borders. November 1, 2013); further: (A First: Reporters Without Borders Declares UK, US “Enemies of the Internet”. March 17, 2014)>

Optical Clock May Replace Atomic Clock

A New Type of Clock Could Change How We Measure Time

Scientists Think Optical Clocks Are Ready to Replace the Atomic Clock As the Standard

Grennan Milliken | May 25, 2016

Have you ever thought of who exactly decides what time it is? This measurement of an abstract concept is largely decided by about 500 atomic clocks—accurate to tens of quadrillionths of a second — that are scattered around the world. These machines have been our standard timekeepers for the better part of the past half-century, and they work by measuring atomic oscillations, which you can read more about here.
But the age of the atomic clock's prominence may be coming to a close: German researchers have announced a new way of using optical clocks to tell time with unmatched accuracy. Their findings are published in Optica, the journal of the Optical Society of America.

"The new strontium lattice atomic clock is so precise and stable that it won't lose a second in the next 15 billion years." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Could Optical Clocks Redefine the Length of a Second? May 25, 2016) and (Precise atomic clock may redefine time. Device lays the groundwork for a new second. July 9, 2013)>

First Fully Bendable Smartphone

Chinese Company Unveils World’s First Fully Bendable Smartphone

This smartphone will fully bend all the way around your wrist but is only available in black and white for now

Vijay Prabhu | May 25, 2016

The race for the world’s first bendable smartphone seems to have been won by a unknown tech company from China. Moxi Group has unveiled a smartphone which has a flexible touchscreen that still works when looped and worn like a watch or a bracelet, according to the company. It also functions stretched flat, like any other smartphone.

A Chinese start-up company called Moxi has developed a smartphone with a flexible screen made using graphene, the carbon based material that won scientists in Manchester the Nobel Prize in 2004. The company claims the phone is so flexible it can be worn like a bracelet (pictured)

<more at; related articles and links: (Bendable smartphones are coming! Devices with screens made from graphene are so flexible they can be worn like a BRACELET. 
Chinese company Moxi have developed a phone with a flexible screen. It used Nobel Prize winning material graphene to create the screens. Initially they will have black and white screens but colour will launch later. Company hopes to initially release 100,000 devices for the Chinese market. May 24, 2016) and (This bendable smartphone comes with a catch. May 25, 2016)>

Louisiana Tech University: Many-Valued Logic Runs Faster Than Binary

Computer Scientist to Present Groundbreaking Research 

Louisiana Tech University via | May 25, 2016

Dr. Ben Choi, associate professor of computer science at Louisiana Tech University, will present his research on a groundbreaking new technology that has the potential to revolutionize the computing industry during a keynote speech next month at the International Conference on Measurement Instrumentation and Electronics.
Choi will present on a foundational architecture for designing and building computers, which will utilize multiple values rather than binary as used by current computers. The many-valued logic computers should provide faster computation by increasing the speed of processing for microprocessors and the speed of data transfer between the processors and the memory as well as increasing the capacity of the memory.
This technology has the potential to redefine the computing industry, which is constantly trying to increase the speed of computation and, in recent years, has run short of options.


<more at; related articles and links: (Advancing from two to four valued logic circuits. Ben Choi. Published in 2013 IEEE Conference On Industrial Technology (ICIT), 1057-1062. 10.1109/ICIT.2013.6505818. [Abstract: To further increase the speed of computation, this paper proposed to increase from binary to four-valued logic circuits. Four-valued logic circuits allow each wire to carry two bits at a time, each logic gate to operate two bits at a time, and each memory cell to record two bits at a time. The speed of communication between devices is also increased due to the increase in bandwidth of each wire. To make the base-four computations possible, this paper described the design and implementation of four-valued logic gates, memory cells, and flip-flops. To allow for future developments, the design of the memory cell and the flip-flop provided in this paper can be extended to be used for infinite-valued or Fuzzy logic circuits, for fully exploiting many-valued logics and fuzzy paradigms in hardware.]) and (Multi-Valued Logic Circuit Design and Implementation. Ben Choi and Kankana Shukla. International Journal of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 4, August 2015. [Abstract: To further increase the speed of computation, this paper aims to design and implement digital circuits entirely within the domain of multi-valued logic. In a fourvalued logic circuit, each wire carries two bits at a time, each logic gate operates two bits at once, and each memory cell records two bits at one time. To make the multi-valued computation possible, this paper describes a simple fourstep process for designing multi-valued circuits to implement any multi-valued functions. The design of a fourvalued adder is provided as an example. This paper also contributes new designs for multi-valued memory and flipflops, which can be extended to be used for infinite-valued or Fuzzy logic circuits, for fully exploiting many-valued logic and fuzzy paradigm in hardware. The multi-valued circuit design methodology and the multi-valued memory provide the necessary and sufficient tools and components for designing multi-valued systems entirely within the domain of multi-valued logic.])>

Friday, May 27, 2016

Give Us Our Money Back If Your Research Is Wrong

Merck Wants Its Money Back if University Research Is Wrong

A drug company says economic sticks, not just carrots, are needed to fix the reproducibility crisis in science.

Antonio Regalado | April 27, 2016

If academic discoveries turn out to be wrong, one drug company wants its money back.
That’s the tough-minded proposal floated today by the chief medical officer of Merck & Co., one of the world’s 10 largest drug companies, as a way to fix the “reproducibility crisis,” or how many, if not most, published scientific reports turn out to be incorrect.
Michael Rosenblatt, Merck’s executive vice president and chief medical officer, said bad results from academic labs caused pharmaceutical companies to waste millions and “threatens the entire biomedical research enterprise.”

"Merck Wants A Money Back Guarantee If Research Results Cannot Be Duplicated." Source:
<more at; related articles and links: (Study delivers bleak verdict on validity of psychology experiment results. Of 100 studies published in top-ranking journals in 2008, 75% of social psychology experiments and half of cognitive studies failed the replication test. Psychology experiments are failing the replication test – for good reason. August 27, 2015) and (Merck Wants A Money Back Guarantee If Research Results Cannot Be Duplicated. April 30, 2016)>

Bilingualism Trains The Brain; New Research Says Speaking Dialects Also Does This

Speaking Dialects Trains the Brain As Well As Bilingualism Does

Napoleon Katsos | May 23, 2016

There has been a lot of research to back up the idea that people who use two or more languages everyday experience significant advantages. The brain-training involved in having to use a different language depending on the context and speaker is credited with enhancing attention and memory skills – as well as better recovery after stroke and even later onset of the symptoms of dementia. But there is another – often hidden – source of brain-training in language use which many of us are not even aware of: dialects.


<more at; related articles and links: (Kyriakos Antoniou. March 17, 2016) and (The effect of bidialectal literacy on school achievement. Øystein A. Vangsnes, Göran B. W. Söderlund and Morten Blekesaune. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. DOI:10.1080/13670050.2015.1051507. Published online: 14 Aug 2015. [Abstract: The Norwegian language has two written standards, Bokmål (majority variety) and Nynorsk (minority variety), and children receive their schooling in one or other of them. Pupils schooled in Nynorsk acquire the Bokmål variety simultaneously through extracurricular exposure and thus develop what may be termed bidialectal literacy. In this study, we correlate, at municipal level, the results from Norwegian standardized national tests in reading, arithmetic, and English from four cohorts of eighth graders (2009–2012), with available statistics on language of instruction and socio-economic status. The finding is that municipalities with Nynorsk pupils have better than average results in national tests once socio-economic factors are taken into consideration. We suggest that this may be seen as an effect of the ‘bilingual advantage’ in cognitive development and that such advantage may arise even in the case of closely related linguistic varieties.

Eyewitness Reliability

Are You Sure That's the Guy?

Asking eyewitnesses about their level of certainty improves the efficacy of police lineups

Veronique Greenwood | May 1, 2016

DNA tests have made it clear that many innocent people have been sent to prison after a witness picked them out of a lineup. Between 1989 and 2016, more than 70 percent of the 337 wrongful convictions identified in the U.S. had been influenced by misidentification from eyewitnesses, according to the Innocence Project. Researchers recently reported, however, that a simple procedure could help reduce the risk of misidentification: ask the eyewitnesses about their confidence level when they pick someone from a lineup.

"Providence Police Line-Up, 1968." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Why Science Tells Us Not to Rely on Eyewitness Accounts. Eyewitness testimony is fickle and, all too often, shockingly inaccurate. January 1, 2010) and (+Video) (Eyewitness Misidentification. May 27, 2016)>

Former McDonald's Boss: Minimum Wage Increases Spell More Robots In Workplace

Former McDonald's CEO: Minimum Wage Increase Means More Robots

Tom Rant | May 25, 2016

A former McDonald's CEO thinks the robots could transform the fast food industry, a moment he believes will arrive faster if the minimum wage is increased.
"It's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who's inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries," Ed Rensi said during an interview with Fox on Tuesday.
The economics make sense if you believe Rensi's numbers. His robot would recoup its purchase cost after working for 2,333 hours, or a little more than six months, assuming it's operating for 12 hours a day. You do have to add in maintenance and repair costs, but you don't have to give the robot sick or vacation time.


<more at; related articles and links: (Minimum-wage offensive could speed arrival of robot-powered restaurants. August 16, 2015) and (Fox News' Cavuto Warns Minimum Wage Activist That Her Job Could Be Replaced By Robots. April 7, 2016)>

2016 Will See IMAX Virtual Reality (VR) Theaters

IMAX Virtual Reality Movie Theaters Are Coming This Year

Adam Westlake | May 20, 2016

IMAX, the company behind the technology used in those really big movie theater screens that certain films play on, has plans to give virtual reality a similar theater-going experience. Before the end of the year, IMAX will open six locations to host "VR experiences" that go above and beyond what consumers can get at home, reports the Wall Street Journal. These experiences will held in places like movie theaters and malls, starting with Los Angeles and eventually heading to China.


<more at; related articles and links: (Imax Unveils VR Strategy Helped By New Alliance With Sweden’s Starbreeze AB. May 20, 2016) and (Imax CEO on Bringing Premium VR Experiences, Second Giant Screen to Theaters. May 24. 2016)>

Juries May Be Transported To Crime Scene Through Virtual Reality (VR)

Lawyers & Juries Could be ‘Transported’ to Virtual 3D Crime Scene – Study (+Video) | May 25, 2016

Researchers from a UK university want to develop ways of how virtual reality technology can help to solve crimes. By using new techniques, they intend to recreate crimes scenes for jurors and revolutionize how evidence can be analyzed.
These techniques, which are being developed by researchers from Staffordshire University’s Center of Archaeology and Forensic and Crime Science department, could be used to give lawyers and juries a better idea of what the crime scene actually looked like.


<more at https:///344378-crime-virtual-reality-technology/; related articles and links: (+Video) (Juries 'could enter virtual crime scenes' following research. May 24, 2016) and (British Jurors Can Now Visit Crime Scenes in Virtual Reality. Have you reached a verdict? May 25, 2016)>

New Operating System Coming To Raspberry Pi 3

Google to Bring Official Android Support to the Raspberry Pi 3

Google's Android source repository gets a new device tree especially for the Pi 3.

Ron Amadeo | May 25, 2016

The Raspberry Pi 3 is not hurting for operating system choices. The tiny ARM computer is supported by several Linux distributions and even has a version of Windows 10 IoT core available. Now, it looks like the Pi is about to get official support for one of the most popular operating systems out there: Android. In Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository, a new device tree recently popped up for the Raspberry Pi 3.
Raspberry Pis, if you're not aware, are cheap, credit card-sized, single board ARM computers with a focus on education and open source software. Hardware hackers and DIYers love the Pi due to its open nature, small size, and plethora of ports and software.


<more at; related articles and links: (Raspberry Pi 3 to get official Android OS support. May 26, 2016) and ($35 Raspberry Pi 3 might soon run Google’s Android. May 26, 2016)>

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Reproducibility Cris In In Scientific Research

1,500 Scientists Lift the Lid on Reproducibility (+Video)

Survey sheds light on the ‘crisis’ rocking research.

Monya Baker | May 25, 2016

More than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments. Those are some of the telling figures that emerged from Nature's survey of 1,576 researchers who took a brief online questionnaire on reproducibility in research.


<more at; related articles and links: (The Reproducibility Crisis Is Good for Science. Weak statistics are getting called out, and replication is gaining respect. April 15, 2016) and (How scientists are addressing the 'reproducibility problem'. April 25, 2016)>

How Aging Affects Understanding Of Accents

Do British Accents Become Unintelligible to Americans As They Get Older?

First-of-its-kind analysis was inspired by older Americans at hearing clinics who complained about no longer being able to understand their favorite TV shows.

Amanda Holpuch | May 26, 2016

Academics are studying whether British accents become unintelligible to Americans as they age.
The first-of-its-kind analysis was inspired by older Americans complaining at hearing clinics about no longer being able to understand their favorite television shows, such as Keeping Up Appearances and PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre, which presents British series.
The study’s senior author, Sarah Hargus Ferguson, a University of Utah associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, said researchers wanted to test whether it was an actual problem that patients would come in and say: “I really used to enjoy Masterpiece Theater and now I can’t”.

Does Downton Abbey become more difficult to understand as the American listener ages? Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Cheryl Cole's accent is not worth the risk for X Factor, Fox decides. Geordie singer ousted from US talent show because executives judged that viewers could not understand her. May 26, 2011) and (Brit Accents Vex U.S. Hearing-Impaired Elderly. May 25, 2016)>

Hidden Bias In Algorithms

A New System Can Measure the Hidden Bias in Otherwise Secret Algorithms

A powerful tool for algorithmic transparency

Russell Brandom | May 25, 2016

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new system for detecting bias in otherwise opaque algorithms. In a paper presented today at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, the researchers laid out a new method for assessing the impact of an algorithm's various input, potentially providing a crucial tool for corporations or governments that want to prove a given algorithm isn't inadvertently discriminatory. 

"The IBM system highlights a particular bias that can creep into algorithms though: Any bias in the data fed into the algorithm gets carried through to the output of the system. ...The implications are fairly straightforward: If Slovenia scores on a controversial play against the U.S., the algorithm might output “The U.S. got robbed” if that’s the predominant response in the English tweets. But presumably that’s not what the Slovenians tweeting about the event think about the play. It’s probably something more like, “Great play — take that U.S.!”" Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (When Discrimination Is Baked Into Algorithms
As more companies and services use data to target individuals, those analytics could inadvertently amplify bias. September 6, 2015) and (Racism is Poisoning Online Ad Delivery, Says Harvard Professor. Google searches involving black-sounding names are more likely to serve up ads suggestive of a criminal record than white-sounding names, says computer scientist. February 4, 2013)>

Using Color To Your Advantage On The Web

The Business of the Brain on the Internet: Color Psychology

Erika Dickstein | May 25, 2016

[...] So, what is color psychology?
Here, understanding a little of the science can actually help.
Beware though, a quick Google search on the psychology of color will turn up any number of articles full of marketers and branding ‘experts’ making overblown claims about the magical powers of color. So, how does color really influence website user behavior?


<more at; related articles and links: (Color Psychology in Marketing: The Ultimate Guide. This is a two-part series that covers everything you need to know about color and how to use it in your visual content marketing (Part 1). [Part 2 is at:]) and (Consumer preferences for color combinations: An empirical analysis of similarity-based color relationships. Xiaoyan Deng, Sam K. Hui, and J. Wesley Hutchinson. Journal of Consumer Psychology. Volume 20, Issue 4, October 2010, Pages 476–484. [Abstract: In this paper, we examine aesthetic color combinations in a realistic product self-design task using the NIKEiD online configurator. We develop a similarity-based model of color relationships and empirically model the choice likelihoods of color pairs as a function of the distances between colors in the CIELAB color space. Our empirical analysis reveals three key findings. First, people de-emphasize lightness and focus on hue and saturation. Second, given this shift in emphasis, people generally like to combine colors that are relatively close or exactly match, with the exception that some people highlight one signature product component by using contrastive color. This result is more consistent with the visual coherence perspective than the optimal arousal perspective on aesthetic preference. Third, a small palette principle is supported such that the total number of colors used in the average design was smaller than would be expected under statistical independence.])>