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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Amazon Takes On Google In The Classroom

Amazon Is Taking On Google in the Battle for the Classroom

Amazon’s new marketplace, Inspire, is geared to K-12th grade teachers

Leena Rao | June 27, 2016

Amazon is looking to deepen its ties to the education world with a new online marketplace for lesson plans, curriculum, and other resources that debuted on Monday, called Inspire.
Until now, Amazon’s presence in educational institutions has been mostly limited to its original business of selling digital and physical books. The e-commerce giant has partnered with a handful of universities to open co-branded online bookstores for selling textbooks and a number of physical campus stores as package pick-up centers.


<more at; related articles and links: (Spending on Instructional Tech To Reach $19 Billion Within 5 Years. June 11, 2014) and (Amazon Inspire website)>

UK Light Pollution

UK Light Pollution 'Causing Spring to Come a Week Earlier'

Report is the first to examine the impact of artificial night-lighting on the seasonal behaviour of plants on a national scale

Anna Menin | June 29, 2016

[Blogger's note: Some of the articles here talk about the UK, but these issues are really worldwide and everything said for the UK applies to the US.]
Light pollution is causing spring to come at least a week earlier in the UK, a new study has revealed.
The report, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that budburst in trees occurs up to 7.5 days earlier in brighter areas, with later-budding species being more affected.
The link between light pollution and changes in animal behaviour has been well documented, but this is the first time its impact specifically on plant phenology has been examined on a national scale.
The paper’s authors believe that this early budburst is likely to have a knock-on effect on the life cycles of insects and birds that live in sync with the trees.

"Map of North America’s artificial sky brightness, in twofold increasing steps, as a ratio to the natural sky brightness." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Night-time light pollution causes spring to come early. June 29, 2016) and (New Atlas Shows Extent of Light Pollution – What Does it Mean for our Health? June 15, 2016)>

Seed-Shooting Drones

Seed-Bombing Startup DroneSeed Wants to Fight Deforestation with a Swarm of UAVs (+Video)

Kelly Hodgkins | June 29, 2016

If Oregon startup DroneSeed has its way, foresters in the Pacific Northwest may be in for a surprise the next time they are out in the field. Instead of wandering into a team of people working to replant trees, they could be bombarded from above by a suite of seed-blasting drones deployed to accomplish the same task of reseeding an area after harvesting is complete.
Founded a year ago by Grant Canary and Ryan Mykita, DroneSeed is developing a specialized drone system that is designed to both identify potential planting sites and then drop seeds in these selected remote forest locations.

DroneSeed predicts its tree-planting drones can perform in an hour the same task that takes a human worker a full day.

DroneSeed website. "Precision Forestry with Drones." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (DroneSeed website. Precision Forestry with Drones) and (The drone taking on ‘one of the hardest jobs on the planet’. DroneSeed sees tree-planting device as tractor of the forestry industry. June 15, 2016)>

Technologies, Websites Banned In China

A Look at All the Technologies and Websites Banned in China


Looking at China from a tech perspective is always a fascinating endeavor. The country is more populous than any other place on the planet, and yet, the country’s citizens are often blocked from partaking in the latest tech advancements, all in the name of state wanting to control the dissemination of information.
All the while, the powers that be in China talk a big game about being more open but as a recent CNN look into the country reveals, there’s still a big lockdown on which pieces of software and websites individuals in the country are allowed to use. And further illustrating the degree to which the Chinese Government looks to control access to any and all types of content, Lady Gaga media content in any form was recently banned after the singer took a meeting with the Dalai Lama in the United States.

Click to enlarge. Note: this is a sampling. See original Wikipedia article.  Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Websites blocked in mainland China) and (The list of blocked websites in China. February 17, 2016)>

ACLU On Behalf Of Computer Research

New ACLU Lawsuit Takes on the Internet’s Most Hated Hacking Law

Russell Brandom | June 29, 2016

For decades, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act has been one of America’s dangerous laws for anyone doing "unauthorized" things with a computer. Used to prosecute Aaron Swartz, Sergey Alenikov, and jailbreaker George Hotz, the law has long been criticized as a blank check for prosecutors. Under the law’s current interpretation, anyone breaking a website’s terms of service to collect information is guilty of a federal crime.
Now, the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging that. This morning, the group brought a suit against the Department of Justice on behalf of a group of researchers, who say the CFAA is a legal threat to their research. The plaintiffs specialize in algorithmic research: bombarding closed algorithms with a range of different inputs to study their hidden biases. Those techniques often involve breaking a websites terms of service, potentially exposing them to prosecution under the CFAA.

After the tragic death of programmer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz, EFF calls to reform the infamously problematic Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). In June 2013, Aaron's Law, a bipartisan bill to make common sense changes to the CFAA was introduced by Reps. Lofgren and Sensenbrenner. You can help right now by emailing your Senator and Representative to reform the draconian computer crime law.
The CFAA is the federal anti-hacking law. Among other things, this law makes it illegal to intentionally access a computer without authorization or in excess of authorization; however, the law does not explain what "without authorization" actually means. The statute does attempt to define "exceeds authorized access," but the meaning of that phrase has been subject to considerable dispute. While the CFAA is primarily a criminal law intended to reduce the instances of malicious hacking, a 1994 amendment to the bill allows for civil actions to be brought under the statute.
Creative prosecutors have taken advantage of this confusion to bring criminal charges that aren't really about hacking a computer, but instead target other behavior prosecutors dislike. For example, in cases like United States v. Drew and United States v. Nosal the government claimed that violating a private agreement or corporate policy amounts to a CFAA violation. This shouldn't be the case. Compounding this problem is the CFAA's disproportionately harsh penalty scheme. Even first-time offenses for accessing a protected computer without sufficient "authorization" can be punishable by up to five years in prison each (ten years for repeat offenses), plus fines. Violations of other parts of the CFAA are punishable by up to ten years, 20 years, and even life in prison. The excessive penalties were a key factor in the government's case against Aaron Swartz, where eleven out of thirteen alleged crimes were CFAA offenses, some of which were "unauthorized" access claims.

<more at; related articles and links: (ACLU Challenges Computer Crimes Law That is Thwarting Research on Discrimination Online. June 29, 2016) and (Sandvig V. Glynch  Challenge to CFAA Prohibition on Uncovering Racial Discrimination Online. June 29, 2016)>

First American Hotel Chain In Cuba Since Revolution

Cuba welcomes first American hotel chain in half a century as luxury resort opens in Havana (+Video)

Starwood Hotels is the first US resort to open in Cuba since the revolution. The new Cuba Four Points by Sheraton will cost from $246 (£183) per night. Located in Havana it follows President Obama's historic visit to the island.

Lucy Morris | June 29, 2016

Starwood Hotels has taken over management of a luxury hotel in Havana, becoming the first big American hospitality chain with a presence on the island since the Cuban Revolution 50 years ago.
The newly-rechristened Cuba Four Points by Sheraton on Havana's Quinta Avenida - a hotel owned by the Cuban military - now will be managed by the American hospitality giant.
Located in Havana's Miramar district, the posh hotel, formerly known as the Quinta Avenida hotel, has rooms available from $246 per night, according to its website.

See video at:

<more at; related articles and links: (Starwood: 1st U.S. company to run Cuba hotels in decades. March 21, 2016) and (+Video) (First American hotel chain opens in Cuba. Published June 30, 2016)

Analysis Of Gunshot Sounds May Help Solve Crimes

Sounds from Gunshots May Help Solve Crimes

By measuring sound waves of 20 gun types, researcher hopes to improve forensics

Meghan Rosen | June 29, 2016

The surveillance video shows a peaceful city streetscape: People walking, cars driving, birds chirping.
“Then, abruptly, there’s the sound of gunfire,” said electrical engineer Robert Maher. “A big bang followed by another bang.”
Witnesses saw two shooters facing off, a few meters apart — one aiming north, the other south. But no one knew who shot first. That’s where Maher comes in. His specialty is gunshot acoustics, and he’s helping shore up the science behind a relatively new forensics field.
In the case of the two shooters, surveillance cameras missed the action, but the sounds told a story that was loud and clear.

"Sounds from gunshots may help solve crimes. By measuring sound waves of 20 gun types, researcher hopes to improve forensics." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Should suppressors (a.k.a “silencers”) be more widely available for gun owners? March 8, 2016) and (Gunshot recordings from a criminal incident: Who shot first? Robert C. Maher. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 139, 2024 (2016) [Abstract: Audio forensic examination for law enforcement and criminal justice investigations increasingly involves audiovisual recordings from dashboard camera systems, bystander smart phones, body cameras worn by police officers, and even by cameras built into TASER™ devices. If the camera is pointing in an appropriate direction the details of the incident may be found in the recorded video. However, if the camera’s field of view is limited, it may still be possible to evaluate the circumstances of interest by examining the sounds captured by the recording device’s microphone. This paper presents audio examples in which the forensic examiner must attempt to address questions such as: How many gunshots took place? What types of firearms were involved? Who shot first? Audio examples are presented to demonstrate the solutions—and mysteries—found in several real world cases.]); further: (Gun research faces roadblocks and a dearth of data. Setting evidence-based policy isn’t easy when research is underfunded and data are locked up, May 3, 2016)>

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

China And India May Be New Global Leaders In Education Technology

Why Are China & India Steaming Ahead in Education Technology?

America has long been a global leader in education technology, but that seems to be changing.

Oliver Smith | May 13, 2016

The US has long dominated when it comes to education technology (edtech).
This edtech dominance was a byproduct of the country having Silicon Valley’s tech powerhouse, a large education budget covering millions of US students, and proactive Government policies pushing a National Education Technology Plan.
But that dominance appears to be waning.


<more at; related articles and links: ([Infographic] Growth of Educational Technology In China. September 11, 2015) and (Digital Learning: An Introduction to Education Technology in the World's Emerging Economies. July 10, 2015)>

Virtual Reality (VR) In China

China Could Be Virtual Reality’s Dark Horse

Janko Roettgers | May 12, 2016

Walk the floor of CES Asia in Shanghai this week, and you’ll see many familiar products. Big TVs, loudspeakers, internet-connected household appliances. But seemingly at every other booth, there’s also something else, and it always seems to draw crowds: virtual reality (VR) headsets.
A few of the bigger international players, including Hisense and Intel, have brought along demos of the HTC Vive. But many more local Chinese companies are showing off their own headsets. Google Cardboard clones, all-in-one mobile units, VR devices that look like sunglasses, augmented reality (AR) glasses that could pass as Google Glass: VR and AR are everywhere at the trade show.

"A Company Serving 100 Million Gamers Wants to Help Bring Your VR Game to China." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (China’s Le Eco Boosts Ecosystem With Phones, VR and Car Launches. April 20, 2016) and (Why China Is Key to the Future of Virtual Reality. April 29, 2016)>

VR Summit China 2016 (Virtual Reality)

Inaugural Global VR/AR China Summit Hosted by PTP International Co., Limited Taking Place In Shanghai, China @ Shanghai Grand Theatre From Jun 7-8 [2016] | February 23, 2016

Inaugural Global VR/AR China Summit 2016 hosted by PTP International Co., Limited is taking place at Shanghai Grand Theatre from Jun 7-8. This event will gather more than 500 high level participants from 20+ countries, they comes from both heavyweight high-tech companies but also brilliant startups.
The VR/AR Summit will cover the whole value chain, such as hardware producers of head mounted display devices, 3D camera, input devices; software developers of VR software development platform, VR SDK, content development tools; content providers of VR games, VR movies; VR/AR industry solutions providers for commercial marketing, engineering, architecture, clinical medical, defense; technologies companies for image recognition technology, gesture control technology, voice input and out technology.


<more at; related articles and links: (Global VR Summit Beijing 2016 website) and (Inaugural Global VR/AR China Summit 2016)>

Using Nanotechnology To Preserve And Restore Artworks

European Museums Are Using Nanotechnology To Preserve And Restore Modern Artworks

They just don't make paints like they used to.

Charlie Sorrel | June 17, 2016

In Kurt Vonnegut’s Bluebeard, the main character, the abstract expressionist artist Rabo Karabekian, makes his works with Sateen Dura-Luxe paint. The paintings destroy themselves when the Sateen Dura-Luxe separates itself from the canvases, turning to ribbons.
Fact follows fiction. The modern materials used by artists from the last century onwards are falling apart, because plastic doesn't last as well as oil paint. A project called NanoRestArt plans to fix this, using nanotechnology to repair and restore these real-life versions of Sateen Dura-Luxe.


<more at; related articles and links: (NanoRestArt website) and (When Art Falls Apart. As plastic used in modern art degrades, scientists turn to nanotechnology to put it back together. April 1, 2016)>

Alcoa May Dominate The 3D Printing Marketplace

1 Unexpected Company Poised to Dominate 3D Printing (+Video)

If you thought 3D printing was all about technology companies, think again.

Reuben Gregg Brewer | June 27, 2016

Technology advances are what's behind the advent of 3D printing, but that doesn't mean technology companies are going to be the driving force behind the implementation and growth of the industry.
Here's one somewhat unexpected company you might not have considered that's poised to dominate what could be a key 3D printing niche.
A parts specialist
When you think about 3D printing, names like 3D Systems and Stratasys probably come to mind. And why not? These companies are key players in the space, but they aren't the only names to watch. Here's one you might not have thought of that's poised to use 3D printing to change the way precision aircraft parts are made: Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA).


<more at; related articles and links: (Alcoa to Supply 3D-Printed Metal Parts for Airbus Aircraft. April 7, 2016) and (Here's Why 3D Printing Needs More Metal. November 11, 2015)>

Brexit Aftermath

A Belgian-Style Confederacy Would Allow Parts of the UK to Remain the EU

Peter Vanahm | June 28, 2016

[...] But just as Leicester City Football Club achieved the improbable, Brits can now do the improbable and—for all intents and purposes—remain in the EU, despite the deplorable Brexit vote. It’s already clear large groups of the population wish to do so, and there’s historical precedent set by other European nations to guide the way.
First, consider the will of the people. Scots and Northern Irish voted massively in favor of the EU, as did young Brits and Londoners. They should all be able to remain in. Scottish and Northern Irish should remain masters of their own fate. Young Brits should remain welcome in Europe and continue to call it their home. 

Brexit vote by region. "The YouGov research also revealed working class areas were more anti-EU, blowing a hole in Labour's insistence on backing Brussels against the wishes of its traditional voter base. Brexit support is also strong in the more wealthy Tory counties of England like Suffolk, Somerset and Lincolnshire, showing that a concensus is now building behind the case to get Britain out of the EU." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Nicola Sturgeon says Scottish Parliament could veto Brexit after EU referendum. June 27, 2016) and (BREXIT FIRST 100 DAYS: What will happen NOW after historic vote to LEAVE the EU? AFTER the Brexit victory, here is a look at what will happen immediately following the historic vote for Britain to leave the EU. June 27, 2016)>

PayPal Adds Charitable Giving Button At Bottom Of App Home Screen

PayPal Puts a Charitable Giving Button in Its App for the First Time

Sarah Perez | June 28, 2016

PayPal is rolling out an update to its mobile application which it hopes will put charitable giving in the forefront of customers’ minds. With a new button that appears at the bottom of the home screen of its app  – below options to order ahead or pay in-store – PayPal users can support a favorite cause through an in-app donation.
The button connects users to the tens of thousands of PayPal Giving Fund certified charities, and is the first time that PayPal has made it possible to donate directly through its mobile app, the company says.

The charities will receive 100 percent of every donation, PayPal also notes.

PayPal App with "Support a cause" button. Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (PayPal’s mobile app gets a ‘donate’ button, making it easier to give to charity. June 28, 2016) and (PayPal website)>

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Kilogram May Be Replaced ... By A Calculation, Because The Standard Lump Of Metal Stored In France Is Losing Its Mass

The Kilogram May Be Redefined

The egg-size platinum alloy standard kilo in Paris could be replaced by a calculation 

Tia Ghose | June 27, 2016

One of the most iconic hunks of metal in the world is set to get a demotion.
The official metallic cylinder that defines the mass of a kilogram may soon be set aside in favor of a measurement that is defined by fundamental constants of nature.
The egg-size alloy of platinum and iridium, known as "Le Grand K," has sat inside a hermetically sealed room in Paris since 1879. Le Grand K serves as the benchmark against which all other kilograms are compared. [The 9 Most Massive Numbers in Existence]

"Le Grand K" "The kilogram is the last remaining measurement to be defined by a physical object: a cylinder of platinum and iridium held in a vault under three glass bell jars at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in the suburbs of Paris. The international prototype, created in the 1880s and known familiarly as “Le Grand K,” is the standard by which all other kilograms are measured. But for all the vault-like protections, Le Grand K is vulnerable. “The big joke is, if someone were to sneeze on the kilogram, there are about 10 fundamental constants that would change, because they’re all tied to its value,” says Jonathan Ellis, an assistant professor of optics and mechanical engineering and a specialist in metrology, or the study of measurements." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (+Podcast) (Researchers Weigh the Benefits of a New Kilogram Standard. January 24, 2011) and (Kilogram conflict resolved at last. After a fraught few years, experiments to redefine the unit have reached agreement. October 13, 2015)>

Virtual Reality (VR) And Storytelling

The Struggle to Adapt Storytelling for Virtual Reality (+Video)

"We're ready to tell stories, but how do you do that in VR?" asks Oscar-winning art director Robert Stromberg.

Mona Lalwani | June 23, 2016

Storytelling in virtual reality has yet to take shape. While the simulated world of gaming has proved the visual capabilities of the medium, few have taken a crack at the art of building a compelling narrative.
But now that the battle of the VR headsets is fully under way, a shift is evident. Content studios seem to be getting ready for the next wave of virtual reality. Over the past week alone, major VR studios have announced investments from Hollywood studios that seem indicative of the cinematic experiences to come. Within, formerly known as VRSE, has raised $12.56 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and 21st Century Fox, Felix & Paul Studios has seen $6.8 million in a round led by Comcast, and Virtual Reality Company (VRC) got $23 million from Beijing's Hengxin Mobile Business in exchange for exclusive distribution rights in China.

Over time, normal consumers may actually create the greatest amount of VR content for themselves and their friends.
360-degree VR breaks us out of that frame and delivers the scene as if one was at the event and viewing it from the center of the action.
When cavemen came back from a hunt, they told the story of the hunt in pictures in a cave on the walls. Eventually, storytelling was moved to a frame in paintings and pictures, where it has stayed for the centuries.

"See Chris Milk discuss the future of VR storytelling." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (The Storyteller’s Guide to the Virtual Reality Audience. April 6, 2016) and (Is storytelling the key to VR’s future?
Virtual reality may be the closest to teleportation we will ever have in our lifetime. May 25, 2016)>

Google Toy System For Teaching Kids To Code

Google is Making a Toy System That Teaches Kids How to Code (+Video)

Jacob Kastrenakes | June 27, 2016

Learning to code usually involves sitting in front of a computer, memorizing commands, and carefully checking for syntax errors. But what if instead, coding was colorful, fun, and let you interact with the real world?
That's what Google is trying to do with a new initiative called Project Bloks. Bloks is a system of toy blocks that kids can connect together to control other toys and learn the fundamentals of coding in the process — a bunch of blocks with arrows on them, for instance, could be used to direct a robot. Google's intention is for Bloks to teach the logic behind coding, so that kids can pick up basic skills as they play and later transfer that knowledge to real-world applications.


<more at; related articles and links: (Project Bloks: Making code physical for kids. June 27, 2016) and (Project Bloks website)>

Free Online Textbook Use Grows At State Universities

Free Online Textbook Use Grows at State Universities

After North Dakota dedicated funds for a free textbook initiative, results were surprisingly encouraging

Anna Burleson | June 24, 2016

More than a year after the state Legislature put $110,000 into the North Dakota University System to fund a free textbook initiative, the first schools to see those funds are hoping to save students a lot of money.
Based on calculations using the full cost of textbooks, UND is going to save students about $1.2 million in textbook costs next school year. Valley City State University already is cutting up to $82,000 in costs, with the aim to eliminate between $30,000 and $50,000 in textbook expenses next school year.
“The game-changer in this project was the funding that allowed me to move forward with faculty development and workshops to help them understand the resources,” said Tanya Spilovoy, the NDUS director of distance education and state authorization.

Open educational resources savings at UND, 2016-17

Introduction to Sociology, 480 students
List price of current book: $170.25
Total savings: $81,600

Introduction to Psychology, 850 students
List price of current textbook: $148
Total savings: $125,375

Introduction to State and Local Government, 80 students
List price of current textbook: $160
Total savings: $12,800

Aviation Meteorology, 160 students
List price of current textbook: $160
Total savings: $25,600

Calculus 1, 2 and 3 (four sections total)
Estimated enrollment excluding Calculus 3: 2,867 students
List price of current textbook: $314
Total savings: About $900,000


<more at; related articles and links: (How some colleges are offering free textbooks. April 21, 2014) and (How to Go Textbook Free. The University of Maryland University College is the largest institution in the country to go "commando" on textbooks. As of this academic year undergraduates don't have to lug them around or spend a dime on them — and the benefits don't end there. Here's how UMUC achieved an amazing goal. March 9, 2016)>

Cozmo The Robot: A Small AI System With Complex Decision Making

How Anki’s Cozmo Is the Ambassador for Robot-Human Relations (+Video)

Chris Davies | June 27, 2016

Anki has come a long way from its WWDC 2013 demo of iPhone-controlled race cars, but today's big reveal of Cozmo, it's AI-blessed robot, is a lot more than just a toy. Scurrying around on its tank tracks, the palm-scale gadget looks like a plaything but is in reality a clever sleight of hand to bring some of the most complex parts of modern computing right into the home.
[...] Anki will have an SDK for just about every aspect of Cozmo's abilities, and there'll be an immediate payout to getting to grips with each component, since it'll be reflected not just on a computer screen but on the desk in front of you.

"Anki's small Cozmo robot has AI, emotions." (June 27, 2016) Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Can machines take our jobs without ruining our lives? Models, cooks, managers, lawyers – artificial intelligence is capable of doing a widening array of our jobs. But maybe that’s not all bad. June 22, 2016) and (The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation? Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne. September 17, 2013. [Abstract: We examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation. To assess this, we begin by implementing a novel methodology to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, using a Gaussian process classifier. Based on these estimates, we examine expected impacts of future computerisation on US labour market outcomes, with the primary objective of analysing the number of jobs at risk and the relationship between an occupation’s probability of computerisation, wages and educational attainment. According to our estimates, about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk. We further provide evidence that wages and educational attainment exhibit a strong negative relationship with an occupation’s probability of computerisation.]>

New "Bio-Ink" For 3D Printing Of Cartilage And Bone

New ‘Bio-Ink’ Could Be Used to Print New Cartilage and Bone Implants

Luke Dormehl | June 27, 2016

Of all the applications of 3D printing, the one which seems most astonishing is the possibility of one day being able to use the technology to print out vital biological organs.
But while we’re not at that point just yet, a team of researchers at the U.K.’s University of Bristol recently announced a significant new advance in the form of a brand new bio-ink, a printable liquid material made out of living cells. In time it is hoped that this new bio-ink may be used for the 3D printing of cartilage and bone implants for damaged body parts such as joints.


<more at; related articles and links: (Algae-based scaffold helps grow bioink for 3D-printed cartilage. June 27, 2016) and (A new bio-ink for 3-D printing with stem cells. June 23, 2016)>

3D Printing Allows The Production Of Significantly Smaller Cameras With Medical Uses

Micro-Camera Can Be Injected with a Syringe

Phys Org | June 27, 2016

German engineers have created a camera no bigger than a grain of salt that could change the future of health imaging—and clandestine surveillance.
Using 3-D printing, researchers from the University of Stuttgart built a three-lens camera, and fit it onto the end of an optical fibre the width of two hairs.
Such technology could be used as minimally-intrusive endoscopes for exploring inside the human body, the engineers reported in the journal Nature Photonics.

"Image of a multi-lens system with a diameter of 600 µm next to a doublet lenses with a diameter of 120 µm." "Due to manufacturing limitations, lenses cannot currently be made small enough for key uses in the medical field, said the team, which believe its 3-D printing method may represent "a paradigm shift"." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (This camera is so tiny it can be injected with a syringe. June 28, 2016) and (Micro-camera can be injected with a syringe. June 28, 2016)>

Monday, June 27, 2016

High Definition Ultrasound Technology

Fantastic Breakthrough in the Medical Field with New HD Ultrasound Technology

This new development could be a fantastic breakthrough in the medical field if it does come to fruition fully.  Scientists have been carrying out tests on rats...

A. Thomas | June 25, 2016

It is new development could be a fantastic breakthrough in the medical field if it does come to fruition fully.  Scientists have been carrying out tests on rats that produce high-resolution images of the entire blood vessel network inside a tiny rat’s brain with the use of ultrasound.
The way the researchers carried out the procedure involved injecting the mice with millions of tiny bubbles, then by using high-frequency ultrasound waves that were emitted through the rat’s skin to cause a reflection that scatters the ultrasound waves.  The way in which the scientists managed to achieve such a high resolution was by scanning at an extremely high rate (around 500 frames per second).

"New way to use ultrasound allows for imaging live blood vessels with more clarity." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (New way to use ultrasound allows for imaging live blood vessels with more clarity. November 26, 2015) and (Researchers transmit data through animal tissues at HD video rates via ultrasound. April 18, 2016)>

Hathi Trust Research Center

The HathiTrust Research Center: Exploring the Full-Text Frontier

J. Stephen Downie, Mike Furlough, Robert H. McDonald, Beth Namachchivaya, Beth A. Plale, and John Unsworth | May 2, 2016

Many readers of EDUCAUSE Review are familiar with the HathiTrust Digital Library (HTDL), which was featured in an E-Content column by Jeremy York and Brian E.C. Schottlaender a couple years ago. However, readers may not yet be aware of the research counterpart to this mass-scale digital library: the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC). In this column, we want to help readers better understand the HTRC mission—a mission that supports new knowledge creation through novel computational uses of the HTDL.


<more at; related articles and links: (+Video) (Our Research Center. Spring 2016) and (HathiTrust Research Center Documentation. March 22, 2016)>

Brexit Will Affect Publishing

How Brexit Will Affect Publishing, and More Book News

Constance Grady | June 25, 2016

Brexit is upon us, and it’s an event so outlandish it seems fictional. (Think about how many dystopias have “and then the UK left the EU” in their backstory, and then try not to think about it anymore.) So as we take the weekend to gather our thoughts, might I suggest seeking refuge in some book news? Here’s the best bookish writing the web has to offer for the week of June 20, 2016.

 Intellectual Property after Brexit

Trade marks along with Registered Community Designs (RCDs) and Unregistered Community Designs, are the most harmonised forms of intellectual property in the EU and, therefore, the way that they are protected and enforced in the UK is likely to experience significant change if the UK leaves the EU.
A new reliance upon national protection
At present the UK is part of the EU Trade Mark regime (until recently known as the 'Community Trade Mark' and now EU Trade Marks - EUTMs) and the Registered Community Design regime. In addition to registered design rights there is an Unregistered EU Design Right which arises automatically upon creation of a design within the EU (or by an EU-based designer) which is of shorter duration. All of these rights entitle the holder to protection across the 28 Member States of the EU, achievable (in respect of the registered rights) through the filing of one application and payment of a single fee.
If the UK leaves the EU then, in theory, existing EUTMs and RCDs would not be valid in the UK because the UK would no longer be a party to the Regulations creating those rights. This could mean that current EUTM holders would have to register for UK national trade marks and designs to preserve protection in the UK. Existing registrations that have only, or primarily, been used in the UK, could be at risk of revocation for non-use post Brexit, since their owners would not be able to demonstrate use in a substantial part of the EU. It is likely that the UK IPO would offer EUTM holders the opportunity to convert their EUTMs to national marks within the UK, presumably upon payment of some sort of fee.

<more at; related articles and links: (What Brexit Means for Book Publishing. June 24, 2016) and (How Will ‘The Brexit’ Impact Book Publishing? June 24, 2016)>

German Publishers Appeal Case Against Google

German Publishers Appeal Decision in Market Power Case Against Google

Reuters | June 27, 2016

German publishers have appealed a Berlin court's rejection of a case in which they accused Google of abusing its market power by refusing to pay them for displaying newspaper articles online, a lawyer for the publishers said on Monday.
Germany's biggest newspaper publisher, Axel Springer and 40 other publishers had accused Alphabet Inc's Google of unfair treatment.

"CEO of German publisher Axel Springer Mathias Doepfner." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (German publishers appeal decision in market power case against Google. June 27, 2016) and (European Publishers Play Lobbying Role Against Google. August 28, 2015)>