The Child, the Tablet and the Developing Mind

Via: NY Times

March 31, 2013

I recently watched my sister perform an act of magic.

We were sitting in a restaurant, trying to have a conversation, but her children, 4-year-old Willow and 7-year-old Luca, would not stop fighting. The arguments — over a fork, or who had more water in a glass — were unrelenting.

Like a magician quieting a group of children by pulling a rabbit out of a hat, my sister reached into her purse and produced two shiny Apple iPads, handing one to each child. Suddenly, the two were quiet. Eerily so. They sat playing games and watching videos, and we continued with our conversation.

After our meal, as we stuffed the iPads back into their magic storage bag, my sister felt slightly guilty.

“I don’t want to give them the iPads at the dinner table, but if it keeps them occupied for an hour so we can eat in peace, and more importantly not disturb other people in the restaurant, I often just hand it over,” she told me. Then she asked: “Do you think it’s bad for them? I do worry that it is setting them up to think it’s O.K. to use electronics at the dinner table in the future.”

I did not have an answer, and although some people might have opinions, no one has a true scientific understanding of what the future might hold for a generation raised on portable screens.

“We really don’t know the full neurological effects of these technologies yet,” said Dr. Gary Small, director of the Longevity Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of “iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind.” “Children, like adults, vary quite a lot, and some are more sensitive than others to an abundance of screen time.”

Read more: here

It is not good for kids!
-Moose

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Q1 PC Shipments Drop By Most Ever

Via: ZeroHedge

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/11/2013

If weak PC sales throughout 2012 were blamed on expectations for Windows 8, now it is the turn to blame weak PC sales on Windows 8 “lukewarm reception” disappointment.

Just never blame the economy, and the fact that there just is no actual end demand.

“Although the reduction in shipments was not a surprise, the magnitude of the contraction is both surprising and worrisome,” is how IDC describes the utter collapse in PC Shipments in Q1 2013.

Against a forecast -7.7%, the worldwide shipment of PCs collapsed -13.9% to a mere 76.3 million units.

This is the fourth consecutive quarter of declines and is the worst quarter since records began in 1994.

Interestingly, Europe did not do as bad as expected (though the consumer was worse) but the US and AsiaPac (Ex Japan) both plunged more than expected. Lenovo has almost closed the gap to HP as the world’s leading supplier after HP’s shipments fell a stunning 23% in Q1. HP opened -7.5% and MSFT -4.3%.

Read more: here

Secrets of FBI Smartphone Surveillance Tool Revealed in Court Fight

Via: Wired

By Kim Zetter
04.09.13

A legal fight over the government’s use of a secret surveillance tool has provided new insight into how the controversial tool works and the extent to which Verizon Wireless aided federal agents in using it to track a suspect.

Court documents in a case involving accused identity thief Daniel David Rigmaiden describe how the wireless provider reached out remotely to reprogram an air card the suspect was using in order to make it communicate with the government’s surveillance tool so that he could be located.

Rigmaiden, who is accused of being the ringleader of a $4 million tax fraud operation, asserts in court documents that in July 2008 Verizon surreptitiously reprogrammed his air card to make it respond to incoming voice calls from the FBI and also reconfigured it so that it would connect to a fake cell site, or stingray, that the FBI was using to track his location.

Read more: here

Why We Need More Solar Companies to Fail

Via: MIT Technology Review

Solar manufacturers like Suntech are struggling. Hundreds need to die for the industry to recover.

By Kevin Bullis on March 18, 2013

Suntech, a Chinese company that as recently as 2011 was the world’s largest producer of solar panels, is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. It’s running low on cash, owes bond investors half a billion dollars (which it failed to pay Friday), and is saddled with payments on billions of dollars in loans as it struggles to make money in a market flooded with its product.

If Suntech fails and shuts down its factories, that might not be a bad thing. Some industry experts say that hundreds of solar companies need to fail to help bring the supply of solar panels back in line with demand. That would slow the fall in prices and, as demand recovers, allow companies to justify buying new equipment and introducing the innovations that will ultimately be needed for solar power to compete with fossil fuels.

But there’s a good chance that Suntech, and many other companies in China, will be bailed out by local governments, which would delay the much-needed reduction in production capacity. Worldwide, solar companies have the capacity to manufacture between 60 and 70 gigawatts’ worth of solar panels a year, but demand in 2013 is only expected to be about 30 gigawatts.

The worldwide glut of solar panels—which has lasted nearly two years—is partly the result of big government-backed investments in factories in China, where two-thirds of solar panel production capacity is located. The surplus has been good news for consumers and installers, because it’s helped drive a precipitous drop in solar panel prices. They’ve dropped 60 percent since the beginning of 2011, according to GTM Research. Solar panels sold for $4 per watt eight years ago. Now it’s common to buy them at 78 cents per watt, says Jenny Chase, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

But the rapid decline in prices has been hard for solar manufacturers. As prices have dropped, they have been able to lower costs because the price of materials has been falling and they’ve made incremental imprvements to existing manufacturing equipment. But in many cases costs haven’t fallen fast enough for companies to keep up with the falling prices for their panels, eliminating profits and making it difficult to invest in the new equipment needed to keep reducing costs.

Read more: here

Wow…this makes so much sense..
Hate to have low pricing for consumers too long….
-Moose

I Have a Dream..A Nightmare Really..

By Moose


From the war criminal archive…

I had a drone dream the other night…and it made me wonder….

How long before the drones become personalized weapons?

Just think about this… 

Soon, 5 years at the outside, via our drone technology, we will be able to direct activity remotely at targets determined by autonomous recognition..

This will be great for rounding up a generation of war criminals…
Like Kissinger or Tony Blair..or Bush/s or Cheney…

Or banksters, or politicians that don’t fulfill their sworn obligation to uphold the constitution…

There will be a drone out there, waiting, never getting tired, or frustrated, or angry, or depressed, until the “Target” presents itself.. and then there will be no hesitation, no guilt, no remorse…

But you know the Empire will target us, dissenters, patriots, and freedom fighters first..

Maybe the machines will reintroduce morality into the Human experience…
 
It was just a dream…but it was so real..
It even had the target’s name on it’s nose…
But we should embrace every bit of the drone technology to protect ourselves…just sayin… 
This should be a good reason to pay attention in science class!
-Moose

China Is Engineering Genius Babies

Via: Vice

By Aleks Eror

It’s not exactly news that China is setting itself up as a new global superpower, is it? While Western civilization chokes on its own gluttony like a latter-day Marlon Brando, China continues to buy up American debt and lock away the world’s natural resources. But now, not content to simply laugh and make jerk-off signs as they pass us on the geopolitical highway, they’ve also developed a state-endorsed genetic-engineering project.

At BGI Shenzhen, scientists have collected DNA samples from 2,000 of the world’s smartest people and are sequencing their entire genomes in an attempt to identify the alleles which determine human intelligence. Apparently they’re not far from finding them, and when they do, embryo screening will allow parents to pick their brightest zygote and potentially bump up every generation’s intelligence by five to 15 IQ points. Within a couple of generations, competing with the Chinese on an intellectual level will be like challenging Lena Dunham to a getting-naked-on-TV contest.

Read more: here

Maybe they will save us…
-Moose

Massive Ships 12-Miles Offshore to Provide Floating City for Entrepreneurial Start-Ups; Launch Date Q2 2014

Via: Townhall

A company named Blueseed is a year away from offering entrepreneurs an inexpensive place, near Silicon Valley, in which to develop their products.

“Blueseed will station a ship 12 nautical miles from the coast of San Francisco, in international waters. The location will allow startup entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world to start or grow their company near Silicon Valley, without the need for a U.S. work visa. The ship will be converted into a coworking and co-living space, and will have high-speed Internet access and daily transportation to the mainland via ferry boat. So far, over 1000 entrepreneurs from 60+ countries expressed interest in living on the ship.”

Read more: here 

Make your own island…
-Moose

Coming Soon: A $100 Drone To Do Your Bidding

Via: Coexist

Have some aerial photography you need done? Drones aren’t just for hunting terrorists anymore. Soon, you’ll be able to buy and launch your own UAV for cheap.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)–or drones–have been used in the U.S. for over 50 years, largely for military purposes. It makes sense; drones can be used for surveillance and fighting enemies without putting pilots at risk. But there are plenty of uses for unmanned camera-equipped drones outside of the military, including documenting protest situations, monitoring fertilizer applications and water distribution on farms, and just taking pretty pictures.

Drones for Peace, a project currently working its way through the MassChallenge accelerator program, wants to bring these drones to the masses. The ultimate goal is a drone for aerial photography that sells for just $100. 

This is the first project for Rotary Robotics, a company that may eventually launch a whole line of drones for different applications. This first $100 drone is meant for general use. “We are engineers who were working in the military UAV space for awhile. We wanted to a create an aerial surveillance aircraft that was cheap enough that it would be accessible to everyone,” says cofounder James Peverill.

Read more: here

Micro 3-D Printer Creates Tiny Structures in Seconds

Via: MIT Technology Review

Faster printing could see the technology move from research labs to industry. 

By Prachi Patel on March 5, 2013

Nanoscribe, a spin-off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, has developed a tabletop 3-D microprinter that can create complicated microstructures 100 times faster than is possible today. “If something took one hour to make, it now takes less than one minute,” says Michael Thiel, chief scientific officer at Nanoscribe.

While 3-D printing of toys, iPhone covers, and jewelry continues to grab headlines (see “The Difference Between Makers and Manufacturers”), much of 3-D printing’s impact could be at a much smaller scale. Micrometer-scale printing has shown promise for making medical and electronic devices.

Thiel says it should be possible to speed up his company’s microprinting technique even more in the future.

Nanoscribe plans to start selling its machine in the second half of this year.

Printing microstructures with features a few hundred nanometers in size could be useful for making heart stents, microneedles for painless shots, gecko adhesives, parts for microfluidics chips, and scaffolds for growing cells and tissue. Another important application could be in the electronics industry, where patterning nanoscale features on chips currently involves slow, expensive techniques. 3-D printing would quickly and cheaply yield polymer templates that could be used to make metallic structures.

Read more: here

Brown University Creates First Wireless, Implanted Brain-Computer Interface

Via: Extreme Tech

By Sebastian Anthony on March 4, 2013 at 8:03 am

Researchers at Brown University have succeeded in creating the first wireless, implantable, rechargeable, long-term brain-computer interface. The wireless BCIs have been implanted in pigs and monkeys for over 13 months without issue, and human subjects are next.

Read more: here

And I wonder what evil this will be used for….
-Moose

Terrifying Flying Robot Quadrotors Perform the ‘James Bond’ Theme

Via: The Atlantic

Feb 29 2012, 5:53 PM ET
 
Engineers at the University of Pennsylvania’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, Daniel Mellinger, Alex Kushleyev and Vijay Kumar, demonstrate the agility of their autonomous quadrotors by programming them to plunk out the James Bond theme music on a room full of instruments. Humans assign the robots a location in space and a time to get there, but the robots have to figure out how to navigate from point to point without colliding in midair.

On their website, the engineers describe the technology that powers these meticulously coordinated flying musicians:

Read more: here

Imagine an Aircraft Carrier Made Out of … Robots

Via: The Atlantic

By Megan Garber
Feb 27 2013, 5:15 PM

Next up: autonomous boats for maritime disasters

Imagine that there’s another oil spill along the lines of BP-in-the-Gulf. Imagine that our relief work following the disaster could be waged not just with human effort, but with technological ability — with the help of, specifically, robots. Even more specifically: robotic boats.

Soon, you won’t have to imagine it. DARPA has been experimenting with ocean-based robotics through its Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform — an effort that aims to make use of globally standardized shipping containers to build ad-hoc infrastructure during crises. And at the University of Pennsylvania, engineering professors Vijay Kumar and Mark Yim have been leading a team working on that project in conjunction with the governmental agency. Kumar and Yim are focused on figuring out ways for “swarms” of robots to interact with each other in marine environments, building structures themselves according to algorithmic commands. The main challenge they’re tackling: to determine the best way for each individual robot to operate without getting in the way of the other robots.

Read more: here

The Ten Principles of 3D Printing

Via: Bigthink

by Hod Lipson
March 2, 2013, 12:00 AM

This article is an excerpt from Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman’s new book Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing.

Predicting the future is a crapshoot. When we were writing this book and interviewing people about 3D printing, we discovered that a few underlying “rules” kept coming up. People from a broad and diverse array of industries and backgrounds and levels of expertise described similar ways that 3D printing helped them get past key cost, time and complexity barriers.

We have summarized what we learned. Here are ten principles of 3D printing we hope will help people and businesses take full advantage of 3D printing technologies.

Read more: here

Why Is the Navy Building a Shiny Drone Base in Sunny Malibu?

Via:  Gizmodo
 
By Sam Biddle

Sorry, Sushi/Massage Guru at Google: you no longer have the coolest tech job in America. That honor will belong to the future staff at the planned Point Mugu UAV installation in paradisiacal California.

Surfing, sunrays, and constant sensor surveillance. And it’s only the beginning.

The Point Mugu base is technically just outside of Malibu—barely—but we’re going to go with it because Malibu Drone Base has a ring to it like nothing else in the history of drones nor bases. Don’t you think of red Corvettes, sunglasses, coconut oil, and Hellfire missiles? It’s perfect, right? The Navy is inclined to agree, and just issued an “environmental impact” report for the proposed base, which would demolish and rebuild a large part of the existing military presence at Point Mugu, a popular surfing haunt.

Oh but brah, there’s way more than surfing: the Navy itself bills the area as a sailor and/or remote UAV operator’s dream:

At Naval Base Ventura County [which houses Point Mugu], there is a wealth of fitness and recreation options. Choose from aerobic classes, state-of-the-art fitness centers, or league and intramural play. Swimming lessons, aquatic activities, bowling, athletic fields and courts, youth activities or golf at the 18-hole Seabee Golf Course, are also available. Duke’s Place and The Point will tempt your palate for lunch and dinner and you will enjoy pay per view events and tournaments at the Sports Bar. For an outdoor approach spend a day or two on the beach at the Point Mugu Beach Motel. If going to the city is more your idea of a great destination, visit the local discount ticket offices for money saving ideas.

All that, and you get to fly drones. But not just any drones—state-of-the-art drones. The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is at the fore of robotic surveillance, and the Navy wants their 131-foot wings and spiffy 360-degree sensors cruising around the Pacific Ocean in the name of American supremacy.

Read more: here

And of course, they won’t be armed in US airspace….
-Moose

Why Is the Navy Building a Shiny Drone Base in Sunny Malibu?

Via:  Gizmodo

 

By Sam Biddle
 

Sorry, Sushi/Massage Guru at Google: you no longer have the coolest tech job in America. That honor will belong to the future staff at the planned Point Mugu UAV installation in paradisiacal California.

Surfing, sunrays, and constant sensor surveillance. And it’s only the beginning.

The Point Mugu base is technically just outside of Malibu—barely—but we’re going to go with it because Malibu Drone Base has a ring to it like nothing else in the history of drones nor bases. Don’t you think of red Corvettes, sunglasses, coconut oil, and Hellfire missiles? It’s perfect, right? The Navy is inclined to agree, and just issued an “environmental impact” report for the proposed base, which would demolish and rebuild a large part of the existing military presence at Point Mugu, a popular surfing haunt.

Oh but brah, there’s way more than surfing: the Navy itself bills the area as a sailor and/or remote UAV operator’s dream:

At Naval Base Ventura County [which houses Point Mugu], there is a wealth of fitness and recreation options. Choose from aerobic classes, state-of-the-art fitness centers, or league and intramural play. Swimming lessons, aquatic activities, bowling, athletic fields and courts, youth activities or golf at the 18-hole Seabee Golf Course, are also available. Duke’s Place and The Point will tempt your palate for lunch and dinner and you will enjoy pay per view events and tournaments at the Sports Bar. For an outdoor approach spend a day or two on the beach at the Point Mugu Beach Motel. If going to the city is more your idea of a great destination, visit the local discount ticket offices for money saving ideas.

All that, and you get to fly drones. But not just any drones—state-of-the-art drones. The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is at the fore of robotic surveillance, and the Navy wants their 131-foot wings and spiffy 360-degree sensors cruising around the Pacific Ocean in the name of American supremacy.

Read more: here

And of course, they won’t be armed in US airspace….
-Moose

Here Come…China’s Drones

Via: The Diplomat

China is developing its own drone technology — for its own military and for sale around the world.

Unmanned systems have become the legal and ethical problem child of the global defense industry and the governments they supply, rewriting the rules of military engagement in ways that many find disturbing. And this sense of unease about where we’re headed is hardly unfamiliar. Much like the emergence of drone technology, the rise of China and its reshaping of the geopolitical landscape has stirred up a sometimes understandable, sometimes irrational, fear of the unknown.

It’s safe to say, then, that Chinese drones conjure up a particularly intense sense of alarm that the media has begun to embrace as a license to panic. China is indeed developing a range of unmanned aerial vehicles/systems (UAVs/UASs) at a time when relations with Japan are tense, and when those with the U.S. are delicate. But that hardly justifies claims that “drones have taken center stage in an escalating arms race between China and Japan,” or that the “China drone threat highlights [a] new global arms race,” as some observers would have it. This hyperbole was perhaps fed by a 2012 U.S. Department of Defense report which described China’s development of UAVs as “alarming.”

That’s quite unreasonable. All of the world’s advanced militaries are adopting drones, not just the PLA. That isn’t an arms race, or a reason to fear China, it’s just the direction in which defense technology is naturally progressing. Secondly, while China may be demonstrating impressive advances, Israel and the U.S. retain a substantial lead in the UAV field, with China—alongside Europe, India and Russia— still in the second tier. And thirdly, China is modernizing in all areas of military technology – unmanned systems being no exception.

Read more: here

Look what we’ve started….
-Moose

FIRST BRAIN-TO-BRAIN INTERFACE ALLOWS TRANSMISSION OF TACTILE AND MOTOR INFORMATION BETWEEN RATS

Via: Nicolelis Lab

A brain-to-brain interface (BTBI) enabled a real-time transfer of behaviorally meaningful sensorimotor information between the brains of two rats. In this BTBI, an ‘‘encoder’’ rat performed sensorimotor tasks that required it to select from two choices of tactile or visual stimuli. While the encoder rat performed the task, samples of its cortical activity were transmitted to matching cortical areas of a ‘‘decoder’’ rat using intracortical microstimulation (ICMS).

The decoder rat learned to make similar behavioral selections, guided solely by the information provided by the encoder rat’s brain.

These results demonstrated that a complex system was formed by coupling the animals’ brains, suggesting that BTBIs can enable dyads or networks of animal’s brains to exchange, process, and store information and, hence, serve as the basis for studies of novel types of social interaction and for biological computing devices.

Read more: here

Wow…Politicians and lawyers have demonstrated this ability for years…
-Moose

FIRST BRAIN-TO-BRAIN INTERFACE ALLOWS TRANSMISSION OF TACTILE AND MOTOR INFORMATION BETWEEN RATS

Via: Nicolelis lab

A brain-to-brain interface (BTBI) enabled a real-time transfer of behaviorally meaningful sensorimotor information between the brains of two rats. In this BTBI, an ‘‘encoder’’ rat performed sensorimotor tasks that required it to select from two choices of tactile or visual stimuli. While the encoder rat performed the task, samples of its cortical activity were transmitted to matching cortical areas of a ‘‘decoder’’ rat using intracortical microstimulation (ICMS). The decoder rat learned to make similar behavioral selections, guided solely by the information provided by the encoder rat’s brain.

Read more: here

Arm Added to Big Dog Robot…

Via: You Tube

BigDog handles heavy objects. The goal is to use the strength of the legs and torso to help power motions of the arm. This sort of dynamic, whole-body approach to manipulation is used routinely by human athletes and will enhance the performance of advanced robots. Boston Dynamics is developing the control and actuation techniques needed for dynamic manipulation with funding from the Army Research Laboratory’s RCTA program.

Read more: here

This is so evil!
-Moose