Prof. Frank Gu, is a Canada Research Chair and Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He has established an interdisciplinary research program combining functional polymers and polymer-metal oxide hybrid materials to solve problems in medicine, agriculture and environmental protection.
This is really interesting. I also really like the cute illustrations.
Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Charles Dickens founded The Arts Club, Jules Verne published his first novel, and Gerard Adriaan Heineken planned to buy his first brewery.
THE ERA ALSO MARKED THE DAWN OF MODERN TOURISM.
But the idea that I am capturing all this — and all who cross my path — on video is fantasy. Glass is not always on (hence the head nod). The video function is set to a default length of 10 seconds. If I want to extend it, I can do so by tapping the arm of the glasses as recording begins (it takes me several goes to get this right), but I’d be out of battery in 45 minutes, max. And to take a video in the first place, I either have to press a button on the glasses, or announce “OK Glass, record a video,” to the world.
When I do that in Bob Bob Ricard (while raising a glass to Glass) the barman — totally unfazed — turns to me to give me a piece-to-camera introduction to the champagne he’s pouring.
There are spying devices out there on the market. This is not one of them. Development of apps (or Glassware) using facial recognition technology is also banned. So what is it good for?
Google insists that Glass is not meant to replace your phone, but is an additional device. Yet to me, replacing my phone is its greatest potential. We might love our mobiles but that’s because of what they do, not what they are. I like my phone’s screen quality, its camera and that it keeps me online all the time. If all that connectivity could be built in to my eyewear, then this could be truly useful.
The nod: Tilt your head back to activate the display. Say “OK Glass” and give your instructions. Get directions, call a friend, send a message, video call, share pictures directly to Facebook or Twitter.
The photo wink: Wink with your right eye while looking at the screen and Glass will take a photo.
The news: With the New York Times and CNN Breaking News apps you can have news alerts pushed to your Glass display. Tap to watch video clips or hear article summaries read aloud.
The money: A new payment app called Eaze is not official Glassware, but lets Glass users make low-cost purchases by nodding twice. Currently the app works with bitcoin only.
The lingo: Say, “OK Glass, translate this” and as you read an Italian menu, Glass will translate it for you.
The fitness: The Strava cycling and running app provides a heads-up display of speed, GPS, maps and heart rate data as you work out.
The food: Get step-by-step cooking guides on the display. You’ll still have to use oily fingers to s
Robot 836 was one of the finalists. It was a beautifully simple design: a flat roving base with two arced “arms” of sorts that could scoop, hold, and launch the ball with impressive precision. It rolled on mechanum wheels, a peculiar wheel design with a series of rollers attached around the wheels’ circumferences, allowing the robot to move in any direction with incredible agility. Its automated program had it carry one ball and drag a second behind it, and it almost always managed to make two shots through an upper goal in the first ten seconds of a match.
At the end of the day, as the finals narrowed the field further, things got dirty. Drivers deftly knocked their opponents off-kilter as they shot and maneuvered gracefully to receive passes and score goals. On one occasion, the red ball landed on Robot 836 but bounced out, resulting in a stadium-wide gasp. The harder play eventually started to take its toll on the 836. One wheel came off in the semi-finals, but it kept going. In the next match it seemed to be dropping little nuggets out from under itself as it moved around the arena. It turned out the rollers on a second wheel were breaking off with every move. Luckily the team had an entire spare robot. They harvested parts from the backup and made it to the final round of play in pretty good shape.
Why is the PTO so bad at examining software patents? There are many reasons. For a start, examiners spend barely any time looking for prior art (the pre-existing publications and technology that could invalidate a patent by showing that the invention wasn’t new). PTO examiners spend an average of only 18 hours per application and only a fraction of that time is devoted to looking for prior art. And when they do look for prior art, examiners tend to use a limited set of databases of patents and technical journals. But what if the most relevant prior art is somewhere else? Perhaps the best prior art is a website or a repository of open source code. In that case the PTO will almost certainly miss it. The end result is thousands upon thousands of bad software patents.
Last week, together with Public Knowledge and Engine, EFF submitted written comments urging the PTO to do better at finding the most relevant prior art. We recommend that the office work to create searchable databases of existing software programs. We also urge the PTO to see past the kind of deliberate obfuscation that is too common in software patent applications. Applicants should not be able to get patents simply by inventing new words for old things.
It won’t be your usual auction, when the military vehicle collection of the late Jacques Littlefield comes up for auction this summer. Littlefield, who died in 2009 at the age of 59, had an assortment of some 200 wheeled and tracked weapons of war at his ranch in Portola Valley, Calif.
Among the vehicles are a Russian T-72 tank used by the army of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, a couple of Sherman tanks, and a Scud missile launcher replete with an R-11M ballistic missile for those idle Saturdays when you need to act out your aggression.
The auction is scheduled to take place July 11 at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation, 499 Old Spanish Trail, Portola Valley, Calif., south of San Francisco. More here at this Autoweek piece.
You can also learn more about Jacques Littlefield and his affinity for collecting tanks here.
Since 1970, every World Cup football has been made by Adidas, an ideal opportunity to showcase their latest developments in ball design and technology. (Disclosure: I work at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University, which has worked on some projects with Adidas. No one at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research has worked on Adidas’ World Cup ball.) In 2006, they took a radical departure from the norm with the Teamgeist. Traditionally, a football is constructed from 32 panels stitched together by hand. The Teamgeist had 14 panels that were glued together with heat (thermally bonded), resulting in a ball that was more “marble-like” than previous generations.
The change was not only aesthetic. Players using the ball complained of erratic behavior in flight. For the next World Cup (South Africa, 2010) Adidas considerably redesigned the ball, the Jabulani, which had only eight thermally bonded panels. Unfortunately, criticism of the ball was, if anything, louder than it had been four years earlier. Many coaches and players compared the Jabulani to a beach ball that swerves unpredictably.
Their radical design is different from a standard stitched football in two ways. First, fewer panels mean shorter seams. By my own measurements, a 32-panel football has a seam length of around 405 centimeters, compared to 345 cm on the Teamgeist and 203 cm on the Jabulani. Second, thermal bonding created a much lower seam profile. A laser scan of the surface of the Jabulani and a stitched football shows the stitched seam is more than twice as deep as the Jabulani’s. The floating, beach-ball-like behavior of these footballs isn’t because they are light, but because they are smooth.
The sun hasn’t yet risen when the first children arrive.
Most are middle and high school students, beginning the bleary-eyed walk just after 6 a.m. Then come the youngsters, the elementary school children, accompanied by mothers and fathers and tías and tíos.
The families walk through the opening in the wall, running indefinitely in either direction, and up to a small patio and the Columbus Port of Entry.
The parents help their students slip on backpacks, zip up coats and plant kisses on little cheeks, then they send their children off to the United States of America.
School district staff are not allowed to cross into Mexico for work, and phones are a “hit or miss” with Palomas parents, Chavez said. School staff often aren’t notified when phone numbers change, and email is out of the question while Internet penetration remains slim across the border.
Skype helps fill that communication gap.
Columbus Elementary dual-language teacher Ricardo Gutierrez owns a restaurant in Palomas. So last May, the school held a conference with parents at his restaurant via video chat. About 80 Palomas families gathered around a TV for the one-hour group meeting.
The school expanded the technology further in January, holding individual 10-minute parent-teacher conferences via Skype. Educators filled more than 80 parents in on their students’ behavior, progress, homework and more.
Read the whole article and see more photos here: New Technology Bridges US-Mexico Border at Columbus School - Las Cruces Sun-News
China spends more than $230 billion on research and development, second only to the US, but it doesn’t have much to show for it.
But it turns out a good chunk of that has been lining the pockets of the most prominent science officials, at least in wealthy Guangdong province. More than 50 of the leading scientists have been implicated in a scheme to embezzle as much as hundreds of millions of yuan from state R&D projects.
It’s a scandal that goes all the way to the top of Guangdong’s government. In January, the Communist Party sacked Li Xinghua, director of the provincial Communist Party science and technology department. Then on Feb. 14, news broke that Wang Kewei, former deputy director of that same department, was accused of skimming funds off the province’s light-emitting diode (LED) industry development project, to which Guangdong had allocated 450 million yuan ($74 million), reports the South China Morning Post (paywall).
by Sean Gallagher - Feb 10 2014, 12:25pm PSTUsing Wget and scripts, Snowden is alleged to have mirrored 1.7 million documents from NSA’s intranet.
All it took for Edward Snowden to grab roughly 1.7 million classified documents from the National Security Agency’s network was an open-source Web crawler and a few scripts, according to a New York Times report on Sunday. An investigation of Snowden’s activities at the NSA outposts in Hawaii apparently found that he was able to retrieve millions of classified documents in an automated fashion using what the Times described as “low-cost” software. That software was likely based on the open source GNU Wget utility.
Intelligence officials would not say what the tool was, but said they believed it was “more powerful” than Wget. The anonymous sources don’t add much to the narrative of Snowden’s extraction of secret documents, though they do start to put a number on the volume of what officials believe he made off with. But the real sting of the latest data is that the NSA’s internal IT operations are portrayed as even more fast and loose than before. Anyone with admin access might have been able to do what Snowden did.