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Diagnostic power in a smartphone

August 18, 2017 — Imparting lab grade diagnostic power to smartphones, a spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity analyzer has been developed at the University of Illinois College of Engineering. The device can be attached to a smartphone and be used to analyze blood, urine or saliva samples reliably. Read more here.

USB interface vulnerable to information leak

August 17, 2017 — Presenting their findings at the USENIX Security Symposium, researchers from the University of Adelaide have found that more than 90 percent of USB hubs leak information to USB devices by employing the chanel-to-chanel crosstalk leakage and, thus, are pressing for reform to USB protocols. Read more here.

Artificial skin could allow robots to feel like we do

August 11, 2017 — Researchers from TU Graz in Austria are trying to copy the largest organ of our bodies: the skin. Previous attempts had only achieved materials that respond to one particular stimulus, but the SmartCore EU project expects to create a nanoscale sensor that can pick up temperature, humidity and pressure stimuli. The first application will be in robotics, but in future it could be used in humans. Read more here.

Bots take over celebrity Twitter accounts

August 11, 2017 — Research from the University of Cambridge shows Twitter accounts with more than 10 million followers tend to show bot like behaviour. Developing a bot detection algorithm, researchers found these high-profile accounts retweet at a constant pace and show uniform behavior. Find more here.

Reconstructing 3D models with water

August 10, 2017 — Combining robotics and water, an innovative technique has been built to more accurately use three dimensional scanning to reconstruct complex objects. A robotic arm dips the object in a bath of water by a robot arm. The quality of the reconstruction improves as the number of dipping orientations is increased. Find more here.

Computer characters learn complex motor skills

August 4, 2017 — DeepLoco, an algorithm developed by computer scientists at UBC can help computer characters, and eventually robots, to learn complex motor skills—such as walking and running—through trial and error. Eliminating the need to hand code, the algorithm allows characters to learn to respond to their environments. Find more here.

Disney unviels Magic Bench

August 3, 2017 — The research team at Disney will present and demonstrate a combined augmented and mixed reality experience tool, "Magic Bench," at SIGGRAPH 2017. Instrumenting the surrounding environment, rather than the individual, the technology allows people to share their "magical experience" as a group. Using depth sensors, the people seated on the Magic Bench can see themselves in a mirrored image, and interact directly with an animated character, thus creating a multi-sensory immersive experience. Find more here.

X.GLU WINS MICROSOFT'S IMAGINE CUP

August 2, 2017 — Imagine Cup is Microsoft's global competition for high-tech student projects. Teams from all over the world competed for the Cup and the finals were held in Redmond, Washington where 54 finalists presented their projects. The X.GLU team won this year's Imagine Cup and a $100,000 grand prize for their smart glucose meter for kids.The glucose meter is the thinnest glucose meter available and can be controlled with a smartphone through an NFC connection. Follow the Imagine Cup here.

Designing a 4D camera for robots

August 2, 2017 — Are robots required to see the way humans do? Stanford engineers are trying to find the answer. They have developed a 4-D camera using light field photography, a technology first described by Stanford researchers more than two decades ago. Light field photography creates a 4-D image by combining the same information that a classical 2-D camera captures with the direction and distance of the light hitting the lens.The Stanford team believe robots and drones might use this technology in the future. Read more here.

FACEBOOK SHUTS DOWN AI CHAT BOTS

August 1, 2017 — False concern have been rampant since this news broke, however, Facebook decided to shut down the bots as they conversed in a language incomprehensible to humans and it could not aid their final goal of developing bots that could interact with humans. The AI was initially developed to have chatbots communicate with humans, not each other. The technology used machine learning techniques to improve language and negotiation skills. Read more here.

FLAW IN CELLULAR NETWORKS MAY ALLOW HACKERS TO TRACK PHONE LOCATIONS

July 31, 2017 — Security researchers at the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas disclosed a security flaw in the modern 3G, 4G and VoLTE mobile networks, which allows hackers to track phone locations. The flaw arises due to a weakness in authentication and key agreement, which is used for secure communication between mobile phones and cellular networks. Read more here.

Mapping the brain of a fruit fly with AI

July 28, 2017 — In an attempt to understand the function of neurons at a cellular level, scientists have developed a smart computer program named JAABA to create a brain-wide atlas of fruit fly behavior.The program tracked and cataloged 400,000 fruit flies, resulting in comprehensive neural maps, giving a starting point for tracing the neural circuitry flies use to produce specific behaviors. Read more here.

Powering gadgets through human movement

July 27, 2017 — Researchers at Vanderbilt University are working to make humans charging depots for our personal devices. The technology works by pulling energy from human movements. Made out of layers of black phosphorus, the device is capable of operating at more than 25 percent efficiency in ideal operating conditions—reacting to even extremely low frequencies characteristic of human motion. Unlike piezoelectric systems, which have limited efficiencies of under 5-10 percent. The future applications of this technology include electrified clothing. Read more here.

RESEARCHERS TRAIN AI SYSTEM TO PREDICT INGREDIENTS FROM IMAGES OF FOOD

July 26, 2017 — Researchers at MIT have trained an AI system to view photos of food, predict the ingredients and suggest similar recipes. The goal is to learn diverse recipes and better understand people's eating habits with the help of the newly developed AI. The AI developed by the team, known as Pic2Recipe, uses a approach that is similar to human judgement. Read more here.

Shrinking drone technology

July 21, 2017 — To date, engineers have successfully miniaturized most hardware components for drones. However shrinking the computer chip has been a challenge due to enormous amount data processing requirements. Engineers at MIT are now set to release Navion, a new hardware and software approach that uses a fraction of the power of larger drone computers, which make chips more compact. Read more here.

Better human machine interaction with detectors

July 20, 2017 — Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are opening up new avenues for people to use machines to better understand their environments. Imagine a computer that not only understands body poses and movements of multiple people, but can also individual fingers. This new discovery of detecting unspoken communication is the first step in using robots in social scenarios. Real-time pose detection has been challenging, but the team at CMU are using a different approach: localizing body parts in a given scenario and then associating all the parts as parts with individuals. Read more here.

Computer Scientists Demonstrate The Potential For Faking Video

July 19, 2017 — A team of computer scientists from the University of Washington, who research on AI, have succesfully created fake videos using lip sync. A video demo features former President Barack Obama saying things in different order or from different recordings. The system uses neural networks to learn his mouth movements, then the system creates video of him transmitting a message that was never actually spoken. You can read more in their technical paper, which has been accepted for SIGGRAPH 2017. Read more here.

CHINESE RESEARCHERS TELEPORT A PHOTON TO SPACE

July 18, 2017 — Chinese researchers working on the Micius satellite have successfully teleported a photon from the ground station to the satellite, orbiting about 500 km above ground. The Micius satellite is a sensitive photon receiver that can detect the quantum states of photons fired from the ground station. The team teleported the photon while setting up a satellite to ground quantum network using the quantum phenomenon called entanglement. Read more here.

SCIENTISTS ENCODE MOVIE INTO THE GENOME OF LIVING BACTERIA

July 17, 2017 — Researchers at Harvard Medical School have successfully encoded a movie in the DNA of a living cell. The scientists used the CRISPR-Cas system to encode pixels from an image and a movie into the genome of a population of living bacteria. Recent efforts have illustrated that DNA can act as an excellent medium for data archival through the use of synthetic oligonucleotides. Read more here.

First battery-free cellphone makes calls by harvesting ambient power

July 17, 2017 — Can we build cellphones without batteries? Researchers at the University of Washington have proved it is possible. They built a prototype with off-the-shelf components and published the details of their research in an ACM journal. UW engineers realized most of the power consumption in phone communications happens during the analog/digital conversion. These energy-hungry steps were eliminated. Instead, the prototype phone relies on a custom based unit that receives and transmits radio signals. They expect that such unit can be included in standard network infrastructure. The prototype can connect to a 50 feet away unit using a tiny solar cell. Read more here.

MIT Researchers Offer Algorithm for Picking ‘Winning’ Startups

July 17, 2017 — Venture capitalists provide much of the economic fuel for new information technologies all around us. Although investments are done by educated, and somehow predictable decisions, many aspects are often still unpredictable. MIT researchers have developed a machine learning algorithm to predict growth and figure out what are the best investment options. The algorithm makes predictions using the same features used by venture capitalists such as founder experience. The algorithm has been shown to significantly beat real-world VC investment predictions. Read more here.

Mechanic music makes its way

July 14, 2017 — Swiss researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed an artificial composer, using artificial intelligence techniques of deep learning, which can produce complete melodies. Training itself by listening to existing tunes, the system teaches itself to predict the pitch and duration of every note following another, then performing its creation. FInd out more here.

Hacking brainwaves

July 13, 2017 — EEG systems are gaining mass adoption in the medical, gaming and entertainment industries. However the popularity of electroencephalograph headsets has led researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham to identify a silent threat: Hackers can potentially use EEG headsets to identify user passwords by monitoring brainwaves. The findings show algorithms can make educated guesses about new characters users may enter when monitoring recorded EEG data. Read more here.

MASSIVE DATABASE AIDING IDENTIFICATION OF PLANT FAMILIES

July 11, 2017 — A massive database of 182,000 leaves from 141 plant families and 75 locations around the world is aiding scientists to accurately predict where the leaf was found as well as its plant family. Researchers hope to exploit the available data and learn more about the forces that shape plant leaves and ultimately predict the taxonomy of the entire plant, and even reconstruct the climate in which the leaf was growing. Read more here.

Thermoelectric energy for wearable devices

July 10, 2017 — Engineers at the North Carolina State University have designed a flexible thermoelectric energy harvester, which rivals existing rigid wearable devices that use body heat as a source of energy. With wearable devices becoming increasingly popular, the proposed device does not compromise quality or efficiency. The move away from rigid to flexible wearables takes into account improved contact resistance and comfort. Read more here.

RESEARCHERS BUILD BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY FOR FASTER DIGITAL TRANSFERS

July 10, 2017 — Researchers at the University of Sydney have built a new blockchain technology called the "Red Belly Blockchain." This new technology allows secure and almost instantaneous digital transfer of virtual currencies. It is expected to be faster than conventional systems that are currently in use and is capable of achieving 440,000 transactions per second using 100 machines. Read more here.

MIT Researchers Offer Algorithm for Picking 'Winning' Startups

July 6, 2017 — Venture capitalists provide much of the economic fuel for new information technologies all around us. Although investments are done by educated, and somehow predictable decisions, many aspects are often still unpredictable. MIT researchers have developed a machine learning algorithm to predict growth and figure out what are the best investment options. The algorithm makes predictions using the same features used by venture capitalists such as founder experience. The algorithm has been shown to significantly beat real-world VC investment predictions.

Programming robots for natural versatility

July 6, 2017 — Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are trying to solve the problem of versatility in robots. They aim to develop drones that can take to the air and the land. Looking at the bigger picture, the proposed driving and flying robots may help researchers develop safe and reliable flying cars in the future. The end goal is traffc-free transportation.  Read more here.

EU SLAPS $2.7 BILLION FINE ON GOOGLE

July 5, 2017 — The competition commissioner of the European Union has levied a fine of €2.4 billion against Google. The popular search engine, allegedly, gave preferential treatment to its own shopping comparison service in search results. The EU has also ordered Google to end it's anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face further penalty.  Read more here.

MAJOR RANSOMWARE ATTACK HITS EUROPE, UKRAINE

July 4, 2017 — A major ransomware attack has affected many businesses across Europe. It has been identified as a new strain of ransomware, now being called as "NonPetya." This new ransomware uses the same exploit used by WannaCry. Notably, the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant was also affected and has now switched to manual monitoring mode. Read more here.

ESA APPROVES A SPACE BASED ANTENNA TO DETECT GRAVITATIONAL WAVES

July 3, 2017 — The European Space Agency, or ESA, has given an official green light to the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). After decades of development and delays, the mission is now slated for a launch in 2034. LISA will be made up of three identical satellites orbiting the Sun in a triangle formation. Powerful lasers will be beamed across the satellites to detect any warping of space due to gravitational waves. Read more here.

GEOPHYSICISTs PLAN TO DEPLOY SEA-FLOOR SENSORS TO PREDICT TSUNAMIS

July 1, 2017 — Paroscientific, a Redmond-based research company, has developed a device that houses ultra-sensitive quartz sensors to detect changes in atmospheric pressure. Paroscientific plans to use this device in an early warning system that will detect earthquakes at the sea-floor. Coastal nations like Japan, Chile, and many others are working on similar devices to track sea-floor activity. Read more here.

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