Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sub-Centimeter Positioning Coming To Mobile Phones

Posted by timothy  
from the we-control-the-latitude-we-control-the-longitude dept.
Oooskar writes"SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), a technique invented by NASA, defines the concept of building a 3D-map of the environment and simultaneously computing the position within it. Based on SLAM, Swedish startup 13th Lab has implemented real-time sub-centimeter local 3D-positioning by using only the sensors, most importantly the camera, already present in most mobile devices (demo video). The technology will be made available as a software platform for developers (sign up for beta). A first application demonstrating the technology has just been released for the iPad2. The technology should be available on other devices with similar computational power soon."

Researchers Build "Squishy" Memory Device

Posted by samzenpus  
from the memory-stuck-between-my-fingers dept.
ShipLives writes"Researchers have developed a memory device that is soft and functions well in wet environments, which could lead to new biocompatible electronic devices. 'We’ve created a memory device with the physical properties of Jell-O,' says Dr. Michael Dickey, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research."

Man builds turbine-powered Batmobile, brags about having the only one (video)

By   posted Jul 14th 2011 6:51AM

So you think you're a huge fan of the Dark Knight, huh? Not so fast. Do you own a full-sized Batmobile? Yeah... we didn't think so. But, auto restoration guru Casey Putsch does, and to launch himself further into super-fanboy status, he upgraded the engine with a Boeing turboshaft -- snatched out of a naval drone helicopter. According to him, this makes his collector's item one of a kind, in true Bruce Wayne fashion. Sure, these discarded movie props are usually powered by a standard 350 (especially the older models), but that wasn't enough for a dude's dude who appraises and designs all types of vehicles for a living. Mods were also made to the interior, including an iPad in the dash which serves as the avionics system and keeps track of the important GPS coordinates -- you know, stuff you'd expect Lucious Fox to toss in to track villains and such. For a look at this beast in action, check out the video after the break; meanwhile we'll try to figure out how to cram a jet engine into a Tesla Roadster.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Snail Discovered That Can Survive Digestion By Birds

Posted by samzenpus  
from the service-on-this-flight-is-sh*t dept.
smitty777 writes"A recent article in the Journal of Biogeography describes research showing that 15% of the snails devoured by birds on a Japanese island can survive the digestive process. This is thought to be the mechanism by which the snail populations can migrate from island to island, similar to the way plant seeds are deposited. From the article: 'In the lab, scientists fed the birds with the snails to find out whether any survived the digestive process. "We were surprised that a high rate, about 15 percent, of snails were still alive after passing through the gut of [the] birds," explained researcher Shinichiro Wada.'"As bad as riding in a bird's digestive tract sounds, I'd take it over flying standby on a puddle jumper.

Your Mother Was Right: Good Posture Makes You Tougher

ScienceDaily (July 12, 2011) — Mothers have been telling their children to stop slouching for ages. It turns out that mom was onto something and that poor posture not only makes a bad impression, but can actually make you physically weaker. According to a study by Scott Wiltermuth, assistant professor of management organization at the USC Marshall School of Business, and Vanessa K. Bohns, postdoctoral fellow at the J.L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, adopting dominant versus submissive postures actually decreases your sensitivity to pain.

Three words


Social x-ray glasses can decode emotions, make your blind dates less awkward

By   posted Jul 12th 2011 4:18AM

You may consider yourself a world-class liar, but a new pair of "social x-ray" glasses could soon expose you for the fraud you really are. Originally designed for people suffering from autism, these specs use a rice grain-sized camera to pick up on a person's 24 "feature points" -- facial expressions that convey feelings of confusion, agreement and concentration, among others. Once recognized, these signals are analyzed by software, compared against a database of known expressions and then relayed to users via an attached headphone. If their date starts to feel uncomfortable, a blinking red light lets them know that it's time to shut up. Rosalina Picard, an electrical engineer who developed the prototype with Rana el Kaliouby, acknowledged that her algorithm still needs some fine tuning, but told New Scientist that the glasses have already proved popular with autistic users, who often have difficulty deciphering others' body language. No word yet on when these social specs could hit the market, but they'll probably make us even more anti-social once they do.