Two endangered sea turtles that are shells of their former selves after getting stranded on Cape Cod during a cold spell are getting some help easing back into the wild — from an acupuncturist.
Tag Archives: helps
The mental fuzziness induced by cancer treatment could be eased by cognitive exercises performed online, say researchers.
Long-term cancer survivors who use a brain-training program for 12 weeks are more cognitively flexible, verbally fluent and are faster thinkers than survivors who did not train, report investigators.
Dustin Adams, a Ph.D student at the University of California at Santa Cruz, has teamed up with colleagues at his school in order to craft an app that helps visually impaired users line up the ideal snapshot. The project started out as a quiz, asking 54 people with varying degrees of ocular impairment what they found most difficult about taking photos. From there, he essentially boiled that down into requirements for a smartphone program. For starters, the app does away with a conventional shutter button, instead relying on an upward swipe gesture to grab a frame.
Moreover, it integrates face detection and voice accessibility, enabling the phone itself to talk to the photographer and alert him / her as to how many faces are detected and in focus. The app also captures a 30-second audio clip whenever the camera mode is activated, which helps remind users of what was going on during the capture of a shot. Unfortunately, there aren’t any screenshots or videos of the app in action just yet, but that’s scheduled to change when it’s formally unveiled at the Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments conference in Greece later this month.
Facebook wants you to log in. Real bad. But the social network hasn’t traditionally gone out of its way to streamline password recovery. The site’s finally make things a little smoother with Trusted Contacts, a redesign and rebrand of its Trusted Friends offering. Go into Security Settings and you can list three to five e-pals, who can help you log back into the site before your farm goes belly up. Contact them and let them know you need in, and they’ll get a security code and instructions to help you get back to the wall.
Via: The Next Web
StoryKid, Created By Literature PhDs, Is An App That Helps Young Ones Tell Stories (And Their Parents, Too)
Children are known for how much they love to play make believe, and StoryKid, an app introduced today during the Disrupt Hackathon in New York, takes this and gives it a new twist by offering a series of pictures as visual cues for a child to tell a story based around them. StoryKid is aimed at children aged 2 to 5 who are already talking but may either be too young or just starting to write. Created by two comparative literature PhDs from Columbia University, the idea is that this will, in turn, help bring children into the world of story telling and literature. And as co-founder Tianjiao Yu tells me, it can also be used by parents when they’ve run out of inspiration for their own made-up bedtime stories.
PlayStation Vita sales in Japan have experienced some good growth since last month, and most of it is thanks to the launch of a new game called Soul Sacrifice. The game debuted on March 7th in Japan, and it sold 105,000 units within its first week. It is estimated to have sold a total of
Foursquare, the social, location-based check-in app that has been pivoting into becoming a more of platform for local search, has finally closed its Series D round of funding. Foursquare tells TechCrunch that it is $ 41 million, led by Silver Lake Partners in the form of a multi-year loan from the Silver Lake Waterman growth debt fund; and convertible debt from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and Spark Capital. It takes the total raised in the company to an eye-watering $ 112.4 million.
It seems like every time we make purchases online or in a store, we’re collecting some sort of points or rewards. For the most part, those points go unused, mostly because the companies who give them out don’t do a great job of explaining what you can actually do with them. You know the deal, you purchase a video game and you get some GameStop points that you can use after you purchase three more games, or something along those lines. Inevitably, you forget to use them when the time comes or you refuse to sign up to get their card.
European scientists have just launched Raptuya, an online database of information for robots, that helps robots cope in the world of humans. The Raptuya database is part of the European RoboEarth Project, a “World Wide Web for robots”. The project is designed so that robots can download information from the internet to learn about their
Computer scientists have developed an algorithm that uses the structure of a social network to find the best strategy for friending people you don’t know.
With Series A Funding From SoftBank Ventures Korea, SmarTots Helps Educational App Developers Localize For China
China is now the world’s largest smartphone marketplace, with Flurry estimating that there will be 246 million smart devices in China by the end of this month. It’s a potentially lucrative market for app developers, but almost impossible to crack without the necessary language or cultural understanding to reach Chinese users. Educational app makers, however, have SmarTots to help. Founded in December 2010 by Jesper Lodahl, a former Nokia developer, SmarTots localizes apps and markets them on China’s iTunes. While the company’s current focus is iOS, Lodahl says SmarTots will also tackle a “very aggressive Android expansion” this year and already has a shortlist of carriers, hardware providers, and developers it plans to work with. SmarTots announced earlier this month that it has received an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from SoftBank Ventures Korea that will allow it to bring more children’s educational apps from U.S. developers to China. The company previously raised about $ 1 million in its seed round and its investors include SoftBank’s Pan-Asia Fund, Xu Xiaoping, co-founder of New Oriental Education & Technology Group, AngelVest, ChinaRock Capital Management and SOSVentures. Since its launch, the SmarTots library has grown to 30 apps and the company says it hit one million downloads in January. SmarTots currently works with a roster of 13 developers from around the world, localizing images, graphics, text and audio for Chinese kids and writing descriptions for China’s iTunes store. Most apps are for children aged three to five, though SmarTots’ target age range is as wide as two to seven. Before founding SmarTots with chief product officer Victor Wong, Lodahl spent seven years working for Nokia, where he developed four phones (Lodahl holds two patents for technology that have been implemented in more than 1 billion mobile handsets) before taking a position with Nokia China for two years. This is Lodahl’s second startup in China–his first was a Chinese social network called Club Beautiful. Lodahl decided to found SmarTots with Wong two years ago after noticing how much children loved playing with the then-recently launched iPad. Instead of having the technology isolate individual family members absorbed in their own devices, Lodahl envisioned SmarTots as a way for families to learn together. “The whole idea came to us after we saw the disconnect, kids geting sucked into the iPad while parents were on their BlackBerries checking emails all day with no one really connecting,” says Lodahl. With that goal in
Researchers have given nanoparticles the ability to tell immune cells not to eat them, a development that could have broad implications for medicine.
Taking a cue from nature, researchers have designed nanoparticles that can avoid being destroyed by the immune system by convincing immune cells that the particles are part of the body. The advance represents a fundamentally new way to address a major obstacle facing nanoparticle-based drug delivery.
Micel Helps To Expand Mobile Service In Mexico, Serves As Intermediary Between Customers And Telecom Carriers
Editor’s note: Maria Rocio Paniagua currently works as a project manager at Innku, one of the top mobile and web workshops in Mexico.
Mobile penetration in the Mexican market is currently at 20 percent, according to research firm Our Mobile Planet. They made some wild forecasts about how they expect it to rise to 70 percent by 2015 — wild because the issue in Mexico and Latin America goes beyond mere access and connectivity.
It’s not every day your class gets a visit from a tech bigwig like Eric Schmidt. Google’s executive chairman paid a visit to a UK school, alongside Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton. The duo were there to talk code, an appearance that coincided with the announcement that a grant from Google Giving will be bringing 15,000 Raspberry Pi Model Bs to kids in that country. The companies will be working alongside six educational partners to decide precisely whose hands those little computers will end up in. More info on the program can be found in the source link.
Filed under: Google
Source: Raspberry Pi
KnowRe Raises $1.4M From SoftBank For An Adaptive Learning Platform That Helps Improve Your Math Skills
As the educational landscape changes, it is giving birth to a whole new generation of learning software and learning software companies. In part, this change is bring driven by the introduction of “adaptive” technologies, which, writ large, seek to personalize the learning process for each student. By personalizing the education experience, these new platforms hope to improve student outcomes, allowing each student to learn at his or her own pace and providing a much-needed helping hand for teachers who find themselves managing a classroom full of students at very different points in their learning paths.
jfruh writes “Evidence of a gang rape committed by members of an Ohio high school football team, including video, was, in the way of digital native teenagers today, put online on various social media sites — and was quickly taken down as students began realizing the magnitude of the situation. The hactivist group Anonymous has been able to find archived and cached versions of the damning content, which may help prosecutors make their case.” (The original story from December at the New York Times adds more detail.)
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Those who have to use a wheelchair are often bound to the elevation of the seat if they want to reach something, which isn’t fair when some parts of our world are still built for standing height. Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University is redressing that imbalance with the i-Transport. Its robotic vehicle can raise the driver to an upright level and shift them into a better position to grab objects that wouldn’t otherwise be at arm’s length. The added independence doesn’t stop with the assistance, either, as the i-Transport carries its own blood pressure and breathing monitors to keep checkups to a minimum. NCKU hasn’t said how likely it is that we’ll see the robot enter mass production, but we hope it forges ahead — the potential freedom would be worth the effort.
Building up your beat lab’s equipment arsenal to finish up production on that 80s-themed mix-tape that you’ve been working on? Then you might want to check out Animoog 2.0 for iPad. Loaded with a smorgasbord of abilities, the updated synthesizer app adds features like scale lock and a note hold button that allows you to maintain tones between presets. Users also gain accelerometer-controlled sound modulation and a free ($ 5 after December 31st) in-app four-track recorder that lets you sample, edit and loop music from your iTunes library. Plus, in order to spread some holiday cheer, Moog has slashed the app’s price in half to just $ 15 for the remainder of the year. We could go on about Animoog’s new bells and whistles, but it’s best to hear them for yourself in the video after the break.
Filed under: Software
First time accepted submitter Press2ToContinue writes “Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the use of a pacemaker-like device implanted in the brain to treat the symptoms of diseases like Parkinson’s, or other maladies such as depression. For the first time in the US, surgeons at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland have used this technique to attempt to slow memory loss in a patient suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The fornix, a vital part of the brain that brings data to the hippocampus, is being targeted with this device. Essentially, the fornix is the area of the brain that converts electrical activity into chemical activity. Holes are drilled into the skull, and wires are placed on both sides of the brain. Then, the stimulator device pumps in small and unnoticeable electrical impulses upwards of 130 times per second. Half of the patients will begin the electrical treatment two weeks post-surgery, but the other half won’t have their pacemakers turned on until a full year after the surgery to provide comparison data for the study.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Government numbers reveal a steep increase in monthly production over the past year.
The United States produced an average of 6.5 million barrels of crude oil per day in September—the largest monthly average since January 1998, according to the Energy Information Administration. As shown in the chart below, the monthly average has risen by about a million barrels per day since July of of last year. The EIA reports that “most of that increase is due to production from oil bearing-rocks with very low permeability.” The development of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies has made the extraction of oil from such resources much more economical in recent years. These technologies are the main reasons the International Energy Agency expects oil production by U.S. to surpass that of Saudi Arabia within a decade. (See Shale Oil Will Boost U.S. Production, But It Won’t Bring Energy Independence)
Amazon.com has opened its Maps API to all Kindle developers, who can now use it to integrate maps in their applications for the Kindle Fire family of tablets.
From The Lab To The Shelf: NYC TechConnect Event Helps Give An Entrepreneurial Boost To The Sciences
As funding dwindles across the life sciences industry, researchers at major universities are increasingly adopting the entrepreneurial models forged by the tech world. With help from groups like NYC TechConnect, scientists are taking their inventions and discoveries out of the lab and into the free market.
DNA sequencing is the most cost-effective way to screen for drug-resistant strains in prisons, say Stanford researchers.
Diagnosis may be the weakest link in treating and preventing tuberculosis, a contagious bacterial disease that infects some nine million people and kills about 1.5 million each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In a study published today in PLoS Medicine, Stanford researchers and their collaborators show that a DNA-screening device called GeneXpert is the most cost-effective option for diagnosing the bacterial disease in a prison environment and reducing its spread compared to the methods currently recommended by the WHO.
Apple’s iPhone has retaken the top smartphone spot in the US, new stats suggest, with the iPhone 5 helping the iOS handset slip ahead of Android. Counting US sales over twelve weeks running to October 28, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech says the iPhone now holds 48.1-percent of the smartphone market in the country, versus Android’s 46.7-percent. Meanwhile,
Hugh Pickens writes writes “Alexander George writes about a new app that takes the data from a smartphone’s accelerometers, GPS, and inclinometer to plot information for braking force, lean angles, speed, and on-track location onto Google Maps to shave precious milliseconds off each lap time in motorcycle races. Race Sense is designed to be a useful tool for someone who races for a living and a very fun toy for those who just like to brag about what lean angle they got at their ride day, and what top speed they reached down the main straight. Australian Grand Prix motorcycle road racer Anthony West provided much of the R&D that went into tweaking the app. ‘With sponsorship’s so hard to find and I need another way to survive. I spent some of my own money developing it with an Italian guy who also likes to ride himself, and who writes programs,’ says West who designed Race Sense to fulfill the needs of a genuine MotoGP racer. ‘Sometimes it’s one second [separating] 20 people. If you adjust one little thing thinking about something in one corner you can lose four places.’”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
A computer vision system that automatically tracks body movement in infants is helping to diagnose neurodevelopmental disorders like autism, says researchers
A study has been conducted at Boston Children’s Hospital using a video game called Rage Control. The study investigated helping children learn to control anger issues by learning to control their emotions. The study was created by Jason KAHN PhD and Joseph González-Heydrich at Boston Children’s Hospital. The game itself sounds a lot like Space
Contre Jour, the imaginative mobile physics-based puzzle game launched in 2011, is now available on the web. Just like with Cut the Rope for HTML5, the Pulse web app and the recently launched Atari Arcade, Microsoft and the folks at Clarity Consulting helped the Contre Jour team to bring the mobile gaming experience to the (touch-enabled) web.
Thornburg writes “There is a free font available which has been designed to make it easier for people with dyslexia to read. DailyTech has a piece which pulls together a BBC interview and blog postings by the designer, Abelardo Gonzalez, who received a C&D letter from another font designer who charges $ 69 for his dyslexia related font.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Brookstone's newest wireless spy tank can be controlled by both Android and iOS devices and has more capabilities than its predecessor like the ability to record video, tilt its camera up and down, and speak and listen to subjects during surveillance.
Royal Caribbean International knew its cruise ship Oasis of the Seas had to be designed in a way that its size didn’t overwhelm passengers and staffers. The company decided early on that IT would play a big part in addressing this challenge.
redletterdave writes with news of a drone that’s helping weather forecasters this hurricane season. From the article: “Hurricane prediction is not always an exact science — back in 2005, Hurricane Rita was projected to hit Houston, but missed the region entirely — but the NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) is already on the case. A few weeks ago today, the agency launched an experimental Wave Glider robot named Alex into the ocean, hoping the unmanned drone can forecast the direction of future storms. The Wave Glider, which is completely powered by the waves and the sun thanks to solar panels and a unique thrust engine, contains a GPS unit, satellite communications systems, and sensors for measuring water temperature, wind speed, and various wave characteristics. With its ability to withstand strong winds and thrashing waters — which are typically prohibitive for humans and even aerial vehicles — and its ability to theoretically drift in the ocean endlessly without refueling, a single Wave Glider could be used to monitor not just one storm, but several hurricanes occurring over an entire seasonal period. The NOAA hopes to soon use more Wave Glider robots like Alex to help determine more accurate hurricane watches and warnings.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
It may look like an early prototype of the Power Glove, but this wearable “tricorder” is not only less embarrassing than the doomed Nintendo peripheral — it’s also quite a bit more advanced technologically. This second prototype of the medical gadget is home to a veritable arsenal of sensors, including an accelerometer, pressure and temperature modules. Eventually, Med Sensation hopes to place ultrasound pads on the fingertips, allowing physicians to peer inside the body while they poke and prod in an attempt to diagnose you. At the moment, the system is better suited for providing feedback — guiding trainees in the proper techniques for giving exams. Ultimately though, the hope is to put these in (or would that be on?) the hands of average Joes and Janes. Individuals could then check for lumps or enlarged organs at home, without having to spend half the day sitting in a waiting room. For a brief demonstration, check out the video after the break.
Filed under: Misc. Gadgets
Wikileaks‘ website is up again after over a week of denial of service attacks, though as of this writing I’m still seeing many errors on the site. On its Twitter account Wikileaks credited CloudFlare, a company that provides a web security service, for helping the organization get its site back online.
Earlier this month Wikileaks resumed publishing e-mails acquired (yes, illegally) by the hacktivist group Anonymous from the private intelligence firm Stratfor Global Intelligence. The latest batch concern Trapwire, the sinister sounding surveillance product from private company called Abraxis. Trapwire collects video and other surveillance from multiple sources in a central location for analysis using facial recognition algorithms and other techniques (see here for more details).
Social media sites like Facebook have become a central part of the lives of many families, letting them keep tabs on each other’s lives through pictures. But they’re not for everyone. My mom and dad, who live in the U.S., have no interest in joining Facebook. They are okay with email, and my dad will even video Skype if his wife, my stepmom (a computer scientist, as it happens), sorts it out for him. But you know what? They still really love it most of all when I send them a real letter with photos of me, my husband and our two kids. And you know what else? I’ve really fallen off the wagon where letters are concerned. I’m terrible at finding time to sit down and write them, and then getting around to sending them.
So I was especially excited to hear about HiMom, a YC-backed mobile app, part of the current class, that lets you create postcards from pictures you’ve taken on your phone, and then send them to your parents — or anyone else you’d like to keep in touch with on a regular basis. To me, it seemed like the perfect union: it takes something I am already doing to record and create things (using my phone) and matches it up with how my parents like to get their content (in a physical form).
Right now, GoalHawk is focused on fitness and programming. Granted, there are already plenty of social tools in these areas — that’s particularly true with fitness, but even on the programming side, Codecademy has social features. However, GoalHawk isn’t focused on any particular subject or industry, and is instead trying to build a broader platform for tracking your goals. The social dynamic is also more active — instead of just passively sharing their achievements, users actually get nagged by their friends if they don’t meet their goals.
There are a bunch of companies promising to help businesses get a better understanding of user activity by recording visitor sessions (most recently we’ve covered services like userVOD and Delight.io, which are trying to bring this technology to mobile). Now a Polish startup called Use It Better has launched a user recording and analytics service that’s focused on games.
Founder Lukasz Twardowski says that games present unique challenges for developers wanting to record player activity. For one thing, if you’ve got a successful game, you’re dealing with a big audience, and the session times can stretch into the hours, so it’s pretty much impossible to watch more than a couple of recordings. You’re also trying to track a pretty broad range of behavior — not just where people are scrolling and clicking.
No More Boring Resumes: Seelio Lets College Students Showcase Their Work & Helps Employers Find Them
Looking to rethink the resume, a startup called Seelio is opening its doors today to anyone with a .edu email address. The company, which spun out of an existing service called TruApp, wants to offer college students a better way to showcase their work via online portfolios which employers and recruiters alike can browse through and search by keyword. Upon finding a potential candidate, employers can then use Seelio to communicate directly with the student in question.
TruApp got its start at the University of Michigan, and currently has around 1,600 students and 170 companies on the platform as it relaunches and expands under its new name “Seelio.”
Spray-on medical solutions packed with cells certainly seem to be catching on. A new study published in The Lancet highlights a spray infused with skin cells and blood clotting proteins that helps leg ulcers heal quicker. Normally, the open wounds only undergo a compression bandage treatment and typically heal after six months. Patients who were also spritzed with the cell-imbued solution, however, experienced a rapid decrease in ulcer sizes soon after being treated. Three months into the regimen, 70 percent of those who had the mist applied were healed of the malady. Not only does the new remedy speed up the healing process, but it also avoids the need for a skin graft, another method used to hasten rehabilitation. Cost is a potential concern, but further tests are still needed to determine the therapy’s practicality.
[Image credit: Shutterstock]
Filed under: Science
A NASA rover is preparing to boldly go to the surface of Mars — and the landing has been explained in a video by original Star Trek actor William Shatner.