Sure, the naysayers “know” cables don’t make a difference, but what if you could prove them wrong? [Read more]
Tag Archives: improve
A prototype system can heat and cool without draining battery power.
Buyers considering an electric car must bear in mind that using battery-powered heating and air conditioning can decrease the car’s range by a third or more (see “BMW’s Solution to Limited Electric-Vehicle Range: A Gas-Powered Loaner”). A New York Times reviewer recently ran into this problem on a test drive, ending up stranded with a dead battery (see “Musk-New York Times Debate Highlights Electric Cars’ Shortcomings”).
Apple hasn’t been all that popular in China as of late. The Cupertino-based company is under fire in the country for what customers are reporting to be unfair warranty and repair policies on Apple’s products. However, in what is his second public apology, company CEO Tim Cook apologized for the recent burdens, and announced plans
To Improve Conversations, Facebook Will Launch A Reply Feature And Most Active Threads On Pages And Popular Profiles
Facebook is preparing to roll out a new feature on Pages and popular Profiles that will help increase interactions with fans and readers: Replies. Up to now, visitors could comment on a post but others, including the Page owners themselves, would not be able to respond directly to them in cases of multiple people commenting on a post. Facebook has been running tests of the new feature since November last year; now a source tells us it will be rolling out the feature more formally as an opt-in on Monday, March 25, before turning it on for everyone in July.
Netflix is looking to boost the reality of cloud computing via its OSS, taking it to the next level and helping it realize its potential. How is it doing this? Via its Netflix Cloud Prize competition, which it is using to challenge developers across the world to come up with improvements in secure, reliable, and
Stephanie Perotti, director of Uplay, has stated that Ubisoft wants to improve its relationship with PC gamers. The company has had immense popularity with console gamers and has shown favoritism to consoles in the past. One example would be the company releasing games, like Assassin’s Creed 3, to the consoles one month before they become
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.
Arctic Sand Technologies lands series A funding to commercialize power conversion technology that cuts wasted energy in electronics by 50 percent.
MIT spin-off Arctic Sand Technologies has raised funding to develop more efficient circuitry for computers and mobile devices, one of a few startups focusing on improved power electronics.
“Character-driven dialogue” will help the virtual assistant evolve, says an Apple job ad.
Apple’s virtual assistant Siri may have its roots in a Pentagon-funded artificial intelligence research project, but algorithms aren’t everything and the Cupertino company is now turning to writers to make Siri smarter. A job ad posted by Apple on LinkedIn appeals for:
Having investigated 400 randomly chosen kids’ apps, the FTC has noted that almost 60 percent of them were transmitting sensitive device information to developers, advertisers or analytics firms. The report points the finger at the app makers and the lack of information given on privacy and interactive features of their wares, with the majority not disclosing the information shared in the app description.
Focusing on Apple and Google apps, only 20 percent of those surveyed disclosed any data collection that might occur — data that often included the location, phone numbers and device IDs of whatever the little tykes were playing on. It’s the second such survey from the FTC, which deems the results “disappointing” since hardly any progress has been made since the commission first noted this stealth sharing issue. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said, “All of the companies in the mobile app space, especially the gatekeepers of the app stores, need to do a better job.” In short, the FTC wants Apple and Google to get more involved in policing these apps, and it’s been pressing that point for quite some time already.
Via: Apple Insider
Source: Mobile Apps for Kids (PDF)
If you’ve ever swallowed your pride and bit the bullet on hotel WiFi, you’ve probably felt the sluggish pull of other users dragging down your connection speed. Coffee shops, airports and other heavily impacted public hotspots can slow to a crawl as they try to mete out data to dozens of users sharing a single channel. All hope is not lost, however — a team at NC State University are about to release a paper detailing a technology that could bolster WiFi data throughput performance by up to 700 percent. The team is calling their technology WiFox, and it’s already made their local test network four times faster, on average. WiFox keeps track of the amount of traffic gumming up a WiFi channel and actively assigns priority access to avoid a traffic jam of data requests. Fixing sluggish hotspots should be a snap, too — Student and lead author Arpit Gupta says WiFox could be “packaged as a software update that can be incorporated into existing WiFi networks.” The full paper will be presented at ACM CoNext next month in Nice, France. Can’t wait? Feel free to click on the source and ogle the paper’s abstract.
[Image credit: Charleston's TheDigitel, Flickr]
Some wireless and wired communications services downed by Hurricane Sandy have been restored over the past 24 hours, but FCC officials said Wednesday afternoon that several serious outages remain in New York, New Jersey and some other hard hit areas.
Reebok-CCM partnering on impact-sensing flexible sports cap, hopes to improve real-time injury analysis
While the whack of two helmets might be an unavoidable part of some high intensity sports, knowing a little more about what’s going on during those impacts can mean the difference between a time out, and time in hospital. Reebok-CCM Hockey and electronics form MC10 have just announced that they are developing a wearable cap that will register the strength and severity of head impacts during games. The project is actually aimed at all sports and age-groups, and uses high-performance electronics reshaped into an ultra-thin, breathable, flexible system that technology partner, MC10, expects to also be much more affordable. The cap will allow quick analysis through the use of different colored readouts, illustrating the strength of impact. The product won’t be commercially available until next year however, but we’re already thinking of potential worthy collaborations.
Filed under: Wearables
Ad tech companies are trying get better at demographic targeting, especially on mobile, but a startup called Sensegon aims to go a step further — targeting ads based on audience members’ personalities.
To illustrate the concept, CEO Omer Efrat talks about going to a car dealership with his co-founder and CTO Tal Yaari. Efrat was more interested in engine power, while Yaari was more interested in gas consumption and safety. The salesman, Efrat says, knew intuitively to direct his pitch differently towards the two men. That’s the kind of intuition that Sensegon is supposed to replicate.
One of Facebook‘s biggest strategies is on apps. The company introduced App Center and Open Graph a while ago to push more users towards using various apps, and today Facebook is improving on that system once again, but they’re actually making changes that will benefit the user this time around. First, Facebook is changing how
Electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn has denied earlier reports that thousands of workers went on strike on Friday at a plant that assembles Apple’s latest iPhone — reportedly causing production of the device to be “paralysed”. Today Foxconn said no such strike took place and claimed production of the iPhone 5 is on schedule, Reuters is reporting.
As mobile publishers and advertisers struggle to know more about the users who are seeing their ads, a Y Combinator-backed startup called Mth Sense is offering a new approach to the problem — it looks at consumers’ app usage data to create a profile of their demographics and interests.
This is an area that’s attracting investor dollars. Perhaps most notably, both Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers invested in a startup called Drawbridge, which connects user data on mobile and desktop devices. So what’s Mth Sense doing differently? CEO and co-founder Mandar Agte says there are existing solutions to target mobile ads based on the app you’re using when the ad is served, but that provides a pretty limited view of the user.
Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC said on Friday it needs to bolster its brand, forecasting a decline in revenue and profit in the third quarter.
TechCrunch has a story about the recent trend of websites wanting users to use their real names in an attempt to make comments better. The story points out that the practice didn’t work in South Korea, From the article: “…In 2007, South Korea temporarily mandated that all websites with over 100,000 viewers require real names, but scrapped it after it was found to be ineffective at cleaning up abusive and malicious comments (the policy reduced unwanted comments by an estimated .09%). We don’t know how this hidden gem of evidence skipped the national debate on real identities, but it’s an important lesson for YouTube, Facebook and Google, who have assumed that fear of judgement will change online behavior for the better.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
YouTube has joined a growing list of social media companies who think that forcing users to use their real names will make comments less of a trolling wasteland, but there’s surprisingly good evidence from South Korea that real name policies fail at cleaning up comments. In 2007, South Korea temporarily mandated that all websites with over 100,000 viewers require real names, but scraped it after it was found to be ineffective at cleaning up abusive and malicious comments (the policy reduced unwanted comments by an estimated .09%). We don’t know how this hidden gem of evidence skipped the national debate on real identities, but it’s an important lesson for YouTube, Facebook and Google, who have assumed that fear of judgement will change online behavior for the better.
Those goggles you see above aren’t for stylish looks while playing dodgeball — they’re the keys to a potentially important discovery about short-term memory. Duke University‘s Institute for Brain Sciences found that subjects playing catch with goggles simulating strobe lights were noticeably better at memorizing information during tests, even a full day after playtime was over. It’s not hard to see why: with a limited amount of time to see that incoming ball, participants had to more vividly remember brief scenes to stay on top of the game. We don’t yet know if there’s any kind of long-term boost, so don’t get your hopes up that strobe lights are the shortcuts to permanent photographic memory. Still, the findings suggest that frequent nightclubbers might be on to something… or, at least, have a better idea of where they left their keys the morning after.
[Image credit: Les Todd, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences]
I’m not an audio purist. My desire is that whatever I’m listening to should sound good, where “good” is defined somewhat subjectively as “pleasing to my ears.”
Ever heard a story involving Western Digital Green hard drives within a NAS? It probably didn’t end well. For whatever reason, the aforesaid outfit’s Green portfolio never has been a hit in the network attached storage world, but the company’s (in)directly addressing precisely that with its new line of WD Red HDDs. Specifically, these are called out as being “NAS hard drives” — SATA interfacing spinners engineered to hold up under the continual pressures of serving information to home and small office NAS users. They’re destined to end up in homes with “one to five drive bays,” with the units available in 3.5-inch 1TB ($ 109), 2TB ($ 139) and 3TB ($ 189) capacities. WD’s trumpeting the Red line’s NASware technology, which is said to “reduce customer downtime and simplify the integration process.” Those taking WD at its word can find ‘em on store shelves this week; everyone else can hang tight for the eventual flood of torture test reviews.
ericjones12398 writes “Breakthrough new research out of Massachusetts General Hospital shows that the use of magnetic field stimulation from microscopic devices implanted into the brain may be able to boost brain activity and alleviate symptoms of several devastating neurodegenerative conditions. Researchers leveraged the use of magnetic stimulation, which has been used for years to diagnose and treat neurological disorders. However, transcranial magnetic stimulation often generates fields by hand-held coils outside the skull, which ends up activating undesired parts of the brain, and makes delivery specificity to certain parts of the brain difficult.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
sfcrazy writes “It seems that recent comments made by Linus Torvalds have made the people at NVIDIA take Linux more seriously. Recently Nvidia employee Stephen Warren asked in the Kernel Summit mailing list what could be done differently to make Linux support better. ‘In a Google+ comment, Linus noted that we have mainly been contributing patches for Tegra SoC infra-structure details. I’m curious what other areas people might expect me/NVIDIA to contribute to. I assume the issue is mainly the lack of open support for the graphics-related parts of our HW, but perhaps there’s some expectation that we’d also start helping out some core area of the kernel too? Would that kind of thing help our image even if we didn’t open up our HW?’”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Keeping an accurate account of your workouts and health progress can be easier with a few apps and gadgets. Making life changes based on what they reveal can better your health — and thanks to your smartphone, you’ve got help.
A recent coding competition in the Boston area brought together IT professionals, medical workers and others with an interest in health IT to show how data analytics can improve health care.
Stowie101 writes in with a story about your Blu-ray audio getting better. “The audio on most Blu-ray discs is sampled at 48kHz. Even the original movie tracks are usually only recorded at 48kHz, so once a movie migrates to disc, there isn’t much that can be done. Dolby’s new system upsamples that audio signal to 96kHz at the master stage prior to the Dolby TrueHD encoding, so you get lossless audio with fewer digital artifacts. The ‘fewer digital artifacts’ part comes from a feature of Dolby’s upsampling process called de-apodizing, which corrects a prevalent digital artifact known as pre-ringing. Pre-ringing is often introduced in the capture and creation process and adds a digital harshness to the audio. The apodizing filter masks the effect of pre-ringing by placing it behind the source tone — the listener can’t hear the pre-ringing because it’s behind the more prevalent original signal.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Intel finally entered the smartphone market last month but the company is not sitting still, with plans to quickly release chips that improve performance and power efficiency on smartphones.
An anonymous reader writes “in a welcome move, Apple has agreed to help share initial costs with Foxconn in improving the factories being used to manufacture iDevices. From the article: ‘Foxconn chief Terry Gou did not give a figure for the costs, but the group has been spending heavily to fight a perception its vast plants in China are sweatshops with poor conditions for its million-strong labor force. It regards the criticism as unfair. “We’ve discovered that this (improving factory conditions) is not a cost. It is a competitive strength,” Gou told reporters on Thursday after the ground-breaking ceremony for a new China headquarters in Shanghai. “I believe Apple sees this as a competitive strength along with us, and so we will split the initial costs.”‘”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
With its new iPad, Apple focuses on a better screen and high-speed connectivity to stay ahead of competitors.
The iPad is getting a facelift as Apple tries to stay way ahead of the competition.
Make less of a splash in the pool. Get the most out of your swimming workouts with the help of some high tech equipment. Whether you are training for a triathlon, swimming to stay in shape, or using the pool to rehab, analysis of your stroke with the help of the CoachCam underwater video system can improve your technique.
Sony has announced a new line of image sensors that will, in all likelihood, end up in dozens of smartphone models. The improvement is not in megapixels, which have more or less hit a ceiling, but in the actual layout of the light-sensitive wells that make up the pixels in the image.
The new sensors have, in addition to the usual red, green, and blue-filtered pixels, an unfiltered pixel element as well that will accept any wavelength of light. It can’t be used to determine color, but it will add (they say) to both sensitivity and brightness. Essentially what they’re doing is including a hard luminance-detecting element. This is good, much more accurate than taking the average from the RGB elements, and should in fact make low-light photography significantly better.
Editorial: How FAA-certified gadgets could improve air travel and eliminate the Terrible 10,000 Feet
If you’re reading this now and have experienced the wonders of modern air travel then you have surely suffered through what I call the “Terrible 10,000 Feet.” This is the period between the clunk of the cabin door closing and the bong of the cabin indicator, the chime signifying arrival of the magic altitude where “approved electronic devices” can then be used again. The first half of the worst part of the flight is then over — the latter half to commence as soon as the plane dips again below that gadget ceiling.
This is the loudest part of the flight — engines throttled up, flaps and gear hanging in the breeze and scared kids doing their best to drown all that out with screams and shouts. It’s exactly when you most want to use your portable music player, and exactly when you aren’t allowed. We’ve been told that this is for safety reasons, to prevent interference from the myriad devices carried by a cabin full of passengers, but that’s never quite felt satisfactory to me. (Why is it okay to use those very same devices over 10,000 feet? Why can pilots use iPads but I can’t?)
So many questions, but I’m not here to second-guess the people whose jobs it is to keep me safe as I schlep myself, my roller bag and my personal item across the country yet again. I’m here to propose a very simple solution: a certification program in which manufacturers submit devices for testing and the FAA charges a (possibly hefty) fee for their approval. It could not only improve the lives of frequent travellers like myself, but could also stand to provide millions in funding to the FAA, funds that could be put toward its unfortunately named NextGen air traffic control system. Win win? Read on and decide for yourself.
Motion capture isn’t just for the movies anymore.
By now, those of us who follow entertainment technology are familiar the image: an actor covered with tiny biometric dots, which are used to transform the actor’s motion into a 3-D image. (It was the technology behind the recent Planet of the Apes movie, for example.) But here’s a novel idea: using the same technology not for entertainment, but for medicine. Runners from Britain will be using 3-D technology to assess their running technique and (hopefully) prevent injuries, reports The Engineer.
Today’s turkey researchers are investigating the big bird’s genetic heritage and biology as part of an effort to improve several aspects of its cultivation.
Federated Sample, a New Orleans-based market research technology firm, announced today that it has raised a $ 2.8 million series A round of financing. The investment was led by Sopris Capital and early-stage New Orleans VC firm, Voodoo Ventures. As part of the round, Sopris Capital Founder and Partner Jon Kaiden will be joining the startup’s board of directors.
A sheath containing graphene improves the charge-storage capacity of electrodes.
A simple trick could improve the ability of advanced ultracapacitors, or supercapacitors, to store charge. The technique, developed by Stanford University researchers, could enable the use of new types of nanostructured electrode materials that store more energy.
In the age of instant tweets and impulsive Facebook posts, some companies are still trying to figure out how they can limit what their employees say about work online without running afoul of the law.
chrb writes “Linux Journal points out PLAYterm, an interesting project that offers up recordings of Linux command line sessions, with the aim of helping viewers to improve their skills by watching gurus at work.” And there’s no bad excuse to link to Neal Stephenson’s excellent (and free-to-download in delicious zipped-text form) In the Beginning was the Command Line.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have figured out a way to drastically increase your cellphone’s battery life, at least while using WiFi. By using what they’re calling E-MiLi, or Energy-Minimizing Idle Listening, professor Kang Shin (right) and student Xinyu Zhang have developed a proof of concept that could extend battery life up to 54-percent with the WiFi radio on. Even when idle, a wireless radio is actively checking for incoming traffic. E-MiLi scales back the wireless card’s clock to just 1/16th of its normal operating speed, and only kicks back into full gear when it senses incoming data. To be really useful though, we’d love to see the same trick employed on cellular data networks — that LTE sure is fast, but it’s not exactly battery-friendly. Check out the PR after the break.