Hearing voices

An Algorithm That Makes Voices Clearer
“Able Planet, a company located near Denver, has developed analog circuitry that makes the high-frequency components of speech clearer without increasing their loudness. The technology is built into a line of headsets, telephones, and assistive listening devices aimed not only at the elderly but also at younger people who are worried about hearing damage, and even at video gamers who want to hear each other over the din of virtual battles.”
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Technology Review

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Chatting and watching

Beta Invites for SeeToo, Another Yossi Vardi Startup
“SeeToo could easily add more people to a chat, and is looking into it. But the main difference is SeeToo’s clever use of peer-to-peer technology. You never upload a video. Instead, if you want to share a video, you download a small 600 kilobyte app that takes any video on your desktop, compresses it, and streams it right from your computer to the SeeToo Web page that is hosting the chat. The application is currently only available for Windows, but a Mac version is due out next year. When the chat is over, the video disappears from the Web (it remains on your computer). “
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TechCrunch

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Helping hands

Robots: Twendy-One Has Man-Crushing Arms But a Featherlight Touch
“ive feet tall, weighing in at 245 pounds, Twendy-One is all sensors and cybernetic muscle. Mechanical engineers at Waseda University in Japan developed the talking humanoid helper robot to be capable of lifting a handicapped person out of bed, but also handling a piece of toast or a straw without flattening them. The task took seven years, millions of dollars and, incidentally, 241 pressure sensors on each silicon (silicone?) hand.”
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Gizmodo

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Tracking lost devices

iHound: Lojack For Your USB Devices
“The software acts like a secret beacon, transmitting a device’s IP address, computer name, and ISP name whenever it is plugged into a computer. For now the software is free, but Mullen plans on charging something along the lines of $1 per device per month, starting next February. (The first device will likely remain free, though, as a way to get people to try the software).”
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TechCrunch

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Calling a virtual world

“InsideOut” connects phones to Second Life
Vodafone customers now have access to a new service called InsideOut that allows interaction between characters in the vast virtual world Second Life and real, actual phones (you know, like in the real world) operated by Voda. Both voice calls and text messages can be ferried in and out of the game, with SMSes running a cool L$300 (which we think is somewhere around $1) and voice calls running L$300 per minute.”
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Networked_Performance

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Shared media browsing

CityWall
“The CityWall is a large mutli-touch display installed in a central location in Helsinki which acts as a collaborative and playful interface for the everchanging media landscape of the city. The content displayed on the CityWall is periodically organized into themes or events that are currently taking place in the city such as festivals, carnivals or sports events. The CityWall is designed to support the navigation of media, specifically annotated photos and videos which are continuously gathered in realtime from public sources such as Flickr and YouTube. To contribute content to the CityWall please send pictures and videos via MMS or email to post@citywall.org. Alternatively, tag your media on YouTube or Flickr with ‘Helsinki’ and we will pick up your media and display it here on the CityWall.”
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CityWall

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Facial recognition

Caricatures are more effective than police sketches
“A study at the University of Central Lancashire found that over-emphasising prominent features on people’s faces made them twice as easy to identify than before. The researchers used computer software to alter the faces of 18 celebrities which had been created using three standard photofit techniques. The faces were then turned into caricatures by exaggerating certain features, such as the size of a person’s ears, forehead or nose, by as much as 50%.”
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Boing Boing

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Medical visualizations

Medicine: Brilliance CT 256-Slice Scanner from Philips Gets to the Heart of the Problem
“Philips’ scanner can give a patient a full body scan in less than a minute — and exposes them to 80 per cent less radiation than a traditional X-ray machine. The machine scans the body as well as rotating around it, sending out 256 pulses every one-third of a second. It is so powerful that it can capture an unblurred image of an entire heart in less than two heartbeats.”
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Gizmodo

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