Fingernail haptics

nosigner: ‘touch the invisibles’ installation at siggraph 09
“the vibrator is easy to attach and remove. a microcomputer controls the timing and magnitude of the vibration. the finger position is measured with the touch sensor of LCD panel. the position information is send to the microcomputer for activating the vibrator, and to the pc for updating the visual images. when the users rubs the visual images, the tactile information are presented by the interface.”
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DesignBoom

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Bottling light

Light in a bottle
“Similar to the motion of a charged particle stored in a magnetic bottle, i.e., a particular spatially varying magnetic field, the light oscillates back and forth along the fiber between two turning points. For this reason, this novel type of microresonator realized by the physicists in Mainz is referred to as a bottle resonator. Tuning the bottle resonator to a specific optical frequency can be accomplished by simply pulling both ends of the supporting glass fiber. The resulting mechanical tension changes the refractive index of the glass, so that depending on the tension, the round-trip of the light is lengthened or shortened.”
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Futurismic

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Tracking stuff

Tracking deliveries of all kinds is on everyone’s radar
“Americans love knowing where their things are,” says Chris McGlothlin, chief information office at Domino’s. Folks constantly tell Domino’s how much they hate not knowing when — or if — their pizza will arrive. The Pizza Tracker, used by 75% of Domino’s online customers, is an attempt to solve that problem. While current technology also could track the whereabouts of drivers, Domino’s won’t track that for security reasons. Besides connecting consumers to their pizzas, the tracker gives the first names of workers who make and deliver their order, says Russell Weiner, chief marketing officer. As a society, “We’re not just time-starved, we’re starved for connections to others.””
USATODAY.com

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Liquid wood

Liquid Wood Is Plastic of Tomorrow, Say Scientists
“Car parts and other durable items made of this bio-plastic already exist, but the chemical hadn’t been suitable for household use until now, due to the high content of sulfurous substances used in separating the lignin from the cell fibers. The German researchers were able to reduce the sulfur content in Arboform by about 90 percent, making it much safer for use in everyday items”
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Core77

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Keeping stuff

‘Rosetta stone’ offers digital lifeline
“The process starts by etching bits and bytes by laser onto silicon wafers, the ultrapure materials from which computer chips are made. Crucially, the nature of these digital markings will be determined by a universal agreement on a common storage language that will hopefully last thousands of years. That is yet to come says Kuroda. These are stacked on top of one another to form a 10cm- (4in-)high disk, which is sealed between layers of another type of near-impregnable silicon to keep out oxygen and moisture. According to the professor, these are the two culprits that will render seemingly durable CDs and DVDs into unreadable ornaments in the next 30 to 100 years. ”
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BBC NEWS

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Online emotions

Measuring emotion in cyberspace: Jackson’s death a sad day; Obama’s election a very happy one
“The researchers analyzed the words in nearly 10 million first-person sentences that contained the word “feel”—all posted over the last four years in 2.3 million worldwide blogs. An overall score ranging from 1 to 9 was applied to each sentence, based on a weighted average of the perceived happiness of each key word. (Participants in an earlier study ranked more than 1,000 words on this “happy-unhappy” scale.) “I feel triumphant” would, for example, receive an 8.87. Replace the positive word with “disgusted,” and the score would plummet to 2.45. Or, for the more adventurous blogger, “I feel that paradise is pancakes” would earn an averaged score of 7.4. ”
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Scientific American Blog

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Getting points

Booyah Society Gives You Points For Doing Pretty Much Anything
Booyah Society gives you points for everything from going to a new restaurant to hitting the gym to buying a new pair of shoes. It’s a neat idea, I guess, but it feels too broad to actually work. After all, what are you working towards? With gamerpoints, it’s fully completing a game. With the similar-yet-narrower FourSquare, it’s going out and trying new bars and restaurants. But this is just trying to get you to do basically anything. I appreciate that it’s fun to feel like you completed something when you buy a new shirt, but I don’t know if buying shirts gets me towards some goal or completion.”
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Gizmod

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Facial expressions

iowa state university creates learning robot
“iowa state university has been working on a humanoid robot that can perform procedural learning much like a child. the robot features two large manipulators for hands and a face capable of many expressions. the robot has now legs and moves around on a metal stand. the research project aims to teach the robot about its environment like a child during early development. they have already programmed the robot to identify objects based on the sounds they make when interacted with.”
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Design Boom

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