No Joke: A Robot That Controls Your Limbs, Instead Of Vice Versa
"It’s hard to tell this story without making a Skynet joke, but here goes: Researchers have developed a prototype robot that can take control of a human partner’s arm and use it to complete tasks. Thanks to electrodes strapped to the human’s arm and a technique called functional electrical stimulation (FES), the robot can send signals that will cause the arm to move and the hand to open or close. From the perspective of the human, these movements are entirely involuntary. From the perspective of the robot, it is controlling a second serial robot."
Social platform creates network of trusted recommendations
"To begin using the platform, individuals send Vineloop requests to the friends whose opinions they value most on specific subjects — for example, restaurants, wine or music — with a limit of five friends per subject. The user will then be given access to the recommendations of these trusted friends, as well as recommendations from the people those friends trust most. Vineloop call this network a “Trustline”."
Google’s Updated Street View of Fukushima Makes Me Want to Cry
"The search giant has delivered on a promise it made in July to obtain updated photos of the afflicted region. The shots are now available on Google Maps as well as a special site "Build the Memory," where users can compare before-and-after shots of the devastation. The updated pictures also include a new and much requested Google Maps feature—timestamps listing the month and year the photo was taken."
Kisai Rogue Touch Pocket Watch – a new take on an all time classic
"Featuring a stainless steel case with a spring-hinged cover and a 35 cm (13.7 in) stainless steel chain, the Kisai Rogue Touch Pocket Watch resembles its classic counterpart on the outside only. Like its wrist-worn sibling, it comes with touchscreen-based hybrid LCD/LED interface, capable of displaying dual timezones and animations. The touchscreen is unlocked via swiping your finger across the screen from left to right. There are four "hot-zones" on Kisai Rogue’s touch-sensitive face (top, bottom, left and right), that allow to switch between modes – time, date, alarm and LED light up. Settings are triggered by holding your finger in place for a few seconds, to set the time, date, or the alarm."
Penguin To Publish ‘Digital Only’ Editions
"The Penguin Shorts progamme, a collection of short digital reads, has just launched with nine titles, ranging from a creepy short story by Dunmore to an essay on multiculturalism from Elif Shafak, accounts of the battles of Alamein and Isandlwana, recipes for the perfect Christmas day from Felicity Cloake and a novella by Anita Brookner. Toby Young has written an essay on How To Set Up a Free School, John Gapper an analysis of rogue trading, Colm Tóibín a memoir of growing up in Ireland. Priced at £1.99 – “approximately the same price as a cup of coffee,” says Penguin – the ebooks are available across all digital formats, each emblazoned with the iconic tri-band design with which Allen Lane launched Penguin’s paperbacks back in 1935."
Berkeley creates flexible, rugged, plastic electronic skin with carbon nanotubes
"To make the electronic skin, the Berkeley researchers had to purify a solution of carbon nanotubes so that 99% were the semiconductor form. The team then took a thin sheet of polyamide, laser-cut stretchable hexagonal cells into it, then deposited layers of silicon, aluminium oxide, and finally the carbon nanotubes. The end result is a thin-film, active matrix of transistors that the engineers then wired up to a computer to create a 96-pixel, 24-square-centimeter pressure sensor."
MorpHex: A Sphere-Shaped Hexabot
"I don’t know what to say about MorpHex (which Sean blogged about in August) except WOW"
Speed of Light Lingers in Face of M.I.T. Media Lab Camera
"Now scientists at M.I.T.’s Media Lab are using an ultrafast imaging system to capture light itself as it passes through liquids and objects, in effect snapping a picture in less than two-trillionths of a second."
Japan Is Leading The Market Of Virtual Companions With Their Nintendo DS Dating Game
"Yuuya Iwama is a young Japanese man who enjoy taking his girlfriend Manaka Takane on dates around Tokyo. What makes Manaka special, is that she’s a virtual character found on the dating game Love Plus, which is available on the Nintendo DS portable gaming console. However, just like a real relationship, Iwama can converse with Manaka, reply to her e-mails and go on romantic dates. Love Plus includes over 5,000 scripts, 150 CG events and over 25,000 voice expressions. The game is set in real-time and essentially can be played 24 hours a day for a lifetime. The game only ends when the relationship falters."
Hitachi ships world’s first 4TB hard drive, sticks it to Thor
"The monstrous 4TB Deskstar 5K. With a rotational speed of 5,900RPM, a 6Gbps SATA 3 interface, and the same 32MB of cache as its 2 and 3TB siblings, the 4TB model is basically the same beast — just with four platters instead of two or three. The list price is around $345 — not great, but definitely reasonable"