How The Great Firewall of China Shapes Chinese Surfing Habits
Can cultural factors be more important than censorship in shaping Chinese surfing habits? Two researchers argue that a new study of the way global websites cluster together supports this idea
Home Tweet Home: A House with Its Own Voice on Twitter
A techie’s San Francisco home has its own Twitter feed. Will yours be next?
At first glance, you’d never guess there’s anything unusual about Tom Coates’s San Francisco home. Nestled at the end of a narrow passageway on a side street, it’s a peaceful, sunny house decorated with modern furniture and bright posters that say things like “Machines help us work” and “Make your own path.”
Clawing From the Wreckage of Nokia Research
Jolla Mobile, formed by Nokia refugees, launches a phone with interchangable back-panels and the Sailfish OS
Almost one year after Nokia’s bloodletting, in which it cut 10,000 jobs and closed research and manufacturing facilities (see “Nokia Forced to Take Drastic Measures”), we’re starting to see new fruits of the startup culture that rose from the wreckage.
Second Life Founder's New Virtual World Uses Body Tracking Hardware
Hardware that tracks your head, eyes and hands will make the follow up to Second Life very different to the pioneering virtual world.
The founder of once-popular virtual world Second Life, Philip Rosedale, is working on a new 3D digital world that looks like it will be operated using gestures and body-tracking hardware. Rosedale declined to talk about his new company, called High Fidelity, just yet. But videos and other material posted online by the company suggest it is working on an impressively immersive virtual reality experience where you control an avatar using head and hand movements.
Exxon Takes Algae Fuel Back to the Drawing Board
A $300 million project seems to have failed to produce a cheap way to make fuel from algae.
In 2009, ExxonMobil announced that it would pay Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics up to $300 million to develop algae-based fuels.
One-Time Pad Reinvented To Make Electronic Copying Impossible
The ability to copy electronic code makes one-time pads vulnerable to hackers. Now engineers have found a way round this to create a system of cryptography that is invulnerable to electronic attack
One-time pads are the holy grail of cryptography–they are impossible to crack, even in principle.
Liquefied Air Could Power Cars and Store Energy from Sun and Wind
A 19th-century idea might lead to cleaner cars, larger-scale renewable energy.
Some engineers are dusting off an old idea for storing energy—using electricity to liquefy air by cooling it down to nearly 200 °C below zero. When power is needed, the liquefied air is allowed to warm up and expand to drive a steam turbine and generator.
Intel Fuels a Rebellion Around Your Data
The world’s largest chip maker wants to see a new kind of economy bloom around personal data.
Intel is a $53-billion-a-year company that enjoys a near monopoly on the computer chips that go into PCs. But when it comes to the data underlying big companies like Facebook and Google, it says it wants to “return power to the people.”
Other Interesting arXiv Papers (Week Ending 18 May 2013)
The best of the rest from the Physics arXiv preprint server
Performance of a Remotely Located Muon Radiography System to Identify the Inner Structure of a Nuclear Plant
From Our Archive: Wearable Computing, Long Before Google Glass
What was it like to use a wearable computer back in 1999?
SAP Makes Big Data Real– And Real-Time
The following View from the Marketplace was provided by SAP, the sponsor of our Big Data Gets Personal Business Report.
The Impending Headache of Google Glass Apps
Glass apps will require people to create new content filters. Maybe that’s just a losing battle.
Would you want your daily horoscope beamed to your right eye? That’s the vision of the future I saw when I tried out the fashion magazine Elle’s app for Google Glass yesterday, one of several apps announced at the extravagant software developer love-fest the internet company puts on every year.
The Latest Hardware Hacking Tool: A Machine that Carves Custom Circuit Boards
Otherfab’s Kickstarter project offers an easy way to make custom circuit boards at home.
Building Solar in Spain Instead of Germany Could Save Billions
Building solar and wind projects in the wrong place is wasting billions of dollars in Europe.
Siemens says it would make sense to build solar power plants in sunny countries in Europe rather than in cloudy ones. And wind turbines should be built in windy places.
Smartphone Tracker Gives Doctors Remote Viewing Powers
Here’s the smartphone technology that alerts a doctor when patients are headed for trouble.
At the Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, nurses can see into the lives of some diabetes patients even when they’re not at the clinic. If a specific patient starts acting lethargic, or making lengthy calls to his mom, a green box representing him on an online dashboard turns yellow, then red. Soon, a nurse will call to see if he is still taking his medication.
Brain Training May Help Clear Cognitive Fog Caused by Chemotherapy
The mental fuzziness induced by cancer treatment could be eased by cognitive exercises performed online, say researchers.
Cancer survivors sometimes suffer from a condition known as “chemo fog”—a cognitive impairment caused by repeated chemotherapy. A study hints at a controversial idea: that brain-training software might help lift this cognitive cloud.
Cheap Magnetic Helmet Detects Some Kinds of Brain Damage
Prototype spots swelling and bleeding in a pilot study—but the novel technique employed is relatively unproven.
A helmet that sends a magnetic field through the wearer’s head might someday offer a quick way to reveal whether the brain is swelling or bleeding as the result of an injury.
Seven Must-Read Stories from the Past Week (May 11-17)
Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.
Terahertz Image Reveals Goya's Hidden Signature in Old Master Painting
Darkened varnish obscures Goya’s signature in a 1771 masterpiece, according to a new analysis using terahertz waves
Google and NASA Launch Quantum Computing AI Lab
The Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab will use the most advanced commercially available quantum computer, the D-Wave Two.
Quantum computing took a giant leap forward on the world stage today as NASA and Google, in partnership with a consortium of universities, launched an initiative to investigate how the technology might lead to breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.