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Bitcoin, future currency for us all or get rich quick scheme for a select few? (via Bitcoin)   As we move further into a world reliant on technologies capable of guiding us to a pre-selected destination, or services that can electronically store your hard-earned money, we must too learn to master the ins and outs of these services to be better protected from harm. The growing popularity of Bitcoins, the online digital currency, is putting many at risk of cybercrime thanks to the growing nu ...
(Left) Lord Browne accouncing the winners of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (Center) Robert Kahn (Right) Louis Pouzin.  (image via AP images)   The field of engineering has its hands on just about everything that shapes the advancing modern world, as we know it. To celebrate great engineering achievements, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering was established in 2011 to honor those life-changing accomplishments with a nice, €1M (~$1.51M) prize. This year ...
The O-Bow prototype in use. Sensor visible in the right image. (via zenprobe)   Ever hear a piece of music, which sampled orchestral instruments that didn’t sound quite right? Nowadays, the electrification of instruments is leading to a greater number of keyboard sampled musical instruments that don’t match up to the complex expression one can achieve on an actual violin rather than a Casio keyboard violin patch. This prompted Dylan Menzies from the De Montfort University in Le ...
Pi MusicBox (via http://www.woutervanwijk.nl/pimusicbox/)   Do you consistently find yourself listening to music while tinkering around with your new-fangled Raspberry Pi? Well if you’re not sure what is next on your list of Pi projects, this might just tickle your inner ear and inner maker fancy. Apparently, many Pi users have reported difficulties in getting their hardware to jam out as a remote Spotify server - until now. The makers of Pi MusicBox have developed a bootable image t ...
  The company Neurowear is working diligently to breakout EEG (Electroencephalography) technology to the mainstream. You’ve seen their attempt to describe your mood with wagging kitty ears, and now they’re giving your moods a shot at choosing your music for you. This new experience of letting your subconscious pick tunes for you is called “music serendipity,” according to its makers. The device, called Mico, consists of a pair of headphones and an iPhone app.   ...
Stroop test concept setup (via University of Oxford)   Electroshock therapy was at one point used as treatment for all sorts of ailments, but research into its efficacy was inconclusive for the most part and now it is used as a last resort in depression, mania and catatonia. Studies that are much more recent have given electric currents a second chance to be the magic treatment. Transcranial Electrical Stimulation or TES is a noninvasive treatment that sends a direct current via electrodes ...
The topic of synthetic life creation, so called “playing god,” is one of those grand topics that seems to get mass media coverage from all different angles - even those not normally focused on biological science advancements. Rightfully so. It is one of those pinnacle scientific achievements that can have wavering implications on the future of the planet, of course depending on how it is applied out in the world. Craig Venter, founder of the J. Craig Venter Institute has announced th ...
Graphene speaker concept (via University of California)   We often associate graphene with super-powered semiconductors for next generation technology such as CPUs and smaller faster mobile devices. Using the material there is some time off. There is one area graphene is already in use, analog amplifiers. The super material is being adapted for use with audio in new high-powered speakers. Computer science engineers from the University of California (Berkeley) have designed a new speaker, ab ...
Virtuix Omni rendering (via Virtuix   Gamers are constantly looking for ways to immerse themselves into the virtual world through interaction in order to gain an increased sense of realism. Several devices on the market at this point allow players to feel as though they’re either in the game itself or gives them control over on-screen avatars through gesturing (using devices such Microsoft’s Kinect or the Oculus Rift VR headset). Sure can walk around in an virtual environment us ...
This weekend Bristol (UK) plays host to the Mini Maker Faire.   Mini Maker Faires which are run in partnership with Make magazine, take place all over the world and enable makers of all descriptions to come together, network, share ideas and show off some of the amazing electronics, craft and art projects they have been working on. Opening the faire at 10am is none other than Eben Upton of the Raspberry Pi foundation. Eben will also be giving a talk at the event, forming part of a stellar ...
Yuri Milner to dole out $3 million to innovators (via Yuri Milner)   Compared to athletes, actors and other celebrities, scientists do not get the recognition they deserve. They rarely get any fame so it is no wonder boys and girls would rather be athletes and entertainers rather than innovative scientists. A new award is being handed out to scientists who take chances, think big and have influenced daily lives with their work and research. The Breakthrough award is also aimed at shining a ...
Amplify educational tablet. The Amplify tablet provides students and teachers with a mobile computing solution to better serve their educational needs. (via Amplify)   As we continue our trek into a highly evolved, technological world, it is only expected that educational methods begin to follow suit to provide students with the highest quality of learning available. Leaving mundane chalkboards usage and straight vehement lecturing behind, certain colleges are already beginning this change ...
Portable Scores DigiTally is a small remote controlled scoreboard.   It is intended for small competitions or events where a large scoreboard is impractical but where there is a desire to display the score to the group.  Little leagues - Soccer, Football, Baseball Adult leagues - Softball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, tennis. Schools - School sports such as track, volleyball, wrestling, basketball, football, etc. Gyms - Interval training, swimming. Camps - There are nearly 8 ...
It’s that time of the year again to celebrate what is likely one of every mathemetician’s favorite holidays, and maybe even a few confused pastry enthusiasts too - Pi day!   On this day, March 14th, we celebrate the infinitely sequential string of numbers that is generally estimated to the much simpler 3.14 number. As one of nature’s few universal constants, the number derives from the ratio of a perfect circle’s circumference to its diameter. News headlines on this ...
Cabe Atwell

Women mentors of STEM

Posted by Cabe Atwell Mar 13, 2013
Connecting girls with women mentors in the STEM fields (via HuffingtonPost)   Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, is one of the most successful and influential women in business. She made her way through Harvard then Google, before ending up at the booming social media company Facebook. She has written a book trying to inspire women to take on more challenges and change their mindset about their role and potential in the corporate world.   Ending up in the high places is hard e ...
concept of acoustic-assisted magnetic recording device (via OSU)   Increasing our computer memory is a task that is constantly being worked on. Whether we are working on more energy efficient storage, more compact storage, or a cheaper way to deliver the goods, we will take it however we can get it. Solid state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs) are our most common form of storage medium. However, HDDs are still much cheaper than SSDs, going for around 10 times cheaper per unit of s ...
Cureved lines indicate the superconducting cavity. Bottom-right is the switch. (via UCSB & Physical Review Letters)   As we continue to pave our way to a computer-optimized world, the quest for more processing speed and computing capacity is bundled right alongside the ultimate goal. Current computing components are beginning to reach the beginning stages of their physical limits, though Moore’s Law suggests that in a few years our computers will be operating on processors sized ...
Incandescent bulbs still sold at stores. In some cases, at a fraction of the cost of alternatives. (via wiki)   Walk into just about any grocery or hardware store (even online) and you can still find old-school incandescent light bulbs stocked on the shelves ready to be sold. Their design has been relatively unchanged since they were invented roughly 126 years ago and while they were supposed to phased-out all over the world by 2012 (now 2014 for the U.S., Canada and Russia) they’re s ...
The line between a hobbyist and entrepreneur is pretty blurry, as some of the tools used by both suggests.  The groups are driven mostly by interest and passion, and the path followed is often a result of serendipity rather than strict planning and structure.   How, then, does one create a conference that fosters this type of atmosphere?  An agenda that is set months ahead of time will likely become irrelevant and boring by the day of the conference.  A stuffy conference ha ...
Rat to rat connectivity concept (via Duke University & Nature)   The internet has many uses, a form of indirect telepathy being one of them - millions of people can log on and share their thoughts and experiences through social media almost instantly for others to see. A research team at Duke University has taken this idea even further by demonstrating that the internet can indeed serve as a form of hard-wired telepathy - for rats, at least. The new study details the findings of an exp ...
(Left) Empire State Building (Right) Charlsetown High Bridge (via Phillips)   Gone are the days of incandescent lighting and in its place more efficient, longer-lasting, replacements have emerged in the form CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lighting), and more recently, LEDs (Light Emitting Diode). The latter have been used in an assortment of projects to ranging from modern home lighting to artworks presented on a massive scale like those exhibited at Light Sculpture Festivals. Philips Color Kin ...
Freescale KL02 MCU - smallest MCU as of 3/4/2013 (via Freescale & Business Wire)   The miniaturization of computer processors continues to push the physical boundaries of what technology is capable of with the increasing presence of rapidly dwindling chip sizes. The phenomena leaves many questioning how much smaller can these devices possibly get? How tiny will these processors become? Smaller still, according to Freescale’s recent announcement. Freescale, a global leader for emb ...
Code.org logo (via Code.org)   Code is the way of the future. The proof is just about everywhere you look - software is invading our everyday lives in the forms of “smart” devices with near limitless potential. Yet, only one in ten schools nationwide offers students the opportunity to take a computer science class. Is this not a detrimental situation that needs to change for the benefit of the world? I believe so, and so do a handful of wildly successful coding gurus such as Mi ...
Cabe Atwell

She++

Posted by Cabe Atwell Mar 1, 2013
Last year two Stanford students started an organization with a simple goal that could bring upon huge changes to the field of computer science. The group called, she++ (a take on C++) is intended to encourage women to enroll in computer science and tech related majors at colleges nationwide.   Currently, around 57% of undergraduates that earn diplomas are women and they make up about half of all mathematics and science degrees. Nevertheless, a huge discrepancy lies in the tiny 18% of wome ...

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