Poll Suggests Consumers More Cautious Online Post Snowden

According to a new survey from Harris Interactive, a significant number of consumers are being more careful with online activities in the year since Edward Snowden revealed information about NSA phone and Internet surveillance. Among the poll’s findings, Harris learned that 33 percent of those 18 to 34 said they were doing less online shopping, 29 percent of people in the same age group said they had reduced online banking activity, and 24 percent of overall respondents explained they were “less inclined to use email.”

Continue reading Poll Suggests Consumers More Cautious Online Post Snowden

K-Glass: South Korea Developing Alternative to Google Glass

South Korean researchers at public university KAIST have developed an alternative to Google Glass called the K-Glass. Although similar to Google’s electronic eyewear, KAIST’s wearable alternative is equipped with a special AR chip that enables the device to recognize objects without relying on barcodes or other markers. While currently bulkier than Glass, KAIST explains that its processor “duplicates the ability of the human brain to process visual data.” Continue reading K-Glass: South Korea Developing Alternative to Google Glass

Twitter Makes Its Data Available to Academics with New Grant

Through its new Data Grants program, Twitter is opening its archives to academics who want access to the data — and it’s all free. The data goes back to 2006, and social scientists and researchers can submit applications until March 15th to request access to old tweets. Until now, Twitter has only made this data available to partner companies for a fee starting at $500 a month. Twitter previously worked with Johns Hopkins University to predict where flu outbreaks will hit; this project hopes to make similar research possible. Continue reading Twitter Makes Its Data Available to Academics with New Grant

MIT Researchers Use Algorithm to Take Pictures in the Dark

Researchers have discovered the ability to create ultrasharp images from barely illuminated objects. This is done by mathematically stitching together information from particles of light. The development will likely be used to support studies of fragile biological materials such as the human eye, that could be damaged or destroyed by illumination. The development could also be used for military surveillance applications in locations with low light.  Continue reading MIT Researchers Use Algorithm to Take Pictures in the Dark

Study Suggests Video Game Playing May Increase Brain Size

A new study from the journal of Molecular Psychiatry explores the impact of video gameplay on the brain’s gray matter, which is responsible for muscle control, memory, and language and sensory perception. Researchers from Berlin’s Max Planck Institute for Human Development and St. Hedwig-Hospital gathered adult subjects to play a game, “Mario 64” on Nintendo’s DS system, in order to analyze the potential effect of gameplay on the brain. Continue reading Study Suggests Video Game Playing May Increase Brain Size

Study of Facebook Language Leads to Groundbreaking Results

A group of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study through which they carefully analyzed the Facebook statuses of 75,000 volunteers. The volunteers all took a personality questionnaire and made their Facebook posts available to researchers who searched for linguistic patterns. In analyzing the Facebook posts, researchers were able to determine a surprising amount of information about each individual. Continue reading Study of Facebook Language Leads to Groundbreaking Results

Megaupload Shutdown: MPAA Rejects Findings of Piracy Study

Last week, the MPAA rejected findings of a European study that suggests the shutdown of piracy site Megaupload damaged revenues for theatrical films other than blockbusters. Megaupload was shut down by the FBI in January 2012. While researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that the shutdown boosted legitimate digital sales of movies, a new study from Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and Copenhagen Business School argues that anti-piracy measures may have unintended consequences for different kinds of movies. Continue reading Megaupload Shutdown: MPAA Rejects Findings of Piracy Study

Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

The new OmniCam360 camera system uses a collection of cameras to create multiple angles for live televised events such as soccer matches and music concerts. The system provides viewers with the option to choose their viewing angle, including a 360-degree view of the event. The camera was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications in Berlin, Germany. Viewers can use a computer, tablet or smart TV in order to select views via their virtual cameras in real-time. Continue reading Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

Researchers Testing Text-Based DRM System for Ebooks

Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute are working on a new ebook DRM system called SiDiM that would change individual words of a story in an effort to combat piracy. The system would swap out text to essentially create individualized copies of an ebook that could then be tracked by the original owner. A subsidiary of the German book publisher’s association, interested in possible alternatives to the traditional lock-down approach of DRM, has joined Fraunhofer in its testing. Continue reading Researchers Testing Text-Based DRM System for Ebooks

Researchers Convert the iPhone into Affordable Medical Microscope

  • UC Davis researchers have determined how to transform the iPhone camera into a microscope with details up to 1.5 microns using a 1mm ball lens that offers 5x magnification.
  • The team “has one-upped the competition by making the iPhone into a 350x microscope for very little money,” reports TechCrunch. “Now you’ll be able to send people Instagrams of your blood cells.”
  • “The field of view is very small and there’s distortion to deal with, but by combining the in-focus areas of several pictures you can get a clear enough image to identify cell types, make counts, or even take spectroscopic readings,” comments the article on the image capturing process.
  • The post includes compelling side-by-side images comparing a commercial microscope with the iPhone camera set-up. There is also a link to the UC Davis paper, “Cell-Phone-Based Platform for Biomedical Device Development and Education Applications.”
  • “It may not be a mobile clinic, but in areas where money and electricity are hard to come by, an iPhone could be a valuable diagnostic tool,” suggests TechCrunch.