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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

3D Food Printer Could Sustain Long-Distance Space Explorers

May 22nd, 2013
In space no one can hear you call out for pizza, but technology being developed in a NASA-funded project might let astronauts print one instead -- or any number of potentially delectable meals. Systems and Materials Research Corporation received a US$125,000 grant from NASA to build a prototype device that prints food. The project, led by mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor, is still quite a ways from the replicator technology of Star Trek, but it could be the next step in providing sustenance for those planning to leave the Earth's orbit.


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Can Technology Save the World?

May 15th, 2013

can tech save the world, technology and climate change, technology and global warming, life saving inventions, eco innovations, drones, genetic engineering, water issues, recycling, environmental damage, tech solutions for a changing world, global issues

Can technology save the world? In short: No, not by itself. A sweeping set of changes in the way we interact with the planet is needed to stabilize our rapidly deteriorating biosphere and avert a bleak future. Technology is simply a tool to help us achieve these changes. A dangerous argument, however, is when decision-makers and influencers say our impact on the planet is not a concern, and changes in our behavior are not needed in the near future, or ever, because technology will save us. Sounds ridiculous, but various forms of this argument are commonly invoked in government and international forums, particularly when profits and votes come into play.

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Post tags: can tech save the world, drones, eco-innovations, environmental damage, genetic engineering, global issues, life saving inventions, recycling, tech solutions for a changing world, technology and climate change, technology and global warming, water issues

    




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IBM Wants To Bring Enterprise the Speed of Flash

April 11th, 2013
IBM is enlarging its commitment to using flash memory technology for its products and in support of its clients. On Thursday, Big Blue announced a strategic initiative to improve the use of flash in the enterprise, including a $1 billion investment in R&D and the introduction of a new line of all-flash storage appliances.

The re-writable memory technology can improve the response times of information retrieval in servers or storage from milliseconds to microseconds, and, with no moving parts, is inherently more reliable and energy efficient than conventional hard drives.

For transaction-based processing, such as in banking, trading and telecommunications, IBM said flash systems can deliver as much as 90 percent reductions in time required. For batch processing in enterprise resource planning or business analytics, the reduction can be up to 85 percent, and for energy consumption in data center or cloud computing, as much as 80 percent.

'Revolutionary Impact'

Ambuj Goyal, general manager of Systems Storage at the IBM Systems & Technology Group, said in a statement that flash's economics and performance "are at a point where the technology can have a revolutionary impact on enterprises, especially for transaction-intensive applications."

Companies are increasingly dealing with huge flows of data, from mobile devices, transactional processing, data mining, media files and other sources. Additionally, data centers and workforces are now distributed across geographies, sometimes over thousands of servers, so that storage system delays only add to the ongoing problem of data transmission and coordination.

The new research and development funding is targeted at designing, creating and integrating new flash solutions into the company's servers, middleware and storage products. IBM is also opening a dozen Centers of Competency that will allow clients to test proof-of-concept scenarios using actual data, in order to see if the flash solutions improve performance. Applications that are expected to be demonstrated...



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New Tech Could Help Your Smartphone Camera See

April 9th, 2013
The camera in your smartphone may soon have a new trick: depth perception. Toshiba, Samsung and Silicon Valley startup Pelican Imaging are developing image sensors and software that would allow cameras to detect the distance of objects within the scenes they photograph.

The new camera technology could start showing up in smartphones as soon as this year. Initially, it will allow consumers to do things like refocus their pictures after they take them, much like they can with Lytro's "light-field" camera today.

But because of their small size and, in some cases, high resolution, the new cameras could also be used in a wide range of other applications. In the future, they could be employed in new, more precise versions of Microsoft's Kinect, the gesture-sensing game controller; in cars as collision-preventing backup cameras; as identification systems that can precisely distinguish individual faces; and in a kind of three-dimensional scanner for 3D printing.

"This type of technology is the next big thing for imaging," said Chris Chute, an imaging analyst at research firm IDC.

I recently met with Pelican and got a demonstration of its technology. The company has designed a chip that, instead of containing a solitary image sensor, has an array of 16 or even 20 of them.

To get depth information, the chip essentially employs the principle of parallax, the same basic method astronomers use to measure the distance to nearby stars. Pelican's software is able to determine the distance to a particular point in an image by using the known distance between its multiple sensors and the sensors' viewing angles to that point.

Pelican's software takes the images recorded by each of the individual sensors in its array and combines them, yielding not only an 8 megapixel image, but one with depth information for each point within it.

The company's technology appears to be...



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Leap Jumps To Capture Next Step in Motion Control

March 17th, 2013
In a bustling tent set up in a parking lot here at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival, people are pointing their hands and gesturing with chopsticks as they guide various actions on a dozen computer screens.

Some of the sharpest minds in technology have gathered in Austin, Texas, to ponder the ever-connected nature of the modern world. A big theme this year focuses on how to create more seamless interactions between people and technology, finding ways to control devices that go beyond mice, trackpads and touchscreens.

That's where the Leap Motion computer controller comes in. It's the gadget's first public appearance. On display are popular games such as the fruit-chopping "Fruit Ninja," and a more challenging one involving a maze. One man paints a picture by moving his fingers a few inches from a computer screen.

Greg Dziem, who works in data management in Austin, is using the controller to play the maze game. "It's pretty sensitive," he says. "You have to go slow. You have to be calm, steady."

The best-known motion controller to date has been Microsoft Corp.'s Kinect, which is used primarily for video games. People stand at least six feet from the device, which is usually mounted on or near a TV set. Cameras in the Kinect track users' movements and transmit them to the computer. But while Kinect is meant for living rooms and dancing games, Leap Motion is designed for people to use while seated and moving their hands just a few inches from the screens of laptops and personal computers.

"The technology was born out of the deep frustration of interacting with computers," says CEO and co-founder Michael Buckwald. While computers are "vastly different" than they were 30 years ago, he says, the way people interact with them hasn't really evolved.

Leap hopes to change that, allowing people...



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Keeping Up With the Future: Risk Management for Rapid Technology Adoption

February 22nd, 2013
Everyone knows that protecting an organization's technology footprint has always been a delicate balancing act. Nowadays, literally everything about a given organization's technology portfolio is in a near-constant state of change; technologies change, usage changes and the threat landscape changes. Changes come at higher frequency -- and at increasing scale. Now more than ever, there is no status quo in technology. This presents a bit of a quandary for organizations that wish to approach technology risk in a systematic and structured way.



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Passware expands to grab Facebook and Google passwords

February 20th, 2013
Password-scanning technology is gaining ground, but there are ways you can help secure your Mac against it. [Read more]



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PlayStation 4 should go all-in on cloud-streaming games

February 19th, 2013
The technology for live-streaming gameplay is still imperfect, but the era of physical media is ending. [Read more]



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Opera buying Skyfire for mobile-video technology

February 15th, 2013
To boost its business with mobile network operators, the Norwegian browser maker is spending up to $155 million for the Silicon Valley startup. [Read more]



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Facebook prepares to amp up its ad war with Google with Atlas

February 13th, 2013
Social network expected to soon buy extensive ad-serving technology from Microsoft in bid to deliver socially powered ads and reach further into the display ad business. [Read more]



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