It might be a stretch to suggest that there’d be no AI without John McCarthy, but at the very least, we’d likely be discussing the concept much differently. The computer scientist, who died on Sunday at 84, is credited with coining the term “Artificial Intelligence” as part of a proposal for a Dartmouth conference on the subject. The event, held in 1956, is regarded as a watershed moment for the subject. Early the following decade, McCarthy pioneered LISP, a highly popular programming language amongst the AI development community. In 1971, he won a Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery and 20 years later was awarded National Medal of Science. A more complete obituary for McCarthy can be found in the source link below.
John McCarthy, AI pioneer, dies at 84 originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 25 Oct 2011 19:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: artificial intelligence
, turing award
No matter what country you’re in, you’ll find at least one body-painted sports nut willing to act a fool in the name of fandom. To figure out what makes these hooligans tick, Sharp’s setting up trucks outside EuroCup 2012 matches to measure fans’ brainwaves using biometric technology. Once inside these mobile FanLabs, volunteers will watch the game while wearing the company’s NeuroSky headsets — a super sensitive EEG that uses dry electrodes to measure cerebral activity. By looking at brainwaves, along with heart rate and vocal excitement, scientists hope to reveal what levels of attention, stress, relaxation and excitement a fan goes through while supporting a specific team. Even if you’re not lending your melon to science, you can still join in the fun online, and see how you stack up against fans from around the world. So, bust out the body paint, grab your foam fingers and check out the video after the break.
Continue reading Sharp FanLabs goes inside soccer fans’ minds, measures loyalty with brainwaves (video)
Sharp FanLabs goes inside soccer fans’ minds, measures loyalty with brainwaves (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 22:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, euro 2012
, neurosky headset
Think only Boy Scouts can earn badges in bad-ass activities like robotics and video games (whatever happened to wood carving and fire building)? Well you are wrong sir (or ma’am). The Girl Scouts of America are giving their merit badges a 21st century makeover, adding high-tech accomplishments like Computer Expert and Digital Movie Maker, as well as more esoteric points of pride like Locavore. Even old standbys are being reinvented for the modern age like the Fashion, Fitness and Makeup badge, which is now known as the Science of Style and focuses on how things like sunscreen work and making your own perfume. The update sounds like the sort of thing that strong, tech-savvy women like Lady Ada might approve of and we’re all for it, why should the Boy Scouts be the only ones to learn about nuclear fusion? Just make sure our Thin Mints still arrive on time… seriously, we’re starting to go through withdrawal over here!
Girl Scout merit badges get a 21st century facelift, focus on science and technology originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 15 Oct 2011 07:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: activity badges
, science and technology
Samsung’s quest for transparency won’t end with laptops, apparently. Today, the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology announced that its engineers have successfully created “single crystalline Gallium Nitride on amorphous glass substrates” — an achievement that would allow the manufacturer to produce jumbo-sized LEDs from normal glass, including window panes. Samsung says this scaled-up approach will allow them to lower production costs relative to most LED manufacturers, which rely on sapphire, rather than glass substrates. And, whereas most Gallium Nitride (GaN) LEDs on the market measure just two inches in size, Sammy’s technique could result in displays about 400 times larger. “In ten years, window panes will double as lighting and display screens, giving personality to buildings,” a Samsung spokesperson told the Korea Herald. Unfortunately, however, it will likely be another ten years before the technology is ready to hit the market. Until then, we’ll just have to do our late night window coding the old fashioned way.
[Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures / The New York Times]
Samsung breakthrough could turn your window pane into a big ol’ LED originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 10 Oct 2011 09:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, gallium nitride
, gan led
, window pane
The man on your left is Dr. Peng Ning — a computer science professor at NC State whose team, along with researchers from IBM, has developed an experimental new method for safely securing cloud-stored data. Their approach, known as a “Strongly Isolated Computing Environment” (SICE), would essentially allow engineers to isolate, store and process sensitive information away from a computing system’s hypervisors — programs that allow networked operating systems to operate independently of one another, but are also vulnerable to hackers. With the Trusted Computing Base (TCB) as its software foundation, Ping’s technique also allows programmers to devote specific CPU cores to handling sensitive data, thereby freeing up the other cores to execute normal functions. And, because TCB consists of just 300 lines of code, it leaves a smaller “surface” for cybercriminals to attack. When put to the test, the SICE architecture used only three percent of overhead performance for workloads that didn’t require direct network access — an amount that Ping describes as a “fairly modest price to pay for the enhanced security.” He acknowledges, however, that he and his team still need to find a way to speed up processes for workloads that do depend on network access, and it remains to be seen whether or not their technique will make it to the mainstream anytime soon. For now, though, you can float past the break for more details in the full PR.
Continue reading NC State researchers team with IBM to keep cloud-stored data away from prying eyes
NC State researchers team with IBM to keep cloud-stored data away from prying eyes originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 07 Oct 2011 09:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
A baby book for our cosmos? That’d be a happy by-product of the massive insight star-gazing scientists are set to glean from Alma — the telescope responsible for ushering in a “new golden age of astronomy.” The Atacama large millimeter/submillimeter array (as it’s known in long form), located 3,000 meters above sea level on a Chilean plateau, goes beyond the voyeuristic powers of current optical telescopes, delivering detailed imagery of the dense gas clouds that birth baby stars. Why is this significant? Well, using the complex 20-antenna strong array (a total of 66 are planned), astronomers from North America, Europe and Japan will get a first-hand glimpse of the gaseous mix that was our universe a few hundred million years post-Big Bang. Consider the research a time-traveling peek back into the formative years of existence. Heady stuff, yes, but the array won’t have its multiple, celestial-focused eyes trained solely on star nurseries; scientists from around the globe already plan on getting an up close look at the Sagittarius A black hole. When these “Pyramids of the 21st Century” finish construction in 2013, we’ll be just one step closer to viewing the limits of our cosmic fishbowl.
Alma observatory captures stars being born, reports back on universe’s awkward teenage years originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 03 Oct 2011 19:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, atacama desert
If you spent your childhood longing to fly, you’re not alone — and one Princeton grad may have come one step closer to making it a reality with a prototype magic carpet. Ok, it’s not actually a rug of the magical variety, but a 4-inch piece of plastic electrified by tiny conducting threads. It works as such: by applying a current to the sheet, tiny air pockets form underneath, propelling it forward one centimeter a second. Since it requires air pockets to move forward, the carpet must stay close to the ground — making it more like Marty McFly’s hoverboard than Aladdin’s preferred mode of transportation. Better yet, the inventor has plans for a solar powered version, which would free the carpet from heavy battery constraints and allow it to travel freely over larger distances. Check out the video and source after the break for more deets.
Continue reading Prototype magic carpet uses electrified threads to ‘fly,’ Aladdin pre-orders (video)
Prototype magic carpet uses electrified threads to ‘fly,’ Aladdin pre-orders (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 01 Oct 2011 21:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, electrical power
The eyes of the physics community are collectively fixed upon Illinois today, where, later this afternoon, researchers at Fermilab will shut down the Tevatron
particle accelerator… for good. That’s right — the world’s second-largest collider is being laid to rest, after a remarkable 25-year run that was recently halted due to budgetary constraints. Earlier this year, Fermilab’s scientists and a group of prominent physicists pleaded with the government to keep the Tevatron running until 2014, but the Energy Department ultimately determined that the lab’s $100 million price tag was too steep, effectively driving a nail through the accelerator’s subterranean, four-mile-long coffin. First activated in 1985, the Tevatron scored a series of subatomic breakthroughs over the course of its lifespan, including, most notably, the discovery of the so-called top quark in 1995. Its groundbreaking technology, meanwhile, helped pave the way for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider
, which will now pursue the one jewel missing from the Tevatron’s resume — the Higgs boson. Many experts contend that the collider could’ve gone on to achieve much more, but its ride will nonetheless come to an inglorious end at 2PM today, when Fermilab director Pier Oddone oversees the Tevatron’s last rites. “That will be it,” physicist Gregorio Bernardi told the Washington Post
. “Then we’ll have a big party.”
Pour one out for the Tevatron particle accelerator, because it’s shutting down today originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 30 Sep 2011 08:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, energy department
Practicing its fist pump and channeling its inner Devo, the London Science Museum will be paying homage to electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram by resurrecting her old synthesizer last used in the ’70s — a device that relies on 35mm film to pump out jams. The classic clunker was found in a French barn last month and will be brought out into the open for the first time in forty years at the museum in old Blighty. “Oramics” operators “draw” music on ten strips of clear film to create a mask. The machine then reads the tape as differences in light and turns it into voltage control, which is used to switch oscillators and control the amplitude of the sound. The effect? A creepy vortex of haunting sounds. Fans of glow sticks and synth sounds can check out the exhibit until December, but if a trip to Londontown’s not in your future, there’s a video you should ogle after the break.
Continue reading London Science Museum undusts Oramics machine, revisits OG electronic music innovation
London Science Museum undusts Oramics machine, revisits OG electronic music innovation originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 26 Sep 2011 16:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, electronic music
, london science museum
You may have a better chance of winning the lottery or running into Captain Kirk at the mall, but when it comes to being impaled with pieces of the now defunct Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite as it plummets towards Earth, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The SatelliteAR Android app has added a temporary feature that gives stargazers the ability to monitor this space junk’s trajectory to avoid impact when it re-enters the atmosphere sometime later today. NASA has assured us that the bus-sized satellite won’t land anywhere in North America, but if it touches down at night, people on the ground could witness a pretty sweet light show wherever it does land. Android users determined to avoid a Wicked Witch of the East-like fate can download the app at the source link below and check out the video demo after the break.
Continue reading SatelliteAR Android app now tracks falling UARS, helps you avoid being smooshed
SatelliteAR Android app now tracks falling UARS, helps you avoid being smooshed originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 23 Sep 2011 11:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.