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drones distribute swarms of sterile mosquitoes to stop zika and other diseases

photo: dan vostok/getty images bug off: of the 3,000 mosquito species in the world, just three spread most human diseases.       the deadliest animal onearth, by far, is the mosquito. each year, mosquitoes infect about 700 million people with diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, west nile virus, and zika. millions of people die annually from mosquito-borne illnesses, and many of those diseases can’t be cured with drugs. it’s best to avoid being bitten in the first place, but this is becoming more difficult as the insects expand their range, migrating north with warming climates.for decades, government agencies and nonprofit organizations have tried to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases in developing countries by...




a big hydro project in big sky country

a pumped hydro project in southcentral montana could provide electric utilities in the pacific northwest with a us billion-dollar, 400-megawatt facility that mimics both a battery and a fast-start natural gas-fired plant.the gordon butte pumped storage project received its 50-year operating license from the federal energy regulatory commission in december 2016. the project holds a water right issued by the state of montana to withdraw water from a nearby stream to fill the project reservoirs, and replace water lost to evaporation and seepage. with a ferc permit in hand, gordon butte is in search of a customer for its pumped hydro capacity. according to carl borgquist, president and ceo of bozeman, montana-based absaroka energy, an engin...




optical cochlear implant turns light against hearing loss

blinking lights could soon serve a whole new purpose. recent findings have led german, swiss, and austrian researchers to develop a prototype hearing implant based on the concept that a series of laser pulses can trigger auditory signals from hair cells located within the inner ear.an array of near-infrared lasers can produce a soundwave using what’s called the optoacoustic effect, the researchers believe. in their device, tiny vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers, which pulsate light at a spectrum of 1.4 to 1.9 microns, act upon the fluid within the nautilus-shaped cochlear canals in the inner ear.basically, the infrared light is absorbed by the liquid inside the cochlea. a small fraction of the liquid will expand due to heat. if that ...




webassembly will finally let you run high-performance applications in your browser

photo: gabriela hasbun the author, luke wagner [right], and his mozilla colleague alon zakai strive to make browsers run programs faster and better. what if you could share a computer-aided design (cad) model and even allow a colleague to manipulate it from afar? “click on this link, check out my design, and feel free to add more holes or fill some in,” you might say. you wouldn’t have to instruct your distant coworker to install special software or worry about whether her operating system could run it. imagine that all your programs and data were stored in the cloud and that even computationally intensive applications like multimedia editing ran just as well in your browser as they would if they had been installed locally.si...




darpa seeking ai that learns all the time

earlier this month a self-driving shuttle in las vegas patiently waited as a delivery truck backed up, then backed up some more, then backed right into it. inconveniently for the roboshuttle’s developer navya, this happened within hours of the shuttle’s inauguration ceremony. the real problem is that the shuttle can’t learn from the incident the way a human would: immediately and without forgetting how to do everything else in the process.the u.s. defense advanced research projects agency (darpa) is looking to change the way ai works through a program it calls l2m, or lifelong learning machines. the agency is looking for systems that learn continuously, adapt to new tasks, and know what to learn and when. “we want the rigor of automa...




5g high-speed interconnect design - ieee spectrum

5g high-speed interconnect designif you want to learn about designing high-speed interconnects for 5g and satcom applications, tune into this webinar with guest speaker eric gebhard of signal microwave.connector implementation is often the last part of a design that an engineer thinks of when developing and testing new digital and rf products for 5g and satcom applications, yet it can greatly affect the performance of a design.one of the keys to avoiding this issue is to properly design the interface between the printed circuit board and the connector, known as the board launch. connectors and how they interact with the board launch can determine the success or failure of a design. if the signal entering or leaving the board launch ...




nanosys wants printing quantum dot displays to be as cheap as printing a t-shirt

quantum dots have established themselves as a go-to material for photoluminescence, in which light is emitted when stimulated by a light source. based on this capability, companies such as nanosys have been able to help display companies like samsung capture a growing segment of the display market from competing technologies such as led-backlit lcd and organic light-emitting diode (oled) displays.nanosys currently has more than 60 quantum dot-enabled products on the market, and the company now wants to make a big push to expand the capabilities of quantum dots beyond just photoluminescence into the area of electroluminescence, where photons are emitted in the presence of an electric field or current. nanosys expects this development to lead ...




uber to buy 24,000 self-driving volvos

volvo today announced that it would supply uber with 24,000 self-driving cars over a three-year period, beginning in 2019. it’s the biggest robocar deal yet."our objective is to be able to operate them without anyone behind the wheel in select cities and environments; the more common definition of that is level 4 [autonomy]," said uber's head of automotive alliances, jeff miller, in an interview with automotive news europe. miller said uber chose volvo in part for its new spa architecture, which includes wiring that can hook up with today’s advanced driver assistance systems (adas) and any further self-driving components that uber may specify. uber may, for instance, need additional features in a vehicle meant to be used purely ...




haptx inc reveals new haptic glove for virtual reality

in early october, i showed up at an old firehouse on staten island for a glimpse into the future of virtual reality. that future depends largely on haptics. now that we can use vr headsets to transport ourselves to another world, the thinking goes, we need systems to recreate sensations to bring those virtual experiences to life.i went to staten island to meet up with a little-known company that fancies itself “the leader of realistic haptic feedback.” the company—now called haptx—had promised to let me try out a prototype of its very first product.i was looking forward to it, because i’d seen a spectacular demo by the same company, then named axonvr, at ces 2017. that demo consisted of putting on an htc vive and sticking my hand ...




automatic speaker verification systems can be fooled by disguising your voice

automatic speaker verification (asv) systems are sometimes used to grant access to sensitive information and identify suspects in a court of law. increasingly, they are being baked into consumer devices, such as amazon’s echo and google’s home, to respond to person-specific commands, such as “play my music” or “read my email.”but such systems make mistakes when speakers disguise their voices to sound older or younger, according to a new study published in speech communication by researchers from the university of eastern finland. earlier research by the same group has shown that some asv systems can’t distinguish between a professional impersonator and the person they are imitating.  it’s hard to tell how similar the systems...




electric vehicles aren’t taking over our roads as fast as hype artists claim

photo-illustration: stuart bradford let me begin with a disclaimer: i am neither promoting electric vehicles nor denigrating them. i simply observe that the rational case for accepting evs has been undermined by unrealistic market forecasts and a disregard for the environmental effects involved in producing and operating these vehicles.unrealistic forecasts have been the norm. in 2008, deutsche bank predicted that evs would claim 7 percent of the u.s. market by 2016; in 2010, bloomberg businessweek put the 2016 share at 6 percent. but actual sales came to 158,614 units, just 0.9 percent of the record 17.55 million vehicles sold that year.in his 2011 state of the union address, then–u.s. president barack obama called for 1 million ...




how irobot's roomba will roomify your home

based on conversations we’ve had with irobot ceo colin angle, we’re expecting that within the next six months or so, robot vacuums will be able to understand our homes on a much more sophisticated and useful level than ever before. specifically, they’ll be able to generate maps that persist between cleaning sessions, and these maps will allow the robots to identify and remember specific rooms and adjust their cleaning behavior accordingly. (neato is also implementing this kind of capability.) for example, if your robot vacuum knows where your kitchen is, it can respond to commands like “go clean the kitchen,” or autonomously clean there as often as it needs to.at iros in september, we got a bit of a sneak peak into how irobot i...




uber to buy 24,000 self-driving volvos

volvo today announced that it would supply uber with 24,000 self-driving cars over a three-year period, beginning in 2019. it’s the biggest robocar deal yet."our objective is to be able to operate them without anyone behind the wheel in select cities and environments; the more common definition of that is level 4 [autonomy]," said uber's head of automotive alliances, jeff miller, in an interview with automotive news europe. miller said uber chose volvo in part for its new spa architecture, which includes wiring that can hook up with today’s advanced driver assistance systems (adas) and any further self-driving components that uber may specify. uber may, for instance, need additional features in a vehicle meant to be used purely ...




drones distribute swarms of sterile mosquitoes to stop zika and other diseases

photo: dan vostok/getty images bug off: of the 3,000 mosquito species in the world, just three spread most human diseases.       the deadliest animal onearth, by far, is the mosquito. each year, mosquitoes infect about 700 million people with diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, west nile virus, and zika. millions of people die annually from mosquito-borne illnesses, and many of those diseases can’t be cured with drugs. it’s best to avoid being bitten in the first place, but this is becoming more difficult as the insects expand their range, migrating north with warming climates.for decades, government agencies and nonprofit organizations have tried to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases in developing countries by...




magnetic field controls drug delivery

researchers have developed a new way to control the delivery of drugs to the body using nanoparticles and a weak magnetic field. the inventors, at the university of georgia in athens, ga tested their system with a chemotherapy drug, and published the results today in the journal nature catalysis. patients undergoing treatments for cancer and other diseases often must take drugs that affect the whole body, when they really only need the medicine in a small area. chemotherapy drugs typically “act on all cells, killing cancer cells and also healthy cells,” says sergiy minko, a professor at the university of georgia and an author of the report. as a result, “a big number of patients die because of complications” from the drugs, ...




fuel cells poised to replace india’s diesel generators

the following is an excerpt from multiphysics simulation 2017.by lexi carverdespite significant addition to power generation and transmission capacities in recent years, india still faces an energy deficit of 2.1% and about 20,000 villages are off-grid. moreover, electricity supply to urban and rural india is still unreliable. as a result, diesel generators are widely used for decentralized power generation. these generators (figure 1, top), although inexpensive, are inefficient and pose great environmental and health risks.figure 1. top: diesel generators used to power telecommunications towers in india. bottom: pem fuel cell.this is why the national chemistry laboratory (ncl) in india, along with two other labs in the council of scientifi...




techshop goes bankrupt - ieee spectrum

a little over a decade ago, jim newton, who once served as an advisor to the tv show mythbusters, and his partner ridge mcghee launched a company called techshop, opening the first of its for-profit makerspaces in menlo park, calif., the beating heart of silicon valley.their enterprise was seemingly successful, and the number of techshops soon grew, with 10 of them operating all around the united states by 2017.but yesterday techshop suddenly announced bankruptcy—the chapter 7 kind. so no re-organization; no second chance to get back in the black. techshop is kaput.i was very enthusiastic when a techshop opened in my neighborhood, the raleigh-durham area of north carolina. i never purchased an annual membership there, but i would sign up ...




stanford algorithm can diagnose pneumonia better than radiologists

stanford researchers have developed a machine-learning algorithm that can diagnose pneumonia from a chest x-ray better than a human radiologist can. and it learned how to do so in just about a month.the machine learning group, led by stanford adjunct professor andrew ng, was inspired by a data set released by the national institutes of health on 26 september. the data set contains 112,120 chest x-ray images labeled with 14 different possible diagnoses, along with some preliminary algorithms. the researchers asked four stanford radiologists to annotate 420 of the images for possible indications of pneumonia. they selected that disease because, according to a press release, it is particularly hard to spot on x-rays, and brings 1 million peopl...




5g high-speed interconnect design - ieee spectrum

5g high-speed interconnect designif you want to learn about designing high-speed interconnects for 5g and satcom applications, tune into this webinar with guest speaker eric gebhard of signal microwave.connector implementation is often the last part of a design that an engineer thinks of when developing and testing new digital and rf products for 5g and satcom applications, yet it can greatly affect the performance of a design.one of the keys to avoiding this issue is to properly design the interface between the printed circuit board and the connector, known as the board launch. connectors and how they interact with the board launch can determine the success or failure of a design. if the signal entering or leaving the board launch ...




optimize your battery management system webcast

optimize your battery management system webcastare you responsible for designing efficient battery thermal management systems? are battery temperature profiling measurements essential to you? if so, then join keysight for this webcast.you will learn how temperature profiling can• optimize battery performance• increase battery reliability• avert safety issuestechniques learned in this webcast will help decrease li-ion battery ambient temperature and increase its performance to meet the unrelenting demands of applications involving ev, mobile telecommunication devices, iot devices, medical devices and more.presenters:     dave tenney, product manager, keysight technologiesdave began working...