would start running popular smartphone apps such as the social-networking phenomenon Facebook and online music service Pandora on its connected car

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15 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 4 μήνες)

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News Articles


Auto apps


Rather than struggle to keep pace with new technology, car manufacturers
are increasingly relying on smartphones to provide tech features….
look at
GPS navigation: A
new $170 portable navigation device is more
accurate and has more features than the built
n $2,000 option the
dealership wants to sell you. That's because it takes years for a car
to make it from the drawing board to the showroom, while new
gadgets and apps appear every day….
automakers like
BMW, Ford,
and GM are changing their tack. Instead of
trying to stuff dashboards
with the latest technology, like gigabytes of memory or dedicated
computer systems, they're designing more streamlined systems that
simply connect to drivers' smartphones…
idea is to rely on those
devices to provide the communicat
ions and computing power to
deliver new services and features. After all, what's more current,

or your 6
old SUV

which was designed before
there was such a thing as Faceb
ook, or Twitter?...

even GM's

decided to take the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach,
announcing that it
would start running popular smartphone apps
such as the social
networking phenomen
on Facebook and
online music service Pandora on its connected car
OnStar is still testing
some of the new features, which
include having text messages from an Apple or Android
smartphone read aloud to drivers over a car's stereo system and
ing voice commands to post messages on Facebook…
Ford is
already seen as the leader in automated navigation and
information services in the car, thanks to its Sync system. Sync
is based on a Microsoft service that reads text messages and
recognizes voice co
mmands; with it drivers can ask Sync for
songs from connected MP3 players or request directions to the
even with these built
in smarts, Ford realizes that it can't
keep up with the pace of innovation. So the company also is
allowing smartphone applic
ations on Android phones to link directly
to Sync
equipped cars…
means that drivers will be able to
through radio shows on Stitcher.com by using the steering wheel
controls in the car, rather than looking down and reaching for a
Ford and OnStar

will also allow software developers to
create new apps to work with their vehicles. And both
will allow
owners to plug in Wi
Fi routers that connect to the Internet using a
cellular data connection, essentially turning the car into a roving hot
des, for example, offers an iPhone app that can unlock
or lock a car via the Web. Meanwhile, car stereo companies are
linking to smartphones too. Alpine and Pioneer have models that
play music that streams live from Pandora

via a
phone makers

themselves are working on car
connections. RIM, maker of the popular

phones, recently
bought QNX Software Systems. QNX makes the software that's
embedded in over 200 differen
t car models, ranging from Audi to
….in the race to offer the latest technology to car
buyers, things may get a little out of hand. There's
nagging issue of
distracted driving
, for
example. It's difficult to know what consumers in the future will think
is a must
have feature (such as reading messages aloud or playing
music from the Web) and what's simply ... well, ridiculous…
real problem is that drivers wi
experience cognitive overload and be
unable to process all the information
without becoming a danger to others
on the road
much information is safe, and in what
form drivers can process it without increasing the risk of an accident,
is still the sub
ject of much research…


Pakistan tensions


Two suspected American missile str
killed 12
alleged militants in a northwest Pakistani tribal region
sign the U.S. is unwilling to stop using the
unpopular tactic despite heightened tensions between
the two countries over recent border incursions by
A surge in U.S.
missile strikes in Pakistan
along with NATO operations along the border suggests
Western forces are cracking down on insurgents who
easily move between Afghanistan and Pakistan's
porous boundary…
suspected U.S. missiles struck
buildings Saturday morning in
the Datta Khel village of
North Waziristan tribal region…
Over the past five
weeks, the U.S. has launched at least 22 missile
strikes in Pakistani territory, an unprecedented
number. Western officials say some of the CIA
controlled, drone
fired strikes have

been aimed at
disrupting a terror plot against European
Public outrage has also risen over the recent
NATO incursions. It hit a peak on Thursday, when two
NATO helicopters crossed into Kurram tribal region and
killed three Pakistani paramilitary so
ldiers who fired
warning shots at them from a border post…


Monkey personalities


Most days we want to find a specific monkey or
group of monkeys
. We
do not tag, mark or radio
collar the geladas, though countless times I have
wished to do so out of frustration…
adept at
distinguishing individual gelada
There are the
easy monkeys to
identify, like Tail, the female with half of her tail
missing. And then there are the hard ones, which
make up a vast majority of our monkeys.
identify these individuals we look for subtle
differences, like small scars or d
iscolorations on
their ears or face…As zoologists we don’t like to

Your research subjects
should be just that

research subjects. This is
much easier said than done. Fortunately
anthropomorphizing is not always bad.
gelada has a uni
que personality. An expert
researcher will pick up on these personalities
and use them for identification…
example, one of
unit juveniles is obnoxious

(all females in a
reproductive unit are given names beginning with
the same letter

in this unit al
l of the females
have names beginning with the letter V). She
throws childlike tantrums whenever her mother
doesn’t let her nurse, screaming and yelling until
she gets her way
. This makes
locating her
mother a relatively easy task
. On the other
end of the
spectrum are some absolute
sweethearts. They are calm and don’t antagonize
other monkeys. These monkeys are easy to find in
a unit…


Dung information


colleagues and I are currently studying gelada
reproductive strategies, hormones and genetics.
We can best be described as hunter
using every part of our prey.
But there’s a
We hunt poop…
Gelada society is
complex, with multiple levels of association…One
can obtain all sorts of
information from poop.
What have your research subjects been
eating? Do they have any parasites? How
stressed are they? Is thi
s female cycling,
lactating or pregnant? Does that male have
high or low testosterone? Who is this
baby’s father? Are those two females

To answer each of these questions
requires a different part of the sample

and we
use the entire sample…olleag
ues focus on the
hormonal questions: stress and sex. For this they
collect the homogenized center of the fecal
sample, which contains the relatively stable
hormonal metabolites…I study the genetics. For
this I collect the outer layer of the feces. This
er contains skin cells with valuable genetic
information…Collecting poop is our way of doing
invasive research without being invasive. We
cannot just collect any sample we see. We need to
place the piece of poop into context. For both
genetics and hormones

we need to know the
individual who “gave” us the sample…


Active cyber defenses


U.S. military must develop much better, more
defenses against cyber attacks, according to Deputy
Defense Secretary William Lynn…"Sophisticated and
maybe relatively unsophisticated participants in
conflicts are going to use cyber,"…

Cyber attacks in
2007 against Estonia and 2008 against Georgia

government and business websites to crash and
disrupted communications…sophisticated cyber worm
that some describe as a new cyber weapon, has
invaded and possibly hobbled a controversial nuclear
power plant in Iran…"We are very dependent on
tion technology for much of our military
capability," Lynn said. So enemies could use cyber
attacks to cripple "our ability to do precision targeting,
to communicate, there could be challenges to our
logistics systems, to our transportation systems," and
utside the military, "there could be threats to the


Airman killed


Air Force Special Operations Command combat controller died Sept.
while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom…
Senior Airman
Mark A. Forester, 29, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., was
killed while
conducting combat operations with his special forces team in
Uruzgan province, Afghanistan….


Germans killed in Pakistan


missile killed five German militants taking shelter
in a house in northwest
Pakistan on Monday…
attack hit
a house in North Waziristan. That region has been
named as the source of a European terror plot that has
prompted American authorities to issue a travel
One or more German citizens are reported to
be linked to the pl

five victims were believed to be
German citizens in the region for terrorist
training…Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office has
said that
there is "concrete evidence" that 70 of
some 220 people who have traveled from Germany
to Pakistan and Afghan
istan for paramilitary
training have received it. It is believed that about a
third of those 70 have returned to Germany…
senior Pakistani intelligence official
said last week that
some 60 Germans were believed to be in the region
where the latest missile

strike occurred.

He said
eight of

as well as two Britons, one of whom was killed
in a Sept. 8 missile strike

were at the heart of the
Europe terror plot…


Social networks and games


Can your social network make you healthier? It's a question that
health organizations are asking more and more
as part of a wave of
new gaming experiments that aim to persuade players to think an
act differently while having fun…, Vancouver game consulting
company Ayogo launched a Facebook game called HealthSeeker
that awards "life experience" points or virtual gifts when players with
diabetes make small lifestyle changes…hallenge of this kind of

game isn't to convince people of something but to get them to
act…Reinforcing those small actions could turn them into habits that
add up to better health…real power of the game lies in the principle
of reciprocity, the tendency to do something positive f
or someone
who did something positive for you. Game designers take advantage
of reciprocity by making it easy for users to send gifts to friends…In
HealthSeeker, a user can send a "Kudo"
a virtual gift designed to
be interesting or amusing
to reward frie
nds for completing a task
such as going a day without chocolate. When they receive a Kudo,
users feel rewarded and acknowledged for doing something difficult,
Fergusson explains. They will also feel a subtle but powerful
obligation to return the favor…game

also draws on the power of
social networks in other ways. Users can accept challenges from
friends, which Fergusson says make them more likely to take on the
recommended mission (the average player is working on two active
missions; players who have accep
ted a friend's challenge average

psychology is simple but powerful: not only do people like to
win, but they don't like to feel like they've lost something…more and
more industries look to social games to change habits, games can
become a win
situation: the user feels engaged and rewarded
for winning while a company or a society can achieve a critical


Learning Semantic web


Give a computer a
task that can be crisply defined

win at chess, predict the weather

and the machine
bests humans nearly every time
. Yet when
are nuanced or ambiguous, or require

varied sources of information,
computers are no match for human
Few challenges in computing loom
larger than
unraveling semantics, understanding the
meaning of language.

One reason is that the
of words and phrases hinges not only on t
heir context,
but also on background knowledge that humans learn
over years, day after day….
team of researchers at
egie Mellon University

been fine
tuning a
computer system that is trying to master semantics by
learning more like a human…
computer was primed by
the researchers with some basic knowledge in various
categories and set loose on the Web with a mission to

teach itself…
“For all the advances in computer science,
we still don’t have a computer that can learn as
humans do, cumulatively, over the long

Ending Language Learning system
or NELL, has made an impressive showing so far.
scans hundreds of millions of Web pages for text
patterns that it uses to learn facts, 390,000 to date,
with an estimated accuracy of 87 percent
. These facts
grouped into semantic categories

companies, sports teams, actors, universities,
plants and 274 others. The category facts are
things like “San Francisco is a city” and
“sunflower is a plant.”…

also learns facts
that are relations between members of two categories
For example,
Peyton Manning

is a football player
(category). The Indianapolis Colts is a football team
(category). By
scanning text patterns, NELL can in
with a high probability that Peyton Manning plays for
the Indianapolis Colts

even if it has never read that
Mr. Manning plays for the Colts.
“Plays for” is a
relation, and there are 280 kinds of relations. The
number of categories and relations has m
ore than
doubled since earlier this year, and will steadily
learned facts are continuously added to
NELL’s growing database
, which the researchers call a
“knowledge base.”…

NELL is one project in a
widening field of research and investment aimed at

enabling computers to
better understand the meaning
of language
. Many of these efforts tap the Web as a rich
trove of text to
assemble structured ontologies

formal descriptions of concepts and relationships

help computers mimic human understanding…
“question answering” machine,
, shows
remarkable semantic understanding in fields like
history, literature and sports as it plays the quiz show

Google Squared
, a research project at
the Internet search giant, demonstrates
grasp of
semantic categories as it finds and presents
information from around the Web on search topics like
“U.S. presidents” and “cheeses

Computers that
understand language, experts say, promise a big payoff
someday. The potential
applications range fr
smarter search (supplying natural
language answers
to search queries, not just links to Web pages) to
virtual personal assistants that can reply to questions
in specific disciplines or activities like health,
education, travel and shopping…
NELL, th
researchers built a base of knowledge, seeding each
kind of category or relation with 10 to 15 examples that
are true
. In the
category for emotions, for example:
“Anger is an emotion.” “Bliss is an emotion.” And about
a dozen more…
NELL gets to work.

Its tools
include programs that extract and classify text phrases
from the Web, programs that look for patterns and
correlations, and programs that learn rules
. For
example, when the computer system reads the phrase
“Pikes Peak,” it studies the structure

two words,
beginning with a capital letter, and the last word is
Peak. That structure alone might make it probable that
Pikes Peak is a mountain. But NELL also reads in
several ways
. It will mine for text phrases that
surround Pikes Peak and similar

noun phrases
repeatedly. For example, “I climbed XXX.”…

“So much
of human language is background knowledge,
knowledge accumulated over time. That’s where
is headed, and the challenge is how to get that

A helping hand from humans,
nally, will be part of the answer. For the first six
months, NELL ran unassisted. But the research team
noticed that while it did well with most categories and
relations, its accuracy on about one
fourth of them
trailed well behind.
Starting in June, the r
began scanning each category and relation for about
five minutes every two weeks. When they find blatant
errors, they label and correct them, putting NELL’s
learning engine back on track…
When Dr. Mitchell
scanned the “baked goods” category recen
tly, he noticed
a clear pattern. NELL was at first quite accurate, easily
identifying all kinds of pies, breads, cakes and cookies
as baked goods.

But things went awry after NELL’s
phrase classifier decided “Internet cookies” was a
baked good….




Wires from the sensors connect to a computer
programmed to respond to your brain’s activity…
your brain behaves as desired, you’ll be encouraged
with soothing sounds and visual treats, like images of
exploding stars or a flowering
field. If not, you’ll get
silence, a darkening screen and wilting
neurofeedback, a kind of biofeedback for
the b
, which practitioners say can address a host
of neurological ills

among them
attention deficit
vity disorder
, depression and anxiety

allowing patients to alter their own brain waves
through practice and repetition…
average course of

treatment, with at least 30 sessions, can cost $3,000 or
more, and few health insurers will pay for it…
there had
been “quite a bit of improvement” in many of the
children’s behavior, as reported by parents and
no question that neurofeedb
works, that people can change brain activity,” he said.
“The big questions we still haven’t answered are
precisely how it works and how it can be harnessed to
treat disorders

William E. Pelham Jr., director of the
Center for Children and Families at

International University,
called neurofeedback
“crackpot charlatanism.” He warned that exaggerated
claims for it might lead parents to favor it over proven
options like behavioral therapy and medication….
major attraction of the technique is the
hope that it can
help patients avoid drugs, which often have side effects.
Instead, patients practice routines that seem more like
exercising a muscle…Brain cells communicate with one
another, in part, through a constant storm of electrical
impulses. Their

patterns show up on an
electroencephalogram, or EEG, as brain waves with
different frequencies…
eurofeedback practitioners say
people have problems when their brain wave
frequencies aren’t suited for the task at hand, or when
parts of the brain aren’t comm
unicating adequately
other parts. These issues, they say, can be
represented on a “brain map,” the initial EEG readings
that serve as a guide for treatment. Subsequently, a
clinician will help a patient learn to slow down or speed
up those brain waves
, through a process known as
operant conditioning….
treated more than 1,000
autistic children over the past seven years and
had conducted a clinical study, finding striking
reductions in sy
mptoms, as reported by parents…as
practitioners lobby for broader
acceptance, including
insurance recognition, a sure sign of neurofeedback’s
increasing popularity is the number of companies

selling supposedly mind
altering systems to use at




readers who
heretofore have been spared exposure to
this little concatenation of capital letters, or who
quite understandably, misconstrued its meaning, STEM
stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics, supposedly the major food groups of a
comprehensive science education…
A new report

the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and
Technology offers many worthy ideas for improving
science education,
like creating a “master corps”
of the nation’s finest science teachers who
would i
n turn train others; but the STEM word
keeps thudding up its pages like so many gristle
nubs in a turkey burger…
the potential for confusion
is even worse. “People hear about STEM education, and
they think some harm has come to an embryo in the

erm also sounds didactic and jargony,
which is why Sally Ride, the former astronaut who now
travels the country promoting the glories of science
education to girls and other interested parties, said she
consciously avoids it…5,000 participants were asked
hether they understood the term “STEM education,”
86 percent said no. “They said it made them think of
stem cells, branches, leaves and broccoli stems,” said
Brian Dyak, the group’s president. “I have no clue on
that last one.” Clearly, he added, “we have
a branding
issue here.”…

Stage, a mathematician by training,
thinks it’s a “false distinction” to “silo out” the different
disciplines, and would much prefer to focus on what the
fields have in common, like problem
solving, arguing
from evidence and re
conciling conflicting views. “That’s
what we should have in the bulls’
eye of our target,” she
Advances in technology illuminate realms
beyond our born senses, and
those insights in turn
yield better scientific toys. Engineers use math and
physics an
d the scientific mind
set in everything they
design; and those who don’t, please let us know, so we
can fly someone else’s airplane and not cross your
bridge when we come to it. Whatever happened to the
need for interdisciplinary

thinking? Why promote a
and that codifies atomization?...


Increased activity


.S. and NATO forces have killed more than 100 fighters from a
based faction

of the

during two weeks of
up military operations along the Afghanistan
intensified border operations have contributed to tension
between the United States and

that reached a critical point
last week, when U.S. forces crossed into Pakistan

and mistakenly
killed three Pakistani frontier forces. Pakistan closed a key border
crossing used to supply fuel to U.S. forces in

retaliation…tally was an example of an

increasing U.S. willingness to
provide figures for enemy deaths in a counterinsurgency fight that
U.S. commanders have long insisted can never be won by
The threat is real, and though we've had success in killing
110 of them, there clearly are
more of them out there who remain a
threat to our forces

Morrell said he has not heard anything to
suggest the U.S. will change the way its aircraft operate along the
border, although he would not discuss specific rules of
engagement…."We will retain th
e right to defend our forces, to
defend ourselves," he said during a Pentagon press conference.
"And our forces who operate on the border with Pakistan are in a
very dangerous and difficult situation."…

S. and Pakistani officials
have said the Torkham cr
ossing would probably reopen within a few
days. U.S. military officials said the closure has not harmed delivery
of fuel to U.S. forces, although alternate routes are less convenient
and more expensive