Referencias | References

Referencias completas de vocabulario, eventos, crónicas, evidencias y otros contenidos utilizados en los proyectos relacionados con biotecnología y neurociencia de la KW Foundation.

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Will open source save the Internet of Things? [1184]

de System Administrator - jueves, 2 de abril de 2015, 14:12

Will open source save the Internet of Things?

By Maria Korolov

Middleware standards based on open source could be the glue that pulls IOT solutions together.

To some degree, open source is already present throughout the Internet of Things value chain. Cloud apps that collect and analyze data are heavily dependent on open source software and standards, for example.

And many of the individual IoT devices and gateways run on some version of Linux. "Device manufacturers have taken up open source software at the operating system level at a 40 to 50 percent share, but there's also a lot of proprietary and legacy software embedded in devices and that will continue," says Bill Weinberg, senior director at Black Duck Software.

But it's not so much the technology inside the IoT devices, or end user control applications where open source will make the biggest difference. It’s where the need is the greatest -- the middleware, the messaging standards and the behind-the-scenes management applications.

Without that, customers and enterprises considering investing in IoT technology are having a hard time putting all the pieces together, and many are putting off purchases altogether to avoid betting on dead-end platforms.

The biggest standards are proprietary and, moreover, specific to niche industry verticals, says Ian Skerrett, vice president of marketing at the Ottawa-based Eclipse Foundation, one of the groups looking to create common open source standards for IoT.

On the consumer side, there are many proprietary silos as well, such as Google's Thread platform, and Apple's HomeKit. ZigBee, an older proprietary communication standard has multiple profiles within the standard, so different ZigBee devices don't necessarily speak the same language.

Wider adoption of open source will help Internet of Things ecosystems grow and develop by making it easier for products from different vendors to communicate with one another, as well as by lowering barriers to entry for new companies, and lowering costs.

However, with several different open source frameworks competing, and several entrenched proprietary platforms, it will take time to see who the winners are.

Can you hear me now?

Fragmentation is the biggest challenge right now not only for retail and enterprise customers, but also for any vendor looking to participate in the IoT.

"There are a lot of different options for how to build the software, what protocols are used to communicate," Weinberg says. "We're very early and we're not going to see a huge amount of standardization anytime soon."

For example, one manufacturer might make lights, switches, video cameras and temperature controls that interact with one another, and talk to the cloud, and can be managed via an app on a smartphone.

Another manufacturer might offer a similar setup -- but be completely incompatible with the first.

That's a great situation to be in for any manufacturer that happens to have beaten everyone else to the starting gate and becomes the dominant player. It's bad news for all the potential competitors and for any customers trying to connect devices from different manufacturers.

The workaround is middleware that can talk to devices from more than one manufacturer.

"If you're building an app, you're going to have to accommodate a wide range of devices types and a wide range of otherwise incompatible protocols," says Weinberg. "And you'll have to make some tough decisions about which devices you'll accommodate at all."

But the Open Interconnect Consortium's IoTivity project hopes to become the open source glue that pulls everything together, no workarounds necessary.

"It allows devices to discover each other, understand each other's capabilities, and have secure control functionality," says Mark Skarpness, director of embedded software at Intel’s Open Source Technology Center and chair of the IoTivity Steering Group.

"It will also support industrial automation, health care, and automotive," he adds. "It's got a very broad scope. It spans all the different domains of the Internet of Things."

Skarpness said that he doesn't expect everyone to join up all at once. "Of course Apple will do their thing, and Microsoft will do their thing," he says. "But for the broad world of IoT devices, the open source platform, embedded Linux and IoTivitiy are a perfect building block to build these products."

It's a strong foundation, he said, and will speed time to market for new devices and apps.

"Also, the collaborative benefit that you get out of working together on a common level that everyone is going to use, that's pretty powerful," he says.

The Open Interconnect Consortium was created in October with backing from Intel. There are more than 50 members, including Cisco, Acer, Dell, GE, Samsung, Honeywell, HP, Siemens, Lenovo and McAfee. A preview of its IoTivity framework was released in January. (Also read: "7 communities driving open source development".)

Its main competitor is the AllJoyn framework, from the AllSeen Alliance. As of mid-February, the Allseen Alliance, a project of the Linux Foundation, had more than 120 members, including Qualcomm, Microsoft, Haier, Panasonic, Sharp, TP-Link, Sony, LG, Cisco, D-Link, ADT, Honeywell, HTC, Lenovo, Netgear, Symantec, and Verisign.

"AllJoyn has a gateway which allows remote access to devices and fine-grained management control of those devices," says Philip DesAutels, senior director of IoT at the AllSeen Alliance.

In addition to allowing devices to talk to gateways, and, through those gateways to the cloud, it also allows for devices and apps to talk directly with one another without the need for a gateway.

There are more than 100 compatible products already on the market, DesAutels says.

"I think what we all want is things to just work," he said. "We don't want to be technologists with all the things in our lives, with TVs and our stereos and our heating systems. We want things to just work, and to work together."

Taking off the brakes

Open source does more than help products from different manufacturers work together.

By providing ready-to-go software, an open source community can help a vendor jump-start its development process.

"They get access to an exponentially greater pool of technical skills that they don't have to acquire and pay for directly," says Jeffrey Kaplan, managing director at IoT consulting firm THINKstrategies. "And if you know this industry, the hardest things to find and to acquire are software development skills."

Open source IoT software can help companies avoid having to re-invent the wheel, significantly reducing the time to market for new products.

Plus, by plugging into an existing ecosystem, a vendor can focus on their particular product, without having to worry about building the surrounding infrastructure.

With open source projects, vendors also don't have to worry about getting admitted into the club. A proprietary platform, however, may dictate design and other factors to its members.

Apple, for example, will probably be very selective in the choice of devices it supports.

"If you want to do home automation with an Apple solution, you have to buy everything from the Apple ecosystem, and that's why I think it will fail," says Eclipse Foundation's Skerrett. "Your garage door opener isn't going to be built for Apple. And your heartbeat monitor -- that's for sure not going to based on Apple."

Plus, proprietary platforms may require royalty payments, he says, which is yet another hurdle for companies to overcome. "Vendors don't want to pay royalties to their competitors.”

The Eclipse Foundation grew out of IBM's Eclipse Project and currently has 228 members, including IBM, Google, Oracle, SAP, Siemens, Texas Instruments, Research in Motion, BMW, Cisco, Dell, Ericksson, HP, Intel, Nokia, and Bosch.

Who's ahead?

According to Black Duck's Weinberg, AllJoyn from the AllSeen Alliance is the best-known of the competing open source IoT frameworks. But it's too early to place any bets, he says.

And while the AllSeen Alliance has been around for a while, the newly formed Open Interconnect Consortium has some big names in its member list as well.

"We have relationships with companies in both those organizations, as well as companies behind the organizations," he says. "And we're well aware that there are other parties out there -- and China might be doing their own thing with their own standards."

AMD, one of the companies making processors for IoT devices, is keeping a close eye on the open source IoT projects.

"What looks interesting is the AllSeen Alliance," says Dilip Ramachandran, director of marketing for the embedded business at Advanced Micro Devices. "We're not partners yet, but are looking at it."

He too, agreed that it's still too early to see which open source stack will eventually win out.

"As the solutions come in, it will take a couple of years to know whether one is going to dominate over the other," he says.

Korolov is a freelance writer. She can be reached at


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Will You Ever Be Able to Upload Your Brain? [1527]

de System Administrator - domingo, 18 de octubre de 2015, 14:46

Brandon Blommaert

Will You Ever Be Able to Upload Your Brain?

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Windows [52]

de System Administrator - jueves, 2 de enero de 2014, 20:45

Windows es el nombre de una familia de sistemas operativos desarrollados y comercializados por Microsoft. Se lanzó el 20 de noviembre de 1985 como un complemento para MS-DOS, en respuesta al creciente interés en las interfaces gráficas de usuario (GUI). Microsoft Windows llegó a dominar el mercado mundial de computadoras personales, con más del 90% de la cuota.


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World Wide Web (WWW) [190]

de System Administrator - miércoles, 8 de enero de 2014, 17:48

En informática, la World Wide Web (WWW) o Red Informática Mundial, es un sistema de distribución de información basado en hipertexto, accesible a través de Internet. Con un navegador o browser, el usuario visualiza sitios compuestos por páginas con textos, imágenes, vídeos u otros contenidos multimedia. A través de hipervínculos (links), el usuario puede acceder a contenidos relacionados con el contexto en el que se encuentra. La Web fue creada en 1989 por el inglés Tim Berners-Lee con la ayuda del belga Robert Cailliau mientras trabajaban en el CERN en Ginebra, Suiza. El trabajo fue publicado en 1992. Desde entonces, Berners-Lee ha jugado un papel activo guiando el desarrollo de estándares para la “red de redes”. En los últimos años ha abogado por su visión de una Web semántica.


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de System Administrator - jueves, 23 de marzo de 2017, 19:41

A demostration of WorldKit that shows an interactiva recipe guide

Conoce a WorldKit, el proyector que transforma cualquier superficie en una pantalla táctil

Meet WorldKit, the projector that turns everything into a touchscreen

By Mika Turim-Nygren

The goal is to transform all of your surroundings into touchscreens, equipping walls, tables, and couches with interactive, intuitive controls.

When it comes to technological innovation, there are two basic approaches. You can start big, flashy, and expensive, and hope that eventually your tech invention comes down enough in price for an average user to afford – think of GPS devices, for instance, which were the realm of high-budget military agencies long before ordinary civilians could dream of buying one; or, you can set out from the beginning to design something life-changing that everyone can have access to, rather than just an elite few.

The research team behind WorldKit, a new, experimental technology system, is trying to straddle the gulf between these two extremes. The goal is to transform all of your surroundings into touchscreens, equipping walls, tables, and couches with interactive, intuitive controls. But the team wants to do so without installing oversized iPads into every surface in your home, which could easily run up a six-figure price tag.

So how does the magic happen? With a simple projector – a projector paired with a depth sensor, to be precise. “It’s this interesting space of having projected interfaces on the environment, using your whole world as a sort of gigantic tablet,” said Chris Harrison, a soon-to-be professor in human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. Robert Xiao, a PhD candidate at Carnegie Mellon and lead researcher on the project, explained that WorldKit uses a depth camera to sense where flat surfaces are in your environment. “We allow a user to basically select a surface on which they can ‘paint’ an interactive object, like a button or sensor,” Xiao said.

We recently chatted with both Harrison and Xiao about their work on the WorldKit project, and learned just how far their imaginations run when it comes to the future of touch technology and ubiquitous computing. Below, we talk about merging the digital and the physical worlds, as well as creative applications for WorldKit that involve really thinking outside the box (or outside the monitor, in this case).

Understanding WorldKit’s workings

We know; the concept of a touchscreen on any surface is a little far out there, so let’s break it down. WorldKit works by pairing a depth-sensing camera lens, such as the one that the Kinect uses, with a projector lens. Then, programmers write short scripts on a MacBook Pro using Java, similar to those they might write for an Arduino, to tell the depth camera how to react when someone makes certain gestures in front of it. The depth camera interprets the gestures and then tells the projector to react by projecting certain interfaces. For instance, if someone makes a circular gesture, the system can interpret that by projecting a dial where the gesture was made. Then, when someone “adjusts” the dial by gesturing in front of it, the system can adjust a volume control elsewhere.



The brilliance – and the potential frustration – of this system lies in its nearly endless possibilities. Currently, whatever you want WorldKit to do, you must program it to do yourself. Xiao and Harrison expressed hope that one day, once WorldKit reaches the consumer realm, there might be an online forum where people can upload and download programming scripts (much like apps) in order to make their WorldKit system perform certain tasks. However, at the moment, WorldKit remains in an R&D phase in the academic realm, allowing its creators to dream big about what they would like to make it do eventually.

In any case, the easiest way to understand how WorldKit works is to watch a demo video of it in action. In the video, researchers touch various surfaces to “paint” them with light from the projector. Afterward, the WorldKit system uses the selected area to display a chosen interface, such as a menu bar or a sliding lighting-control dial, which can then be manipulated through touch gestures.


Robert Xiao demostrates how to use WorldKit to create a radial dial interface on any available flat surface - in this case, a table

Currently, WorldKit’s depth sensor is nothing other than a Kinect – the same one that shipped with the Xbox 360 – that connects to a projector that’s mounted to a ceiling or tripod. While this combo is already sensitive enough to track individual fingers and multi-directional gestures down to the centimeter, it does have one major drawback: size. “Certainly the system as it is right now is kind of big, and we all admit that,” Xiao said.

Lights, user, action: Putting WorldKit to use

But the team has high hopes for the technology on the near horizon. “We’re already seeing cell phones on the market that have projectors built in,” Xiao said. “Maybe the back camera, one day, is a depth sensor  … You could have WorldKit on your phone.” Harrison added that WorldKit could allow users to take full advantage of their phones for the first time. “A lot of smartphones you have nowadays are easily powerful enough to be a laptop, they just don’t have screens big enough to do it,” Harrison said. “So with WorldKit, you could have one of these phones be your laptop, and it would just project your desktop onto your actual desk.”

With projection, you can do some very clever things that basically alter the world in terms of aesthetics.

If Harrison and Xiao can imagine the mobile version of WorldKit on a smartphone in five years’ time, they have an even crazier vision for 10 or 15 years down the line. “We could actually put the entire WorldKit setup into something about the size of a lightbulb,” Xiao said. For these researchers, a lightbulb packed full of WorldKit potential has truly revolutionary implications. “We’re looking at that as almost as big as the lighting revolution of the early 1800s,” Xiao added.

The possibilities for WorldKit, as you might imagine, are limitless. So far, Harrison and Xiao’s ideas have included an away-from-office status button – the virtual version of a post-it note – and a set of digital TV controls. “You won’t ever have to find your remote again,” Xiao said.

The team’s already envisioning much more ambitious applications, such as experimental interior design. According to Harrison, you could make your own wallpaper, or change the look of your couch. “With projection, you can do some very clever things that basically alter the world in terms of aesthetics,” Harrison said. “Instead of mood lighting, you could have mood interaction.”


The miniature version of WorldKit, shown here, uses a tiny depth camera called the CamBoard Nano by PMD.


The CamBoard Nano depth camera pairs with a PicoP projector by Microvision 

Xiao, meanwhile, fantasized about the system’s gaming potential. “You could augment the floor so that you didn’t want to step on it, and then play a lava game,” he said, describing a game where you have to cross from one end of the floor to the other, using only the tables and chairs. “You can imagine this being a very exciting gaming platform if you want to do something physical, instead of just using a controller.”

Blurring the boundaries between digital and physical

Xiao has good reason to be enthusiastic. He believes WorldKit gets at the heart at one of the biggest goals of computing research. “Eventually we’d like to see computers sort of fade into the background, and just become the way you do things,” he said. “Right now, it’s very explicit whenever you’re operating a computer that you are interacting with a computer.”


Robert Xiao demonstrates how a single WorldKit system can create various interfaces on multiple surfaces at once -in this case, a drop-down menu and volumen and lighting controls for watching a movie.


Indeed, part of what makes WorldKit so exciting is that it incorporates real, physical materials into its virtual play. But Harrison is  more hesitant to claim that this is always a good thing, especially when it comes to broad, philosophical questions about aesthetics. “In art, there’s a lot that’s nice about having it be rich, and physical, and also enduring,” Harrison argued, talking about digitally “painting” a surface using WorldKit. “So when you go over to the digital domain, are we using some of the things that make art a fundamental part of the human experience? Or are we losing something?”

Google Glass and WorldKit: Seeing vs. touching

There is one realm in which Harrison seems certain that WorldKit’s unique blend of physical and digital properties are at an advantage, and that’s in contrast to Google Glass. While both approaches attempt to augment reality through embedded computing, Harrison believes that Google Glass’s reliance on virtual gestures falls a bit flat.

The problem with clicking virtual buttons in the air is that’s not really something that humans do…

“The problem with clicking virtual buttons in the air is that’s not really something that humans do,” Harrison said. “We work from tables, we work on walls … that’s something we do on a daily basis … we don’t really claw at the air all that often.” To really understand what he means, just remember when Bluetooth first came out. Not only did everyone look crazy talking to themselves on street corners, it was hard not to feel self-conscious starting a conversation into empty air without the physical phone as a prop.


Xiao agreed, emphasizing that WorldKit is able to promote instinctual, unforced interaction by relying on physical objects. “One of the advantages of WorldKit is that all the interactions are out in the world, so you are interacting with something very real and very tangible,” Xiao said. “People are much more willing, much more able, to interact with it in a fluid and natural way.” In this case, perhaps touching – rather than seeing – means believing.

A ray of light: looking into the future

Like true academics, Xiao and Harrison agreed on one of the future applications they would most like to see from WorldKit in the days to come: “A digital whiteboard,” they chimed simultaneously. Why? Unlike a traditional board, a digital whiteboard would allow computerized collaboration in real-time.

Indeed, Xiao and Harrison are no strangers to collaboration – they strongly encourage crowdsourcing of their new technology. Instead of wanting to protect and commercialize WorldKit at this point, they would rather see it developed to its full potential. They are in the process of releasing WorldKit’s source code, and after attending the CHI 2013 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, the “premier international conference on human-computer interaction” held in Paris last April, they’re hoping to get some of the 3,600 other attendees and researchers tinkering with the system soon.




“We’re primarily engineers,” Harrison said. “There are a lot of designers and application builders out there that I’m sure are going to have crazy awesome ideas of what to do with this, [and] just the two of us cannot possibly explore that entire space.”

Even now, researchers in other fields have already started applying WorldKit in ways Xiao and Harrison might never have anticipated. Harrison and Xiao are actually collaborating on a study at the moment with the Human Engineering Research Labs over in Pittsburgh. “They’re primarily concerned with people with cognitive disabilities,” Xiao said. “These are people who may need extra instructions for doing things.”

In the study, cognitively disabled participants are asked to follow a recipe to cook a dish. To help them, WorldKit projects descriptions of the necessary ingredients onto the kitchen table, such as three tomatoes or a cup of water, and doesn’t move on to the next step of the recipe until all the ingredients are physically in place on the table. Essentially, Xiao argued, WorldKit can act as a kind of prosthetic to help the cognitively disabled navigate through daily tasks in their environment.

Ultimately, whether we’re talking about an interactive whiteboard or a digital cooking assistant, the goal of WorldKit is the same: using embedded computing to make the interactions between people and computers as seamless, natural, and effortless as possible. Once that happens – once we are actually able to take advantage of computing everywhere without ever touching a computer  – all of our lives have the potential to get better.



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X initiative [1118]

de System Administrator - viernes, 20 de febrero de 2015, 16:57

Google's Solve for X Program nears this year's final round

By Barry Burd

Solve for X is an online + offline community of people who believe that science and technology can cause radically positive things to happen in the world.

Each Solve for X proposal (what we refer to as a 'tech moonshot') addresses a complex, global problem with an outlier solution / perspective / approach, enabled by a novel application of existing science or technology, or a game-changing breakthrough.

The Solve for X platform helps amplify the visibility of these audacious projects and connects project leads with others in the Solve for X community who may have subject-matter knowledge, technical expertise, and other resources that can help accelerate progress on making the project a reality sooner.

Google's ambitious Solve for X initiative brings together entrepreneurs and experts to help solve the world's most pressing problems. On the initiative's website, Google compares Solve for X projects with the moon shots of the 1960s and 70s. Each Solve for moonshot project has three characteristics:

  • The project addresses a big, global problem
  • The project involves a radical new solution/perspective/approach to the problem
  • The project leverages a breakthrough in science or technology.

This year, Google Developer Group: GDG North Jersey is one of twelve worldwide satellite organizations that have been selected to screen applicants for the Solve for X program. As part of this screening, GDG North Jersey has received 72 moonshot proposals and has conducted four preliminary sessions in which a total of 24 innovators presented their ideas to panelists and other attendees. From these four preliminary sessions, Solve for X team members will select four finalists. Each finalist (from the GDG North Jersey program and from the eleven other regional programs) will be invited to join Google's Solve for X pioneer program.

GDG North Jersey ran its fourth and final preliminary session on January 17 at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. The session featured six pioneer projects, each involving an ambitious new idea. Here's a look at what some of the brightest minds who are a part of the Solve for X program contributed:

Medical diagnostic technologies

Mark Punyanitya is a biomedical engineer and co-founder of MagnePath Pty Ltd, a company whose goal is to make comprehensive, individualized health information available to medical professionals and consumers.

Among the medical diagnostic technologies, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the least invasive. MRI scanning involves no surgery, no radiation, no injections, and no barium ingestion. But MRI technology suffers from a lack of open standards. There are several large vendors of MRI equipment (SiemensPhilipsGE, and Resonance Health to name a few). Each vendor has its own hardware, its own software, and its own data storage format. In a world with approximately 3000 MRI scanners and roughly 125 million scans begin done each year, standardization is becoming critical.

MagnePath's apps analyze data from MRI scans done with any of the major vendors' hardware. One app, the FatMap app, takes data from a 30-second MRI scan and creates a color, head-to-toe map of a patient's body fat. Similar apps in MagnePath's MapApps suite map a patient's joints, muscles and liver health. Because these apps are written in Java, the apps run on PCs, Macs and Linux computers. This use of readily-available equipment reduces the cost of doing medical tests. By combining such MRI scan results with the wealth of information from wearable devices, consumers can view their total-body health summaries on any mobile device.

MagnePath's goal is to go beyond mapping by making it practical for the consumer to track and predict his or her overall health trends.

Saving the environment 

Dr. Gedi Mainelis is a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. His moonshot involves the capture ultra-fine particulate matter from diesel exhaust.

Current filtering technologies (DPFs -- Diesel Particulate Filters) capture between 50% and 85% of particulate waste from diesel engines. But the current technologies have drawbacks. Over time, the collector that's attached to a diesel engine fills up with waste. This waste creates backpressure to the engine which results in inefficient engine operation. In addition, periodic burning to remove this waste from the collector results in the emission of nanoparticles. Because they're so small, nanoparticles present health risks above and beyond those of larger particulate emissions.

Mainelis's technology ionizes the particles from a diesel engine and then collects these particles in a container coated with a superhydrophobic substance -- a substance that can't become wet. (Inspiration for the use of this substance comes from the lotus leaf, because water naturally beads up and falls off of the leaf.) Waste can easily be washed off of Mainelis's collecting container, and the washing process doesn't emit nanoparticles.

Quenching the thirst for bandwidth

Steve Saldana's XLABS group claims to have found one of the holy grails of modern computing; namely, a method for compressing data with a 99.92% ratio without losing any of the data.

Sending large amounts of information over the Internet consumes resources, and the use of resources can be time consuming. Consider Netflix whose streaming videos account for 34% of all Internet traffic during peak viewing times in the United States. Netflix needs to reduce the amount of data that it sends to your home without losing any noticeable video quality.

To reduce the amount of data that it sends, Netflix leases a technology from According to Saldana, the eyeio technology shrinks the amount of data in half at the expense of some video quality. In comparison, the new XLABS algorithms cut the amount of data to roughly one one-thousandth of its original size without sacrificing any video quality.

XLABS's secret compression technique comes from the RITA neural network. RITA came up with this technique by experimenting with methods that neural network wasn't specifically programmed to use. (Like other neural networks, RITA can experiment by mimicking the brain's basic structure and the brain's ability to learning new things.)

For a fictionalized presentation of the work that Saldana describes, watch the Silicon Valley TV series on HBO.

Waving goodbye to beach erosion

Karlin Yeh presented an idea for countering beach erosion with renewable wave energy. Current methods employed by the US Army Corps of Engineers involve transporting and pumping large amounts of sand from offshore to the beach and spreading the sand using bulldozers. Yeh believes that this can be done better (without any expensive cargo barges, pipes or bulldozers) using submersible wave pumps.

Submersible pumps already exist for hydroelectricity and desalinization. But these pumps have very low flow capacity -- not the larger capacity required to move sand onto a beach. By taking advantage of a principle called the Coandă Effect, Yeh has built prototypes with increased flow -- evidence that such pumps can move large amounts of sand inexpensively and unobtrusively.

When Yeh's pumps operate, they add a murky quality to the water. So the best strategy will be to run such pumps off-season when tourists aren't visiting beaches. But compared with another category of pumps (the surface wave generators) submersible pumps are completely out of sight. These pumps will have little impact on people residing year-round near the beach, and will be invisible to beach goers during the regular tourist season. Yeh estimates that the use of his technology can save $36 million dollars over a 25 year period to maintain a 1,500-foot stretch of beach. That's a savings of over 90% of the current cost.

Automated speed lanes

Attorney James Finkle is on the board of directors of New Jersey Transit. Mr. Finkle envisions technology that bridges the gap between today's highway congestion and the self-driving cars of the future. This bridge technology is the creation of automated speed lanes.

When you enter an automated speed lane, you yield control of your vehicle to the lane's centralized computer system. From that moment on (until you exit the highway) the lane's computer communicates with your vehicle's electronic control module. The module controls your vehicle's speed and direction.

An automated speed lane has several advantages over conventional do-it-yourself driving. By monitoring and controlling all vehicles on a road, a central automated speed lane system can determine and implement the best cooperative driving patterns for all the vehicles in real time. The system can control vehicles for maximum fuel efficiency and optimal braking. Accidents caused by distracted drivers are no longer a concern. (In fact, on an automated speed lane, the person who would normally drive the car is free to become quite distracted. Thedriver can make a phone call, read a book, send a text message, or do whatever else needs to be done.)

Google is already experimenting with self-driving cars. But it's difficult to trust an autonomous vehicle with the job of detecting the positions and motions of all the other cars on the road. An automated speed lane bypasses the problem because each car cedes control to the centralized system -- the system with information about all the vehicles on the road.

The hot issue of personal health

Marianna Zaslavsky is a specialist in product development & business strategy. Linh Le is co-founder and CTO of FlexTraPower  and Ph.D. student at Stevens Institute of Technology. Together they propose an inexpensive solution to a massive world problem.

Tracking a person's body temperature is an important step in measuring a person's overall health. And within a population, mass measuring of peoples' temperatures can help map the spread of a disease. For example, in 2003, twice-daily temperature screening of non-patients in hospitals ended the SARS Singapore epidemic. For many diseases, knowing where they're spreading is a crucial step in stopping the spread.

Current technologies for measuring peoples' temperatures are less than perfect. For one thing, these technologies don't scale well. Newer thermometers used in hospitals take only seconds to measure a person's temperature, but even a few seconds is too much time (and costs too much money) for measuring thousands of peoples' temperatures on a daily basis. Another problem with common thermometers is that their use requires contact between patients and the health care workers. For a disease like Ebola, contact with patients can put health care workers at risk.

In the past year, the threat of Ebola has prompted airports to install infrared temperature scanners (costing about $13,000 per scanner). But these scanners yield too many false positives for widespread use. Only 10% to 16% of the people flagged by these scanners actually have a fever.

To overcome these difficulties, Zaslavsky and Le propose the use of inkjet-printed graphene strips for making inexpensive, disposable thermometers. Each thermometer has three active parts -- the graphene sensing strip, a battery, and a wireless module that sends data to a mobile device or to the cloud. These three parts are attached to an adhesive strip which a person wears for a few days. The thermometer costs less than two dollars so, after a few days, a person typically disposes of the thermometer and puts on another one.

With such inexpensive, unobtrusive technology, large populations can be monitored continuously for temperature changes. This can help significantly in the prevention of large-scale epidemics.

I asked GDG North Jersey founder Todd Nakamura about process of choosing the four finalists. "After discussing all aspects of these moonshots and reviewing the videos among our core team we've narrowed the list down to approximately ten moonshots that are under consideration.  We've shared this list with members of the Google X team, and between our two groups we're going to select the four finalists."

Each of the four finalists will present his or her moonshot at the main GDG North Jersey event at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ) on February 2, 2015. Attendance at the main event is by invitation only, but GDG North Jersey will have online contests during which members of the public can request invitations to the event. For details, visit GDG North Jersey's Solve for X website or post with Twitter hashtag #solveforxnj.

What would your moonshot be? Let us know.

Related Topics: 


Google's Solve for 'X' program goes into high gear

By Barry Burd

The ambitious Solve for <X> initiative brings together entrepreneurs and experts to help solve the world's most pressing problems. On the initiative's website, Google compares Solve for <X> projects with the moonshots of the 1960s and 1970s: "Each moonshot project addresses a big, global problem, with a radical new solution/perspective/approach and leverages a breakthrough in science or technology."

The global Solve for <X> project began in February 2012 with an event run by Google employees Astro Teller, Megan Smith and Eric Schmidt. The event lead to a collaborative website where innovators share ideas and get feedback to help move their ideas forward.

The second round of Google's Solve for <X> program began in 2013. In the program, entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world submit their ideas to experts, to Solve for <X> team members and to the public at large. In the end, approximately 50 of these innovators are designated as official Solve for <X> pioneers. Along with this designation comes formal recognition from Google. (The designation does not include any formal funding, but for pioneers who seek funding, recognition from Google can be very helpful.)

This year, for the first time, Google has commissioned 12 independent groups to organize regional Solve for <X> events. One of those groups, the Google Developer Group of North New Jersey, accepts innovators' submissions from the eastern half of North America. GDG North Jersey founder Todd Nakamura said he excited to bring Solve for <X> to the east coast for the first time.  He said, "There's a ton of innovative talent in New Jersey and the rest of the region, and this program can serve as a spotlight for these brilliant pioneers who are looking to change the world in positive ways."

GDG North Jersey is conducting four preliminary sessions, in which innovators present their ideas to panelists and other attendees. From these four preliminary sessions, Solve for <X> team members will select four pioneer finalists. Each pioneer finalist will present his or her moonshot at the official GDG North Jersey event to be held on Feb. 2, 2015, at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

GDG North Jersey ran its first preliminary session on Dec. 11 at Montclair State University. The session featured five pioneers, each presenting an ambitious new idea:

Olive Lynch spoke about Green Waste Technologies Inc. With this company's moonshot, the species Hermetia illucens (the black soldier fly) will reduce food waste and help to increase the world's food supply. The black soldier fly is an interesting species. In approximately five weeks, the fly goes from egg to larva to pupa to adult fly. The adult fly has no mouth, which makes sense only because the adult fly lives for approximately five days.

For Lynch's project, the most important stage is the larval stage. This larval stage normally lasts for about two weeks. During this stage, the larva never sleeps or rests. The larva eats almost anything that's available, including meat, vegetables, coffee and even manure. Lynch's team feeds larvae the discarded food from homes and restaurants. After a few weeks, the team harvests the larvae for use as a biofuel and as an animal feed additive. Lynch's plan turns cost into profit because the expense of dumping food waste into landfills (about $100 per ton, not including pickup fees) goes away. What was formerly waste becomes a valuable product. Similar products are currently being sold to a dog food maker, to a hog feed manufacturer and to a large-scale fish meal producer.

Mark Annett's day job involves designing medical devices and helping clients to obtain patents. But his moonshot involves the most ambitious of goals: to solve the most perplexing problem of modern physics with a comprehensive "theory of everything." Since the discovery of anti-matter in the 1920s, physicists have speculated about the preponderance of ordinary matter in the universe around us. Where has all the anti-matter gone? Annett agrees with other physicists, such as Villata and Hajdukovic , that anti-gravity is the likely cause of the expansion of the universe. Both Annett and Hajdukovic postulate that the universe has a spherical shell. However, Annett proposes a novel concept that the spherical shell is composed of anti-particles surrounding our otherwise matter-laden universe. This shell postulate helps answer several nagging questions about the unification of quantum physics and gravity. For example, with an anti-particle shell, dark matter is no longer a necessary ingredient in cosmology. (That's a relief, because since its arrival as a useful concept in the 1930s, no one has been able to observe dark matter.)

Starting with the notion of an anti-particle shell, Annett can explain black body radiation as the shell's uniform pull on all things in the universe. (Historically, the first breakthrough on black body radiation came from patent office worker Albert Einstein in 1905.) Through his work, Annett hopes to inspire others to become involved as "philosophers" in the evolution of modern science.

Richard Morris is CEO of PharmaSeq Inc. The company produces the p-Chip, a microtransponder that emits its ID number when illuminated with laser light. (At present, a p-Chip's 30-bit memory allows for over 1.1 billion unique ID numbers.) The p-Chip is about half a millimeter long and half a millimeter wide, but future versions of the chip will be 1/1000th of that size. A p-Chip can withstand temperatures between -196 and +520 degrees Celsius. (That's a lot.)

A chip of this kind has enormous potential for the growing Internet of Things, and has special applications in genetics. A particular chip can be home to a sequence of about 120 nucleic acids (a row of 120 A, T, G and C components). So to create a genome consisting of a billion letters, a system must create about 10 million p-Chips. With such large numbers involved, the task of synthesizing a genome is as much a computational problem as it is a physical problem. PharmaSeq's equipment reads the IDs of a huge number of p-Chips and sorts the chips into bins. (For example, a chip whose sequence is ATCCG needs its next nucleic acid to be T. Along with many other chips, PharmaSeq's equipment sorts this chip into the T bin.) After one round of sorting, the system adds the required nucleic acid to the chips in each bin. Then all the chips go back into the sorter for the next round. And so the process continues.

Michael Ehrlich is an associate professor in the School of Management at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Ehrlich remarked on the abundance of high-capacity fiber optic cable in Newark, N.J. Until recently, this cable has remained largely unused. Currently, the cable is used mainly for conventional, one-way Internet traffic.

Along with Newark's Chief Information Officer Seth Wainer, Ehrlich envisions Smart City Newark. This endeavor "... would be the first attempt to transform an existing US city into a fully instrumented, vendor agnostic test-bed for the insertion of IT into every imaginable aspect of urban life." In the proposed plan, Newark will nourish the use of its cable for freely-available city-wide services. Residents will tap into the network to find transportation, schedule appointments, make purchases and add new information to the system. All this happens while people are out and about thanks to the addition of new Wi-Fi towers. A key feature of the plan is the system's fully open architecture. Unlike the public networks in other cities, Newark's network infrastructure will not be managed by an independent, private company. Newark's system will have no proprietary components, so anyone wanting to "plug-in" and add services will be able to do so.

Finally, Lou Elwell of Bio Soil Enhancers Inc. spoke about SumaGrow, a replacement for fertilizer that uses microbes instead of chemicals. As far back as the 1880s, scientists have known about Rhizobia bacteria, living inside the root nodules of legumes, and helping to regulate the amount of nitrogen available to the plant. In the last 50 years (and particularly in the last 10) our understanding of the beneficial interactions between plants and microbes has grown considerably. Microbes help plants to acquire nutrients. They also help plants to resist pathogens and natural predators. Certain fungi stimulate root growth and increase a plant's efficiency in absorbing water from soil. Some microbes prevent undesirable absorption of heavy metals, salt and other natural pollutants.

During his presentation, Elwell showed pictures of the crops from fields treated with SumaGrow. For example, one picture showed a sweet potato next to a football. (The potato was bigger!) SumaGrow costs about $50 a gallon, which treats about one acre. None of the microbes in SumaGrow are genetically modified.

GDG North Jersey will host three more preliminary sessions before holding its main event at Rutgers University. The upcoming preliminary events are in New York City, in the Boston-metro area, and at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. These preliminary events are open to the public. (The main event at Rutgers is for invited guests. GDG North Jersey will have online events and contests during which members of the public can request invitations to the event. For details, keep an eye on GDG North Jersey's Solve for <X> website.)

GDG North Jersey welcomes innovators within its eastern North America region to submit ideas for consideration in the program. To do so, visit GDG North Jersey's Solve for <X> website and look for the site'sonline application form.

Related Topics: 
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xBase [147]

de System Administrator - martes, 7 de enero de 2014, 21:18

xBase es el término genérico para todos los lenguajes de programación que derivan del lenguaje de programación dBase, originalmente publicado por Ashton-Tate.


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XML [402]

de System Administrator - domingo, 12 de enero de 2014, 22:17

XML, siglas en inglés de eXtensible Markup Language ('lenguaje de marcas extensible'), es un lenguaje de marcas desarrollado por el World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) utilizado para almacenar datos en forma legible. Deriva del lenguajeSGML y permite definir la gramática de lenguajes específicos (de la misma manera que HTML es a su vez un lenguaje definido por SGML) para estructurar documentos grandes. A diferencia de otros lenguajes, XML da soporte a bases de datos, siendo útil cuando varias aplicaciones se deben comunicar entre sí o integrar información. (Bases de datos Silberschatz).

XML no ha nacido sólo para su aplicación para Internet, sino que se propone como un estándar para el intercambio de información estructurada entre diferentes plataformas. Se puede usar en bases de datos, editores de texto, hojas de cálculo y casi cualquier cosa imaginable.

XML es una tecnología sencilla que tiene a su alrededor otras que la complementan y la hacen mucho más grande y con unas posibilidades mucho mayores. Tiene un papel muy importante en la actualidad ya que permite la compatibilidad entre sistemas para compartir la información de una manera segura, fiable y fácil.



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Yoes [27]

de System Administrator - lunes, 30 de diciembre de 2013, 17:49

“El ser humano se encuentra normalmente en un estado de conciencia sin desarrollar. Lo que consideramos como ‘yo’ es simplemente el resultado del funcionamiento de un autómata, una máquina biológica que actúa en respuesta a estímulos internos y externos con una base de recuerdos y cierta energía de reserva. Así pues, lo que consideramos como un ‘yo’ único es realmente una serie de ‘yoes’ que se suceden a lo largo del tiempo.” Fuente: Psicología de la posible evolución del hombre, de Piotr D. Ouspenski.


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You Are Just a Number [1582]

de System Administrator - lunes, 16 de noviembre de 2015, 14:45



Prevention rather than healing will set the agenda of health in the future. By 2020, chronic diseases will account for almost 75% of all deaths worldwide. Cloud health intelligence will evolve, as apps, mobile diagnostics and intuitive biofeedback become accessible resources in our daily lives. You might even be printing your own medicine by 2020.

Sales in wearable technology jumped almost 300% in 2012 – we bought 8.3 million fitness trackers, smart watches, and smart glasses. By 2018 ABI research forecasts that 485 million wearable devices will be sold globally. By 2020, a number of biotechnologies will be available on a nano scale, embedded in devices and as sensors within the human body, according to PwC. This trend is set to explode, as healthcare professionals become involved in designing monitoring solutions for prevention and awareness rather than just healing.

2013 research from PEW found that 69% of American adults track areas of their health, such as weight, diet, exercise routine and symptoms, in some form or the other. Currently 21% use digital technology to keep tabs of their health status ­– but this is set to rise considerably by 2020. Apple is already starting to change self-measurement the way it changed music – with an entire human-centric platform and ecosystem for monitoring medicine, fitness and wellness. According to GIGAom, there will be close to $11 billion in revenue from 35 million homes using home ‘health’ automation platforms across the globe by 2017.

Real-Time Diagnostics is the platform where ‘public health’ meets ‘personal health’ management systems. In this context, intuitive biofeedback will enable us to gain control of our body processes to increase relaxation, relieve pain and develop healthier, more comfortable life patterns. The emergence of Quantified Self and ‘Mini Me’ wearable technology – such as personal digital cross analysis devices and apps – for a balanced lifestyle will become the norm by 2020. Apps has already revolutionised what we measure about ourselves and is fast becoming an enabler of self-development and wellbeing.

No wonder that 2014 is predicted to be the year of wearable technology. However, just like computers, tablets and smartphones, wearable technology will follow the evolutionary curve from single-purpose to multipurpose. Self-monitoring is the driver of a healthier future, inviting public organisations, health consultants and people to collaborate.



Wristband and app that tracks how you sleep, move and eat — then helps you use that information to feel your best.



Aria™ tracks your weight, body fat percentage, and BMI, painting a picture of your long-term progress. It wirelessly syncs your stats with online graphs and mobile tools that help you stay motivated and on track.


Power down, power up, and power forward with whil meditation to provide focus, stress reduction and a relaxed state of mind.


Meditation app made relevant to you. Contains bite-sized techniques to help you sleep better, focus more and get some relief from a busy mind.

This post was inspired by an interview with Vogue Turkey 2013 – Article >>

1. The Future of Wearable technology 
2. You are just a number >> Sunday Times Magazine Article >>
3. Jawbone >> 
4. Firbit >>
5. 60-Second Meditation >>
6. Headspace >>



Fast-forward to anno 2030 and many of the key trends we see around us will have come of age. According to UN predictions, we will be 8 billion people – 60% living in urbanised areas – and 5 billion of us will be online, with the majority of the online community living in Asia. For agile SMEs prepared to rethink traditional models, this means real opportunities for business growth.

Asia – the world’s online hub
Today, six of the world’s ten largest cities and more than half the world’s population are in the Asia-Pacific region and these vast communities are set to become centres for community interaction and innovation. China had 480m Internet users in 2012 making it the largest online community in the world. The US is second with 245m users, but India is predicted to overtake this, rising from 120m to 370m online users by 2015. This means that majority of Internet hubs driving ’big data’ intelligence will be in Asia, bringing vast opportunities to develop fresh solutions for tracking, remote monitoring, risk reduction, cost savings and green innovation. There seems little doubt also that centres of Internet governance – largely the US and Europe at present – must also shift east in order to reflect this new reality.


The ‘global brain’ and risk management
Working together brings empowerment to society, individuals and communities, but it is also essential to sustainability, productivity, innovation and competitive advantage. In Rethinking the Business Case for Sustainability (Future Snapshots, October 2013), I described how ‘big data’ connectivity is already driving some of the smartest city planning and urban co-operation initiatives in Seoul, New York among others. The IoT (Internet of Things) could be part of a bigger co-ordinated plan to reduce both global and local risks. Already the US harness data and communication tools from social media to create early warning and disaster relief systems. SMEs have the benefit of agility – enabling shorter lead times between initial idea and invention – and the key opportunities to win customer loyalty centre on ways to manage urban life and deliver affordable services that simplify the data overload. There is already a huge shift from physical ownership to virtual services. Cloud culture, with sharing and co-creation at its heart, is being driven by a generation used to free downloads, problem-solving apps and open source approaches.


The open source business model
Products and services will be connected directly to the IoT (Internet of Things), and therefore R&D and design methods need to evolve, allowing customers to participate and collaborate in the development process. Recently published research from Gartner and IDC revealed that massive growth in smartphone sales in China is currently being fuelled by the popularity of so-called AOSP (Android Open Source Platform) phones. These low-end phones, using apps from local providers, signal the trend towards a future of open source, where businesses that want to thrive must accommodate dialogue. Open source innovation will have an even bigger impact by 2020, when Millennials are forecast to make up 50% of the global workforce – all highly mobile. This group will rewrite the rules for what constitutes ‘progress’ and ‘success’. The impact will mean increased transparency, real-time collaboration, knowledge exchange, social networks and tools to enhance living and breathing digital communities.


The rise of Asian entrepreneurship
When it comes to true innovation, the courage to step outside the comfort zone of business as usual. An interesting case is, an Indian digital platform for industry and academia to co-create and foster disruptive innovation – and already it provides a fantastic entrepreneurial environment. Another is, a free, public and repair tutorial platform (a editable repair Wikipedia) empowering people to fix their stuff and save money – also keeping electronics out of landfill. It was originally invented in the US and is now deployed in India, where it is having notable success. In fact, some of the biggest opportunities to encourage disruptive product and service innovation strategies will be in India because of connectivity. Its assets include an entrepreneurial economy, good-sized business clusters and huge potential to convert its demographic advantage – an increasingly well-educated workforce with a much younger median age than China or Japan – into a sustained and SME-fuelled economic growth.

Anne Lise Kjaer, December 2013 SME magazine Asia

1) The World 2030 by Audi >>
2) Bangalore >>
3) The Internet of Thing>>
4) Techpedia >>



Anne Lise Kjaer was born in Esbjerg in Denmark, but grew up near Ringkøbing, apparently the happiest place in the world. The title on her business card – ‘Futurist & Visionary Thinker’ – fills me with fear, but she quickly reassures me by saying with a smile: “And no, I do not use a crystal ball”.

In fact, Anne Lise Kjaer works with some of the largest multinational technology companies in the world (from Sony and Toyota through to IKEA), analysing the past and present to predict the future. Gizmodo en Español wants to know how this is done.

Anne Lise Kjaer recently visited Spain to speak about the book she co-authored There’s a Future: Visions For a Better World, published through BBVA bank’s OpenMind initiative. We chatted with her for our interview series “7 Questions for…”, where we talk to people who are doing interesting and innovative things in the world of technology, design, architecture, media and industry. And that’s the starting point for our conversation…

  • Name: Anne Lise Kjaer / @kjaerglobal
  • Occupation: futurist
  • Location: London
  • Age: 51
  • Current Computer: “MacBook Pro – in my first job in 1983 we had Macintosh, it’s all I’ve ever used
  • Mobile: iPhone 5.

We can certainly try. My specialism is to look at the science, technology and ideas that can point the way to the future. I have a background in design and innovation and, for me, the only way to make the future happen is to have a credible road map with pointers that enable you to make informed decisions in the here and now about the future.


It is all about looking at a mixture of trends, including politics, economics, technology, science, society, culture, in order to get an overview of how the future may unfold. I do not have a crystal ball and I do not invent anything – my role is that of a ‘future narrator’ – I tell inspiring stories about the future, and then the companies I work with use them to make that future vision a reality.


Well, a few people saw it coming. One was a woman, Christine Lagarde, who today works for the IMF. Lagarde who, as it happens was once on the French national synchronised swimming team, pointed out at a conference just before the crisis struck: “‘We are debating what kind of swimming costume we will wear and the tsunami is coming”. No one listened to her.


We did not have the foresight to imagine that something like this could happen. There were no regulations. There was a system that was based only on consumption, more consumption and even more consumption. I think we all confused the idea of the good life with a life full of goods – and these are not the same things at all. It wasn’t about missing the fact that a crisis was coming – more that we didn’t want to see it coming.


I think the biggest trend we will see is that of the Internet of Things, the building of a global brain. Devices, buildings, environment, people – in fact everything – will become interconnected through technology. And all this leads us on to The Cloud, a powerful innovation hub for individuals and businesses. Education, for example, will greatly benefit from this trend. Millions of people are beginning to study through virtual and free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). In health, we will see self-diagnostics and mobile health as another big driver; this is happening already and will continue to grow in importance.


The problem with technology today is that most of us just consume it – we are not optimising and building. I think every kid in the world should learn to program. Because when you understand technology, then you can benefit from it. If you only consume, you do not learn to create anything or control technology, and will therefore continue in the consumption loop. Also, it is not a good sign that so few companies effectively control the entire technology industry and the Internet. It should become more democratic.


I think he is right. Humanity thinks it knows everything, but we know very little. It is one of our biggest mistakes. And Stephen Hawking is one of those people that, the more he knows, the more he claims to know nothing, simply because of the enormity of our universe. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist and futurist, has explored subjects similar to Hawking. While it is clear to me that none of us knows what will actually happen in 1000 years, one way to consider the future is to look back at what has happened in the last 1000 years, and then we see that life has not changed that much – we have just got new tools for solving things. I do not think we’re going to live on another planet after this end date. But I do believe that our current consumption patterns are unsustainable, so my question would be: can our planet withstand 1000 more years of this conspicuous consumption – and I have no good answer to that.

Adapted from Gizmodo en Español, Madrid, 2013


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