DNA Test Sheds Light on Mystery Deaths
A new DNA test can restore at least part of the identity of long-dead people who left no trace of their image, scientists reported on Monday.
The technique has revealed the hair and eye colours of unknown individuals slaughtered as sub-humans by the Nazis and of a mystery woman buried alongside monks in a mediaeval crypt, they said.
“This system can be used to solve historical controversies where colour photographs or other records are missing,” said Wojciech Branicki from Poland’s Institute of Forensic Research in Krakow.
The system, called HIrisPlex, is a fine-tuned version of a tool presented two years ago that looks at tiny variations in the DNA code, and converts these into probabilities for hair and eye colour.
It can be used on teeth and bones, whose DNA survives better than soft tissues, and which explains the interest in using it for ancient forensics.
‘Lumpy’ Tablet Grows Keyboard When Touched, Unveiled at CES 2013
Miss having a keyboard on your tablet? Tactus Technology has unveiled a new screen that morphs into a keyboardwhen you need it, and disappears when you don’t.
Check out the video above.
That’s amazing, and it could be coming to mobile devices and touchscreens by the end of 2013.
“The tech works by replacing the top layer of a device’s screen — usually hardened glass or plastic — with a sheet that can both be a smooth and flat touchscreen surface and a lumpy, physical keyboard. Of course, by doing this with some devices you’d lose the toughness of a Gorilla Glass panel for example, but that’s the price you have to pay for such awesomeness,” says Gadget Helpline.
Of course, if screens can change shape, maybe they’ll even be able to self repair, and wouldn’t liquid-filled screens be more resistant to falls? That’s just speculation, though.
But Tactus is serious about getting the new tech into the hands of consumers, just not directly.
“Tactus is aiming this system at OEMs rather than producing Tactus-branded tablets and smartphones itself,” writes Matt Burns at TechCrunch.
“Tactus CEO and Founder Craig Ciesla Ciesla assured me both on and off the camera that his company already has partnerships in place, and the world will see gadgets with this technology by the end of the year.”
If this tech works as well as it seems to, it will revolutionize data input and touchscreen interfaces.
One of the issues with physical keyboards is their size, weight and complicated wiring. And onscreen keyboards suffer from a lack of tactile feedback. But a temporary keyboard solves all those problems and allows an optimal form factor.
We’re one step closer to virtual reality keyboards currently only possible with movie magic.
Ultra Fast Google Fiber Internet Service Lures Startups to Kansas City
Google Fiber Internet access draws entrepreneurs to Kansas City
When Google was searching for a city in which to launch its Fiber Internet service, it was clear that it was hoping incredibly fast internet connectivity would benefit not only consumers but businesses as well. The speedy internet service is reportedly drawing new startup companies to Kansas City.
A neighborhood separating Kansas City, Kansas from Kansas City, Missouri has become an unofficial home for high-tech startups. In fact, the neighborhood has earned the unofficial moniker “Silicon Prairie.”
A small group of entrepreneurs is reportedly working on their ideas for the next high-tech startup from a home on State Line Road. Google Fiber Internet service is said to be the catalyst for this conclave of high-tech wars and others around the area. The fast internet connectivity provides speeds of up to 1 GB per second, which is significantly faster than normal internet service typically available to homes and businesses.
Space station to test $17 million inflatable room
NASA will use Bigelow’s Expandable Activity Module to determine the potential benefits of inflatables for exploration and commercial space work.
January 14, 2013 8:46 AM PST
NASA has awarded a contract to explore ways to potentially expand the International Space Station.
The agency announced last week that Bigelow Aerospace has been awarded a $17.8 million contract to deliver to the agency an inflatable extension for the space station. According to NASA, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module “will demonstrate the benefits of this space habitat technology for future exploration and commercial space endeavors.”
Inflatable space technology is nothing new. In fact, the first passive communications satellites — Echo 1 and Echo 2 — were both inflatable. NASA determined in 1958 that the satellites would be too big to fit into the Thor-Delta rocket, so scientists decided to allow the satellites to inflate when they got into space.
The idea of a self-contained inflatable habitat for space exploration has even been in place for decades. However, due to NASA budget constraints, the so-called “Transit Habitat,” which was to help get crews to Mars with inflatable technology, was cancelled in 2000.
Bigelow, founded in the late 1990s, has been working on its own inflatable habitats for years. The company currently offers a BA 330 inflatable habitat that can be both added on to existing stations or operate on its own. The BA 330 has 330 cubed meters of volume and support up to six crewpeople for an extended period of time. According to Bigelow, the BA 330′s radiation protection can at least match that of the International Space Station. The habitat’s “aluminum can” design includes four large windows for occupants to look out into space.
Pentagon developing UFO-like craft to deliver cargo in stealth
The 230 foot Aeroscraft 66 ton ML866 Dragon Dream, capable of speeds up to 130 mph with vertical takeoff and landing.
Sicily unilaterally halts construction of US next-gen military satellite station
PaperTab: A Tablet As Flexible As Paper Debuts At CES 2013 [VIDEO]
Here’s one exciting consumer gadget at CES 2013 that isn’t a television: The PaperTab, which looks and feels just like a sheet of paper, may one today overtake today’s tablets.
Developed by researchers at the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, the PaperTab features a flexible, high-resolution 10.7-inch plastic touchscreen display built by Plastic Logic, the company borne from Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory, and relies on a second-generation Intel Core i5 processor to turn what looks like a sheet of white paper into a living, interactive display.
“We are actively exploring disruptive user experiences,” said Ryan Brotman, an Intel research scientist. “The ‘PaperTab’ project, developed by the human media lab at Queen’s University and Plastic Logic, demonstrates innovative interactions powered by Intel core processors that could potentially delight tablet users in the future.”
Unlike typical tablets akin to Apple’s iPad, the idea of PaperTab is to use one app at a time, per Papertab. To make tasks easier, users would own 10 or more PaperTabs at once and lay them out to their liking — think the police department in “Minority Report,” but with paper — with one app running in each interactive “window.”
“Plastic logic’s flexible plastic displays are completely transformational in terms of product interaction,” said Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Plastic Logic. “They allow a natural human interaction with electronic paper, being lighter, thinner and more robust compared with today’s standard glass-based displays. This is just one example of the innovative revolutionary design approaches enabled by flexible displays.”
With multiple tablets to separate applications, PaperTab relies on an interface that lets the user combine and merge elements from disparate applications with intuitive dragging, dropping, pointing and folding. For example, to reply to an email within the inbox on one PaperTab, one simply touches the email with another PaperTab and curl the top right corner. A keyboard instantly appears on the PaperTab to type the message; to add a photo, find the photo on another PaperTab and touch it directly to the email reply. The photo instantly appears within the email message. Users also can instantly pick up documents by touching one PaperTab to another distant PaperTab with a group of PDF icons.
While the PaperTab is a touchscreen display, it doesn’t accept typical gestures users will know from the iPad. Instead, using the PaperTab is a much more physical experience. To flip through pages in a book or article, one can fold your PaperTab in half or curl the right side of the page. To fast-forward or rewind a video, simply bend the top corners of the tablet. To see a picture in a bigger frame, the user can put two PaperTabs next to each other, and they’re smart enough to create one big picture. Even when two Papertabs are “attached,” since everything is editable, it’s easy to drag and drop icons or objects from one PaperTab to the other.
“Using several PaperTabs makes it much easier to work with multiple documents,” said Roel Vertegaal, the director of Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab. “Within five to 10 years, most computers, from ultra-notebooks to tablets, will look and feel just like these sheets of printed color paper.”
While the PaperTab is not yet ready for prime time — the Intel i5 processor is housed in an outside unit, which connects to all of the PaperTabs, as seen in the video provided by Queen’s University – the technology is very promising. Since PaperTab is both lightweight and robust, they can be bent, thrown around and collected, which isn’t so easy to do with today’s tablets. Intel’s Brotman believes this particular product could be ready “within five to 10 years.”
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