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Ben Coxworth

A combination of facial recognition software, cloud computing and social networking can be...

Facial recognition software, social networking and cloud computing ... they're all technological advances that alone have thrown up questions regarding privacy. According to a recent Carnegie Mellon University study, however, the three technologies can be combined to learn peoples' identities and other personal information about them, starting with just a photograph of their face.  Read More

The injectable biomedical material PEG-HA has been developed to permanently replace soft t...

Soldiers whose faces have been marred by explosions could be among the recipients of a new biomedical material, designed to permanently replace soft tissue. Developed at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, PEG-HA is a composite consisting of synthetic and biological materials. Lab tests have indicated that it doesn’t break down like pure biologicals, or get rejected like some synthetics.  Read More

The SAISBECO project is developing facial recognition software, for the study of wild apes...

When studying wild animals such as gorillas and chimpanzees, it's not uncommon to use photo or video traps - unmanned cameras that are triggered to capture images when creatures pass in front of them. Scientists can then retrieve the cameras and review the footage, to get an estimate of the numbers of a certain species within a given area, and to see what those animals have been up to. One of the problems with this approach, however, is that it's often hard to tell one animal from another - are you looking at several shots of several different apes, or is it the same individual every time? German scientists are developing wild primate-devoted facial recognition software, in order to answer such questions.  Read More

A new software tool has been developed, for getting frozen computers out of infinite loops...

There are few things as maddening as being in the middle of a task on a computer, and having the software freeze up on you. This can be particularly enraging if you haven’t backed up your work recently, and you know that the only way of “thawing out” the program will be to execute a force quit – your work will be lost, all because the (insert word of your choice here) computer didn’t know what to do next. Fortunately, however, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a tool that jolts stalled programs back into action.  Read More

A new computer system has been designed to make managing the traffic on aircraft carrier f...

If you think working as an air traffic controller at an airport sounds stressful, imagine doing the same kind of work in the close confines of an aircraft carrier. Up to 60 aircraft can be continually taking off and landing, on a 4.5-acre (1.82-hectare) strip of deck that’s also occupied by numerous people and vehicles. For decades, a deck handling system that consists of plane-shaped cut-outs and color-coded thumbtacks has been used, but it’s only as reliable as the people placing those objects. An associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics from MIT has now devised a computer system, Deck operations Course of Action Planner (DCAP), that she believes could make things safer and more efficient.  Read More

The VIATAG system's RFID transponders allow drivers to use car parks without having to mak...

Car parks can be a hassle – you have to roll down your car window and reach out to get a ticket from the dispenser on the way in, and then have to reach over and pay the cashier on the way out. The engineers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, however, have come up with something easier. They’ve developed an RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag system that allows drivers to pass unimpeded in and out of car parks, with parking fees being automatically deducted from an online account.  Read More

A tilt-shift photograph taken with the NeinGrenze 5000T (Photo: Photojojo)

Tilt-shift photography is one of those things that you’ve probably seen already, even if you don’t know what it is. It involves taking high-angle photographs of large-scale scenes in which the top and bottom of the shot are out of focus, creating the shallow depth of field that people usually associate with photos of small objects. The result is photographs of things such as city streets, in which all the people, cars and buildings look like tiny models. The effect can be achieved using custom lenses or software ... or now, the tilt-shift-dedicated NeinGrenze 5000T camera.  Read More

The SMART Hook is said to reduce unintended shark catches

In fisheries all over the world, many fish are caught using a process known as pelagic longlining. This consists of fishing crews traveling out into the open ocean and deploying a series of baited hooks that are all attached to one horizontal main line, that can range from 20 to 40 miles (32 to 64 km) in length. After being left to sit in the water for a period of time, the line is hauled abroad a fishing vessel, where the fishes that took the bait are removed from the hooks. Unfortunately, even though they're not usually one of the targeted species, sometimes sharks will be among the fish captured. A new type of fish hook, however, is said to reduce unintended shark catches by up to 94 percent.  Read More

The Speedo Aquacoach is a swimmer's watch that automatically keeps track of data such as l...

Serious road cyclists tend to like using cycling computers (or "cyclometers") to provide them with performance data such as their speed, cadence, distance traveled and power output. Swimmers can also get their pruned-up hands on tech that makes keeping tabs on training sessions much easier and this example from Speedo will appeal to pool-goers for one reason in particular - it automatically counts laps. The Speedo Aquacoach watch uses technology developed by UK-based Swimovate to automatically detect the stroke and - along with counting laps - calculate distance, speed, number of strokes and calories burned.  Read More

An illustration depicting X-ray flashes being generated in the XFEL(Image: European XFEL)

In order to capture slow-motion footage in which a bullet can actually be seen traveling through the air, a camera has to film at a speed somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 frames per second. Given that as a benchmark, what would be the purpose of a camera that manages a whopping 4.5 million fps? In the case of the UK-based Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)'s new X-ray camera, it's to obtain three-dimensional images of individual molecules.  Read More

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