Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Learning

Georgia Tech to offer MS in Computer Science via MOOC (Photo: Mathieu Plourde)

The Georgia Institute of Technology, in partnership with Udacity and AT&T, is preparing to offer an accredited online master of science (M.S.) degree in Computer Science. The instruction will be via Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC), which will be open to anyone at no charge, but will also be available as for-credit courses leading to an Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS). The total cost of instruction fees and tuition for those taking the M.S. route is expected to be less than US$7,000.  Read More

Dino Pet is a clear plastic dinosaur filled with bioluminescent algae that glow in the dar...

Yonder Biology, a company typically known for making colorful prints based on a person's DNA, is aiming to teach children about biology with its latest mixture of art and science. The company's new Dino Pet is a clear plastic dinosaur filled with bioluminescent algae that glow in the dark, so it can act as night light as well as a fun learning tool.  Read More

MIT neuroscientists identified the cells (highlighted in red) where memory traces are stor...

An ongoing collaboration between the Japanese Riken Brain Science Institute and MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has resulted in the discovery of how to plant specific false memories into the brains of mice. The breakthrough significantly extends our understanding of memory and expands the experimental reach of the new field of optogenetics.  Read More

A human artist's sketch (left), and the computer's attempt at a drawing of the same face d...

Last year, we heard about an industrial robot that was able to create pencil sketches of human subjects. In that case, it utilized algorithms that identified the boundaries between areas of high and low contrast on each subject’s face. Now, however, scientists at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, have taken things a bit further. They’ve created a computer tool that not only produces digital sketches, but it also copies the style of specific human artists as it does so.  Read More

The Sparkup Magical Book Reader is a device which allows children to hear recordings of th...

Picture books are a great way to encourage your kids to embrace and enjoy reading. But as an adult, there're only so many times you can read Aliens Love Underpants and remain sane. The Sparkup Magical Book Reader is a device which clips onto books and lets you record the audio for each page, so that your children can hear you reading it to them as they flick through the pages on their own.  Read More

Lernstift is a digital pen that gently vibrates to indicate when mistakes have been made

These days, we are so reliant on computers that many of us rarely pick up an actual pen or pencil and rely on auto-correct to fix our spelling mistakes. But Falk Wolsky and Daniel Kaesmacher think there's still a place in this modern world for good penmanship and correct spelling and have taken to Kickstarter to get their Lernstift (German for "learning pen"), which vibrates to indicate when the writer makes spelling mistakes or exhibits poor penmanship, into production.  Read More

The VTech InnoTab 3 could help keep little fingers away from your tablet

The InnoTab 3 is the latest in the series of child-friendly tablets from VTech. Designed to be a portable and affordable introduction to tablet computing, it features a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a 2-megapixel rotating camera and 2 GB of onboard memory. As with many other kids tablets, the InnoTab 3 can also be used as an eBook reader, MP3 music player, photo viewer and video player.  Read More

The new LeapPad Ultra from LeapFrog has a larger screen and looks more like a grown-up tab...

The LeapPad Ultra follows on from the LeapPad 2, but at first glance it's obvious that this is more than a token update. Thanks to a seven-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution, it instantly looks more like a standard tablet than the LeapPad 2 (with its five-inch 480 x 272 offering). The new light-touch screen has also been designed to work with fingers or a stylus, so little users can practice their writing skills.  Read More

The Match Cooking Prep System  aims to provide practical tools that assist in enabling som...

Syracuse University graduate Amanda Savitzky’s thesis project, known as “The Match Cooking Prep System for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder” (ASD), has not only been a successful personal journey for her family, but has also seen her awarded the top prize in the 2013 Metropolis Next Generation Competition. Her Match Cooking Prep System is designed to provide practical tools that assist in enabling someone with ASD to learn how to cook.  Read More

Gizmag reviews Riffstation jam software for guitar

Not too long after its launch in 2005, you'd be hard-pushed to visit any friends without being challenged to a round or two of Guitar Hero. Interest in learning to play a real guitar also blossomed, but many found the transition from guitar-shaped controller to actual instrument a difficult one, and perfectly good axes have been gathering dust ever since. Irish company Sonic Ladder has now released some interesting software called Riffstation that gives you the opportunity to break out your much-neglected guitar and play along with your favorite bands to onscreen prompts. Gizmag takes a look at what this software has to offer.  Read More

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