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Transparency

The intersection between transparency and privacy can be tricky. Crypto currency bitcoin is a good example of this as its purported anonymity can present problems in transactions and potentially lead to various kinds of fraud. In an effort to make the digital currency more attractive to a wider range of legitimate businesses, students at Trinity College Dublin are looking for ways to increase transparency in transactions without ditching the anonymity altogether and believe a "credit-check" database could be one answer. Read More
The idea of a warrant canary in information privacy is the story of one clever workaround and one small paradox, a paradox the newly-launched Canary Watch database aims to track. If an ISP or content provider were required by American national security programs to turn over user data, such as Verizon being forced to release ongoing batches of phone call data under the Patriot Act in 2013 (and furthermore being gagged from warning its users) how would anyone know? Read More
What if your house's windows could automatically reduce the amount of hot sunlight passing through them, or your car's windshield could cause rain droplets to bead off to its edges? These things and more could soon be possible, thanks to a new animal hair-inspired material developed at MIT. Read More
Ordinarily, when scientists want to see specific cells within a piece of biological tissue, they first have to remove that tissue from the body, slice it very thin, then examine those two-dimensional slices using a microscope. Imagine, though, if the tissue could be made transparent – seeing tagged cells within it would be sort of like looking at three-dimensional bubbles inside an ice cube. Well, that's just what a team at Caltech have done using a technique known as PARS, or perfusion-assisted agent release in situ. Read More
You've probably seen TV shows in which groups of characters – usually forensic investigators – view data on large transparent touchscreen displays. Well, researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have taken that concept a step further. Their TransWall is not only transparent, but it can also receive input and display content on either side of its screen, plus it's capable of haptic feedback. Read More
Gorilla Glass could be getting a lot more useful. Corning International, which makes the material commonly used in mobile device screens, has teamed up with researchers at Polytechnique Montreal to create a new type of glass that incorporates transparent sensors. Soon, the glass in your smartphone screen could be used to take your temperature, among many other possibilities. Read More
Graphene, the two-dimensional lattice of carbon atoms, may be the wonder material du jour, but ultrathin layers of other elements are also proving to be an exciting area of research. One-atom-thick sheets of germanium and tin have shown potential as semiconductors and a topological insulators respectively, and now ultrathin layers of tungsten and selenium have been used to create a diode that could be used in ultrathin, flexible, semi-transparent solar cells. Read More
A beautiful stained glass installation, a colorful billboard, or rows of windows on an office building ... all as electricity-generating solar cells? New research at the University of Michigan gives a method for creating such transparent and colorful solar cells using a hybrid silicon/organic composition, and furthermore avoids some of the problems of previous colored and transparent solar cells. Read More

We're coming just that much closer to electronic devices such as TV screens that can be rolled up in a tube, or phones that can be folded up and stuffed in a pocket. Scientists at the University of Houston have created a gold nanomesh material that is conductive, transparent and flexible – a combination that they claim has never before been achieved. Read More

There are a number of approaches currently used to create transparent displays, such as transparent OLED and LCD displays or simple reflection, however, most are limited in terms of viewing angle. Researchers at MIT have come up with a new system that is low-cost and offers a wide angle of view with the projected image appearing on the transparent material itself. Read More
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