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News Articles Auto apps ...


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News Articles Auto apps ...

  1. 1. News Articles 1. Auto apps cars-onstar/ Rather than struggle to keep pace with new technology, car manufacturers are increasingly relying on smartphones to provide tech features….look at GPS navigation: A new $170 portable navigation device is more accurate and has more features than the built-in $2,000 option the dealership wants to sell you. That's because it takes years for a car to make it from the drawing board to the showroom, while new gadgets and apps appear every day….automakers like BMW, Ford, and GM are changing their tack. Instead of trying to stuff dashboards with the latest technology, like gigabytes of memory or dedicated computer systems, they're designing more streamlined systems that simply connect to drivers' smartphones…idea is to rely on those devices to provide the communications and computing power to deliver new services and features. After all, what's more current, your iPhone or your 6-year-old SUV -- which was designed before there was such a thing as Facebook, or Twitter?... even GM's OnStar decided to take the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach, announcing that it would start running popular smartphone apps such as the social-networking phenomenon Facebook and online music service Pandora on its connected car systems…OnStar is still testing some of the new features, which include having text messages from an Apple or Android-based smartphone read aloud to drivers over a car's stereo system and using voice commands to post messages on Facebook…Ford is already seen as the leader in automated navigation and information services in the car, thanks to its Sync system. Sync is based on a Microsoft service that reads text messages and recognizes voice commands; with it drivers can ask Sync for songs from connected MP3 players or request directions to the store…even with these built-in smarts, Ford realizes that it can't keep up with the pace of innovation. So the company also is allowing smartphone applications on Android phones to link directly to Sync-equipped cars…means that drivers will be able to surf through radio shows on by using the steering wheel controls in the car, rather than looking down and reaching for a phone…Ford and OnStar will also allow software developers to create new apps to work with their vehicles. And both will allow owners to plug in Wi-Fi routers that connect to the Internet using a cellular data connection, essentially turning the car into a roving hot
  2. 2. spot…Mercedes, for example, offers an iPhone app that can unlock or lock a car via the Web. Meanwhile, car stereo companies are linking to smartphones too. Alpine and Pioneer have models that play music that streams live from Pandora -- via a smartphone…phone makers themselves are working on car connections. RIM, maker of the popular Blackberry phones, recently bought QNX Software Systems. QNX makes the software that's embedded in over 200 different car models, ranging from Audi to Volkswagen….in the race to offer the latest technology to car buyers, things may get a little out of hand. There's the nagging issue of distracted driving, for example. It's difficult to know what consumers in the future will think is a must-have feature (such as reading messages aloud or playing music from the Web) and what's simply ... well, ridiculous…The real problem is that drivers will experience cognitive overload and be unable to process all the information without becoming a danger to others on the road…How much information is safe, and in what form drivers can process it without increasing the risk of an accident, is still the subject of much research… 2. Pakistan tensions northwest-pakistan/ Two suspected American missile strike killed 12 alleged militants in a northwest Pakistani tribal region Saturday…sign the U.S. is unwilling to stop using the unpopular tactic despite heightened tensions between the two countries over recent border incursions by NATO…A surge in U.S. missile strikes in Pakistan along with NATO operations along the border suggests Western forces are cracking down on insurgents who easily move between Afghanistan and Pakistan's porous boundary…suspected U.S. missiles struck
  3. 3. buildings Saturday morning in the Datta Khel village of North Waziristan tribal region…Over the past five weeks, the U.S. has launched at least 22 missile strikes in Pakistani territory, an unprecedented number. Western officials say some of the CIA- controlled, drone-fired strikes have been aimed at disrupting a terror plot against European cities…Public outrage has also risen over the recent NATO incursions. It hit a peak on Thursday, when two NATO helicopters crossed into Kurram tribal region and killed three Pakistani paramilitary soldiers who fired warning shots at them from a border post… 3. Monkey personalities personality/?ref=science Most days we want to find a specific monkey or group of monkeys. We do not tag, mark or radio- collar the geladas, though countless times I have wished to do so out of frustration…adept at distinguishing individual gelada monkeys…There are the easy monkeys to identify, like Tail, the female with half of her tail missing. And then there are the hard ones, which make up a vast majority of our monkeys. To identify these individuals we look for subtle differences, like small scars or discolorations on their ears or face…As zoologists we don’t like to anthropomorphize. Your research subjects should be just that — research subjects. This is much easier said than done. Fortunately anthropomorphizing is not always bad. Each
  4. 4. gelada has a unique personality. An expert researcher will pick up on these personalities and use them for identification…example, one of the V-unit juveniles is obnoxious (all females in a reproductive unit are given names beginning with the same letter — in this unit all of the females have names beginning with the letter V). She throws childlike tantrums whenever her mother doesn’t let her nurse, screaming and yelling until she gets her way. This makes locating her mother a relatively easy task. On the other end of the spectrum are some absolute sweethearts. They are calm and don’t antagonize other monkeys. These monkeys are easy to find in a unit… 4. Dung information dung-in-context/ colleagues and I are currently studying gelada reproductive strategies, hormones and genetics. We can best be described as hunter-gatherers, using every part of our prey. But there’s a difference: We hunt poop…Gelada society is complex, with multiple levels of association…One can obtain all sorts of information from poop. What have your research subjects been eating? Do they have any parasites? How stressed are they? Is this female cycling, lactating or pregnant? Does that male have high or low testosterone? Who is this baby’s father? Are those two females
  5. 5. related? To answer each of these questions requires a different part of the sample — and we use the entire sample…olleagues focus on the hormonal questions: stress and sex. For this they collect the homogenized center of the fecal sample, which contains the relatively stable hormonal metabolites…I study the genetics. For this I collect the outer layer of the feces. This layer contains skin cells with valuable genetic information…Collecting poop is our way of doing invasive research without being invasive. We cannot just collect any sample we see. We need to place the piece of poop into context. For both genetics and hormones we need to know the individual who “gave” us the sample… 5. Active cyber defenses &s=TOP U.S. military must develop much better, more active defenses against cyber attacks, according to Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn…"Sophisticated and maybe relatively unsophisticated participants in conflicts are going to use cyber,"… Cyber attacks in 2007 against Estonia and 2008 against Georgia caused government and business websites to crash and disrupted communications…sophisticated cyber worm that some describe as a new cyber weapon, has invaded and possibly hobbled a controversial nuclear power plant in Iran…"We are very dependent on information technology for much of our military capability," Lynn said. So enemies could use cyber
  6. 6. attacks to cripple "our ability to do precision targeting, to communicate, there could be challenges to our logistics systems, to our transportation systems," and outside the military, "there could be threats to the economy."… 6. Airman killed Air Force Special Operations Command combat controller died Sept. 29 while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom…Senior Airman Mark A. Forester, 29, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., was killed while conducting combat operations with his special forces team in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan…. 7. Germans killed in Pakistan pakistan-missile-strike/ U.S. missile killed five German militants taking shelter in a house in northwest Pakistan on Monday…attack hit a house in North Waziristan. That region has been named as the source of a European terror plot that has prompted American authorities to issue a travel advisory. One or more German citizens are reported to be linked to the plot,,, five victims were believed to be German citizens in the region for terrorist training…Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office has said that there is "concrete evidence" that 70 of some 220 people who have traveled from Germany to Pakistan and Afghanistan for paramilitary training have received it. It is believed that about a third of those 70 have returned to Germany…A senior Pakistani intelligence official said last week that some 60 Germans were believed to be in the region where the latest missile strike occurred. He said eight of them — as well as two Britons, one of whom was killed
  7. 7. in a Sept. 8 missile strike — were at the heart of the Europe terror plot… 8. Social networks and games Can your social network make you healthier? It's a question that health organizations are asking more and more--as part of a wave of new gaming experiments that aim to persuade players to think and act differently while having fun…, Vancouver game consulting company Ayogo launched a Facebook game called HealthSeeker that awards "life experience" points or virtual gifts when players with diabetes make small lifestyle changes…hallenge of this kind of game isn't to convince people of something but to get them to act…Reinforcing those small actions could turn them into habits that add up to better health…real power of the game lies in the principle of reciprocity, the tendency to do something positive for someone who did something positive for you. Game designers take advantage of reciprocity by making it easy for users to send gifts to friends…In HealthSeeker, a user can send a "Kudo"--a virtual gift designed to be interesting or amusing--to reward friends for completing a task such as going a day without chocolate. When they receive a Kudo, users feel rewarded and acknowledged for doing something difficult, Fergusson explains. They will also feel a subtle but powerful obligation to return the favor…game also draws on the power of social networks in other ways. Users can accept challenges from friends, which Fergusson says make them more likely to take on the recommended mission (the average player is working on two active missions; players who have accepted a friend's challenge average four)…. psychology is simple but powerful: not only do people like to win, but they don't like to feel like they've lost something…more and more industries look to social games to change habits, games can become a win-win situation: the user feels engaged and rewarded for winning while a company or a society can achieve a critical goal… 9. Learning Semantic web ref=technology Give a computer a task that can be crisply defined — win at chess, predict the weather — and the machine
  8. 8. bests humans nearly every time. Yet when problems are nuanced or ambiguous, or require combining varied sources of information, computers are no match for human intelligence…Few challenges in computing loom larger than unraveling semantics, understanding the meaning of language. One reason is that the meaning of words and phrases hinges not only on their context, but also on background knowledge that humans learn over years, day after day….team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has been fine-tuning a computer system that is trying to master semantics by learning more like a human…computer was primed by the researchers with some basic knowledge in various categories and set loose on the Web with a mission to teach itself…“For all the advances in computer science, we still don’t have a computer that can learn as humans do, cumulatively, over the long term,”… e Never-Ending Language Learning system, or NELL, has made an impressive showing so far. NELL scans hundreds of millions of Web pages for text patterns that it uses to learn facts, 390,000 to date, with an estimated accuracy of 87 percent. These facts are grouped into semantic categories — cities, companies, sports teams, actors, universities, plants and 274 others. The category facts are things like “San Francisco is a city” and “sunflower is a plant.”… NELL also learns facts that are relations between members of two categories. For example, Peyton Manning is a football player (category). The Indianapolis Colts is a football team (category). By scanning text patterns, NELL can infer with a high probability that Peyton Manning plays for the Indianapolis Colts — even if it has never read that Mr. Manning plays for the Colts. “Plays for” is a
  9. 9. relation, and there are 280 kinds of relations. The number of categories and relations has more than doubled since earlier this year, and will steadily expand….learned facts are continuously added to NELL’s growing database, which the researchers call a “knowledge base.”… NELL is one project in a widening field of research and investment aimed at enabling computers to better understand the meaning of language. Many of these efforts tap the Web as a rich trove of text to assemble structured ontologies — formal descriptions of concepts and relationships — to help computers mimic human understanding…I.B.M.’s “question answering” machine, Watson, shows remarkable semantic understanding in fields like history, literature and sports as it plays the quiz show “Jeopardy!” Google Squared, a research project at the Internet search giant, demonstrates ample grasp of semantic categories as it finds and presents information from around the Web on search topics like “U.S. presidents” and “cheeses.”… Computers that understand language, experts say, promise a big payoff someday. The potential applications range from smarter search (supplying natural-language answers to search queries, not just links to Web pages) to virtual personal assistants that can reply to questions in specific disciplines or activities like health, education, travel and shopping…With NELL, the researchers built a base of knowledge, seeding each kind of category or relation with 10 to 15 examples that are true. In the category for emotions, for example: “Anger is an emotion.” “Bliss is an emotion.” And about a dozen more…Then NELL gets to work. Its tools include programs that extract and classify text phrases from the Web, programs that look for patterns and correlations, and programs that learn rules. For
  10. 10. example, when the computer system reads the phrase “Pikes Peak,” it studies the structure — two words, each beginning with a capital letter, and the last word is Peak. That structure alone might make it probable that Pikes Peak is a mountain. But NELL also reads in several ways. It will mine for text phrases that surround Pikes Peak and similar noun phrases repeatedly. For example, “I climbed XXX.”… “So much of human language is background knowledge, knowledge accumulated over time. That’s where NELL is headed, and the challenge is how to get that knowledge.”… A helping hand from humans, occasionally, will be part of the answer. For the first six months, NELL ran unassisted. But the research team noticed that while it did well with most categories and relations, its accuracy on about one-fourth of them trailed well behind. Starting in June, the researchers began scanning each category and relation for about five minutes every two weeks. When they find blatant errors, they label and correct them, putting NELL’s learning engine back on track…When Dr. Mitchell scanned the “baked goods” category recently, he noticed a clear pattern. NELL was at first quite accurate, easily identifying all kinds of pies, breads, cakes and cookies as baked goods. But things went awry after NELL’s noun-phrase classifier decided “Internet cookies” was a baked good…. 10. Neurofeedback Wires from the sensors connect to a computer programmed to respond to your brain’s activity…If your brain behaves as desired, you’ll be encouraged with soothing sounds and visual treats, like images of exploding stars or a flowering field. If not, you’ll get
  11. 11. silence, a darkening screen and wilting flora…neurofeedback, a kind of biofeedback for the brain, which practitioners say can address a host of neurological ills — among them attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, depression and anxiety — by allowing patients to alter their own brain waves through practice and repetition…average course of treatment, with at least 30 sessions, can cost $3,000 or more, and few health insurers will pay for it…there had been “quite a bit of improvement” in many of the children’s behavior, as reported by parents and teachers…“There’s no question that neurofeedback works, that people can change brain activity,” he said. “The big questions we still haven’t answered are precisely how it works and how it can be harnessed to treat disorders.”… William E. Pelham Jr., director of the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University, called neurofeedback “crackpot charlatanism.” He warned that exaggerated claims for it might lead parents to favor it over proven options like behavioral therapy and medication….A major attraction of the technique is the hope that it can help patients avoid drugs, which often have side effects. Instead, patients practice routines that seem more like exercising a muscle…Brain cells communicate with one another, in part, through a constant storm of electrical impulses. Their patterns show up on an electroencephalogram, or EEG, as brain waves with different frequencies…eurofeedback practitioners say people have problems when their brain wave frequencies aren’t suited for the task at hand, or when parts of the brain aren’t communicating adequately with other parts. These issues, they say, can be represented on a “brain map,” the initial EEG readings that serve as a guide for treatment. Subsequently, a
  12. 12. clinician will help a patient learn to slow down or speed up those brain waves, through a process known as operant conditioning….treated more than 1,000 autistic children over the past seven years and had conducted a clinical study, finding striking reductions in symptoms, as reported by parents…as practitioners lobby for broader acceptance, including insurance recognition, a sure sign of neurofeedback’s increasing popularity is the number of companies selling supposedly mind-altering systems to use at home… 11. STEM nce readers who heretofore have been spared exposure to this little concatenation of capital letters, or who have, quite understandably, misconstrued its meaning, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, supposedly the major food groups of a comprehensive science education…A new report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology offers many worthy ideas for improving science education, like creating a “master corps” of the nation’s finest science teachers who would in turn train others; but the STEM word keeps thudding up its pages like so many gristle nubs in a turkey burger…the potential for confusion is even worse. “People hear about STEM education, and they think some harm has come to an embryo in the process,”… term also sounds didactic and jargony, which is why Sally Ride, the former astronaut who now travels the country promoting the glories of science education to girls and other interested parties, said she consciously avoids it…5,000 participants were asked
  13. 13. whether they understood the term “STEM education,” 86 percent said no. “They said it made them think of stem cells, branches, leaves and broccoli stems,” said Brian Dyak, the group’s president. “I have no clue on that last one.” Clearly, he added, “we have a branding issue here.”… Dr. Stage, a mathematician by training, thinks it’s a “false distinction” to “silo out” the different disciplines, and would much prefer to focus on what the fields have in common, like problem-solving, arguing from evidence and reconciling conflicting views. “That’s what we should have in the bulls’-eye of our target,” she said….Advances in technology illuminate realms beyond our born senses, and those insights in turn yield better scientific toys. Engineers use math and physics and the scientific mind-set in everything they design; and those who don’t, please let us know, so we can fly someone else’s airplane and not cross your bridge when we come to it. Whatever happened to the need for interdisciplinary thinking? Why promote a brand that codifies atomization?... 12. Increased activity killed-afghanistan-pakistan/ U.S. and NATO forces have killed more than 100 fighters from a Pakistan-based faction of the Taliban during two weeks of stepped-up military operations along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border…intensified border operations have contributed to tension between the United States and Pakistan that reached a critical point last week, when U.S. forces crossed into Pakistan and mistakenly killed three Pakistani frontier forces. Pakistan closed a key border crossing used to supply fuel to U.S. forces in Afghanistan in retaliation…tally was an example of an increasing U.S. willingness to provide figures for enemy deaths in a counterinsurgency fight that U.S. commanders have long insisted can never be won by attrition…"The threat is real, and though we've had success in killing 110 of them, there clearly are more of them out there who remain a
  14. 14. threat to our forces,"… Morrell said he has not heard anything to suggest the U.S. will change the way its aircraft operate along the border, although he would not discuss specific rules of engagement…."We will retain the right to defend our forces, to defend ourselves," he said during a Pentagon press conference. "And our forces who operate on the border with Pakistan are in a very dangerous and difficult situation."… U.S. and Pakistani officials have said the Torkham crossing would probably reopen within a few days. U.S. military officials said the closure has not harmed delivery of fuel to U.S. forces, although alternate routes are less convenient and more expensive.