Bionic eye helps man see


When I was a kid, this was the stuff of science fiction (“The Six Million Dollar Man.”) Now it’s closer within reach.

About a decade ago Allen Zderad, a 68-year-old Minnesotan, was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable disease that attacks your retina, leaving you blind. Now for the first time in 10 years Zderad can see thanks to a pioneering bionic implant. The implant reads and sends light photons to the bionic nerve, going around the damaged retina. The sight is fairly crude, but this is a big step forward toward a possible cure for blindness

via The Optimist Daily.

‘Anki Overdrive’ Bringing Modular Tracks and New Cars to AI Racing Game – Mac Rumors

Anki Overdrive

More augmented reality for fun and games.

Anki today announced a sequel to its innovative iOS-compatible Anki Drive slot car racing game. Called “Anki Overdrive” and set for launch in September, it will include brand new cars, a customizable track – courtesy of magnetically interlocking track pieces and “bridges” that adjust track height – and even jump ramps (via Re/code).

Originally debuted on stage at WWDC 2013, Anki has slowly grown support for the original Anki Drive by adding new cars and track support but keeping the same basic static roll-out mat technology. The sequel, which the company plans to announce today at the New York Toy Fair, will retain the same basic concept of using a smartphone to control a physical toy car around a track, battling against an A.I. opponent or other players.

via ‘Anki Overdrive’ Bringing Modular Tracks and New Cars to AI Racing Game – Mac Rumors.

An App Promises Mobile Justice to Protestors When Law Enforcement Violates the Law – NationofChange

The Mobile Justice app allows users to take video of public exchanges with police and other citizens, and then automatically uploads to the American Civil Liberties Union, keeping the file from being deleted if the phone is confiscated. Will this help with cases of police violating people’s civil rights?

via An App Promises Mobile Justice to Protestors When Law Enforcement Violates the Law – NationofChange.

“Limbitless” – 6 Year Old Gets $350 3D Printed Myoelectric Arm. | E-nabling The Future

It’s not every day cyborgology makes the eyes moist.

“My mother taught us that we’re supposed to help change the world…We’re supposed to help make it better. That’s why we did it.” – Albert Manero, UCF Aerospace Engineer – on why he created a 3D printed robotic prosthetic device for 6 year old Alex Pring.

via “Limbitless” – 6 Year Old Gets $350 3D Printed Myoelectric Arm. | E-nabling The Future.

Google’s Waze is a ‘stalking app,’ claim US police – The Next Web

Waze Screenshot

Do you use Waze? Do you think these concerns are well–founded?

In 2013, Google acquired Waze, which combines GPS navigation with a social community, for $966 million. It offers free real-time traffic guidance and warnings about issues including congestion, car accidents, speed traps, traffic cameras, construction work, potholes and unsafe weather.

The complaints against Waze were triggered by Sergio Kopelev, a reserve deputy sheriff in Southern California, who believes the user-submitted reports about officers’ locations make it a danger to police.

Kopelev says he had not heard about Waze until late last year when his wife began using it. He then began thinking about how the app could be used to target officers.

Another officer, Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Virginia, who is also chair of the National Sheriffs Association’s technology committee, told The Guardian, that the police-reporting feature, which he deems a “police stalker,” is dangerous.

Both men raised their concerns during a meeting of the organization in Washington. They referred to the Instagram account of Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who is accused of fatally shooting two NYPD officers last month. He posted a Waze screenshot along with messages threatening police. However, investigators do not believe he used Waze to ambush the men.

via Google’s Waze is a ‘stalking app,’ claim US police – The Next Web.

Drone point of view of extreme snowstorm in New York

Richard Hudak:

This is a fascinating possibility of the emerging technology.

Originally posted on WGN-TV:

James Grimaldi lives in West Seneca, New York – one of the hardest hit cities by this week’s epic snowstorm.

Grimaldi used an aerial drone to shoot video of the winter storm hitting his upstate town and posted it to YouTube.

The footage that was captured is incredible.

 Related:At least 8 killed in massive snowstorm, Buffalo braces for up to 3 feet more

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The Secret Language of Girls on Instagram

Richard Hudak:

Sometimes, when we talk about gender issues in my classes, the women envy young men’s ability to resolve conflicts physically, because it ends quickly an the guys are back to being friends and not holding grudges. I’m not so sure about that perception, but the byzantine world of girls’ aggression is fascinating. It’s good to have the thumbnail map.

Originally posted on TIME:

Secrecy is hardly new on Planet Girl: as many an eye-rolling boy will tell you, girls excel at eluding the prying questions of grown ups. And who can blame them? From an early age, young women learn that to be a “good girl” they must be nice, avoid conflict and make friends with everyone. It’s an impossible ask (and one I’ve studied for over a decade) – so girls respond by taking their true feelings underground.

Enter the Internet, and Instagram: a platform where emotions can run wild – and where insecurities run wilder. The photo-sharing app is social media’s current queen bee: In a survey released earlier this month, three quarters of teens said they were using Instagram as their go-to app.

Instagram lets users share their photos, and “like” and comment on their friends’. The competition for “likes” encourages creativity in young users, who can use filters…

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Why the internet of things should be designed with efficiency in mind

Richard Hudak:

Augmented reality should not drive us further toward climate change.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

If you imagine 50 billion connected devices all consuming a few milliwatts of power, it adds up. With that in mind, we brought Oleg Logvinov, director, market development at ST Microelectronics and who currently serves on the IEEE Standards Association Corporate Advisory Group, on this week’s podcast to discuss strategies from the silicon up for making the internet of things more energy efficient.

Before Logvinov discusses both technologies and standards for cutting electricity usage and makes the case that even wired devices should consume less, Kevin Tofel and I talk about the previous week’s news including the August lock, the future of Bluetooth as a standard in the connected home, and Qualcomm’s planned buy of CSR. Stay tuned.

And don’t forget about Structure Connect, which kicks off later today in San Francisco.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Rafi Haladjian, CEO of

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Japanese man jailed for 3D-printing revolvers

Richard Hudak:

We’ve been following such stories for a while. It is interesting how different societies take different approaches to this development.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

In what appears to be the first sentence of its kind, a Japanese man has been jailed for two years for the crime of making 3D-printed guns and instructing others about the process.

28-year-old Yoshitomo Imura, who worked for the Shonan Institute of Technology, reportedly made several guns and also put a video online showing how he did it. Japan has very strict gun laws, and, following his arrest in May, Imura was sentenced on Monday for producing and possessing two functional firearms.

Imura’s design was known as the ZigZag. Although his defense team reportedly stressed that he designed in a plate to stop the weapons being fired, prosecutors said the plate was easily removed. This is apparently a video of the gun in question:

Cody Wilson, the American libertarian who arguably kicked off the current era of 3D-printed guns with his Liberator model, only incorporated space for one…

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Magic Leap Secures $542M Led By Google For “Lightweight Wearable” Tech That Merges Physical And Digital Worlds

Richard Hudak:

Is Magic Leap prefigured in William Gibson’s “Virtual Light”?

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

It’s rare that a company can stay relatively secretive while raising a huge amount of funding, but Florida’s Magic Leap has managed that. The startup, led by CEO Rony Abovitz, announced today the close of its $542 million Series B, featuring investors led by Google, Inc., and including KPCB, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, Qualcomm and Legendary Entertainment.

The list of investors reads like a who’s who of influential companies and individuals across various industries, and Abovitz explained to TechCrunch that the reason for that is that the tech’s potential isn’t limited to any one field, which he says puts its potential market size in the trillions of dollars annually range. That could explain the valuation of Magic Leap, which is north of $1 billion, given that this round is still a minority investment, per Abovitz.

But what is Magic Leap? It’s a question that the startup isn’t answering in detail…

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