research

Your brain on video games: lucid dreaming, POV changes, resistance to nightmares

Your brain on video games: lucid dreaming, POV changes, resistance to nightmares

Regular gamers have likely, at one point or another, noticed a pronounced video game-esque feel in a dream here or there, maybe finding themselves caught up in the dream world of the last game they binge played or, conversely, transforming an ordinary dream into something akin to a preferred type of video game. If you're one of those gamers, you're not alone.

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MIT improves solar panel performance using hot carbon nanotubes

MIT improves solar panel performance using hot carbon nanotubes

A lot of research is being carried out around the world using carbon nanotubes for various needs. Recently a group of researchers at MIT has been using hot carbon nanotubes to help improve the performance of solar panels. The more solar energy that solar panels can convert into usable electricity, the more useful they become as an alternative energy producer.

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Streaming video services are causing drop in TV network subscriptions, says NPD Group

Streaming video services are causing drop in TV network subscriptions, says NPD Group

There are many subscription-based video streaming services available, ranging from the popular staples of Netflix and Amazon Prime to the somewhat less popular offerings like VUDU. These services are often relatively inexpensive, and can be watched on many devices, ranging from smartphones to televisions, making them attractive on many scales. According to an NPD Group report, the popularity of these services can be seen in their effect on subscription television networks: a 6-percent drop in two years.

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Google gives an update on D-Wave 2 quantum computer benchmark status

Google gives an update on D-Wave 2 quantum computer benchmark status

As a tech company, Google has been known to branch out into different areas of interests, from self-driving cars to smart wearable technology and, more recently, to robotics. One thing it has dipped its toe in also quite recently is the field of quantum computing, having jointly purchased a fancy D-Wave 2 supercomputer. Now its A.I. Lab Team is trying to give an update on just how much that $10 million expenditure is worth.

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Microsoft: We welcome Google contact lenses (& yes, we did them first)

Microsoft: We welcome Google contact lenses (& yes, we did them first)

Microsoft has weighed in on Google's plans to commercialize contact lenses that track blood sugar levels, after comparisons were drawn between them and a previous Microsoft Research project on something notably similar. The two schemes are indeed connected, Microsoft Research's Desney Tan said today, pointing out that the late 2011 project he led on glucose-sensing lenses with integrated displays was done in collaboration with Babak Parviz and Brian Otis who are at running Google's scheme. However, rather than being frustrated, Tan says he welcomes the development.

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SlashGear 101: Google Smart Contact Lens

SlashGear 101: Google Smart Contact Lens

There's no doubt now that the wearables trend is in full swing, with devices like Motorola's digital tattoos and Google's announcement this week: smart contact lenses. These lenses work with a "miniaturized" glucose sensor that's so very tiny it's able to fit between two layers of contact lens material and fit around your eye, just as a normal lens would. The glucose sensor is there to test the eye's tear-duct liquid to help users with diabetes accurately and simply track their sugar levels.

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OpenBCI tries to make brain computer interfaces more accessible

OpenBCI tries to make brain computer interfaces more accessible

These days have been marked by efforts to bring to the masses certain products or production capabilities that have mostly been reserved to companies or larger entities. Examples of this are rising popularity of hackerspaces, microcontrollers such as the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi, and 3D printing. The latest addition to this group is the Open Brain-Computer Interface or OpenBCI, which aims to create an affordable yet high-quality open source device, platform, and community around measuring brain waves.

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Smart object-recognition system could spy on your milk in the IoT

Smart object-recognition system could spy on your milk in the IoT

Computers that can identify objects without requiring any human training are now a possibility, as researchers figure out how to teach AIs to intuit the key features and differences between faces, objects, and more. The new algorithm, developed by engineer Dah-Jye Lee of Brigham Young University, avoids human calibration by instead giving computers the skills to learn how to differentiate themselves: so, rather than the operator flagging individual differences between, say, a person and a tree, the computer is given the tools to identify the differences on its own, and then use them moving forward.

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Micro-windmills could charge your iPhone with waving

Micro-windmills could charge your iPhone with waving

Forget angels dancing on the head of a pin, recharging tomorrow's mobile devices could be a question of how many micro-windmills can you fit on a cellphone cover, with one team of researchers looking to harness the wind on a tiny scale to keep your iPhone topped up. Smitha Rao and J.-C. Chiao of UT Arlington developed the 1.8mm-wide windmills as a way of working around limits on traditional wind power generation, like size and safety. Instead of one big turbine, the pair envisage devices covered with hundreds of tiny versions.

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