Techno-News Blog

September 30, 2010

Libraries see a surge in job seekers who need help using computers

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By DAN SIMMONS, Wisconsin State Journal

Internet use at the nine public libraries in Madison increased 23 percent from 2008 to 2009 and is projected to go up 27 percent this year over last based on numbers through August. The steep recent jumps owe to the swollen unemployment ranks due to the economic recession and an increase in people who, like Johnson, need a job but also need training in the basic computer skills now all but essential in finding work, said Lisa Mettauer, outreach librarian at the central branch.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/article_f225b75c-c1f9-11df-bca3-001cc4c002e0.html

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Cyber art holds a mirror to the modern world

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by the Click, BBC

Cyber art or creativity inspired by new technology is celebrated each year at a festival held by the Ars Electronica organisation in Linz, Austria. Displays include a network of robotic flowers and a striking depiction of a day in the life of New York City. Click’s David Reid went along to have a look.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/9030177.stm

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Real life postage that just needs your e-mail address

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By LJ Rich, BBC Click

 The saying “keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer” could be in need of an update. We already know not to share our pin number, but if you don’t know all of your friends that well, would you be happy to give them your home address? With the popularity of social networking sites we now have more friends than ever. But online social friendships have the same issues as those in real life. For example, most people would not want to share their sort code and account number with just anyone.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/9026426.stm

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September 29, 2010

Computer-on-a-chip provides computer vision

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by Nick Farrell, TechEye

Apparently real-time object recognition requires huge wodges of processing power and a whole room of servers to pull off. But if you could manage it on a mobile phone or hand-held device the world would be your oyster. A small group of boffins at Yale University claim to have developed a “supercomputer” able to do real-time object recognition. Dubbed NueFlow it is a neural network mapped onto an FGPA, and can easily fit on the top of a desk, in a car, and eventually into a smartphone. Top boffin Eugenio Culurciello of Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Science, said NueFlow works by simulating the mammalian visual system.

http://www.techeye.net/chips/computer-on-a-chip-provides-computer-vision

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Pupils ‘increasingly using computers for homework’

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by TimePlan

 British pupils are increasingly using computers to carry out school work, it has been revealed. A poll commissioned by Pearson UK found that nine out of ten children use electronic devices to do homework. The average pupil spends four hours per week doing school-related tasks on their computer.

http://www.timeplan.com/news-and-events/news/1741-pupils-’increasingly-using-computers-for-homework’/

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College’s attempt to block Facebook, Twitter, IMs fails

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By Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed

The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology made waves last week when it announced it would block access to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and AOL Instant Messenger from its campus wireless network for one week. The idea was to make students, faculty, and staff reflect on the role social media plays in their lives. Several days into the “shutdown,” the college’s inability to keep students away from social media was showing.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-09-16-IHE-facebook_blockade16_ST_N.htm

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September 28, 2010

New technology changes our habits

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by KY Post

Cell phones, e-mail, social networking sites and many other forms of new technology are changing the way we search for news. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and Press said people are spending more time following the events happening in the world. On average, Americans spend 57 minutes a day getting news from television, radio and newspapers, which is the same number 10 years ago. However, with the invention of newer technology people now spend 13 minutes looking for news on the Internet.

http://www.kypost.com/dpps/news/science_tech/new-technology-changing-our-habits_5110240

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Fujitsu to release wireless charging tech in 2012

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by Stephen Shankland, CNET news.com

Wireless networks and Bluetooth keyboards can free people from some cable clutter, but Fujitsu believes new research could help whisk away some power cords, too. Fujitsu said Monday that it’s overcome design hurdles for a mechanism for wireless charging of electronic devices and that it plans to use the technology in products to be sold in 2012. The general idea, which Intel, MIT, and other organizations have been researching for years, offers the prospect of a laptop or phone that charges when you set it on a desk or table, potentially getting rid of some cables and making travel easier. Fujitsu has bigger ideas in mind, too: transmitting power within a computer chassis and charging electric cars, for example.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20016182-264.htmlm/8301-30685_3-20016182-264.html

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Microsoft Preparing For New Wireless-Internet Technology

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by John Letzing, Wall Street Journal

Microsoft Corp. is gearing up for the introduction of powerful, new wireless Internet networks to be deployed on unused television airwaves in the U.S. Dan Reed, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for technology strategy and policy, said that after the Federal Communications Commission finalizes rules for the use of “white-spaces” TV spectrum the devices could be widely available for consumers within “the two-plus year range, possibly three.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100913-711332.html

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September 27, 2010

Sri Lanka among the widely connected countries in South Asia – President

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by the Ministry of Defence Sri Lanka

For a country that has emerged from nearly three decades of brutal terrorism, Sri Lanka is today among the most widely connected countries and societies in the South Asian Region, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He made these views this morning addressing the 50th Council Meeting and the Annual Forum of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), in Colombo. “If it is not so already we can soon lay claim to be the land with the most Broadband Connectivity in all of South Asia, and much of Asia too’ President Rajapaksa further said. The growth in telecommunications is so fast and so vast that foreign investors have found this sector to be most profitable and the promise of success keeps growing, the President stated.

http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20100913_03

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A Dictionary of the Near Future

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By DOUGLAS COUPLAND, New York Times

The thing about the future is that it never feels the way we thought it would. New sensations require new terms; below are a few such terms to encapsulate our present moment. AIRPORT-INDUCED IDENTITY DYSPHORIA Describes the extent to which modern travel strips the traveler of just enough sense of identity so as to create a need to purchase stickers and gift knick-knacks that bolster their sense of slightly eroded personhood: flags of the world, family crests, school and university merchandise.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/opinion/13coupland.html

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From librarian to media maven

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By Ryan Blackburn, Online Athens

When Jerry Lynn Pope started her career as a school librarian, the job was about books. As media changed, Pope adapted to the new challenges of a digital world – while at the same time keeping focus on reading, said Martha Avery, who worked alongside Pope in the Clarke County School District as a media center paraprofessional. “Pope embraced just about all of the changes,” Avery said. “She would make every effort to learn everything she possibly could to help the students so she could help the teachers – she was all for going forward.”

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/091310/new_707183194.shtml

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September 26, 2010

One App for All

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by the BCC

‘One app for all’ effort launches The effort is meant to supplement, rather than replace, existing app environments A European project to develop an application environment for every internet-connected device has received 10m euros in funding. The project aims to sidestep operating systems and proprietary app stores by providing a web-based approach. The idea would enable a given app to work, for example, on a web-ready television, in a car and on a mobile, no matter the makers of the devices. However, industry insiders say the idea is unlikely to get off the ground.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11389416

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US frees unused airwaves for ’super wi-fi’ technology Wi-fi

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by the BBC

The US broadcasting regulator has announced it will make unused television airwaves available for new “super wi-fi” technology. In a statement, the Federal Communications Commission described the spectrum between television channels as “prime real estate” for mobile devices. It hopes the move will turn swathes of the country into giant wi-fi hot spots. Officials also said it would encourage innovation and job growth and make the US more competitive globally.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11402284

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Researchers seek to find true level of cyberstalking

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by the BBC

A new survey has been launched in an effort to find out the true level of cyberstalking in the UK. It comes a day after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) unveiled new guidance to prosecutors and promised to get tough on cyberstalkers. More than one million women and 900,000 men are stalked in the UK every year, according to the British Crime Survey. But until now no research has been done to find out how many people are stalked or harassed online. On Friday the Electronic Communication Harassment Observation (Echo) survey, commissioned by the charity Network for Surviving Stalking, was launched by researchers at the University of Bedfordshire.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11404284

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September 25, 2010

A Soft Spot For Hard Drives

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By DAVID G. ROBINSON, Wall Street Journal

We treat our computers like trusted confidants— they keep track of everything from our most mundane online wanderings to irreplaceable documents and photos. Then, when the hard drive melts down and the machine fails us, we take umbrage. Outrage, a sense of betrayal, even tears—who hasn’t experienced these reactions to the bloodless traitors on our desks? Afterwards, we feel foolish. It’s just a machine, after all. But do we really think it’s just a machine? A new field of research says no. The CASA paradigm—short for computers as social actors—takes as its starting point the observation that, although we deny that we interact with a computer as we would with a human being, many of us actually do.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703453804575480662661839080.html

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iPad App ‘Proloquo2Go’ Gives the Gift of Voice

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by Lauren Ware, Miller-McCune

Expensive computers that help facilitate face-to-face communication have been overtaken by cool — and relatively cheap — “Proloquo2Go” software and devices like the iPad and iPod. With an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad and Proloquo2Go, available to download for $189.99 from the iTunes store, someone who needs augmentative communication can have a functional voice for well under $1,000. That’s cheap enough to avoid the labyrinthine process of dealing with insurance, plus the user can access e-mail, browse the Internet, visit social networking sites and do anything an application can do — manage a to-do list, use a daily schedule or text a friend. There’s an important caveat: they must be able to use the touchscreen.

http://www.miller-mccune.com/health/ipad-app-proloquo2go-gives-the-gift-of-voice-22171/

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Wave of future is now, i-Pads in hands of all NHS freshmen

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By KEVIN HEIMBIGNER, the Observer

No longer will Naselle High School students be able to say, “The dog ate my homework.” Every freshman at Naselle High School is now equipped with an i-Pad, a mini-computer device smaller than a laptop computer, but with even more computing and connecting power than most laptops.

http://www.chinookobserver.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=35574

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September 24, 2010

How to preserve history online

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by Daniel Seiberg, BBC

In the age of the internet with information flying around the globe in unprecedented quantity at unprecedented speeds, what exactly happens to history? What’s worth saving, compiling or interpreting and what should be dumped in the digital dustbin? Does the internet offer new opportunities for all of us to create our personal histories?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/9008348.stm

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The 90-year-old US blogger

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by the BBC

Phyllis Greene, who is in hospice care in Ohio, talks about why she decided to start a blog at the age of 90 and how technology has brought a new dimension to her life.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8999217.stm

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How good software makes us stupid

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by David Lee, the BBC World Service

London cab drivers must undertake a test on the city’s streets before they can work, but Sat-Nav could make that knowledge unnecessary…. Imagine for a moment that you have thumbed a ride in one of London’s iconic black cabs. “Where to, guv?” he asks, in typical cockney-twang. You tell him. “No problem – let me just enter that into my sat-nav…” It sounds unnatural, almost deceitful, that any self-respecting London cabbie would ever utter those words.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11263559

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