Archive | Computing & Electronics


Centimeter-accurate GPS system could radically transform mobile devices

Centimeter-accurate positioning systems are already used in surveying and mapping, but the antennas these systems employ are too large and costly for use in mobile devices. Now, however, University of Texas scientists have devised a powerful and sensitive software-defined GPS receiver that can extract centimeter accuracies from the inexpensive antennas found in mobile devices. The […]

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Prototype video camera requires no power

Columbia University researchers led by Shree K. Nayar have developed the first video camera to be fully self-powered – its pixels not only measuring the incident light, but also converting it into electric power. The team is presenting its work next week at the International Conference on Computational Photography at Rice University in Houston. “We […]

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Mis-synced music proves to be a powerful enhancement for TV ads

It turns out that offsetting the music soundtrack of TV adverts by an imperceptible amount makes the adverts significantly more memorable in viewers’ minds. Researcher Andy Rogers, from the University of Huddersfield (UK), detailed his discovery at the International Computer Music Association’s 2014 conference, held in Athens. “The audience at the conference were very interested […]

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Eye reflections can identify criminals

A new study published in PLOS ONE shows that the high resolution images produced by modern digital cameras can be used to identify the photographer and other individuals positioned behind the camera. The researchers, from the University of York (U.K.), say that images retrieved from subjects’ corneal reflections could be especially important when the images […]

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Radical new data compression method delivers significant gains in quality and speed over existing techniques

To create an entirely new way to compress data, UCLA researchers drew inspiration from physics and the arts. The technique, dubbed “anamorphic stretch transform,” (AST) works by stretching and warping the data using a newly developed mathematical function that the researchers say operates in both the analog and digital domains. Reporting their work in the […]

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Anomalous ferroelectric behavior could point way to brain-like computing

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) say their observations of unexpected behaviors in ferroelectric materials lend support to the concept of “memcomputing,” an emergent computing paradigm in which information storage and processing occur on the same physical platform. The discovery was made while the ORNL team were using a scanning probe microscope to draw […]

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Decoded smartphone movements reveal transport mode

Planes trains, and automobiles – scientists in Finland have worked out how to use accelerometer data from smartphones to reveal which mode of transport a subject is using. As well as applications in surveillance, the new technique could be used to reveal information about the user’s physical activity, personal CO2 -footprint and preferred transit type. […]

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