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Sep

10

2011

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Hacked TV remote will auto-mute Snooki

Hacked TV remote will auto-mute Snooki

When Matt Richardson works from his home in Brooklyn, New York, he likes to keeps the TV on to stay informed, but some celebrity or another is always taking up airtime and bugging him.

"A while ago it was Charlie Sheen. And then it was Sarah Palin. And then it was Donald Trump," said Richardson, who is a video producer for Make Magazine. "And after a while I realized there's sort of always someone who I don't really want to hear about."

Like any good hacker, Richardson decided to come up with a fix: He developed a do-it-yourself TV remote control that will automatically mute the television when certain celebrity names are mentioned.

He plans to debut and explain the hack at the upcoming Maker Faire event in New York. The name of his talk is "Enough Already: Silencing Celebs with Arduino."

Unless you're speaking at that do-it-yourself inventors' conference, you may be wondering: "What the heck is Arduino?" It's basically a piece of computer hardware that can be programmed to do anything you want. In this case, Richardson combined a couple of Arduino circuit boards with an infrared LED light -- that little red bubble on the

Sep

09

2011

3
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Analysis: Obama jobs plan reinvigorates growth outlook

Analysis: Obama jobs plan reinvigorates growth outlook

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's jobs package could lift economic growth by one to three percentage points in 2012, add well over one million jobs and lower the unemployment rate by at least half a percentage point, judging by early estimates.It might not exactly deliver the "jolt" Obama claimed in his speech to Congress, but it would be enough to make a difference.

The basic idea is to give a sufficient boost to get the stalled recovery over the hump where households, banks and businesses have paid down more of their debt loads and regained the confidence to start spending, lending and hiring again.Once demand picks up, the private sector will kick in and begin hiring, and the fiscal props can fall away.It would deliver the economic medicine prescribed in recent weeks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the International Monetary Fund to prevent a worrisome slowdown in global economic growth from turning into recession.Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also can assure his fellow finance officials at the G7 meeting of top industrial nations in Marseilles the United States is pulling its weight.The wild card of course is whether a Republican-dominated House of Representatives will agree to the full $447

Sep

09

2011

3
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Managing people helps develop better brains

Managing people helps develop better brains

Sydney: Managing other people at the workplace promotes brain health, protects memory and the learning centre well into old age.University of New South Wales (UNSW) researchers have identified a clear link between managerial experience and larger size of one's hippocampus, the brain area responsible for learning and memory -- at the age of 80.

These findings bolster our understanding that mental activity promotes brain health, possibly warding off neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, according to an UNSW statement.'This could be linked to the unique mental demands of managing people, which requires continuous problem solving, short term memory and a lot of emotional intelligence..., says Michael Valenzuela, leader of regenerative neuroscience in UNSW's School of Psychiatry.

The research comprises the doctoral work of Chao Suo, supervised by Valenzuela, along with Perminder Sachdev's Memory and Ageing Study based in Sydney.Using MRI imagery in a group of 75- to 92-year-olds, researchers found larger hippocampal volumes in those with managerial experience compared to those without, even after accounting for any of a number of possible alternative explanations.

The study was presented at the Brain Sciences UNSW symposium Brain Plasticity - The Adaptable Brain

Sep

08

2011

0
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Australian robots have learned to talk the talk

Australian robots have learned to talk the talk



 They're not discussing the latest celebrity gossip or passing on stock tips just yet, but Australian robots have begun talking to each other -- and in a language of their own devising.The two "Lingodroids," developed by the University of Queensland, have picked up their shared language by playing location games that led them to construct a shared vocabulary for places, distances and directions."In their current state all they can talk about is spatial concepts, which I think is pretty cool as a starting point," said Ruth Schulz, director of the project. "But the important part is that they are forming these concepts, they are starting to really understand what words mean and this is actually all up to the robots themselves.

"Schulz describes the robots as "basically a laptop on wheels," but each is equipped with sonar, a camera, a laser range finder, microphones and speakers that allow them to speak to each other as they move around and map out their environment in "where are we" games.With a small whirring sound the robots whiz around the maze-like office environment, negotiating obstacles such as desks and chairs and beeping when they are within hearing distance of each other.Communicating through the

Sep

08

2011

0
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Cloud computing to create one lakh jobs in India: Study

Cloud computing to create one lakh jobs in India: Study


Bangalore: As the next technology wave, cloud computing by enterprises has the potential to create about 100,000 new jobs in India, a study said.  'Of the projected $4.5-billion total cloud computing market in India by 2015, private cloud will account for $3.5 billion, generate about 100,000 additional jobs and save about 50 percent of cost of IT operations for Indian enterprises,' the study 'Private Cloud Landscape in India', by Zinnov Management Consulting and global IT firm EMC Corporation, revealed.

In cloud computing, multiple servers are used as a single platform through a digital network (website) under secured environment with access to a range of applications and tools for reducing the cost of IT operations.Cloud computing is emerging as the next big IT service for its pay-as-you-go model, which eliminates capital intensive investment by companies, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in setting up IT infrastructure.Spend on using cloud by information technology and back office firms, telecos, BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), manufacturing and government organisations is set to increase to 8.2 percent over the next five years from 1.4 percent in 2010.'There will be an increased preference of cloud adoption over the next five years in India.

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