How Smart Dust Could Be Used To Monitor Human Thought

A few years ago a team of researchers from Brown University made headlines after they successfully demonstrated how a paralyzed woman who had lost the use of her arms and legs could control a robotic arm using her brainwaves. In a video, Cathy Hutchinson imagines drinking a cup of coffee, and the robotic arm brings the cup to her lips.

The scene is amazing, but also a little disturbing. Hutchinson is connected to the robotic arm through a rod-like “pedestal” driven into her skull. At one end of the pedestal, a bundle of gold wires is attached to a tiny array of microelectrodes that is implanted in the primary motor cortex of Hutchison’s brain. This sensor, which is about the size of a baby aspirin, records her neural activity. At the other end of the pedestal is an external cable that transmits neural data to a nearby computer, which translates the signals into code that guides the robotic arm.

This method, known as BrainGate, pretty much defined state-of-the-art brain-computer interfaces at the end of the last decade. If the idea of a rod-through-the-head computer interface makes you cringe, you are not alone.

For some time, a small team of researchers at UC Berkeley has been working on plans for a less invasive, wireless monitoring system. Earlier this month, they released a draft paper: “Neural Dust: An Ultrasonic, Low Power Solution for Chronic Brain-Machine Interfaces.”

Dongjin Seo, a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s electrical engineering and computer science department, authored the paper under the supervision of senior faculty members, including Michel Maharbiz who has famously created cyborg beetles for the US Defense Department.

Seo said the researchers’ goal is to build an implantable system that is ultra-miniature, extremely compliant, and scalable to be viable for a lifetime, for brain-machine interfaces. “With neural dust, due to its extreme scalability, this framework can be applied for Obama’s BRAIN initiative, which necessitates large-scale, parallel, and real-time monitoring of neurons,” Seo explained.

The Berkeley researchers propose to sprinkle the brain with tiny, dust-sized, wireless sensors. This would reduce the risk of infection from wiring up scores of sensors placed throughout the brain and limit the trauma to one initial operation. During that operation, the skull would be opened, and sensors would be inserted into the brain. At the same time a separate transceiver would be placed directly under the skull but above the brain. The transceiver would communicate with the sensors via ultrasound.

Another battery-powered transceiver outside the skull would receive data transmissions from the chip inside the skull and supply wireless power to it.  As the paper notes, this type of power transfer is already used in a variety of medical applications, including cochlear implants. Seo said the amount of power being proposed is within FDA and IEEE guidelines.

The idea of neural dust immediately sparked the imagination of futurists after the paper was published on arXiv.org on July 8. “The brilliance of this system is that it could potentially allow scientists to see what’s going on with thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of neurons inside the brain at once,” wrote Ramez Naam, a senior associate at the Foresight Institute and author of “More Than Human: Embracing the promise of biological enhancement.”

But would neural dust have practical use for the growing industry of mind-controlled computer games and brain training apps? Jon Cowan, founder

Acer Aspire V5-122 with AMD Temash

Jakarta-ultrabook exorbitant price makes it less attractive thin notebook. Despite having a number of advantages compared to notebooks in general, such as fast boot time and lightweight body, the average price is above USD 10 million to be a serious obstacle.

As an alternative, some computer vendors began marketing sense ultrabook notebook with a more affordable price. Call it VivoBook X202E Asus, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11, Dell XPS 12, or Acer Aspire V5-122.

Yes, with many excellent features adopted from the ultrabook, notebook sold in the under $ 10 million. But in terms of performance is less than the true ultrabook. But the experience of computing an ultrabook can still be felt on the notebook.

In the past week, Tempo had tried Acer Aspire V5-122. Body is lightweight and thin making the Aspire V5 easily incorporated into the bag and convenient to carry anywhere. Interestingly, in the Aspire V5-122 grafted Temash low-power AMD processors.

DESIGN

Thin, lightweight, and stylish. That first impression when touched obtained Tempo Acer Aspire V5-122. Body wrapped in metallic silver color adds an elegant notebook with a 11.6-inch wide screen. While at the bottom, cover plastic dark black plated.

Every corner of the Aspire V5-122 made rounded. While the keyboard on the inside of the black chiclet design. Fairly wide spacing between the keys making it comfortable to use for fast typing.

Touch pad size is not too big, but it’s not a problem. Therefore, Aspire V5-122 is equipped with a touch screen that is able to respond to ten touch points. The touch screen was optimal when used with the Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft.

Like ultrabook, Aspire V5-122 also brought the concept of unibodi. That is, the types of Li-ion battery 3-cell it carries can not be removed. But you do not need to worry because Acer ensure the battery life is long enough.

Connectivity

Like most new output notebooks, Aspire V5-122 is equipped with the latest features for connectivity. One of which is USB 3.0 is capable of transferring and receiving data 10 times faster than USB 2.0. USB 3.0 port is located on the left side.

In addition to USB 3.0, Aspire V5-122 is equipped with a USB 2.0 port is on the right side. In addition there is a card reader slot. As for the wireless connectivity, Acer presents Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n and Bluetooth 4.0.

SCREEN

Screen Aspire V5-122 is able to produce high levels of brightness. Using glossy reflective technology, the Aspire V5-122 black color makes it look more dense and the resulting image sharpness deeper than the regular screen.

Only, with a relatively cheap price than the ultrabook, Acer just immerse the display with a standard resolution, 1,366 x 768 pixels only. That is, watch the video with 1080p high definition resolution was less than optimal on-screen Aspire V5-122’s.

Moreover, with the use of the Windows 8 operating system and the increasing number of applications that require content HD screen resolution, screen technology Aspire V5-122 feels a little left behind.

PERFORMANCE

Acer Aspire V5-122 is equipped with AMD processors Jaguar Temash APU A6-1450 quad-core processors with speeds up to 1 GHz of computing processes. As for the graphics processing embedded AMD Radeon HD 8280G which has a thermal design power (TDP), only 8 watts.

Jaguar AMD A6-1450 APU processor is the new output. This low-power processor platform is the successor of Zacate

Intel Releases Low-Powered Atom Chips for Servers

Now that Intel Corp. (INTC) has released new chips for the smartphone market, where it has been squeezed out by competitors like ARM Holdings PLC (ARMH) and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), it has elected to restart its initiatives in the server business as well. Intel has three-quarters of that market, by most estimates. Although the opportunities in the corporate server market are not as great as those among consumers, it needs to keep its hold on one of its major franchises.

As it struggles to keep server share, it announced:

Intel revealed new details for the forthcoming Intel Atom processors C2000 product family aimed for low-energy, high-density microservers and storage (codenamed “Avoton”), and network devices (codenamed “Rangeley”). This second generation of Intel’s 64-bit SoCs is expected to become available later this year and will be based on the company’s 22nm process technology and the innovative Silvermont microarchitecture. It will feature up to eight cores with integrated Ethernet and support for up to 64GB of memory.

America’s Worst Companies to Work For

The new products are expected to deliver up to four times the energy efficiency and up to seven times more performance than the first generation Intel Atom processor-based server SoCs introduced in December last year. Intel has been sampling the new Intel Atom processor server product family to customers since April and has already more than doubled the number of system designs compared to the previous generation.

The market probably will not need to wait long to see if the initiative works. Chip companies are fond of release data sales on new products, if they are successful. By the firm’s next earnings call, Wall Street will know if the new Atom product and the servers it runs will replace older ones in which systems were less efficient.

Boffin Advises Consumers On The Best Typing Tutor Software This Year, eReflect Announces

Ultimate Typing™ software developer eReflect announced today that the software review website Boffin has published extensive reviews on the best typing tutor software for 2013. As the eReflect representative noted in today’s statement, the company is proud to learn of the high rating given to its product, and appreciates the suggestions and comments provided by this and other reviewers and customers. eReflect states that its goal is to provide the best possible product to users, and relies on such feedback to continually refine and improve its software.

In this most recent review, the Boffin team of reviewers examined four typing improvement software products and concluded that Ultimate Typing™ is the top choice for the review team, as the software includes features and technologies the other products lacked.

The Boffin software review team evaluated all typing tutor software products in terms of efficiency, help and support for users, instruction quality, user friendliness, and several other parameters. While each of the other software products reviewed lacked strength in one or more of these categories, Ultimate Typing™ had all these features and more, making the team’s decision as to the best typing software an easy one. The SoftwareReviewBoffin.com website illustrates the pros and cons of each typing software product in great detail so that interested users can get an accurate idea on how each software works and how it can improve their typing skills.

According to the Boffin website, Ultimate Typing™ was a clear winner as the top 2013 typing tutor software in view of its cutting-edge tools, impressive integrated technologies and its scientifically informed design and overall interface. The review team also highlighted that the software offers a great variety of activities, games, and practice difficulty levels, making it an appealing choice for people of all ages, needs, and learning styles. The Boffin team of reviewers also emphasized that unlike other software, in addition to its extensive practice material Ultimate Typing™ also has the most user-friendly interface making navigation easy, thus allowing users to focus on what really matters, improving their typing speed and accuracy. In today’s statement, the representative from eReflect remarked that the development team is quite pleased with this aspect of the review, as the interface was one area of product development that the software company put a great deal of time into.

The Boffin review concluded by mentioning that all top software products listed on the website are frequently reevaluated in order for visitors to have up to date information on the most efficient software products on the market. It was also stated that the actual differences between the top three software products selected were often rather minute and that once new releases or versions are published, the current ratings are likely to change.

About Ultimate Typing™

Ultimate Typing™ software is designed specifically for the improvement of typing skills. Created by eReflect, a world leader in e-learning and self-development software, Ultimate Typing™ has been informed by the latest developments in the science of touch typing.

Since its creation in 2006 by Marc Slater, the company has already catered to over 112 countries all over the world, offering products with the latest cutting-edge technology, some of which are among the world’s most recognized and awarded in the industry.

MontaVista Software Extends Support for ARM® Architecture Targeting Telecom and Networking Markets

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — MontaVista® Software, Inc., the leader in embedded Linux®commercialization, today announced Carrier Grade Edition® (CGE) support for the Carrier Grade Linux 5.0 profile for ARM architecture.  This milestone marks the first CGL registered product to support the ARM architecture. The tidal wave of smart phone and tablet usage has created a situation where mobile broadband demand is outpacing infrastructure capability. Carriers are racing to expand capacity while reducing the power required to run the mobile broadband telecommunications infrastructure.  For almost a decade, Telecom OEM and carriers have defined their Linux requirements using the Carrier Grade Linux specification.  MontaVista has bridgecd the gap between next generation silicon on ARM and Telecom Linux requirements.

“To support ARM-based SoC designs for carrier and cloud equipment, we recognize the importance of carrier grade software platforms to be in lock step with those silicon implementations, as this will accelerate time-to-deployment for highly reliable, available and secure next-generation equipment,” said Bob Monkman, manager, Enterprise Networking Segment for ARM. “MontaVista pioneered the Carrier Grade Linux movement, and it continues to be a leading innovator for this software platform that remains the crucial benchmark for network equipment and data centers alike. This milestone is another proof point that the necessary software ecosystem is in place for ARM-based systems to deploy into the global communications network.”

MontaVista’s Carrier Grade Edition is designed for high reliability infrastructure markets. CGE is the standard foundation of a Linux based platform, certified to meet performance requirements, high availability, serviceability, hardening, and real-time response.  The CGE multi-architecture platform allows customers to cross compile across all major architectures knowing they have met all CGL, LSB, and IPv6 requirements.  Only MontaVista provides a Carrier Grade Linux cross-architecture platform that allows telecom & network equipment manufacturers to cross compile from other architectures to ARM for their next-generation devices.

“As the provider of the world’s most widely-deployed Carrier Grade Linux, MontaVista is committed to supporting the ARM ecosystem with certified and high-performance operating systems.” said Patrick MacCartee, Director of Marketing for MontaVista Software. ”

MontaVista is bridging the gap between IT and Telco Linux operations systems by providing leadership in the Linaro Network Group (LNG), where it sits on the steering committee, as well as being part of the Carrier Grade Linux community. Our unique experience enables us to provide the best-in-class platform for ARM in cloud and carrier infrastructure applications.  MontaVista is supporting the ARM architecture for a range of applications in the telecom supply chain.  Work is underway to provide KVM-based virtualization to enable cloud-based solutions for mobile core and data plane on the ARM architecture.

“MontaVista has led the way in providing Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) support since the first Requirements Definition document in 2002,” said Mark Orvek, Linaro VP of Engineering. “We’re pleased to see MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition listed by the Linux Foundation as the first distribution to implement the CGL specification on the ARM platform and we’re very happy to be working together with MontaVista and the other industry-leading members of the Linaro Networking Group to develop the future of Linux on ARM in this space.”

MontaVista is committed to compliance with the major industry standards and maintains its position of being the only Linux distribution in the world to comply with the three key requirements issued by the industry’s major standards

SuVolta’s transistor technology speed-power benefits are validated in ARM processor

The ARM Cortex-M series processor was manufactured with SuVolta’s Deeply Depleted Channel (DDC) technology on a 65 nm bulk planar CMOS DDC process. With SuVolta’s transistor technology, designers are able to reduce power or improve performance, depending upon design requirements.

“ARM’s heritage is based on low power, so technologies that can further improve power consumption, such as DDC technology from SuVolta, will always be welcomed by ARM and our Partners,” said Noel Hurley, vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. “SuVolta has shown that the DDC technology, when incorporated into an ARM processor, can provide additional power reductions or a significant performance boost. As the Internet of Things continues to expand, innovative ultra-low power technology for Sensors and other devices will be vital to ensure that ARM remains at the forefront of this opportunity.”

When compared to an identical ARM Cortex-M0 processor manufactured in the conventional 65 nm process, with a 1.2 V supply voltage, the DDC transistor-based ARM implementation operating at 0.9 V demonstrates a 50 percent lower total power consumption at matched 350 MHz operating speed. There is also a 35 percent increased operating speed (performance) at matched power. In addition there is a 55 percent increased operating speed when operated at matched supply voltage.

“We’ve now validated the benefits of the DDC technology in a complex SoC, by combining the ARM Cortex-M0 CPUs with SRAM instances and various analog components,” explained David Kidd, senior director, digital design at SuVolta. “The results speak for themselves – power-performance optimized CPU cores, with results that hold across process corners and temperature, plus, SRAMs with 150 mV lower minimum operating voltage, 50 percent less leakage power at matched SRAM read current, and more than 5x less leakage power in retention mode.”

“Reducing power consumption and enhancing performance are key to providing next-generation capabilities for a variety of advanced digital products,” said Bruce McWilliams, president and CEO at SuVolta. “By validating the speed-power advantages of the DDC technology in a SoC that includes ARM processors, we’ve reached another significant milestone in demonstrating the value of our technology in a system.”

Stopping Google Latitude Service on August 9th

The world’s largest search engine company, Google will soon be officially shut down one of his services. The services that will be closed is Google Latitude which is a location sharing application.

Closure is made after a company based in Mountain View did a massive change on Google Maps. In addition, this application also has a very low popularity. Google Latitude consumption levels far below other applications such as Foursquare or Facebook. Not only that, Latitude also less popular than the location-sharing service owned by Google.

Google Latitude itself is a location sharing application that is integrated with Google Maps. This feature allows for automatic location tracking, check in at a place it can also be set automatically or manually.

In the latest update Google Maps on Android, this feature is not found anymore. Selian it, Google also removed the existence of Google Latitude app available on iOS and has officially retire the Latitude API. So third-party applications that use these APIs will not work, unless using a sharing site owned by Google.