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Category archives for Technology

The search engine optimization rap

This track, called Design Coding by The Poetic Prophet, has just been uploaded on YouTube. I thought it was hilarious the first time I saw it, and it’s still very amusing on the fourth viewing. I’m not an expert on search engine optimization, but the advice provided here is, as far as I know, accurate.

Free 3D interactive anatomy software

The Visible Body is a small application created by the Massachussets-based company Argosy Publishing. The software can be downloaded for free, and includes computer graphic models of more than 1,700 anatomical structures, which can be rotated in a three-dimensional 360 degree view: The Visible Body consists of highly detailed, anatomically accurate, 3D models of all…

Sea cucumbers are marine invertebrates which live on the sea floor and feed on debris that drift down. When threatened, they can harden their skin within seconds, so that they are less likely to be devoured by the approaching predator. This behaviour is made possible by the structure of the sea cucumber’s skin, whose deeper…

Neuroscience at Davos

Technology blogger Robert Scoble attended the World Economic Forum at Davos, and made quite a few video recordings of the conversations he had with various people while he was there, which he has uploaded to Qik. In this film, Scoble talks to the Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, who discussed his recent experiments in which a…

Hearing voices (of advertisers)

Here’s an article about a sophisticated type of advertising which uses hypersonic sound: New Yorker Alison Wilson was walking down Prince Street in SoHo last week when she heard a woman’s voice right in her ear asking, “Who’s there? Who’s there?” She looked around to find no one in her immediate surroundings. Then the voice…

Sega is developing toys controlled by brainwaves

Sega is to develop toys controlled by thought, in collaboration with NeuroSky, a Silicon Valley-based start-up company that interfaces biological feedback (such as brain waves) to consumer electronics. The toys will be based on NeuroSky’s ThinkGear, a brain-computer interface (BCI) consisting of a headset which incorporates an EEG. The device is basically the same as…

Reverse-engineering the brain

The image on the right is a supercomputer simulation of the microcircuitry found within a column from the neocortex of the rat brain. The simulation is a tour de force of computational neuroscience: a single column is a highly complex structure, containing approximately 10,000 neurons and 30 million synapses, and the image is based on…

Speech prosthesis

At the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego last week, a group of researchers presented data on a speech prosthesis which they say could soon enable a paralyzed man to talk again. The device, which consists of 3 gold recording wires, was implanted into the brain of Eric Ramsey, who was completely paralyzed in…

Insect-robot interfacing

The Los Angeles Times reports on “Robo-moth“, a cleverly designed contraption, built from cheap off-the-shelf parts, which was presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego earlier this week. Robo-moth is a 6-inch-tall wheeled robot to which attached tobacco horn moth has been attached. A microelectrode inserted into the insect’s brain records the…

The Brainloop brain-computer interface, demonstrated at the VisionSpace laboratory for perception and cognition at FH Joanneum, University of Applied Sciences in Austria. (Photo by Miha Fras, courtesy of Aksioma/ Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana) What will they think of next? First, there was the brain-computer interface for controlling Second Life avatars, and yesterday I mentioned…