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News From Around the World

Extension anonymizes Bitcoin transactions

Add / Remove Bitcoin, the digital currency sent via direct transactions without the need for banks, continues to grow on global exchange markets. However, security issues have always been a concern, with naked digital addresses making it possible to trace user transactions. A new cryptocurrency extension Zerocash is aiming to completely anonymize online currency transactions. Developed by cryptographers at John … Read More »

3D printed ‘zoolophones’ produce specific sounds

Add / Remove Controlling the sound an object produces has always been difficult — attempts have been made to keep refrigerator motors quiet using a solid state motor — but engineers at Columbia University have developed algorithms that accurately 3D print objects to produce specific acoustic qualities. Using their algorithms and taking ideas from a xylophone, the team designed a … Read More »

Fire-starting drones for ecological control

Add / Remove The advancement of robotics has seen an increase in their use for activities humans would rather avoid, from coral reef conservation to grocery delivery. A drone from Nimbus Lab could be used to ignite controlled forest fires. Developed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the autonomous drone can drop incendiary objects over a preset flight path. The robot … Read More »

Musicians advertise songs on streaming platforms

Add / Remove Successful advertising often catches the consumer when they are most responsive to the promoted product. An example is this contagious billboard — a live action advert that yawns at passersby to make them crave coffee. Feature FM is a native advertising service for new music, which places songs within music streaming platforms, replacing less relevant advertisements that … Read More »

Crowdsourced phone camera footage maps conflicts

Add / Remove The UN requires accurate proof when investigating possible war crimes, but with different sides of a conflict providing contradicting evidence, and the unsafe nature of the environment, gaining genuine insight can be problematic. A team based at Goldsmith’s University in the UK are using amateur footage to investigate. Forensic Architecture makes use of the increasingly prevalent smartphone … Read More »

Magnetized workstation lets users work lying down

Add / Remove Many office workers suffer from bad posture and back problems as a result of sitting down for long periods. We’ve seen a number of alternative office furniture — including a moving desk and a rocking stool — which enable users to adopt better working positions and encourage exercise. Now, Altwork is an adaptable workstation, which can be … Read More »

Clothes with inbuilt air conditioning

Add / Remove Researchers at the Technical Research Centre of Finland — VTT — have developed a mass production method for wearable air conditioning technology. The system — called Alykangas — consists of microscopic channels of plastic that can be integrated into garments, and pumped with hot or cold liquid, enabling the wearer to cool down or heat up. While … Read More »

Airbnb for outdoor advertising marketplace

Add / Remove Sites like Zillow have been credited with bringing transparency to the real estate market by making local housing prices and estate agent info accessible. Following its transparency agenda is Billboard Bazaar, who are aiming to similarly transform the Out Of Home (OOH) advertising market. Billboard Bazaar provides a cloud-based database that allows owners of potential OOH advertising … Read More »

Innovation Culture Bulletin: A comfortable distance

Add / Remove “Innovation comes from the interactions of people at a comfortable distance from one another, neither too close nor too far.” — Malcom Gladwell In an article that’s now nearly 15 years old, Malcom Gladwell compared the layout of Silicon Valley offices to that of Greenwich Village in New York. He draws from author Jane Jacobs, who lived … Read More »

BitDrones pave way for 3D computers

Add / Remove The varied potential of drone quadrocopters are becoming apparent — their applications now include emergency first aid and infectious disease control. Following a different path, The Human Media Lab at Queens University, Kingston, is using drones to realize the vision of 3D computer programs. In a room fitted with several cameras, small flying BitDrones organize themselves in … Read More »