Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Slashdot - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 8:06am
Molly McHugh writes When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Slashdot - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 8:06am
Molly McHugh writes When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Slashdot - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 8:06am
Molly McHugh writes When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Slashdot - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 8:06am
Molly McHugh writes When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Slashdot - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 8:06am
Molly McHugh writes When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Slashdot - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 8:06am
Molly McHugh writes When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Slashdot - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 8:06am
Molly McHugh writes When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Slashdot - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 8:06am
Molly McHugh writes When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

New magnetoelectric memory promises low-power, instant-on computing devices

Kurzweil AI - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 7:40am

A conceptual illustration of magnetization reversal, given by the compasses, with an electric field (blue) applied across the gold capacitors. The compass needles under the electric field are rotated 180 degrees from those not under the field (0 degrees rotated). The two-step switching sequence described in the paper is represented by the blurred compass needle under the electric field, making an intermediate state between the 0 and 180-degree rotated states. (Credit: John Heron)

A team led by postdoctoral associate John Heron of Cornell University has developed a room-temperature magnetoelectric memory design that replaces power-hungry electric currents with an electric field. It could lead to low-power, instant-on computing devices.

“The advantage here is low energy consumption,” Heron said. “It requires a low voltage, without current, to switch it. Devices that use currents consume more energy and dissipate a significant amount of that energy in the form of heat. That is what’s heating up your computer and draining your batteries.”

The researchers made their device out of bismuth ferrite, which is both magnetic and ferroelectric, meaning it’s always electrically polarized; and that polarization can be switched by applying an electric field.

This rare combination makes it a “multiferroic” material, allowing for it to be used for nonvolatile memory devices with relatively simple geometries. Other scientists have demonstrated similar results with competing materials, but at impractical cold temperatures, like 4 Kelvin (-452 Fahrenheit).

Their results were published online Dec. 17 in Nature, along with an associated “News and Views” article.

Collaborators from the University of Connecticut; University of California, Berkeley; Tsinghua University; and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich where also involved in the research, which was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science.

Abstract of Deterministic switching of ferromagnetism at room temperature using an electric field

The technological appeal of multiferroics is the ability to control magnetism with electric field123. For devices to be useful, such control must be achieved at room temperature. The only single-phase multiferroic material exhibiting unambiguous magnetoelectric coupling at room temperature is BiFeO3 (refs 4 and 5). Its weak ferromagnetism arises from the canting of the antiferromagnetically aligned spins by the Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya (DM) interaction6789. Prior theory considered the symmetry of the thermodynamic ground state and concluded that direct 180-degree switching of the DM vector by the ferroelectric polarization was forbidden1011. Instead, we examined the kinetics of the switching process, something not considered previously in theoretical work101112. Here we show a deterministic reversal of the DM vector and canted moment using an electric field at room temperature. First-principles calculations reveal that the switching kinetics favours a two-step switching process. In each step the DM vector and polarization are coupled and 180-degree deterministic switching of magnetization hence becomes possible, in agreement with experimental observation. We exploit this switching to demonstrate energy-efficient control of a spin-valve device at room temperature. The energy per unit area required is approximately an order of magnitude less than that needed for spin-transfer torque switching1314. Given that the DM interaction is fundamental to single-phase multiferroics and magnetoelectrics39, our results suggest ways to engineer magnetoelectric switching and tailor technologically pertinent functionality for nanometre-scale, low-energy-consumption, non-volatile magnetoelectronics.

Categories: Science

Summer Triangle: Asterism of 3 Stars From 3 Constellations

Space.com - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 6:19am
The Summer Triangle is a Northern Hemisphere asterism (star pattern) that is actually an amalgamation of stars from three separate constellations.
Categories: Science

A Christmas Comet to be Seen From Dark Skies

Space.com - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 5:37am
Categories: Science

FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

Slashdot - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 5:33am
v3rgEz writes In a terse form letter responding to a FOIA request, the FBI has confirmed it has an open investigation into Gamergate, the loose but controversial coalition of gamers calling for ethics in gaming journalism — even as some members have harassed and sent death threats to female gaming developers and critics.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Deep neural network rivals primate brain in object recognition

Kurzweil AI - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 5:23am

Example images from three of the seven image categories used to measure object category recognition performance by neural networks and monkeys (credit: Cadieu et al./ PLoS Comput Biol)

A new study from MIT neuroscientists has found that for the first time, one of the latest generation of “deep neural networks” matches the ability of the primate brain to recognize objects during a brief glance.

Because these neural networks were designed based on neuroscientists’ current understanding of how the brain performs object recognition, the success of the latest networks suggests that neuroscientists have a fairly accurate grasp of how object recognition works, says James DiCarlo, a professor of neuroscience and head of MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the senior author of a paper describing the study in the Dec. 18 issue of the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology.

Primates visually recognize and determine the category of an object even at a brief glance, and to date, this behavior has been unmatched by artificial systems.

Lead author Charles Cadieu and colleagues from MIT measured the brain’s object recognition ability by implanting arrays of electrodes in the inferior temporal cortex of macaque monkeys and in area V4, a part of the visual system that feeds into the that area of the cortex. This allowed the researchers to see the neural representation — the population of neurons that respond — for every object that the animals looked at.

When comparing these results with representations created by the deep neural networks, the accuracy of the model was determined by whether it grouped similar objects into similar clusters within the representation.

This improved understanding of how the primate brain works could lead to better artificial intelligence and provide insight into understanding primate visual processing.

“The fact that the models predict the neural responses and the distances of objects in neural population space shows that these models encapsulate our current best understanding as to what is going on in this previously mysterious portion of the brain,” say the authors.

More processing power and data

Two major factors account for the recent success of this type of neural network, Cadieu says. One is a significant leap in the availability of computational processing power, using relatively inexpensive graphical processing units (GPUs). The second factor is that researchers now have access to large datasets to feed the algorithms to “train” them. These datasets contain millions of images, and each one is annotated by humans with different levels of identification. For example, a photo of a dog would be labeled as animal, canine, domesticated dog, and the breed of dog.

Cadieu says that researchers don’t know much about what exactly allows these networks to distinguish different objects. “That’s a pro and a con,” he says. “It’s very good in that we don’t have to really know what the things are that distinguish those objects. But the big con is that it’s very hard to inspect those networks, to look inside and see what they really did. Now that people can see that these things are working well, they’ll work more to understand what’s happening inside of them.”

DiCarlo’s lab now plans to try to generate models that can mimic other aspects of visual processing, including tracking motion and recognizing three-dimensional forms. They also hope to create models that include the feedback projections seen in the human visual system. Current networks only model the “feedforward” projections from the retina to the IT cortex, but there are 10 times as many connections that go from IT cortex back to the rest of the system.

This work was supported by the National Eye Institute, the National Science Foundation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Abstract of Deep Neural Networks Rival the Representation of Primate IT Cortex for Core Visual Object Recognition

The primate visual system achieves remarkable visual object recognition performance even in brief presentations, and under changes to object exemplar, geometric transformations, and background variation (a.k.a. core visual object recognition). This remarkable performance is mediated by the representation formed in inferior temporal (IT) cortex. In parallel, recent advances in machine learning have led to ever higher performing models of object recognition using artificial deep neural networks (DNNs). It remains unclear, however, whether the representational performance of DNNs rivals that of the brain. To accurately produce such a comparison, a major difficulty has been a unifying metric that accounts for experimental limitations, such as the amount of noise, the number of neural recording sites, and the number of trials, and computational limitations, such as the complexity of the decoding classifier and the number of classifier training examples. In this work, we perform a direct comparison that corrects for these experimental limitations and computational considerations. As part of our methodology, we propose an extension of “kernel analysis” that measures the generalization accuracy as a function of representational complexity. Our evaluations show that, unlike previous bio-inspired models, the latest DNNs rival the representational performance of IT cortex on this visual object recognition task. Furthermore, we show that models that perform well on measures of representational performance also perform well on measures of representational similarity to IT, and on measures of predicting individual IT multi-unit responses. Whether these DNNs rely on computational mechanisms similar to the primate visual system is yet to be determined, but, unlike all previous bio-inspired models, that possibility cannot be ruled out merely on representational performance grounds.

Categories: Science

Satellite Captures Glowing Plants From Space

Slashdot - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 3:02am
sciencehabit writes About 1% of the light that strikes plants is re-emitted as a faint, fluorescent glow—a measure of photosynthetic activity. Today, scientists released a map of this glow as measured by the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, a NASA satellite launched in July with the goal of mapping the net amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The map reveals that tropical rainforests near the equator are actively sucking up carbon, while the Corn Belt in the eastern United States, near the end of its growing season, is also a sink. Higher resolution fluorescence mapping could one day be used to help assess crop yields and how they respond to drought and heat in a changing climate.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Being humble: Research shows E.B. White was right in Charlotte's Web

Science Daily - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 2:01am
Psychologists conducted a bottom-up exploration of what it really means to be humble. They found that people see a unique dimension of humility akin to a love of learning.
Categories: Science

High socioeconomic status increases discrimination, depression risk in black young adults

Science Daily - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 2:01am
An investigation into factors related to disparities of depression in young adults has found that higher parental education -- which has a protective effect for white youth -- can also increase the risk of depression for black youth by increasing the discrimination they experience.
Categories: Science

A clear, molecular view of how human color vision evolved

Science Daily - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 2:01am
Many genetic mutations in visual pigments, spread over millions of years, were required for humans to evolve from a primitive mammal with a dim, shadowy view of the world into a greater ape able to see all the colors in a rainbow. Now, after more than two decades of painstaking research, scientists have finished a detailed and complete picture of the evolution of human color vision.
Categories: Science

Latest evidence on using hormone replacement therapy for treating menopausal symptoms

Science Daily - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 2:00am
Hormone replacement therapy is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, in particular for younger women at the onset of the menopause, suggests a new review, which highlights that menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and night sweats are common, affecting around 70% of women for an average of 5 years but may continue for many years in about 10% of women.
Categories: Science

Tooth loss linked to slowing mind, body

Science Daily - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 2:00am
The memory and walking speeds of adults who have lost all of their teeth decline more rapidly than in those who still have some of their own teeth, finds new research. The association between total tooth loss and memory was explained after the results of a study were fully adjusted for a wide range of factors, such as sociodemographic characteristics, existing health problems, physical health, health behaviors, such as smoking and drinking, depression, relevant biomarkers, and particularly socioeconomic status. However, after adjusting for all possible factors, people without teeth still walked slightly slower than those with teeth.
Categories: Science

People with blood groups A, B and AB at higher risk of type 2 diabetes than group O

Science Daily - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 2:00am
A study of more than 80,000 women has uncovered different risks of developing type 2 diabetes associated with different blood groups, with the biggest difference a 35 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes found in those with group B, Rhesus factor positive blood compared with the universal donor group O, Rhesus factor negative.
Categories: Science