Category Archives: Technology

Bytes of New Technology

Microsoft Kinect Sign Language Translator

Microsoft Research Connections Team
Kinect Sign Language Translator – part 1
Guobin Wu

There are more than 20 million people in China who are hard of hearing, and an estimated 360 million such people around the world, so this project has immense potential to generate positive social impact worldwide.

Kinect Sign Language Translator – part 2
Stewart Tansley

FTC Staff Report Recommends Ways to Improve Mobile Privacy Disclosures

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s chief privacy agency, issued a staff report recommending ways that key players in the rapidly expanding mobile marketplace can better inform consumers about their data practices.

The report makes recommendations for critical players in the mobile marketplace: mobile platforms (operating system providers, such as Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, and Microsoft), application (app) developers, advertising networks and analytics companies, and app developer trade associations. Most of the recommendations involve making sure that consumers get timely, easy-to-understand disclosures about what data they collect and how the data is used.

Patent War of Words

Tech Crunch

Earlier today, Google came out swinging. Seemingly sick of being continuously slapped in the face by the patent issue, Google’s SVP and Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond, wrote a blog post calling out several of Google’s rivals for attempting to use “bogus patents” to destroy Android. Chief among the rivals called out was Microsoft. Drummond noted that the software giant had been getting in bed with other rivals to hurt Google.

Among the accusations was that Microsoft teamed up with Apple to buy Novell’s old patents, implying that they did so in order to keep them away from Google.

Microsoft didn’t take too kindly to that remark.

Google Threw A Punch, Microsoft Fires Back With A Missile

Ina Fried
Google Fires Back in Android Patent War of Words

AT&T T-Mobile merger

Joe Wilcox @ betanews

As the new work week opens up, AT&T and T-Mobile USA customers have plenty to say about the proposed merger. Yesterday, Deutsche Telekom agreed to sell T-Mobile USA to AT&T for $39 billion — $25 billion of it in cash. Last night I posted a long analysis about what the merger could mean to subscribers of both carriers, also asking Betanews readers: What do you think of the merger? Whoa, did you answer.

eLEGS: Revolutionary Exoskeleton

OCT. 7, 2010 — Berkeley Bionics™, developer and maker of bionic exoskeletons that augment human strength, endurance and mobility, today unveiled eLEGS, a wearable, artificially intelligent, bionic device that powers paraplegics up to get them standing and walking.

eLEGS was unveiled at a press conference today in San Francisco by Berkeley Bionics’ CEO, Eythor Bender, who explained that the company’s mission is to provide people with unprecedented mobility options. “Many of the 6 million Americans who live with some form of paralysis today were highly active and at the top of their game when they sustained their injury. As they research their options for increased mobility, they discover that wheelchairs are pretty much it. This has been the only alternative – their only hope – for nearly 500 years,” he said. “We want to enhance their independence and freedom of movement,” he added, “and with eLEGS, they can stand up and walk for the first time since their injury.”

It’s a wonderful thing. :-)

eLEGS are set to enter medical trials in 2011 with an estimated market cost of $100,000. After which I guess we shall see if American Insurance companies will cover at least part of the cost.


Berkeley Bionics developed the first practical exoskeleton and the first untethered exoskeleton in the world. Lockheed Martin Corporation entered into a licensed agreement with Berkeley Bionics in January, 2009 and is currently productizing the Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC™). HULC’s users can carry up to 200 lbs for hours and over all terrains.

Soldiers are required to carry heavy combat loads in the field, increasing the stress on the body leading to potential injuries. The HULC exoskeleton transfers these loads to the ground through powered titanium legs without loss of mobility. Advanced technology systems will include ground soldier solutions such as wearable situational awareness equipment and mobility assistance systems. Additional development will focus on specific user needs and performance requirements and the company is also exploring exoskeleton designs to support industrial and industrial and medical applications.

Under a new exclusive licensing agreement between Lockheed Martin and Berkeley BionicsTM, the Exoskeleton will be enhanced further within the HULC system.

Intel releases dual-core Atom netbook processor

Intel Corporation announced that netbooks based on its new mobile dual-core Intel® Atom™ processors are available now and through the end of the year. Manufacturers include Acer, ASUS, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI, and Toshiba.

“In their short history, the netbook category has experienced impressive growth,” said Erik Reid, director of marketing for mobile platforms at Intel. “Having shipped about 70 million Intel Atom chips for netbooks since our launch of the category in 2008, there is obviously a great market for these devices around the world.”

Trojan horse may have contributed to 2008 Madrid aircrash

Graham Cluley’s blog.
Trojan horse suspected of contributing to 2008 Madrid aircrash

Authorities investigating the 2008 Madrid air crash, which resulted in the deaths of 154 people, have discovered that a central computer system used to monitor technical problems in aircraft was infected with Trojan horses.

The final report from crash investigators is not due to be presented until December, and it’s very probable that there will be found to be other contributing factors to what was a horrific accident beyond the malware infection by Trojan horses.

However, next time someone tries to convince you that the people who write malware aren’t really doing anyone any serious harm – remember this case.

Net Neutrality-FCC will reclassify broadband

The FCC has quietly made the decision today to reclassify Internet access as a telecommunication service that would be subject to tougher net neutrality rules. Although rumors had spread of the agency backtracking on its promise, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is now said to be readying a proposal that would put Internet lines under the same Title II “common carriage” rules as phone lines, requiring providers to treat data equally on the network.

Statement of Commissioner Copps on Chairman Genachowski’s Announcement to Reclassify Broadband.

The Third Way: A Narrowly Tailored Broadband Framework