CNET's Donald Bell previewed the Zune HD and it brought him tears of joy. But the rest of us think it's about three years too late. We also debate the need for Google to get into the video codec game and whether you need a Pico projector in your camera.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1035
On today's episode, we invent a new word that we hope will show up on a show like "The Hills" sometime soon. Plus, we get fired up, make terrible jokes about monkeys controlling computers with their brains, and actually work in a tiny bit of news. For example, Apple's doing a tablet and music labels are trying to sell some new weird digital album thing. You might like the "fired up" part better.Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 1027 Apple partners with music labels for interactive content for new netbook -- Sept Microsoft in new EU browser offer Confusion at Best Buy over rumors of a $99 Palm Pre Installing Pre homebrew apps: now even easier Netflix Prize: And the $1 Million Winner Is...? ATandT blocks 4chan AT&T said to block 4chan; pranksters fight back Wi-Fi on ordinary cell phones Aussie Net filtering trial deemed a success despite problems Nissan's Forest AC blows wild scents through your ride, keeps you alert Monkeys and scientists develop persistent "plug and play" control over brain-to-computer interface… Read more
Understanding why we, as humans, do the things we do is one of the pieces of the puzzle of our existence. Too bad we may have to wait another 10 years for some definitive answers.
This week at the TED Global conference, Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, revealed that he and his team in Switzerland are aiming to build a functioning, artificial human brain within the next 10 years.
The team started out a few years ago by attempting to create a fully functioning artificial rat brain using the IBM supercomputer, Blue Gene. The thought was if they could successfully replicate a rat's brain, they would then leverage their knowledge to do the same with a human one.
When they began their experiment, the digital rat brain only fired neurons when prodded by a simulated electrical current. Recently, however, the neurons have begun spontaneously organizing themselves into a more complex pattern.
According to the scientists, this is the beginning of the self-organizing neurological patterns that eventually, in more complex mammal brains, become personality.… Read more
Over the last few weeks, we've seen a bevy of numbers related to venture funding and the glimmer of hope that dollars are moving back into innovative new companies. Having raised a decent amount of venture capital and spent a lot of time with venture people, I do believe that new investments will help get the economy out of the gutter.
The big question is just how much is being invested and how does the data compare to months/years/decades gone by. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to tell due to inconsistencies in how the top two authorities, … Read more
Recent data from Chubby Brain identifies $102.49 million in total VC/angel investment divided among 17 iPhone application start-ups.
The iPhone is a great mini-computer and may be the next big gaming platform, but I'm still struggling to get the math to work in terms of what a typical VC expects as their return on investment.
Macworld's App Guide lists more than 58,000 apps available for download with more coming online every day, though it's not clear that downloads are equating to sustained revenue for developers.
But, developing an iPhone application still seems like a good business move, provided you can market effectively and not fall into the boom and bust cycle that many applications find themselves in. … Read more
Last week, we told you about Mindflex, a Mattel toy that lets players move objects with their brains. This week comes word that the same technology is making its way into a more functional application--a wheelchair that users can maneuver with thought alone.
Toyota has developed the wheelchair in collaboration with researchers in Japan. The system analyzes brain wave data using signal-processing technology and delivers neuro-feedback to the driver.
Brain wave-detecting technology, or electroencephalography (EEG), isn't new. In layman's terms, a device, usually a cap wired with sensors, detects a person's brain waves. That information is analyzed by a computer and applied to the device in question. Scientists have pursued the technology for decades, but have had difficulty achieving short response times, explains the Associated Press.
Toyota's mind-controlled wheelchair, however, has what appears to be the quickest response time yet: 125 milliseconds, or 125 thousandths of a second. The user can almost instantly steer right, left, and forward. To stop, the person in the chair must puff up a cheek, a motion that's then detected by the headpiece.
Because of this quick response time, plans are under way to turn the wheelchair into a commercial health care product. The most practical use would be for rehabilitation patients who have been paralyzed, suffered a stroke, or have other conditions that hinder their muscle control. So far, the research has centered on brain waves related to imaginary hand and foot control. However, Toyota hopes the system could ultimately be applied to brain waves generated by emotions. … Read more
MB Brain Test is a simple program that answers users' questions about which side of their brain is more dominant. With a primitive display and simple questions, this program proves to be more fun than informative.
This download's interface is not going to win any beauty contests, but it proves to be functional. With primitive graphics leading users through a series of questions answered by clicking a radio button, there should be no confusion for users of any experience level, though there is an online Help file available. The program functions simply, which makes the test rather fun. After … Read more
MB Brain Teasers provides users with three simple tests to gain a better picture of how the mind works. While these tests prove to be fun, their questionable accuracy is only matched by the iffy graphics.
This program's interface is incredibly simple, thanks in part to the basic display. Looking like something designed several decades ago, or even a cheap pop-up ad, this primitive display is nothing much to look at. Fortunately, navigating through the brain tests is incredibly simple and requires no trip to the online Help file, though one is available. The program's tests (one to … Read more
Gamers and geeks, step aside. It's Mom's turn to jump on the gaming bandwagon. On Monday, Nintendo announced a new DS Lite bundle, clearly tailored to the interests of middle-aged women.
At the usual $149.99, the bundle includes a lime green console, a matching carrying case, and Personal Trainer: Cooking. Those who tend to buy into gender stereotypes can already preorder the bundle just in time for Mother's Day on Amazon. Don't forget to add on My Weight Loss Coach and Imagine: Babyz while you're at it.
In the past couple of years we'… Read more
As a final treat for our fans, we've also got a live acoustic version of Jonathan Coulton's in-studio performance of "Re: Your Brains" Again, please be sure to visit him at jonathancoulton.com.Preview "Re: Your Brains" performed by Jonathan Coulton Download "Re: Your Brains" | Subscribe in iTunes | Subscribe in RSS