Technology


Jean Valentine, a bombe operator at Bletchley in the 1940s. Rui Vieira/PA

By Bryony Norburn, University of Buckingham

A European consortium is developing an unmanned robot equipped with non-invasive advanced sensors and artificial intelligence systems which will help manage vineyards.

The robot will be able to provide reliable, fast and objective information on the state of the vineyards to growers, such as vegetative development, water status, production and grape composition.

VineRobot, whose partners met recently at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), is led by the Universidad de La Rioja. Completing the consortium are the Spanish company Avanzare, the French FORCE-A and Wall-YE, and the Italian Sivis, together with Les Vignerons de Buzet, a wine cellar cooperative near Bordeaux; and the Hochschule Geisenheim University in Germany.
Can big data analytics predict population-level societal events such as civil unrest or disease outbreaks?

That is the subject of a two-year analysis of the Early Model Based Event Recognition using Surrogates (EMBERS) system. The usefulness of this predictive artificial intelligence system for population-level events could be important. If existing models, which successfully predict the past, were good enough no one would ever lose money in the stock market.

Wise advice. Julia Wolf, CC BY-NC-SA

By Arun Vishwanath, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York


Who's really driving your car? Saad Faruque, CC BY-SA

By Andrew Smith, The Open University and Blaine Price, The Open University

The night before the famous "Raid at Entebbe" in 1976, when the Israel Defense Forces rescued over 100 kidnapped hostages from German and Palestinian terrorists at Entebbe airport in Uganda, Tel Aviv University's Prof. Pinhas Alpert, then head of an Israel Air Force base forecasting unit, provided intelligence that was critical to the success of the operation - the weather conditions commandos were likely to encounter en route and on the ground. 

Had they been wrong, the mission might have ended differently.
Here is a list of Windows 10 Hits and Misses, points which I consider a good point or a area still in need of work.   Right now it is mostly hits.  Over time I will find and post the misses. 
Hits:

The start menu/screen transition is now a smooth and sensible continuum from a mouse friendly start menu to a finger friendly start screen.  If one has a convertible tablet PC like the Surface Pro this matters. 

If you have the Surface Pro 3 you have the pen.  When one clicks the button on top in Windows 8.1 it launches one note.  Click twice you get a screen shot.    That behavior is mostly back in Windows 10's latest build. 
Researchers have created a new approach that protects animal models against a type of genetic disruption that causes intellectual disability, including serious memory impairments and altered anxiety levels. 

The method focuses on treating the effects of mutations to a gene known as Syngap1. Damaging mutations in Syngap1 that reduce the number of functional proteins are one of the most common causes of sporadic intellectual disability and are associated with schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder.
A new device developed by ROX Medical and named the 'Coupler' is a paper clip-sized implant which is inserted between the artery and vein in the upper thigh that has been shown to significantly lower blood pressure among patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure, compared to those treated with usual drug measures.

 It can be inserted in a procedure lasting around 40 minutes under local anesthetic.  
An analysis of marijuana-related Twitter messages sent during a one-month period in early 2014, shows that the "Twitterverse" is a pot-friendly place.

How friendly? 15X as many pro-pot Tweets as anti-pot ones among more than 7 million tweets referenced marijuana.

What is the explanation for that? People who don't smoke a lot of pot are likely at work while those sending and receiving pot tweets were under age 25, with many in their teens, a demographic group at increased risk for developing marijuana dependence and other drug-related problems.