Technology

Scientists using data from the HRSC experiment onboard ESA's Mars Express spacecraft have produced the first 'hiker's maps' of Mars. Giving detailed height contours and names of geological features in the Iani Chaos region, the maps could become a standard reference for future Martian research. The maps are known as topographic maps because they use contour lines to show the heights of the landscape.


This image of Mars taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on board ESA's Mars Express outlines the scales (1:200 000, 1:100 000 and 1:50 000) of the series of topographic maps of the planet's surface that can be realized thanks to HRSC data.

The February issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science points to several studies that indicate facial composite systems produce a poor likeness of the intended face. In one particular study, only 2.8 percent of participants correctly named a well-known celebrity that had been created by other participants using the face-composite software.

Dynamic face recognition may be one of the last frontiers for quantifying why some of our simplest brain functions have difficulty being matched by computers.

As a kid, when computers were more basic, it was easy to see the differences between my brain and the power of a computer. When I played baseball I knew the instant the ball was hit whether I had to run back or forward.

Whether in the form of sensors in the refrigerator which automatically order more milk or in the car sounding an alarm when the driver starts to become drowsy, "Ambient Intelligence" is the next computer technology revolution. But networked objects equipped with intelligence will only be able to establish themselves if they take proper consideration of users' misgivings, in particular with regard to data protection.

The mention of facial composites often conjures up images of a sinister criminal, skillfully depicted by a sketch artist using pencil and paper. In reality, the vast majority of law enforcement agencies use mechanized methods, usually computer software, when creating facial composite. By having a vast repertoire of eyes, ears, hair and so on at their disposal, witnesses have the ability to create an image that ideally encompasses all of the features of the perpetrator. So have these technological advances improved our ability to identify and apprehend criminals?

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists are using a computer program to develop an objective method of determining when a boxing match should be stopped.

The researchers at West Virginia University say a computerized approach to counting punches at ringside identifies certain characteristics related to deaths in the ring.

"This approach could provide sufficient data to stop matches that might result in fatalities," said Drs. Vincent Miele and Julian Bailes of West Virginia University School of Medicine.

Miele and Bailes performed a computer-assisted video analysis to compare three groups of professional boxing matches.

IBM has announced it has developed a long-sought improvement to the transistor -- the tiny on/off switch that serves as the basic building block of virtually all microchips made today.

Working with AMD and its other development partners Sony and Toshiba, the company has found a way to construct a critical part of the transistor with a new material, clearing a path toward chip circuitry that is smaller, faster and more power-efficient than previously thought possible.

For soldiers injured in combat today, the survival rate is 90 percent or higher--a significant improvement even since the Gulf War in the early 1990s, according to Col. W. Bryan Gamble, M.D., Commander of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Dr.