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Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society
The Definitive reading resource for Techno Social articles
supplement to the Cybofree Blog: http://cyborgfantasy.blogspot.in
Curated by Dr.VR MANOJ
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Trying Google Glass- Amber Case describes her brief experience

Trying Google Glass- Amber Case describes her brief experience | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it

Amber Case describes her brief experience trying out Google Glass – quick first impressions.

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A month ago I met a friend of a friend who was testing Glass for Google. He let me try it on in the back room of a quiet pub and I got to try out all of the different features. Aaron Parecki and I tried it on and experimented with its many features.

 

The features of Glass are not “consumptive”, as in, they don’t cause you to get away from reality. Rather, I’d call Glass’s features “active”. Think of every time you’d like to capture a moment, get driving directions, or check the time. Current technology forces one to take their phone out of a pocket to preform a task, whereas with Glass it’s right there. This is not a media device for sitting back and getting information to you. It’s a device that allows you to quickly act instead of pause and grab your device from your pocket. The features of Glass are not “consumptive”, as in, they don’t cause you to get away from reality. Rather, I’d call Glass’s features “active”. Think of every time you’d like to capture a moment, get driving directions, or check the time. At this point, you have to take your phone out of your pocket to do the task, whereas with Glass it’s right there.


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luiy's curator insight, April 28, 2013 9:01 AM

Glass is a piece of Calm Technology

 

Glass is, by default, off. Like Mark Weiser’s words on Calm Technology, the tech is “there when you need it” and “not when you don’t”. This makes Glass a perfect example of tech that gets out of the way and lets you live your life, but springs to life when you need to access it.

 

Audio and Touch Input

The interface has two input types, audio and touch. You nod your head to turn the display on, then you can say “Ok Glass, search for “x”, or simply tap the side of your glass to scroll down the menu. The real world is noisy, so having two input types is important. And I suspect that Glass may have a difficult time recognizing your speech if you have a heavy accent.

 

Driving and Walking Directions

This feature presents directions in a calm way that leaves you attentive on the road. Transit and biking directions were not implemented when I tried Glass, but one can imagine how helpful both could be: I used to sketch out a map and tape it to the handlebars of my bike. Being able to have an ambient understanding of where one is and where one needs to go next will be very helpful. I use the word “ambient” because it truly is ambient. It is not obscuring your vision or taking you away from reality – it is adding an overlay of information to it.

 

Video

Video had some bugs in it still when I tried Glass, but it was a very pleasant experience to be able to quickly record something. This is the feature I think people will use least with Glass, and it is ironically the feature Glass-critics are most antagonistic towards. Recording video all day from one’s Glass makes no sense. Recording special moments does. Recording significant events such as the Boston Marathon Bombing make even more sense, especially if it helps people to gather forensic evidence. Recording all the time will quickly wear out a Glass, and worse, will require a lot of editing after the fact. The Memento Lifelogger is a much better bet for all day recording, as it clusters photos taken at frequent intervals into “events”, making it easier to search through and find the information you’d like to gather.

 

Photos

Being able to take a quick photo was wonderful. It’s not seamless as critics might think. In the same way that all features of Glass are implemented, one must wake up the display and either verbally ask Glass to take a picture or tap the side of Glass to record the image. An external observer can easily see that a Glass is on, and like one can tell if someone is on a cellphone by the way the phone is held up to the head, one can see that Glass wearer is about to take a picture. Glass is not like a Bluetooth earpiece. There are significant signals present for one to see if a Glass wearer is using the device. I think Glass critics fear that Glass users will persistently record and take photos and no one will be able to tell whether Glass is on or not. Rest assured, most Glass users will likely be using their devices for mundane everyday tasks like way-finding and reading text messages. Critics’ fear of Glass devices is akin to a person fearing that what they post on Blogger will be read by the entire Internet instead of being read by two or three of their friends and an occasional random user coming in from search.

 

Search

Glass provides one with a very well-designed and easy way to search by voice. Google results come up in a minimal format that’s easy to read on the tiny display. There’s actually an auto-summary feature that automatically summarizes the information you’ve search for. I tried the phrase “Ok, Glass, search for squirrels”, and glass gave me a summary of what squirrels were, along with images. It reminded me of a smarter, quicker version of Qwiki, a knowledge summary product that received quite a bit of attention in 2011 when it was first demoed at a startup conference in SF.

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Scientists create 'sixth sense' brain implant to detect infrared light

Scientists create 'sixth sense' brain implant to detect infrared light | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
A brain implant which could allow humans to detect invisible infrared light has been developed by scientists in America.

 

Scientists have created a "sixth sense" by creating a brain implant through which infrared light can be detected.

Although the light could not be seen lab rats were able to detect it via electrodes in the part of the brain responsible for their sense of touch.

Similar devices have previously been used to make up for lost capabilities, for example giving paralysed patients the ability to move a cursor around the screen with their thoughts.

But the new study, by researchers from Duke University in North Carolina, is the first case in which such devices have been used to give an animal a completely new sense.

Dr Miguel Nicolelis said the advance, reported in the Nature Communications journal this week, was just a prelude to a major breakthrough on a "brain-to-brain interface" which will be announced in another paper next month.


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Brown unveils wireless brain sensor prototype

Brown unveils wireless brain sensor prototype | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
In a significant advance for brain-machine interfaces, engineers at Brown University have developed a novel wireless, broadband, rechargeable, fully implantable brain sensor that has performed well in animal models for more than a year.

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Superstrong, telepathic - the bionic soldiers of the future: How radical technology could transform British troops within 30 years

Superstrong, telepathic - the bionic soldiers of the future: How radical technology could transform British troops within 30 years | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
The military is developing an alarming new interest in the human body and brain. It wants to create armies of mutant soldiers, equipped with unstoppable physical and mental powers.
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Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens - IEEE Spectrum

Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens - IEEE Spectrum | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
A new generation of contact lenses built with very small circuits and LEDs promises bionic eyesight (RT @TysonTrautmann: Forget Google Glass, I want this.
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Is urine the next source of stem cells?, Regenerative Medicine, Future Medicine

Is urine the next source of stem cells? Editorial from new issue of Regenerative Medicine journal http://t.co/KATCbfBpPm
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Cyborg bugs and glow-in-the-dark cats: How we're engineering animals

Cyborg bugs and glow-in-the-dark cats: How we're engineering animals | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
Author Emily Anthes talks with CNN about the ways biotech scientists are re-engineering animals.
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Bacteria churn out first ever petrol-like biofuel - environment - 24 April 2013 - New Scientist

Bacteria churn out first ever petrol-like biofuel - environment - 24 April 2013 - New Scientist | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
Inserting the right combination of genes into E. coli makes the bacterium produce fuel that would be compatible with most modern engines
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The future according to Mr Google

The future according to Mr Google | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
Eric Schmidt is worth $8.2bn, he runs one of the most powerful companies in the world – and he knows what you're going to do next. Alan Rusbridger talks to Google's executive chairman
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Plastic Surgery Practice - Regenerative Medicine Breakthrough: Bioengineered Ears Look, Act Like the Real Thing

Plastic Surgery Practice - Regenerative Medicine Breakthrough: Bioengineered Ears Look, Act Like the Real Thing | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
Plastic Surgery Practice is the brand that 12,000 plastic surgeons rely on for the latest information on the clinical innovations, practice-management trends, emerging products and technologies, and news stories that drive their field.
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Feather patterns reveal stem cell secrets › News in Science (ABC Science)

Feather patterns reveal stem cell secrets › News in Science (ABC Science) | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
A discovery that reveals how bird feathers get their patterns also has implications for regenerative medicine, say scientists.

Via Maria Nunzia @Varvera
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Thumb-type keyboard takes on Qwerty

Thumb-type keyboard takes on Qwerty | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
Researchers create a new keyboard which they claim lets people "thumb-type" faster on touchscreen devices such as tablets and large smartphones.

Dr Per Ola Kristensson, from St Andrews University, said traditional Qwerty keyboards had trapped users in "suboptimal text entry interfaces".

The new design has been dubbed KALQ, after the order of keys on one line.

Its creators used "computational optimisation techniques" to identify which gave the best performance.

Researchers at St Andrews, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany and Montana Tech in the US joined together to create the virtual keyboard, which will be available as a free app for Android-based devices.

According to the research team "two-thumb typing is ergonomically very different" from typing on physical Qwerty keyboards, which were developed for typewriters in the late 19th Century.


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Jury Punishes Advance Bionics with $7.25 Million Verdict for Selling Defective Cochlear Implants « FDS Blog

Jury Punishes Advance Bionics with $7.25 Million Verdict for Selling Defective Cochlear Implants #FDSBlog: http://t.co/2RTDOhbwwR #lawsuit
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Neuroscience Explores Why Humans Feel Empathy for Robots

Neuroscience Explores Why Humans Feel Empathy for Robots | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it

A group of researchers from the University of Duisburg Essen in Germany used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to come to the finding, tracking blood flow in the brains of 14 study participants when they were shown videos of humans, robots and inanimate objects being treated either affectionately or harshly. The researchers, who will present their findings at the June International Communication Association conference in London, found that when participants were shown videos of a robot (a product called Pleo, which resembles a dinosaur) petted, tickled and fed, areas in their limbic structures—a region of the brain believed to be involved in emotional responses—activated. When they were shown videos of a human getting a massage, the same sorts of neural activity occurred.
The same pattern also occurred when the participants were shown videos of the robots and humans being treated harshly—shaken, dropped or suffocated with a plastic bag—but with a twist. Interestingly, their fMRI results showed levels of limbic activity much greater when they saw humans treated poorly than when they saw the robots. This correlated with the responses on surveys that the participants took after watching the videos, on which they reported some empathy for the robots, but more for the humans.


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BioEdge: Should prisoners donate organs?

BioEdge: Should prisoners donate organs? | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
Utah has become the first state to allow prisoners, even prisoners on death row, to donate organs. (Should prisoners donate organs?
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H+ Foundations: High-Level Immunology

H+ Foundations: High-Level Immunology | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
h+ Magazine is a new publication that covers technological, scientific, and cultural trends that are changing human beings in fundamental ways. (H+ Foundations: High-Level Immunology: Transhumanism, it's time we had a talk.
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CYBOFREE : Enthiran, Sci fi movie from India addresses Postmodern memes

CYBOFREE : Enthiran, Sci fi movie from India addresses Postmodern memes | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
Dr.VR MANOJ's insight:

I often wonder why movies from India don't really get the serious attention they deserve apart from international admiration for them being colorful ! However, there have been movies from India which ...

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Girl, 2, is first child to receive artificial windpipe - TODAY.com

Girl, 2, is first child to receive artificial windpipe - TODAY.com | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
At 2 1/2 years old, Hannah Warren has never played outside with her big sister or run through the grass on a sunny day. The Korean girl... (Today's big stem cell news!
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How Ray Kurzweil Will Help Google Make the Ultimate AI Brain | Wired Business | Wired.com

How Ray Kurzweil Will Help Google Make the Ultimate AI Brain | Wired Business | Wired.com | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
On Tuesday, Kurzweil moderated a live Google hangout tied to a release of the upcoming Will Smith film, “After Earth,” presumably tying the film’s futuristic concept to actual futurists.
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Death of a cyborg

Death of a cyborg | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
Here's Shorra's "Death of a Cyborg," and it's lovely. (via Kadrey)

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Google Glass: how it works (infographic) | KurzweilAI

Google Glass: how it works (infographic) | KurzweilAI | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
German artist Martin Missfeldt has created an infographic that attempts to show how Google Glass works, based on various sources (listed below). One correction:

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This Humanoid Robot Gets Pushed Around But Stays on Its Feet - IEEE Spectrum

This Humanoid Robot Gets Pushed Around But Stays on Its Feet - IEEE Spectrum | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
Italian researchers are building a humanoid that can balance like humans do (This Humanoid Robot Gets Pushed Around But Stays on Its Feet http://t.co/9HWnsDzLAx via @IEEESpectrum)...
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DC Unveils CYBORG SUPERMAN Design Sketches

DC Unveils CYBORG SUPERMAN Design Sketches | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
DC Comics has unveiled Kenneth Rocafort design sketches for the New 52 Cyborg Superman. Official Press Release Some of you might remember the last time a Cyborg Superman showed up. Would we dare re...
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The difference between people and machine will blur as we trek through the decades ahead.

The difference between people and machine will blur as we trek through the decades ahead. | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
As we move into the late 2030s and 2040s, the most salient scenario is that we will merge with our technology gradually, not overnight.

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Samsung tests brainwave technology to find new ways to interact with mobile devices - Neurogadget.com

Samsung tests brainwave technology to find new ways to interact with mobile devices - Neurogadget.com | Cybofree : Techno Social Issues for a Postmodern Transhuman Society | Scoop.it
Samsung is actively doing research on brainwave technology to find an alternative way of interaction with mobile devices. The South Korean company aims to help people with mobility impairments to connect to the world.

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