Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Computing
August 29th, 2014
10:49
 

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of PUSHBACK is: (#1) the action of forcing an object backward; (#2) resistance or opposition in response to a policy or regulation especially by those affected.  [Personal note:  lots of language has morphed around the globe - - being a language purist, I'd rather see pushback as a hyphenated word, but I don't think I get a vote!]

Most often we hear “pushback” used in the office or home environment to describe a “counter-offensive” in response to a proposed idea, suggestion, or (heaven forbid) chore to be done in the house – so definition (#2) is in play there.  In the aviation world, pushback relates to the primary definition (#1).

Read about the new system being developed in Germany to bring more automation to airline departures or PUSHBACKS

Pilot Ground Situation Awareness System (PGSA)

Make sure to check out the contact information for the companies at the bottom of the article (job prospects, maybe?)  Sorry, I didn’t see any advice in the article as to how to make your teachers, parents or boss give in to your pushback! You’re on your own there, I’m afraid :-)

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August 11th, 2014
11:54
 

Everyone likes to believe they could be an A+ level student or a sought after subject matter expert or the world’s most renowned someone or just darn good at SOMETHING!  Maybe you’ll have that opportunity with a boost from technology being investigated at Wright State U in Ohio…  Learn more about transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS.   Basically, it’s a device that uses electricity to stimulate your brain in all the right places. (Have a peek at their internal university posting, too, on Wright State University Newsroom and explore other avenues available to you at the school.)

 Brilliant for a Day: The (REAL) Science of Brain Enhancing Stimulation

 Brain stimulation

 

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Given all the unsettling events that have taken place around the globe with hacking of credit card data and the like, it seems many people are ditching the ‘plastic’ for their purchasing and (gasp!) using actual currency – at least temporarily…

Here’s a story about another possibility for payment options.  Bitcoins are gaining traction in a variety of settings and being tried for all sorts of different applications as an alternative to “filthy lucre”.    (Are we taking the high road or the low road, do you think?  Whichever, I’ll be in Scotland afore ye’ – maybe I can use bitcoins to buy my very own castle.  That would prove me a bampot for sure!)

 Independent Scotland ‘could be bitcoin testbed’

From Wikipedia:  Bitcoin is a software-based payment system…introduced as open-source software in 2009. Payments are recorded in a public ledger using its own unit of account, which is also called bitcoin. Payments work peer-to-peer without a central repository or single administrator, which has led the US Treasury to call bitcoin a decentralized virtual currency. Although its status as a currency is disputed, media reports often refer to bitcoin as a cryptocurrency or digital currency.

scotland

Click on the flag to get some historical perspective on the monetary system in Scotland

 

Some “bits and bobs” on the bitcoin…

A bitcoin documentary film called The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on 23 April 2014, chronicling bitcoin’s origins to its explosive growth in 2013.  http://newsbtc.com/2014/03/17/bitcoin-documentary-film-rise-rise-bitcoin-debut-tribeca-film-festival/ 

In Fall 2014, undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will receive $100 in bitcoins “to better understand this emerging technology”. A student had the idea of a Bitcoin Club and raised more than half a million dollars from a high frequency trader. Hern, Alex (30 April 2014). “MIT students to get $100 worth of bitcoin from Wall Street donor”. The Guardian. 1 May 2014.

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If you aren’t already aware, the population of elderly inhabitants of our planet has grown by leaps and bounds as medical improvements have extended life span way beyond the expectancies of previous generations.  If you think these ‘older folks’ are technology dummies, take a look at this hip Italian granny – and her vid screen companion!

Robot offers company and security to 94-year-old grandmother

Visit the company site, too, for more project details and contact information:  GiraffPlus

(GiraffPlus is funded by the European Community’s Framework Programme Seven (FP7) under contract #288173. FP7 – ICT – Challenge 5: ICT for Health, Ageing Well, Inclusion and Governance. Duration: 01.01.2012 to 31.12.2014)

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If you are familiar with any of the various tellings of the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, you’ll understand what an extraordinary leap forward this invention provides to those who are blind or have visual impairments.   And, what a boon they can be to those who provide care and instruction for those with visual conditions.

“Braille is a very important part of the world for the estimated 39 million blind and visually impaired individuals around the globe.”

Computerized Glove Teaches Braille

braille

This technology is being developed in a partnership between experts behind Google Glass and Georgia Tech‘s revolutionary “Piano Touch

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