Watch how technology allows an amputee to dance again

Technology has been instrumental in creating realistic and lifelike prosthetic limbs over the past several years. One of the most impressive examples yet comes from Hugh Herr, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT.

A double amputee himself, Herr has created a bionic ankle packing two microprocessors and six environmental sensors. The device is able to adjust ankle stiffness, power, position and damping thousands of times each second to provide the wearer with a more natural gait – something that could go a long way in helping to prevent osteoarthritis as a patient gets older.

In the clip above (starts around 17 minutes in), you’ll see professional dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis dance the rumba after losing part of her leg during the Boston Marathon bombing last year. As you’ll see, the fluidity of the limb is certainly impressive and you’d be hard pressed to notice anything out of the ordinary if it were under a pair of jeans, etc.

Source: Techspot

Australia gets its first Bitcoin ATM With hundreds more to come

Although the digital currency is facing some troubles, ABA Technology has today opened Australia’s first Bitcoin ATM in Sydney.

Located in Westfields shopping centre on Pitt Street Mall in Sydney CBD, the Bitcoin ATM, which looks like any other ATMe ATM, will allow users to buy and sell the crypto-currency, or exchange it for cash.

Of course, you’ll need to have a current Bitcoin wallet in order to use the ATM, and all first time users will need to register on the ATM as well to be able to use the machine.

http://media.smh.com.au/technology/tech-talk/bitcoin-atm-opens-in-sydney-5351676.html

Source: SMH, techrader

Here’s the security software Snowden is using to evade the NSA

nsa, snowden, security software, tails

Most of the focus surrounding former NSA analyst Edward Snowden has been regarding the actual information he leaked to the media, not on how these folks are actually doing that. Snowden, as you likely imagined, takes precautions in order to ensure his internet communications remain private,one of which is the use of a customized version of Linux known as Tails.

Tails is open source software created by anonymous developers that makes it very easy to use the Tor network and other tools that keep your activities away from prying eyes. After being installed on some form of external media like a USB drive, the user can essentially boot their computer up with Tails, rendering them pretty close to invisible online. Tails doesn’t store any data locally, which makes it nearly impossible for malicious software to latch on to the system in any useful manner, either during or after target communications have occurred.

The anonymous developers of Tails say the project began about five years ago, and has since become an amalgamation of their initial prototype called Amnesia and an existing OS known as Incognito.

Reports say this is the set-up Snowden used to communicate with the media and others when leaking his stash of NSA data. While from the sounds of it, Snowden’s chats and emails with journalists were likely secure, reports say the system isn’t flawless. While the open nature of the software prevents malicious back doors from surfacing, certain internet providers won’t play nice with the system and essentially render it useless.

While the core Tails development team is continuing to improve the desktop software, another team is currently working on a mobile version for Android and Ubuntu devices.

Source: Techspot

Confirmed: Zebra Tech Is Buying Motorola Solutions For $3.45B

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Zebra Tech, a manufacturer of  barcode, receipt, kiosk and RFID printers and supplies  announced today that they were buying Motorola Solutions for $3.45B.

For Zebra, it gives them access to Motorola’s product portfolio and the combined companies become a force in the manufacturing technology sector. The companies combined 2013 sales would have totaled $3.5B. As a stand-alone company, Zebra generated $1B in sales in 2013, so this increases their size and scope in a fairly dramatic way.

What’s more, 4500 Motorola Solutions employees will join Motorola and they will get access to all of Motorola’s customers and marketing clout.

Interestingly both companies are based in Illinois and according to the official release this is an all-cash transaction, which has already been approved by both boards of directors, but is still subject to standard regulatory approvals.

If all goes according to plan they expect to close the deal by the end of…

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Researchers create futuristic interactive 3D display using fog

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm0c67nY6EE

Researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK have developed a unique interactive tabletop surface called the MisTable. It combines a conventional interactive surface with personal screens built using fog and a camera system to monitor movements.

The projections are both see-through and reach-through for a totally immersive experience that can be manipulated by the user. It kind of looks like a hologram at first glance but of course, it isn’t. More information on the proof-of-concept can be found on the project’s website.

Source: Techspot

Bridging the Gap – Digital Divide

Originally posted on Preparing students for a Digital World:

Digital divide

DIGITAL DIVIDE

Australians are high consumers of information technology thus heading towards a digitally fluent nation.  However we are not all digitally fluent due to unequal access to technology.  People living in remote areas without internet access, low-income families and those living in developing countries can be negatively affected.   This inequality leaves those affected disadvantaged as digital fluency enables people to apply for employment opportunities as most jobs have ICT competencies as prerequisites and also means students don’t have access to important online and e-learning.

Finding ways to bridge the digital divide is essential to enable all individuals to participate in the economic, social and political arenas.

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‘One lap top per child’ is a non-profit organisation aimed at providing low-cost, low-powered internet connections to children in developing countries. This enables self-empowered learners generating positive future outcomes.  For more information or to make a donation visit here.

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As a life-long…

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Bitcoin Falls Below The $400 Mark, Down More Than 60% From Its All-Time High

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Bitcoin reached another milestone today, with the cryptocurrency falling below the $400 per-coin mark. Bitcoin sold for over $1,100 inside of the last 52 weeks.

The price correction was driven by news from China, as it often has been. Fresh rumors of a government crackdown on the currency in the country, which could blunt demand and adoption, and therefore impair its value, sent the price of bitcoin down a quick 10 percent. It has since continued to slip.

According to Bitcoin Average, the average price of bitcoin is currently around $388, down from a 52-week high of roughly $1,132. Coinbase has the current price of bitcoin at around $394, down from a peak of $1,126.

Bitcoin had a good start to 2014, rising from around $770 to north of $900. Here’s the Coinbase one-year chart:

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 1.53.48 PM

It’s worth noting that total bitcoin transaction volume has also weakened in the past few weeks. Here…

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