Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Classic: An Engineer's Guide to Cats

Bonus track: An Engineer's Guide to Cat Yodeling (with Cat Polka)

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Google Bots Fun

This is a very tiny example with 2 bots, but I guess you can have multiple ones answering at the same time?


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Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Most Helpful Gmail Command ?

Yes, the question mark. Keyboard shortcuts can be enabled from the settings.


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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How to kill mosquitos with a laser: a video demonstration

How to fight malaria? How to make a fence that prevents mosquitos from, for example, entering an hospital? Those guys had an idea: use a laser to shoot the flying mosquito.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

oh-oh bam-A-lam

In 1977 you were listening to Led Zep, Deep Purple, but do you remember 
Ram Jam singing "Black Betty" (bam-a-lam) ?

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Unix is simplistic?

In Google's Android code deleted from Linux kernel

My point was that Linux inherits from UNIX lots of fundamental concepts that aren't really useful in a small embedded system. You're not going to have a hundred different users logged into a smartphone at the same time, and the hardware you need to handle doesn't really fit well into the simplistic open/close/read/write/ioctl driver interface model that worked fine for disks, tapes and terminals. If you designed an OS from scratch specifically for a smartphone, I don't think you'd end up with something that looked much like UNIX or Linux at all. Multitasking is of course a great thing to have on even the simplest embedded device, but you don't need Linux to do that. As for iPhone OS, since it's based on the Darwin kernel, I'm sure it does multitasking just fine - it must be an artificial restriction that stop apps doing it.

Yes! It was about time someone notices it.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Vegetative state patient answering yes or no questions using their brain only

ABSTRACT

Background The differential diagnosis of disorders of consciousness is challenging. The rate of misdiagnosis is approximately 40%, and new methods are required to complement bedside testing, particularly if the patient's capacity to show behavioral signs of awareness is diminished.

Methods At two major referral centers in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and Liege, Belgium, we performed a study involving 54 patients with disorders of consciousness. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess each patient's ability to generate willful, neuroanatomically specific, blood-oxygenation-level–dependentresponses during two established mental-imagery tasks. A technique was then developed to determine whether such tasks could be used to communicate yes-or-no answers to simple questions.

Results Of the 54 patients enrolled in the study, 5 were able to willfully modulate their brain activity. In three of these patients, additional bedside testing revealed some sign of awareness, but in the other two patients, no voluntary behavior could be detected by means of clinical assessment. One patient was able to use our technique to answer yes or no to questions during functional MRI; however, it remained impossible to establish any form of communication at the bedside.

Conclusions These results show that a small proportion of patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state have brain activation reflecting some awareness and cognition. Careful clinical examination will result in reclassification of the state of consciousness in some of these patients. This technique may be useful in establishing basic communication with patients who appear to be unresponsive.

Read the full article at
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMoa0905370

Thanks to Mai Ban for finding this article.

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