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Thread: Technotalk

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    candel Technotalk

    Google creates image search based on photo content
    4a - Technotalk

    Google has created an algorithm called "VisualRank", which promises to return search results for images based on the content of the images rather than the text associated with it.
    At th4a - Technotalke International World Wide Web Conference in Beijing, two Google scientists presented a paper describing what the researchers call VisualRank, an algorithm for blending image-recognition software methods with techniques for weighting and ranking images that look most similar. "We wanted to incorporate all of the stuff that is happening in computer vision and put it in a Web framework," said Shumeet Baluja, a senior staff researcher at Google, who made the presentation with Yushi Jing, another Google researcher. The company's expertise in creating vast graphs that weigh "nodes", or Web pages, based on their "authority" can be applied to images that are the most representative of a particular query, he said.


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    Quantum-hall effect observed
    4b - Technotalk

    The quantum-Hall effect (where electrons condense into an exotic quantum fluid) was thought to only occur in specially prepared materials under the influence of an intense magnetic f4b - Technotalkield, but Princeton University researchers have observed the effect in a bulk crystal of bismuth-antimony without any magnetic field being present. The new work builds upon previous research that predicted that electrons should be able to form a Hall-like quantum fluid even in the absence of an externally applied magnetic field, in special materials where certain conditions of the electron orbit and the spinning direction are met. The electrons in these special materials are expected to generate their own internal magnetic field when they are travelling near the speed of light and are subject to the laws of relativity.

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    Thumbs up Re: Technotalk

    Technology driving motorists to distraction

    Car gadgets are nothing new, but a growing crop of high-tech systems designed for both vehicles and roadways may dramatically transform how drivers commute in the 21st century. The potential for driving while distracted, a danger already well documented among cell phone users, is one major concern. So is the difficulty in predicting whether drivers will be able to understand often complex navigation and safety systems, and how they'll change their behaviour as a result
    By Bryn Nelson


    3a - Technotalk
    Sometime in the near future, a driver may be navigating a city street with a three-dimensional GPS interface and breezing through a self-organising traffic light when her bumper-mounted radar sensor slows her car to avoid a close encounter with another sedan. Whew! Now if only that tune emanating from the asphalt was a bit more melodic.

    Car gadgets are nothing new, but a growing crop of high-tech systems designed for both vehicles and roadways may dramatically transform how drivers commute in the 21st century. Some, like increasingly sophisticated GPS systems, offer dashboard-mounted virtual worlds complete with3a - Technotalk realistic city landmarks. Others, such as "Melody Roads", reward drivers moving at set speeds with songs played every time their tires move over precisely cut grooves or raised patterns along a road.

    But where automotive technology is concerned, can there ever be too much of a good helpful or harmful?

    With so many recent arrivals popping up around the world, "I'm confident in saying we don't know very much," said Rob Foss, a senior research scientist at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Centre in Chapel Hill. "Some of this stuff is going to be terribly dangerous and some of it is going to be tremendously helpful, and probably everything in between. We have no idea, but we're really worried."

    The potential for driving while distracted, a danger already well documented among cell phone users, is one major concern. So is the difficulty in predicting whether drivers will be able to understand often complex navigation and safety systems, and how they'll change their behaviour. John Lee, Director of Human Factors Research at the National Advanced Driving Simulator at the University of Iowa in Iowa City said, "there hasn't been a really well-stated or well-defined arrangement for assessing how new technology is changing driving for the better or the worse."

    3b - Technotalk
    One product set to hit the markets this year is a software package that allows GPS devices to display three-dimensional maps of road elevation, surrounding terrain, nearby buildings and3b - Technotalkother landmarks. Budapest, Hungary-based Nav N Go, is calculating that photo realism will dominate the navigation market within the next five years.

    Safety concerns
    Some of iGO 8's landmarks are uncanny in their likenesses, like the Old Chicago Water Tower and London's Big Ben. But realism isn't necessarily an advantage if a virtual London or Chicago prevents drivers from paying attention to the real thing.

    "In principal, it's like one of these Second Life (virtual worlds). You're going into a second world, when you need to be devoting every second to your real world and driving," Foss said. "It doesn't strike me as a good idea in terms of safety."

    Nav N Go's van de Pas said that the virtual buildings become transparent as drivers approach them to cut down on distractions. But with sound controls, a simulated dashboard of speed and time information, and a zoom in and out function that can display a city block or an entire continent, there's no shortage of things to look at.

    "Anything that takes the driver's attention away from what he or she needs to be doing, which is paying attention to the road at all times, probably is not going to be helpful," Foss said, stressing that inattention for more than two seconds can be particularly dangerous. The risk is especially high for younger, inexperienced drivers who are still learning to keep their eyes on the road.



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    Default Re: Technotalk

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