'Massive open online course' site accepting proposals, launching in early 2014
Google is hoping to improve the online education landscape by helping create a central location for learning online. Working with MIT and Harvard educational initiative edX, Google has launched MOOC.org for 'massive open online courses,' a site that will play host to a number of online courses built upon the Open edX platform.
iPad and glove combination used to control virtual objects
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have created a Minority Report-style glove and iPad input system for three-dimensional virtual object manipulation called T(ether). The system lets the team use motion tracking on gloves to create and alter virtual items with the iPads used as a point-of-view window to see what the users are manipulating. A demonstration video shows the system having multiple users simultaneously affecting the compter-generated world, both with and without the glove.
MIT research shows glass that bounces water off
MIT researchers have worked out a way to make glass without all the drawbacks in the medium. The 34 page research paper explains a method for making self-cleaning, hydrophobic and extremely clear glass.
MIT scientists able to peer at objects behind wall
Scientists have published a paper in Nature outlining a way to take pictures of things that is hidden away and not in the camera's line of sight. The researchers, operating out of the Camera Culture Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, use echoes of laser-generated light pulses and sophisticated software to peer around corners and recreate an image of an object. The algorithm is similar to those used in generating CAT-scan images.
Simulator could reduce risk in chip design
Researchers at MIT have developed a software simulation tool that models the performance of multi-core chip designs with more accuracy than previously possible. The software, named Hornet, can analyze a potential chip design concept down to a single processing cycle and find flaws early. This promises to greatly reduce the risk in the costly chip design process.
Google and MIT post early open-source App Inventor
Google together with MIT has posted an open-source version of App Inventor for Android developers. The early code for the simplified app tool has little supporting text and isn't yet completely open-source, with users not yet having the option of contributing code back. Until then, MIT is promising periodic code updates and has a Google Group for app writers to help each other.
MIT develops new Fourier algorithm for image tech
MIT researchers have put forward a paper for a new approach to fast Fourier transform math that could provide a major lift to image compression and other signal processing technology. The new technique, discovered by associate professor Dina Katabi and professor Piotr Indyk, divides signals and looks for "sparse" but strong frequencies within each section of the signal. Since it would only need to sample random details from those sparse signals instead of full details, it could speed up the processing time by as much as ten times, MIT said.
MIT shows off one trillion FPS camera and laser
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have showed off a camera system that can capture images at an unprecedented visual data rate of one trillion frames per second. The research is detailed in the latest issue of MITnews. At the heart of the system is a streak camera modified with a narrowly slit aperture.
MIT diode uses existing hardware for optical CPUs
A recently published research paper from MIT in Nature Photonics could lead to a cheap, viable way to make light-based, optical processors. Nicknamed a "diode for light," it would stop the light with an isolator and process the information it holds directly in the same part. It would amount to an integrated optical circuit which, like a silicon integrated circuit, would be more efficient and much cheaper to make.
Fix announced after 1st reported 4G network breach
MIT researchers have found a way to defend against "man-in-the-middle" (MITM) attacks on wireless connections. The new security technique doesn't have to rely on passwords as part of the protection scheme. The researchers have only demonstrated the effectiveness of the technique on a Wi-Fi network, such as connections between phones, laptops, cell towers and wireless routers, but believe it would be equally effective for links between a phone and a wireless headset, a medical implant and a wrist-mounted monitor, or a computer and a wireless speaker system.
Comcast goes through MIT to test IPTV system
Comcast revealed Wednesday that it was testing a TV-over-IP system for its network. A dry run on MIT's grounds in the fall would prove it can deliver its regular TV service using Internet protocol in a way that would simplify delivering it beyond TV sets. The move as cast by the Wall Street Journal would simplify watching real-time broadcasts on tablets like the iPad, Xbox 360s, and other devices that Comcast can't normally reach.
Kinect used for 15FPS holographic Internet video
Microsoft's Kinect has seen another unofficial use this weekend through a new experiment from MIT's Media Lab. A prototype shown at the SPIE Practical Holography conference uses the Xbox 360 camera controller and a standard notebook PC to capture and send video. At the other end, the information is interpreted by a desktop on the other end using three graphics cards to calculate the diffraction patterns and send the video to a relatively new, custom-developed holographic display.
NVIDIA in a four-way bid for super graphics chip
NVIDIA is involved in a bid to create a graphics chip for a supercomputer by 2018 and has described the device at the Supercomputing 2010 show. Three other teams are involved in the race that is funded by the US Department of Defense. NVIDIA's project, called Echelon, would mostly advance through its use of memory on many cores. The chip will have 256MB of SRAM that can be dynamically configured based on an app's requirements.
Google hopes for simple Android development
Google started off the week by launching a beta of App Inventor for Android to attract developers to its platform. The tool uses MIT's Open Blocks to construct apps visually, placing interface elements and linking them to events. No coding is needed, and the system is simple enough that Google expects that high school students could create apps of their own.
Graphene to bump silicon
A recent report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is naming Graphene, a form of pure carbon founded in 2004 that could be applied to microchips to make for faster processing speeds than is possible with current silicon chips. Researchers outside of MIT have created prototype transistors and similar simple devices using one-atom thick Graphene, but the newer MIT findings could make for more advanced applications. The researchers built an experimental Graphene chip that acts as a frequency multiplier, capable of doubling the frequency of an electromagnetic signal, or effectively doubling a CPU's clock speed.
MIT Fast Recharge Battery
MIT scientists led by professor Gerbrand Ceder today said they have developed a new improvement on lithium-ion battery packs that could potentially eliminate the need for long recharge times or, in some cases, for larger batteries. By applying a coating of lithium phosphate to an existing battery design, the researchers steer the ions more directly to the "tunnels" leading to the battery terminal and thus supply a charge much faster than the more passive approach used today.
iPhones for freshmen
Abilene Christian University will be delivering an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch to all members of its incoming class in 2008. Freshmen will use the iPhones or iPod Touches to receive homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, get directions to their professors' offices, and check their meal and account balances - "among more than 15 other useful web applications already developed," said ACU Chief Information Officer Kevin Roberts. Roberts was asked to present ACU's creative vision for converged media devices at Apple headquarters to executives and to selected leaders from universities including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Duke, Stanford, Oxford, Princeton and UCLA.
Ultra-efficient MIT chip
Researchers have developed a new technology, being demonstrated this week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, which is said to dramatically improve the battery life of cellphones and other portable electronics. MIT and Texas Instruments claim they have developed a new chip design which is up to 10 times as efficient as current ones, thanks mainly to a DC-to-DC converter which helps reduce necessary voltage. Where many chips need 1V of power, Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan of MIT notes that testing at his university has a chip running at 0.3V.