http://www.infoworld.com/article/3145789/computers/raspberry-pi-3-gets-low-bandwith-lte-with-add-on-chip.html

Raspberry Pi 3 gets low-bandwith LTE with add-on chip

An Altair LTE Category-1 chipset will attach to the top of the Raspberry Pi 3 board for long-distance communications

Raspberry Pi 3 today has only Wi-Fi connectivity, but soon it will also be able to handle low-throughput cellular communications and let users control devices over long distances.

Altair has completed testing of its ALT1160 Category 1 LTE chip on Raspberry Pi, and is now making it available, a company representative said. That’s significant, as it will bring much-needed, long-range communications to the popular board computer.

The LTE chip is ready for sale by Altair and its partners, a company representative said. The chip will be included in various third-party add-on LTE expansion boards and sensor modules for Raspberry Pi; otherwise, Altair will take volume orders for the chip. Each chip will cost roughly $15 to $20, though prices are coming down, said Eran Eshed, co-founder of Altair.  Raspberry Pi is used to make gadgets, robots, drones, and smart devices. But, with Wi-Fi only, up to now it has had limited communication range. Users will be able to tack on the Altair LTE chip module for long-distance communications, albeit at slow data speeds.

Raspberry Pi 3 today has only Wi-Fi connectivity, but soon it will also be able to handle low-throughput cellular communications and let users control devices over long distances.

Altair has completed testing of its ALT1160 Category 1 LTE chip on Raspberry Pi, and is now making it available, a company representative said. That’s significant, as it will bring much-needed, long-range communications to the popular board computer.

The LTE chip is ready for sale by Altair and its partners, a company representative said. The chip will be included in various third-party add-on LTE expansion boards and sensor modules for Raspberry Pi; otherwise, Altair will take volume orders for the chip. Each chip will cost roughly $15 to $20, though prices are coming down, said Eran Eshed, co-founder of Altair.  Raspberry Pi is used to make gadgets, robots, drones, and smart devices. But, with Wi-Fi only, up to now it has had limited communication range. Users will be able to tack on the Altair LTE chip module for long-distance communications, albeit at slow data speeds.

Users will, for example, be able to control robots that are miles away, or access video surveillance cameras over cellular networks.

Adding LTE capability is also an enabler for IoT applications, said Eben Upton, founder of Raspberry Pi. For example, users will be able to use Raspberry Pi to remotely control industrial IoT equipment.

The chip transfers data at 10Mbps, which is much slower than speeds of up to 600Mbps in the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Apple iPhone 7. IoT and smart devices typically require less bandwidth for communications, however, and that helps retain long device battery life.

There is no plan right now to integrate LTE directly into Raspberry Pi, said Upton. So users will have to buy third-party modems like Altair’s LTE chipset and attach them to the board.

“For cost and engineering reasons there is no current plan to integrate LTE functionality into the core product itself,” Upton said.

Upton fits as many components as he can into a Raspberry Pi while still keeping the price at $35. While he’s adding new features to every model, LTE chipsets are still expensive.

Carriers are also deploying cellular networks for IoT and smart devices. South Korea’s SK Telecom already has a pricing plan in place for such networks, and AT&T and Verizon are deploying networks in the United States.

Altair’s chipset is certified by multiple carriers around the world. The software drivers for the LTE chipset to work on Raspberry Pi are also ready, Altair said.

http://www.kurzweilai.net/first-glimpse-of-new-concepts-developing-in-the-brain

First glimpse of new concepts developing in the brain

June 12, 2015

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) scientists have for the first time documented the actual formation of newly learned concepts inside the brain.

Thanks to recent advances in brain imaging technology at CMU and elsewhere, it is now known how specific concrete objects are coded in the brain — neuroscientists can identify which object, such as a house or a banana, someone is thinking about from its functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain signature.

Taking the next step, the researchers decided to observe the actual formation of these signatures in an experiment.

Neuroscientist Marcel Just, the D.O. Hebb University Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Andrew Bauer, a Ph.D. student in psychology, taught 16 study participants diet and dwelling information about extinct animals to monitor the growth of the neural representations of eight new animal concepts in the participants’ brains.

Drawing on the previous research findings, the research team knew “where” to expect the new knowledge to emerge in the brains of their participants. Information about dwellings and information about eating have each been shown to reside in their own set of brain regions, regions that are common across people.

Over the course of an hour, the study participants were given a zoology mini-tutorial on the diets and habitats of the animals, while the scientists used fMRI to monitor the emergence of the concepts in the participants’ brains. As the new properties were taught, the activation levels in the eating regions and the dwelling regions changed.

Concept signatures

One important result was that after the zoology tutorial, each one of the eight animal concepts developed its own unique activation signature. This made it possible for a computer program to determine which of the eight animals a participant was thinking about at a given time. In effect, the program was reading their minds as they contemplated a brand-new thought.

Even though the animals had unique activation signatures, the animals that shared similar properties (such as a similar habitat) had similar activation signatures. That is, a resemblance between the properties of two animals resulted in a resemblance between their activation signatures. This finding shows that the activation signatures are not just arbitrary patterns, but are meaningful and interpretable.

“The activation signature of a concept is a composite of the different types of knowledge of the concept that a person has stored, and each type of knowledge is stored in its own characteristic set of regions,” Just said.

Another important result was that once a property of an animal was learned, it remained intact in the brain, even after other properties of the animal had been learned. This finding indicates the relative neural durability of what we learn.

Implications for learning and brain disorders

“Each time we learn something, we permanently change our brains in a systematic way,” said Bauer, the study’s lead author. “It was exciting to see our study successfully implant the information about extinct animals into the expected locations in the brain’s filing system.”

Just believes that the study provides a foundation for brain researchers to trace how a new concept makes its way into the brain from the words and graphics used to teach it. That suggests that it may be possible to assess the progress in learning a complicated concept like those in a high-school physics lesson. fMRI pattern analyses could diagnose which aspects of a concept students misunderstand (or lack), in a way that could guide the next iteration of instruction.

The results from this study also indicate that it may be possible to use a similar approach to understand the “loss” of knowledge in various brain disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or due to brain injuries. The loss of a concept in the brain may be the reverse of the process that the study observed.


Abstract of Monitoring the growth of the neural representations of new animal concepts

Although enormous progress has recently been made in identifying the neural representations of individual object concepts, relatively little is known about the growth of a neural knowledge representation as a novel object concept is being learned. In this fMRI study, the growth of the neural representations of eight individual extinct animal concepts was monitored as participants learned two features of each animal, namely its habitat (i.e., a natural dwelling or scene) and its diet or eating habits. Dwelling/scene information and diet/eating-related information have each been shown to activate their own characteristic brain regions. Several converging methods were used here to capture the emergence of the neural representation of a new animal feature within these characteristic, a priori-specified brain regions. These methods include statistically reliable identification (classification) of the eight newly acquired multivoxel patterns, analysis of the neural representational similarity among the newly learned animal concepts, and conventional GLM assessments of the activation in the critical regions. Moreover, the representation of a recently learned feature showed some durability, remaining intact after another feature had been learned. This study provides a foundation for brain research to trace how a new concept makes its way from the words and graphics used to teach it, to a neural representation of that concept in a learner’s brain.

http://www.kurzweilai.net/smart-skin-patch-releases-blood-thinners-in-closed-loop-control-system

Smart skin patch releases blood thinners in closed-loop control system

Prevents both thrombosis and spontaneous hemorrhaging; no need for patients to test blood on a regular basis
November 30, 2016

North Carolina researchers have developed a smart skin patch designed to monitor a patient’s blood and release a blood-thinning drug, as needed, to prevent thrombosis (dangerous blood clots).

Thrombosis — one of the leading causes of cardiovascular mortalities and morbidities worldwide — occurs when blood clots disrupt the normal flow of blood in the body, which can cause severe health problems such as pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or stroke.

Current treatments often rely on the use of blood thinners, such as heparin, requiring patients to test their blood on a regular basis to ensure proper dosages. Dosage is iffy; too large a dose can cause problems such as spontaneous hemorrhaging, while doses that are too small may not prevent thrombosis.

So researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill developed a feedback-controlled anti-coagulant smart skin patch to release just the needed level of heparin.

The patch incorporates an array of painless microneedles made of a material that is responsive to thrombin (an enzyme that initiates clotting in the blood). When elevated levels of thrombin enzymes in the bloodstream come into contact with the microneedle, the enzymes cause the thrombin-responsive material in the microneedles to release the right amount (and no more) of blood-thining heparin into the bloodstream to prevent blood clots.*

The patch was successfully tested in a mouse model.

“Our goal was to generate a patch that can monitor a patient’s blood and release additional drugs when necessary — effectively, a self-regulating system,” says Zhen Gu, co-corresponding author on a paper published Nov. 25, 2016 in Advanced Materials describing the work. Gu is an associate professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at NC State and UNC.

“This paper represents a good first step, and we’re now looking for funding to perform additional preclinical testing,” Gu said.

The work was supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards, and the National Science Foundation.

* Closed-loop heparin delivery system


Abstract of Thrombin-Responsive Transcutaneous Patch for Auto-Anticoagulant Regulation

A thrombin-responsive closed-loop patch is developed for prolonged heparin delivery in a feedback-controlled manner. This microneedle-based patch can sense activated thrombin and subsequently releases heparin to prevent coagulation in the blood flow. This “smart” heparin patch can be transcutaneously inserted into skin without drug leakage and can sustainably regulate blood coagulation in response to thrombin.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3095169/forget-protein-bars-nasa-creating-700-900-calorie-food-bars-for-astronauts-long-missions/

Forget protein bars: NASA creating 700-900 calorie ‘food bars’ for astronauts’ long missions

Each of NASA's food bars will weigh in at a whopping 700 to 900 calories. By comparison, a chocolate peanut butter PowerBar Protein Plus bar comes in at 200 calories.

Each of NASA’s food bars will weigh in at a whopping 700 to 900 calories. By comparison, a chocolate peanut butter PowerBar Protein Plus bar comes in at 200 calories.

Screenshot/NASA

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Your run-of-the-mill protein bar simply won’t cut it for space travel. NASA food scientists are developing new “food bars” that will act as meal replacements for astronauts on long missions.The breakfast bars – which feature flavours like banana nut, orange cranberry, ginger vanilla and barbecue nut – are being designed to provide astronauts with nutritional balance, while also increasing caloric density. Each one will weigh in at a whopping 700 to 900 calories.

 

By comparison, a chocolate peanut butter PowerBar Protein Plus bar comes in at 200 calories.

NASA already has a number of tasty nutritional options for breakfast onboard their spacecraft, but these individually packed meals take up a lot of space and end up creating extra weight. The Orion spacecraft, designed to take astronauts to and from Mars eventually, is even more limited in space because flights into deep space won’t have the option to meet with resupply spacecraft to restock supplies and dispose of trash.

 

The Orion also needs to be lightweight in order to conserve fuel.“When you have 700 to 900 calories of something, it’s going to have some mass regardless of what shape it’s in, so we’ve taken a look at how to get some mass savings by reducing how we’re packaging and stowing what the crew would eat for breakfast for early Orion flights with crew,” said Jessica Vos, deputy health and medical technical authority for Orion.

“When you think about multi-week missions in Orion, having just one package for breakfast items for crew will help us limit the space we need to store them.”

According to Takiyah Sirmons, food scientist with Orion, there isn’t a meal replacement or protein bar on the planet that meets the needs of astronauts and spacecraft specifications.

 

“We have some human studies going on that will tell us whether or not people could eat bars every day, or if they need to eat them every five or seven days — or if they don’t like bars at all,” said Sirmons.

Of course, that human testing also involves taste tests – because it’s important that these so-called food bars don’t taste as bad as they might look.

“This one looks like Spam,” Vos said during a video showing the new creations.

A better way to go “number two” in space

We hate to point this out, but all of those food bars have to go somewhere.

At the same time as the Orion crew works on developing better meal solutions, another NASA team is trying to develop a better way to poop in space.

In partnership with crowdsourcing website HeroX, NASA is currently holding a “Space Poop Challenge” which aims to brainstorm more efficient and clean ways for astronauts to do their business.
NASA specifically wants to improve the “in-spacesuit” bathroom experience. Right now, when astronauts wear their full spacesuit they have to rely on diapers in case the urge hits. Astronauts mainly wear their suits during launch or landing, which can last up to 10 hours; however, in the event of an emergency, they could be wearing their suit for up to six days.

NASA hopes the solution will allow astronauts to “collect human waste away from the body without the use of hands,” and will last over 144 hours, or six days.

Should you be able to come up with a viable solution for NASA, you could earn up to $30,000.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/paullamkin/2016/11/29/new-lg-smartwatches-set-for-2017-launch/#35a193a2321b

New LG Smartwatches Set For 2017 Launch

lg watch urbane 2nd edition

LG’s latest Android Wear smartwatch packs cellular connectivity (LG)

Looks like four new LG smartwatches could be landing soon. The Korean company, as spotted by GSMInfo, has applied for trademarks for a number of new monikers that definitely sound smartwatch-esque.

There’s the Watch Style, the Watch Pro, the Watch Force and the Watch Sole. We’d hazard a guess that, rather than four completely new models, LG will in fact unveil a brand-new smartwatch that will come in four different designs.

The multi-design launch has been an ever-growing theme on the smartwatch scene. Michael Kors recently uncovered a duo of Access Android Wear devices – the Bradshaw and the Dylan; Samsung’s latest smartwatch – the Gear S3 – comes in two flavours: the Classic and the Frontier; and Apple, of course, has several editions of its Series 2 smartwatch, with collaborations from the likes of Hermes, Toms and Nike.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/new-labels-tell-you-how-well-your-sd-card-runs-apps

New labels tell you how well your SD card runs apps

SD cards are a great way to expand the storage in your phone, but they’re not always the best solution if you want to use them to run apps.

Now, a new labelling system for SD cards, part of the Secure Digital 5.1 spec released by the SD Association (SDA), will tell you how well the card can run apps.

The first class is called A1, with more classes to follow, and denotes sustained sequential performance of 10 MB a second along with 1500 random read IOPS (input/output operations per second) and 500 random write IOPS.

Basically, that means if you see the A1 symbol on an SD card, and on the device you’re using it with, you will have no problem running apps off the card.

Related: Best smartphone

The SD Association says the new SD Specification 5.1 establishes the new “Application Performance Class” allowing users to both run and store applications on SD memory cards, as well as store all the usual files.

Brian Kumagai, SDA President, said: “With its consumer-friendly symbol, App Performance Class eliminates buyers’ frustration with identifying app-running compatibility on their Android devices and microSD memory cards.

“Matching the App Performance Class symbol with your mobile device requirements simplifies the process and continues the SD tradition of matching your memory card to your device.”

image: http://static.trustedreviews.com/94/00003bf56/89e9_orh616w616/a1-sd-card.jpg

a1 sd card

Google’s introduction of “Adoptable Storage Devices” on Android Marshmallow last year further popularised the idea of using SD cards to run apps.

However, not all SD cards could be used as adoptable storage, as most are optimised for storage of files rather than for running apps.

The SDA has designed the App Performance Class symbol to allow manufacturers to communicate that their SD cards come with all the necessary app-running requirements.

 

http://www.zdnet.com/article/89-linux-laptop-check-out-the-new-pinebook-from-raspberry-pi-rival-pine/

$89 Linux laptop? Check out the new Pinebook from Raspberry Pi rival Pine

The Pinebook is a low-cost Linux laptop with an ARM CPU that undercuts the cheapest Chromebooks.

pinebooksize1.jpg

The sub-$100 Pinebook runs on an ARM CPU and Linux.

The makers of a popular Raspberry Pi challenger, the $20 Pine A64, have returned with two sub-$100 Linux laptops, called Pinebooks.

The Pine A64 stood out among developer boards because it was cheap and relatively powerful, helping its maker raise $1.7m on Kickstarter last year with just a $30,000 target.

With an Allwinner quad-core ARM Cortex A53 64-bit processor, the A64 board could run Ubuntu, Debian, or Android Lollipop 5.1. The same processor is powering the 11-inch and 14-inch Pinebook notebooks, which at $89 and $99 respectively, could become some of the cheapest laptops available.

A dozen faster, better, or cheaper alternatives to the Raspberry Pi

A dozen faster, better, or cheaper alternatives to the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi might be the name that springs to mind when people think of single board computers for homebrew projects, but there are other boards out there worth considering. (Updated Nov 1, 2016)

The displays on both models have a 1,280 x 720-pixel resolution, and besides the A64’s ARM processor, the Pinebooks include the basics needed for a functional laptop, including display, keyboard, touchpad, storage, memory, and ports.

Both models feature 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, 16GB eMMC 5.0 storage, two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD slot supporting up to 256GB additional storage, a mini HDMI input to connect to an external display, headphone jack, built-in microphone, a 1.2-megapixel camera, and a 10,000mAh lithium polymer battery. They also support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connections.

CNX Software, which first reported the new laptops, notes that the Pinebook’s system on a chip (SoC) includes a Mali-400MP2 GPU. Also, while the machines will run all operating systems supported by the A64 boards, the firmware needs to be modified due to the LPDDR3 RAM. The devices should support the Remix OS Android fork.

While the new netbooks share a common system on a chip, CNX notes that the new laptops aren’t actually based on the A64 board itself, but rather on a custom board that’s designed to keep the laptops thin.

According to the Pinebook’s spec sheet, the notebook is 352mm wide, 233mm deep, and 18mm high, or 14in by 9in by 0.7in. It weighs 1.2kg, or 2.65lb.