Tag Archives: Technology

Google’s Project Starline is the real deal | The Verge

Project Starline is the real deal. It makes a virtual call feel like a one-on-one conversation. But it’s unclear if it’s something most people will ever get to experience.

By Jay Peters / @jaypeters, Oct 13, 2022, 5:30 AM PDT

Here’s what a Starline booth looks like from a distance.
Image: Google

It looked like I could grab the apple. Jason Lawrence, a Google researcher, was sitting across from me, holding the fruit in his hand. I could see it, it was red and shiny, and my brain was telling me it was right there. But Lawrence and the apple were actually in another room — they were just being projected in front of me through Google’s Project Starline.

Project Starline is Google’s next-generation 3D video chat booth that it first introduced at Google I/O 2021. Slide into a booth, and your image is supposed to be projected to another booth in real time, as if you’re actually sitting with somebody else across a table.

In a heartwarming video, Google showed family and friends joyfully connecting with each other using Starline, and the virtual recreations looked remarkably lifelike. “That was mindblowing,” one person says in the video. “I’ve seen a lot, but I’ve never seen this,” said another.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2022/10/13/23400870/google-project-starline-3d-chat-booth-impressions

AI-generated images could make it almost impossible to detect fake papers | News | Chemistry World

By Katrina Krämer, 24 May 2022

Source: © 2022 Liansheng Wang et al
These esophageal cancer images are deepfakes that were created by a generative adversarial network

In mid-March, a one minute video of Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy appeared first on social media and later on a Ukrainian news website. In it, Zelenskiy told Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms and surrender to Russian troops.

But the video turned out to be a deepfake, a piece of synthetic media created by machine learning. Some scientists are now concerned that similar technology could be used to commit research fraud by creating fake images of spectra or biological specimen.

‘I’ve been worried very much about these types of technologies,’ says microbiologist and science integrity expert Elisabeth Bik. ‘I think this is already happening – creating deepfake images and publishing [them].’

She suspects that the images in the over 600 completely fabricated studies that she helped uncover, which likely came from the same paper mill, may have been AI-generated.

Source: AI-generated images could make it almost impossible to detect fake papers | News | Chemistry World

The West is historically dry. Desalination could help. | Popular Science

A historic drought calls for new ideas.

By Thor Benson, Published Apr 3, 2022 5:00 PM

As climate change continues to plague the planet, droughts are likely to become worse in the future. Unsplash

California and the rest of the American West are facing the worst drought in over 1,200 years.

This drought is devastating the agricultural industry and creating conditions that lead to massive wildfires. According to the IPCC, climate change makes it likely that droughts will only continue to get worse.

To maintain an adequate supply of fresh water, the region needs to develop technological solutions to dwindling water levels.

Fortunately, a decent chunk of California is on the coast, meaning one solution to the drought is utilizing desalination technologies to turn seawater into fresh water. However, large desalination plants take years to become operational and are expensive to operate (nearly $3,000 per acre-foot of seawater).

Additionally, many places experiencing drought in the West, such as Arizona and New Mexico, are not on the coast. But desalination isn’t just an option for freshening up seawater, says Brent Haddad, a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

“[Desalination] can improve not just brackish groundwater but also agricultural groundwater that’s been harmed by chemicals and even some industrial wastes,” Haddad says.

Source: The West is historically dry. Desalination could help. | Popular Science

American Business History in “The Gilded Age” | Inside Adams: Science, Technology & Business | Library of Congress

February 24, 2022 by Ellen Terrell

Given its underlying business themes, The Gilded Age, which premiered on HBO in January 2022, quickly caught my attention.

The show’s first season, which is set in 1882 in the rapidly changing New York City landscape, revolves around the clash between the mores of old New York society and the emerging world of newly rich industrialists and financiers.

The Central Bank, 1910. Frank A. Nankivell, artist.

The show’s title, Gilded Age, references the period in American history from approximately 1870-1900, but where did the phrase itself come from, and what is so special about this time in American history?

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: American Business History in “The Gilded Age” | Inside Adams: Science, Technology & Business

Windows 11 vs. Windows 10: What’s different in Microsoft’s new OS – Technology | CNET

Windows 11 is Microsoft’s newest OS, but how is it different from Windows 10? We’ll explain.

By Alison DeNisco Rayome, Jan. 23, 2022 8:30 a.m. PT

Microsoft/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

Windows 11, the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, kicked off its phased roll out to compatible devices last fall.

Even if your PC hasn’t been prompted to download and install the new OS yet, you can still take a look at how Windows 11 measures up against Windows 10 to gauge if it’s worth the update.

Keep in mind that there’s no rush to make your decision. Microsoft says it will stop supporting Windows 10 after 2025. Also, if you already have Windows 10, Windows 11 will be available to you for free. (If you don’t have Windows 10 yet, here’s how to get it.)

Source: Windows 11 vs. Windows 10: What’s different in Microsoft’s new OS – CNET

The Washington Post: How smart tech around the home can help seniors and their caregivers

By Christina Sturdivant Sani, January 20, 2022, at 7:00 a.m. EST


Amy Goyer has been a caregiver most of her adult life. At 20, she began caring for her ailing grandparents. Then her mom had a stroke at 63, and her dad developed Alzheimer’s. Later, her sister was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease.

Over the years, Goyer crisscrossed the country to care for her loved ones. At some points, they lived with her. Other times, she monitored them from afar. Now AARP’s national family and caregiving expert, Goyer, 61, says the most notable change in caregiving in her experience has been technology — particularly the smart tech that many seniors rely on to stay safe in their homes.

“New technologies are coming up all the time, and people are always sending me things to look at,” says Goyer, who oversees the organization’s Family Caregivers Discussion Group on Facebook, which has more than 8,000 members.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/home/2022/01/20/smart-tech-for-seniors/