Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Barnes & Noble's 2 New Nook Tablets Take On Both Amazon and Apple | Gadget Lab |

AT&T Launches Voice-Controlled U-verse Remote App | News & Opinion |,2817,2410194,00.asp

The Pokemon Plot: How One Cartoon Inspired the Army to Dream Up a Seizure Gun

In 1998, a secret Army intelligence analysis suggested a new way to
take out enemies: blast them with electromagnetic energy until their
brains overload and they start to convulse. Amazingly, it was an idea
inspired by a Pokemon episode.

Application of "electromagnetic pulses" could force neurons to all
fire at once, causing a "disruption of voluntary muscle control,"
reads a description of a proposed seizure weapon, contained in a
declassified document from the Army's National Ground Intelligence
Center. "It is thought by using a method that would actually trigger
nerve synapses directly with an electrical field, essentially 100% of
individuals would be susceptible to seizure induction."

This wasn't the only method the Center suggested for taking down
combatants. Other exotic, less-lethal weapons included a handheld
laser gun for close-range "antiterrorist special operations roles"; a
"flood" of network traffic that could overload servers and "elicit a
panic in the civilian population"; and radio frequencies that could
manipulate someone's body temperature and "mimic a fever."

The military needed weapons like these because TV news had hamstrung
the military's traditional proclivities to kill its way to victory: It
now lived in a world where "You don't win unless CNN says you win,"
the report lamented. But while the Pentagon still laments the impact
of the 24/7 news cycle on the U.S. military, it hardly thinks
less-lethal weapons are a solution to it. In fact, the U.S. has kept
most of its electromagnetic arsenal off of the battlefield, in part
because the idea of invisible pain rays would sound so bad coming out
of an anchor's mouth.

Danger Room acquired this secret study on nonlethal technologies
thanks to a private citizen, who filed a Freedom of Information Act
request, and now wishes to remain anonymous. By coincidence, Sharon
Weinberger wrote a 2008 Danger Room report after independently
acquiring a piece of the document – an addendum that described using a
"Voice of God" weapon, powered by radio waves, to "implant" a
suggestion in someone else's mind. It wasn't even close to the
strangest suggestion made for exotic weaponry.

Perhaps the most disturbing item on the Army's nonlethal wish list: a
weapon that would disrupt the chemical pathways in the central nervous
system to induce a seizure. The idea appears to have come from an
episode of Pokemon.

The idea is that seizure would be induced by a specific electrical
stimulus triggered through the optic nerve. "The onset of synchony and
disruption of muscular control is said to be near instantaneous," the
1997 Army report reads. "Excitation is directly on the brain." And
"100% of the population" is supposed to be susceptible to the effects
— from distances of "up to hundreds of meters" — "[r]ecovery times are
expected to be consistent with, or more rapid than, that which is
observed in epileptic seizures."

That's not a lot of time — the Army's analysis noted that a grand-mal
seizure typically lasts between one and five minutes. But the analysis
speculated that the seizure weapons could be "tunable with regard to
type and degree of bodily influence" and affect "100% of the
population." Still, it had to concede, "No experimental evidence is
available for this concept."

The document cautioned that the effectiveness of incapacitating a
human nervous system with an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) "has not been
tested." But the analysis speculated that "50 to 100 kV/m free field
of very sharp pulses" would likely be "sufficient to trigger neurons
or make them more susceptible to firing." And a weapon that harnessed
an EMP-induced seizure could conceivably work from "hundreds of miles"
away. The idea might as well have been stamped "As Seen on TV."

"The photic-induced seizure phenomenon was borne out demonstrably on
December 16, 1997 on Japanese television when hundreds of viewers of a
popular cartoon were treated, inadvertently, to photic seizure
induction," the analysis noted. That cartoon was Pokemon, and the
incident received worldwide attention. About 700 viewers showed
symptoms of epilepsy — mostly vomiting — an occasional, if strange,
occurrence with TV shows and videogames due to rapid, flashing lights.

The Army's interest in the technology doesn't appear to have gone
anywhere. When Danger Room asked the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons
Directorate, the command overseeing the Pentagon's weapons that can't
kill you, if they had ever developed or explored developing an EMP
seizure ray, spokeswoman Kelley Hughes flatly replied, "No." But at a
minimum, it's bizarre that the U.S. military would entertain the idea
of neurological weaponry.

The seizure ray was just one of several futuristic nonlethal weapons
the National Ground Intelligence Center envisioned. Another favorite:
"handheld laser weapons" for blasting focused light against nearby
terrorists. These weren't supposed to be the sorts of lasers that can
burn through steel — after all, nearly 15 years after the Army intel
report, the Navy still doesn't have a laser cannon small enough to
mount on a ship. The "point and shoot" lasers were supposed to be
dazzlers, to disrupt sensors or even blind assailants from up to 50
meters away. Alas, the paper lamented, causing "permanent blindness"
was prohibited by binding international treaties, so development of
handheld dazzlers would likely be restricted. (As it would turn out,
"gross mismanagement" by U.S. military bureaucracy would be the larger

Then came the cyberweapons. The Army intel report presciently
predicted using "information technology as a nonlethal weapon." It had
in mind "a campaign to disrupt a nation's infrastructure so that they
feel they are not ready for a formal conflict." No, the Army wasn't
thinking of any kind of proto-Stuxnet. It had in mind sending torrents
of traffic to "flood" foreign servers until "a panic in the civilian
population," now without internet access, "persuades the [adversary]
military not to execute a planned attack." Pay attention, Darpa and
U.S. Cyber Command. Alternatively, the military might disrupt an
enemy's ability to control its forces by flooding the internet with
tons of inaccurate information — "either through distribution of
disinformation or illegally altering web pages to spread
disinformation." It isn't clear if the report meant to restrict that
"illegal" activity to foreign web pages.

And then came the fever. The report speculated that blasts of radio
frequency waves could "mimic a fever" to the point of incapacitating
an enemy. ("No organs are damaged," it assured.) "Core temperatures of
approximately 41 degrees Celsius are considered to be adequate" — the
equivalent of a 105.8 degree fever, which is frighteningly close to
inducing a coma or brain damage.

The idea would involve a "highly sophisticated microwave assembly"
that could induce "carefully monitored uniform heating" in "15 to 30
minutes," depending on someone's weight and the wavelengths employed.
"The subjective sensations caused by this buildup of heat are far more
unpleasant than those accompanying fever," the report assured. Yet the
military would have to be careful not to cause any "permanent" organ
damage with such a weapon — which would take careful monitoring, as
the report noted that increasing someone's body temperature a single
degree Celsius beyond the envisioned 42 degrees would probably be

As it turned out, the military would develop a microwave weapon — the
Active Denial System. That's a microwave gun that, as I learned
first-hand one fateful afternoon, makes victims feel like they've
stepped into a blast furnace. But its frequencies are too shallow to
penetrate the skin, and can't even pop a bag of popcorn. (It's been
tried.) Still, the idea of being heated with something like that for
15 minutes to a half hour is unbearable: I lasted maybe two seconds
before my reflexes forced me to jump out of the way of its beam. And
in 2010, the device was recalled from Afghanistan when commanders
realized it was a PR nightmare. It has one of the many downsides to
these weapons that the Army's 1998 that report didn't consider. Of
course, few things age worse than predictions for the future.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fwd: IEEE CES - Sept 25, MHL / Silicon Image

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gary Sasaki <>
Date: Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 8:47 AM
Subject: IEEE CES - Sept 25, MHL / Silicon Image


September 25 Meeting Notice


MHL® (Mobile High-Definition Link)


Chandlee Harrell - Silicon Image


NVIDIA - 2800 Scott Blvd, Building E

Date and Time:

September 25, 2012
6:30 - 7:00 Pizza + Drinks, Networking
7:00 - 8:30 Talk and Questions

Register Online

Click to Register


Today's "Post PC Era" means smartphones and tablets are increasingly being used for gaming, watching videos, productivity applications and more. The advanced hardware and software integrated into the latest mobile products, however, limits the users' experiences – as content can only be viewed on the mobile device's small screen. Yet, there's a new technology that allows the ultimate, interactive experience. MHL® technology delivers 1080p60Hz uncompressed video with up-to eight channels of digital audio packed into a low pin count, 5-pin interface that meets the mobile device's low power requirements. MHL enables consumers to enjoy interactive applications such as gaming from their MHL-enabled device to an HDTV, while charging the mobile device. With introduction of the latest MHL 2.0 specification, higher power charging and technology required for transmission of 3D formats are supported.


Chandlee Harrell - Sr. Director, System Architecture & Technology, Silicon Image, Inc.

Chandlee Harrell is the senior director of system architecture and technology for Silicon Image, overseeing the company's standards activities and new technology development. He serves on the MHL Technical board and is actively engaged in new initiatives for the MHL standard and its burgeoning ecosystem.

Prior to joining Silicon Image, Mr. Harrell worked at Silicon Graphics and Bell Labs and has vast experience in digital video, imaging, 3D graphics, streaming networks and video coding. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Brown University, and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering / computer science from Stanford University.

Meeting Place
NVIDIA, 2800 Scott Blvd., Building E, Santa Clara
Click to see overhead photo of campus

Admission Fee: Open to all - to attend
(Please register in advance. If you cannot register in advance, you can still show up at the door, but please allow extra time for NVIDIA security signin.)

IEEE CES members - free
IEEE Student members - free
IEEE members - $5 (pay at door)
non-members - $10 (pay at door)
You do not need to be an IEEE member to attend!
(If you wish to be a member of IEEE, click here)

To see our upcoming events - click here



Best Regards,

Gary Sasaki


twitter: @digdia


This message being sent to you on behalf of the IEEE Santa Clara Valley Consumer Electronics Society
Click here to be added or removed from this mailing list

IEEE Santa Clara Valley, Consumer Electronics Society

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fwd: Register Now: Impinj RFID Webinars

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Peter Horton" <>
Date: Sep 17, 2012 3:37 PM
Subject: Register Now: Impinj RFID Webinars
To: <>

Dear John,

I hope this message finds you well.  I just wanted to remind you that Impinj will be hosting several webinars covering a variety of exciting RFID topics beginning this week.  We encourage you to register and attend the sessions that are of interest to you.


Integrating Video Surveillance with RFID
We'd like to invite you to attend a special 30-minute webinar on the benefits of integrating video surveillance with RFID. Join us as we discuss the how SimplyRFiD's NOX solution, powered by Impinj® RFID, is revolutionizing video surveillance and delivering real-time benefits to organizations across all industries.

What you'll learn
• Benefits of Integrating RFID + Video
• Monitoring the Movement of Assets such as People, Laptops, and More
• Locate the Current Location, Historical Location, and Watch Items in Real-Time
• Asset Tracking Case Studies

Featured Speakers
Carl Brown, President - SimplyRFID

When: Thursday, September 20, 2012, 9:00AM to 9:30AM Pacific

Click Here to Register for the Integrating Video Surveillane with RFID Webinar


Best Practices for Passive RFID Asset Tracking
Join Miles Technologies and Impinj as we discuss the critical components and challenges associated with surveying, deploying, and managing a successful asset tracking solution using passive RFID technology. Regardless of your company's industry, if your goal is to track the items that impact your business the most, you do not want to miss this webinar.

What you'll learn
• Trends in Asset Tracking
• Anatomy of an asset tracking solution
• Best practices for implementing an RFID based asset tracking system
• Asset tracking use case scenarios

Featured Speakers
Tracy Hillstrom, Sr. Product Line Manager - Impinj, Inc.
Thomas O'Boyle, Corporate Vice President – Miles Technologies, Inc

When: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 2:00PM to 2:30PM Central

Click Here to Register for the Best Practices for Passive RFID Asset Tracking Webinar


Automatic Vehicle Identification using Passive RFID
We'd like to invite you to attend a special 30-minute webinar on Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) using Passive RFID technology.  Join Impinj and Confidex as we discuss the critical components and benefits of AVI, and how Confidex's new AVI products, powered by Impinj Monza® 4E tag IC, are enabling exciting, real-world applications such as toll collection, access control, and fleet management using passive RFID technology.

What you'll learn
• Automatic Vehicle Identification Trends & Standards
• Why Passive RFID is the right choice for AVI
• A Real-world Customer's AVI Experience using Passive RFID

Featured Speakers
Tracy Hillstrom, Sr. Product Line Manager - Impinj, Inc.
Bill Compitello, Director of Sales – Confidex, Ltd.

When: Wednesday, October 03, 2012, 6:00AM to 6:30AM Pacific  -and- 10:00AM to 10:30AM Pacific

We will host two sessions for this webinar, please join the session that works best for you.

Session 1: October 03, 2012 @ 6:00 AM Pacific
Click Here to Register for This Session

Session 2: October 03, 2012 @ 10:00 AM Pacific
Click Here to Register for This Session


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me anytime.


Peter Horton
Channel Marketing Manager
Impinj, Inc. 

This email was sent to We respect your privacy. Click to unsubscribe.

UK company's 'augmented reality' glasses could be better than Google's

Google's Glass project may face some stiff competition, after UK company TTP develops a 'heads-up' prototype.

TTP augmented reality glasses prototype ... doesn't require a change of gaze by the wearer.
TTP augmented reality glasses prototype ... doesn't require a change of gaze by the wearer. Photo: Stephen Bond
A Cambridge-based company has figured out how to make "augmented reality" glasses that will seamlessly project information into the scene in front of you, creating a more effective version of the technology Google is developing with its Glass project.
Developed as a prototype by The Technology Partnership (TTP), a technology development company, the glasses incorporate a tiny projector in one arm of the spectacles. The picture is then reflected from the side into the centre of the lenses, which are etched with a reflective pattern that then beams the image into the eye.
For sports, you could show information like your heart or breathing rate. 
Roger Clarke, TTP
That means the image is directly incorporated into what the wearer sees when looking directly ahead – unlike Google's current incarnation of Google Glass, which puts a small video screen in the bottom right-hand corner of the right eye. That requires the wearer to look down to focus on it, taking their attention away from the view ahead.
Google's Sergey Brin shows off Google Glass earlier this year.
Google's Sergey Brin shows off Google Glass earlier this year. Photo: Reuters
Unlike the present Google Glass implementation, where it is obvious that the user is looking into a screen in the corner of their glasses – both because it is visible and because their eye direction changes – the TTP system is invisible to anyone watching, and doesn't require a change of gaze by the wearer.
Though the TTP glasses are only a proof of concept, its engineers believe the idea could be taken up by larger businesses that are interested in developing systems incorporating augmented reality. Though it declined to give any names, it is understood to be talking to at least one California-based company about applications of its technology.
"We would talk to all the big players," says Dr Allan Carmichael, business development manager at TTP. "We would tell them that we have a solution, and we would aim to persuade them that this can be used in practice." TTP would then license the technology to companies that were interested; TTP is not, Carmichael emphasises, a manufacturing company in its own right.
"Sports and leisure use are obvious applications," said Roger Clarke, TTP's project manager for augmented reality technologies. "For sports, you could show information like your heart or breathing rate; a simple display with relevant information is where this technology is headed. Then after that is proven you can move on to larger displays with more tailoring and information."
Carmichael thinks that the "killer app" for an augmented reality system might be one that would work when you look under your car bonnet, "so rather than seeing a big block, you see it all clearly labelled to tell you what part is what". Alternatively, he suggests, surgeons might find it useful, "not to show them what they're looking at, because it's never actually that clear, but to tell them what's happening to the patient's life signs – to the blood oxygenation when I press here, what happens to the pulse. If you can display that directly into their field of vision, that's really useful."
At present the system is only able to display a still image in monochrome. But engineers at TTP are confident that, as interest in AR-based systems grows, companies will be able to make tiny video projectors that can be incorporated into the arms of spectacles.
Google's Glass project aims to produce systems built into ordinary-looking spectacles that would overlay information about a location, or from the user's internet feeds, into their visual field. A concept film released in April suggested that one day systems which could react to location and to what was seen by the wearer would become commonplace.
"Google has done a remarkable job of getting the world to alight on the idea of augmented reality," says Carmichael. But he feels that the next step needs to be to improve both the appearance of the system to the user and to other people. "It's about creating desirability and elegance in how it appears," he says.
Clarke says that sports glasses, because they tend to be large, offer the best option. Recon Instruments already offers ski goggles which have a built-in video projector like Google Glass, but those too are limited to a non-central point.
In the TTP prototype, the present projector technology offers VGA, or 640x480 pixel, resolution. "We can get a video attachment in a few weeks," he said.
The team has also devised a passive system by which the user can control the device, or an attached computer, just by moving their eyes to the left or right. Rather than using eye-tracking systems, which demand a camera watching the pupils and which Clarke says are "relatively computationally expensive", it uses passive electrodes mounted on the glasses that monitor activity in the muscles at the side of the temple - which produce particular signals that are indicative of eye movement.
He thinks that head-mounted displays could have been commonplace now, but that in the 1990s companies making displays decided not to focus on miniaturisation, and instead aimed for bigger products, principally seen in large screen TVs. "Sony and Sharp bet that people would want smaller displays. That turned out to be the wrong bet then. If things had gone differently then we would already have very high-quality tiny displays today."
Carmichael is confident that, in time, heads-up displays using glasses such as TTP is demonstrating will go from the realm of experiment to become commonplace. "If you had told people in 2002 that they could have their email on their phone, they would have said 'why would I want that?'," he says. "Getting micro-displays is still a big challenge, but the lenses are getting better all the time." In time, he adds, we might find that such glasses are ideal for something that we barely do at present – such as watching video while on the move.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thanko Intros HDMI Over Ethernet Streaming Solution

Thanko HDMI Over Ethernet Streaming Solution
Enlarge picture
Even though wireless video streaming solutions seem to pop just about everywhere nowadays these are still to expensive for the average consumer while image lag and transmission range can still prove to be a problem so Thanko developed an adapter that sends HDMI video or audio pver to your HDTV via Ethernet.

Ethernet connectivity aside, this works pretty much like your standard wireless video transmission kit, coming with two units (a receiver and a transmitter), one of these being attached to your laptop, PC or any other type of HDMI enabled device while the receiver gets connected to your HDTV.

Once setup, video can be transmitted over Ethernet, Thanko's solution being able to stream 1080p content up to 150 feet (about 45 meters) away from the source, a pretty impressive feat when you compare it with present day wireless video streaming technologies.

VGA 2 Ethernet

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fwd: HD USB Endoscope cameras

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Osca Rick" <>
Date: Sep 10, 2012 8:10 AM
Subject: HD USB Endoscope cameras

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