GeekSpeak for 2013-06-08

Prism's Doppler Shift Boots New Neurons

IT costs, the PRISM program, Wi-Fi as clapper, mystery car theft. Also, the Geeks are flattered to get a call from Conrad the pathologist of Germany. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s all about the connections.

UK Government £6,000 per year per desktop spend a frightening insight into public sector IT

At a government spending review attended earlier this week by V3, the government’s new COO Stephen Kelly shed some light into the world of technology at Whitehall and across the public sector.

“I came into the office and I pressed my PC and it took me seven minutes to boot up,” he told attendees. “That’s government in the old world, that’s three days of the year I waste of my time booting up.”

Wi-Fi signals enable gesture recognition throughout entire home

University of Washington computer scientists have developed gesture-recognition technology that brings this a step closer to reality. Researchers have shown it’s possible to leverage Wi-Fi signals around us to detect specific movements without needing sensors on the human body or cameras.

By using an adapted Wi-Fi router and a few wireless devices in the living room, users could control their electronics and household appliances from any room in the home with a simple gesture.

7th Avenue Project

The latest edition of the DSM—the diagnostic manual of psychiatry—is hot off the presses, and it once again redraws the map of mental illness. Hoarding Disorder is in, for example, while Asberger’s is out. But critics like psychotherapist Gary Greenberg say the DSM has little to do with actual disease and a lot to do with changing societal attitudes, politics and money. Greenberg is author of “The book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry.” He talks to KUSP’s Robert Pollie.

Atomic Bombs Help Solve Brain Mystery

The mushroom clouds produced by more than 500 nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War may have had a silver lining, after all. More than 50 years later, scientists have found a way to use radioactive carbon isotopes released into the atmosphere by nuclear testing to settle a long-standing debate in neuroscience: Does the adult human brain produce new neurons? After working to hone their technique for more than a decade, the researchers report that a small region of the human brain involved in memory makes new neurons throughout our lives—a continuous process of self-renewal that may aid learning.

Police admit they're 'stumped' by mystery car thefts

This is a real mystery. You think when you lock your car and set the alarm, your car is pretty safe. But criminals have designed a new high-tech gadget giving them full access to your car. It’s so easy, it’s like the criminals have your actual door remote. Police are so baffled they want to see if you can help crack the case.

A Long Beach, Calif., surveillance video shows a thief approaching a locked SUV in a driveway. Police say he’s carrying a small device in the palm of his hand. You can barely see it, but he aims it at the car and pops the locks electronically. He’s in, with access to everything. No commotion at all.

Facebook Removes Downloads of Your Posts

As part of my regular data-backup process, I routinely download my information archives from whatever online presences I can, such as Facebook (which I’ve been on since early 2010), Google Blogger (this blog you’re reading right now), etc. Obviously on Facebook the thing that I’m most interested in is what I actually write, which are usually called “wall posts” (as opposed to photos or media, which I retain locally anyway). Once in a while I’ve found it very useful to pull up the downloaded posts file and search it for some particular bit of info, contact, or date. What I seem to have discovered is that sometime in the last few months, Facebook silently and completely removed our ability to download that “wall posts” information.

POP3 Pain

Listener Nancy – SC – how to get rid of multiple email from multiple devices

Konrad in Germany, helps with Neuron explination

Pathologist and dabbler in digital … cell paper calls in to add to the talk about regeneration of neurons. Important thing is connectivity pathologist.

Mark from Vienna, VA - more pop vs imap talk

More reading:

Lyle suggests IMAP – but listen to this part of the show to hear the details in his thoughts.

Toy helicopter guided by power of thought

A model helicopter can now be steered through an obstacle course by thought alone, researchers report today in the Journal of Neural Engineering. The aircraft’s pilot operates it remotely using a cap of electrodes to detect brainwaves that are translated into commands.

Ultimately, the developers of the mind-controlled copter hope to adapt their technology for directing artificial robotic limbs and other medical devices. Today’s best neural prosthetics require electrodes to be implanted in the body and are thus reserved for quadriplegics and others with disabilities severe enough justify invasive surgery.