Robotic Arm: First-ever Thought Controlled and Bone Mounted
A postdoctoral student has developed a technique for implanting thought-controlled robotic arms and their electrodes directly to the bones and nerves of amputees, a move which he is calling “the future of artificial limbs”. The first volunteers will receive their new limbs early in 2013. “The benefits have no precedent,” Max Ortiz Catalan, who carries out research in biomedicine and artificial intelligence at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, told Wired.co.uk. “They will be able to simultaneously control several joints and motions, as well as to receive direct neural feedback on their actions. These features are today not available for patients outside research labs, our aim is to change that.”
From http://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/article/robotic_arm_first_ever_thought_controlled_and_bone_mounted, December 13, 2012
USA: FCC Says Apple's iMessage and Other Services Should Allow Text-to-911
The FCC has proposed that "over-the-top" internet messaging services such as Apple's iMessage should let users send emergency texts to 911. The move comes after last week's announcement that all four major carriers in the US had signed up to the "text-to-911" program; with traditional SMS an outdated technology for many, however, the FCC now says that it wants to keep pace with how text messaging evolves. No mention was made of specific messaging apps, but the FCC is initially targeting those that send text messages to phone numbers — the organization's primary concern is that users are "able to reach 911 by the same texting methods they use every day."
From http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/12/3760804/fcc-imessage-text-to-911-sms, December 13, 2012
Feature: How Learning Techniques Help us Remember Better
Remembering new information is an under appreciated skill. The fact that most of us have never evolved our technique beyond the rudimentary and ad hoc approaches we used as middle schoolers suggests this. It is required for any sort of professional growth, since the need to learn is high, and can separate the exceptional performances from the mediocre ones. After all, would you prefer to hire the consultant who presented using cue cards or the one who pitched from memory?
From http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/12/heres_a_better_way_to_remember.html, December 13, 2012
Mobile App Could Help Streamline Enrollment in Health Care Programs
A recent pilot study found that the use of a mobile health application -- called One-e-App -- helped streamline the enrollment of individuals into health care and public assistance programs, the North Bay Business Journal reports.
From http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2012/12/12/mobile-app-could-help-streamline-enrollment-in-health-care-programs.aspx, December 13, 2012
Australia: Government to Launch New mHealth App for Smartphones
Australian government health minister, Tanya Plibersek, has unveiled a $4.9 million, internet National Health Services Directory – with information downloads now available from smart phones or Android devices. This National Health Services Directory (NHSD) offers free information to patients about local health services – while supporting anywhere, anytime nationwide coverage.
From http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/2012/dec/06/aust-gov-launches-mobile-app-health/, December 13, 2012
USA: New Report Shows Improvement in Universal Design in Education
A major factor contributing to the growth of a country is the need to properly educate the next generation. In order for this to be done successfully, the needs of all students must be met, regardless of their race, sex or disability. A report from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), "Helping to Ensure Equal Access to Education," discusses their improvements in addressing this issue.
From http://www.whatdisability.com/education3/516-new-report-shows-improvenent-in-universal-design-in-education, December 13, 2012
USA: Access4Kids Created to Help Children with Disabilities Access Tablets
Imagine not being able to touch a touch-screen device. Tablets and smartphones—with all their educational, entertaining and social benefits—would be useless. Researchers at Georgia Tech are trying to open the world of tablets to children whose limited mobility makes it difficult for them to perform the common pinch and swipe gestures required to control the devices.
Ayanna Howard, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and graduate student Hae Won Park have created Access4Kids, a wireless input device that uses a sensor system to translate physical movements into fine-motor gestures to control a tablet.
From http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112746419/access4kids-help-children-disabilities-access-tablets-121112/, December 12, 2012
Braille Typewriters get a Digital-Era Update
Like 6-year-olds around the world, Madison Logan is learning to read and write. Unlike most children, however, the Quincy girl has vision problems severe enough to make her legally blind. But that is not slowing her down. “L, C, H, W,” Logan said as she read letters with the fingers of her right hand on a recent day. She had just typed the letters herself, in Braille, the writing system that transforms text into raised dots on paper. Logan did it with a new kind of Braille typewriter that employs digital technology to help students and teachers master the tactile language.
From http://bostonglobe.com/business/2012/12/10/braille-typewriters-get-smart/me6Vt3ipFaLJ5w5OX3fRxM/story.html, December 12, 2012
e-Access: How Online Tools can Promote the Rights of People with Disabilities
The situation for people with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina is difficult. We have no framework law regulating the area of disability, which in practice means that people with disabilities have different rights and benefits depending on where they live. This has created new migration patterns that often add an additional layer of poverty to those that are already marginalized.
From http://europeandcis.undp.org/blog/2012/12/11/e-access-how-online-tools-can-promote-the-rights-of-people-with-disabilities-2/, December 12, 2012
Microsoft Invests $75 Million to Expand Digital Education in Africa
Last week, Microsoft announced a new investment of $250 million in its Partners In Learning Project to equip teachers with the skills to teach IT and other technology-related subjects worldwide. Now the company has announced another investment, this time of up to $75 million, aimed at increasing digital access to educational materials throughout Africa.
From http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/03/microsoft-invests-75-million-to-expand-digital-education-in-africa/, December 12, 2012