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N.J. seeks a way to recover its innovation sector

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APRIL 19, 2015    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2015, 10:24 AM

BY HUGH R. MORLEY
STAFF WRITER |
THE RECORD

What can New Jersey — once the home of storied inventors like Thomas Edison and the Bell and Sarnoff labs — do to get its innovation mojo back?

That question held center stage at a forum of business and civic leaders in Newark last week that outlined a way to jump-start New Jersey’s struggling economy by tapping into the traits that once made the state a thriving, innovation powerhouse.

The success of Bell Labs, created in 1925 with a staff of 4,000 scientists and engineers, has become a symbol of New Jersey’s former stellar, and now greatly diminished, technological prowess.

The laboratory’s string of groundbreaking discoveries, ranging from laser spectroscopy, cosmic microwave background radiation, the first orbiting communications satellite (Telstar), a solar battery cell and the UNIX operating system that transformed the Internet, garnered eight Nobel prizes and 32,000 patents — a daunting legacy that hangs over the state’s efforts to restore its reputation as a high-tech center.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/how-we-get-back-to-state-of-innovation-1.1312422

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Technology : Humanoid like Robot

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Aye, robot? Amazingly lifelike humanoid that can react to facial expressions, engage in conversation and even make eye contact

Robot has been drawing crowds at Hong Kong electronics event this week
It can recognise and respond to human facial expressions in natural way
Known as Ham, the head was designed by US firm Hanson Robotics   
Made using soft-bodied mechanical engineering and nanotechnology

By JACK CRONE FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 12:14 EST, 18 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:55 EST, 18 April 2015

With his lively eyebrows, winkled cheeks and eyes that follow you around the room – this state-of-the-art robotic head is menacingly lifelike.

The humanoid, known as Ham, has been drawing in crowds with his incredible range of facial expressions at an electronics event in Hong Kong this week.

The head, designed by American robotics designer David Hanson, is able to answer basic questions and can also be used in the simulation of medical scenarios.

Ham is currently on exhibit at the Global Sources spring electronics show at AsiaWorld Expo – the largest event of its kind in the world, with more than 4,000 booths displaying the latest gadgets.

The head is created with malleable material called Frubber using soft-bodied mechanical engineering and nanotechnology.

It contains realistic pores that measure just 4 to 40 nanometers across (there are 10million nanometers in one centimetre).

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3044955/Aye-robot-Amazingly-lifelike-humanoid-incredible-range-facial-expressions.html#ixzz3XkpziQXV

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Nearly one-quarter of America’s teenagers are almost always online

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By Julian Hattem – 04/09/15 09:44 AM EDT

About one-quarter of the nation’s teenagers are online “almost constantly,” according to a new Pew Research Center study.

The study of Americans aged 13-17 found that 92 percent of teenagers go on the Internet every day, and 24 percent say they are “almost constantly” on the Internet, in a sign of just how central the Web is becoming for young people’s lives. More than half the nation’s teenagers — 56 percent — go online several times a day.

“Much of this frenzy of access is facilitated by mobile phones — particularly smartphones,” noted study author Amanda Lenhart.

About 73 percent of teenagers own or have access to a smartphone, the Pew survey found, while African-American teenagers were the most likely to own one.

Of those that use a mobile device to go online, 94 percent go on the Internet at least once a day.

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/238304-nearly-one-quarter-of-americas-teenagers-are-almost-always-online

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Tesla boosts range, power and price of low-end Model S

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APRIL 9, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2015, 1:21 AM

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS |
WIRE SERVICE

* Electric car maker’s CEO says new all-wheel drive model is aimed at luring BMW and Mercedes buyers

DETROIT — Electric car maker Tesla Motors is going after mainstream luxury car buyers by adding all-wheel drive and more range and power to the base version of its only model.

But the added features at the low end of the Model S lineup will come with about a 7 percent price increase, to $75,000 for those buying the cars. The base lease price will rise to $838 per month from $796 for 12,000 miles per year.

Tesla will stop selling the old base Model S called the 60. The $70,000 rear-drive car with a 380-horsepower motor could go 208 miles on a single charge and from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

The new all-wheel drive model, called the 70D, can go a government-certified 240 miles per charge, has 514 horsepower and can go from zero to 60 in 5.2 seconds. Buyers also get free access to Tesla’s network of quick-charging stations and some other standard features.

CEO Elon Musk says with a $7,500 federal tax credit that takes the price to $67,500, plus tax credits in some states, the new version is price-competitive with BMW’s midsize 5-Series, or the Mercedes E-Class when you add in savings from not buying gasoline. BMW’s 5 Series starts around $50,000, while the E-Class starts at close to $52,000.

He said Tesla, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., needed all-wheel drive to appeal to luxury buyers, especially in colder climates such as the Northeast, where most luxury cars are sold. About 58 percent of the luxury car market in the U.S. is all-wheel drive, according to Kelley Blue Book.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/tesla-boosts-range-power-and-price-1.1305411

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Facebook accused of tracking all users even if they delete accounts, ask never to be followed

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ANDREW GRIFFIN
Tuesday 31 March 2015

A new report claims that Facebook secretly installs tracking cookies on users’ computers, allowing them to follow users around the internet even after they’ve left the website, deleted their account and requested to be no longer followed.

Academic researchers said that the report showed that the company was breaking European law with its tracking policies. The law requires that users are told if their computers are receiving cookies except for specific circumstances.

Facebook’s tracking — which it does so that it can tailor advertising — involves putting cookies or small pieces of software on users’ computers, so that they can then be followed around the internet. Such technology is used by almost every website, but European law requires that users are told if they are being given cookies or being tracked. Companies don’t have to tell users if the cookies are required to connect to a service or if they are needed to give the user information that they have specifically requested.

But Facebook’s tracking policy allows it to track users if they have simply been to a page on the company’s domain, even if they weren’t logged in. That includes pages for brands or events, which users can see whether or not they have an account.

Facebook disputes the accusations of the report, it told The Independent.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/facebook-accused-of-tracking-all-users-even-if-they-delete-accounts-ask-never-to-be-followed-10146631.html

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Ridgewood Superintendent’s Column: On digital citizenship

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Ridgewood Superintendent’s Column: On digital citizenship

MARCH 27, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2015, 12:31 AM
BY DANIEL FISHBEIN
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

Years ago I ran in a local road race that had a very strange outcome.
…………..

Now you are probably wondering why is this guy telling this story? Well, it’s because I innocently signed up for this race as did a few hundred others and found that the organizers of the race gave away or sold that list. We do this same thing all the time when we hit the “Agree” button to get information off the Internet.

We hardly give it a thought when we electronically sign up, email, tweet, use Facebook, post on Instagram and blog as part of our everyday existence. Our lives have improved in many ways with the fast, easy, convenient and mostly free access to information at our online fingertips, whether we are researching directions, restaurant reviews or places to stay, ordering our clothing and books, or keeping track of our bank accounts, our photo albums, our documents.

Such convenience makes it easy to forget that when we log on, we also agree, yes, agree, to hand over access to all types of personal information about ourselves in exchange for that instant line of communication. Our privacy and personally identifiable information is easily shared, as we know from the personalized ads that appear on the sites we search. And yet, we get upset and outraged when the obvious happens, when a breach occurs and our files are hacked, or a company is called out as a spy on an individual.

Just this month, a student in another New Jersey district tweeted out some PARCC testing information. Pearson, the company that developed the assessment, followed its protocol to contact state officials, who then called to inform those school district administrators of a testing breach.

Many people were upset at this chain of events … and so was I … at first. Then I thought about Daniella. Sixteen years ago I had essentially “tweeted” out my personal information when I agreed to run that race, never thinking of the consequences. I did what we have all done dozens, maybe hundreds, of times when we readily fill out an electronic form, order over the phone, search for our next vacation and the like.

We know now that when we order from our favorite online vendor, they remember us. They know how our waist sizes have expanded or shrunk from the last time we ordered, our color preferences, the types of movies we like to watch.

As we move forward, others will know more and more about us because we have either given them this information directly, or granted them permission to access our files. We must hope that they use our personal information ethically, at least that is my expectation, but we must also make every effort to scrutinize to whom we give out our data so that it does not come back to haunt us. We must teach our children the same and pray every night that they’ve listened.

Taking responsibility for technology-based information, and having this conversation with our children, too, is called good digital citizenship. The Ridgewood Public Schools guards our data and only shares with state and federal officials the information that is required by law. We make every effort to teach our students about good digital citizenship and with the beginning next school year, we will teach it more formally through a Digital Citizenship Curriculum, from kindergarten through Grade 12.

As always, please feel free to contact me with your questions or concerns.

Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D., is Superintendent of the Ridgewood Public Schools. Dr. Fishbein can be reached at 201-670-2700, ext. 10530, or via e-mail at dfishbein@ridgewood.k12.nj.us. For more information on the Ridgewood Public Schools visit the district website at www.ridgewood.k12.nj.us or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RidgewoodPublicSchools.

http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-guest-writers/on-digital-citizenship-1.1296988

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How Google Skewed Search Results

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How Google Skewed Search Results

FTC staff report details how Google favored its own shopping, travel services over rivals

By Rolfe Winkler And
Brody Mullins
Updated March 19, 2015 7:25 p.m. ET

A previously undisclosed report by staffers at the Federal Trade Commission reveals new details about how Google Inc. manipulated search results to favor its own services over rivals’, even when they weren’t most relevant for users.

In a lengthy investigation, staffers in the FTC’s bureau of competition found evidence that Google boosted its own services for shopping, travel and local businesses by altering its ranking criteria and “scraping” content from other sites. It also deliberately demoted rivals.

For example, the FTC staff noted that Google presented results from its flight-search tool ahead of other travel sites, even though Google offered fewer flight options. Google’s shopping results were ranked above rival comparison-shopping engines, even though users didn’t click on them at the same rate, the staff found. Many of the ways Google boosted its own results have not been previously disclosed.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-google-skewed-search-results-1426793553

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FCC chief prepares to overrule state Web laws

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FCC chief prepares to overrule state Web laws

The head of the Federal Communications Commissionis urging his fellow commissioners to block state laws that would prevent cities and towns from building out their own government-run Internet services.

Chairman Tom Wheeler this week will circulate a draft decision to nullify laws in Tennessee and North Carolina, after receiving a request from towns in each of those states.

Cities across the country “should be able to make their own decisions about building the networks they need to thrive,” Wheeler said in a statement on Monday.

“After looking carefully at petitions by two community broadband providers asking the FCC to preempt provisions of state laws preventing expansion of their very successful networks, I recommend approval by the commission so that these two forward-thinking cities can serve the many citizens clamoring for a better broadband future.”

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/231422-fcc-will-move-to-block-state-laws

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NJ TRANSIT ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF MOBILE TICKETING TO BUS ROUTES BETWEEN NJ AND NYC

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NJ TRANSIT ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF MOBILE TICKETING TO BUS ROUTES BETWEEN NJ AND NYC

Convenient, Easy Monthly Pass Purchases Available through MyTix App on Interstate Bus Routes

January 28, 2015

NEWARK, NJ — As part of an ongoing effort to improve the overall customer experience, NJ TRANSIT today announced the expansion of its MyTixmobile ticketing app to interstate routes between New Jersey and New York City.  Currently available on all rail lines and most South Jersey bus routes, beginning January 28 MyTix  will enable bus customers on routes serving Port Authority Bus Terminal, Lower Manhattan and George Washington Bridge to purchase and display monthly interstate bus passes on their mobile devices.

“Following the successful rollout of this technology to our South Jersey bus customers last fall, we have been working to bring the MyTix app to bus customers riding between New Jersey and New York City as well, to make traveling on the NJ TRANSIT system even more convenient for them,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jamie Fox.

The next phase of the rollout will include monthly passes via MyTix for intrastate (local) bus customers.

“With bus riders being our largest customer base, it’s critical that we roll this out gradually to ensure the technology keeps up with the demand, and we resolve any issues before taking the next step,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim.  “This expansion of the mobile ticketing app is another step toward giving all of our bus customers the ability to treat their smart phones as both a ticket vending machine and monthly bus pass all in one.”

MyTix is available for free download on any web-enabled iOS or Android device, via the App Store or Google Play.  To purchase monthly bus passes via MyTix, customers must first install the app and then create an account, which will securely save customers’ profile information and purchase history for ease of use.  Bus monthly passes self-activate at midnight on the first day of the calendar month for which they are valid and remain active throughout the entire month.  Customers then simply display the monthly pass on their mobile device to the bus operator when boarding the bus.

NJ TRANSIT first introduced MyTix in April 2013 as a pilot program for rail customers on the Pascack Valley Line, as well as between Penn Station New York and the Meadowlands Rail Station for special events, to test the functionality of the app and determine the feasibility of expanding it to other rail lines.  In September 2013, NJ TRANSIT expanded MyTix to the Main/Bergen County and Port Jervis lines, followed in October by the Montclair-Boonton and Morris & Essex lines, and in November to the North Jersey Coast and Raritan Valley lines.  The rail systemwide rollout was completed in December 2013 with the inclusion of the Northeast Corridor and Atlantic City Rail Line.  In September 2014, MyTix was first introduced to bus customers in South Jersey on 59 bus routes, serving communities throughout South Jersey, as well as Philadelphia.

Many improvements made to the agency’s MyTix app were the direct result of valuable feedback from customers using the app during the gradual rollout.

Since its 2013 introduction, MyTix has already become very popular among NJ TRANSIT customers.  To date, customers have established nearly 400,000 accounts through MyTix and purchased over 3.7 million tickets.

For more information on MyTix, visit njtransit.com and go to “Ticket Options,” then click on “MyTix” from the drop-down menu.

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