A research team using Google Cloud to analyze the last 12 years of satellite imagery has uncovered “unprecedented detail” in forest loss and gain around the world.
Using Landsat coverage, they found 888,000 square miles of forest were lost globally, while 309,000 square miles regrew from 2000 to 2012.
They also uncovered details of forest use. Thirty percent of forests in the Southeastern U.S., for example, was regrown or clearcut, an amazingly high rate of exploitation. “Trees are as crops here,” said Matthew Hansen, whose University of Maryland team led the study. “You might want to rethink your definition of forest because it’s a different thing—it’s not really natural.”
(Southern U.S. forests show signs that trees are cyclically planted and harvested like crops.)
Meet ATLAS, one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built. The 6-foot-2-inch, 330-pound machine, developed by Boston Dynamics, is the testbed for seven teams that are competing in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge.
The challenge’s goal is “to generate groundbreaking research and development so that future robotics can perform the most hazardous activities in future disaster response operations, in tandem with their human counterparts, in order to reduce casualties, avoid further destruction, and save lives,” according to the website.
Click through to see a video of ATLAS in action and another featuring the amazing skills of a Japanese robot, Horizontal Bar Gymnast Robot NO.16…
This is a short film focusing on computer science professor and inventor Ge Wang, the founding director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra. He is an assistant professor in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and cofounder of musical app maker Smule.
Ge combines computer science and music to compose and perform “via various electro-acoustic and computer-mediated means.” He also uses his skills to develop apps that allow people all over the world to make music and sing even if they are not musicians. Among his successes is the iPhone app Ocarina, which uses touch points on the phone’s screen and its microphone to create a digital wind instrument. His company has also developed guitar and piano apps.
Video courtesy Focus Forward Films.
Top Image: Professor and inventor Ge Wang plays his highly successful iPhone Ocarina app. Courtesy Ge Wang.
Imagine, with the wave of a hand, adjusting the thermostat without getting out of bed, or turning up the music in the other room while in the shower. WiSee, a new gesture-recognition system, aims to harness the ever-present wireless Internet signals blanketing people’s homes to allow remote control of all their electronics. Since walls pose no obstacle for WiFi’s radio waves to traverse, such a system could work throughout the entire house, even if users are several rooms removed from the appliance they’re controlling.
“This is something people have been thinking about for some time,” says Shyamnath Gollakota, a University of Washington computer scientist. “But we asked: Can we scale it to much larger spaces, say in the whole home or building?”