fastcodesign:

The World’s Coolest Prefab Houses

These houses, which can be plopped down nearly anywhere—on roofs, in deserts, on riverbanks—offer stylish alternatives to mobile homes for the contemporary nomad. Some can be built up in the course of a day, then broken down again, like giant Legos. And, as we all know by now, such homes are far more eco-friendly than resource-guzzling McMansions.

Read more>

Love.

fastcompany:

Forget The Penthouse, This Drone Has the Best Views Of NYC

Despite all the hype surrounding drones (rumors that Amazon will be unleashing a drone delivery service among them), “drones are not what they seem to people who haven’t played around with them,” Slavin says. “They’re just remote controlled quadcopters.”

Read more> 

pitchfork:

From YouTube, to Pandora, to Spotify, streaming music is piloting our listening habits in fascinating new ways that both upend old hierarchies and recall innovations of previous eras. Eric Harvey explores how these developments are affecting ideas of taste, access, and ownership today—and what this shift means for fans and artists alike—in our latest Cover Story.

pitchfork:

From YouTube, to Pandora, to Spotify, streaming music is piloting our listening habits in fascinating new ways that both upend old hierarchies and recall innovations of previous eras. Eric Harvey explores how these developments are affecting ideas of taste, access, and ownership today—and what this shift means for fans and artists alike—in our latest Cover Story.

txchnologist:

3-D Interactive Display Uses Fog As Screens

Engineers have built an interactive display using a tabletop system and mounted personal screens made of fog. Projectors light the fog for each user and a camera system monitors movements, allowing each person at the table to manipulate and share three-dimensional data.

A team at the University of Bristol in the UK say their device, called MisTable, is see-through and reach-through. Both fog screens and the table display can be manipulated by users.

"The personal screen provides direct line of sight and access to the different interaction spaces," said Sriram Subramanian, a professor of human-computer interaction. "Users can be aware of each other’s actions and can easily switch between interacting with the personal screen to the tabletop surface or the interaction section. This allows users to break in or out of shared tasks and switch between individual and group work."

Compare this to the Displair, by Russian inventor Maxim Kamanin. See the MisTable video below.

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(via emergentfutures)

fastcompany:

This Solar-Powered Plane Can Now Fly Around The World With No Fuel
"Let’s be innovative and free ourselves from the old habits and beliefs that prevent us from inventing a better future."
More> Co.Exist

fastcompany:

This Solar-Powered Plane Can Now Fly Around The World With No Fuel

"Let’s be innovative and free ourselves from the old habits and beliefs that prevent us from inventing a better future."

More> Co.Exist

neurosciencestuff:

Neuroscientists Find Brain Activity May Mark the Beginning of Memories
By tracking brain activity when an animal stops to look around its environment, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University believe they can mark the birth of a memory.
Using lab rats on a circular track, James Knierim, professor of neuroscience in the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins, and a team of brain scientists, noticed that the rats frequently paused to inspect their environment with head movements as they ran. The scientists found that this behavior activated a place cell in their brain, which helps the animal construct a cognitive map, a pattern of activity in the brain that reflects the animal’s internal representation of its environment.
In a paper recently published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the researchers state that when the rodents passed that same area of the track seconds later, place cells fired again, a neural acknowledgement that the moment has imprinted itself in the brain’s cognitive map in the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is the brain’s warehouse for long- and short-term processing of episodic memories, such as memories of a specific experience like a trip to Maine or a recent dinner. What no one knew was what happens in the hippocampus the moment an experience imprints itself as a memory.
“This is like seeing the brain form memory traces in real time,” said Knierim, senior author of the research. “Seeing for the first time the brain creating a spatial firing field tied to a specific behavioral experience suggests that the map can be updated rapidly and robustly to lay down a memory of that experience.”
A place cell is a type of neuron within the hippocampus that becomes active when an animal or human enters a particular place in its environment. The activation of the cells help create a spatial framework much like a map, that allows humans and animals to know where they are in any given location. Place cells can also act like neural flags that “mark” an experience on the map, like a pin that you drop on Google maps to mark the location of a restaurant.
“We believe that the spatial coordinates of the map are delivered to the hippocampus by one brain pathway, and the information about the things that populate the map, like the restaurant, are delivered by a separate pathway,” said Knierim. “When you experience a new item in the environment, the hippocampus combines these inputs to create a new spatial marker of that experience.”
In the experiments, researchers placed tiny wires in the brains of the rats to monitor when and where brain activity increased as they moved along the track in search of chocolate rewards. About every seven seconds, the rats stopped moving forward and turned their heads to the perimeter of the room as they investigated the different landmarks, a behavior called “head-scanning.”
“We found that many cells that were previously silent would suddenly start firing during a specific head-scanning event,” said Knierim. “On the very next lap around the track, many of these cells had a brand new place field at that exact same location and this place field remained usually for the rest of the laps. We believe that this new place field marks the site of the head scan and allows the brain to form a memory of what it was that the rat experienced during the head scan.”
Knierim said the formation and stability of place fields and the newly-activated place cells requires further study. The research is primarily intended to understand how memories are formed and retrieved under normal circumstances, but it could be applicable to learning more about people with brain trauma or hippocampal damage due to aging or Alzheimer’s.
“There are strong indications that humans and rats share the same spatial mapping functions of the hippocampus, and that these maps are intimately related to how we organize and store our memories of prior life events,” said Knierim. “Since the hippocampus and surrounding brain areas are the first parts of the brain affected in Alzheimer’s, we think that these studies may lend some insight into the severe memory loss that characterizes the early stages of this disease.”
(Image: Shutterstock)

neurosciencestuff:

Neuroscientists Find Brain Activity May Mark the Beginning of Memories

By tracking brain activity when an animal stops to look around its environment, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University believe they can mark the birth of a memory.

Using lab rats on a circular track, James Knierim, professor of neuroscience in the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins, and a team of brain scientists, noticed that the rats frequently paused to inspect their environment with head movements as they ran. The scientists found that this behavior activated a place cell in their brain, which helps the animal construct a cognitive map, a pattern of activity in the brain that reflects the animal’s internal representation of its environment.

In a paper recently published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the researchers state that when the rodents passed that same area of the track seconds later, place cells fired again, a neural acknowledgement that the moment has imprinted itself in the brain’s cognitive map in the hippocampus.

The hippocampus is the brain’s warehouse for long- and short-term processing of episodic memories, such as memories of a specific experience like a trip to Maine or a recent dinner. What no one knew was what happens in the hippocampus the moment an experience imprints itself as a memory.

“This is like seeing the brain form memory traces in real time,” said Knierim, senior author of the research. “Seeing for the first time the brain creating a spatial firing field tied to a specific behavioral experience suggests that the map can be updated rapidly and robustly to lay down a memory of that experience.”

A place cell is a type of neuron within the hippocampus that becomes active when an animal or human enters a particular place in its environment. The activation of the cells help create a spatial framework much like a map, that allows humans and animals to know where they are in any given location. Place cells can also act like neural flags that “mark” an experience on the map, like a pin that you drop on Google maps to mark the location of a restaurant.

“We believe that the spatial coordinates of the map are delivered to the hippocampus by one brain pathway, and the information about the things that populate the map, like the restaurant, are delivered by a separate pathway,” said Knierim. “When you experience a new item in the environment, the hippocampus combines these inputs to create a new spatial marker of that experience.”

In the experiments, researchers placed tiny wires in the brains of the rats to monitor when and where brain activity increased as they moved along the track in search of chocolate rewards. About every seven seconds, the rats stopped moving forward and turned their heads to the perimeter of the room as they investigated the different landmarks, a behavior called “head-scanning.”

“We found that many cells that were previously silent would suddenly start firing during a specific head-scanning event,” said Knierim. “On the very next lap around the track, many of these cells had a brand new place field at that exact same location and this place field remained usually for the rest of the laps. We believe that this new place field marks the site of the head scan and allows the brain to form a memory of what it was that the rat experienced during the head scan.”

Knierim said the formation and stability of place fields and the newly-activated place cells requires further study. The research is primarily intended to understand how memories are formed and retrieved under normal circumstances, but it could be applicable to learning more about people with brain trauma or hippocampal damage due to aging or Alzheimer’s.

“There are strong indications that humans and rats share the same spatial mapping functions of the hippocampus, and that these maps are intimately related to how we organize and store our memories of prior life events,” said Knierim. “Since the hippocampus and surrounding brain areas are the first parts of the brain affected in Alzheimer’s, we think that these studies may lend some insight into the severe memory loss that characterizes the early stages of this disease.”

(Image: Shutterstock)

designersofthings:


Staples Testing In-Store 3D Printing Services
Staples announced last week that they will be piloting 3D printing services in two of its stores in New York and Los Angeles. The office supply company has made a huge push in the 3D printing space since making news in May that it would be the first major US retailer to carry 3D printers. 
Read More

designersofthings:

Staples Testing In-Store 3D Printing Services

Staples announced last week that they will be piloting 3D printing services in two of its stores in New York and Los Angeles. The office supply company has made a huge push in the 3D printing space since making news in May that it would be the first major US retailer to carry 3D printers. 

Read More

(Source: marketwatch.com)

fastcodesign:

SmartWalk brings real-time transit information into the physical world by projecting arrival times and way-finding for subways, buses, bike share and more onto public spaces.
More> Co.Design

fastcodesign:

SmartWalk brings real-time transit information into the physical world by projecting arrival times and way-finding for subways, buses, bike share and more onto public spaces.

More> Co.Design

ibmblr:

A bottle of red made with data.Finding the perfect wine used to mean going to a good wine store, discussing your future meal with a sales person and trying to remember the wine the next time you buy. Now all you have to do is go to a website, like that of Bordeaux-based fine wine merchant Millesima. With data, they can help any customer, anywhere in the world, select the right bottle, for the right meal, the right climate, time of year, you name it. Plus you don’t have to soak off the label to remember the name and vintage when you want to buy it again. Explore more stories →

ibmblr:

A bottle of red made with data.
Finding the perfect wine used to mean going to a good wine store, discussing your future meal with a sales person and trying to remember the wine the next time you buy. Now all you have to do is go to a website, like that of Bordeaux-based fine wine merchant Millesima. With data, they can help any customer, anywhere in the world, select the right bottle, for the right meal, the right climate, time of year, you name it. Plus you don’t have to soak off the label to remember the name and vintage when you want to buy it again. Explore more stories →

(via fastcompany)