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ZDNet Health IT Roundup: IBM builds a brain chip

IBM Is at work trying to build a chip inspired by the human brain. It's not science fiction, although in a world where Big Brother is either the NSA or Facebook (or Google or Amazon), having a Brainiac computer might be a little worrisome. Read on for that and some other health, cloud, and big data news from around ZDNet

August 11, 2013 by

Blockbuster to bring movies to Motorola phones in the future

As a daily train commuter and a person who travels on airplanes about once a month I do enjoy occasionally watching movies on my mobile phones. The iPhone is great for iTunes rental or purchases, while the Nokia N97 and Nokia 5800 are excellent Amazon Video On Demand devices. According to the Chicago Tribune Blockbuster made a deal with Motorola to bring an OnDemand movie application and service to future Motorola handsets. There are no details yet on when the service will launch or on what phones, but we do know that Motorola plans to release Google Android devices later this year or in early 2010 so the service may launch at that time.

August 18, 2009 by

Cell phones tracking nightlife activity

A Columbia University computer science professor has co-founded a New York-based company named Sense Networks to sell tracking software to other companies. It is also distributing a free version of this software named Citysense, which shows on your cell phone where the wild things are happening in your own town. Citysense 'uses advanced machine learning techniques to number crunch vast amounts of data emanating from thousands of cell-phones, GPS-equipped cabs and other data devices to paint live pictures of where people are gathering.' Citysense is available today in San Francisco before being soon deployed in Chicago and five other U.S. cities. But read more...

June 29, 2008 by

The Holy Grid cometh

Ian Foster is one of rock stars (if there is such a thing) of grid computing. For the last decade, Foster-- Associate Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory and the Arthur Holly Compton Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago--and his cohorts have been working on a set of software services and libraries to develop open-standard grid infrastructure and applications.

January 23, 2005 by

Amazon tests mail-order catalog listings

Amazon.com is testing a feature that would allow mail-order catalog companies to display their products on the e-tailer's site. The service, which Amazon began testing last week, allows catalog companies to post electronic versions of their print catalogs on Amazon, said Carrie Peters, a company spokeswoman. Customers can peruse the catalogs at Amazon. But to order goods, they must call the catalogs' phone numbers, which Amazon is posting. Featured catalogs include home furnishings retailer French Country Living and jewelery sellers Cartier and Tiffany & Co. Viewing the catalogs is free, and Amazon isn't charging catalog companies to display their wares while the feature is in test mode, Peters said. She declined to say whether Amazon plans to eventually charge the companies. With the new catalog service, Amazon has divided the catalogs into eight categories: Arts & Hobbies, Pet Toys, Industrial Supplies, Medial Supplies, Science Supplies, Lifestyle, Car Parts, and Home Furnishings. --Greg Sandoval, Special to ZDNet Newss

May 28, 2002 by

Expert questions crypto discovery

Encryption expert Bruce Schneier downplayed this week the importance of a University of Illinois professor's newest method of breaking the digital codes that secure information. In a paper published on his Web site, Daniel Bernstein, an associate professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, outlined a new technique for factoring numbers that promises to make breaking encryption much easier for any encryption methods that rely on factoring. However, Schneier, the chief technology officer at network-protection company Counterpane Internet Security, argued in his latest monthly Cryptogram communique that Bernstein's breakthrough relies on a redefinition of efficiency that doesn't jibe with reality and only makes a difference for extremely large code keys. The length of the keys currently used to encrypt data top out at 4,000 bits, far too short to gain any benefit from Bernstein's technique, said Schneier. --Robert Lemos, Special to ZDNet News

March 19, 2002 by

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