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US House votes to stop resurrection of Office of Technology Assessment

05/06, 11:30am

Bi-partisan group gave advice on technology, science developments

At the end of last week, the US House voted on a bill to restore the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), an office of the United States Congress to provide Congressional members and committees with objective and authoritative analysis of the complex scientific and technical issues. It was struck down by a majority of 248 to 164, with 78 percent of Democrats voting to reinstate the department. Republicans led the charge to defeat the proposal, with 94 percent voting to not restore the group.

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Apple job listings suggest company is beefing up camera teams

03/12, 7:07pm

May hint at more camera design coming in-house, leveraging PrimeSense tech

In an unusual move, Apple has greatly expanded its call for specialists and engineers connected to camera, lens, sensor and other aspects of digital imaging in recent job postings. The iPhone maker has added 15 want ads related to camera and digital imaging over the past two weeks, joining nine other listings posted last month. Camera technology has been a major selling point in Apple's mobile devices but is also a key part of its desktop and notebook offerings.

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Apple posts iPhone-shot movie celebrating Apple's mission [u]

02/03, 6:27pm

Not profits, not marketshare: 'to put technology in the hands of the people'

[Update: added "behind the scenes" video] It is hard to imagine anymore, but for a long time prior to the twin developments of the home computer and the modern Internet, technology that allowed creative professionals to thrive was rare, expensive and in the hands of a very few. As part of its ongoing celebration of the Mac's 30th anniversary, Apple has now posted a 90-second movie shot entirely with iPhones, spanning five continents and illustrating the reach of creative and professional technology today.

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Briefly: OfficeMax, Photoshop and Elements combo Black Friday sale

11/29, 2:58pm

Black Friday sales on tablets, laptops, desktops and more from OfficeMax

Officemax, a office supply retailer, currently has its own Black Friday sale promoting a variety of office-related products, but with a focus on technology. Tablets, laptops, desktops, monitors, printers, scanners, and portable file storage systems are included in the promotion.

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Briefly: iOS privacy app generates phone numbers, D&D for iOS debuts

10/19, 9:30am

RingMeMaybe app's disposable phone numbers ideal for dating, Craigslist

Mobile developers yourVirtualSIM has announced the release of its app RingMeMaybe, a program able to generate disposable US phone numbers for iOS devices. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, users can access unlimited numbers for anonymous communication, removing the need to publicly reveal primary phone numbers. Utilizing VoIP technology, anyone requiring temporary numbers -- such as those who may be casually dating, or buying and selling on Craigslist -- can do so for a flat rate of 99 cents per virtual number (the equivalent of '10 credits'). Each number can be generated within seconds, and remains attached to your primary number for one week, but can be extended with the addition of more credits. RingMeMaybe's VoIP feature also provides unlimited calling service for no additional fee. Users receive 20 free credits with their download, equating to two virtual phone numbers. RingMeMaybe is available from the App Store as a free download.

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Apple hires cable-industry vet for mystery project: 'something big'

10/01, 9:26pm

Jean-François Mulé now Engineering Director, hired in September

On Tuesday, cable industry veteran and technology development architect Jean-François Mulé revealed on his LinkedIn biography that he had been hired by Apple in September, and was the Engineering Director for a unnamed project, and described his role as "challenged, inspired and part of something big." The disclosure has re-fueled speculation that Apple may indeed produce a branded HDTV set of some kind, or at least be working on a serious revamping of the Apple TV set-top box.

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Apple looking to hire engineers with solar technology experience

09/13, 11:02pm

Could indicate an interest in solar power or super-thin conducive materials

Apple has posted a job listing on its website for a "thin films" engineer with experience in the solar industry to join the company's Mobile Devices group and "assist in the development and refinement of thin films technologies applicable to electronics systems." While many outlets have assumed that the listing may hint at the company's use of solar power in future products, it is also possible that Apple seeks to apply the thin-film technology used in solar panels to be applied in other areas, including display and touch technologies.

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Apple reveals details on its 'Touch ID' fingerprint technology

09/11, 7:30pm

Passcode still required as fallback, used if finger not ID'd within 48 hours

More details have emerged about Apple's Touch ID system, built into the home button of the forthcoming iPhone 5s. The company has confirmed that the devices doesn't store an actual image of the user's fingerprints, for example, and further revealed that a basic passcode is required to be set up as a fallback before users can set up one or more fingerprints that can be used to unlock the iPhone 5s or make iTunes Store purchases. The ID data, as the company said on Tuesday, remains locally-stored and encrypted.

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Job listing reveals Apple taking further interest in Liquidmetal

05/14, 9:20am

Mechanical engineer listing requires skill associated with glass alloy

A job listing from Apple describing the need for a mechanical engineer with a wide knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes -- and some specific experience in skills required for dealing with the bulk-metallic glass alloy known as Liquidmetal -- has fuelled speculation that Apple's investment in the technology may be finally bearing more fruit. The technology is already used for specialized parts such as the SIM card ejector pin in older iPhone models, but very little has been seen of it thus far.

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Google neural network technology put to use in voice systems

10/06, 10:20pm

Voice recognition first to benefit

Google will be using a neural network to work in its products. After creating software that can learn without the need for human guidance, Technology Review reports that the company will put its virtual brain "to work making Google's products smarter," with speech recognition to be the first to use it.

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Survey: Apple winning students, TV losing them

09/19, 9:30pm

Younger people getting entertainment online

A small survey interviewing 158 students across eight colleges and universities has concluded that students are spending less on technology compared to last year, and bringing their electronic arsenal with them to school -- but leaving TVs at home, in a dramatic drop from last year. Computer sales were up slightly with the student group, with Apple's share of the purchases in the last three months jumping up sharply from last year, reports Fortune.

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Researchers move forward with bio-battery technology

05/26, 8:15pm

Tech improves efficiency of microbial fuel cells

Researchers at the University of East Anglia in England have reportedly made a significant breakthrough in microbial fuel-cell technology. A team of scientists have discovered the molecular structure which allow bacteria to transfer electrical charge. The findings are said to open the door for further research that will likely improve the efficiency of the fuel cells referred to as biological batteries.

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Sony shows tiny hybrid fuel cell system prototype

05/02, 4:35pm

Sony hybrid fuel cell

Sony showed off a tiny fuel cell at the Smart Fuel Cells 2008 exhibition that ends today, which combines a fuel cell, Li-polymer battery and control circuit for the first time. In testing conducted in Japan, Sony found a 1Seg video broadcast can play for 14 hours on 10mL of methanol. Use of a refined technology using the fuel cell could significantly boost the run times of today's consumer electronics, specifically laptop and cellphone batteries.

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