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Canada demands Google, Netflix data, sets deadline

September 30, 2014 - 1:40am
Canada's broadcast regulator on Monday gave American companies Google and Netflix a three-day deadline to turn over subscriber data or have their testimony expunged from a major public hearing, media reported.

Now hear this: Simple fluid waveguide performs spectral analysis in a manner similar to the cochlea

September 29, 2014 - 11:00am
(Phys.org) —Within the mammalian inner ear, or cochlea, a remarkable but and long-debated phenomenon occurs: As they move from the base of the cochlea to its apex, traveling fluid waves – that is, surface waves, in which (like waves on the sea and or in a canal) water moves both longitudinally and transversally – peak in amplitude at locations that depend on the wave's frequency. (Higher frequencies are concentrated in the base, lower frequencies in the apex.) What's critical is that these peaks allow us to identify and separate sounds. While cochlear frequency selectivity is typically explained by local resonances, this idea has two problems: resonance-based models require excessive intracochlear mass, and moreover cannot accurately represent the cochlea's production of both phase and amplitude information. Recently, however, Prof. Marcel van der Heijden at Erasmus Medical Center, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, has rejected resonance, and in its place has designed and fabricated a novel neural data-inspired approach to producing these frequency-dependent amplitude peaks in the form of a disarmingly simple waveguide that, in a manner analogous to an optical prism, carries fluid waves and performs spectral analysis. By incorporating a longitudinal gradient, the waveguide – which consists of two parallel fluid-filled chambers connected by a narrow slit spanned by two coupled elastic beams – separates frequencies and decelerates energy transport through wave dispersion, thereby focusing the peak-creating energy. Its novelty derives from its spectral analysis functionality being based not on resonance, nor on standing waves or geometric periodicity, but on mode shape swapping – an abrupt exchange of shapes between propagating wave modes – making it a new physical effect based on well-known physics.

Researchers solves Gold Coast light rail noise issues

September 29, 2014 - 4:00am
Lessons learned through Monash University research into the reduction of wheel squeal noise of trains in Hong Kong has assisted the GoldLinQ consortium to resolve noise problems with the new Gold Coast light rail (GCLR) passenger service.

Apple won't shut down Beats Music, but it will probably revamp it

September 23, 2014 - 5:16pm

Apple denies that it will shut down Beats Music. What will Apple do with the fledgling Beats Music streaming service?

Infant cooing, babbling linked to hearing ability, researcher finds

September 23, 2014 - 4:21pm
Infant vocalizations are primarily motivated by infants' ability to hear their own babbling, research shows. Additionally, infants with profound hearing loss who received cochlear implants to help correct their hearing soon reached the vocalization levels of their hearing peers, putting them on track for language development.

Dying brain cells cue new brain cells to grow in songbird

September 23, 2014 - 4:20pm
Using a songbird as a model, scientists have described a brain pathway that replaces cells that have been lost naturally and not because of injury. If scientists can further tap into the process, it might lead to ways to encourage replacement of cells in human brains that have lost neurons naturally because of aging or Alzheimer's disease.

PlayStation TV to hit US in October

September 23, 2014 - 12:56pm
PlayStation TV home entertainment system is set to hit North America on October 14 as Sony seeks to improve its financial footing with games, films and music.

551 Feet Under the Sea: What It’s Like to Ride in a Deep-Sea Sub

September 23, 2014 - 10:43am
I heard a screwing noise as the hatch of our sub was sealed. A bright orange hose from topside that had been inserted into the sub to blow fresh air as we loaded had been removed, and the interior...

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Campfire stories may have sparked early societal learning

September 23, 2014 - 8:30am
Don't underestimate the value of sitting around a campfire, listening to stories, singing songs and letting yourself stare mesmerized into the flickering flames. These activities may have played an essential role in early societies.

Smart meters could cause conflict for housemates

September 23, 2014 - 8:15am
Arguments about whose turn it is to do the washing up, negotiating rights to the TV remote control and disputes over noise -- as many students returning to university for the new academic year are about to learn the hard way, sharing a house can be a tricky business. And now research has revealed that new technology to allow people to monitor their energy usage in the home could be about to ratchet up the tension.

Smart meters could cause conflict for housemates, study shows

September 23, 2014 - 7:55am
Arguments about whose turn it is to do the washing up, negotiating rights to the TV remote control and disputes over noise—as many students returning to university for the new academic year are about to learn the hard way, sharing a house can be a tricky business.

Dying brain cells cue new brain cells to grow in songbird

September 22, 2014 - 10:00pm
(University of Washington) Using a songbird as a model, scientists have described a brain pathway that replaces cells that have been lost naturally and not because of injury. If scientists can further tap into the process and understand how those signals work, it might lead to ways to encourage replacement of cells in human brains that have lost neurons naturally because of aging or Alzheimer's disease.

Apple counters talk it will shut Beats music service (Update)

September 22, 2014 - 2:27pm
Apple on Monday refuted talk that it plans to close the Beats streaming music service it acquired as part of a $3 billion-deal earlier this year.

Brainwave test could improve autism diagnosis, classification

September 22, 2014 - 11:05am
Measuring how fast the brain responds to sights and sounds could help in objectively classifying people on the autism spectrum and may help diagnose the condition earlier, research suggests. Statistics show that 1 in 68 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The signs and symptoms of ASD vary significantly from person to person, ranging from mild social and communication difficulties to profound cognitive impairments.

A Breakthrough in Electron Microscopy: Scientists reconstruct third dimension from a single image

September 21, 2014 - 12:50pm
Imagine that you want to find out from a single picture taken of the front of a house, what the building looks like from behind, whether it has any extensions or if the brickwork is damaged, and how many rooms are in the basement.  Sounds impossible? Not in the nanoworld. Scientists have developed a new method with which crystal structures can be reconstructed with atomic precision in all three dimensions.

How baryon acoustic oscillation reveals the expansion of the universe

September 19, 2014 - 8:00am
Imagine a stadium filled with people. With everyone is in their seats, waiting for the game to begin, there is an undercurrent of noise. A few words between friends, the scuffle of shoes, the creak of a chair. All of these little sounds fill the stadium with a background of white noise.

Ear ye, ear ye, otitis is common in dogs, and allergies are often to blame

September 19, 2014 - 6:00am
Ear inflammation, or otitis, is one of the most common medical problems that dogs experience; because there are many causes, it is important to seek veterinary care to prevent severe pain and damage to deeper structures of the ear, which may lead to dizziness and long-term hearing loss.

New biomedical implants heal bones faster, focus on personalized medicine

September 18, 2014 - 7:34pm
A major success in developing new biomedical implants with the ability to accelerate bone healing has been reported by a group of scientists, which suggests a move toward a future of personalized products. "It is very much like your taste in music and TV shows. People are different and the new trend in biotechnology is to make personalized medicine that matches the patient's needs," he says. "With regard to implants, we have the problem of variations in bone density in patients with osteoporosis and in some cases, even healthy individuals."

Americans rate losing eyesight as having greatest impact on their lives

September 18, 2014 - 8:16am
Many Americans across racial and ethnic groups describe losing eyesight as potentially having the greatest impact on their day-to-day life, more so than other conditions including: loss of limb, memory, hearing and speech, a survey shows.

Online piracy thrives in Internet cloud: study (Update)

September 18, 2014 - 7:40am
Online piracy of music, films and other content has moved to the Internet cloud, reaping big profits for digital thieves, according to a study released Thursday.