High Speed video can recover acoustics

The ability to record vibrations on the surface of an object with a laser has and the ability to play those captured vibrations into intelligible sound has existed for quite some time.

The researchers at MIT have created a way to use high speed cameras and even low quality cellular phone cameras to recover audio from relatively still looking video frames without a microphone.  They can simply look at the pixel movement of the video frames to uncover the acoustics as they call it a visual microphone.

They call it the Visual Microphone.  Take a look at the project page.

The ability to repurpose the technology into spy tools and military applications like drones and high resolution satellites let alone space exploration seem obvious.  Not to mention simply recovering audio from security video from cold cases.

FBI is worried about driverless vehicles

The FBI is reportedly worried about the use of driverless vehicles for crime.

FBI fears autonomous vehicles

Some of their fears are related to gang violence with cars on autopilot while passengers perform drive-by shootings.  Another is vehicles being loaded up with explosives and set on some wild ride.  Hopefully the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would step in before these types of vehicles are allowed on the roads completely unattended.

The Guardian



Google’s Self Driving Car hits the streets

The new Google self driving car is hitting the streets and it doesn’t even have a steering wheel.

Fully autonomous driving has always been the goal of our project, because we think this could improve road safety and help lots of people who can’t drive.

We’re now developing prototypes of vehicles that have been designed from the ground up to drive themselves—just push a button and they’ll take you where you want to go! We’ll use these vehicles to test our software and learn what it will really take to bring this technology into the world.

Watch volunteers take a ride in Mountain View, California. Then read more at: http://goo.gl/qDUtgq

No word when DARPA will outfit it with guns.

We aren’t ready for an electromagnetic pulse

New research out says that we are not prepared for an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).  It is somewhat surprising to hear as the United States has been researching these EMP events for years.  We even showed you one research facility back here.

In a worst case scenario William R. Forstchen estimated in 2011 that in the first few minutes of an EMP, nearly half a million people would die.

As a result of an EMP on the electric grid, EMP’s don’t have to be an act of war like a or a nuclear missile detonating in Earth’s upper atmosphere; a powerful solar flare could upset the electric grid and leave citizens unprotected.

If you are concerned about your survival skills we suggest you catch up on these essential sci-fi movies and Television shows.

Read more at Watchdog.org

Facebook becomes Hardware maker

In the war to become Skynet’s hardware vendor of choice verses Google, Facebook has purchased Oculus and perhaps most importantly British drone maker Ascenta.

From Mark Zuckerberg:

In our effort to connect the whole world with Internet.org, we’ve been working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky.

Today, we’re sharing some details of the work Facebook’s Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone.

Our goal with Internet.org is to make affordable access to basic internet services available to every person in the world.

We’ve made good progress so far. Over the past year, our work in the Philippines and Paraguay alone has doubled the number of people using mobile data with the operators we’ve partnered with, helping 3 million new people access the internet.

We’re going to continue building these partnerships, but connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology too. That’s what our Connectivity Lab focuses on, and there’s a lot more exciting work to do here.

Our team has many of the world’s leading experts in aerospace and communications technology, including from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center. Today we are also bringing on key members of the team from Ascenta, a small UK-based company whose founders created early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft. They will join our team working on connectivity aircraft.

You can find more details on our efforts below. We’re looking forward to working with our Internet.org partners and operators worldwide to deploy these technologies and deliver on the dream of connecting the world.