International researchers are reporting that they have built the first human-to-human brain-to-brain interface, allowing two humans — separated by the internet — to consciously communicate with each other, with no additional sensory cues. One researcher, attached to a brain-computer interface (BCI) in India, successfully sent words into the brain of another researcher in France, who was wearing a computer-to-brain interface (CBI). In short, the researchers have created a device that enables telepathy. In the future, rather than vocalizing speech — or vainly attempting to vocalize your emotions — your friend/lover/family member might just pluck those words and thoughts right out of your head.
Over the last few years, researchers have started to get quite good at reading your brain activity — your thoughts. Commercial brain-computer interfaces that you can plug into your computer’s USB port have been around for a good four or five years now, and in the last couple of years we’ve seen advanced BCIs that can be implanted directly into your brain. To create a brain-to-brain connection (i.e. telepathy) you also need the other side of the equation, however: You need to be able to take some data and input it into someone else’s brain — and that, as you can imagine, is proving to be a bit harder.
Now, however, a team of international researchers have cracked it. On the BCI side of things, the researchers used a fairly standard EEG (electroencephalogram) from Neuroelectrics. For the CBI, which requires a more involved setup, a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) rig was used. TMS is somewhat similar to TDCS, in that it can stimulate regions of neurons in your brain — but instead of electrical current, it uses magnetism. The important thing is that TMS is non-invasive — it can stimulate your brain (and thus cause you to think or feel a certain way) without having to actually cut into your brain and use some electrodes (see: deep brain stimulation).
This is how the brain-to-brain system works. The BCI reads the sender’s thoughts — in this case, the sender thinks about moving his or her hands or feet. Thinking about feet is equivalent to binary 0, while hands is binary 1. With a little time/effort, whole words can be encoded as a stream of ones and zeroes. These encoded words are then transmitted (via the internet or some other network) to the recipient, who is wearing a TMS. The TMS is focused on on the recipient’s visual cortex. When the TMS receives a “1″ from the sender, it stimulates a region in the visual cortex that produces a phosphene — the phenomenon whereby you see flashes of light, without light actually hitting your retina (when you rub your eyes, for example). The recipient “sees” these phosphenes at the bottom of their visual field. By decoding the flashes — phosphene flash = 1, no phosphene = 0 — the recipient can “read” the word being sent.
You would be right in thinking that this is a rather complex and long-winded way of sending messages from one brain to another — but for now, this is truly the state of the art. As you can see, this method very neatly sidesteps the fact that we really don’t know how the human brain encodes information — and so, for now, instead of importing a “native” message, we have to use our own encoding scheme (binary) and a quirk of the visual cortex. [Research paper: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105225 – "Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies”]
Still, even if it does seem a little bit like hard work, there’s no denying that this is a conscious, non-invasive brain-to-brain connection. While the recipient isn’t going anywhere fast (the TMS is bulky), it’s not hard to imagine a small, lightweight EEG that allows the sender to constantly stream thoughts back to the receiver. I’m sure we’re not more than a few years away from a setup that allows the receiver to walk around, too — at which point, assuming we make some progress in decoding the brain’s activity, you basically have a persistent brain-to-brain link that would allow you to always know what your friends/family/loved ones are thinking. You might use such a telepathy system for sending simple thoughts from a distance — I love you — or maybe it could be useful for truly getting inside someone’s head when they’re struggling to voice their emotions.
The future is going to be a fun and/or scary and/or amazing place to live in, friends.
source : extreme tech
Google’s piecemeal privacy changes now let users auto-delete their data
Google said Wednesday it’s making a handful of privacy changes for users.
In a blog post, the search giant said it’ll make it easier for users to go “incognito” and pause data collection as they use Google’s mobile apps. It’s also adding proactive account security recommendations to its Security Checkup tool.
Google also said it’ll allow its users to auto-delete their data after 18 months.
It explains: Starting today, the first time you turn on Location History — which is off by default — your auto-delete option will be set to 18 months by default. Web & App Activity auto-delete will also default to 18 months for new accounts. This means your activity data will be automatically and continuously deleted after 18 months, rather than kept until you choose to delete it. You can always turn these settings off or change your auto-delete option.
The privacy changes come months after European regulators opened an investigation into Google’s processing of location data on the continent.
Meanwhile, stateside, Google is one of many Silicon Valley tech giants also facing renewed questions about how they reconcile protecting users’ privacy while still providing their technology to law enforcement, amid protests against police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
Over a thousand of Google’s own employees have asked the company to stop selling its technology to police departments across the United States. Amazon, IBM and Microsoft have already pulled the plug on selling their facial recognition technology to police, but left a wide berth to still sell to federal law enforcement.
Google is also facing a $5 billion class action suit in California for allegedly pervasively tracking the internet use of its users through their browser’s “incognito” mode.
Pax8 and NewCloud Networks Announce New Partnership
Pax8, the best place to buy cloud solutions, today announced a new partnership with NewCloud Networks®, global provider of cloud computing services, to offer cloud storage and compute resources for Veeam® Cloud Connect Backup and Disaster Recovery.
“Pax8 is in the business of simplifying the cloud buying journey for MSPs, and this partnership with NewCloud enables our partners to seamlessly go to market with Veeam-powered backup and disaster recovery cloud solutions,” said Ryan Walsh, Chief Channel Officer at Pax8. “Together, our certified cloud experts will help partners with their cloud deployments in a cost-effective and secure way. This partnership will also save our partner community time because it eliminates the need to report monthly Veeam usage.”
NewCloud Networks is a Platinum level Veeam Cloud and Service Provider (VCSP) with data centers in nine locations across the USA. Pax8 partners can now offer their end users a cloud repository without the hassle of deploying and managing their own data centers, while seamlessly integrating NewCloud Networks’ cloud infrastructure as a backup and disaster recovery target.
Veeam Cloud Connect is a fully integrated feature of Veeam Availability Suite v10. The solution enables MSPs to offer any Veeam customer a modern approach to data protection and business continuity. NewCloud removes the complexity and offers the support MSPs need to sell and install Veeam-powered backup and disaster recovery solutions for their clients.
“We are excited to become a Pax8 vendor partner and to offer our best in breed cloud solutions, powered by Veeam Cloud Connect, to Pax8’s partner ecosystem,” said Sam V. Kumar, NewCloud Networks’ Founder & CEO. “NewCloud’s nationwide ultra-low latency network with data centers in nine locations makes it easy for partners to leverage and scale existing cloud infrastructure, rather than deploy their own. With the help of Pax8, we will expand our MSP network and enable more partners take advantage of monthly recurring revenue through cloud solutions.”
Partner benefits of the Pax8 and NewCloud partnership include:
- Unlimited storage for backup as a service for Workstations and Microsoft 365 backup
- Simplifies the Veeam licensing and eliminates the need for partners to report monthly Veeam usage or commit
- Support for both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere virtual environments
- SLA backed Disaster Recovery to help partners meet their end client RPO and RTO needs
- Fully integrated to the Veeam Availability console for simplified management
- Offers simplified management of backup environment
- SOC 2 and HIPAA compliant
- No ingress or egress bandwidth fees
- 24/7 support
3D at Depth Launches Remote Sensing and Remote Data Control Technology
3D at Depth Inc., the world’s leading expert in subsea laser (SL) LIDAR technology, survey support services, and 3D data solutions recently launched a remote sensing and remoted data control solution to help operators provide a safe, more efficient environment to their operations while increasing their near real-time 3D data intelligence. The remote sensing and remote data control technology is built around expanded capabilities originally embedded in 3D at Depth’s proven subsea LiDAR technology when the company first commercialized in 2014. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent downturn in the industry, and the race to advance autonomy into offshore oil and gas operations, 3D at Depth quickly phased in the technology as part of their current standard services.
In order to support the decision-making process across production and exploration, the technology development required design considerations from pre-project planning to data processing and control. The goal was to provide near real-time 3D data to help operators make a more informed quality decision to help balance the benefits and costs associated with subsea assets. With this approach, 3D at Depth developed software simulators that can be installed on the vessel prior to the start of any project to simulate a remote scan or metrology. An additional feature provides flexibility for those vessels with low bandwidth communications to shore. 3D at Depth’s Compressed Remote Command and Control solution enables full control with bandwidths of just 6kb/second, allowing data to be collected offshore and stored on the sensor or a topside computer. The near real-time data quality control is achieved using an improved and trusted enhancement of the RIAAT format and newly named, Compressed Range Intensity Angle Angle Time (cRIAAT). This improved feature enables moving a scan location with bandwidths of 256kb/second less than the collection time. This flexibility allows an onshore operator to receive data and start processing with little or no delays to the offshore operation. This approach can be utilized on many offshore applications including leak detection, static field scans, and metrologies.
The flexibility of third-party system incorporation, such as offshore connectivity allows for varying vessel specifications of ship-to-shore communications capabilities. The short base system is capable of running over a normal 4G network without delays. This allows a 3D at Depth Subsea LiDAR Specialist to collect from a customer’s worksite/location or from one of 3D at Depth’s global office locations. This is especially important during extreme weather events onshore or with complex secure locations where external or outside companies have restrictions on connecting to the client network.
A key added value of 3D at Depth’s remote sensing and remote data control solution is the ability to collect offshore, then process and release onshore. The fast turnaround and shore-based Quality Control leverage the company’s resources and expertise across global time zones. From Houston, Texas, to Perth, Australia, and with our centrally located United Kingdom office, 3D at Depth delivers true global remote collection 24/7 without the extended working hours in any one office location.
“With 3D at Depth’s successful track record in applications such as asset inspection and integrity, leak detection and metrologies, and subsidence; our partners supported the idea of integrating remote sensing and remote data control into their projects,” stated Neil Manning, Chief Operational Officer at 3D at Depth. “Customers see real value in applications focused around seabed stabilization issues and offshore production expansion such as in brown or greenfield developments where touch-less metrologies are required. With positive early-stage results, we quickly realized this should be incorporated into our standard service package. The innovation started with the resident vehicle solution where in 2019 the company demonstrated this capability.”
3D at Depth’s remote sensing and remote data control solution also helps to reduce the risk of crewing offshore while providing additional benefits for today’s global restrictions on compliance requirements.