#363 May 27, 2014 – A New Era for Medicine

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This week’s headline story: A New Era for Medicine

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 9.26.33 AMResearch at Stanford has resulted in a new method for wirelessly charging devices deep inside the body. The technique can be used to power tiny electronic medical gadgets such as pacemakers, nerve stimulators or new sensors and devices yet to be developed. Such devices are typically used only when no other treatment is available due to bulky batteries and clumsy recharging systems that cause major inconvenience. Stanford professor Ada Poon’s new technique will make it possible to vastly reduce the size of implanted devices, and eliminate the need to remove or access device wires for charging. Its believed that this breakthrough in wireless technology will provide a path toward a new type of medicine that allows physicians to treat diseases with electronics rather than drugs. Poon’s team built an electronic device smaller than a grain of rice that acts as a pacemaker. It can be powered or recharged wirelessly by holding a power source about the size of a credit card above the device, outside the body.

Stanford engineer invents safe way to transfer energy to medical chips in the body [Stanford News]

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • Spill Your Guts: Bill Aims To Protect Online Reviewers [NewsFactor]
    A new bill working its way through the California legislature would provide some new legal protection for consumers who offer online opinions or comments about businesses, products, and services. Bill AB 2365 proposed by Assembly Speaker Emeritus John A. Perezmake would make it illegal for retailers to require customers to agree not to complain publicly, such as in online reviews on sites like Yelp, about their purchases.
  • Silicon Valley to Get a Cellular Network, Just for Things [TechnologyReview]
    The French company SigFox is installing a new cellular network in the San Fransisco Bay Area. This special network isn’t designed for human communication, its designed for machine communication on the Internet of Things. It’s intended to make it cheap and practical to link anything to the Internet, from smoke detectors to dog collars, bicycle locks, and water pipes. Regular mobile networks are jammed with traffic from phone calls and people downloading videos. But for the Internet of things to become a reality, similar capabilities will need to be extended to billions of objects, many of them embedded in the environment and powered by small batteries. “If you want to get to billions of connections like that, you require a completely new type of network,” says Luke D’Arcy, director of SigFox’s operations in the U.S. The company chose the Bay Area as a testbed for its new type of network.

and in Information Security news this week..

and in Tech Industry news…

  • China’s Baidu Scores Artificial-Intelligence Coup [NewsFactor]
    Google is planning on extending its reach more deeply around the world. The company is amassing cash overseas to help finance a foreign shopping spree that could cost the Internet company up to $30 billion. Google admitted that $20 to $30 billion is earmarked for the acquisition of foreign companies and technology rights held outside the U.S. Besides buying foreign companies, Google also may spend about $4 billion buying offices and data centers outside the U.S.. Meanwhile, China’s Internet search giant Baidu pulled off a major coup last week, when it hired former Google and longtime Stanford researcher Andrew Ng as chief scientist to run its artificial intelligence research labs in Sunnyvale and Beijing. As Google and Baidu expand further into global markets, the two companies are likely to become contentious rivals.
  • The Top Brand Is, Well, Just Google It; Apple Falls to No. 2 [NewsFactor]
    What is the world’s most valuable brand? If you said Apple, you would have been right until recently. According to a brand research firm, the world’s most valuable brand is now Google. The Top 10 brands are Google, Apple and IBM, followed by Microsoft, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Visa, AT&T, Marlboro and Amazon
  • Surface Pro: No More Need for Laptops, Microsoft Says [NewsFactor]
    Microsoft is taking orders for the soon-to-be-released Surface Pro 3. Microsoft bills its new Surface tablet computer as a laptop replacement with a 12 inch display and lighter, thinner design. The company said it customized more than 100 parts and worked closely with chipmaker Intel Corp. to maximize performance in a slim device.

and finally…

  • With Another Sales Drop, HP Cuts Up to 16,000 More Jobs [NewsFactor]
    Hewlett-Packard is again cutting jobs. On Thursday, the company announced it would be eliminating 11,000 to 16,000 jobs — on top of earlier plans to cut 34,000 positions. Like Dell and other PC giants, HP is suffering from the market’s migration from desktop to mobile computing.

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