My picks from ScienceDaily


Secrets Of Stradivarius’ Unique Violin Sound Revealed, Professor Says:

For centuries, violin makers have tried and failed to reproduce the pristine sound of Stradivarius and Guarneri violins, but after 33 years of work put into the project, a Texas A&M University professor is confident the veil of mystery has now been lifted. Joseph Nagyvary, a professor emeritus of biochemistry, first theorized in 1976 that chemicals used on the instruments – not merely the wood and the construction – are responsible for the distinctive sound of these violins. His controversial theory has now received definitive experimental support through collaboration with Renald Guillemette, director of the electron microprobe laboratory in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and Clifford Spiegelman, professor of statistics, both Texas A&M faculty members. Their work has been published in the current issue of the scientific journal Public Library of Science (PloSONE).

Video Games Linked To Poor Relationships With Friends, Family:

A new study connects young adults’ use of video games to poorer relationships with friends and family – and the student co-author expresses disappointment at his own findings.

Speech Recognition: It’s Like Software Understands, Um, Language:

EU researchers have taken speech recognition to a whole new level by creating software that can understand spontaneous language. It will, like, make human-machine interaction, um, work a lot more, er, smoothly.

Image Recognition Software Breakthrough:

Image recognition is a long-standing challenge in science. But European researchers have achieved a breakthrough by developing a powerful image-recognition application with mass-market appeal. There is a bright future for the technology. An image-recognition system developed by European researchers can hyperlink reality. It’s true. The MOBVIS system can recognise individual buildings in a photo you take with your camera-phone. Then it can apply icons that hyperlink to information about the building. Simply by looking at a picture, the system knows where you are and can tell what you are looking at.

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