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Pros and Cons of Drones

posted Jun 14, 2018, 2:17 PM by Alessia Fucentese ‎(2020)‎

Alessia Fucentese


Pros and Cons of Drones


https://www.dronesetc.com/blogs/news/the-pros-and-cons-of-aerial-drones


The Pros


Drones Have a Chance to Create Development


Aerial drones have a chance to create development in areas such as “Weather forecasting, maritime monitoring, search and rescue operations, oil and gas exploration, agriculture, telecommunication, and other human endeavors stand to gain a lot with the incorporation of UAS” (Dronesetc). Drones can provide a great overhead view. This is great for rescue operations and weather prediction due to the fact that they can cover a lot of land, and help people see things they coulden’t normally.   


Efficiency and Cost Management


Drones have the potential to save money, because they are cheaper to use in some industries.  “Compared to manned operations, unmanned vehicles save more money, and are energy-efficient. Imagine paying workers to spray crops on a large field or using trucks and planes that burn fossil fuels to deliver packages. Some aerial vehicles are already doing this excellently, but there is room for more exploits (Dronesetc).”  However in other industries they will cost more to make than to actually give back. This is because drone parts are very expenive, and in some industries the expensives won’t be worth it.


Safety of human lives


Drones have the potential to take on dangerous jobs so people don’t have to.  “ Flying machines hold many prospects in unmanned cargo handling, scientific research in hard-to-reach areas, coordinated security operations, inspections in difficult or dangerous scenarios, surveillance, and may other areas. Use of drone technology could open up more threats to human safety, but regulations and good management will alleviate the risks (Dronesetc).”  The drones can land on people, crash into things etc. but, regulation will prevent this from happening too often.  


The Cons


Possible Abuse


This is people's biggest concern when it comes to drones, because there are people and companies out there who can abuse technology.  “Drones are known to be used by the military for law enforcement operations, so many people are wary that the technology is vulnerable. Debates regarding gun control, wars, and foreign policies abound, so many fear the repercussions of abuse of the privileges. Drones have cameras, and with them being more accessible, owners could abuse it in violating the privacy of others (Dronesetc).”

Legal Concerns  


Laws regarding drones are still undeveloped since drones are new technology.  There have been a few cases of drones being used to spy on civilians for example.  


Public Perception


Drones are hugely controversial in the eyes of the public.  Especially because A flying machine crashed on the White House lawn, and some were seen flying over Paris.  The public is suspicious of drones and believe they could cause more harm than good.


Conclusion


It is clear that drones have more benefits than problems.  However, this new technology needs more research and development before they can reach their maximum potential, and there needs to be more public education.


Augmented Reality

posted Jun 12, 2018, 5:40 AM by Cooper C O'Mara ‎(2020)‎

Augmented reality is a computer generated image that brings it into view in the real world. It can be a picture of a cell, a dinosaur, a vehicle, etc. Augmented reality add’s graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists. Both video games and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality. Everyone from tourists, to soldiers, to someone looking for the closest subway stop can now benefit from the ability to place computer-generated graphics in their field of vision. You can use an ar headset to look closer at an image to get the full details of what it is and what it looks like by walking closer to it. It will show a 3D image that you can look at via google expeditions. The image below is a 3D image volcano made with google expeditions. This app can help bring your 3D image real and even sometimes move. This is a good app to use if your trying to make a 3D image come to life.

https://computer.howstuffworks.com/augmented-reality.htmImage result for augmented reality google expeditions


Fortnite Season 4

posted Jun 12, 2018, 5:31 AM by Cooper C O'Mara ‎(2020)‎

Fortnite season 4 has just come out today with new skins, emotes, items, the destruction of Dusty Depot, a new battle pass, and new places to explore. The game has just gotten even more exciting with the superhero season now out. Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite say that “Season 4 is starting off with a BANG. Shards of a massive comet have crashed into the map altering the landscape. Discover gravity-defying Hop Rocks and find new ways to play. Jump in and witness the aftermath of the impact while you level up your Battle Pass and earn all new loot.” Epic Games says that more emotes and skins will be coming out every couple of months. Fortnite comes out with a new season because people get tired of the old season after completing the challenges. They release new things so people can jump back into the game and play. The new Thanos game mode is based off of the new movie avengers infinity war where one person gets the thanos gauntlet and try to eliminate as many players as they can to win the game. I believe the new season has improved as new things come out every week.Image result for fortnite season 4


Xbox Game Pass

posted Jun 12, 2018, 5:28 AM by Cooper C O'Mara ‎(2020)‎

Xbox Game Pass is a paid subscription where you can get games for free on your xbox. It can also give you a game that is on sale for which you can purchase for a lower price than how much it usually costs. You can play with your friends and share games if they don’t have it. You can also purchase games that have not been released for xbox one on the xbox 360 dashboard. New games will come out almost every month. At least 196 games have been released for xbox game pass. Game pass costs 10 dollars a month to get access to free games. But it is definitely a good choice if you want to get your hands on a game to play with friends. All you have to do is go into the app on the Xbox and to purchase a certain game or the Game Pass.


https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-06-01-xbox-game-pass-games-list-priceImage result for xbox game pass


Artificial Intelligence in Non Profit Organizations

posted Jun 11, 2018, 8:16 AM by Alessia Fucentese ‎(2020)‎

Alessia Fucentese


Artificial Intelligence in Non Profit Organizations


There has been much controversy over artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML) over the years.  It is a relatively new thing and is already changing the world. Despite the many worries there are about it, it can be used for good as well.  Recently, people are finding ways to incorporate AI into non-profit organizations. Here are a few ways it can help:


Finance  


Fraud and other financial corruption are a huge problem for any organization, lucky there is now an AI program to fix this problem.  According to the the Brookings InstitutionAI tools can help managers automatically detect actions that warrant additional investigation. Businesses long have used AI and ML to create early warning systems, spot abnormalities, and thereby minimize financial misconduct.[1]”  AI can help nonprofits combat hard to spot fraud.  For example the Somerville non-profit has has some issues with fraud. “The whole thing has been a nightmare,” said Mark Alston-Follansbee, executive director of the Somerville nonprofit, which provides food, shelter, and other assistance to about 2,000 people annually. “The money he stole from us could have prevented 100 families from going homeless. (Bostonglobe)   


Human Resources


Once employers know what they are looking for they can use artificial intelligence to find employees.  AI can weed out people who are bad for the job, and find people who are good for it. “AI can match applicants with employers. Automated systems can pre-screen resumes, check for relevant experience and skills, and identify applicants who are best suited for particular organizations.[1].” Artificial Intelligence can save time and effort for employers by making the employing process more effective.Image result for non-profit artificial intelligence


Communications


It is important for every organization to communicate with others.  Lucky, artificial intelligence can help with this process with others and make it more efficient “Chatbots automate conversations for commonly asked questions through text messaging. These tools can help with customer service and routine requests such as how to contribute money, address a budget question, or learn about upcoming programs. [1]” In this big world, it can be hard for organizations to keep in touch with staff, and it can be exhausting to keep up with communication needs manually.  It is a good thing artificial intelligence is helping with communication.


Abusive Behavior


While digital tools are certainly a great asset, there is alway a dark side. In this world, people like to harass people and organizations online.  In order to prevent this there is a robot called “Troll Patrol [that] can identify racist, sexist, or homophobic tweets, among other objectionable content and eliminate the abuse. [1]” The abuse is limited by the program blocking trolls and deleting offensive comments.  This is great in an era where people like to harass non-profit organizations, but this might not be such a great idea because it can be used to block people’s freedom of speech and people who aren’t commenting to harass organizations.  


Sustainability


Managing resources are important task for non-profit organizations.  Artificial intelligence can help with this as well. “The Nature Conservancy is helping the Red Cross ‘create a dashboard and mobile app that incorporates social media data on flood location and magnitude with socioeconomic and ecological data for city planning’. By layering different kinds of information, these applications assist cities in their efforts to become more sustainable and handle disaster management.[1]”  


Artificial intelligence seems like a great asset for non-profit organizations, and should be looked into further.  They can help with preventing fraud and abuse, promoting sustainability, and making communication easier within these organizations.


https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2018/06/05/artificial-intelligence-in-non-profit-organizations//


How Does Face ID Work?

posted Jun 8, 2018, 7:15 AM by Devin E Srinivas ‎(2020)‎

Face ID is a newer technology being implemented into smartphones so users can unlock their device using their face. This technology was put into the recent iPhone X, which came out earlier this year. Apple’s hope is that it is good enough to replace the fingerprint scanner, since the home button was taken away in this years iPhone. According to Forbes, Customers don’t seem to mind the loss of the fingerprint scanner, judging by the skyrocketing sales of the iPhone X.


Image result for Face ID

Face ID uses a combination of light projectors and sensors to take several images of your facial features using the True Depth Camera System in the device. This advanced camera system allows the phone to recognize you instantly. A big part of Face ID is registering the users eyes. Because the eye is such a detailed area of the face, it makes Face ID very secure. Unlike the fingerprint sensor, Face ID can only store one face, where the fingerprint sensor can store up to five at a time. Face ID is much more secure than the fingerprint sensor, and is a step in the right direction for smartphone security.

Facebook Ads

posted Jun 7, 2018, 7:03 AM by Cooper C O'Mara ‎(2020)‎

Facebook is a social media website where people can share posts with friends so they can like and comment. You may also notice there are alot of ads on Facebook as well. The way these ads are placed is usually shows up while scrolling through facebook, it could grab people’s attention.


You may also notice there are a lot of what is known as ‘clickbait’ ads.  Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, is trying to get rid of the amount of clickbait ads on Facebook. Most of these ads are created by hackers to try and steal people’s privacy. Cambridge Analytica came out with a warning for these types of ads telling people how to protect their information such as keeping your profile private, update whenever it is required, and staying away from certain ads that will appear.


EEG-Based Image Reconstruction

posted Jun 6, 2018, 6:56 AM by mew201@students.needham.k12.ma.us   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 6:56 AM ]

Mind-reading has been the key to science fiction for decades. However, new developments in technology might be on the way to making it possible. A new algorithm can read brain waves to process what someone is seeing.

This has actually been accomplished previously, but EEG technology has led to some incredible developments. Instead of using fMRI brain scans, which require volunteers to lie inside a machine for minutes while the machine scans for blood flow in their brain, this breakthrough just requires you to wear an EEG cap. EEG stands for electroencephalogram, and it uses electrodes to analyze your brainwaves. EEG technology also works much faster than fMRI did.

In a recent study, participants looked at images of various faces with both neutral and happy expressions. The equipment recorded their brain activity, and the algorithm recreated the images. The results, shown below, are far from perfect. However, it’s an incredible start to technology with some amazing possible uses. Imagine if law enforcement could tap straight into a witness’s memories instead of relying on what a person reports. As most new technology does, this raises some questions on morality, but for now EEG is simply a new form of tech working to turn science fiction into fact.






More information:

http://www.eneuro.org/content/5/1/ENEURO.0358-17.2018

The VASMIR Engine Could Get Humanity to Mars

posted Jun 6, 2018, 6:55 AM by mew201@students.needham.k12.ma.us   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 6:55 AM ]

One of the biggest goals in science at the moment is to get humans to Mars. Before we do so, however, there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. Fuel is one of the biggest problems; the amount of fuel needed for such a long mission would be incredibly heavy, not to mention expensive. Most rockets nowadays use chemical engines, and their power would be useful to get a crew to Mars. With a chemical engine, the trip would take eight to nine months. Franklin Chang-Díaz might be able to cut that trip down to forty days.

Chang-Díaz is an astronaut and plasma expert who created the VASIMR engine. His engine uses small amounts of argon gas and superheats it into plasma. And fortunately, it works on electricity that could be powered by solar panels. However, his team wants to go much faster than solar panels would allow for, which would require a nuclear reactor. This, along with a few other issues, has raised many skeptics, including high profile minds such as Elon Musk. Despite the critics, NASA is in full support of the idea, and awarded Chang-Díaz’s company a 9 million dollar contract. With NASA’s support, he will be able to begin development of his new engine with the hopes it will successfully take humanity to Mars.




More Information:

https://curiosity.com/topics/the-controversial-vasimr-engine-could-get-us-to-mars-in-a-matter-of-weeks-curiosity/


Using Nanorobots to Kill Tumors

posted Jun 6, 2018, 6:53 AM by mew201@students.needham.k12.ma.us   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 6:53 AM ]

Curing cancer has been one of the scientific communities largest goals for a long time. One of the biggest questions is how to kill cancerous cells while avoiding killing healthy cells. The inability to distinguish cancerous cells from normal cells leads to effects such as hair loss when treating cancer, as well as other side effects from the chemicals and radiation bombarding all the cells in the body.

One development in technology has provided some interesting insight on how technology could tell different cells apart. A team at Caltech created a nanorobot made from a single strand of DNA that picks up molecules and moves them to certain places. This sorting ability was an impressive new development.

Recently, a group of researchers took the next major step. They took mice infected with human breast cancer and ovarian cancer cells and used DNA nanorobots to cut off the blood supply to the tumor. The nanorobots were able to extend the life of the mice as well as slowing or reversing the growth of the tumor. Though they are still experimental and have not been tested in humans yet, they have been immensely successful in their tests so far.



More information:

https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/18/dna-nanorobot/

https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/12/researchers-nanorobots-kill-tumors-mice/

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