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Spectrum: Remain Eco-Friendly While Indulging Your Love of Retro Design

New energy-efficient LED bulbs look like classic incandescents. Plus, the KNFB Reader app turns printed materials into audio for the blind and use this device to protect your Wi-Fi network's privacy.

by / November 5, 2014

Guilt-Free Classic


Satisfy your environmental conscience and indulge your love of retro design with energy-efficient LED bulbs that look like classic incandescents. From German manufacturer Vosla, the look of vosLED bulbs is inspired by Thomas Edison’s original 1879 carbonfilament design. Source: Inhabitat

The Gift of Sight

Google Director of Engineering Ray Kurzweil has put his artificial intelligence expertise to work in service of the blind. A $99 app developed in partnership with K-NFB Reading Technology Inc. and Sensotec NV is being billed as a “sighted adviser,” helping users read menus, bus passes, recipes, health insurance cards and more, for the first time. Using image-processing technology, pattern recognition and smartphone hardware, the KNFB Reader app turns printed materials into audio, while users with refreshable Braille displays can use cameras to take pictures of print documents and get them displayed in Braille. Now available for iPhones 5 and 6, the app is also coming to Android and, potentially, Google Glass. Source: Reuters

Smart Healing

Bandages covering burns or other injuries conceal the status of the wounds underneath. Medical personnel charged with monitoring the healing process must remove the dressing, often painfully, to determine the next steps for patient care. But new research may simplify the process, allowing doctors to detect oxygen levels in the damaged tissue, indicating the progress of the healing process without disturbing the bandage. A thick fluid containing luminescence and dye dries directly on the wound surface, covered by a transparent layer on top. A handheld imaging device is all that’s needed to check on the status of the wound via its oxygen levels. Source: Gizmag

Cyborg+Unplug+Get off My Wi-Fi

Concerned about diminishing privacy in the age of surveillance drones and Google Glass? A new handheld device, Cyborg Unplug, sends de-authentication signals to monitoring devices using their unique hardware addresses, effectively removing them from your network. While it can’t interfere with the spying itself, it could interrupt attempts to upload or stream your data. The company won’t vouch for the legality of its “All Out Mode,” in which it also attempts to sever all of the surveillance device’s other connections. Source: SlashGear

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Noelle Knell Editor

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.

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