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David J. Hill

I've been writing for Singularity Hub since 2011 and have been Editor-in-Chief since 2014. My interests cover digital education, publishing, and media, but I'll always be a chemist at heart.

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Facial Recognition Software Distinguishes Between Real And Phony Smiles

Con-artists, deceivers, and fakers take note: feigning emotion to manipulate others is about to get a lot harder. Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed software that can differentiate between a genuinely delighted smile...

World’s First Wikipedia Town Won’t Be The Last

Toss out the travel guide and grab your smartphone -- a new urban project has transformed a small town in Wales into the world's first Wikipedia town. The project, called Monmouthpedia, links the sights and...

Robotic Quintet Composes And Plays Its Own Music

The German engineering firm Festo has developed a self-playing robotic string quintet that will listen to a piece of music and generate new musical compositions in various musical styles effortlessly. Dubbed Sound Machines 2.0, the...

Inaugural Synthetic Biology Incubator SynBio Launches At Singularity University

A bold, new venture took flight recently with the initiation of the SynBio Startup Launchpad, Singularity University's inaugural accelerator program in synthetic biology. Aimed at vaulting entrepreneurs with rapid-cycle, low-cost ideas into viable companies, the stipend-assisted program provides a foundation...

Larry Page: With A Healthy Disregard For The Impossible, People Can Do Almost Anything

In a talk titled "Beyond Today", Google's CEO Larry Page infused Zeitgeist 2012 attendees with a healthy dose of optimism and a call to make ambitious bets, be better organized and work harder to accelerate technology...
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Now Serving The Latest In Exponential Growth: YouTube!

It goes without saying that YouTube has become the quintessential online video source for amateurs and professionals alike, but on the service's seven-year anniversary, Google made quite a startling announcement: 72 hours of video...

Study Suggests Coffee Is Healthy, Coffee Drinkers Are Not

Older adults who drink coffee have a lower risk of death by about 10 percent, according to a large observational study of over 400,000 people published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study, which...

Leap 3D Offers Amazing Gesture-Based Control of Your Computer for Just $70

For the last six years, game consoles have been the developers hot spot for motion control, but finally good old computers are getting some love. A startup called Leap Motion has announced the development of...

Satellites Track Humans, Now It’s The Animals’ Turn

Satellite technology is a modern-day "Wonder of the World." Consider that currently over 1,000 active satellites orbit the Earth, communicating with ground-based transmitters and receivers for a host of applications, such as delivering scientific measurements, weather...

Paralyzed Woman Controls Robotic Arm With Her Thoughts

Cathy Hutchinson hasn't moved her limbs of her own volition for 15 years, but by imagining she was using her own hand, she controlled a robotic arm to pick up a thermos of coffee...

New Video Humorously Imagines Life In The Singularity And All Its Potential Legal Woes

What will post-Singularity life be like in 2052 if you died and your mind was uploaded to a computer? Possibly mired in data rate throttling, advertiser-sponsored consciousness, immoral thought extraction, and memory wipes of...

Harvard And MIT Join Forces To Become Juggernaut Of Free Online Education

Online education is witnessing its own Avengers-like uniting of superhero forces as Harvard University and MIT recently announced "edX", a combined $60 million joint initiative to offer their college-level courses online for free. Launching in the...

Retailer Uses Facebook “Like” Count On Clothes Hooks To Crowdsource Fashion Advice

The Brazilian fashion retailer C&A has created networked clothes hooks that display the total number of Facebook "Likes" for each garment in real time. On the company's Facebook page, pictures of various outfits are...

Younger Generation Embracing A New View Of Privacy

For four years, nearly 200 high school students in Dallas voluntarily allowed every text, email, and IM to be monitored. That these youth would sign off on such an invasion of privacy, especially in light...

Toothless No More – Researchers Using Stem Cells to Grow New Teeth

It may be hard to remember what it was like to lose a tooth as a child, but many adults get an unpleasant reminder as they age when their teeth begin to fall out...

Automation Comes To The Coffeehouse With Robotic Baristas

Say goodbye to lattes with funky tastes or attitude from coffeehouse baristas. At the University of Texas, a startup called Briggo LLC has installed a coffee kiosk run by a robotic barista in the...

Connect The Physical World To The Web With Ninja Blocks

Most of us live in two separate worlds, the real world and the digital world of the Internet. Some strides are being made, like controlling your car with your smartphone, but there are surprisingly...

Handheld 3D Scanner Lets You Digitize Objects And Rooms In Minutes

A Silicon Valley startup wants to give you the power to "scan your world" with a handheld scanner that rapidly creates 3D maps of objects and rooms, complete with colors and textures. While it...

360° Panoramic Video Lets You Capture Everything Around You With Your Smartphone

Have you ever recorded video of an important event with your smartphone only to discover later that people were out of frame or the video was shaky from frantically panning it around? What you...

NAO Robot Impresses With New Abilities At Paris Conference

During the first weekend in April, the French maker of NAO robots, Aldebaran Robotics, organized the first ever NAO Spring Dev Days in Paris, a codathon programming weekend for 40 developers to create useful...

What’s In A Picture? The Descriptive Camera Will Tell You

What if a camera could not only take a picture but describe the scene, identify objects, and list the names of people within it? The artificial intelligence necessary to perform such a feat may...

Movie Theaters Ramp Up For The Next Big Thing: Satellite Delivery Of Digital Films

Technology is taking over Hollywood, and in more ways than digital films and 3D movies. This year's CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theater Owners, featured numerous shop talks and footage...

World’s Smallest Full Page Scanner Is Another Tool For The Mobile Lifestyle

For anyone who has needed to scan pages from a book, the frustration of fumbling around with a flatbed scanner is all too familiar, not to mention what it does to a book's binding....

3D Printing Robot Produces Chairs And Tables From Recycled Waste

Two years ago, a Dutch student named Dirk Vander Kooij was designing furniture and preparing for his graduation project when he was inspired by an old 3D printer. So he got his hands on...

Automated Grading Software In Development To Score Essays As Accurately As Humans

April 30 marks the deadline for a contest challenging software developers to create an automated scorer of student essays, otherwise known as a roboreader, that performs as good as a human expert grader. In...

New Smartphone Chips Will Pinpoint Your Exact Location Down To The Inch, Even Inside Buildings

Tired of how useless GPS tracking is inside a building? A new smartphone chip aims to pinpoint your location down to a few centimeters, even indoors. On top of that, it will track your...

“The Scale Of The Universe 2″ Animation Made By 14-Year-Olds Is Mind Blowing

*UPDATE: Cary Huang, creator of "Scale Of The Universe 2", answers some questions for the Hub. See his comments below.* An interactive Flash animation titled "Scale Of The Universe 2", covering everything in the universe...

Elsevier Boycott Nears 10,000 Signatures

The call to action by Cambridge professor Timothy Gowers to boycott Elsevier last January has resounded with academics, as the number of signatures recently crossed the 9,600 threshold. Researchers across the world have come out in droves...

New Bedside Genetic Screen Yields Results In An Hour

A new point-of-care system accurately screens a patient's DNA for a single gene in an hour. The shoebox-sized device from Canadian-based Spartan Bioscience analyzes cheek swabs taken from heart attack patients for a common genetic variant,...

The Video Resume — Modern Necessity Or Domain Of Epic Fail?

With recent reports on employers using social media to screen job applicants, it's clear that technology has changed the hiring process. Job seekers competing for positions in a brutal job market must look for...

Google Unveils Augmented-Reality Glasses, Its Vision Of The Post-PC Era

Google's venture into augmented reality has finally come out into the light of day. The Android-running device are glasses that aren't really glasses, but more like frames with one small lens over the right...

Curiosity, NASA’s Latest Rover, is Halfway To Mars But It’s U.S. Planetary Science That’s In Danger

The Mars Science Laboratory mission, with a rover affectionately named Curiosity, reached a milestone this past Sunday, April 1, as it hurtled across the halfway point at over 10,000 miles per hour on its 254 day-long...

New Surveillance System Identifies Your Face By Searching Through 36 Million Images Per Second

Privacy advocates, brace yourselves - the search capabilities of the latest surveillance technology is nightmare fuel. Hitachi Kokusai Electric recently demonstrated the development of a surveillance camera system capable of searching through 36 million images...

Can Petridish Become The Kickstarter Of Science? We Ask The CEO

Science in the U.S. is slated for a devastating blow on January 2, 2013 when the debt deal Congress passed last year kicks in, implementing a 9% cut in science funding lasting until 2021. While university...
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First User Of Google’s Self-Driving Car Is Legally Blind

Google has released a video taken in January of the first user of it's self-driving car, Daniel "Steve" Mahan, who is 95 percent blind. The video shows Steve casually sitting in the driver seat...

TacoCopter – Tacos Delivered Straight to Your Home With GPS Guided Quadcopters

Quadcopters plus tacos plus a delivery service equals a college student's dream, and with it, rampant speculation across the web. Around since last July, the TacoCopter website suddenly grabbed the web's attention days ago...

100-Year Old Wonder Drug Now Shown To Prevent Cancer and Heart Attacks

For years, research has shown that aspirin is beneficial in preventing heart attacks. Now new studies support its ability to prevent cancer as well. Considering that cardiovascular disease and cancer are the two leading...

3D Printer Cranks Out Exquisite Structures Smaller Than Dust Mites And Sets A New World Record

Researchers from the Vienna University of Technology have refined a 3D printing technique to make incredibly small structures at record-breaking speeds. The technique, called two-photon lithography, allows the sculpting of intricate objects with micron...

Twine, The Gadget That Senses Your Environment And Tweets You, Is Coming In May

For every kid who tinkered with electronics or learned how to program on an old computer, creating a gadget that someday everyone would want to own was merely a dream. But times have changed,...

8,200+ Strong, Researchers Band Together To Force Science Journals To Open Access

Academic research is behind bars and an online boycott by 8,209 researchers (and counting) is seeking to set it free...well, more free than it has been. The boycott targets Elsevier, the publisher of popular journals like Cell and The...

1.5 Million Lessons And Growing: ShowMe App Emerges as Leader in iPad Digital Education Revolution

In 2011, the poster child of digital education was the Khan Academy, Sal Khan's brainchild of over 3,000 lessons, but a new star is emerging for 2012 that's taking Khan's approach to the crowd....

Privilege Has Its Rewards — How Longevity Will Become The New Class Inequality

Here's a news flash that isn't really new: the rich live longer than everyone else. Now, on the surface, this seems like a no-brainer. The ability to afford the best of everything should translate...

India Plans To Create 12 Times The Number Of Colleges As The U.S. By 2020

After 20 years of economic reforms, India is emerging into a new prosperity thanks to progressive polices and globalization, which has reduced poverty and helped its middle class thrive. But now, the country faces a seemingly...

U.S. Being Left In The Dust Of The Global Telecommuting Revolution

A recent poll from Ipsos/Reuters shows the extent of workplace evolution as well as the fallout of globalization. Nearly 1 in 5 (17%) of the over 11,000 users from 24 countries polled online indicated...

Latest Game In The Star Wars Universe Cost $200 Million, Inspires Millions To Envision The Post-Singularity World

On December 20, 2011, a new chapter in the Star Wars universe was unleashed on the world. After 5 years in development at a cost estimated at around $200 million, Bioware, in partnership with Electronic...

Can A Free Online Education Land You A Job? The Era Of Online Education Dawns

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently announced an initiative to create a learning platform for online education. Preliminarily dubbed "MITx", the initiative aims to take the MIT's OpenCourseWare program, which provides nearly all...

Hospital Throws Down $25,000 Prize To Decode Genomic Information

Children's Hospital Boston recently announced a $25,000 competition for the development of an interpretation and communication system that can deliver genomic information from the lab to physicians and patients. As the cost of genome sequencing...

The Current State Of Wind Power — 2012 Should Be The Biggest Year Yet

When Barack Obama ran for President back in 2008, one of the 'changes' that he set forth was a New Energy Plan for America, which included a requirement that by 2012, 10% of US...

All Your Bandwidth Are Belong To Us: Half Of World’s Bandwidth Consumed By Only 1% of Users

It's tough being an avid mobile device user these days. First, carriers tempt you with the latest feature-packed devices while promising to satiate your content fix, then they hobble your data plan and shun...

Apple’s iBooks Praises Begin To Wither As Skepticism Settles In

Apple started off 2012 with the $10 billion textbook market in its crosshairs. Last week, the company unveiled iBooks 2, the next iteration of its iBooks software now beefed up for the textbook market,...

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