Shades of Star Trek’s Tricorder. A team of reseachers financed by the National Science Foundation has produced a prototype iPhone app that identifies tree species. It matches a picture of a leaf with its database and narrows it down to 5 to 10 possibilities. So far the application has been tested in three areas but the data is limited to the northeastern U.S. Creator Sean White wants to develop applications for Google, Nokia and Microsoft platforms as well, although it will be some time before it is available to consumers.
Read More | NY Times
According to Ethan Katz-Bassett, a University of Washington grad student, there are black holes on the Internet. Funded by the National Science Foundations, he and his advisor Arvind Krishnamurthy designed a program to find them. They make sure that the problem is not just a temporary glitch on a site and mark them on a global map. The pair is hoping that service providers will use Hubble, named after the Space telescope that charts black holes, to track down their own issues. The findings will be presented at the Usenix Symposium being held next week in San Francisco.
Read More | MSNBC
After receiving a partial grant from the National Science Foundation, the Apple Valley, Minn. Zoo developed “WolfQuest,” a free interactive video game. Designed to teach kids about wildlife, users play wolves in Yellowstone National Park. They must hunt, defend their territory, survive, mate, and establish their own pack.
Grant Spickelmier, assistant education director, is hoping that kids will find the game both educational and enjoyable, and will make them more interested in wolf conservation and biology. The game, which has released its first episode, is aimed at those between the ages of 10 to 15, but we know some older kids around here that think it might be worth the download.
Read More | Examiner
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