Technology

By - 8/20/14 - 12:59 pm

The City Council today voted to ban a phone app that lets users notify other users of impending open parking spaces in Boston - and to back it up with fines of up to $250 per instance.

City Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester), who proposed the ordinance, admitted that he doesn't understand "all apps," but he understands this one just fine. "They were trying to buy and sell city property, which isn't there's to buy and sell," he said.

By - 8/14/14 - 6:05 pm
Cell cover

This is this month's cover of Cell, which covers advances in microbiology:

The cover depicts an adaptation the Boston subway system map in which subway lines represent pathways of differentiation from pluripotent stem cells. Bus routes, shown as dashed lines, are the various ways that cells can be experimentally interconverted via directed differentiation, direct conversion, and reprogramming. Cover image by Samantha Morris.

Maryr comments:

By - 8/9/14 - 11:04 am

Harvard researchers are using the principles of origami - and the plastic sheeting used by Shrinky Dinks - to create robots that can unfold and scuttle away.

The team started with a flat sheet, to which it added two motors, two batteries, and a microcontroller, which acts like the robot’s brain, Felton said. The sheet was a composite of paper and Shrinky Dinks, also called polystyrene, and a flexible circuit board in the middle. It also included hinges that were programmed to fold at specific angles. Each hinge contained embedded circuits that produce heat on command from the microcontroller. The heat triggers the composite to fold itself in a series of steps.

By - 8/7/14 - 8:59 am

AsymmetRx Medical, an Acton company that holds a patent on an antibody used to diagnose prostate cancer, is suing Santa Cruz Biotechnology of Dallas on charges the Texas company offers a product that uses the same basic idea.

In its lawsuit, filed this week in US District Court in Boston, AsymmetRx, founded on the work of a Harvard researcher, says Santa Cruz started selling its product after it had agreed in 2007 not to do so - to settle a similar lawsuit AsymmetRx filed over the same exact patent.

By - 7/26/14 - 6:13 pm

Alexander Yershov says he never gave the newspaper permission to divulge any of his personal information, yet its Android app forwards all sorts of data about him to Adobe Systems.

So, of course, he is suing.

In a lawsuit filed this week in US District Court in Boston, Yershov wants to be name lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against USA Today - and is seeking $2,500 per alleged infraction plus punitive damages and lawyers' fees.

By - 7/24/14 - 10:16 am

The MBTA today announced a contract with a new WiFi provider for commuter rail it says will mean more reliable free access to e-mail for riders - and the option to add full Internet service for $15 a month.

InMotion Wireless will build a $5.6 million WiFi network for trains that will also cover commuter ferries and South, North and Back Bay stations, at no cost to the T. Installation begins this fall and will be fully complete in 18 months, the T says.

By - 7/17/14 - 10:28 am
Beware his power, Green Line rider's might!

MBTAgifts has started selling Sesame Rings, which let you store your CharlieCard data on a ring, instead of on some boring old plastic card.

Last year, a group of MIT students launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them commercialize the rings.

THERE IS NO VALUE ON THE RING AS SOLD. Value must be added at a CharlieCard machine at an MBTA station.

By - 7/14/14 - 2:21 pm

The city IT department plans a hackathon next month to let developers use a new gateway into city systems to build an online permitting system that might replace the current confusing system that often forces people who want to set up a restaurant or add a porch to their homes to spend months battling paperwork and bureaucracy - and sometimes make trips to offices miles apart.

HubHacks will be held Aug. 9 and 10 at District Hall, in the heart of the Innovation District.

By - 7/11/14 - 4:27 pm

Remember when Takei was spotted in the North End in May?

By - 7/11/14 - 10:33 am

The Patriot Ledger reports that Ras Labs, which is developing synthetic muscles, found itself priced out of its original Innovation District digs and has moved to Quincy.

"I can see Quincy becoming the next Cambridge," the Patriot Ledger quotes the company CEO as saying.

By - 6/27/14 - 1:03 pm
Marty Walsh on an electric bench

Mayor is electrified by new bench in Titus Sparrow Park.

An MIT spinoff is installing benches equipped with solar-powered phone chargers - and air-quality and noise monitors - in several parks, the mayor's office says.

Changing Environment's "soofa" benches are going into Titus Sparrow Park in the South End, the Common and the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

"Your cell phone doesn’t just make phone calls, why should our benches just be seats?” the mayor asks in a statement.

Soofa map.

By - 6/25/14 - 2:26 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that, in certain circumstances, ordering a criminal defendant to decrypt password-protected computer files is not a violation of his rights under federal and state rights against self incrimination.

By - 6/23/14 - 9:06 am

Ever wonder how busy people get soo much done? Secrets revealed!

Join Socializing for Justice for a ProfDev (professional development) training

Productivity Tech Tips on Monday, July 7, 6:00 - 8:30 PM.

Fee: $10-$20 (sliding scale) is split with the trainer.

Limited space - register ahead of time: at www.sojust.org

Credit cards accepted online. Cash only at the door (if space available.)

Newcomers always welcomed!

Productivity Tech Tips

By - 6/23/14 - 8:55 am
Solar-powered boat

Turlach MacDonagh puttered around Boston Harbor this weekend on our first solar-powered boat, the SunPlugged.

Copyright Turlach MacDonagh. Posted in the Universal Hub pool on Flickr.

By - 6/19/14 - 10:49 pm

Harry McCracken reports Computerworld, long based in Framingham, is giving up print next week, although it will live on as a Web site.

By - 6/17/14 - 8:24 am

Using Oculus Rift headsets, hopefully in the area of Kenmore Square, the Boston Business Journal reports.

By - 6/8/14 - 11:36 am

A woman who bought shares in biotech startup OvaScience, which is investigating a way to treat infertility in older women, charges the company withheld the information the FDA was going to make it hard for the company to conduct human trials on its method, causing her and other investors to lose lots of money when the news finally came out.

Miriam Ratner is seeking to become lead plaintiff against the company, in a class-action lawsuit filed last week in US District Court in Cambridge.

By - 6/8/14 - 8:43 am

The Globe has a sausage-factory look at how MIT beat back the Obama administration and won funding for its fusion reactor, at least through 2016.

By - 5/31/14 - 10:30 am

The Boston Business Journal reports on secret efforts by state and city officials to lure a "major life sciences company" to the city. How secret? They've even got a code name for the project.

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