NASATrying to send something to space by attaching it to a balloon and letting go sounds like a plan concocted by a six-year-old.In fact, we re pretty sure a lot of you tried it back in the day, only to witness your probe snag on a tree branch fifteen feet up.Along for the ride is the Compton Spectrometer and Imager COSI , a gamma-ray telescope developed by scientists at UC Berkeley.There are work-arounds, like launching from Antarctica during its summer when the sunlight is constant, but infrastructure issues alone mean that the southernmost continent is never going to be the ideal place to set up shop.Balloons are cheap.Plus, launching a balloon requires a lot less red tape than firing a rocket, shaving years off the prep time required for each mission.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images President Barack Obama on Thursday awarded four Bay Area researchers -- two from UC Berkeley and two from Stanford -- with the nation's top honors for science and technology.His team developed the FinFET, a type of transistor used in modern computer processors.Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press Nine researchers were awarded the National Medal of Science, including:Paul Alivisatos, a UC Berkeley chemist and past director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who is known for his research on the production of nanocrystals and their use in solar energy applications.Stanley Falkow, a Stanford microbiologist who conducted pioneering research on the role of microbes in the spread of antibiotic resistance and disease.He announced a new advisory board to solicit suggestions from youngsters on how the government can support budding scientists and innovators.The Associated Press contributed to this report.Follow Katy Murphy at
Jen O'Neal is the Founder and CEO of then she's raised over $21M in funding from investors in Silicon Valley, New York, Europe and Asia.After the company's Series B financing, the Wall Street Journal reported's pre-money valuation to be $100 Million.She was employee 5 at StubHub, an online marketplace acquired by eBay for $307M in 2007, where she was responsible for the development of its brand and Marketing group.In addition to managing a team of marketers across Europe, Jen also managed the marketing elements of deals with partners including Manchester United, Chelsea, FC Bayern Munich, Madonna and more.You can follow her on Twitter: @jenonealShe will be live on July 21 starting at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which she will answer as many questions as possible.
Google self-driving car safety-testing lead Stephanie Villegas with one her company's self-driving cars at Google's offices in Mountain View, Calif., April 14, 2016."I've been here since the Prius," said Villegas, referring to the series of vehicles Google has used for its cars, from the Toyota Prius to a Lexus SUV to the bubble-like prototypes currently under testing.Children running in the road after balls.Q What weather-related issues make driving difficult for the robotic cars?Contact Ethan Baron at 408-920-5011 and follow him at VillegasAge: 29Birthplace: San FranciscoPosition/title: Structured testing leadEducation: UC Berkeley, bachelor of fine artsCity of residence: San FranciscoFive facts about Stephanie VillegasHours worked per week: 50-60Number of speeding tickets, lifetime: 0Favorite Google cafeteria dish: It was a cheese platter that existed at a cafe that is no longer open.
But in reality the controversial law s effects have been much broader by allowing game developers, music and film companies and others to keep a tight control on how consumers use their copyrighted works, preventing them in some cases from making copies of their purchased products for their own use or from jailbreaking smartphones and other devices to use them in ways the manufacturers dislike.The DMCA has two problematic sections: section 1201, which deals with the circumvention of copy-protections and section 512, which allows a copyright holder to send a so-called takedown notice to web sites and others believed to be infringing a copyright.A study released this year by researchers at UC Berkeley and Columbia University found that about a third of DMCA takedown notices are on shaky legal grounds, based on a sampling of some 108 million takedown notices issued over a six-month period.Bogus takedown notices fall into many categories, but one example involves a San Francisco news station that once used the DMCA to try to erase a reporting blunder.Eventually, regulators learned that Volkswagen had embedded secret code in its software to help its vehicle cheat emissions tests.Adobe urged the FBI to act but had to withdraw its complaint after the security community rose up in protest.
Click to Open Overlay GalleryGetty ImagesTom Murphy graduated from Carnegie Melon University with a PhD in computer science.Playing Super Mario, for instance, it learns to exploit a bug in the game, stomping on enemy Goombas even when floating below them.These systems are becoming extremely powerful even as they remain extremely flawed, and as a result at least a little scary as they start to make unexpected decisions on their own.Today, along with researchers from Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and the Elon Musk-led startup OpenAI, a team of Google AI specialists proposed a way to address these issues by building a framework for addressing AI safety risks.It d be a kind of synthetic conscience.You can use stories to beef up the machines reasoning, Forbus says.
Executives from Google, Facebook, Dropbox and other major tech companies met with the president s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity at UC Berkeley yesterday.National security lettersAlthough the FBI s legal feud with Apple over unlocking an iPhone connected to the San Bernardino shooting case has been credited with souring relationships between government and tech, national security letters NSL have been a long-running gripe for major companies.Systemic, indiscriminate and perpetual use of gag orders is corrosive of trust over time.Facebook s chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, called on the government to engage in cyber threat exchange and bug bounty programs to help bolster the defenses of both government and industry.Ryan Gillis, vice president of cybersecurity strategy and global policy at Palo Alto Networks, said the CryptoWall 3 project is the kind of collaboration companies are anxious to see from government.The commission is tasked with a broad mission: making detailed recommendations on actions that can be taken over the next decade to enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections throughout the private sector and at all levels of government, to protect privacy, to ensure public safety and economic and national security, and to empower Americans to take better control of their digital security, according to the White House.
With multi-billion dollar investments in deep learning startups like DeepMind, and responsible for some of the biggest advances involving neural networks, Google is the greatest cheerleader artificial intelligence could possibly hope for.In a new paper, entitled Concrete Problems in AI Safety, Google researchers — alongside experts from UC Berkeley and Stanford University — lay out some of the possible negative side effects which may arise from AI systems over the coming years.Instead of focusing on the distant threat of superintelligence, the 29-page paper instead examines unintended and harmful behavior that may emerge from poor design.Two big themes which emerge are the idea of a machine purposely misleading its creators in order to complete an objective, or else causing injury or damage to achieve a tiny advantage for its task at hand.The Google paper is a matter-of-fact engineering approach to identifying the areas for introducing safety in the design of autonomous AI systems, and suggesting design approaches to build in safety mechanisms, he notes.Indeed, despite its raising of issues, Google s paper ends by considering the question of how to think most productively about the safety of forward-looking applications of AI, complete with handy suggestions.
According to Bee Partners founder and Managing Partner Michael Berolzheimer, with Bee II, the firm intends to keep leading seed and pre-seed stage deals, doing about eight per year, with potential to participate in follow on rounds.Berolzheimer said, Rather than investing in particular industries, we look for companies with a founder who has a deep market insight from something they personally experienced or discovered through prior work.VC s traditionally obsess over the labs and dorm room businesses at Stanford, MIT and Harvard, rather than state schools, when scouting prospective hires or deals.A good chunk of the capital in Bee Partners second fund comes from UC Berkeley alumni and Cal trustees, Berolzheimer said, declining to disclose a dollar amount.Other limited partners in Bee Partners second fund include: family offices, fund of funds and asset managers, a typical mix for an early stage firm on its second fund.Bee II deals have included: StatMuse, an AI-powered search engine for sports data; BuildingConnected, a platform that connects commercial construction builders with subcontractors and simplifies the bidding process for them; and a drone tech company making collision avoidance systems still in stealth.
Does your morning trek to work include an underwater fistfight?Inflatable tanks used by the US Army?Now it can, with the five best podcast episodes of the week—plus, humor from W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu, and an analysis of anterograde amnesia, as represented in Dory the tang fish and Memento s Leonard Shelby.Politically Re-Active, Dog Whistling with Ian Haney-López This political season can make you laugh or cry—but if you re looking to do more of the former, comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu are here to discuss the sensitive issues of this election cycle with humor.In the first episode, UC Berkeley professor Ian Haney-López joins the hosts to explain dog whistling, or how politicians use coded language—from the racism of George Wallace to Bill Clinton playing sax on The Arsenio Hall Show—to resonate with specific groups of voters.
While Instagrammers have been able to age a new photo for a long time, new software could allow the opposite — Algorithmia is a new program that automatically colorizes black-and-white photos.Colorizing old photos is a long process, but using a convolutional neural network, Richard Zhang, a UC Berkeley computer vision PhD student, has developed a program with a much higher success rate than earlier attempts.Convolutional neural networks CNNs are advanced image-recognition programs.They use multiple layers of overlapping input regions to create a better representation of the original than earlier technology allowed.Zhang took the idea of using CNNs a bit further and trained the artificial intelligence program by using over a million color photos.The computer-colored images fooled people in a test about twenty percent of the time.
Cars are one one of the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions globally, and cars in cities can be especially heavy with their contributions, owing to traffic and population density.And while encouraging everyone to bike or use public transit probably isn t going to convince everyone to ditch car ownership, car sharing services seem to be winning more city denizens over, and a new study shows that the results of said services are good, both for the environment, and for reducing unnecessary personal budget burdens.The study full PDF available here , conducted by research group Innovative Mobility Research IMR working out of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at UC Berkeley, looked specifically at one-way car sharing in North America, with a focus on car2go since it has the largest reach and is present in a number of major urban markets.With one-way carsharing, members of the service can pick up a car at one spot, and drop it at another – here in Toronto, for instance, car2go vehicles can be picked up on city streets, in city-run Green P parking lots, and at the airport.The IMR s study focused on car2go members in Calgary, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, and Washington, and relies on self-reported info derived from polling car2go users, combined with vehicle activity data provided by car2go for the purposes of the study.What they found was that both vehicle ownership and emissions from driving dropped as a result of car sharing programs being present in these cities.
The sensor attached to a nerve fiber in a rat.Many Americans may not be ready yet for transhumanist body implants, but a recent study at UC Berkeley promises that future may be one step closer regardless.Engineers at the university have designed a tiny, sensory transplant the size of a grain of sand, which was implanted successfully in the muscles and peripheral nerves of rats.The neural dust allows users to monitor vitals in real time, and could open the door for similar implants that can help people neurologically monitor things such as prosthetics.The results were published in the latest issue of Neuron this week.According to researchers, the sensor—which is around 3 millimeters long—contains a piezoelectric crystal, which converts ultrasound vibrations into electricity, which then powers the transplant.
During the 2012 presidential election, Newt Gingrich was like a retrospectively muted version of this year s Donald Trump.Which is to say, he was a provocative, populist target for liberal criticism.On the evening of January 27 of that year, talk show host Bill Maher offered his audience proof that Gingrich was clinically narcissistic by comparing definitions of the condition taken from a medical journal to a quote from the presidential hopeful.It s kind of an armchair sport to diagnose public figures, especially politicians, says Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.Humans are naturally inclined to try explaining things that don t make sense, and Donald Trump s behavior falls far beyond what anyone expects of a politician.However, human behavior is extraordinarily complex, and therapists sometimes meet with patients for years before they think they have an understanding of the dynamics driving that patient s behavior, says Paul Appelbaum, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.
In response, in front of a crowd of reporters, US swimmer Lilly King wagged her finger at Efimova.Today s Olympic equipment—from algorithmically generated racing spikes to utrasonically bonded swimsuits to asymmetrical track bikes—are designed in labs, by researchers and engineers, to maximize human potential.Today s elite athletes depend on these technologies, and can t expect to score a metal without them.A mechanical engineer at UC Berkeley, Kazerooni is the founder of SuitX, where he oversees the design of exoskeletons that enable industrial, medical, and military personnel to lift and squat for hours on end, and hoist items several times their weight.The company devoted years of research and hundreds of hours of wind tunnel testing to developing these tiny, 3D-printed teeth.But apply a bunch of them to strategic swaths of a runner s body, in the form of AeroBlade-studded tape or AeroBlade-embedded apparel, and you can improve the flow of air around the athlete—reducing drag and energy expenditure, and shaving precious fractions of a second from a runner s time.
Ashley Judd is putting her acting career on hold to come to UC Berkeley this fall and earn a Ph.D. in one of the country's top public policy programs, studying how gender inequality plays a role in human trafficking.The 48-year-old actress and longtime activist on AIDS and women's rights causes already has a master's degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.Before that, she earned a bachelor's degree in French from the University of Kentucky."I have decided to take the next step in my academic journey," said Judd, who last appeared as Natalie Prior in the "Divergent" film series, in a Facebook Live Q with friends."Sometimes I'm really excited, sometimes I'm like 'What have I gotten myself into?!'I'm very esteemed and honored that they accepted me," she said.
The U.S. Geological Survey USGS and a series of university partners are developing an earthquake early warning system called ShakeAlert, which aims to provide the general public with alerts up to 10 seconds before an earthquake hits.The system is not yet public, but it is now undergoing testing in California, Oregon and Washington.There is a similar test effort for an earthquake early warning system in the Irpinia region of Italy, run by the University of Naples, said Richard Allen, one of the leaders of the ShakeAlert project and director of the Seismological Laboratory at UC Berkeley and chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.As of today, the death toll has risen to 281 people, according to Italian media.In a phone interview with TechCrunch, Allen pointed out that ShakeAlert is not about predicting earthquakes.When people say predict, they usually mean, there s going to be an earthquake in LA on Wednesday,' Allen said.
It's been targeted in a lawsuit by AT over access to utility poles for Google Fiber.Now, in what appears to be a new tactic on the technology industry battleground, Google has come under attack by a mysterious group that keeps mum about its sponsors while issuing scathing reports about the Mountain View search giant's influence on government.It is known for disrupting industries around the world, from travel to media to transportation, making it enemy No.Oracle is still fighting to renew a failed $9 billion lawsuit accusing Google of stealing Oracle code to cash in on the Android mobile operating system.Google and the Transparency Project both declined to comment.So far, only Redwood Shores-based Oracle has admitted to funding the Transparency Project, telling Fortune it wanted the public to know about its support for the initiative.American companies have long assailed competitors by sponsoring damaging research, but the Transparency Project's approach -- highly public attacks combined with profound secrecy about its backers -- is a new tactic in Silicon Valley tech, said Steve Blank, a lecturer at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and prominent Silicon Valley observer.Companies are battling each other on many more fronts than they used to.""Over the past decade, Google has transformed itself from the dominant internet search engine into a global business empire that touches on almost every facet of people's lives -- often without their knowledge or consent," the group's first report said.
San Francisco is using the momentum from its failed Smart City Challenge bid to carry on developing smart transportation initiatives.According to the University of California, Berkeley website, the school is continuing its smart city collaboration with the city of San Francisco.This collaboration was initially established for the U.S. Department of Transportation s Smart City Challenge which Columbus, Ohio won this summer.Columbus city leaders have said that they plan to spend some of their $50 million winnings from the Smart City Challenge to develop an autonomous truck platoon capable of driving in urban areas.Back in San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee and UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding MOU .The agreement commits the organizations to further explore opportunities to collaborate on urban transportation innovations and other technology to improve the life for citizens.
Machine learning is all the rage these days, and it could have a future in Photoshop.Adobe is working with researchers at UC Berkeley to develop software that uses artificial intelligence to help users realistically manipulate objects in an image with a few simple brush strokes.Like the Neural Photo Editor project from researchers at the University of Edinburgh we covered earlier this week, the Adobe/Berkeley project uses adversarial networks to train the system to make realistic edits based on minimum user input.Three brush tools — coloring, sketching, and warping — allow for different aspects of the image to be manipulated.The demonstration video above shows how a user can simply paint a stroke of blue over a black shoe and the system automatically applies a blue shade to the entire shoe.The warping tool allows for a user to alter the shape of the object in ways either subtle or extreme, while keeping it within the bounds of realism.