Not satisfied with the pictures you get with your 35-mm camera? Now there is a software program that lets you fix the pictures that don't capture all the visual quality and color intensity that your eyes see. The software is based on Retinax Image Processing—technology originally developed for remote sensing of the Earth by researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center and at Science and Technology Corp. "Current technology like that found in Adobe's PhotoShop software makes adjustments in gain, contrast, and other variables," says Glenn Woodell, an engineering technician and co-inventor of image processing software. "The difference with ours is that we not only look at the pixel, we also look at pixels around a given pixel." Woodell also says that colors are context dependent. "A given color, say green, surrounded by blue will look different than that same green when it is surrounded by red," he says. The software automatically makes corrections, but also allows manipulation of the image by the end user. The inventors—Woodell, Dan Jobson, and Zia ur Rahman—believe that existing image enhancement tools are either too tedious or insufficiently powerful compared to theirs. The software is currently licensed to TruView Imaging Co. "We think there are applications for the software in medical imaging, forensics, security, recognizance, mining, assembly, and many other industrial applications," says Rahman, who works for TruView. The company will make a software product available for home, professional, and industrial use by the end of the year. For more information, call (757) 221-3479 or go to www.dragon.larc.nasa.gov/retinex.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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