Researchers develop human prosthesis for balance, unfortunately it’s not a tail

There’s hope for those of us suffering from chronic imbalance as a result of staring too long at periodic tables and 20-sided dice. It’s an implant developed by neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. The implant looks to off-set balance irregularities in the human vestibular system caused by trauma or disease affecting the gyroscopic function of the inner ear. A microprocessor converts signals received from a motion sensor worn on the head into electrical impulses. These are then sent to an electrode implanted into the inner ear. The first test will begin next week on a rhesus monkey. A move which evokes cries of “unfair” from us — unlike nerds, monkeys already have excellent balance.


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HP’s Elite 3 megapixel webcam says “hello” in stereo

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While it may look like an overhead projector without any hints to the scale, you’re actually looking at HP’s (relatively) tiny Elite Auto Focus Webcam. Compatible with all the major PC-based, video chat solutions out there (Yahoo, Skype, MS Messenger, AIM), the USB 2.0 cam clips onto your monitor and features a 3 megapixel CMOS camera capable of shooting video ranging from 640 x 480 pixels at 30fps quality on down to 1,600 x 1,200 at a stuttering 5fps. It also brings a built-in stereo microphone, face tracking and Magic-i video effects software, 3 programmable buttons, and a sliding “privacy cover” which lets your date know that the camera really is, off.


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