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933924 512868958750541 697525497 n First official Brain Computer Interface journal coming in January 2014

At last, there will be a printed journal where BCI researchers can submit their work to. It is called the Brain-Computer Interfaces published by Taylor & Francis, an international company originating in the UK that publishes books and academic journals. The BCI journal was announced and its importance was discussed at the recent BCI meeting at Pacific Grove, California.

The new BCI journal will have four issues a year. The first issue is planned to be published in January 2014.

The journal will focus on the following areas:

  • Development and user-centered evaluation of engineered BCI applications with emphasis on the analysis of what aspects are crucial to making the system work, in addition to straightforward assessment of its success.
  • Scientific investigation of patterns of brain activity that can, or show promise to be able to, be used to drive BCI applications.
  • Development and evaluation of signal processing methods that extract signal features, classify them, and otherwise translate brain signals into device commands.
  • New invasive and noninvasive methods to monitor and acquire brain signals.
  • Applications of BCI technology to understand human perception, affect, action, and various aspects of cognition and behavior.
  • Ethical and sociological implications of brain-computer interfacing applications.
  • Human factors and human-computer interaction (HCI) concerns in the design, development and evaluation of BCIs.
  • Clinical trials and individual case studies of the experimental therapeutic application of BCIs.
  • Behavioral studies of BCI use in humans and animals.
  • Studies of neurosurgical techniques relevant to BCIs.
  • Proposal, review and analysis of standards for BCI hardware, software and protocols.

The new printed journal is clearly a great opportunity for the whole BCI community to get together and have a more organized publication standard. The contribution towards this journal will help the BCI community to find other researchers for collaboration more easily.

If you would like to have your paper for consideration, contact the co-editors Chang Nam and Jeremy Hill.

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Nerval's Lobster writes "For most businesses, data analytics presents an opportunity. But for DARPA, the military agency responsible for developing new technology, so-called 'Big Data' could represent a big threat. DARPA is apparently looking to fund researchers who can 'investigate the national security threat posed by public data available either for purchase or through open sources.' That means developing tools that can evaluate whether a particular public dataset will have a significant impact on national security, as well as blunt the force of that impact if necessary. 'The threat of active data spills and breaches of corporate and government information systems are being addressed by many private, commercial, and government organizations,' reads DARPA's posting on the matter. 'The purpose of this research is to investigate data sources that are readily available for any individual to purchase, mine, and exploit.' As Foreign Policy points out, there's a certain amount of irony in the government soliciting ways to reduce its vulnerability to data exploitation. 'At the time government officials are assuring Americans they have nothing to fear from the National Security Agency poring through their personal records,' the publication wrote, 'the military is worried that Russia or al Qaeda is going to wreak nationwide havoc after combing through people's personal records.'"

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A video of a new virtual reality prototype that uses both Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra technology shows how users can use their mind to move around artificial environments.

Users require an Emotiv EPOC, a device capable of mapping certain thought patterns to actions, to read their brainwaves in order to interact with the prototype through thought. Naturally, this is still in its experimental phase; While virtual reality technology is becoming affordable, the Emotiv EPOC's capabilities are "still quite primitive," and not wholly user friendly, writes developer Chris Zaharia.

"With my experience in the education industry through my startup Zookal and keen interest in neuroscience, I had a thought around how these technologies could be used together to enhance education and at the same time, see how far can we go with using cognitive control in a virtual simulation," he writes.

Zaharia hopes to explore the possibility of using virtual reality for educational purposes ranging from engineering to biology. The demo offers a look at what is currently possible using virtual reality headsets, motion tracking through Razer Hydra and cognitive control in virtual simulations.

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Original author: 
Soulskill

angry tapir writes "Researchers at Microsoft Research have produced a prototype software system that can be used on smartphones to infer a user's mood. The 'MoodScope' system produced by researchers uses smartphone usage patterns to determine whether someone is happy, calm, excited, bored or stressed and could potentially add a new dimension to to mobile apps (as well as, as the researchers note, open up a Pandora's Box of privacy issues). The researchers created a low-power background service for iPhones and Android handsets that (with training) can offer reasonable detection of mood and offers and API that app developers could hook into."

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Original author: 
Cesar Torres


Tumblr Creative Director Peter Vidani

Cesar Torres

New York City noise blares right outside Tumblr’s office in the Flat Iron District in Manhattan. Once inside, the headquarters hum with a quiet intensity. I am surrounded by four dogs that employees have brought to the workspace today. Apparently, there are even more dogs lurking somewhere behind the perpendicular rows of desks. What makes the whole thing even spookier is that these dogs don’t bark or growl. It’s like someone’s told them that there are developers and designers at work, and somehow they’ve taken the cue.

I’m here to see Tumblr’s Creative Director Peter Vidani who is going to pull the curtain back on the design process and user experience at Tumblr. And when I say design process, I don’t just mean color schemes or typefaces. I am here to see the process of interaction design: how the team at Tumblr comes up with ideas for the user interface on its website and its mobile apps. I want to find out how those ideas are shaped into a final product by their engineering team.

Back in May, Yahoo announced it was acquiring Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Yahoo indicated that Tumblr would continue to operate independently, though we will probably see a lot of content crossover between the millions of blog posts hosted by Tumblr and Yahoo’s search engine technology. It’s a little known fact that Yahoo has provided some useful tools for UX professionals and developers over the years through their Design Pattern Library, which shares some of Yahoo’s most successful and time-tested UI touches and interactions with Web developers. It’s probably too early to tell if Tumblr’s UI elements will filter back into these libraries. In the meantime, I talked to Vidani about how Tumblr UI features come to life.

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