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India’s use of brain scans in courts dismays critics

Now, well before any consensus on the technology’s readiness, India has become the first country to convict someone of a crime relying on evidence from this controversial machine: a brain scanner that produces images of the human mind in action and is said to reveal signs that a suspect remembers details of the crime in question.

For years, scientists have peered into the brain and sought to identify deception. They have shot infrared beams through liars’ heads, placed them in giant magnetic resonance imaging machines and used scanners to track their eyeballs. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States has plowed money into brain-based lie detection in the hope of producing more fruitful counterterrorism investigations.

The technologies, generally regarded as promising but unproved, have yet to be widely accepted as evidence — except in India, where in recent years judges have begun to admit brain scans. But it was only in June, in a murder case in Pune, in Maharashtra State, that a judge explicitly cited a scan as proof that the suspect’s brain held “experiential knowledge” about the crime that only the killer could possess, sentencing her to life in prison.

Psychologists and neuroscientists in the United States, which has been at the forefront of brain-based lie detection, variously called India’s application of the technology to legal cases “fascinating,” “ridiculous,” “chilling” and “unconscionable.” (While attempts have been made in the United States to introduce findings of similar tests into court cases, these generally have been by defense lawyers trying to show the mental impairment of the accused, not by prosecutors trying to convict.)

Whatever American scientists think, law enforcement officials from several countries, including Israel and Singapore, have shown interest in the brain-scanning technology and have visited government labs that use it in interrogations, Indian officials said.

Methods of eliciting truth have long proved problematic. Truth drugs tend to make suspects babble as much falsehood as truth. Polygraph tests measure anxiety more than deception, and good liars may not feel anxious. In 1998, the United States Supreme Court said there was “simply no consensus that polygraph evidence is reliable.”

This latest Indian attempt at getting past criminals’ natural defenses begins with an electroencephalogram, or EEG, in which electrodes are placed on the head to measure electrical waves. The suspect sits in silence, eyes shut. An investigator reads aloud details of the crime — as prosecutors see it — and the resulting brain images are processed using software built in Bangalore.

The software tries to detect whether, when the crime’s details are recited, the brain lights up in specific regions — the areas that, according to the technology’s inventors, show measurable changes when experiences are relived, their smells and sounds summoned back to consciousness. The inventors of the technology claim the system can distinguish between peoples’ memories of events they witnessed and between deeds they committed.

The Brain Electrical Oscillations Signature test, or BEOS, was developed by Champadi Raman Mukundan, an Indian neuroscientist who formerly ran the clinical psychology department of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences in Bangalore. His system builds on methods developed at American universities by other scientists, including Emanuel Donchin, Lawrence Farwell and J. Peter Rosenfeld.

Despite the technology’s promise — some believe it could transform investigations as much as DNA evidence has — experts in psychology and neuroscience were almost uniformly troubled that it was used to win a criminal conviction before being validated by any independent study and reported in a respected scientific journal.

Publication of data from testing of the scans would allow other scientists to judge its merits — and the validity of the studies — during peer reviews.

“Technologies which are neither seriously peer-reviewed nor independently replicated are not, in my opinion, credible,” said Rosenfeld, a psychologist and neuroscientist at Northwestern University and one of the early developers of electroencephalogram-based lie detection. “The fact that an advanced and sophisticated democratic society such as India would actually convict persons based on an unproven technology is even more incredible.”


After passing an 18-page promotional dossier about the BEOS test to a few of his colleagues, Michael Gazzaniga, a neuroscientist and director of the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said: “Well, the experts all agree. This work is shaky at best.”

None of these experts have met the Indian inventors and the investigators using the test. One British forensic psychologist who has met them said he found the presentation highly convincing.

“According to the cases that have been presented to me, BEOS has clearly demonstrated its utility in providing admissible evidence that has been used to assist in the conviction of defendants in court,” Keith Ashcroft, a frequent expert witness in the British courts, said in an e-mail message.

Two states in India, Maharashtra and Gujarat, have been impressed enough to set up labs using BEOS for their prosecutors.

Sunny Joseph, a state forensic investigator in Maharashtra who used to work with Mukundan as a researcher on BEOS in Bangalore, said the test’s results were highly reliable. He said Mukundan had done extensive testing, as had the state.

Here in Maharashtra, about 75 crime suspects and witnesses have undergone the test since late 2006. But the technique received its strongest official endorsement, forensic investigators here say, on June 12, when a judge convicted a woman of murder based on evidence that included polygraph and BEOS tests.

The woman, Aditi Sharma, was accused of killing her former fiancé, Udit Bharati. They were living in Pune when Sharma met another man and eloped with him to Delhi. Later Sharma returned to Pune and, according to prosecutors, asked Bharati to meet her at a McDonald’s. She was accused of poisoning him with arsenic-laced food.

Sharma, 24, agreed to take a BEOS test in Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra. (Suspects may be tested only with their consent, but forensic investigators say many agree because they assume it will spare them an aggressive police interrogation.)

After placing 32 electrodes on Sharma’s head, investigators said, they read aloud their version of events, speaking in the first person (“I bought arsenic;” “I met Udit at McDonald’s”), along with neutral statements like “The sky is blue,” which help the software distinguish memories from normal cognition.

For an hour, Sharma said nothing. But the relevant nooks of her brain where memories are thought to be stored buzzed when the crime was recounted, according to Joseph, the state investigator. The judge endorsed Joseph’s assertion that the scans were proof of “experiential knowledge” of having committed the murder, rather than just having heard about it.

In the only other significant judicial statement on BEOS, a judge in 2006 in Gujarat denied the test the status of “concluded proof” but wrote that it corroborated already solid evidence from other sources.

In writing his opinion on the Pune murder case, Judge S. S. Phansalkar-Joshi included a nine-page defense of BEOS.

Sharma insists that she is innocent.

Even as the debate continues over using scans to trip up obfuscators, researchers are developing new uses for the technology. No Lie MRI, a company in California, promises on its Web site to use the scans to help with developing interpersonal trust and military intelligence, among other tasks. In August, a committee of the National Research Council in Washington predicted that, with greater research, brain scans could eventually aid “the acquisition of intelligence from captured unlawful combatants” and “the screening of terrorism suspects at checkpoints.”

“As we enter more fully into the era of mapping and understanding the brain, society will face an increasing number of important ethical, legal and social issues raised by these new technologies,” Greely, the Stanford bioethicist, and his colleague Judy Illes wrote last year in the American Journal of Law & Medicine.

If brain scans are widely adopted, they added, “the legal issues alone are enormous, implicating at least the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. At the same time, the potential benefits to society of such a technology, if used well, could be at least equally large.”

Source : 

Int. Herald Tribune

A personal mobile communication device which lets you be free and fun. It is light, simple and carefree. You can change its form according to your needs during the day. You dont have to carry it in your pocket or on your wrist. You can carry it anywhere, in anyform. You can roll it, bend it, put on your clothes like a clip. It also makes some form changes that makes it more ergonomical: i.e. when you want to talk on the phone, the body form turns into the form of the good old telephone. You can personalize these forms and record them. So it fits you the best in the way that you have chosen. Also e-motions let you send forms to other 888 users: i.e. you can send a heart shape to your girlfriend or a dancing figure to your friends to call them to the party tonight. This way you can talk without words.

Tamer Nakisci explains in detail about this work.

*technologies that are used
It uses liquid battery, speech recognition, flexible touch screen, touch sensitive body cover which lets it understand and adjust to the environment. It has a simple programmable body mechanism so that it changes forms in different situations.

*the functionality of design
You dont have to carry it in your pocket or on your wrist. You can carry it anywhere, in anyform. You can roll it, bend it, put on your clothes like a clip. It also makes some form changes that makes it more ergonomical: i.e. when you want to talk on the phone, the body form turns into the form of the good old telephone. You can personalize these forms and record them. So it fits you the best in the way that you have chosen. The functions that it has also create a feeling of electronical pet, as it senses your moves, understand what you want, respond you in the best way. It learns you, to fit you better.Also e-motions lets you send forms to the other 888 users. It could be the shape of a heart or a small dance. This way you can talk without words.

*how the user interacts
E-motions… It means electronical motions that 888 has. You can send and receive forms from / to friends. You can send a heart shape to your girlfriend, so her telephone turns into an icon of heart. Or you can send a dancing form to your friends to call them to the party tonight. This is the fun side of the product. If we look from the functionality side, 888 is quite flexible. You can put it into your pocket, roll it and make it smaller, or put on your wrist when you want to make a video call on the go. If you want to talk like a normal telephone, there you have your telephone shape. We go through a lot of places and situations in the daily life, so it seems like one form is not enough.

*what is unique
You can change the form of the body. Not just the color. And you can do the same by sending an e-motion to your friend.

*the inspiration
The idea is that “the perfect form” does not exist. “Form follows you” We create the perfect form for each function.

Designer: Tamer Nakisci

Beyond batteries: Storing power in a sheet of paper

Researchers turn everyday paper into resilient, rechargeable energy storage device


A sample of the new nanocomposite paper developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Infused with carbon nanotubes, the paper can be used to create ultra-thin, flexible batteries and energy…
Click here for more information. 

Troy, N.Y. – Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new energy storage device that easily could be mistaken for a simple sheet of black paper.

The nanoengineered battery is lightweight, ultra thin, completely flexible, and geared toward meeting the trickiest design and energy requirements of tomorrow’s gadgets, implantable medical equipment, and transportation vehicles.

Along with its ability to function in temperatures up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and down to 100 below zero, the device is completely integrated and can be printed like paper. The device is also unique in that it can function as both a high-energy battery and a high-power supercapacitor, which are generally separate components in most electrical systems. Another key feature is the capability to use human blood or sweat to help power the battery.

Details of the project are outlined in the paper “Flexible Energy Storage Devices Based on Nanocomposite Paper” published Aug. 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The semblance to paper is no accident: more than 90 percent of the device is made up of cellulose, the same plant cells used in newsprint, loose leaf, lunch bags, and nearly every other type of paper.

Rensselaer researchers infused this paper with aligned carbon nanotubes, which give the device its black color. The nanotubes act as electrodes and allow the storage devices to conduct electricity. The device, engineered to function as both a lithium-ion battery and a supercapacitor, can provide the long, steady power output comparable to a conventional battery, as well as a supercapacitor’s quick burst of high energy.


A sample of the new nanocomposite paper developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Infused with carbon nanotubes, the paper can be used to create ultra-thin, flexible batteries and energy…
Click here for more information. 

The device can be rolled, twisted, folded, or cut into any number of shapes with no loss of mechanical integrity or efficiency. The paper batteries can also be stacked, like a ream of printer paper, to boost the total power output.

“It’s essentially a regular piece of paper, but it’s made in a very intelligent way,” said paper co-author Robert Linhardt, the Ann and John H. Broadbent Senior Constellation Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering at Rensselaer.

“We’re not putting pieces together – it’s a single, integrated device,” he said. “The components are molecularly attached to each other: the carbon nanotube print is embedded in the paper, and the electrolyte is soaked into the paper. The end result is a device that looks, feels, and weighs the same as paper.”

The creation of this unique nanocomposite paper drew from a diverse pool of disciplines, requiring expertise in materials science, energy storage, and chemistry. Along with Linhardt, authors of the paper include Pulickel M. Ajayan, professor of materials science and engineering, and Omkaram Nalamasu, professor of chemistry with a joint appointment in materials science and engineering. Senior research specialist Victor Pushparaj, along with postdoctoral research associates Shaijumon M. Manikoth, Ashavani Kumar, and Saravanababu Murugesan, were co-authors and lead researchers of the project. Other co-authors include research associate Lijie Ci and Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center Laboratory Manager Robert Vajtai.

The researchers used ionic liquid, essentially a liquid salt, as the battery’s electrolyte. It’s important to note that ionic liquid contains no water, which means there’s nothing in the batteries to freeze or evaporate. “This lack of water allows the paper energy storage devices to withstand extreme temperatures,” Kumar said.

Along with use in small handheld electronics, the paper batteries’ light weight could make them ideal for use in automobiles, aircraft, and even boats. The paper also could be molded into different shapes, such as a car door, which would enable important new engineering innovations.

“Plus, because of the high paper content and lack of toxic chemicals, it’s environmentally safe,” Shaijumon said.

Paper is also extremely biocompatible and these new hybrid battery/supercapcitors have potential as power supplies for devices implanted in the body. The team printed paper batteries without adding any electrolytes, and demonstrated that naturally occurring electrolytes in human sweat, blood, and urine can be used to activate the battery device.

“It’s a way to power a small device such as a pacemaker without introducing any harsh chemicals – such as the kind that are typically found in batteries – into the body,” Pushparaj said.

The materials required to create the paper batteries are inexpensive, Murugesan said, but the team has not yet developed a way to inexpensively mass produce the devices. The end goal is to print the paper using a roll-to-roll system similar to how newspapers are printed.

“When we get this technology down, we’ll basically have the ability to print batteries and print supercapacitors,” Ajayan said. “We see this as a technology that’s just right for the current energy market, as well as the electronics industry, which is always looking for smaller, lighter power sources. Our device could make its way into any number of different applications.”

The team of researchers has already filed a patent protecting the invention. They are now working on ways to boost the efficiency of the batteries and supercapacitors, and investigating different manufacturing techniques.

“Energy storage is an area that can be addressed by nanomanufacturing technologies and our truly inter-disciplinary collaborative activity that brings together advances and expertise in nanotechnology, room-temperature ionic liquids, and energy storage devices in a creative way to devise novel battery and supercapacitor devices,” Nalamasu said.


The paper energy storage device project was supported by the New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research (NYSTAR), as well as the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center at Rensselaer.

About Rensselaer

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the humanities and social sciences. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer faculty are known for pre-eminence in research conducted in a wide range of fields, with particular emphasis in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, and the media arts and technology. The Institute is well known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development.

[ Back to EurekAlert! ]Contact: Michael Mullaney
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute




At Dell’s launch of its “Hybrid Business” strategy today, the company spent a few minutes talking about its history of developing new standards, and forcing them on the industry. One of the standards discussed: Display Port. This new interconnect, according to Dell CTO Kevin Kettler, will redefine what an LCD monitor looks like.
It will support up to 4x the current HDTV resolutions, allow for integrated peripherals around the display, and will let you daisychain multiple monitors, rather than installing them in a star configuration. Everyting, including audio, microphone, panel I/O and more will all go through a single bi-directional cable.
Even better, by eliminating a lot of the electronics used for video conversion, new LCD monitors will be super-thin, and super sleek. The prototype, displayed above, should be available later this year. It’s only about a half an inch thick. Display Port also promises to make notebook monitors thinner too, said Kettler.
–Jim Louderback


Netgear XE103 85Mbps Wall-Plugged Ethernet Adapter





Wireless networks for the home and office have become sort of the de facto standard for those of without the luxury of Cat 5 cable runs. On the other hand, anyone that has ever used a wireless network within the confines of a multilevel dwelling or office also knows that Wi-Fi networks can be rather unreliable. There are obvious security risks, as well. Alternatively, Netgear has introduced 85Mbps powerline Ethernet adapters that turn any wall socket into a Fast Ethernet connection. I tested a pair of Netgear’s XE103 85Mbps Wall-Plugged Ethernet adapters across my lab’s simple Gigabit Ethernet router and network. Installation was as simple as plugging one unit into a wall outlet near the router and connecting a Cat 5 cable from the adapter to the router. At the other end, I plugged another adapter into the wall outlet near my client machine and connected the adapter to my system’s Ethernet NIC. I didn’t need drivers or other software to install and literally set up both adapters in seconds. These units use copper power lines in your wall to transmit an Ethernet signal while isolating the electronics from the AC current. The pair of XE103s worked like a charm right out of the box—not something I can say for Wi-Fi in remote corners of the building. My real-world tests showed the XE103s were able to stream 1080p video content without a hiccup. File transfer rates were slightly faster than 802.11g, even when our Wi-Fi setup had excellent signal strength. My Internet download/upload test showed the XE- 103-connected client posted 1,696KBps download and 92KBps upload speeds, which provided a more-than-snappy Web experience over my 6Mbps cable connection. Kudos to Netgear for doing powerline networking right.


by Dave Altavilla


$69.99 (one adapter)
● ● ● ●
CPU / April 2007


Specs: HomePlug 1.0 compliant; Ports: 1 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 1 85Mbps Powerline,Range: Up to 5,000 square foot home


Creative intros Xmod Wireless sound system

Creative has already extended its X-Fi audio processing technology beyond its sound cards (most recently to iPods), but it now looks to be trying to plant the sound-boosting gear in the rest of your house, and it’s hoping that its new Xmod Wireless system will be the device to do it. As with its other X-Fi products, Creative is boasting that the system will make “MP3s sound better than CDs,” with no setup or configuration required. Unlike the standard standard Xmod device, however, you won’t have to sit at your computer to enjoy that impressive, if somewhat questionable feat, with the main Xmod Wireless unit able to transmit tunes to up to four receivers within a 100 foot range (only one is included). You’re also apparently able to use the included remote with both the transmitter and receiver to control volume, song selection, and other functions. There’s no WiFi here though, just the good ‘ol 2.4GHz frequency — which would seem to open up the possibility of interference, although Creative seems confident that won’t be a problem. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can snag the bundle of one transmitter and one receiver now for $200, and as many additional receivers as you like for $100 apiece.


You don’t have to be an audiophile to listen to digital music and know that something is missing. Some of a CD’s richness doesn’t quite make it into the digital version when it’s converted. To help restore this lost texture, Creative has introduced the Xmod, a small gadget that plugs between your PC speakers and audio source. An audio processor that reconstructs and restores the lost textures of digital recordings is the heart of the Xmod. And it works. The tone and the quality of music played through the Xmod just sounds better. With both streams and digital files, the music was both richer and fuller than I expected—almost 3D. The effect was present with either speakers or headphones. Setup is easy. In the standard configuration, I plugged the Xmod into an audio source and connected it to a USB port (which doubles as power source) and my PC speakers (or headphones). Windows XP immediately recognized the device and required no configuration. However, it would have been nice if the package had included an extra audio cable to connect to a MP3 player. With a small footprint and stylish exterior, the Xmod’s design is elegant. The volume control and mute button are particularly welcome conveniences, and the glowing blue status lights are as functional as they are attractive. Be aware that the Xmod’s power demands limit its portability. Because it needs to draw power from a USB port or the external power adapter, you won’t be connecting the Xmod to your iPod and running around town with it. But for the true digital music lover, the Xmod is must-have hardware. For this price, this attractive and easy-to-use product adds tremendously to the digital music experience.


By Shawn Mummert


Specs : X-Fi Crystalizer; X-Fi CMSS-3D; Plug and play
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Sony’s world’s first 16.7 million color flexible OLED

Oh boy, another bendy display we won’t likely see on the market any time soon. This time it’s Sony’s turn to tout with this, their 2.5-inch, 160 x 120 pixel OLED display on a flexible plastic film. Better yet, this organic TFT delivers a relatively stellar 16.7 million colors compared to the 262k and 16k colors Samsung and LG.Philips, respectively, were showing off last week. That’s a world’s first 24-bit color depth for these types of displays. Take that Samsung. The display also measures a mere 0.3-mm thin which easily bests the hapless Korean (and Dutch) giants. The only downside (if you call it that) is the display’s “greater than” 1000:1 contrast ratio compared to Samsung’s 10,000:1 rating. But by now you’ve learned to take contrast measurements with a grain of salt, right?


GmailWeb Mail Reviewed

As all of us know Google Mail or "Gmail" is one of the new trends in Web Mail. Why Gmail is so popular, I am just going in deep of Gmail with it capabilities & Its limitations.

" On April 1, 2004, Google announced plans to launch Gmail – a free, Web-based email service that would provide up to 1,000 MB of storage space – more than 15 times the storage of Yahoo! Mail and 50 times the storage of Hotmail. Google would also provide Google Search capability to assist in locating specific emails, and would subsidize the cost of providing this service by serving contextual based ads in the margin of sent emails. ** Google Gmail is now offering 2.7GB+ of storage. "

Given below some great capabilities of Gmail
+ Points of Gmail

* Gmail is Web based, space for emails 2.7GB+
* Uses more flexible filing system with Labels instead of Folders (needs some exposure)
* Arranges emails as Conversations, so you can easily retrieve mails in a conversation with a person as a bunch of emails(sometimes little tricky)
* No need to waste time on deleting messages, but why we need to keep all the craps
* Easy search & find of Messages / Conversations
* Supports Rich Text Formatting
* Supports drafts & autosave
* Updated with GTalk features in built, now you can chat through gmail,also option for saving Talks
* Web search & mail search in one page
* Supports Calendars & Events
* Support for Starred Messages
* Gmail Plugins works as Remote GDrive (not supported by Gmail Team)
Links for supported plugin sites
* Good Support for Spam Filter
* Auto Complete list for contacts
* Events can be added to Mail
* Spell Checker
* Attachment Preview
* Supports Mail Filters
* Supports popular browsers also integrate with Gmail Notifiers
* Supports POP3 mail & forwarding
* Forums & User Communities
* No ADs on sent mails
* Supports Keyboard shortcuts

– Points of Gmail

* One year & Still in BETA
* Needs invitation to get an Gmail ID
* Not much support for emoticons & other Rich Formats
* Archiving needs double click, one for labeling & another for archiving
* No default virus scan
* Ads are shown
* Little bit confusing for novices
* No support for inserting Pictures into body of email(supported by Yahoo mail Plugin)
* Needs more integration of Google Calendar to GMail

Links useful :

Please feel free to post your comments for this.

Posted on MAY 08,2006. 12:01PM GMT+4:00

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Bino Blog Updates…

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Thanks for visiting my site. Blog just getting colors, updates will be regularly posted. Please feel free to check back for some good posts. I ensure you that some good posts will be awaiting you here.

30.APR.2007 09:30AM GMT+4:00


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