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Imaging Software Shows Your Future Self

When people go to a hair stylist, they often browse magazines to find a photo of a style they want to try, but they won’t know if they really like it until they try it. Police are often challenged when looking for missing people when those individuals disguise their appearance with different hair colors and styles or facial hair. And children who have been missing for years can be very difficult to find because their looks have changed over the years. What if we had help figuring out all these appearance challenges? A new system called Dreambit, developed by a University of Washington computer vision researcher, lets a person imagine how they would look with a different hairstyle or color or even in a different time period, country, or anything that can be queried in an image search engine. After uploading an input photo, you type in a search term (such as curly hair, India, 1930s), and the software's algorithms mine Internet photo collections for similar images in that category and seamlessly map the person's face onto the results. Dreambit draws on previous research conducted at the UW and elsewhere in facial processing, recognition, three-dimensional reconstruction, and age progression, combining those algorithms in a unique way to create the blended images.

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Imaging Finds Book Hidden for 500 Years

Researchers from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and from universities in the Netherlands have used high-tech imaging to uncover the details of a rare Mexican codex dating from before the colonization of the Americas. The newly revealed codex, or book, has been hidden from view for almost 500 years, concealed beneath a layer of plaster and chalk on the back of a later manuscript known as the Codex Selden, which is housed at the Bodleian Libraries. Scientists have used hyperspectral imaging to reveal pictographic scenes from this remarkable document and have published their findings in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. Ancient Mexican codices are some of the most important artefacts of early Mexican culture and are particularly rare. Codex Selden, also known as Codex Añute, dates from around 1560 and is one of fewer than 20 known Mexican codices to have survived from pre-colonial and early colonial Mexico. Of those, it is one of only five surviving manuscripts from the Mixtec area, now the Oaxaca region of Mexico. These codices use a complex system of pictures, symbols, and bright colors to narrate centuries of conquering dynasties and genealogies as well as wars and the history of ancient cities. In essence, these codices provide the best insight into the history and culture of early Mexico. Since the 1950s, scholars have suspected that Codex Selden is a palimpsest: an older document that has been covered up and reused to make the manuscript that is currently visible. Codex Selden consists of a five-meter-long strip composed of deer hide that has been covered with gesso, a white plaster made from gypsum and chalk, and folded in a concertina format into a 20-page document. The manuscript underwent a series of invasive tests in the 1950s when one page on the back was scraped, uncovering a vague image that hinted at the possibility that an earlier Mexican codex lay hidden beneath. Until now, no other technique has been able to unveil the concealed narrative in a non-invasive way. The organic paints that were partly used to create the vibrant images on early Mexican codices do not absorb X-rays, which rules out the X-ray analysis that is commonly used to study later works of art. “After four or five years of trying different techniques, we've been able to reveal an abundance of images without damaging this extremely vulnerable item. We can confirm that Codex Selden is indeed a palimpsest,” said Ludo Snijders from Leiden University, who conducted the research with David Howell from the Bodleian Libraries and Tim Zaman from the University of Delft. This is the first time an early Mexican codex has been proven to be a palimpsest.

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Smart NVH Solutions for Next-Generation Brake Design

In Conjunction with SAE Brake noise is one of the most frequent complaints from car owners. Brake engineers have spent significant time addressing consumer complaints of rattles, groans, and squeals.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars

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New Fabric Uses Sun to Power Devices

A new fabric developed at Georgia Institute of Technology uses sunlight and motion to harvest energy. Combining the two types of electricity generation into one textile paves the way for creating garments that could provide their own source of energy to power devices such as smartphones or global positioning systems.

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Reticulated Foams Expand The Boundaries Of Cellular Solids

Ideally suited for high-tech applications, reticulated foams of ceramic or metal provide industry as well as the research community with an extraordinarily versatile material form that can be engineered for particular properties and tailored for specific applications. The interconnected lattice of continuous ligaments within the cellular structure provides greater strength than shorter fibers and also ensures uniform material characteristics throughout the structure.

Posted in: White Papers, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials

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Applying IBM Continuous Engineering at CMC Electronics

Innovative and high-quality software is a key driver for business success in the aerospace industry. To remain competitive, quality must be built into all aspects of safety-critical products. In fact, this is a key requirement in any safety critical application under the aerospace DO-178C standard. CMC Electronics, a Canadian aerospace solutions supplier, leveraged the IBM Continuous Engineering solution to improve quality of its software components by applying model based testing with Rational Rhapsody and Test Conductor. Through the use of the IBM Continuous engineering solution and model based testing, CMC Electronics engineers have the ability to seamlessly integrate unit, integration, and HW/SW integration testing into their safety-critical model based development process.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars

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Nanomaterial Could Speed Up Electric Vehicle Charging

A new nanomaterial acts as both battery and supercapacitor. A conductive polymer (green) formed inside the small holes of a hexagonal framework (red and blue) works with the framework to store electrical energy. (William Dichtel, Northwestern University) A new material could one day speed up the charging process of electric cars and help increase their driving range. Researchers have combined a covalent organic framework (COF) – a strong, stiff polymer with an abundance of tiny pores suitable for storing energy – with a very conductive material to create the first modified redox-active COF that closes the gap with other older, porous, carbon-based electrodes.

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