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Alexander Howard
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In May 2015, Alexander B. Howard became the first senior editor for technology and society at The Huffington Post. He is a former research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and the Ash Center for Democratic Innovation in Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2013, Howard founded, a blog focused on open government and civic technology. Previously, he was the Washington Correspondent for O’Reilly Media, an associate editor at TechTarget, and contributed to TechPresident, TechRepublic, WIRED, National Journal, PBS Mediashift, The Daily Beast, NextGov, Forbes, Buzzfeed, Slate, The Atlantic, Govfresh, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, and The Association for Computer Manufacturing, among other fine publications. Howard is a frequent speaker, conference moderator, and occasional analyst for public radio. He is a graduate of Colby College. You can reach him at

Entries by Alexander Howard

California Can Teach The Rest Of Us An Important Lesson In Digital Privacy

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 12:09 PM

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed the nation's strongest digital privacy law yet, codifying a simple principle: All of our existing rights should apply online, too.

The California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA) passed the state legislature with overwhelming majorities earlier this week before going to the governor's desk....

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App Saves Lives By Connecting People With CPR Training To Cardiac Arrest Victims

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 4:27 PM

Some of the most powerful applications of technology involve connecting people to one another at the right time, not in real time. When a good idea is matched with solid implementation, remarkable outcomes can follow.

The big idea behind PulsePoint is for local 911 dispatchers to use a

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Uncle Sam Wants YOU To Help Solve National Problems

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2015 | 12:11 AM

You might know that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) uses challenges to stimulate innovation, including competitions around robotics, self-driving cars and automated computer security. Falling robots draw attention, after all. Or perhaps you know about the Orteig Prize, which inspired Charles Lindbergh to fly across the Atlantic from New...

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New Chrome Extension Blocks Out Names, Photos Of Mass Shooters

(5) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 3:41 PM

In an age when killers can plan for their shootings to go viral on social media, people are looking for new ways to cope with the sources, symptoms and outcomes of gun violence. While some changes require Congress to pass laws, other options don't.

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6 Amazing 3D-Printed Body Parts That Changed Patients' Lives

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 3:18 PM

There's been a lot of hype around 3D printing, but its applications in medicine are real.

Advances in "additive manufacturing" -- the industrial version of 3D printing -- are being applied toward federally approved medical devices, and have enabled surgeons from Scotland to Chicago to inexpensively...

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Former DHS Director Chertoff: 'You Can't Have Privacy Without Security'

(1) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 1:23 PM

If you can’t lock your door, you can’t maintain the privacy of your home. If you can’t encrypt your phone, you can’t keep your personal data private, either. As tech companies and law enforcement agencies clash over encryptionsecurity and privacy, a former Bush...

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We Should Be Worried About 'Peeple,' The App That Lets You Review Other Humans

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 12:09 PM

Here we go again. Someone is making an app that's "like Yelp, for people."

The new service, called Peeple, wants adults to rate and review the folks they know, the way one would evaluate restaurants online. The service resembles other controversial rating apps that have launched over the...

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White House Explores How 'Citizen Science' Can Help Society

(1) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 3:44 PM

Doing experiments isn't just for the birds, and it's not just for the professional scientists, either. Long before anyone ever thought of "crowdsourcing" or "open innovation," thousands of volunteers were stumping around in the snow and sleet every year for the Audubon Society's 

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Apple's App Store Censorship Doesn't Make Any Sense

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 10:57 AM

Apple reserves the right to deny apps entry into its App Store, but its application of this policy is maddeningly inconsistent.

Take the case of software engineer Charles Yeh, who developed an app called Speed Camera Alert and recently tried submitting it to Apple's marketplace. The...

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Government Websites Are About To Get A Lot Less Confusing And Hideous

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 12:27 PM

Today, many government websites are hard on the eyes and confusing to navigate, but that might be about to change.

New design standards released Monday for federal sites provide a common resource to standardize and improve what we find online, hopefully saving taxpayers time and frustration...

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Volkswagen Scandal Proves It's Time To Stop Being Passive About Our Tech

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 3:58 PM

Welcome to our expanding Internet of Cheating Things

Volkswagen admitted this month that millions of its diesel-powered cars had sidestepped environmental rules by using software that could detect emissions tests. In doing so, the world's biggest automaker hasn't just torpedoed public...

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Pope Wants Technology To Make Us Better Humans

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 11:17 AM

In an address to a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday morning, Pope Francis urged lawmakers to have compassion for the most vulnerable among us, including the poor, immigrants and refugees seeking safety and...

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Pope Francis Hails Tech To Fight Climate Change In 'Our Common Home'

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 12:46 PM

If Pope Francis' prayers are answered, humanity will devote more of its collective efforts toward cleaning up our...

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The Government Is Learning How To Change Your Behavior -- Supposedly For Your Own Good

(2) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 5:03 PM

Not every effort to change how we make choices will go flat like the soda ban that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration tried to impose upon the people of New York City.

That effort, which ultimately fell apart after beverage companies sued the city and a court...

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Dear Uncle Sam: If You Want Our Email Or Data, Please Get A Warrant

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 2:46 PM

It's a given that laws governing a democratic society will always lag technology. But the statutes governing our emails and other electronic communications lag more than most.

Tech companies and privacy and civil liberties advocates have been urging Congress to pass reforms to the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy...

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Apple Could Learn Something From Amazon's New Tablet For Tots

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 11:22 AM

If Amazon has its way, lots of kids will be playing with a new Fire tablet this Christmas.

After Apple chased business customers with its new, bigger iPad Pro

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몸이 마비된 사람이 생각으로 조종하는 로봇 팔로 촉감을 느끼다(동영상)

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 1:02 AM

루크 스카이워커의 손

‘제국의 역습’에서 루크 스카이워커가 얻었던 것 같은 인공 손이 곧 개발된다. 로봇 손을 단 사람은 손을 움직일 수 있을 뿐 아니라 각 손가락으로 촉각도 느낄 수 있다.

존스 홉킨스 대학교의 응용 물리학 연구소의 연구자들은 척수 부상으로 마비된 28세의 자원자의 뇌에 전극을 심었다. 자원자는 인공 팔의 움직임을 조절할 수 있었고, 연구실 사람들이 각 손가락을 만지는 것을 느낄 수도 있었다.

robotic hand

레볼루셔나이징 프로스테틱스 그룹과 피험자는 9월 11일에 고등방위연구계획국(DARPA)이 주최한 컨퍼런스에서 이 새로운 기술을 선보였다.

“한 번은 연구팀은 피험자에게 말하지 않고 손가락 하나가 아닌 두 개를 눌렀다. 그는 자신을 속이려 하는 거냐고 농담을 하며 반응했다. 그때 우리는 로봇 손을 통해 받는 느낌이 거의 자연스럽다는 것을 알 수 있었다.” 레볼루셔나이징 프로스테틱스 프로그램을 감독하는 DARPA의 프로그램 매니저 저스틴 산체스의 말이다.

인공 기관을 주시하는 사람들이라면 이 소식을 장기간의 진보의 일부로 받아들일 것이다. 2012년 ’60 미닛’에서는 DARPA가 생각으로 조종할 수 있는 로봇 팔다리를 만들었다고 보도한 바 있었다.

DARPA는 예전에 DEKA 리서치에서 만든 다른 의수 개발에도 자금을 지원했다. 아래 사진의 DEKA 의수는 재향군인회 연구에 참가한 팔이 절단된 사람 35명의 자원자들의 도움으로 만들어졌다.

robot hand

존스 홉킨스에서 만든 새 로봇 손의 새로운 점은 손가락의 센서가 착용자의 뇌로 직접 생물학적 반응을 보낼 수 있다는 것이다.

“우리는 회로를 완성했다. 생각으로 조종하는 의수는 큰 잠재력을 보이고 있지만, 뇌로 신호를 보내지 않으면 정확한 움직임을 구현할 수 있을 정도 수준의 조종을 하기가 힘들다. 이번 연구는 기계손에서 뇌로 직접 촉감을 보냄으로써 거의 자연스러운 기능을 할 수 있는 매끄러운 생명 공학 복구의 가능성을 보여주었다.” 산체스가 9월 11일 발표한 성명의 내용이다.

이러한 발달된 의수가 흔히 사용되려면 아직 여러 해 있어야 하겠지만, 머나먼 은하계에서 보았던 팔이 이제는 현실에 성큼 다가왔다.

허핑턴포스트US의 Paralyzed Man Can Feel Sense Of Touch Through Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm를 번역, 편집한 것입니다.

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America Needs More Kids Like Ahmed Mohamed

(1) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 3:18 PM

The response to the arrest and suspension of a ninth-grader after he brought a homemade clock to school has been a timely, heartwarming reminder that we are a nation of makers.  

Ahmed Mohamed's incident has catalyzed a national discussion about bias, race...

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Paralyzed Man Can Feel Sense Of Touch Through Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2015 | 5:49 PM

Uncle Sam's skunkworks is well on its way to creating a prosthetic hand like the one Luke Skywalker received in "The Empire Strikes Back." The prosthetic allows the person equipped with it not only to move the robotic hand but to feel sensations on the individual fingers


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Finding The Right College Is Hard. This New Database Helps Students Choose Wisely.

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2015 | 4:38 PM

A new government website is helping Americans make more educated decisions about where they go to college. And unlike, the makers of College Scorecard have published their comprehensive, updated data about colleges in a way that lets other websites use it at launch. 



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