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News Clips - November 9, 2007

From November 2 to November 8, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted over 1,000 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


The hidden risk of file-sharing
The Wall Street Journal | November 7
Many of the hundreds of millions of people around the world who swap music, movies and other digital content on their personal computers over the Internet have inadvertently put themselves at risk of identity theft. ... The risk from file-sharing "will get worse before it gets better," says Don McGillen, executive director of Carnegie Mellon CyLab, an initiative of the university in Pittsburgh that develops computer-security technology.


Scientific American chronicles DARPA's quest to find the perfect robot driver
Scientific American | November 5
It's not always a bad thing when a machine takes your job, especially if that job is driving across a battlefield to deliver supplies, collect intelligence or perform rescue operations. The Defense Department moved a step closer to that goal last Saturday when it crowned a winner for its DARPA Urban Challenge. An SUV nicknamed "Boss" and put together by a team including gearheads from Carnegie Mellon University, General Motors Corporation, Caterpillar, and Continental found itself in the winner's circle when all was said and done.


Online privacy policies need work, advocates say
The Washington Post (Computer World) | November 5
Online privacy policies need to be easier to understand and more conspicuous because few people now actually read them, said panelists at a U.S. Federal Trade Commission workshop on targeted online advertising. While privacy policies can help users understand what personal information is being collected, they often need "college-level reading skills" to understand them, said Lorrie Faith Cranor, a Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor who's done research on privacy policies.


SUV with mind of its own wins robot car race
Reuters | November 4
A souped-up Chevy Tahoe sports utility vehicle with a mind of its own was declared the winner of a robot car race on Sunday after it traveled without help from humans for six hours and 100 km around a California ghost town. Nicknamed Boss, the vehicle from Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh won a $2 million prize in the third such race sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, which wants robots eventually to drive military supply vehicles.


Viva la robotic revolution | November 4
Call it a giant leap for machinekind. On Saturday, when Carnegie Mellon's robotic Chevy Tahoe, known as "Boss," rolled across the finish line of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge in Victorville, Calif., after 60 miles of urban driving, no driver stepped out to be showered with champagne and photographs.


Setting back clocks can be a killer
CNN (AP) | November 3
This weekend is the time to turn back those clocks, and according to two scientists, time to be extra careful when walking during evening rush hour. ...  Their study of risk to pedestrians is preliminary but confirms previous findings of higher deaths after clocks are set back in fall. It's not the darkness itself, but the adjustment to earlier nighttime that's the killer, said professors Paul Fischbeck and David Gerard, both of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.


How stress harms your heart
TIME Magazine | November 1
The human heart does not like surprises. In the month after 9/11, incidents of dangerous heart rhythms in cardiac patients around New York City more than doubled. ... The emotions at play in tense marriages can do cumulative damage to organs and tissues that may leave people at greater risk of illness, the authors wrote. "There is a fair amount of evidence" linking stress and disease, says Sheldon Cohen, a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University who authored a recent paper about the negative effects of stress on heart disease and illnesses like depression and HIV/AIDS, "enough to start asking whether reductions of stress would reduce disease outcomes.",9171,1678678,00.html


Solar Decathlon
ABC News | October 26
Check out what's new in energy efficiency and home design in this ABC News video clip, featuring Carnegie Mellon architecture student, Brian Kish.

Education for Leadership

Gumband guy stretch cartography's limits
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | November 3
DeepLocal wants to throw a party to celebrate something many technology companies only dream of -- surviving a full year. Only they're too busy. "Right now we have more work than we can handle, which is a great thing," said Nathan Martin, 30, co-founder and CEO of the Carnegie Mellon University spinoff. ... "It's the kind of company that sets the stage internationally for people to understand that Pittsburgh is a platform for design in new media," said Illah Nourbakhsh, associate professor in Carnegie Mellon's school of computer science's Robotics Institute. "That's a big deal, because that really is the future."

Arts and Humanities

Carnegie Mellon artists broadcast 'Sounds You Never Hear' in Homestead
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | November 8
If you're driving through Homestead and fiddling with the car radio, you may hear some unusual sounds. ... The recorded broadcasts, called "Sounds You Never Hear," are the creation of a pair of artists at Carnegie Mellon University: Jon Rubin, an assistant professor of art at Carnegie Mellon, and John Pena, a graduate student in the fine arts art department. ... The first was a recording of a bird that has been extinct since the 1980s, the dusky seaside sparrow. The current one, "The sounds of three rivers meeting underwater," was recorded by putting a microphone underwater at the Point. The broadcasts will continue through tomorrow.


Art Review: Decades of work by Carnegie Mellon artist can challenge one's view of life
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | November 7
An exhibition with wide and deep roots opens this weekend at Carnegie Museum of Art and with it the opportunity to participate in one of the most stimulating conversations likely to be held in Pittsburgh this year. The solo exhibition, in the Forum Gallery, comprises four ceiling-high paintings, conceived as gates or portals to a larger ongoing work, by Carnegie Mellon University professor Lowry Burgess. Whether they are symbolic or more is dependent upon your mystical receptivity, because Burgess' expression straddles rational and intuitive spheres, scientific and belief sectors, experiential and imagined space, and normative and conceptual time.

Information Technology

Carnegie Mellon unveils new master's degree
Pittsburgh Business Times | November 5
Carnegie Mellon University is introducing a master's degree that will emphasize the business aspects of software engineering, the school said Monday. The master of science in information technology and software engineering management degree will take a multi-disciplinary approach to management training. It's designed to give managers looking to move up into leadership positions within their organizations the skills they will need in software process management.


Carnegie Mellon professor named initiative chair
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | November 6
Carnegie Mellon University architecture professor Volker Hartkopf has been named chair of the United National Environment Program Sustainable Building Construction Initiative, which works with governments and companies around the world to adopt sustainable building practices.


Majestic Star Casino pressured to go green
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | November 2
A coalition of architects and design experts are urging casino owner Don Barden not to "squander Pittsburgh's best piece of property" where his Majestic Star Casino will sit on the North Shore. The Pittsburgh Civic Design Coalition on Thursday said its seven member organizations -- such as the Carnegie Mellon University Urban Lab, Sustainable Pittsburgh and the Green Building Alliance -- believe the casino will become "obsolete as soon as it opens" if it doesn't meet national green-building standards.

Regional Impact

E-voting to end election delays?
Beaver County Times & Allegheny Times | November 5
There will be plenty of anxious candidates and supporters eyeing computer screens tonight and hoping there aren't any delays in getting results posted on Beaver County's Web site. ... Carnegie Mellon University professor Michael Shamos is an electronic-voting expert who reviewed and flunked the county's former touch-screen system, the Patriot by UniLect Corp. "Of course, vote reporting is much faster with e-voting," Shamos said.


FBI chief lauds city's cyber-crime fight
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | November 8
Pittsburgh has a unique crime-fighter, FBI Director Robert Mueller said Wednesday. ... "Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon in particular, have been on the cutting edge of technology and computer science capabilities for years," Mueller said. "Pittsburgh has developed a reputation for having the experts that can work alongside law enforcement to investigate these crimes and identify the attackers. Pittsburgh is the envy of those around the world."


What's ahead for Carnegie Mellon's 'Boss'?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | November 7
Boss -- Carnegie Mellon University's world champion robotic vehicle -- will travel to Detroit then return home for a celebration before the focus turns to commercial applications. Carnegie Mellon's self-driving SUV made technological history Saturday when it defeated 10 other vehicles in the Urban Challenge in Victorville, Calif.


Carnegie Mellon robot drives itself to $2 million prize
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | November 5
Carnegie Mellon University's Tartan Racing team rode away with a $2 million prize for coming in first in this year's Pentagon-sponsored robotic vehicle race held Saturday in Victorville, Calif. The team's vehicle, "Boss," turned in the top performance as it navigated -- by itself -- through the Urban Challenge course at the former George Air Force Base.


Pedestrians 3 times more likely to be killed when clocks change, study says
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | November 3
Two Carnegie Mellon University scientists are warning people that there's much more to daylight-saving time than just setting your clocks back an hour tonight. You need to get your mind right. Professors Paul Fischbeck and David Gerard have made a study of traffic fatalities that shows pedestrians walking during the evening rush hour are nearly three times more likely to be struck and killed by cars in the weeks after the fall time change.


Real estate prices higher in some places
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | November 2
Homes in Shadyside and Squirrel Hill are solid bets for long-term price appreciation, but a recent study of real estate trends in and around Pittsburgh concluded the hottest place to own a home is the South Side. A report by graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business shows home values in South Side Flats and Slopes over the past 10 years have had the highest price appreciation in the city -- more than 10 percent annually.


Somewhere, George Jetson is smiling (Leader-Post) | November 7
Robots were once science-fiction. In fact, the word comes from the Czech word "robota," meaning work, and originated in Karel Capek's popular 1920 science-fiction play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots). ... Earlier this year researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the National Institute of Communications Technology in Kyoto showed off a squishy yellow robot (rather like a rubber ducky) called "Keepon" that can pick out the beat in a piece of music and move along. Not only that -- if you're dancing in front of it, it can track your rhythmic motion and move in time with you, becoming, in effect, a squishy yellow dance partner (which just might be an improvement on your usual dance partner).


Neural stem cell drug delivery is encapsulating | November 5
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created genetically engineered adult neural stem cells which can be delivered to the brain to produce and supply missing proteins. "We are particularly interested in targeting the brain because this area of the body is protected by the so-called blood-brain barrier that has been very difficult to penetrate with therapeutic enzymes that are usually injected into the patient's bloodstream," lead developer and Carnegie Mellon biomedical engineering assistant professor Stefan Zappe said.


FDA risk advisory committee members named
United Press International | November 5
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has selected 15 voting members to serve on its new Risk Communication Advisory Committee. The committee will advise the FDA how to best communicate to the public the risks and benefits of FDA-regulated products so as to facilitate their optimal use. ... Professor Baruch Fischhoff of Carnegie Mellon University will serve as the committee's first chairman.