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News Clips - June 27, 2008

From June 21 to June 27, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 480 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Obama Continues Talking About Gas Prices
CBS News Blog | June 27
Tackling high gas prices has been the dominant topic of Barack Obama’s three week economy tour and today was no different. Obama hosted an “Economic Competitiveness Summit” at Carnegie Mellon University featuring over a dozen high profile business leaders who he pressed on gas prices and developing alternative energy sources. “On something as important as our energy policy, we will need the kind of leadership that John F. Kennedy showed when he said America is going to the moon,” Obama told the group.


'WALL-E' focuses on its hero's heart
USA Today | June 25
"Robots are like dinosaurs — there's a timelessness to their appeal for both kids and adults," says Ron Baillie, chief program officer for the center, which also will house Carnegie Mellon University's Robot Hall of Fame. "When done right, robots are like friends. They're different from us, but also so much like us, because we create them."


U.S. News & World Report | June 24
What's a bottle of wine really worth? According to Peter Roberts of Emory University and Ray Reagans of Carnegie Mellon University, that depends almost entirely upon whether wine critics have anything to say about it. In Critical Exposure and Price-Quality Relationships for New World Wines in the U.S. Market, appearing in a recent issue of The Journal of Wine Economics, the researchers studied the rise of "New World" wines from countries like Australia and Chile, comparing prices of wines that received quality ratings in the Wine Spectator with those that did not. There's no such thing as bad publicity, they found. Wineries that received reviews—even less-than-stellar ones—could charge a premium for their products.

Education For Leadership

New photo 'geolocation' method is created
United Press International | June 25
U.S. scientists say they've created a technology that can estimate where a photograph was taken by matching it online with other GPS-tagged photos. Carnegie Mellon University researchers said theirs is the first computerized "geolocation" method that can analyze a photograph and determine where on Earth the image likely was taken. It's a feat made possible by searching through millions of GPS-tagged images in the Flickr online photo collection.


Smart Footballs From Smarter Students
The Chronicle of Higher Education Blog | June 26
The Chronicle recently profiled a Carnegie Mellon University researcher who advises on projects to adapt cell phones as assistive technologies for the blind and deaf. One of her students’ projects—a gesture-recognition glove that translates American Sign Language into spoken words through a cell phone—has another, potentially more lucrative use: football training. The same sensor-embedded glove technology can help identify whether a ball is being handled, caught, and thrown properly.

Arts and Humanities

Set Visit: My Day with TNT - Part I - Saving Grace
Movie Web | June 27
Laura, how do you and Holly (Hunter) prepare for your roles? It really seems like it's flowing. Do you both have sort of the same process? Laura San Giacomo: I think it's probably more chemistry than similarity, although we do have similar backgrounds. We went to the same school. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon the year before I got there, so we have similar history backgrounds, coming from the theater and all of that. There is something that happens when we just start working that's pretty instantaneous.

Information Technology

Study: Cities Hungry for Tech Workers
TechNewsWorld | June 25
"In a larger sense, the reason those particular cities are very strong -- and [that is] definitely true for Baltimore and Pittsburgh -- is the proximity to really fine research universities. That's usually where high-tech companies cluster, because people in the graduate programs at Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh really spawn a lot of startup companies that are really fast growing," said Josh James, a senior research analyst at the AeA, told TechNewsWorld.


California Bans Talking While Driving, Sort Of
Wired | June 26
However, hands-free devices may not help. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have noted that voice-activated or hands-free calling is a major distraction, too. Also, while talking may be banned, text messaging generally isn't. Only Washington, Minnesota and New Jersey ban texting outright. That means in California, for example, a motorist can legally fumble around with a handset sending a text message, but will be breaking the law if he holds the phone up to his ear and starts talking.


Vote for DN's 2008 Engineer of the Year
Design News | June 25
A pioneer in computer vision robotics and Director of the National Science Foundation’s Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center, Dr. Takeo Kanade is designing perceptual robotic algorithms and systems that function in the physical world by developing smart intelligent systems to help older adults and people with disabilities stay safer and independent longer with the use of interactive robotic rehabilitation devices. Dr. Kanade has worked in multiple areas of robotics including computer vision, multimedia, manipulators, autonomous ground and air mobile robots and sensors. His most commercial success is EyeVision, based on his multi-camera Virtualized Reality technology.


CMU research opens up a new era for neuro-education
Pop City Media | June 25
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have discovered major evidence that focused cognitive instruction can change a specific part of brain functioning, a finding that will open up a new era of neuro-education. The study demonstrates how the plasticity of the human brain can work for the benefit of remedial learning, says neuroscientist Marcel Just, director of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging and senior author of the new study published on the website of journal Neuropsychologia.


City Council To Consider Legislation for Reducing Pittsburgh's Greenhouse Gases
The Earth Times | June 24
A resolution being introduced in City Council tomorrow is designed to generate a 20-percent reduction in Pittsburgh's greenhouse gas emissions by 2023. […] A student research team from Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz School, led by Flora, conducted an emissions inventory in the fall of 2006 as part of the ICLEI model and established 2003 as the baseline year for Pittsburgh upon which all future reductions will be measured against.,443642.shtml

Regional Impact

Boulevard of the Allies
The New York Sun | June 27
Forty years later a small controversy began to brew about the roadway, with a columnist at the Pittsburgh Press, Mary O'Hara, agitating to change its name, perhaps to the Steel Skyway in recognition of the mills it overlooked on its way from Pittsburgh's commercial downtown at the confluence of three rivers, to its academic downtown where the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University now stand.


Techman way up on his general, specialized search engines
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | June 23
Clusty is a product of Vivisimo, a company started by three Carnegie Mellon University scientists and headquartered on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill. In Clusty, search results come back sorted into categories. Clusty tells you how many results fell into each category. It is especially useful for a term that has varied meanings.


Cricket association making its pitch
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | June 26
Raj Gopal finds two contradictory benefits from playing matches organized by the 4-year-old Pittsburgh Cricket Association. The association offers programs to introduce cricket to fifth- and sixth-grade pupils in the Pittsburgh area, he said. This fall the organization will take part in student orientation at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.


EnterPrize Winners
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | June 25
TuitionChoice, a private student loan application and comparison website, and Bossa Nova Concepts, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff introducing new robotic toys, are the winners in this year's EnterPrize Business Plan Competition. The winners, who were honored at an event Monday marking the final phase of the 10th year of the competition.


Private Sector (commentary): The 'new' liberal art
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | June 24
The good news is that some of the area's colleges and universities have put a greater focus on cultivating technology skills. For example, IBM is working with schools such as Carnegie Mellon University to build software programming, Web 2.0 and enterprise computing skills. Tomorrow, IBM is hosting skills workshops at Carnegie Mellon to encourage developers, business partners and students to focus on critical skill areas, such as software engineering tools, open source platforms, software testing methodology and "Hacking 101."


Sleeping on the job...
Finextra | June 26
Today is National Siesta Day in the UK, which aims to encourage company bosses to allow staff to have an afternoon power nap. […] Some of the companies mentioned have even supplied staff with so-called sleep pods supplied by New York-based Metronaps, which describes itself as a "provider of professional fatigue risk management solutions". […]  Researched and tested at Carnegie Mellon University, MetroNaps says the EnergyPod "is an elegant yet simple device that counters the problem of employee workday fatigue."


If Oil Is Causing Inflation, What Can Fed Really Do?
CNBC | June 25
"The Fed has made a mistake, a big one, in fact a number of mistakes, and the only thing it can do now is begin to correct them," says Allan H. Meltzer, a Fed expert at Carnegie Mellon University. "It overreacted to the housing slump, it overestimated the loss in jobs, it underestimated the inflation effect, so it should know by now that for the millionth time its forecast was not very good. It should aim at a low level of inflation for the short term."