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News Clips - April 2, 2010

From March 25 to April 1, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 376 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Fed Reveals Bear Stearns Assets It Swallowed in Firm’s Rescue
Bloomberg/BusinessWeek | April 1
The Bear Stearns deal marked a turning point in the financial crisis for the Fed. By putting taxpayers at risk in financing the rescue, the central bank was engaging in fiscal policy, normally the domain of Congress and the U.S. Treasury, said Marvin Goodfriend, a former Richmond Fed policy adviser who is now an economist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.


Ready for Your Biometric Social Security Card?
TIME | March 29
Could a national identity card help resolve the heated immigration-reform divide? Two Senators, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer and South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, certainly seem to think so. They recently presented an immigration-bill blueprint to President Barack Obama that includes a proposal to issue a biometric ID card — one that would contain physical data such as fingerprints or retinal scans — to all working Americans. The "enhanced Social Security card" is being touted as a way to curb illegal immigration by giving employers the power to quickly and accurately determine who is eligible to work. [...] "This is no small number," he said, "especially in this economy, where so many workers already face extraordinary obstacles to finding a job." Dean Pradeep Khosla, founding director of Carnegie Mellon's cybersecurity lab, estimates that the error rates of computerized systems would likely be less than 2% (and could be less than 1%) but says they can never be zero.,8599,1974927,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

Education for Leadership

TEDx comes to Carnegie Mellon this Sunday
Pop City | March 31
What began as a gathering of the world's most fabulous thinkers in the realms of technology, entertainment and design has spun into a parallel universe and taken a life of its own. This coming Sunday--yes, that would be Easter for some--Carnegie Mellon will present its own TEDTalks, a unique forum that was founded in 1984 to bring attention to new ideas. The forum brings together featured speakers who are invited to share their ideas relating to the three themes and give the lecture of their lives--all in 18 minutes.


Dashboard App For iPad: Sneak Preview Video
The Washington Post/ | March 29
The  iPad is coming alright shipping notices have started popping up this morning, although I'd wager you won't see the first ones effectively arrive until the 3rd of April. At launch day, expect at least 100 apps straight out the gate, and likely double that.We got a heads up from Carnegie Mellon student Rich Hong this morning: he built a widget dashboard app for the iPad, and it's definitely worth checking out the sneak preview video.Have you seen other previews of iPad apps that are worth checking out?

Arts and Humanities

Sparking Curiosity
Fast Company Blog | March 30
This ad worked because it made me curious. And believe it or not, there’s actually a theory of how you can generate curiosity. It’s from George Loewenstein at Carnegie Mellon University. He said curiosity comes from a gap between what we know and what we want to know. And if you make people aware that the gap exists, it causes a kind of itch—it’s unpleasant. To make that itch go away, we’ll do some work to find the answer. TripAdvisor opened a gap in mind that I had to close—I had to know what those hotels were, and I was willing to work to get the answer. I suspect their click-thru rates on that ad were crazy.

Information Technology

How to Prevent Identity Theft in Your Business
Inc. Magazine | March 30
While large corporations may keep more PII, sometimes smaller firms are targeted by ID thieves because they don't have as rigorous data security. "In in a large business there is typically a well-defined set of people who have responsibility for security of computers and information assets. In small to medium businesses, that activity is not as clearly well defined," says Lawrence R. Rogers, a senior member of the technical staff at the CERT Program of the Software Engineering Institute, part of Carnegie Mellon University. "In Mom-and-Pop businesses that collect personal identifying information, they may have someone who installs patches and secures information. It's the same information a big business would have -- although not as much -- but perhaps it's more vulnerable because it's easier to attack."


New Class of Fluorescent Probes in the Works | March 26
State-of-the-art in live cell fluorescent imaging is a method for tracking the intricate activities taking place inside living cells, and its results are so clear, that they can set the foundation for new types of treatments for a variety of diseases. But the method could further be enhanced via the addition of new classes of fluorescent probes, which is precisely what investigators at the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) are doing. Experts from the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center (MBIC) say that their new fluoromodules span the entire useful light spectrum, from near-infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths.


Study Reveals “Hidden” Use of Water Resources
Environmental Design + Construction Magazine | March 25
A comprehensive study released by Carnegie Mellon University and reported in the February 23, 2010, issue of Environmental Science & Technology finds that much of the water consumed in private industry today is “hidden” because it is not used directly.  The study found that it takes about 270 gallons of water to produce a dollar’s worth of sugar; 140 gallons to process a dollar's worth of milk; and 200 gallons of water to make a buck’s worth of cat and dog food.


International student enrollment peaks at Pittsburgh colleges
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | March 29
The city's large population of international students makes them feel more at ease and less like outsiders. [...] Pennsylvania ranked seventh among states and the District of Columbia with more than 27,500 foreign students. Pitt and Carnegie Mellon accounted for 20 percent of the state's total. More than 2,800 international students are among 11,000 students enrolled at CMU in the 2009-10 academic year.


Interactive Map Tracks 2010 Census Participation
KDKA-TV News | March 25
The director of the U.S. Census Bureau is visiting the campus of Carnegie Mellon University today. Dr. Robert Groves is set to give a presentation this afternoon called, "A Society Measuring Itself: 2010 Census." Meanwhile, if you want to know how your community is faring, the U.S. Census Bureau has set up a map on their website to track participation rates.


The Amazonian tribe that can only count up to five
The Guardian | March 31
When I walked into Pierre Pica's cramped Paris apartment, I was overwhelmed by the stench of mosquito repellent. Pica, a linguist, had just returned from spending five months with a community of Indians in the Amazon rainforest, and he was disinfecting the gifts he had brought back. I asked how the trip had been. "Difficult," he replied. [...] When numbers are spread out evenly on a ruler, the scale is called linear. When numbers get closer as they get larger, the scale is called logarithmic. And it turns out the logarithmic approach is not exclusive to Amazonian Indians – we are all born conceiving numbers this way. In 2004, Robert Siegler and Julie Booth at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania presented a similar version of the number-line experiment to a group of kindergarten pupils (average age: 5.8 years), first-graders (6.9) and second-graders (7.8).


49 firms take part in CMU-Q career fair
The Gulf Times | March 31
As many as 49 organisations, including leading Qatari establishments and multi-national corporations, participated in the annual Professional Day event of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Professional Day is a career and networking fair which provides a unique opportunity for students and employers to meet and explore employment possibilities. The event brought together private and public companies in Qatar who are looking to hire bright, talented students. “Our friends from industry are truly our partners; we greatly appreciate the role they play in the professional growth of our students through internships and all their other activities on our campus,” Carnegie Mellon Qatar dean Chuck Thorpe said.


Sensors turn skin into gadget control pad
BBC News | March 26
US researchers have found a way to work out where the tap touches and use that to control phones and music players. [...] To get around this Mr Harrison, a PhD student in computer science at Carnegie Mellon and colleagues Desney Tan and Dan Morris from Microsoft Research, use sensors on the arm to listen for input. A tap with a finger on the skin scatters useful acoustic signals throughout the arm, he said. Some waves travel along the skin surface and others propagate through the body. Even better, he said, the physiology of the arm makes it straightforward to work out where the skin was touched.