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Stanford University

  1. Tech

    Stanford Researchers Analyze World’s Greatest Picture to Discover Recipe for Reddit Success

    After tireless analysis of reams of data, researchers at Stanford University think they've uncovered the formula for success on Reddit. With this weapon in their hands, we can fully expect Stanford scientists and students to conquer Reddit in short order, with the "funny" board becoming 100% devoted to jokes about UC-Berkeley science programs by 2014.

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  2. Science

    High-Speed Cameras Create Beautiful Slow-Motion Bird Videos for Science

    We know birds can fly, because they do, but we don't know much about how they fly. It probably has something to do with their wings. Part of the problem with studying birds is that they move much faster than we do. That's why students at Stanford University have been using high-speed video cameras to capture slow motion video of birds in flight. The resulting video is really quite beautiful.

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  3. Science

    Arguing Could Lead to Better Science Education

    Sometimes it seems that no matter how well an idea is accepted by the scientific community, there's someone out there not willing to believe it. That's why Jonathan Osborne, professor of education at Stanford University, says we should be teaching students how to argue based on evidence, not just cram facts into their head. The challenge, Osborne says, isn't in getting students to argue -- it's getting teachers on board with teaching "argumentation." Why not just argue with them until they agree?

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  4. Science

    Here’s What the World Looks Like If You’re a Humboldt Squid

    Stanford researchers have managed for the first time to get an idea of what life looks like from the point of view of the Humboldt squid. You can get a glimpse of things from a squid's perspective in video below as Stanford professor William Gilly explains what National Geographic's Critter Cam helped researchers learn about the animal by following it in it's own habitat.

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  5. Science

    Peel-and-Stick Solar Panels Now Reality, Solar-Powered Unicorn Stickers Likely Not Far Off

    One of the most limiting elements of solar power technology so far has been that panels require a rigid surface to support them, making their placement an effort and cost-intensive chore. A new process discovered at Stanford University though, may allow thin and flexible solar panels to be applied to virtually any surface in the near future. The new panels work like decals that can be applied with an adhesive to almost any surface, meaning that middle school children of the future may be able to power their mobile devices with the Lisa Frank stickers on their notebook. Truly, we live in an age of wonders.

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  6. Science

    Not Your Imagination: Humanity Getting Progressively Dumber and Crazier

    When the news of the day consists of things like Elmo's underage sex scandal, it's easy to think sometimes that the world and everyone in it is just getting more awful by the minute. According to a recent paper published in the journal Trends in Genetics, it appears that may be exactly the case. In even more depressing news, it seems to be because being intelligent and empathetic are no longer traits that are evolutionarily selected for. Man, we could have told you that.

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  7. Science

    Vampires Had It Right: Blood Transfusions From Young Subjects Improve Brain Performance

    In what has to be a strong contender for creepiest news of the week, researchers at Stanford University have found that a transfusion of blood from young mice makes the brains of older mice sharper and more effective. The research is not only ghoulish, but totally galling, meaning that not only vampires but also dictator Kim Jong Il  -- who was long rumored to receive blood transfusions from young virgins, because hey, what's even the point of being a tyrannical dictator if you're not going to be a little batshit loony about it sometimes --may have had a point about the life restoring qualities of other people's blood.

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  8. Weird

    South Korean Court Upholds 10 Month Jail Sentences For Being A Dick On The Internet

    If anyone was wondering how seriously South Koreans take their rappers educational backgrounds, the answer is: very. A judge in South Korea has upheld the jail sentences of eight people for attempting to defame rapper Tablo on the internet by claiming he did not, as he claimed, have Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Stanford University.

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  9. Science

    Cooling Glove Works “Better Than Steroids;” Barry Bonds Totally Pissed Off

    Stanford University resarchers may have stumbled on the next wave of performance enhancers for athletes -- a way to cool the core temperature of the whole body with a glove that pulls heat out through the hands. The glove, which has been in trials for years and is getting ready for a commercial debut, uses veins in the hand designed for heat transfer to rapidly cool athletes following workouts, decreasing the time they need to recover and allowing them to get the most our of every moment.

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  10. Science

    Ants Are Basically the Internet but More Harmful to Picnics

    On their own, ants are pretty stupid, but when they are all working together, they can be unnervingly clever, capable of building elaborate nests, making bridges and rafts from their own bodies, and even creating their own primitive aphid ranches. As it turns out, even the Internet itself is taking some unexpected lessons from the world of hymenoptera. When biologists and computer scientists from Stanford University put their heads together to try and learn more about how ant colonies make the decision to send out foragers for food, they found that the decision-making process is remarkably similar to Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) -- the method by which websites determine how much bandwidth they can spare for a file transfer.

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  11. Tech

    This Computer Screen Will Lean In, Turn, and Laugh For You If You’re On a Video Call

    Video calling, although seemingly infinitely better than voice calling, has its disadvantages. Sure, you can see the person, but they still aren't there. In a way, it sort of raises more uncanny valley issues than traditional voice-only calling does and can make people seem artifically distant, stern, uninterested, and cold. Instead of throwing in the towel and going back to conference calls, researchers David Sirkin and Wendy Ju at Stanford University tried to make video calling a little more personal by giving the screen the ability to move with you, making you seem that much closer.

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  12. Tech

    New Breakthrough Could Mean Batteries That Last 30 Years

    With the advent of sealed battery devices -- like your iPhone or iPod -- there's been mounting concern not only for how long a battery will last on a single charge, but how many charges you can expect to get from a device. Deciding at what point to begin recharging a battery is now a thing to be fretted over, as batteries have a limited number of charge cycles in their functional lifetime. Now, new research could do away with such fears and pave the way for rechargeable batteries that last decades.

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  13. Tech

    Stanford Researcher Exposes MSN.com Super Cookie, Microsoft Shuts it Down

    Stanford University researcher Jonathan Mayer discovered a super cookie in the employ of Microsoft on MSN.com. A cookie, as a moderately savvy Internet user would know, is a kind of tracking and logging tool -- sometimes useful in storing data a user may not want to enter into forms for the rest of the portion of their lives involving forms, sometimes obnoxious in storing data that a user may not wanted stored -- used primarily in web browsing. Dissimilar from the extremely super cookie pictured above, the super cookie in Microsoft's employ is essentially a cookie that can ignore a web browser's cookie management, thus avoiding extermination.

    After Mayer exposed the super cookie, Microsoft associate general counsel Mike Hintze provided a less shady explanation as to why the tech giant might've been employing a fairly shady tracking device.

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  14. Tech

    Stanford University is Offering Computer Science Courses Online, Free to Anyone

    Stanford University is now expanding computer science courses available online, for free, for any students who wish to join. It all began a few weeks ago with an introductory course on artificial intelligence (AI) taught by the award-winning professors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig. Now, two new courses are available; the first, an Introduction to Databases taught by Professor Jennifer Widom; the second, Machine Learning with Professor Andrew Ng. Over 100,000 students have signed up since the courses were announced. Prospective students need only know one programming language well enough to complete the assignments. The most important requirement is that students commit the time for the class: A few hours of homework and two rounds of lectures running two and a half hours each per week. Professors will aggregate online student questions and answer the top rated ones, and students will receive feedback on all of their work. Additionally, a study group is being run on Reddit for the AI course. 

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  15. Science

    Study: Interrupted Sleep Harms Memory Development

    New research from a group at Stanford University has found that broken or interrupted sleep has a negative effect on the ability to build memories in mice. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, shows that disrupting the sleep of mice made it harder for them to recognize and identify objects that should have been familiar to them. To study the mice, the researchers interrupted their sleep but made sure that the amount of time sleeping was no shorter than normal. Using optogenetics, a technique where certain cells are genetically engineered to be controlled by light, the researchers targeted cells in the brain. The cells on which the researchers focused plays a critical role in switching the brain between the sleep and awake states. Light pulses were sent into the brains of the mice while they slept, to disrupt their sleep but not change their total sleep time or the quality or intensity of their sleep. The researchers then tested the mice memory by putting them in front of two objects, one new and one familiar. Mice whose sleep had been disrupted did not recognize either object, while mice who had slept undisturbed focused all their attention on the new object.

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