Sci & Tech

BookBub Goes To India

BookBub Goes To India

Quick. Name the country that has the world’s second largest English speaking population. Hint: the country also has a rapidly-growing educated population that’s reading an increasing number of books. If you guessed India, you’re right. But to BookBub, the Kendall Square-based company that releases a daily newsletter providing millions of readers deals on e-books, this question is far more that just a bit of trivia. In India, the company saw an opportunity to dramatically expand its reach, and so it officially launched in the country earlier this month.  It’s […]



MIT Clean Energy Prize

MIT Clean Energy Prize

“Facebook’s data centers use the same amount of energy as the City of Palo Alto,” said Alexandra Wright, a MBA student from the MIT Sloan School of Management, who was the presenter for the winning team. Copper was seen as the culprit. The team decided to change the copper-based technology in the processors to one based on the more energy-efficient fibre optics. Mark Wade, a graduate research assistant at the University of Colorado, is the electrical engineer who designed the optical device to replace the […]



To Negotiate Pricey Medical Bills

To Negotiate Pricey Medical Bills

When they worked at Watertown’s AthenaHealth, which provides medical billing and other services to the health care industry, Rebecca Palm and Katie Vahle noticed that people weren’t paying their hospital bills on time. It turns out those people weren’t trying to dodge their debts. Instead, many of them seemed confused about what they actually owed — and there were few resources to guide them. So the duo started a technology-driven company, Boston-based CoPatient, which scrutinizes and negotiates health care bills to reduce costs. Read the […]



Getting Personalized Book Recommendations

Getting Personalized Book Recommendations

The lament of the bibliophile – too many books, too little time – now sounds like a plea for help. Forget about reading them all, how is the time-starved reader supposed to even keep track of the latest offerings from the publishing industry? Like a proactive assistant, the Hawaii Project promises to cast a wide net and alert book lovers to titles they might not have found on their own. The app makes recommendations based on a person’s favorite authors and books. Mark Watkins, a […]



A Handbag for Power-Dressers

A Handbag for Power-Dressers

A smart-looking handbag can make you look good, but a smart handbag can do much more for you. The 314, a luxury handbag made in Italy with technology designed at MIT, is both good-looking and smart – and is poised to hit the market soon. The bag can charge your cellphone or any other USB-enabled device, and light up when you are rummaging through its insides. And no, you don’t have to plug in your handbag every night. Theodora Koullias, 24, is founder and chief […]



Blue-rayed Limpets shine for a reason

Blue-rayed Limpets shine for a reason

Taking a trick from birds and butterflies, a mollusk shines blue using intricate structures that allow selective reflection of light. But unlike other animals, the blue-rayed limpet, a snail that lives along the rocky shores of the northeastern Atlantic, creates functional iridescence using a hard mineral rather than an organic molecule such as a protein. The shell of the blue-rayed limpet, Patella pellucida, is largely made of calcium carbonate platelets. Just beneath the shell’s surface, materials scientist Ling Li of Harvard University and his colleagues […]



Apps vs Autism

Apps vs Autism

Can technology help children with autism accomplish what other educational efforts have not? Ned Sahin aims to find out. Sahin founded Brain Power, a Cambridge startup that is using Google Glass to teach children with autism how to better engage and socialize with people. Brain Power is developing a series of applications, one of which will display images of popular cartoon characters on the screen of Google Glass, so that when an autistic child looks at an adult talking to him, an image from, say […]



InciterHealth To Re-imagine Healthcare

InciterHealth To Re-imagine Healthcare

The primary healthcare system in the U.S. may not be broken, but it is fractured and needs fixing. This is the general consensus. (Do listen to what Dr.Eric Topol, author of The Creative Destruction of Medicine, has to say on this topic.) Here is a new fellowship program that’s trying to begin the re-imagination process. Harvard Medical School’s Center for Primary Care has launched the InciteHealth Fellowship, a new program that brings together 22 talented individuals eager to transform the delivery of health care in […]



MIT and The Shortcut to Nirvana

MIT and The Shortcut to Nirvana

The colorful and chaotic Kumbh Mela (Kumbh, for short) is possibly the largest religious gathering on earth. The Hindu pilgrimage, which happens once in twelve years in one of four Indian cities, draws millions of devotees. Now, thanks to Ramesh Raskar, a MIT Media Lab professor whose hometown, Nashik, is the venue for upcoming Kumbh, a group of tech-minded folks from Boston are pitching in with innovations to make the gathering safer among other things. Raskar is the head of MIT’s Camera Culture Group and […]



Watching you Watching Me

Watching you Watching Me

For people who use video chat services to catch up with someone close—a beloved grandma or dear friend—it’s pretty easy to read the cues and reactions of a familiar face. But in video chats among a group of people, say a business meeting among different offices, reading and correctly interpreting the facial cues of others can be difficult. Now a Waltham company’s software is being used in a video system to analyze the facial reactions of participants to deduce their emotional state in real-time. The […]