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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Google Maps Shows Now Live Traffic Information for 13 European Countries - The Data for this Service May Be Provided by You

Today Google Maps added live traffic coverage for 13 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland. The new traffic information will automatically be available in Google Maps for Android, iOS, and mobile browsers.

Left: Traffic layer in Munich
Right: Getting routed around traffic in Google Maps Navigation

With the addition of live traffic data, users in these countries will now also be able to be routed around traffic in Google Maps Navigation (Beta) to save precious minutes when possible.
Where does Google get the data?
Apart from the local highway authorities etc. but also from GPS-enabled phones that use Google Maps with the My Location feature. Everyone can of course opt out but who would do it when you can give and exchange valuable data with you neighbors, friends and Google.

Googles statement:
Google Maps products that include location services will make use of this information for traffic. This includes the downloadable Google Maps for Mobile product for mobile phones as well as the Google Maps application for Android phones. One exception is the maps functionality that Google provides for the iPhone - the iPhone does not provide any location data that is used for traffic crowdsourcing at this time.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Facebook and Twitter Integration to Google+ with StartG+

StartG+The latest buzz in the social networking world is Google+. The social networking site by Google has been launched just over a month and ever since its launch it has seen a huge success and the number of users for the site has been increasing by leaps and bounds. Computer Programmer Zane Claes has come up with a Chrome extension called StartG+ which helps users to add several features to Google+. The extension helps to easily import photographs from Facebook(FB) and post from Twitter and FB.

Features Of The Extension

When you install the extension and visit Google+, you will find a Gmail notification icon along with Twitter and FB buttons on the top right hand corner along with a drop down menu which has options via which you can disable Twitter and FB features. With the help of this extension you can also import photos from Facebook. The photos are displayed in a slideshow format.
There are also some upcoming features of the extension. Tagging, URL shortening, improvements in nicknames, custom steams etc are some of the upcoming features of the extension. One can download the extension for free from Chrome Web Store. To download the extension, click here.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Cancer patient receives first transplant made out of own stem cells

Surgeons have performed the first transplant operation using an organ wholly grown in a laboratory to give a man a new windpipe. The 36-year-old is recovering after surgeons implanted the world's first wholly lab-grown organ into his body.
Windpipes have been grown from stem cells before, but only using the collagen "skeletons" of donated tracheas. The synthetic trachea was created by growing the patient's own stem cells on an artificial "scaffold", which British scientists helped design.
Synthetic trachea The landmark operation at Karolinska University hospital in Sweden could mean patients may not have to wait for a suitable donor organ. This could be particularly significant for children, for whom donor tracheas are much more difficult to find.
The patient, an African student living in Iceland, had been suffering from life-threatening tracheal cancer.

The Y-shaped structure was made from a plastic-like "nanocomposite" polymer material consisting of microscopic building blocks. 
Two days after stem cells were placed into the scaffold they had grown into tracheal cells ready for transplantation.
Prof Seifalian said: "What makes this procedure different is it's the first time that a wholly tissue-engineered synthetic windpipe has been made and successfully transplanted, making it an important milestone for regenerative medicine. We expect there to be many more exciting applications for the novel polymers we have developed.

Since the organ was built from cells originating from the patient, there was no risk of it being rejected by his immune system.
The patient is said to be doing well and is due to be discharged from hospital today.
This was seized at The Guardian