• Scientist Stumbles onto a Cure for Color Blindness

    Out in the world, one out of every 10 men have some form of color blindness.

    While it’s not the most debilitating genetic irregularity, color blindness can still make everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, difficult. Imagine being color blind and in a gang. That could become downright dangerous.

    Then, of course, color blindness becomes a bit of a novelty to “color normals” – as those who can see the full spectrum of colors are known -- when they first come across someone who’s color blind. “What color is my shirt!?” is a favorite question.

    But a scientist named Mark Changizi and his partner Tim Barber from 2AI Labs in Boston have created a pair of glasses that may provide a remedy for a certain type of color blindness – the inability to see reds and greens.

    According to Changizi, it turns out that color vision is a trait found only in primates with exposed skin as opposed to dogs, which don’t have color vision. We use our color vision to see the subtle variations in blood flow, on,

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  • Meet the Orp smart horn. Designed in Portland, Oregon by a company called FUSE, the Orp is meant to save lives with its two-tone horn and bright, electricity-saving LED lights.

    Lead designer Tory Orzeck, who used to design shoes for Nike, said he decided to reinvent the bike horn when he noticed a startling rise in bike accidents in Portland, where he lives.

    The Orp isn’t the steel horn that you had on your bike when you were a kid, riding to the rock quarry after school to beat the hot sun. It’s a horn with a high powered, admittedly obnoxious sound like a smoke detector – good for getting drivers’ attention when they don’t notice a biker. It also has a lighter, more polite horn that can used to say hello to a passing pedestrian.

    While Mr. Orzeck was putting the horn together, it occurred to him that he could add high-intensity LED lights that wouldn’t drain too much power from the horn, and thus the Orp was born.

    To raise money they went to Kickstarter, where they raised $110,000

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  • FIRST LOOK: The $25 Raspberry Pi Computer

    This week we got our hands on the only Raspberry Pi Model A in the United States, thanks to Limor “Ladyada” Fried and her team at Adafruit, a do-it-yourself company started by Fried in New York City.

    Raspberry Pi is a simple, affordable computer designed by Eben Upton of the U.K., who dreamed of building a computer that’s accessible to anyone. To keep the cost down, only minimal components were included in this credit-card-sized computer. There isn’t even a case.

    The Model A is the slimmed-down sibling of the $35 Model B computer that came out about a year ago, opening up a world to new computer programmers and fanatics. By removing the Ethernet connection and one of the two USB ports, and by reducing the amount of onboard memory, the company was able sell the Model A for all of $25.

    In a short time, Raspberry Pi has created a devoted following of programmers who have taken the technology and run with it. It’s been used to build home arcades, capture images from near space, become a

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