technology
July 8, 2014

People with impaired vision may soon be able to immediately read books, magazines, menus, and computer screens, thanks to an audio reading device being created by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The FingerReader prototype was made with a 3D printer, and is worn like a ring on the index finger. A tiny camera inside the FingerReader scans text, and a synthesized voice reads the words. Software tracks the finger movements, and the FingerReader will vibrate if a person goes off the page. "It's like reading with the tip of your finger and it's a lot more flexible, a lot more immediate than any solution that they have right now," Pattie Maes, an MIT professor who founded the research group working on the device, told The Associated Press.

Scientists have spent three years on software coding and trying out different designs, but the FingerReader still needs to be able to work on touch screens. There's a potential market of 11.2 million people in the United States with vision impairment, including 62-year-old Jerry Berrier. Born blind, Berrier says he would like to use the FingerReader to scan medical papers and other important documents. "Everywhere we go, for folks who are sighted, there are things that inform us about the products that we are about to interact with," he said to The Associated Press. "I wanna be able to interact with those same products, regardless of how I have to do it."

It's decided
9:54 p.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gender was not the reason former partner Ellen Pao was passed over for a promotion at prominent venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers, a California jury in Silicon Valley ruled on Friday. The jury also determined that the firm had not retaliated against Pao following her allegations, Time reports.

Pao's suit had asked for $16 million in compensatory damages from Kleiner Perkins, an early investor in companies such as Google and Genentech. The suit prompted intense debate around gender politics at play in Silicon Valley; Pao alleged that in her seven years with the firm, she was overlooked for promotions because of her gender, and subject to inappropriate behavior from male colleagues who went undisciplined. But Kleiner Perkins argued that Pao was a difficult employee who failed to improve in areas on which she was critiqued, and that she failed to build “thought leadership” with fellow employees.

Following the verdict, Pao, who is interim CEO at online forum Reddit, said she hoped her suit still help other women working in Silicon Valley.

"My story is their story," Pao told reporters. "If I've helped to level the playing field for women and minorities in venture capital, then the battle was worth it."

Shady Dealings
9:24 a.m. ET

Director Sam Mendes is keeping the mood dark, at least in the first official trailer for new 007 film Spectre. Set for a November release, the James Bond flick features our favorite spy peeling back the layers of a sinister organization called — you guessed it — Spectre (the evil operation seeking world domination isn't a new invention in the 007 world; it previously featured in films such as Thunderball and You Only Live Twice).

Watch Bond dig deep into his past — and possibly uncover a troubling, personal connection to Spectre — in the cryptic new trailer, below. —Sarah Eberspacher

This just in
8:57 a.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said Friday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wiped "clean" all private emails from her server, defying a subpoena from Gowdy requesting "any emails relating to Libya, weapons located in the country, the Benghazi attacks, and administration statements following the attacks on the compound," Politico reports.

Gowdy, who is chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, subpoenaed Clinton following reports that she had saved emails on a private server and used a personal email account while at the State Department. He said it appeared she deleted the emails permanently sometime after October 28, 2014.

An attorney for Clinton, David Kendall, responded to Gowdy in a letter stating that the 900 pages of emails Clinton has already provided to the panel cover the subpoena's requests. Gowdy responded that Clinton's defiance of the subpoena could move him and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to consider new legal actions against the former secretary.

case closed
8:24 a.m. ET
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Speaking from her Seattle home on Friday night, 27-year-old Amanda Knox said she was "tremendously relieved and grateful," following the decision earlier that day by Italy's highest court to overturn the 2009 murder convictions of Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito.

"The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal," Knox added in her short statement reported by USA Today. "I'm so grateful to have my life back."

The controversial case has captivated people across the U.S. and Europe. Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of the 2007 murder of Knox's British roommate Meredith Kercher, who was found stabbed to death in the apartment she shared with Knox. In 2011, a lower Italian court reversed Knox's and Sollecito's convictions and set them free. But a Florence appeals court reversed that decision in 2013, overturning their acquittals.

Friday's ruling from the Court of Cassation officially brings the eight-year saga to a close.

This doesn't look good
March 27, 2015

Ecologist and GMO advocate Patrick Moore wants to set the record straight about a recent WHO report that classified glyphosate, which is found in Roundup and other weed-killers, as "probably carcinogenic" to humans.

Moore appeared on French news channel Canal+ to explain that Roundup isn't dangerous, telling the Canal+ reporter that "you can drink a whole quart of it and it won't hurt you."

Understandably, the reporter's response is, "You want to drink some?" Moore quickly declines the offer, saying that he won't drink it because "I'm not stupid," though he does add that he knows it is "not dangerous to humans." Check out the interview in the video below. —Meghan DeMaria

Correction: This article originally referred to Patrick Moore as a Monsanto lobbyist. In a statement written after this article was published, Monsanto said Moore "is not and has never been a paid lobbyist for Monsanto." This article has since been corrected. We regret the error.

space stuff
March 27, 2015
Nasa.gov

On Friday afternoon, NASA launched a two-man crew for a one-year space mission on the International Space Station. The pair includes Scott Kelly, an American astronaut, and Mikhail Kornienko, a Russain cosmonaut.

The journey will be especially notable because Kelly's identical twin brother, Mark, is staying on Earth. Mark will undergo genetic studies while his brother is in space, and scientists will use data from both twins to further explore how the body changes while in space for longer periods of time.

The mission is also a test for future trips to Mars, where astronauts could stay in orbit for 500 days or more.

bathroom break
March 27, 2015
iStock

Physical attacks, drug deals, and bathroom sex are what Zephyrhills High School administrators are trying to put an end to, but students and parents aren't pleased with a new policy that requires students to be escorted to the bathroom.

"We're in high school; we shouldn't be babysat. We should be able to go to the bathroom," one student told WFTS.

But Zephyrhills High principal Andrew Frelick explained that students have also been spreading feces in the bathroom, fighting in the hallways, and stealing when left unchaperoned. In the face of backlash to the new rule, AOL reports that the policy has been changed slightly, and now only students with disciplinary or academic issues will require an escort.

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