MIT

81 stories
Shoestring innovation
Sun-powered desalinator could quench thousands of Indian villages
(Shutterstock)
A salt extractor powered by the sun could bring cleaner drinking water to thousands of villages in India and millions more across the world. In a new report, MIT researchers describe a novel but practical system to purify salty groundwater for India’s villages off the electric grid, and argue that it’s a system that people can afford, and will choose to use. Read More
Speak softly...
Apple is growing the Cambridge research team focused on improving Siri speech recognition
The low-key entrance to Apple's current office in Kendall Square. (Photo by Scott Kirsner/ BetaBoston)
On the eve of its next big product announcement, Apple is expanding its super-secret research office in Kendall Square. Several commercial realtors tell me that the Cupertino company has leased more than half a floor at One Broadway, an MIT-owned building that also houses Facebook's small local team, several venture capital firms, and the Cambridge Innovation Center. The new office, about 13,000 square feet on one of the building's upper floors, is a major expansion for Apple, which currently has a small team on the building's fifth floor. Read More
Smarter city
From to Boston to Beijing, tracking taxi trips could help build cleaner cities
The paths of 170 million cabs in NYC over 2011. Image credit: HubCab
Big cities tend to have big pollution problems. But the very source of that bad air — tens of thousands of trips made by crawling, stalling, fuming taxi cabs — could offer city planners a more granular look at the pollution problem. It could even reveal suggestions for fixes, two studies of cab habits in Beijing and New York City suggest.  Read More
New founder on campus
MIT taps Inkling co-founder Josh Forman as newest entrepreneur-in-residence
Inkling co-founder Josh Forman, MIT's newest entrepreneur-in-residence.
The Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT has a new entrepreneur-in-residence for this academic year: Harvard alum Josh Forman, who has worked at Microsoft and the high school social network Sconex. Forman was also a co-founder of Inkling, an e-book publishing startup that was on Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies" list this year and has raised about $55 million in venture capital. Read More
Bitcoin Kings
You learn something new every day: MIT's best Bitcoin innovators crowned
(Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
The official start of the MIT Bitcoin Project, where each student will receive $100 in the crypto-currency, is fast approaching. The school's freshman have arrived in Cambridge, classes begin tomorrow, and the various "rush" events at the school are set to take place. As soon as the busy start to year concludes, the project is scheduled to begin. As part of the Bitcoin Project, the organizers of the initiative held a startup competition called BitComp this summer to promote innovative ways to leverage Bitcoin, on campus and beyond. Read More
To track a killer
Boston researchers trying to forecast Ebola’s spread, but more data would help
(Reuters photo)
As the biggest Ebola outbreak in history continues to claim lives, a handful of researchers are using mathematical models and knowledge about the virus to predict the reach of the disease before it strikes. Among them is Northeastern University researcher Alessandro Vespignani, but he and others are stymied by a lack of data about the outbreak and the disease itself, according to a news report in Science. Read More