Friday, October 31, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Google, Magic Leap Augmented Reality

According to a press release revealed today, Magic Leap has closed a $524 million Series B funding round led by Google; the deal had been rumored as of last week. Magic Leap, which has been in stealth since its inception, is being a bit more wordy now that the deal has closed (but hardly less vague). The company is now soliciting developers on its website and says that “under the appropriate non-disclosures, we’d love to talk possibilities.”

Magic Leap appears to be working on an augmented reality wearable which uses a lightfield display that can apparently generate very realistic looking imagery, not only from a graphical standpoint, but also from physiologically accurate standpoint—possibly utilizing a lightfield’s unique ability to render imagery that has perfect stereoscopy, including accurate accommodation and vergence.
See Also: Reportedly on the Verge of a $500m Investment, Here’s What We Know About Magic Leap
Magic Leap’s Series B was led by Google and also included Qualcomm Ventures, Legendary Entertainment, KKR, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Obvious Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz (which invested in Oculus), and others, according to a press release issued by Magic Leap. Some have speculated that Google’s interest in Magic Leap’s technology comes from the desire to integrate it with Google Glass, the company’s wearable display.

“Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google Inc., will join Magic Leap’s board of directors. Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm Incorporated and Don Harrison, Vice-President, Corporate Development at Google Inc. will join the board of directors of Magic Leap as observers,” reads the release. “The company will use the proceeds to accelerate product development, release software development tools, expand its content ecosystem, and commercialize its proprietary mobile wearable system.”

The company’s massive Series B comes after a $50 million Series A which closed earlier this year in February and interestingly involved Weta Workshop, installing co-founder Richard Taylor onto Magic Leap’s board of directors.

Now that the deal is done, Magic Leap has made some updates to its website, revealing a touch more info, but still not sufficiently spilling the secret that led Google and others to drop more than half a billion dollars on the company.
magic leap light field display
Magic Leap leads us to believe that this photo is representative of what their technology can do, though it may just be a concept rendering.

“Using our Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal™, imagine being able to generate images indistinguishable from real objects and then being able to place those images seamlessly into the real world,” teases the company’s ‘Developers’ page, which is now open for developers to submit their interest. “For the time being, we’re being a little tight-lipped in what we’re communicating publicly, but under the appropriate non-disclosures, we’d love to talk possibilities,” it continues. In the digging we did recently, we found that the company may be releasing development kits at some point over the course of the next year.

The company has also launched a beefy hiring page with 68 available positions covering hardware engineering, core software engineering, perception/machine vision, gaming, and administration.
Assuming that the company has perfected the miniaturized lightfield display and is capable of generating high fidelity AR imagery, questions still remain: What’s the field of view? Can they nail the all-important head tracking? What are the limitations of the display’s transparency and color reproduction? Hopefully we’ll have these answered in time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer


"Machine learning algorithms use a training dataset to learn how to recognize features in images and use this 'knowledge' to spot the same features in new images. The computational complexity of this task is such that the time required to solve it increases in polynomial time with the number of images in the training set and the complexity of the "learned" feature. So it's no surprise that quantum computers ought to be able to rapidly speed up this process. Indeed, a group of theoretical physicists last year designed a quantum algorithm that solves this problem in logarithmic time rather than polynomial, a significant improvement."

Now, a Chinese team has successfully implemented this artificial intelligence algorithm on a working quantum computer, for the first time. The information processor is a standard nuclear magnetic resonance quantum computer capable of handling 4 qubits. The team trained it to recognize the difference between the characters '6' and '9' and then asked it to classify a set of handwritten 6s and 9s accordingly, which it did successfully. The team says this is the first time that this kind of artificial intelligence has ever been demonstrated on a quantum computer and opens the way to the more rapid processing of other big data sets — provided, of course, that physicists can build more powerful quantum computers.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Navy Tests Unpowered Exoskeleton

(Wired) -- Military work is physically demanding—and we're not just talking about soldiers on the battlefield. Travel down the chain, and you'll find plenty of positions where strength and stamina are highly valued skills.

Take the Navy for example. The Navy needs ships and those ships need to be built and maintained—a rough, physically draining job. Sandblasting, riveting, and grinding excess metal off the ships can take a toll on the human body. You're often carrying tools that can weigh upwards of 30 pounds.
"There's a lot of wear and tear on you," says Adam Miller, director of new initiatives for Lockheed Martin. "Skilled workers can maybe do that for three to four minutes then they need to put the tool down and they need to rest."

For the past couple of years, Miller has been leading a team of engineers and designers to create one of the first industrial-use exoskeletons. Called the FORTIS, the exoskeleton is able to support tools of up to 36 pounds and transfer that load from a worker's hands and arms to the ground. The goal is to lighten workers' loads, ultimately making them more productive and skilled at their jobs.

The U.S. Navy recently bought two of the exoskeletons and plans to test them over the next six months to see how they might be used in an industrial situation.
Compared to something like the TALOS (Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit), a computerized exoskeleton that essentially wants to turn mere mortals into Iron Man, the FORTIS is fairly simple.
"I would call it elegant," says Miller. The anodized aluminum and carbon fiber skeleton weighs 30 pounds, and follows along the outside of a human's body. It has joints in the parts of the body that would regularly have joints (ankle, knee, hip) and flexes from side to side at the waist. Miller says the skeleton was designed for complex environments—whoever is wearing it can climb stairs or a ladder, squat and generally move business as usual in the exoskeleton.

Tools mount to the front of the FORTIS and that weight is directed through the joints in the hip and down to the floor, relieving stress on the entire body, including the feet and ankles.

Watch and Learn
The design team began by watching how humans walk. "You have to look at biomechanics of the person because it's not just a stand; it's really something they can move around in," says Miller. The FORTIS was designed so it could slip over a worker's boot—this is important since feet often communicate the first signs of weariness. It's like running in a pair of crappy shoes; it impacts your entire body. Many exoskeletons transfer that weight to the sole of the foot, but this is a problem, says Miller.

"When the weight of the tools and exoskeleton itself is transferred to the ground, it comes to rest on the sole," he says. "However, a sole can also contribute to user discomfort, increased metabolic cost to the user and introduces instability." Instead, the FORTIS uses a stirrup that attaches to the ankle, allowing the foot to rest on the ground as usual.
I would call it elegant.

Adam Miller, Lockheed Martin
Early tests show that the exoskeleton has increased productivity anywhere from two to 27 times, depending on the task. The team measured the amount of time a worker could hold a 16-pound grinder overhead without having to rest his arms. "The longest operators could work continuously without a break was three minutes sustained without augmentation," says Miller. "Using the FORTIS, operators could work 30 minutes or longer without requiring rest breaks."

Lockheed Martin has been developing exoskeleton technology for the past five years. Its other exoskeleton, the HULC, is hydraulic-powered and can support up to 200 pounds. The HULC was designed to be used on the field, during battle.

The FORTIS' capabilities are scaled down, but with its focus on mobility, you can imagine that it could be useful for other industries like construction or mining—"anywhere there's a complex and irregular environment," says Miller. "We're expecting other industries to see it and say, 'We want something similar.'"

Monday, October 13, 2014

Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage writes Randy Olson, a Computer Science grad student who works with data visualizations, writes about seven of the biggest factors that predict what makes for a long term stable marriage in America. Olson took the results of a study that polled thousands of recently married and divorced Americans and and asked them dozens of questions about their marriage (PDF): How long they were dating, how long they were engaged, etc. After running this data through a multivariate model, the authors were able to calculate the factors that best predicted whether a marriage would end in divorce. "What struck me about this study is that it basically laid out what makes for a stable marriage in the US," writes Olson. Here are some of the biggest factors:

How long you were dating (Couples who dated 1-2 years before their engagement were 20% less likely to end up divorced than couples who dated less than a year before getting engaged. 
Couples who dated 3 years or more are 39% less likely to get divorced.)

How much money you make (The more money you and your partner make, the less likely you are to ultimately file for divorce. Couples who earn $125K per year are 51% less likely to divorce than couples making 0 — 25k)

How often you go to church (Couples who never go to church are 2x more likely to divorce than regular churchgoers.)

Your attitude toward your partner (Men are 1.5x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partner's looks, and women are 1.6x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partner's wealth.)

How many people attended the wedding ("Crazy enough, your wedding ceremony has a huge impact on the long-term stability of your marriage. 

Perhaps the biggest factor is how many people attend your wedding: Couples who elope are 12.5x more likely to end up divorced than couples who get married at a wedding with 200+ people.")

How much you spent on the wedding (The more you spend on your wedding, the more likely you'll end up divorced.)

Whether you had a honeymoon (Couples who had a honeymoon are 41% less likely to divorce than those who had no honeymoon).

Of course correlation is not causation. For example, expensive weddings may simply attract the kind of immature and narcissistic people who are less likely to sustain a successful marriage and such people might end up getting divorced even if they married cheaply. But "the particularly scary part here is that the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is well over $30,000," says Olson, "which doesn't bode well for the future of American marriages."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Oculus: first complete, well funded VR research team in close to 20 years


An anonymous reader writes Buried toward the end of the must-watch keynote by Oculus VR's Chief Scientist, Michael Abrash, was the announcement of a new research division within Oculus which Abrash says is the "first complete, well funded VR research team in close to 20 years." He says that their mission is to advance VR and that the research division will publish its findings and also work with university researchers. The company is now hiring "first-rate programmers, hardware engineers, and researchers of many sorts, including optics, displays, computer vision and tracking, user experience, audio, haptics, and perceptual psychology," to be part of Oculus Research.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Nylon Maiden

This is pretty hilarious. I almost didn't click but I'm glad I did.

Flash of the Blade

Aces High

Flight of Icarus

The Trooper

Run to the Hills

The Prisoner

Superfast Internet connections are likely to open up new kinds of communication such as "telepresence"

Washington (AFP) - Superfast Internet connections are likely to open up new kinds of communication such as "telepresence" and improve services such as remote health care, a survey of experts showed Thursday.

The ultrafast connections, expected to be widely deployed in the coming years, can open up a range of possibilities by delivering "immersive" experiences and virtual reality, according to the experts polled by the Pew Research Center and Elon University.

"People's basic interactions and their ability to 'be together' and collaborate will change in the age of vivid telepresence -- enabling people to instantly 'meet face-to-face' in cyberspace with no travel necessary," the report said.

Additionally, the report said that "augmented reality will extend people's sense and understanding of their real-life surroundings and virtual reality will make some spaces, such as gaming worlds and other simulated environments, even more compelling places to hang out."

The report is not based on a random poll, but instead an opt-in survey of people deemed experts or affiliated with certain organizations, taken between November 2013 and January 2014.
Pew invited more than 12,000 experts and others who follow technology trends to share their opinions on the likely future of the Internet and 2,551 responded to at least one of the questions.
The report focused on possibilities of "gigabit connectivity" or speeds of 1,000 megabits per second -- around 50 to 100 times faster than the average fixed high-speed connection.

As some systems with these speeds are being deployed by Google and others, a number of Internet users have been questioning how useful these connections will be, the report noted.

The experts said they believe a "killer app" is likely to emerge, but it is not yet clear what that will be.
"As gigabit bandwidth becomes widespread later this decade, applications will emerge which exploit the combination of big data, GPS location, weather, personal-health monitoring devices, industrial production, and much more," said William Schrader, co-founder of PSINet Inc.

"Gigabit bandwidth is one of the few real 'build it and they will come' moments for new killer apps. The fact that no one had imagined the other killer apps prior to seeing them grow rapidly implies that no one can imagine these new ones -- including me."

David Weinberger, a researcher at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said that with these connections, "There will be full, always-on, 360-degree environmental awareness, a semantic overlay on the real world, and full-presence massive open online courses. Plus Skype won't break up nearly as much."

Marti Hearst, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, said the new connections means people will "play sports and music virtually, distributed, across the globe" and that some can have "virtual Thanksgiving dinner with the other side of the family."

Higher speeds will also lead to "higher adoption of telesurgery and remote medical support" and more sensor data from medical devices being collected and stored, according to Jason Hong of Carnegie Mellon University, who predicted "far better telepresence, in terms of video quality, audio quality (and) robotic control."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Scientists Coax Human Embryonic Stem Cells Into Making Insulin


A team of Harvard scientists said Thursday that they had finally found a way to turn human embryonic stem cells into cells that produce insulin. The long-sought advance could eventually lead to new ways to help millions of people with diabetes.

Right now, many people with diabetes have to regularly check the level of sugar in their blood and inject themselves with insulin to keep the sugar in their blood in check. It's an imperfect treatment.
"This is kind of a life-support for diabetics," says Doug Melton, a stem-cell researcher at Harvard Medical School. "It doesn't cure the disease and leads to devastating complications of the disease."
People with poorly controlled diabetes can suffer complications such as blindness, amputations and heart attacks.

Researchers have had some success transplanting insulin-producing cells from cadavers into people with diabetes. But it's been difficult to procure enough cells to treat large numbers of patients. So scientists have been trying to figure out how they could get more cells more easily.
For Melton, who led the work at Harvard, this has been a personal quest. His son, Sam, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 6 months old, and his daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with the disease when she was 14.

"I do what any parent would do, which is to say, 'I'm not going to put up with this, and I want to find a better way,' " he says.

And now Melton and his colleagues are reporting in a paper being published in this week's issue of the journal Cell that they think they have finally found that better way.
"We are reporting the ability to make hundreds of millions of cells — the cell that can read the amount of sugar in the blood which appears following a meal and then squirts out or secretes just the right amount of insulin," Melton says.

The advance came after laboring for more than 15 years to find a way to turn human embryonic stem cells into so-called beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
Dozens of scientists spent years analyzing the cells' genes and experimenting with different combinations of chemical signals to try to coax the cells into becoming beta cells. Finally, they came up with a recipe that appears to work, Melton says.

"A short way of saying this might be like if you were going to make a very fancy kind of new cake — like a raspberry chocolate cake with vanilla frosting or something," Melton says. "You pretty much know all the components you have to add. But it's the way you add them and the order and the timing, how long you cook it, etc. The solution to that just took a very long time."
And when Melton and his colleagues transplanted the cells into mice with diabetes, the results were clear — and fast.

"We can cure their diabetes right away — in less than 10 days," he says. "This finding provides a kind of unprecedented cell source that could be used for cell transplantation therapy in diabetes."
Other scientists hailed the research as a major step forward.

"It's a huge landmark paper. I would say it's bigger than the discovery of insulin," says Jose Olberholzer, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois. "The discovery of insulin was important and certainly saved millions of people, but it just allowed patients to survive but not really to have a normal life. The finding of Doug Melton would really allow to offer them really something what I would call a functional cure. You know, they really wouldn't feel anymore being diabetic if they got a transplant with those kind of cells."

Melton and others caution that there's still a lot more work to do. For one thing, they need to come up with a way to hide the cells from the immune system, especially for people with Type 1 diabetes. But they're working on that and have developed a shell to protect the cells.
"We're thinking about it as sort of like a teabag, where the tea stays inside, and the water goes in and then the dissolved tea comes out," Melton says. "And so, if you think about a teabag analogy, we would put our cells inside this teabag."

But that's not the only problem. Some people have moral objections to anything that involves human embryonic stem cell research because it destroys human embryos.
"If, like me, someone considers the human embryo to be imbued with the same sorts of dignity that the rest of us have, then in fact this is morally problematic," says Daniel Sulmasy, a doctor and bioethicist at the University of Chicago. "It's the destruction of an individual unique human life for the sole purpose of helping other persons."

Melton thinks he can also make insulin cells using another kind of stem cell known as an induced pluripotent stem cell, which doesn't destroy any embryos. He's trying to figure out if it works as well, and hopes to start testing his insulin cells in people with diabetes within three years.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bionic Hands Mimic Human Control With Sensation of Touch

New advances in prosthetic devices are allowing people with artificial hands to tell when they’re holding something without even looking, and pluck a stem from a cherry without bursting it, two studies have shown.

Different groups in the U.S. and Europe today reported key breakthroughs in connecting healthy nerves to a prosthesis, giving patients whose hands or arms have been amputated better control of the devices and, for the first time, returning at least some of the sensation of touch.

In one study, U.S. surgeons connected electrodes to nerves in a man’s forearm that were stimulated when someone placed something in his bionic hand. The procedure allowed the patient to tell when he was touching something without having to see it. In the other report, Swedish scientists surgically connected a titanium rod to existing bone, nerves and muscles in an undamaged part of the arm, then ran wires through the prosthesis helping the patient control its use more precisely.

“What is fascinating about this is the perception of touch actually occurs in the brain, not in the hand itself,” said Dustin Tyler, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western Research University in Cleveland, who led the U.S. effort. “Losing the limb is just losing the switch that turns that sensation on or off.”
Patient wearing a prosthetic limb directly attached to the skeleton and neuromuscular... Read More
Both results were reported today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Igor Spetic, 48, said he vividly remembers the first time he felt his right hand again, two years after it was amputated following an industrial accident. Researchers working to craft his prosthetic pulled a curtain to limit his view and then placed a large, hard block into his palm.

‘Amazing’ Feeling

“I hadn’t felt anything other than pain for two years,” he said by telephone. The new sense of feeling “was amazing. It felt like my hand was actually working, that I didn’t have a prosthetic. That’s how close to reality it was for me.”
The new hand allows Spetic to perform routine tasks in a laboratory without serious thought or concentration, he said, including picking up and drinking from a flimsy water bottle without squirting it all over or plucking stems from a cherry without bursting it.
There are currently 19 spots on the prosthetic that Spetic can feel. That’s likely to double or triple within a year, Tyler said in a telephone interview.

‘Refined’ Sensation

“The thing we like is that we can get that refined of sensation,” Tyler said. “There was skepticism before we did this work that we could get that kind of control. Now we know this has the potential for a true restoration of sensation for people when they are missing their hand.”
Source: Tyler Lab, Cleveland VA Medical Center via EurekAlert
An illustration of the nerve interface.
Spetic said the most unexpected benefit was the end of his phantom pain, which he often felt as if he was fiercely clenching his fist. “That was a bonus they didn’t anticipate,” he said.
When researchers vary the intensity, frequency and location of the stimulation, it allows Spetic to pick up the signals for different fabrics such as burlap and cotton, textures like sandpaper, and motion such as a pulse or water running across his hand. There remain several steps ahead.
For now, the sensors on his prosthetic arm are taped to the outside of the device, making it impossible to use at home. The researchers are working on an integrated system that would be sturdy enough for routine use. The sensors also can’t yet distinguish between textures, so Spetic only feels unique sensations beyond a tingling or pressure when the researchers deliver the stimulation.

Swedish Study

The Swedish scientists, meanwhile, developed a fully integrated robotic arm. Their patient, identified only as Magnus, has used the device at home and work for the past year, even sleeping with it attached.

The tight connections allow Magnus, a truck driver, to have more precise, natural control over the arm. He can tie his children’s shoes, catch a ball out of the air and even crack an egg on command, according to their report in the journal. Using his old electric prosthesis, an egg or ball would fly out of his hand if he moved too quickly or extended his arm too far.

“The major contribution of our work is we have this interface that allows implanted electrodes to become clinically viable,” said Max Ortiz Catalan, a research scientist at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. “Patients can take them home and use their prosthesis for their activities of daily living. We know it’s reliable and long-term,” he said in a telephone interview.
Ortiz Catalan is planning a larger study of the devices, currently used only for Magnus, next year. The Cleveland researchers already are working with another amputee and companies to try to devise a prosthetic that incorporates the sensors into the device itself.

(An earlier version of this story misspelled Spetic’s last name.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Fay Cortez in Minneapolis at
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reg Gale at Andrew Pollack

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Biofeedback Used To Make People Anxious, Mindfulness App

Biofeedback is well-known as a relaxation technique, but the HCI Lab of the University of Udine has tried to use it for the opposite purpose: making people anxious. The technique, described by a paper in the November 2014 issue of the Interacting with Computers journal, exploits heartbeat detection. While users navigated a 3D world, the computer detected and played their actual heartbeat (users were not told it was theirs) in the audio background of the virtual world. At a couple of times during the experience, the application artificially increased the frequency of the played heartbeat and then reverted it to the actual one after some seconds. The study described in the paper contrasts the technique with aversive stimuli frequently used in video games when the character gets hurt such as decreasing health bars or increasing the frequency of an heartbeat sound that is not related to the user's actual heartbeat. The biofeedback-based technique produced much larger (subjective as well as physiological) levels of user anxiety than those classic aversive stimuli.

AEON mindfulness app:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Microsoft's "RoomAlive" Transforms Any Room Into a Giant Xbox Game

Microsoft has unveiled a new augmented reality experience called "RoomAlive". Using projectors and Kinect, RoomAlive allows for fully interactive gaming experiences that take up an entire 3D space. From the article: "RoomAlive builds on the familiar concepts of IllumiRoom, but pushes things a lot further by extending an Xbox gaming environment to an entire living room. It's a proof-of-concept demo, just like IllumiRoom, and it combines Kinect and projectors to create an augmented reality experience that is interactive inside a room. You can reach out and hit objects from a game, or interact with games through any surfaces of a room. RoomAlive tracks the position of a gamers head across all six Kinect sensors, to render content appropriately."


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bill Gates: Bitcoin Is 'Better Than Currency'

After long remaining mostly mum on Bitcoin, Microsoft's legendary co-founder Bill Gates has spoken. At the Sibos 2014 financial-services industry conference in Boston, America's richest man just threw his weight behind the controversial cryptocash. Well, at least as a low-cost payments solution. ... "Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be," he told Erik Schatzker during a Bloomberg TV's Smart Street show interview yesterday (video). "Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don't have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient." ... While he seems relatively bullish on how inexpensive transacting in Bitcoin can be, Gates isn't singing the praises of its anonymity. The billionaire alluded in an oblique, somewhat rambling fashion to some of the more nefarious anonymous uses associated with Bitcoin. 

PayPal, meet Bitcoin.

This week, the payment processing company PayPal took its first venture into the world of all-digital money.

Merchants that work with eBay's (EBAY, Tech30) PayPal can now easily start accepting payments from customers that use Bitcoin (XBT), an independent, government-less currency.

PayPal struck a deal with three Bitcoin payment-processing companies: BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin.

Bitcoin is an Internet-based system of money specifically designed to cut out middlemen, like banks and governments. So, it sounds odd to have Bitcoin processors. But they make it easier for everyday, non-tech-savvy businesses to accept bitcoins -- and immediately convert them to cash.
But why take bitcoins -- which have fluctuated in price from $1,100 and $400 in the last year -- instead of proven government money?

The system offers much lower transaction fees, which cost businesses a huge amount of money. The 2%-3% that shops pay in credit card swiping fees can obliterate their profits.
Consider this PayPal's first -- but not last -- foray into the world of Bitcoin. The company has made clear that its interest in Bitcoin runs more than skin deep.

In the last year, eBay's two top executives -- CEO John Donahoe and former president David Marcus -- have expressed interest in Bitcoin's technology.

PayPal's senior director of corporate strategy, Scott Ellison, told CNNMoney the company is most intrigued by the potential to harness the technology that lies at the heart of the Bitcoin system, a public ledger called a blockchain. It's a totally new way of thinking about transactions. It keeps records that are decentralized and keeps users semi-anonymous while making their transactions public.

"We think Bitcoin has tremendous opportunities going forward," Ellison said. "If you really want to understand how a technology works, you need to actually be in that technological space yourself."
Ellison said the move integrating Bitcoin into PayPal is a continuation of the company's view of itself as "the original payment disruptors."

Jose Pagliery is the author of Bitcoin - And the Future of Money (Triumph Books, Chicago).