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Showing posts from March, 2015

New Live Streaming app Periscope Revealing Many User's Home Addresses...

New Apps Allow Smartphone Users To Live Broadcast Any Unfiltered Video Content
By Benjamin Fearnow March 31, 2015 7:04 AM
San Francisco (CBS SACRAMENTO) – Live stream video is going mainstream as two new apps are placing real-time broadcast ability in the hands of any smartphone user – although many are unknowingly broadcasting their home addresses.
Personalized live stream video available on Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope app (iPhone only currently) allow users to immediately broadcast themselves directly to social media. Live video produced by individuals on smartphones is expected to enable more “video aggregation” from citizen journalists and allow unfiltered content to directly reach streaming users.
Tech experts are still unsure how the new live streaming apps will be used, but they say that’s just part of social media.
“When it comes to new tech nobody knows what it’ll be used for, even to the companies — everyone asked what the point of Twitter was when it was released,” sa…

Pentagon Personnel Now Talking on 'NSA-Proof' Smartphones

Pentagon Personnel Now Talking on 'NSA-Proof' Smartphones
By Aliya Sternstein, Nextgov
March 31, 2015 The Defense Department has rolled out supersecret smartphones for work and maybe play, made by anti-government-surveillance firm Silent Circle, according to company officials.
Silent Circle, founded by a former Navy Seal and the inventor of privacy-minded PGP encryption, is known for decrying federal efforts to bug smartphones. And for its spy-resistant "blackphone."
Apparently, troops don't like busybodies either. As part of limited trials, U.S. military personnel are using the device, encrypted with secret code down to its hardware, to communicate "for both unclassified and classified" work, Silent Circle Chairman Mike Janke told Nextgov.
In 2012, Janke, who served in the Navy's elite special-operations force, and Phil Zimmermann, creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP, for short), started Silent Circle as a California-based secure communications f…

Facebook accused of secretly tracking all users...Even after they delete their accounts!

Facebook accused of tracking all users even if they delete accounts, ask never to be followed
Network tracks its users so that it can give them more tailored advertising
By Andrew Griffin Tuesday 31 March 2015
A new report claims that Facebook secretly installs tracking cookies on users’ computers, allowing them to follow users around the internet even after they’ve left the website, deleted their account and requested to be no longer followed.
Academic researchers said that the report showed that the company was breaking European law with its tracking policies. The law requires that users are told if their computers are receiving cookies except for specific circumstances.
Facebook’s tracking — which it does so that it can tailor advertising — involves putting cookies or small pieces of software on users’ computers, so that they can then be followed around the internet. Such technology is used by almost every website, but European law requires that users are told if they are being …
Acceptance of a semi-public digital life worries privacy advocates
By DAVE HELLING
The Kansas City Star March 29, 2015 
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The government can know about your phone calls, your emails, the way you use the Web.
Private business tracks your clicks. Your boss knows your digital trail. Your online activity is more public than private.
Almost all Americans now realize this. Most still aren't bothered by it.
A poll released this month - two years after startling revelations about the government's digital surveillance capabilities - shows 9 out of 10 Americans recognize their digital lives aren't secret. Yet clear majorities said they weren't overly concerned about the government snooping around their calls and emails.
"I am not doing anything wrong, so they can monitor me all they want," one user told researchers from the Pew Research Center.
That view worries a growing coalition of privacy experts and advocates trying to speed up efforts to block …

Google controls what we buy, the news we read — and Obama’s policies

Google controls what we buy, the news we read — and Obama’s policies
By Kyle Smith March 28, 2015 | 5:30pm
It’s 2020. The New England Patriots, winners of six straight Super Bowls, are having yet another routine meeting with the Commissioner’s Office.
Deputy NFL Commissioner Tom Brady and his chief of staff, Rob Gronkowski, OK a rule change that forgives the Patriots for illegally taping other teams and deflating football over the preceding years. Meanwhile, members of the Patriots continue to happily contribute funding for the commissioner’s new 45-room castle in Turks and Caicos, and Bill Belichick agrees to continue coaching the commissioner’s 12-year-old son in Pop Warner football.
Would that bother anyone? Because the above is pretty much going on today, only the team is called Google and the commissioner is the president of the United States.
Sure, since we’re talking about politics, the giving and taking of favors works in a slightly more indirect way. But only slightly. As Mi…

Meet the robot insects that fly, work together and catch objects like chameleons

Meet the robot insects that fly, work together and catch objects like chameleons
30.03.2015 11:19
Automation expert Festo has created three robots inspired by butterflies, ants and a chameleon. They can fly in packs, self charge, work in groups and pick up pretty much anything.
The pick of the bunch is the FlexShapeGripper, a grabbing tool that’s modelled on the incredible tongue of a chameleon. To catch prey, chameleons’ tongues act like suction devices, grabbing flies in an adhesive, form-fitting, interlocking hold.
To replicate this, Festo’s gripper is made from an elastic, silicone cap that adapts to the object it is targeting. It can pick up multiple things, holding many at a time, and reacts to pretty much any shape.
This could be incredibly useful for a range of industries, from automated picking businesses to user aids for those with physical difficulties.
For example Robbie the Robot is a prototype machine made to assist Joanne O’Riordan, a Cork teenager born without arms …

Who needs a sheepdog when you’ve got a drone?

Who needs a sheepdog when you’ve got a drone?
Nicholas Reilly for Metro.co.uk Monday 30 Mar 2015 1:10 pm
Farmers have nearly always relied on the skills of wise old sheepdogs when it comes to rounding up their flock.
But it seems that the role of a sheepdog could now be facing the unlikeliest of threats – a drone.
That’s if this video is anything to go by, which shows what happens when a drone is flown near a flock of sheep.
In the video, the drone essentially becomes a flying sheepdog as it manages to herd a flock of sheep through a gate and into a neighbouring field.
The drone, which has been nicknamed ‘Shep’, captured the footage on a farm in Carlow, South-East Ireland.

http://metro.co.uk/2015/03/30/who-needs-a-sheepdog-when-youve-got-a-drone-5127282/

Pew Poll Finds 59 Percent Support For ‘Completely Changing’ Federal Tax System, Networks Ignore

Pew Poll Finds 59 Percent Support For ‘Completely Changing’ Federal Tax System, Networks Ignore ByJoseph Rossell|March 23, 2015 | 4:21 PM EDT Tax Day is rapidly approaching and most Americans say the federal tax system “should be completely changed.” The Pew Research Center recentlyconducted a pollthat found a majority of Americans supported “Congress completely changing the federal tax system.” Pew announced the findings March 19, which showed 59 percent of its respondents agreed with a total overhaul of federal taxation. Taxpayers’ views were clear from the Pew survey, but the broadcast news networks ignored that clear sign of tax system dysfunction. ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows all ignored Pew’s new poll between March 19 and March 22. Not once did those broadcasts mention majority support for total reform of the federal tax system. On other questions, Pew survey participants also opposed higher taxes for themselves. Ninety-three percent of individuals said that they a…

Feds Financing System to ‘Automatically Detect’ Cyberbullying

Feds Financing System to ‘Automatically Detect’ Cyberbullying
By: Elizabeth Harrington      March 27, 2015 5:00 am
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is financing the creation of a system for the “automatic detection” of cyberbullying.
The project was awarded this month to Rutgers University, which has received $117,102 so far. The real-time, automatic detection of hurtful online speech is necessary, according to the NSF grant, because cyberbullying is a “critical social problem.” The grant said 40 percent of American teenagers have reported being cyberbullied.
“This project aims to define new approaches for automatic detection of cyberbullying by integrating the relevant research in social sciences and computer science,” the grant said.
The project will involve searching for keywords and studying the relationships between teenagers who send and receive mean online messages.
“Specifically, this research will advance the state of the art in cyberbullying detection beyond textual …

Night vision eyedrops allow vision of up to 50m in darkness

Night vision eyedrops allow vision of up to 50m in darkness The eyedrops were created by a team of independent Californian biohackers
By Jamie Campbell  
Friday 27 March 2015
It might sound like something straight out of Q’s laboratory or the latest Marvel film but a group of scientists in California have successfully created eye drops that temporarily enable night vision.
Science for the Masses, an independent “citizen science” organisation that operates from the city of Tehacapi, theorised that Chlorin e6 (Ce6), a natural molecule that can be created from algae and other green plants, could enhance eyesight in dark environments.
The molecule is found in some deep sea fish, forms the basis of some cancer therapies and has been previously prescribed intravenously for night blindness.
Jeff Tibbets, the lab’s medical officer, said: “There are a fair amount of papers talking about having injected it in models like rats and it’s been used intravenously since the 60s as treatments for …

The cyborg revolution: Technology’s body modifications

The cyborg revolution: Technology’s body modifications
By Barclay Ballard, CONTRIBUTOR
The primary goal of technology should be to improve our lives in some way. So far that has seen us embrace computers, the Internet, smartphones and most recently wearable gadgets. However, many are predicting that the future will not see us hold or wear technology, but have it directly implanted into our bodies.
Already, the transhumanism movement is seeing technology implants gain greater acceptance, but many still feel uneasy about the ethics involved when we attempt  to improve our bodies artificially. In response to the advances made in body modification technology, we’ve looked at five high-profile examples below.
Replacement limbs
For many years, individuals have used technology to help solve medical problems. Artificial pacemakers have been implanted into humans since the 1950s and prosthetic limbs, in their most basic form, have been used for centuries.
Now limb replacements are becoming i…

Amazon Robot Contest May Accelerate Warehouse Automation

Amazon Robot Contest May Accelerate Warehouse Automation
Robots will use the latest computer-vision and machine-learning algorithms to try to perform the work done by humans in vast fulfillment centers.
By Will Knight on March 25, 2015
Packets of Oreos, boxes of crayons, and squeaky dog toys will test the limits of robot vision and manipulation in a competition this May. Amazon is organizing the event to spur the development of more nimble-fingered product-packing machines.
Participating robots will earn points by locating products sitting somewhere on a stack of shelves, retrieving them safely, and then packing them into cardboard shipping boxes. Robots that accidentally crush a cookie or drop a toy will have points deducted. The people whose robots earn the most points will win $25,000.
Amazon has already automated some of the work done in its vast fulfillment centers. Robots in a few locations send shelves laden with products over to human workers who then grab and package them. …

'Robots on reins' could soon replace guide dogs

'Robots on reins' could soon replace guide dogs: Machines use tactile sensors and vibrations to help people navigate
The small mobile robot is equipped with tactile sensors to lead the way
A sleeve on the user's arm then interpret signals sent back from the robot
These vibrations can reveal the size, shape or stiffness of an obstacle
Engineers said they could also benefit blind people as well as firefighters
For example, they could help firefighters move through burning buildings
Researchers have also developed a so-called 'tactile language' for robots
They now plan to explore how reins and haptic signals could help older people in their homes
By Victoria Woollaston for MailOnline
Published: 08:35 EST, 25 March 2015  | Updated: 11:02 EST, 25 March 2015 
Robots are already being blamed for taking people's jobs, and now the machines are gunning for guide dogs.
Researchers have developed a 'robot on reins' that can help people navigate using tactile se…

Drones helping Feds observe and track us in troubling ways...

March 24, 2015, 02:00 pm
Unchecked government drones? Not over my backyard
By Neema Singh Guliani
On last Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration gave Amazon the green light to begin testing drones
While you aren’t likely to be getting your Amazon order delivered by drone anytime soon, as the approval is limited to research and testing, the fact remains that this technology is already part of our lives. Drones are already helping the federal government observe and track us in new and often troubling ways, without our knowledge or consent.
President Obama issued a presidential memorandum in February offering some limits on how the government uses this technology. The memo requires all federal agencies to publicly account for how they use drones, implements limited privacy and civil liberties protections, and begins a process to develop privacy standards for private drone use. It’s a start, but much more needs to be done to protect our privacy rights. Right now, the federal go…

Ford's new car will force you to obey the speed limit

Ford's new car will force you to obey the speed limit
blogger-avatar by Daniel Cooper | @danielwcooper | 13 hrs ago  
Much as we'd like to emulate our NASCAR heroes, breaking the speed limit often comes at a price. Ford is hoping to prevent accidents and speeding tickets by introducing cars that can see what the speed limit is and preventing heavy-footed motorists from driving any faster. Ford's Intelligent Speed Limiter tech will first appear on the new Ford S-Max that's launching in Europe that could just change the way that we drive.
A camera mounted on the windshield scans the road signs on the sides of the highway and, when the vehicle enters a 20mph zone, the system reduces the top speed to match. Rather than controlling the speed with automatic braking, the car limits its own velocity by adjusting the amount of fuel being pushed to the engine.
If a burst of speed is required, however, users can either deactivate the system by pressing a button on the console o…

Apple patent envisions tracking people in real time

Apple patent envisions tracking people in real time
A newly granted patent would let you view friends, family and even pets from your mobile device as they move through their day.
by Lance Whitney March 24, 2015 7:50 AM PDT
Apple's current Find My Friends feature could one day expand into more of a Track My Friends feature.
Granted to Apple on Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a patent called "Sharing location information among devices" describes a process that would let you view a visual representation of the path taken by another person using a mobile device as a way of following that person's entire journey.
For example, someone is going for a hike or a trip and wants you to stay informed of his or her whereabouts. That person would enable a feature on a mobile device to allow you to see and track in real time the path being taken on your own mobile device or computer. On the flip side, you could also share your route so the two of you can stay abrea…

Meet the futuristic robot that mimics humans- Capable of independent thought, emotion...

Meet the futuristic robot that mimics humans
Meet Bina48, the robot who can tell jokes, recite poetry and mimic humans.  Written by Aleesha Matharu | New Delhi |   Published on:March 24, 2015 1:20 pm     
Would you want your consciousness to live on, long after your physical body is exhausted? Or have a ‘mind clone’ sit in on meetings as you take the day off? Is that even possible?
Meet Bina48, the robot who can tell jokes, recite poetry and mimic humans. One of the most sophisticated robots ever built, capable of independent thought, emotion, Bina48 is modelled on Bina Aspen, wife of Martine Rothblatt — the CEO of biotech outfit United Therapeutics.
A vision of a future where we all have such “mind clones” is what futurist 60-year-old Rothblatt shared on March 15 with several thousand attendees during the third day of the annual tech festival South by Southwest (SXSW 2015) in Austin, Texas.
How do you create a cyber-human?
The first step is creating what Rothblatt calls a “mind fi…