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Apps that proactively help people with their lives represent a significant departure from earlier approaches to software.
A new type of mobile app is departing from a long-standing practice in computing. Typically, computers have just dumbly waited for their human operators to ask for help. But now applications based on machine learning software can speak up with timely information even without being directly asked for it. They might automatically pull up a boarding pass for your flight just as you arrive at the airport, or tell you that current traffic conditions require you to leave for your next meeting within 10 minutes.
Cellular networks in Boston were still operating on Monday evening following the explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, contrary to earlier reports that they had been shut down to prevent remote bomb detonations.
An anonymous reader writes “In the last few years there has been a significant upsurge in subverting the cellular network for law enforcement purposes. Besides old school tapping, phones are have become the ideal informant: they can report a fairly accurate location and can be remotely turned into covert listening devices. This is often done without a warrant. How can I default the RF transmitter to off, be notified when the network is paging my IMSI and manually re-enable it (or not) if I opt to acknowledge the incoming call or SMS? How do I prevent GPS data from ever being gathered or sent ?”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
While U.S. markets have surged lately, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting milestone after milestone in 10 straight days of advances, a relatively modest increase in the value of IT company shares reflects the reality that a rising tide will not lift all boats in the tech sector.
The ailing FeedDemon RSS reader will shut down after Google Reader is closed on July 1, its creator said. FeedDemon is a standalone RSS reader that can also sync with Google Reader.
GiboNZ writes “Like many others, I easily get distracted when working on a computer. Say I work on a task — be it a programming job or bookkeeping or whatever — and need to quickly check something on Google. Unfortunately after a while I often find myself on Slashdot or eBay or reading emails instead of continuing with the job I was doing before. Maybe if I had a ‘single-tasking desktop’ it wouldn’t be such an issue. I couldn’t Alt-Tab to my email client with tempting 200 unread emails, Alt-Tab to browser with 10 tabs open for later, Alt-Tab to unfinished document from yesterday, Alt-Tab to … you know what I mean. I want to be forced by some technical means to work on the problem I should work on. Will alone doesn’t work — I tried. Like when mowing a lawn — there I’ve got nothing else to do and I keep mowing until it’s finished. If I could multitask in the same way I can on a computer our little backyard would take me the whole day to do. Any ideas how to inhibit the distractions ever present on modern multi-tasking internet-connected desktops? I genuinely want to be more productive but the technology is against me.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
NASA’s Curiosity rover has mostly had smooth sailing since it touched down on Mars last year. Unfortunately, it’s in a more precarious position as of this past Thursday. After noticing corrupted memory files on the robot’s primary computer, overseers have kicked Curiosity into a “safe mode” with a backup computer while they determine what’s wrong and deliver any viable fixes. Don’t think of this like you would the Safe Mode on a Windows PC, though. While the backup can serve as a replacement for the main computer, project manager Richard Cook warns Space.com that it will likely take “several days” to supply enough information that the failsafe can take over. NASA will switch back to the main computer if and when it’s ready; if it is, the agency hopes to harden the code against future flaws. Curiosity will effectively stay on ice in the meantime… and not the variety it might want to find.
Remember the days of yore when carphones used to be attached to the car — permanently? Accel Telecom wants to take you back there with the Voyager, an Android smartphone with car-centric functions that can stay put in your vehicle. To start with, the handset will feature a dedicated Waze launcher key for GPS navigation duties, and will also sport “high level noise reduction and echo cancellation,” along with hands-free voice activation. Other features include a 3G-WiFi hotspot, a “driver-centric” design with large physical keys, multiple car-focused apps and “crystal clear, echo free sound quality.” Interestingly, it’ll also connect to your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics system via RS232 or Bluetooth and ping you if any parts are about to break off. Accel told us that it’ll launch Voyager in Europe and the US “with operators that offer a second sim device,” to let you share your current phone number. There’s no sign of pricing yet, but there is PR and a video after the break.
Editor’s note: Rachel Haot is the first Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, where she leads NYC Digital and is focused on the city’s digital media strategy.
From hackathons to social media, open government is transforming the way that Mayor Bloomberg’s administration and New York City government serve the public. And there has been no greater testament to open government’s potential than the strategy and innovation in action during Hurricane Sandy.
If you’re not careful about using free public Wi-Fi, strangers can snoop on your email and social network conversations. But it’s easy to protect yourself and thwart the bad guys. Follow these tips to surf more safely.
New submitter NewYork writes with this chestnut from an article about the role of age in the high-tech workplace: ‘The shelf life of a software engineer today is no more than that of a cricketer — about 15 years,’ says V R Ferose, MD of German software major SAP’s India R&D Labs that has over 4,500 employees . ‘The 20-year-old guys provide me more value than the 35-year-olds do.’” The article features similar sentiments from Mukund Mohan, CEO of Microsoft’s India-based startup initiative.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
With a seemingly endless stream of flagship phones hitting the market before the holiday season, it can be easy to forget some of the other devices that play a more niche audience. The Samsung Galaxy Beam definitely belongs in this category, as it includes a built-in Texas Instruments DLP pico projector. All told, the phone faces a lofty challenge: while the projector could be useful for the PowerPoint crowd, the phone itself falls on the lower end of mid-range, and isn’t powerful enough to do business users much good otherwise. With a 1GHz dual-core NovaThor CPU, an overly outdated OS, a 2010-era display and a middling 5-megapixel camera, the Beam’s target demographic appears to be ridiculously small. Still, might the projector be enough to carry this device to its full potential? Does a niche device like this have a place in such a crowded market? Read on to get in touch with our thoughts, feelings and emotions regarding the Samsung Galaxy Beam.
Gallery: Samsung Galaxy Beam review
Airbnb: Our Guests Stay Longer And Spend More Than Hotel Guests, Contributing $56M To The San Francisco Economy
Over the past few years, there’s been some question about what effect peer-to-peer lodging marketplace Airbnb has on the hotel and tourism industry. Now the company has some research to show that it’s not having a negative effect, and in fact is actually contributing more to the tourism trade in San Francisco — especially to neighborhoods that aren’t usually visited by the typical tourist here.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes “Maybe instead of zero-day vulnerabilities, we should call them -312-day vulnerabilities. That’s how long it takes, on average, for software vendors to become aware of new vulnerabilities in their software after hackers begin to exploit them, according to a study presented by Symantec at an Association of Computing Machinery conference in Raleigh, NC this week. The researchers used data collected from 11 million PCs to correlate a catalogue of zero-day attacks with malware signatures taken from those machines. Using that retrospective analysis, they found 18 attacks that represented zero-day exploits between February 2008 and March of 2010, seven of which weren’t previously known to have been zero-days. And most disturbingly, they found that those attacks continued more than 10 months on average – up to 2.5 years in some cases – before the security community became aware of them. ‘In fact, 60% of the zero-day vulnerabilities we identify in our study were not known before, which suggests that there are many more zero-day attacks than previously thought — perhaps more than twice as many,’ the researchers write.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Sure, you can turn your smartphone into a bike computer, but if you’d rather not put your pricey piece of tech anywhere near harm’s way, Wahoo Fitness’ RFLKT Bike Computer offers an alternative. Instead of packing all the brains, the device sits atop a bicycle’s handlebar and displays data it’s fed via Bluetooth 4.0 from cycling apps running on an iPhone 4S or 5. At launch, the hardware will support the firm’s own Cyclemeter application and Wahoo Fitness App which can monitor ride information ranging from location to speed, in addition to heart rate with additional accoutrement. Aspiring Alberto Contadors can page through data and even sift through tunes on their playlist with the help of buttons on the device’s side. Gently tipping the scales at 2 ounces, the RFLKT measures up at 2.4- x 1.6 x 0.5-inches and boats a one-year battery life on a single coin cell. Wahoo’s gadget is slated for a December launch, but there’s still no word on pricing. For more specifics, take a gander at the full press release below.
Ignore us. Ignore the pressure from press and Wall Street to make more money now as lockups expire and your stock price dips to new lows. The only thing you need to remember is “Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.” That’s your leader Mark Zuckerberg in his pre-IPO letter to the world.
I say this because I worry you may be veering off course in a fit of desperation to please investors. This week you announced two new ad units that give businesses unprecedented access to the news feed. They pose grave threats to the user experience and your ability to accomplish your mission to bring us all closer together.
If you aren’t all about grabbing a new account for Microsoft’s Outlook email today and do indeed have a Gmail account you use with your iOS device, today is looking up. The iPhone and iPad version of Gmail has been updated to version 1.3 today for the masses, made for not just bug fixes, but
BAE Systems’ ASTRAEA isn’t a new concept — the company’s been playing up its unmanned potential for quite some time now — but it’s all seeming entirely less pie-in-the-sky now that the Farnborough Airshow has kicked off. Typically, UAVs are thought to be smaller, drone-type apparatuses; these things are typically used in military exercises where remote gunfire or reconnaissance is required. Clearly, it’s about time someone asked the obvious: “Why?” Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal, Engineering Director Systems and Strategy, Military Air and Information at BAE and ASTRAEA Program Director recently spoke at the aforesaid event, noting that this particular aircraft could “open up a new market.” He continued: “Current search and rescue aircraft are limited by human endurance, however with a UAV there’s no reason why they can’t stay up for weeks.” Sadly, he also affirmed that there aren’t any plans to ship actual humans up in the air without a pilot onboard, but if you’re rich and mettlesome enough to pull it off yourself… well, be sure to send us the video. Also, Godspeed.
Filed under: Transportation
This week has been a bad one for the lawyers in charge of keeping Samsung’s mobile products on the shelves as not only the Galaxy Tab 10.1 but the Galaxy Nexus have now had bids to end their preliminary sales ban in two separate Apple court cases. Apple is currently working on legal suits against
First time accepted submitter illcar writes “Hi, I am a 40 year old working as a senior developer for one of the biggest investment banks. I have always worked as full time employee in my career; however the the last 5-6 years have been very tough for me because of office politics, outsourcing, and economic conditions. The financial industry is not doing well, and we may be at the brink of another round of layoffs. My family is growing, my spouse does not work, and I still don’t own a house. I am worried regarding my job security & career growth. Considering medicare does not kick in till 65, I am still looking at 25 long years of career. I am wondering what the best way would be for me to stay employable in the coming years?”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Samsung may have been quick to appeal Judge Lucy Koh’s decision to halt Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales, but the woman with the gavel isn’t bending. According to Reuters, Judge Koh has rejected the firm’s request to allow sales to continue pending a decision, keeping store shelves empty for the time being. The story isn’t over, of course — if Samsung wins the appeal (or the greater dispute) tablets will return to stores in droves. Either way, we all look forward to a time when this whole mess is behind us.
Two of the world’s most hallowed libraries are about to get even quieter, having been given $ 3 million to go with the flow and put some of their oldest collections online. The Vatican Library and Oxford University’s Bodleian Library will together offer up 1.5 million pages of hoary text, including Gutenberg’s Latin Bible from the 15th Century, a 1,200-year-old Hebrew codex called the “Sifra,” and enough Greek philosophy to make even Homer seem succinct. At the end of a five-year flatbed scanner marathon, these digital copies will be accessible to speakers of dead languages everywhere, and hopefully for less than sacrilegious prices.
It sounds like the sequel that didn’t even make it to DVD: RoboCop’s jaded, rotund, less attractive younger brother, who never made the police force — and tired of living in his sibling’s shadow — took a job as the next best thing: a prison guard. Well, that might not make the silver screen, but it’s certainly reality TV. Meet Robo-guard, the world’s first robotic correctional officer. Developed in South Korea, Robo-guard is equipped with 3D cameras that let it observe inmates, while special software looks out for changes in behavior. Should anything suspicious be detected, he’ll raise the alarm. A lone wolf, he works his beat autonomously, but can also be controlled manually via an iPad, if human colleagues want to check what’s going down. Initial field trials are under way right now, and if all goes well, he’ll earn a place in more prisons. Who knows, he may even make deputy one day.
A St. Louis museum can keep hold of a 3,200-year-old mummy’s mask, a federal judge has ruled, saying the U.S. government failed to prove that the Egyptian relic was ever stolen.
Apple’s new iPad has plenty of new features — but are they enough?
The judge overseeing Oracle's intellectual property lawsuit against Google wants Oracle to provide "a clear answer" as to why the trial shouldn't be postponed until a number of patent reexamination processes are fully played out, according to a filing late Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Edsj writes “A spokesman for the World Health Organization announced that an agreement had been reached, after a debate, to keep details secret of the controversial work about the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu virus until deeper risk analyses have been carried out. The scientists who made the study, led by Ron Fouchier, still want to release the full paper at some future date for public viewing, but for the time being, the NSABB got what it wanted.”
The moratorium will be extended “probably for several months.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Acclaimed Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez has repeatedly tried to travel internationally but local authorities refuse to let her leave–human rights organizations think it’s because of the political views she writes about on her blog.
Harvard University has teamed up with an organization called the New Enterprise Associates to create an initiative that hopes to keep great innovators in college before they run out and make millions. This, of course, is exactly what happened with Mark Zuckerberg and fellow software architect Bill Gates. The problem is all the good schools [...]
EMC reported record revenues totaling more than $ 20 billion in 2011, and said that Joe Tucci has changed his mind and will stay on as CEO through 2013.
The controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been pulled and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) is on hold. The Internet won this round, it seems. But don’t celebrate just yet. The forces behind these acts are simply regrouping. Should SOPA and PIPA be killed, or can they be fixed? We invited Viacom’s General Counsel and EVP Michael Fricklas and David Sohn, General Counsel and Director of the Center for Democracy And Technology, to debate the issue in the video above.
Badgeville is convinced that 2012 is going to be a big year for gamification and that the startup can help your company take advantage of all the elements of gaming that make us tick (and click), whether they be leaderboards, badges, leveling up, experience points, or any of that good stuff. That was the motivation behind the company’s launch at Disrupt San Francisco in 2010, where Badgeville won the Audience Choice Award.
And there are plenty who agree that gamification (and Badgeville’s vision of what it means to web business and enterprise) will continue to play: Among them, Norwest Venture Partners, El Dorado Ventures, Trinity Ventures and Webb Investment Network, who collectively poured $ 12 million into the startup in July of last year. (Following a $ 2.5 million round of seed post-Disrupt in November 2010.)
Still haven’t received that fresh new Xbox 360 dashboard update? Don’t worry, no one else has either. Arbiter of all things Xbox Major Nelson tweeted “The timing for Xbox 360 update has been slightly delayed”, and promised a status update later today, but for the time being there’s no other word on why, or when it will arrive. In the meantime, feel free to read our review again, make sure your Kinect sensor is tuned, or maybe take a swing Geometry Wars for old times sake. We’ll let you know when there’s more information available.
wasimkadak writes “One in three people in Switzerland download unauthorized music, movies and games from the Internet, and — since last year — the government has been wondering what to do about it. This week their response was published, and it was crystal clear. Not only will downloading for personal use stay completely legal, but the copyright holders won’t suffer because of it, since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
We first covered AboutOne as part of a round-up of some of the more interesting startups to present their wares onstage at DEMO Spring 2011. The startup is building eManagement system that makes it easy for busy families to organize their lives and households. And today AboutOne has announced that it has closed $ 1.6 million in series A financing, led by Golden Seeds, a network of early-stage investing angels who focus on companies founded and led by women.
Kodak is struggling to stay afloat and as part of its efforts to raise enough cash to turn things around, the company may sell its online photo-sharing business called Kodak Gallery. Kodak has already licensed out its projector patents and sold its image sensor unit to generate cash in recent months. Citing sources familiar with [...]
Google has today updated a transparency report which in part very suggestively points toward the videos you may have encountered over the past 24 hours that document an apparent set of police brutality cases taking place during the Occupy Oakland events of October 2011. Apparently they’ve had requests and/or demands from law enforcement agencies to [...]
No, the picture above isn’t some modernized Power Ranger’s wrist communicator. This is the Mutewatch, and we’ve been intrigued since we first laid eyes on it over a year ago. At a glance, it looks akin to a rubber fashion bracelet, which could make its $ 260 price tag a shocker. But with the right touch or flick it reveals itself to be much more. The Stockholm-based start-up behind it, dubbed Mutewatch AB, envisions the device serving as “time management tool” for setting quick wrist-felt vibrating reminders during the course of the day. Think Growl, but on your wrist. The wristwatch lacks a dial and crystal, and instead has an angled, touch-sensitive section for a face with hidden LEDs, an ambient light sensor, motion sensor and a vibrating motor for alarms. We’ve spent a some time using a near-final unit seeing what it would be like silently manage our days, and it’s all laid out just past the break.
Gallery: Mutewatch hands-on