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Internet Television

The Gigaom interview: Thievery Corporation’s Rob Garza on how “we live in a streaming world”
Apr. 18, 2014 - 8:30 AM PDT Apr. 18, 2014 - 8:30 AM PDT There is better than a good chance that while relaxing on a beach somewhere or sipping a martini in your favorite lounge you have heard music that makes raise your eyebrow
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Beats Music is reportedly raising another – 0 million 20 April 2014, 19.43 Internet Television
Beats Music is reportedly raising another $60 – $100 million
1 hour ago Apr. 21, 2014 - 9:38 AM PDT Beats Music, the newly-launched music subscription service spearheaded by Jimmy Iovine, is in the midst of raising another $60 – $100 million in funding, according to a Billboard report
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Slate tries to buck the paywall trend by focusing on membership 20 April 2014, 19.43 Internet Television
Slate tries to buck the paywall trend by focusing on membership
2 hours ago Apr. 21, 2014 - 8:36 AM PDT There’s been a wave of online news outlets trying different versions of a paywall model over the past year or so, with everything from a New York Times-style metered plan to a hard wall
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Samsung’s Milk Music has been downloaded 380,000 times 20 April 2014, 19.43 Internet Television
Samsung’s Milk Music has been downloaded 380,000 times
12 hours ago Apr. 20, 2014 - 10:20 PM PDT Milk Music, the Pandora competitor that Samsung launched in early March, has been downloaded 380,000 times already. Samsung Media Solutions Center President Wonpyo Hong revealed this
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Surprise, Joss Whedon fans: His new film, In Your Eyes, is now available via Vimeo
14 hours ago Apr. 20, 2014 - 8:30 PM PDT Tonight, the supernatural romance In Your Eyes, written by Joss Whedon and directed by Brin Hill (Won’t Back Down), made its official world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. But
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Earth News Reports

Studio Osk’s Shape-Shifting Pavilion Set to Pop Up this Summer in Berlin
Studio Osk are the brains behind this amazing shape-shifting pavilion, which is set to take shape this summer in Berlin. The creative public space will rise in the ZK/U sculpture park, and it will host temporary exhibitions
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Stella McCartney Commits to Becoming “Wildlife Friendly” Certified
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU: You Can’t Afford Stella McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Collaboration Stella McCartney Commits to Becoming “Wildlife Friendly” Certified by Jasmin Malik Chua , 04/18/14   filed under:
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Get the Glober font family for only 20 April 2014, 19.43 Green Architecture
Get the Glober font family for only $19
This classic Grostesque typeface with 18 unique weights normally sells for $190, but you can buy it for a limited time for only $19, that’s a 90% discount. The post Get the Glober font family for only $19 appeared first
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Drawings in the sky by Thomas Lamadieu 20 April 2014, 19.43 Green Architecture
Drawings in the sky by Thomas Lamadieu
City skies are rarely as beautiful as the ones you can see in the countryside, but when Thomas Lamadieu draws into those  skies, they suddenly become much more interesting. The post Drawings in the sky by Thomas Lamadieu
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Rock band icons 20 April 2014, 19.43 Green Architecture
Rock band icons
A fun project by Tata & Friends, a set of icons that illustrate the names of famous rock bands. The post Rock band icons appeared first on Design daily news. Download the Designers essentials package
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The medical alphabet 20 April 2014, 19.43 Green Architecture
The medical alphabet
In case you need to translate your doctor’s prescriptions, you can eventually use the medical alphabet. It looks about right to me, and works in French too. The post The medical alphabet appeared first on Design daily
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WordPress news: April 13 to April 19, 2014 20 April 2014, 19.43 Green Architecture
WordPress news: April 13 to April 19, 2014
WordPress has become a tool used by millions of designers for much more than creating blogs. Each week we take a look at what’s new with WordPress. For more regular news, tutorials and tricks, check out our blog about
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BMW i3 Electric Vehicle Wins ‘World Green Car’ and ‘Design of the Year’ Awards at the 2014 New York Auto Show
Share on TumblrEmail The World Car of the Year Awards were given out today at the 2014 New York Auto Show, and the BMW i3 electric car was crowned the Green Car Of The Year and the Car Design Of The Year. The
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5 Incredibly Tiny & Awesome Mobile Homes 18 April 2014, 23.18 Transportation
5 Incredibly Tiny & Awesome Mobile Homes
Share on TumblrEmail N55′s Walking House Danish experimental studio N55 designed a modular self-sufficient home that can walk. The Walking House is a
Read More 59 Hits 0 Ratings
Millionaire Creates Uber High Tech RV Camper for His Four-Year-Old Daughter
Share on TumblrEmail Ferren, a 61-year-old inventor and cofounder of tech design firm Applied Minds, came up with the unique camper van with his young daughter
Read More 73 Hits 0 Ratings

Technology News Reports

A Better Breed of News App 20 April 2014, 19.43 Tech
A Better Breed of News App
Mobile news curation uses human editors and good design to improve the experience of reading the news on smartphones. By Jason Pontin on April 21, 2014 The Boston News-Letter was a business built on curating the news. In
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Out in the Open: Build Your Own Netflix-Style Suggestion Machine for Free
Image: Mortar Data Netflix has spent years building and improving its recommendation engine, and even sponsored a $1 million contest to improve its algorithm. But now anyone can download and tinker with this kind of
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Help Scientists Record One Day of Sound on Earth
The Soundscape Recorder app in action. Image: Brandon Keim Bryan Pijanowski wants to capture the sounds of the world on a single day, and he needs your help. On Earth Day, April 22, Pijanowski hopes to enlist thousands of
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Apple Tries to Clean Up Its Carbon-Spewing Ways With New Data Centers
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for environmental initiatives, gives a tour at the company’s solar field in Yerington, NV. Photo: David Calvert/WIRED On a stunning cloudless day in the Nevada desert, Lisa Jackson
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A Ravishing New $120K Roadster Straight Out of the 1940s
Image: Morgan Motor Company Plenty of automakers make retro-modern vehicles that combine an old-school ethos with modern technology. But none of them do it quite like Morgan Motor Co., which was retro before retro was a
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Michael Lewis on Exposing Wall Street’s Biggest High-Tech Swindle
Image: Tabitha Soren Author Michael Lewis’ newest book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, topped  The New York Times bestseller list a week after release, and a screen version is rumored to be in the works with bigwig
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Meet the Rugged Prospectors Still Panning for Gold in California
Duane. Photo: Sarina Finkelstein Duane. Photo: Sarina Finkelstein Tina with gold. Photo: Sarina Finkelstein Tina with gold. Photo: Sarina Finkelstein Chalkboard. Photo: Sarina Finkelstein Chalkboard. Photo:
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BitTorrent Sync for NAS boxes lets you roll your own private, secure Dropbox
BitTorrent has become essentially synonymous with illegal file sharing, but it’s merely a protocol that can be used for good or evil. BitTorrent Sync uses the BitTorrent protocol to increase privacy and make sharing files
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Linksys WRT1900AC review: Fast, easy to set up, and every feature you can imagine
The original blue-and-black Linksys WRT54G wireless router, released way back in 2002, holds an odd place in my heart. On the one hand, it was cheap and performed reasonably well, but on the other it also crashed regularly
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The ultimate guide to staying anonymous and protecting your privacy online
1 of 4 Next Whenever you browse the web, your privacy is under constant barrage. Advertisers are trying to track every move you make, and governments around the world want in on the action as well. Getting tracked by
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Chrome Remote Desktop makes its way onto Android 18 April 2014, 23.19 Technology
Chrome Remote Desktop makes its way onto Android
Need to access your Windows desktop while you’re sitting on a bus 3,000 miles away from work? Just launch Chrome, and you’re good to go! Earlier this week, Google released Chrome Remote Desktop for Android, and brought
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BMW i3 Electric Vehicle Wins ‘World Green Car’ and ‘Design of the Year’ Awards at the 2014 New York Auto Show
Share on TumblrEmail The World Car of the Year Awards were given out today at the 2014 New York Auto Show, and the BMW i3 electric car was crowned the Green Car Of The Year and the Car Design Of The Year. The
Read More 35 Hits 0 Ratings
5 Incredibly Tiny & Awesome Mobile Homes 18 April 2014, 23.18 Transportation
5 Incredibly Tiny & Awesome Mobile Homes
Share on TumblrEmail N55′s Walking House Danish experimental studio N55 designed a modular self-sufficient home that can walk. The Walking House is a
Read More 59 Hits 0 Ratings
Millionaire Creates Uber High Tech RV Camper for His Four-Year-Old Daughter
Share on TumblrEmail Ferren, a 61-year-old inventor and cofounder of tech design firm Applied Minds, came up with the unique camper van with his young daughter
Read More 73 Hits 0 Ratings
The Limits of Social Engineering 18 April 2014, 23.17 Tech
The Limits of Social Engineering
Tapping into big data, researchers and planners are building mathematical models of personal and civic behavior. But the models may hide rather than reveal the deepest sources of social ills. By Nicholas Carr on April 16,
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Microrobots, Working Together, Build with Metal, Glass, and Electronics
Tiny robots that work together like ants could lead to a new way to manufacture complex structures and electronics. By Tom Simonite on April 16, 2014 Building big: A team of three small, magnetically steered robots worked
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Selling Teslas in China Won’t Do Much for the Environment
Because China relies so heavily on coal for power, electric vehicles aren’t necessarily an improvement over gasoline-powered cars. By Mike Orcutt on April 17, 2014 China-bound: A Tesla Model S sedan. Sales of electric
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Shape-Shifting Touch Screen Buttons Head to Market
An iPad accessory launching later this year will bring transparent morphing buttons to the device’s screen to aid touch-typing. By Tom Simonite on April 17, 2014 Finger guides: This prototype case for the iPad Mini
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The Cost of Limiting Climate Change Could Double without Carbon Capture Technology
The economics of combating climate change may depend on an underfunded technology. By Kevin Bullis on April 18, 2014 Carbon test: A facility in Norway for testing carbon capture technologies. So far, the technology has
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Enlightened Spaces 18 April 2014, 23.17 Tech
Enlightened Spaces
Imagine a painting by Mark Rothko transformed into a movie. In a space behind a glass panel, fuzzy clouds of color slowly morph from one configuration to another. A golden patch may appear in a field of crimson and slowly
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The Awesome Reason You’ll Never See a UPS Truck Take a Left Turn in the U.S.
Share on TumblrEmail Email and text messages may have replaced snail mail, but there are some things that you just can’t send electronically. While the Internet may have killed the handwritten letter, all
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Hybrid Skylys Flying Car is an Electric Vehicle, Helicopter and Plane Rolled Into One
Share on TumblrEmail The dream of flying cars dates back to the 1960s when the animated series “The Jetsons” envisioned a future where these airborne vehicles dominate the sky. In the past few years the
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Glow-in-the-Dark ‘Smart Highways’ Replace Street Lights in the Netherlands
Share on TumblrEmail Light-absorbing glow-in-the-dark road markings have replaced standard street lighting on a 500 meter stretch of highway in The Netherlands. This project is the first stage of a concept
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Cheap Solar Power—at Night 14 April 2014, 20.39 Tech
Cheap Solar Power—at Night
New solar thermal technologies could address solar power’s intermittency problem. By Kevin Bullis on April 8, 2014 Searing sun: Thousands of mirrors focus sunlight on a tower to generate high temperatures at a power
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Does Musk’s Gigafactory Make Sense? 14 April 2014, 20.39 Tech
Does Musk’s Gigafactory Make Sense?
Tesla’s audacious plan to build a giant battery factory may mostly be a clever negotiating tactic. By Kevin Bullis on April 14, 2014 Dream maker: Elon Musk, Tesla Motors’ CEO, hopes a massive factory will lead to
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Going Nuclear: The Global Power Picture 14 April 2014, 20.39 Tech
Going Nuclear: The Global Power Picture
Already a Magazine subscriber? You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account. Activate Your Account Become an Insider It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research,
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The Underappreciated Ties Between Art and Innovation
Author Sarah Lewis discusses some counterintuitive pathways to breakthroughs. By Brian Bergstein on April 15, 2014 Sarah Lewis The path to a great achievement—whether it is a technological innovation or a masterwork of
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Averting Disastrous Climate Change Could Depend on Unproven Technologies
A U.N. climate report says we’ll overshoot greenhouse gas targets, and will need new technologies to make up for it. By Kevin Bullis on April 14, 2014 Carbon conundrum: One way to decrease the amount of carbon in the
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Adobe Lightroom for the iPad is finally here, and it’s superb: Hands on review
Adobe’s Lightroom has become the dominant image-organizing and non-destructive-editing application among serious photographers. However, it has been very awkward to integrate mobile devices into a Lightroom-based workflow.
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Heartbleed: Which passwords you should change right now
Security researchers can all agree on one thing: the Heartbleed bug is probably the most significant and dangerous vulnerability to ever hit the internet. What’s odd about Heartbleed, though, is that due to the nature of
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What the Heartbleed bug is, and how you can protect yourself (and your servers)
Over the last couple of days, you may have heard about the rather ominous sounding Heartbleed bug — a bug that affected hundreds of millions of websites, exposing usernames, passwords, encryption keys, and other sensitive
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The NSA knew about and exploited the Heartbleed bug for ‘at least two years’
When I wrote about the Heartbleed bug last week, and how it means that much of the web has been insecure for the last two years, I found myself thinking: “if I was the NSA, or some other intelligence agency, this is exactly
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Why Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV show in the world
While hard and fast figures are tough to come by, it appears that the Game of Thrones season four premiere will become the most pirated TV episode of all time, racking up around one million downloads within 12 hours of the
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Could a Hotel Bring Back Los Angeles’ Theater Row?
The gothic interior of the United Artists Theater. Photos by Jen Griffes The gothic interior of the United Artists Theater. Photos by Jen Griffes Murals line the walls of the United Artists Theater. Photos by Jen
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How Flesh-Eating Strep Bacteria Evolved Into an Epidemic
Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. Image: CDC Bacteria aren’t kind enough to leave behind a fossil record (save for cyanobacteria), but they’re evolving fast. Really fast. Their short life cycles mean that generations come
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Mad Men Recap: Welcome to the Beginning of the End
Every week, Wired takes a look at the latest episode of Mad Men through the lens of the latest media campaign of advertising agency Sterling Cooper & Partners. Image: AMC “Are you ready? Because I want you to pay
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3 Brilliant UI Details in Carousel, Dropbox’s New Photo App
Photo Illustration: WIRED With the rise of digital cameras and smartphone photography, we lost photo albums–the actual, physical things we relied on to hold our memories. In their place, we have the photo apps that come
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Watch Live Tonight as a Total Lunar Eclipse Turns the Moon Blood Red
Tonight the Earth, moon, and sun will align just right to put on a celestial show known as a total lunar eclipse. Though you can just look up in the sky to catch the event, we’ve also got some spectacular live feeds of the
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Apple Buys Tiny Dams to Power Its Data Centers
Apple’s Maiden, North Carolina, data center. Photo: Apple Apple is buying up a hydro-electric project in Oregon, hoping to lock into an environmentally sustainable way of powering its massive data centers. The project,
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Tesla Model S Blazes Across the United States on Record-Setting 12,000-Mile Road Trip
Share on TumblrEmail Summer is almost here, and thousands of US travelers are gearing up for the great American tradition of road tripping across the States. But what if those trips could be taken by electric
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MIT Whizzes Invent Magical Furniture That Changes Shape on Demand
MIT's Tangible Media Group created Transform, a vision of what could be the shape-shifting furniture of the future. Photos by MIT MIT's Tangible Media Group created Transform, a vision of what could be the
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Are Touchscreens Melting Your Kid’s Brain?
Gadget Lab Reddit Digg Stumble Upon Email Tags: children, magazine-22.04, magazine-april-2014, tablets Subscribe to Wired Magazine Advertisement Wired gadgetlab Editors Michael Calore Bryan
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A Virtuoso Robot Band Whose Guitarist Has 78 Fingers
Practice might be the way for human musicians to get to Carnegie Hall, but if you’re a robot, it’s not so tough—as long as your programmers have given you the proper advantages. Meet the Z-Machines, a band made entirely
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A Sweet/Sad Stop-Motion Film Made With 3D Printing
They said the honey was just at the top of the stairs… GIF: Kyle VanHemert. Source: DBLG Here’s an innovative use for your 3D printer: moviemaking. London-based creative agency DBLG shows the way with “Bears on
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Twitter’s Next Big Cash Cow: Your Data 14 April 2014, 18.59 Tech
Twitter’s Next Big Cash Cow: Your Data
Twitter just agreed to buy its long-time partner Gnip, a data company that anaylizes and sells Twitter data to a host of third parties companies. Gnip is the largest provider of social data in the world. In its announcement,
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This Car Talk Puzzler Solution is Bogus 14 April 2014, 18.59 Tech
This Car Talk Puzzler Solution is Bogus
Image: Rhett Allain. It’s not so easy to burn a string from both ends Don’t get me wrong. I love Car Talk. Who doesn’t love this show? I think this is the only podcast I listen to in the car that doesn’t make my kids
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Why Google’s Modular Smartphone Might Actually Succeed
In a two-story building in an industrial district of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ara Knaian shows off prototypes of what could be the industry’s first completely modular smartphone. On workbenches sit prototypes of memory
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The Revival of Cancer Immunotherapy 08 April 2014, 02.16 Tech
The Revival of Cancer Immunotherapy
An old idea for treating cancer is yielding impressive results on cancer patients—and lots of attention from drug companies. By Susan Young on April 7, 2014 Immune infantry: T cells (yellow) attack cancer cells (pink)
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Tesla Model S Breaks 28-Year-Old Sales Record in Norway 08 April 2014, 02.14 Transportation
Tesla Model S Breaks 28-Year-Old Sales Record in Norway
Share on TumblrEmail The Tesla Model S has only been on sale in Norway for less than a year, but the electric car has already broken a 28-year-old monthly sales record. Last month Tesla sold 1,493 Model S
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Laser-Cut Koi Bike Rack Offers a Stylish New Way to Keep Bicycles Safe in Philly
Share on TumblrEmail Jibe Design won a bike rack competition with Koi – a futuristic new design that will be installed at the base of a downtown high-rise in Philadelphia. Based on a Japanese textile and
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Man Hacks Prius to Run on San Francisco MUNI Electric Bus Power Lines
Share on TumblrEmail When we first spotted this crazy picture of a Prius driver hitching a free energy ride on San Francisco’s MUNI power lines, we couldn’t believe it! Equipped with a giant trolley pole,
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High-Flying Camera: DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Drone Promises Stabilized HD Video
Camera drones are increasingly popular among sports and photography enthusiasts for their ability to capture stunning images from above. DJI, a company that specializes in small remote-controlled aerial vehicles, now sells
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Europe votes to protect net neutrality, abolish mobile data roaming charges
In a stark reminder of just how different things are over the pond in Europe, the EU Parliament has voted in favor of abolishing mobile roaming fees and maintaining net neutrality. While US lawmakers have generally favored
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Map-D: MIT spinout takes big data real-time with GPUs
We all know that with enough expensive servers, big companies can crunch through massive amounts of data. In some cases, like trending search reports, dedicated computing resources can even make large-scale analysis happen in
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Build 2014: Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8.1, shows off Cortana the digital assistant
At the Build 2014 conference keynote in San Francisco, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore have kicked off things by giving us more details about Windows 8.1 Update 1, and officially unveiling Windows Phone
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Facebook details its plans to bring drone internet access to the masses – but will monopolistic telcos stand idly by?
Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it was developing its own drone-based plan for global internet coverage, to compete against the likes of Google’s balloon-based Project Loon. On Friday, Zuckerberg unveiled a more
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How Dropbox knows you’re a dirty pirate, and why you shouldn’t use cloud storage to share copyrighted files
Over the weekend, it emerged that Dropbox has the ability to stop you from publicly or privately sharing copyrighted content — in other words, Dropbox has a system in place that prevents piracy. At first, this sounds rather
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European Parliament Votes to Protect Net Neutrality, Kill Roaming Fees
Image: Free Press/CC The European Union is poised to pass new laws that would protect network neutrality within its borders. On Thursday, as part of a larger proposal to create a single telecommunications market for the
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Vine Creeps in on Messaging With New Private Video Option
Vine added private video messaging features in an update today. Image: Vine Vine just announced that it’s getting in on private messaging. Users can now send looping six second video messages to multiple contacts —
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Science Graphic of the Week: Fluorescence Reveals the Incredible Productivity of America’s Corn Belt
The glow represents satellite measurements of fluorescence of land plants in early July, over a period from 2007 to 2011. Image: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. During photosynthesis, the chlorophyll in healthy plants
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Apple’s New Lottery System Gives Everyone an Equal Shot at Getting Into WWDC
Apple is holding WWDC June 2nd this year. Image: Apple Apple announced its annual, five-day Worldwide Developer conference (WWDC) will kick off June 2nd this year. And following the model that other large conferences like
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Tsunami Warning Tests Galapagos Islands 03 April 2014, 21.21 Tech
Tsunami Warning Tests Galapagos Islands
Boats anchored in Puerto Ayora in the early morning of April 2nd. Vessels were ordered out of the shallow-water harbor during the tsunami warning of April 1st. (Image: Jeffrey Marlow) At 8:46 PM, on April 1st, the Nazca and
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Nest’s Smoke Alarm Stumble Is a UI Lesson for Everybody
Image Courtesy of Nest After a nearly blemish-free record that culminated in a $3 billion acquisition by Google, Nest today issued a surprising halt to sales of Protect, its gesture-controlled smoke alarm. One of the
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Madrid Gets Ready to Launch its First Electric Bike Sharing Program
Share on TumblrEmail Madrid is making it easier and greener to get around town with its first electric bike-share program. Dubbed BiciMad, the program mirrors similar programs in place in Barcelona, London
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Antler Handlebars Add Hipster Flair to Picnic-Ready Lumburr Bicycle
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Pay with Your Fingerprint 03 April 2014, 21.19 Tech
Pay with Your Fingerprint
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is the first smartphone that can use a fingerprint to authorize payments in stores and online. By Tom Simonite on April 2, 2014 Anyone with an iPhone 5 can use its fingerprint reader to unlock the
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A Bandage That Senses Tremors, Delivers Drugs, and Keeps a Record
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Study Shows Flawed U.S. Encryption Standard Could Be Broken in Seconds
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U.N. Climate Report Warns of Increased Risk to Crops
Crop yields are expected to decline due to climate change faster than scientists thought. By Kevin Bullis on March 31, 2014 A few years ago scientists thought climate change wouldn’t cause much harm to overall food
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Tsunami Warning Tests Galapagos Islands PDF Print E-mail

Boats anchored

Boats anchored in Puerto Ayora in the early morning of April 2nd. Vessels were ordered out of the shallow-water harbor during the tsunami warning of April 1st. (Image: Jeffrey Marlow)

At 8:46 PM, on April 1st, the Nazca and South American tectonic plates ground against each other, 60 miles northwest of Iquique, Chile, 12.5 miles beneath the coastal waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. The resulting 8.2 magnitude earthquake triggered a swift reaction all along the South American coast, a region accustomed to large quakes and mindful of the dangers of tsunamis.

More than one thousand miles away from the epicenter, in the Galapagos Islands, a newly crafted tsunami evacuation plan was being enacted minutes after the quake occurred. Sirens wailed in Puerto Ayora, the largest town on the islands, as people gathered for dinner. Circulating firefighters with megaphones urged people to move to higher ground through a network of previously designated meeting points. Most complied; some remained behind, unconvinced of the danger or confident in their topographical positioning.

The architect of the evacuation protocol, Ernesto Vaca, was in the heart of the action, along Puerto Ayora’s waterfront. In the darkness, he helped villagers and tourists move bags and board buses, cars, scooters – anything with wheels – to move up the mountain that dominates the island of Santa Cruz. Surf shops and tourist agencies were shuttered, promotional photos of tortoise-watching and snorkeling excursions incongruous in the tense evening air.

There was good reason to be concerned. In 2011, a wall of water swept across the Pacific Ocean following the earthquake that crippled the Fukushima nuclear power plant. By the time it reached Puerto Ayora, the wave was over 12 feet tall; it crashed through glass windows and flooded most of the lower part of the town. Although the damage was relatively minimal, the event provided a stark wake-up call for local government officials.

Vaca has spent much of the last three years developing the evacuation plan as the Galapagos Province’s Director for Emergency Preparedness and Risk Management (he relinquished the post a few months ago). The position had been created only a few years earlier when, in 2008, Ecuador adopted a new constitution. “We are the only country in the world to insert a risk management component in our constitution,” he explains. “It is now mandatory to have plans to protect the civilian population, to instruct, train, and teach the public employees about what they should do in case of an emergency.”

The emergency preparedness remit for the Galapagos reads like an apocalyptic screenplay in a region prone to all manner of natural disaster – fires, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods. 600 miles from the Ecuadorian mainland, the islands also need to be mindful of sluggish external assistance.

Vaca supervised a thorough overhaul of each town’s safe zones, incorporating predictive models that revealed the flood-prone zones for a range of wave heights. He conducted seven evacuation exercises with schools and three large-scale test runs, one in each of the province’s main towns. His team examined local infrastructure to fortify emergency supplies of food, water, and electricity generation. (Vaca sought a 72-hour window of self-sufficiency before assistance would be forthcoming from the mainland.)

By 8:45 PM local time (the Galapagos are three hours behind Chile), the streets of Bellavista, a village well above the splash zone, were bustling, the evacuation plan an apparent success. As open-air cafes spilled out onto the sidewalks and crowds huddled around televisions, an atmosphere of kinetic, purposeful calm prevailed.

Fortunately, the wave never came during the night of April 1st (a minor, sub-meter surge was measured late in the evening), but the vagaries of tsunami formation made it a narrow miss. Tsunamis form when land motions associated with earthquakes displace the ocean and generate a series of waves. The magnitude of an earthquake itself doesn’t necessarily tell the full story of displacement and wave geometry; minute differences can mean the difference between a gentle swell and a wall of roiling water.

In the future, Vaca hopes, townspeople will be similarly cooperative and the Risk Management team will avoid boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome. “The people tell me, ‘it never happened, so why should I get concerned?’” recounts Vaca. He’s hoping that a broad public education campaign, from schoolchildren to governmental officials, will prove convincing.

“Last night the evacuation was good,” Vaca says in soft dawn light on April 2nd. “There is still room for improvement, but we are ready.”

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Nest’s Smoke Alarm Stumble Is a UI Lesson for Everybody PDF Print E-mail

Image Courtesy of Nest

Image Courtesy of Nest

After a nearly blemish-free record that culminated in a $3 billion acquisition by Google, Nest today issued a surprising halt to sales of Protect, its gesture-controlled smoke alarm. One of the device’s key features was that you could wave at it to turn it off. Turns out, sometimes people wave their arms around when there’s a fire in the house, too. Thus, as CEO Tony Fadell put it, “This could delay the alarm going off if there was a real fire.” Oops.

Luckily, the smoke alarm has built-in Wi-Fi, and Nest has already disabled the feature automatically on Protect devices that are connected to the internet. The company halted sales as they’re investigating further, but the issue shouldn’t be hard to resolve. At heart, though, the story here is about user interfaces, and the significant challenges that come along with building machines that try to watch for and interpret our commands.

Technology is fairly reliable when it comes to understanding the precise methods of input we’ve designed for those purposes. If a word gets garbled in an email, it’s because you made a typo–not because your computer messed up when processing your keystrokes.

Increasingly, however, we’re seeing ambitious new devices that either watch for our gestures or listen for our voices and take action accordingly. These range from the gesture- and voice-driven interface of the Xbox One and the hands-free controls of the Moto X to Google Glass, which stands by waiting to hear you pipe up with a “OK Glass” prompt.

All of these represent a move to devices watching you with a broader angle of view–literally, in the case of the Kinect, and figuratively, in terms of devices like Google Glass. They don’t expect you to come to them, like the workstations of the past. Instead, they’re designed to meet you in the middle, letting you operate them from anywhere, with simple gestures or natural language.

As we see with the Nest Protect hiccup, however, the wider this angle of view gets, the more margin for error we can expect in our interactions. In the case of Nest, the mix-up stems from an almost comically simple oversight. Sure, sometimes it will be useful to let people dismiss their smoke alarm by waving their hands at it. But there are other times when people might be waving their arms above their head when they don’t want to turn the smoke alarm off. Namely, during an actual fire.

Nest has halted sales of the Protect while they’re further investigating the issue, but they might well be able to address the problem with a quick fix to the firmware. It shouldn’t be too hard to say, when there’s an actual fire, turn any gesture-based interactions off.

The problem gets more bedeviling when these types of UIs enter the everyday. Any sort of TV-centric user interface that tries to watch for and respond to our movements in the living room will be susceptible to the same foibles. We dance, we stretch out, we flop down on the couch. It’s a virtual certainty that some of these incidental movements will be the same ones tomorrow’s machines think they’re looking for. And the voice commands we’re already seeing today are hardly immune to these sorts of misunderstandings. In this video, for example, we see how a Call of Duty prankster took advantage of this wider angle of view to get his opponents to sign themselves out of the service. His exploit? Setting his Gamertag to “Xbox Sign Out.”

This gets to the big challenge with these sorts of interfaces. The biggest challenge may not be getting them to listen to us. Instead, we’ll need to figure out how to train them to know not to listen to us.

Coming up with more natural interfaces for our devices is a worthwhile pursuit. But the Nest Protect quirk serves as a concise reminder that we’re still very much capable of confusing our machines. It’s good to that we’re trusting them to figure out what we mean. Maybe we’re just not quite ready to trust those interfaces with our lives.

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Pay with Your Fingerprint PDF Print E-mail

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is the first smartphone that can use a fingerprint to authorize payments in stores and online.

Anyone with an iPhone 5 can use its fingerprint reader to unlock the device and pay for apps or music in Apple’s iTunes store. Owners of Samsung’s latest flagship device, the Galaxy S5 smartphone, which launches on April 11, will be able to make much broader use of their fingerprints to pay for things. If they visit a website or app that accepts PayPal using the device, they can authorize payments by swiping a finger across the phone’s home button. And PayPal’s own mobile app can be used to pay for goods in some physical stores in the U.S.

Fingerprint payments are likely to be offered on many more smartphones in the near future. The Galaxy S5’s payments system is the first commercial deployment of a new protocol developed by the FIDO Alliance, a group founded by tech companies to end our reliance on insecure passwords (see “PayPal, Lenovo Launch Campaign to Kill the Password”). Indeed, fingerprint readers are expected to become commonplace on mobile devices over the next year or so (see “A Technological Assault on the Password”).

“Today people are having to type in nine-digit passwords everywhere, including one-handed on the subway,” says Joel Yarbrough, senior director of global product solutions at PayPal. This leads many people to use simple passwords and to reuse them across multiple services. This, in turn, makes it easier for criminals to take control of accounts. “Building a smart biometric experience solves both usability and dramatically increases the security level,” says Yarbrough.

To start using your finger for payments on the new Samsung phone, you have to go through a short setup process that registers the identity of the device, based on its cryptographic chip, and links your fingerprint to a PayPal account. Afterward, PayPal’s software asks for a fingerprint swipe anytime an app or site would usually show a log-in screen.

mobile phone showing UI

Fingertip swipe: The fingerprint sensor in Samsung’s upcoming flagship smartphone can be used to make PayPal payments online, in mobile apps, and in physical stores.

The FIDO protocol is designed so that a record of your fingerprint never leaves your device. Instead, the fingerprint reader’s output is used to generate cryptographic keys that are combined with those from the device’s cryptographic chip to create a new key that can’t be used to copy the fingerprint used to make it.

The Galaxy S5 is so far the only device to support PayPal’s new FIDO-based fingerprint system, and PayPal is cagey about how soon others might appear. But Yarbrough acknowledges that Samsung isn’t the only gadget maker looking at fingerprint readers. “It’s our impression that a lot of manufacturers are investing time in this technology,” he says. Brett McDowell, senior security advisor at PayPal and vice president of the FIDO alliance, says widespread adoption is “core to the mission of the alliance.”

The FIDO Alliance was launched in early 2013, and now has over 100 members, including Microsoft, Google, device manufacturers such as Lenovo and LG, and representatives of the payments industry such as PayPal and Mastercard. Apple, which has its own fingerprint authentication technology, is not a member of the FIDO Alliance.

Sebastien Taveau, formerly chief technology officer of Validity, a fingerprint sensor company acquired in October by Synaptics, says fingerprint sensors will soon be widespread. Apple and Samsung—the two largest mobile device makers—have now made fingerprint authentication major features of their flagship devices, he points out, and competitors will likely follow their lead. “It is expected that other devices, like tablets, will be incorporating a sensor.”

Most of the core technology needed for biometric authentication has been around for years. Taveau says that cultural change means we are now ready to embrace the idea. “With the transformation of user interactions with content from local to cloud-based and the collapse of trust in existing authentication mechanisms, a real change is happening,” he says, pointing to the public awareness of security flaws heightened by the NSA leaks and the Target debit card breach. “Trust in security and credentials need to be reëstablished.”

Credits: Illustration by Colin Jaworski | MIT Technology Review, photo courtesy of PayPal

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A Bandage That Senses Tremors, Delivers Drugs, and Keeps a Record PDF Print E-mail

A flexible electronic skin patch has strain gauges to measure tremors, and heating elements to release drugs held inside nanoparticles.

Drug patch: A new prototype of an electronic skin patch can detect muscle tremors and deliver drugs from nanoparticles.

Offering a preview of what future wearable medical devices may look like, researchers in Korea have built a skin patch that’s thinner than a sheet of paper and can detect subtle tremors, release drugs stored inside nanoparticles on-demand, and record all of this activity for review later.

While still under development, the technology might someday be useful to sufferers of Parkinson’s disease or other movement disorders. “The system represents a new direction in personalized health care that will eventually enable advanced diagnostics and therapy on devices that can be worn like a child’s temporary tattoo,” says Dae-Hyeong Kim, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Seoul National University, who led the work (see “Innovators Under 35: Dae-Hyeong Kim”).

The work was done with researchers at MC10, a startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that is working on commercializing the underlying “stretchable electronics.” MC10, which has investments from big medical device companies including Medtronic, is working with partners in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to launch products that would do part of what the Korean group demonstrated: detect and store signals like tremors, respiration, heart rate, and temperature so that doctors can review data about neuromuscular and cardiovascular disorders.

“Existing classes of electronics are rigid and packaged, leading to bulky strap-on monitors; the new technology would be unobtrusive and practically unnoticed by the wearer, says Roozbeh Ghaffari, cofounder of MC10 (see “Innovators Under 35: Roozbeh Ghaffari”).

A paper released on Sunday in Nature Nanotechnology describes multiple nanoscale membranes packaged as a system for motion sensing, drug delivery, and data storage—all of it integrated on a stretchable patch, like a Band-Aid, that would adhere on the skin. Drug therapy tests on human patients are still a few years off; so far, the group has demonstrated how it can release a dye on a patch of pig skin.

Spring-like strain gauges measure muscle activity. These consist of silicon nanomembrane sensors in a serpentine shape, each curve several hundred micrometers apart. When stretched, changes in electrical resistance on the filaments are detected, and the frequency of the signals indicates whether a stretch was from a normal arm movement or a fast tremor.

The data is recorded on a simple memory system, consisting of memory cells just 30 nanometers thick; these cells record high resistance versus low resistance states due to changing electrical properties across the membranes. In the future, these data could be accessed through an RFID tag integrated into the device, or might be streamed to a nearby smartphone; however, the communications component has not yet been added.

The patch also contains heating elements that can be activated remotely to release drugs. The heating elements raise the patch temperature several degrees, which in turn releases drugs surrounded by porous silica nanoparticles. When heated, the physical bond between the drug and nanoparticles break, leading to a diffusion-driven release of molecules through the skin.

“Ultimately we will develop a fully automated system that incorporates these sensors and a memory- and drug-release mechanism together with a microcontroller to deliver automated drug release in an epidermal patch,” Ghaffari said.

While the prototype is focused on detecting movement disorders, other versions could sense things like perspiration, temperature, heart rate, or blood oxygen, and use those changes as a triggering mechanism for various therapies. The teams are working to bring this platform through regulatory and clinical studies.

The work builds on the fundamental research of John Rogers, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois. Three years ago, he introduced the idea of “epidermal electronics,” or ultrathin, skin-like semiconductor materials that could monitor vital signs on the skin.

“What this paper does is take the epidermal electronics and couple it with memory onboard, and therapy. You can close the loop from diagnosis to therapy on a single patch,” Ghaffari says.

Other researchers have demonstrated competing approaches, though. For example, a beneath-the-skin drug-release chip is being developed commercially by MicroChips of Lexington, Massachusetts. That company was cofounded by Robert Langer, a biomedical engineer at MIT.

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Study Shows Flawed U.S. Encryption Standard Could Be Broken in Seconds PDF Print E-mail

If the NSA did have the keys to the backdoor in a random number generator it could break some encryption without trouble.

The security of a data connection protected using a flawed U.S. encryption standard promoted by the National Security Agency could be broken in under 16 seconds using a single computer processor. That’s according to the first in-depth study of how easily encryption systems that use the now deprecated Dual_EC random number generator could be defeated by an attacker that had “backdoored” the standard.

The flawed standard has never been widely used to protect Internet communications, even though the security company RSA got $10 million from the NSA to make it the default random number generator in one of its software packages. it is not known whether the NSA or anyone else knows the crucial mathematical relationship needed to exploit the flaw and undo encryption based on Dual_EC.

However, the study conclusively shows that an attacker that did know the key to the Dual_EC backdoor could put it to practical use. Not all of the six different encryption software packages tested could be defeated in seconds: half took a 16-processor cluster between 60 and 80 minutes of work to break. But a national intelligence agency could significantly improve on those times by devoting more computing power to the problem.

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden, and published in September 2013, do indicate that the NSA has tried to influence standards on encryption, and to encourage commercial companies to make security products more susceptible to U.S. surveillance. Both the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and RSA withdrew their endorsement for Dual_EC after the Snowden documents were published last year.

The new study was carried out by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, University of Wisconsin, Technical Univesity of Eindhoven, University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of California San Diego.

NIST first proposed Dual_EC in 2006. Months later two researchers from Microsoft found a mathematical flaw that resembled an intentional “backdoor” that could be used to undo encryption based on the standard.

The weakness centers on two constants, known as P and Q, that function as kind of default settings for the generator and are supposed to be randomly chosen and unrelated to one another. However if there is some mathematical relationship between the two, it can be used to predict the output of the generator based on seeing one of its past outputs.

Some security experts have long suspected that the versions of P and Q in NIST’s version of Dual_EC are linked in some way, and that the NSA knows exactly how, allowing it to undo encryption based on the standard. Those fears gained credence in light of the fact that the Snowden documents showed that the agency did have a policy of trying to influence new standards.

To test what a key to the backdoor in Dual_EC might allow, the researchers set values of P and Q that were linked. They then played the role of an attacker trying to break encrypted TLS connections made by software in use today that supports Dual_EC or once used it by default. TLS connections are widely used to secure Internet data, such as Web browsing, e-mail and VoIP.

RSA’s two implementations of Dual_EC, both of which used to have it as the default random number generator, proved to be the easiest to break. A version written in the C programming language could be undone in under 16 seconds using a single computer processor, and under three seconds using a computing cluster with 16 processors. A version of RSA’s software written in Java took the cluster around an hour, about the same as one version of Microsoft’s SChannel security software.

That variation in susceptibility was mostly caused by seemingly minor implementation choices made by different software developers. However the Java version of RSA’s software could be further weakened by enabling an NSA-backed tool, Extended Random, bundled with the software. Turning on that feature sped up the work of backdooring TLS connections by 65,000 times. Extended Random was proposed as a standard to the Internet Engineering Standards Taskforce by the NSA and others in 2008, after which RSA added it to some of its software. However few other companies did, and it was dropped from the standardization process.

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U.N. Climate Report Warns of Increased Risk to Crops PDF Print E-mail

Crop yields are expected to decline due to climate change faster than scientists thought.

crop acreage

A few years ago scientists thought climate change wouldn’t cause much harm to overall food production until temperatures in a region rose by three to four degrees Celsius compared to current levels. But in the latest United Nations report on climate change, released today, scientists have revised those estimates, pointing to significant losses with a temperature rise of just two degrees Celsius.

The report is part of the Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 837 researchers from around the world who assess and summarize the scientific literature on climate change. The fourth assessment report came out in 2007, and since then scientists have accumulated far more data, revised their computer models, and done more to study how factors such as changes in precipitation and extreme weather interact.

Changes in crop yield—the amount of produced per hectare—are only one part of the current report, which has over 30 chapters. But the changes in scientists’ estimates of how climate change will affect agriculture are some of the most remarkable in the report. The report, looking at the major food crops of corn, wheat, and rice, says that yields are likely to start decreasing by 2030 and decline up to 2 percent a decade. Such a reduction in yield is particularly worrying because demand for food is expected to increase in coming years, at a rate of about 2 percent a year.

Assessing how climate change will affect crops is tricky. Increased concentrations of carbon dioxide, changes in temperature and precipitation, the increased frequency of extremely hot days, and changing patterns of crop disease all play a role. In some areas, climate change could help improve production—growing seasons may improve in cold areas, for example. But scientists are finding that even with current levels of warming, the negative impacts of climate change are more common. And as the climate continues to change, the negative impacts are expected to get worse.

One of the biggest uncertainties around food production is how humans will adapt. Improving farming practices, breeding new strains of crops, and even genetically engineering plants could help improve yields (see “Why We Will Need Genetically Modified Foods”). However, any negative effect on agricultural production could have dire consequences for food prices and could be especially painful to poor populations. The new report notes that prices have increased rapidly as a result of droughts and other event potentially related to climate change.

The report released today is from the IPCC working group two, which is focused on analyzing the impacts of climate change and options for adapting to changing climates. The report from working group one, which looks at the physical science basis for climate change, came out in September. A report on how climate change can be limited will come out next month.

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Cheaper Joints and Digits Bring the Robot Revolution Closer PDF Print E-mail

Efforts to build robot hands and humanoids more cheaply could make them affordable enough for businesses and even homes.

electrostatic clutch

Helping hand: A new kind of electrostatic clutch makes this design around 10 times cheaper than previous robotic hands, which could cost $35,000 or more.

The Atlas humanoid robot, unveiled last year by Boston Dynamics, a company later acquired by Google, is a marvel. It can clamber over rubble and operate power tools. But these abilities don’t come cheap. Atlas has a price tag well above a million dollars, and it consumes around 15 kilowatts of electricity when in operation, meaning hefty power bills for its owner and limiting its practicality. “That’s enough to power a small city block,” says Alexander Kernbaum, research engineer at the nonprofit research agency SRI International. To be truly practical, he says, Atlas “needs to be many times more efficient.”

Kernbaum is part of a team at SRI that recently began working on that problem under a contract with DARPA, the Pentagon research agency (Atlas itself was built with DARPA funding). The team aims to rethink the robot’s design to preserve its capabilities but slash its power usage by at least 20 times, putting it on par with a microwave oven.

SRI won’t talk about how that will be done. But the general approach will be to replace the power-hungry hydraulics that move Atlas’s joints with a smaller number of lighter, more efficient, and cheaper electric components that can achieve the same thing.

Rethinking the components used in advanced prototypes such as Atlas to reduce cost and power consumption has become a major focus in robotics research as engineers seek to finally have these machines escape the lab, says Rich Mahoney, SRI’s director of robotics. “We got things that are overdesigned because there’s not been impetus for low cost and good design,” he says.

For a long time researchers have been focused on simply answering basic questions of whether functioning, agile humanoids could be built, says Mahoney. “We were in the domain of ‘Is this possible?’ ” He says this question has now been answered, so the time is right to drive down the costs of the components used in sophisticated robot legs, arms, and hands, making them affordable to small businesses and even consumers. “Manipulation is simply not available at that level now,” says Mahoney. “But it can be.” He says cheaper components would make it possible for humanoids like Atlas to become standard safety tools in places like oil rigs. “Instead of ‘In case of emergency break glass,’ and there’s a hatchet, there would be a humanoid.”

three-fingered hand made by iRobot

Nimble fingers: This three-fingered hand made by iRobot can use its nails to pick up small objects. It could be made for around $3,000 or less.

More immediately, these advances could help a market that Melonee Wise, CEO and cofounder of Unbounded Robotics, calls service robotics. “It’s when you start looking at the robot doing human-scale tasks,” she says. “That means having to sense and manipulate in complex ways in a complex workspace, like moving cans in a refrigerator.”

The poster child of this kind of robotics is Baxter, a robot with two arms and simple grippers that can work in factories alongside humans (see “This Robot Could Transform Manufacturing”). Wise’s company makes a $35,000 mobile robot, called the URB1, that has a single arm. Like Baxter, it is intended to work alongside people in warehouses and other human workspaces (see “This Might Be the Model T of Workplace Robots”). Both Baxter and URB1 can do a lot with simple grippers and today’s arm technology, says Wise. But being able to make use of lower cost or more capable technology would be a major boost to robots intended for human workspaces.

Several low-cost robotic hands recently emerged from another DARPA program called ARM-H. By achieving greater complexity at lower costs, these hands could help Baxter or Unbounded’s robots perform new tasks. Roomba manufacturer iRobot worked with Harvard and Yale to create a three-fingered hand that can do anything from holding a basketball to picking up a key lying flat on a table.

If it were made in quantities of a few thousand, the hand should cost around $3,000, says Mark Claffee, principal robotics engineer at iRobot, which also makes military and telepresence robots. “It’s a dramatic change,” Claffee says, as the current going rate for a robotic hand with similar capabilities starts at around $35,000.

One way iRobot cut costs was to use rubber in the joints of the hand, introducing springiness that allows it to get a good grip on something without specifying the position of every finger exactly for different objects. Costs were also slashed by giving the hand only three fingers. It’s designed so that three digits together can grasp something, and two can be opposed to manipulate smaller objects.

“We believe that manipulation is going to be a game changer,” says Claffee. “Imagine having a telepresence platform like our Ava 500 that can one day pick things up.” He is now working to apply some of the same design techniques used in the finger to robot arms.

Claffee says the work will allow robots to function in much messier environments than Baxter and URB1 can. “Those robots are capable but expensive and they’re focused on industrial applications,” says Claffee. “To reach consumers, we need to significantly reduce costs, and have manipulation for human environments that are much less structured.”

SRI also took part in the ARM-H program and made its own low-cost robotic hand. This hand makes use of a cheaper, lighter, and more efficient clutch mechanism; it uses electrostatic forces to lock a joint in place. Making widespread use of clutches allows a single motor to control all three joints in a finger.

“This could lead to manipulation solutions under a thousand dollars, which makes this kind of robotics more aligned with the consumer domain,” says Mahoney, pointing out that small aerial and ground robots are already available to consumers, thanks in part to the smartphone boom. If Mahoney and others are right, cheap but capable robot hands and limbs may be next to become affordable.

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The Latest Chat App for iPhone Needs No Internet Connection PDF Print E-mail

A startup’s software will let iPhone apps connect phones without the Internet.

smartphone screenshot showing app

Just between us: Peer-to-peer schemes like FireChat’s send information without involving distant servers or wireless carriers.

Mobile app stores are stuffed with messaging apps from WhatsApp to Tango and their many imitators. But FireChat, released last week for the iPhone, stands out. It’s the only one that can be used without cell-phone reception.

FireChat makes use of a feature Apple introduced in the latest version of its iOS mobile software, iOS7, called multipeer connectivity. This feature allows phones to connect to one another directly using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi as an alternative to the Internet. If you’re using FireChat, its “nearby” chat room lets you exchange messages with other users within 100 feet without sending data via your cellular provider.

Micha Benoliel, CEO and cofounder of startup Open Garden, which made FireChat, says the app shows how smartphones can be set free from cellular networks. He hopes to enable many more Internet-optional apps with the upcoming release of software tools that will help developers build FireChat-style apps for iPhone, or for Android, Mac, and Windows devices. “This approach is very interesting for multiplayer gaming and all kinds of communication apps,” says Benoliel.

Anthony DiPasquale, a developer with consultancy Thoughtbot, says FireChat is the only app he’s aware of that’s been built to make use of multipeer connectivity, perhaps because the feature remains unfamiliar to most Apple developers. “I hope more people start to use it soon,” he says. “It’s an awesome framework with a lot of potential. There is probably a great use for multipeer connectivity in every situation where there are people grouped together wanting to share some sort of information.” DiPasquale has dabbled in using multipeer connectivity himself, creating an experimental app that streams music from one device to several others nearby.

The new feature of iOS7 currently only supports data moving directly from one device to another, and from one device to several others. However, Open Garden’s forthcoming software will extend the feature so that data can hop between two iPhones out of range of one another via intermediary devices. That approach, known as mesh networking, is at the heart of several existing projects to create disaster-proof or community-controlled communications networks (see “Build Your Own Internet with Mobile Mesh Networking”).

Apps built to exploit such device-to-device schemes can offer security and privacy benefits over those that rely on the Internet. For example, messages sent using FireChat to nearby devices don’t pass through any systems operated by either Open Garden or a wireless carrier (although they are broadcast to all FireChat users nearby).

That means the content of a message and metadata could not be harvested from a central communications hub by an attacker or government agency. “This method of communication is immune to firewalls like the ones installed in China and North Korea,” says Matt Thompson, a developer with the iOS and Mac development company Panic. Recent revelations about large-scale surveillance of online services and the constant litany of data breaches make this a good time for apps that don’t rely on central servers, he says. “As users become more mindful of the security and privacy implications of technologies they rely on, moving in the direction of local, ad-hoc networking makes a lot of sense.”

However, peer-to-peer and mesh networking apps also come with their own risks, since an eavesdropper could gain access to local traffic just by using a device within range.

Open Garden’s main product is an app that allows Android devices to share their Internet connections (see “Could You Spare Some Internet Access?”). However, Benoliel says that won’t be coming to the iPhone anytime soon because the feature that FireChat relies on cannot be used to share data connectivity.

Peer-to-peer mobile communications and mesh networks could prove especially important in countries with minimal communications infrastructure. “You can see Google spending billions on fiber and balloons, but this is not going to solve the problem of ubiquitous mobile connectivity,” Benoliel says. He argues that the spread of cheap Android phones across the world will make mesh networking feasible. “We need to create small Internets that can function on their own and [then] connect them to the big Internet.”

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Curiosity Stops to Thwack Its Instruments, Take Amazing Panoramas PDF Print E-mail

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A mosaic panorama made from images taken on Mar. 27. Image: NASA/JPL/MSSS/Jason Major (Do yourself a favor and click through to see the full image)

On the road of life, it’s sometimes important to stop and thwack your sieve. Though NASA’s Curiosity rover is currently undertaking a long drive to the base of Mount Sharp, where it will investigate the geologic history of Mars, it’s also making time to scientifically sample the local terrain and snap some amazing photos.

The rover has many months to go before its arrival at Mount Sharp, but is pausing at an outcrop nicknamed “The Kimberley” for its resemblance to a similar area in northwestern Australia. Here, it has taken some breathtaking images, such as the mosaic panorama from Mar. 27 stitched together by graphic designer and space enthusiast Jason Major. The region contains a great deal of sedimentary sandstone, which is made from small grains held together by a cement-like matrix. The characteristics of the cement, which can be anywhere from crumbly and soft to strong and hard, can tell scientists a great deal about the geologic history of this area. The Curiosity team is planning to drill into the sandstone and sample it and has even chosen a nice rock face to do some science on.

In preparation for this, the team needed to “thwack” the CHIMRA instrument (which scoops, sieves, and delivers samples to the robot’s internal lab). CHIMRA contains a large spring that was wound up and released to vibrate it, which cleaned out the residual dust from the previous sampling operation at a region called John Klein. After this, Curiosity was free to take new samples and learn about the composition of the Kimberley outcrop.

Of course, when trying to do remote science across 140 million miles certain problems arise. First, Curiosity had trouble recovering images taken of the CHIMRA instrument, which were necessary to determine if the thwacking had been successful in cleaning it out. But even after the team downloaded pictures, the rover predicted that moving its arm the way that was planned for the sampling operation might fall outside its very stringent safety parameters, something known as a “fault.” This stopped all activity until planners could double-check their commands and figure out a way to do what they needed in a safer way.

Because of this, Curiosity has been in the same place now for the last few days, which has let the team make more detailed plans. These include taking close up images of a few tiny landslides probably caused by vibration as the rover drove up to the outcrop. This weekend, the rover will take more photos as well as shoot some rocks with lasers and X-rays to better understand their composition, so be on the lookout for future exciting pictures and science.

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Page 5 of 66

Computer News Reports

Protect your privacy while you browse 20 April 2014, 19.43 Computers
Protect your privacy while you browse
It once sounded like paranoia; now it’s more like common sense. Steve asked for safe and secure ways to access the Internet without being tracked by crooks, corporations, and governments. There’s no such thing as
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AMD refreshes Never Settle Forever bundle to include R-series cards, indie games
For years, AMD has tries to lure PC gamers with its “Never Settle” bundles, which include a selection of games with the purchase of a graphics card. But until now, AMD's newest R-series graphics cards had been largely
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Fire at Samsung facility affects website, Smart TV content
A fire at a Samsung facility in South Korea on Sunday resulted in a temporary outage that shut down its website and caused the company’s Smart TV products to report error messages. The fire broke out at a facility of
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Activists want net neutrality, NSA spying debated at Internet governance conference
A campaign on the Internet is objecting to the exclusion of issues like net neutrality, the cyberweapons arms race and surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency from the discussion paper of an Internet governance
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Aereo court case: Consumer control over TV vs. broadcaster copyrights
The ability of television viewers to control and watch programs may be at stake when the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a copyright infringement case brought by TV networks against Aereo, a service that
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It's official: Nokia's phone business will become Microsoft's on April 25
Image: Jon Phillips The end is nigh. Or is that a new beginning? Either way you look at it, Microsoft on Monday announced that its $7 billion acquisition of Nokia's phone business will finally close this Friday, April 25,
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Here's your rumored Amazon phone, 3D interface and all, now in allegedly leaked photos
Image: BGR The wily Amazon phone: It’s the smartphone rumor that won’t quit, and now more circumstantial evidence of its eventual release has surfaced in the wild. On Tuesday, BGR posted what it describes as photos of
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Canonical's new Ubuntu focuses on the long haul 14 April 2014, 18.59 Computers
Canonical's new Ubuntu focuses on the long haul
As organizations move in-house systems to the cloud, Canonical wants them to consider switching their OSes as well. “When people move to cloud, it very often involves re-architecting an application,” said Mark Baker,
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Toshiba's 4K laptop to ship next week for ,499.99 14 April 2014, 18.59 Computers
Toshiba's 4K laptop to ship next week for $1,499.99
One of the first laptops with a 4K screen will go on sale from Toshiba for US$1,499.99 next week. The Satellite P55T has a 15.6-inch screen that can display images at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is four times
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Windows 8.1 Update tip: Clean up that disk space now
Mark Hachman On April 8, Microsoft blessed us with an update to Windows 8.1 that made the touchy-feely OS more palatable to PC users. Now that you've had about a week to play around with the update—which brings the
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Apple antitrust compliance efforts slow, but picking up, monitor says
After dragging its feet for months, Apple is finally making good progress on a court-ordered antitrust compliance program related to the U.S. Department of Justice’s ebook price-fixing case against the company, an
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Look at this: The first 4K laptop, Toshiba's Satellite P55t, coming soon
Open your pocketbooks, 4K fans, Toshiba's first Ultra HD laptop is headed your way next Tuesday. The Tokyo-based electronics maker just announced that the Toshiba Satellite P55t will hit U.S. store shelves on April 22,
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Indosat routing error impacts few but hits Akamai, Chevron
A routing error by one of Indonesia’s largest telecommunications providers on Wednesday made it briefly appear it controlled a large swath of the Internet, according to monitoring firm Renesys. A technical change made it
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3D-printed modules for Google's Ara phone coming early next year
Lego-like parts that will form the building blocks for Google’s Project Ara will be produced on 3D printers and ship in time for the customizable smartphone’s release early next year. With Project Ara, Google is
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Nest tells users to disable key feature of Protect smoke alarm
Nest, the connected-home device maker Google agreed to buy in January, is disabling a feature that allows its Nest Protect smoke and carbon-monoxide alarm to be silenced with a wave of the hand. The feature, Nest Wave, is
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State AGs investigating Experian subsidiary's data breach
A group of state attorneys general in the U.S. is launching an investigation into a recently disclosed data breach of 200 million personal records at a subsidiary of credit monitoring firm Experian. Connecticut Attorney
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Chicago Sun-Times first major US paper to accept bitcoins
The Chicago Sun-Times is now accepting bitcoins as payment for subscription, becoming the first major U.S. newspaper to take the digital currency. The paper’s goal is to keep evolving with changing technology, and
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T-Mobile offers credits to retain BlackBerry customers
T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere said Thursday he was disappointed with BlackBerry’s decision this week to split with the carrier, and offered credits to hold on to dedicated BlackBerry users among its customers. The
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The Therapy of Blogging While Showing Off Your Ideas Out in the Open
You may have noticed how over the course of the last few days I haven’t had much of a chance to blog over here. And it is not because things may well be so incredibly hectic that I wouldn’t have enough time for it. Quite
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The Humanity of the Web: Reflections of a Social Computing Evangelist
A little while ago Courtney Hunt, from the talented Denovati Group, reached out to me through Twitter, and then LinkedIn, to ask me whether I would like to contribute to a book project they are working on to go and celebrate
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Hosting company describes security scare aimed at Bitcoin accounts
On Sunday morning, Nate Daiger, one of the owners of a small Los Angeles-based hosting company Chunk Host, received an odd email on his phone. The email came from SendGrid, a company used by Chunk Host to send its email.
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'Coinkrypt' malware mines cryptocurrencies on Android
A malicious software program for Android that mines lesser-known cryptocurrencies could cause phones to overheat, a mobile security company warned Wednesday. The “Coinkrypt” malware appears to not be very widespread
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Mt. Gox consults Japanese police over missing bitcoins
Failed Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has contacted Japanese police regarding the bitcoins it lost before filing for bankruptcy protection last month. Tokyo police haven’t said whether they’re investigating Mt. Gox, but
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Box to offer usage-based pricing, file conversion service
As it heads toward an estimated US$250 million initial public offering, cloud storage and collaboration provider Box is thinking outside, well, itself. The nine-year-old company introduced an alternative to its traditional
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Communications

Joomla! Specific Links
Joomla! Specific LinksA selection of links that are all related to the Joomla! Project.
Yahoo Wants To Beat YouTube | Coaxing YouTube Stars With Advertising Revenues
YouTube is one of the tentpoles of the Web at this point in time, being a household name and one of the most-visited sites on the Internet. And yet Yahoo is reportedly planning to compete with YouTube by launching its own
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Google & Viacom Settle YouTube Fight | Seven-Year Copyright Lawsuit Ends Amicably
Google and Viacom have finally resolved the long-running lawsuit over videos uploaded to YouTube almost a decade ago. The terms of the out-of-court settlement aren’t being disclosed but we’re just pleased this
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The BBC Unveils New-Look iPlayer | A Responsive HTML5 Design Brings It Up To Date
The BBC has unveiled the new iPlayer, and its free catch-up television service has undergone several big changes. The biggest being an HTML5-powered responsive design driving the whole effort. The New iPlayer The BBC has
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Google Ordered To Remove ‘Innocence Of Muslims’ Over Actress’ Copyright Claims
An appeals court has ordered Google to remove a controversial short film from YouTube after an actress who appeared in Innocence Of Muslims filed a copyright claim. The decision seems to go against existing thinking on
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LoveFilm Becomes Amazon Prime Instant Video In The UK, With £79 Adding A Raft Of Extras
LoveFilm is no more, being rebranded as Amazon Prime Instant Video and being folded into the existing Amazon Prime service. Most people will have to pay more money for the service, but the £79-per-year asking price buys you
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Netflix News Roundup: Subscriber Numbers, Pricing Tiers, Net Neutrality Statement
Netflix has had a big news week, with various stories emerging from and about the streaming video company. This includes revenue and subscriber numbers, plans for new pricing tiers and an expansion into Europe, and a statement
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What The Net Neutrality Ruling Means For Online Video 18 January 2014, 22.47 4G Voice, Video, & Data
What The Net Neutrality Ruling Means For Online Video
A recent decision by an appeals court in Washington to chuck out net neutrality rules could have dire consequences for everyone using the Internet. Including those who both deliver and consume online video. Net Neutrality
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Vdio Is Dead | Rdio Shutters Video Service 28 December 2013, 22.35 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Vdio Is Dead | Rdio Shutters Video Service
Vdio is no more, with parent company Rdio deciding to shutter the online video service. The reasons for the closure remain unclear, but it seems that there just wasn’t room for Vdio in an already-crowded market. It didn’t
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YouTube’s Content ID Crackdown On Let’s Play Videos Draws Ire From Gamers & Developers
YouTube’s recent crackdown on Let’s Play videos, with an aggressive new Content ID update, has left a bad taste in the mouths of everyone involved. Except the companies making money from videos they really had no business
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Google Fights Back After YouTube Comments Spam Increased | Google+ Integration Staying
Google has finally addressed the issues affecting the new YouTube comments system, controversially rolled out earlier this month. Unfortunately, while small changes are being made to plaster over the cracks, the elephant in
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YouTube Changes Comments System To Google+, Even Jawed Karim Complains 10 November 2013, 00.35 4G Voice, Video, & Data
YouTube Changes Comments System To Google+, Even Jawed Karim Complains
Google has rolled out the new YouTube comments system, which is designed to stop the absurd levels of spam and trolling which have plagued the site in recent years. Unfortunately the new system requires Google+ integration,
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File contained a virus and was deleted 02 November 2013, 22.56 4G Voice, Video, & Data
File contained a virus and was deleted
I had a client that was recently getting this message.  If you are getting it, the cause can be a misconfiguration or worse. The result can sometimes be caused by faulty anti virus programs.  Or anti virus programs that were
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YouTube Launching Paid Spotify-Like Streaming Music Service Before End Of 2013
Google is set to launch a YouTube music streaming service before the end of 2013, at least if current persistent rumors are to be believed. This service will work the same way as Spotify, with a hefty catalog of music
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Is Online Streaming Availability To Blame For Movie Piracy? Research Suggests It Could Be
Do people pirate things because they’re cheap and want to get whatever they can for free? Or is the practice less sinister and more about getting hold of things that aren’t available in the format they favor? These are
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Netflix Originals Keeping Subscribers Happy | Original Content Strategy Already Working
Original content looks like being a small but significant part of the future of online television.. It’s certainly an area Netflix, amongst others, has explored, and one which, according to a new report, looks to be working
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YouTube Founders Unveil MixBit, A Vine & Instagram Competitor With Hidden Tricks
The mobile video space is becoming more crowded by the day. Following on from Vine and its six seconds of recording simplicity, and Instagram and its 15 seconds of recording simplicity, comes MixBit. Can this new startup
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YouTube Opening New Production Studio In New York | Original Content Ramped Up
YouTube is set to continue its efforts to evolve from the home of a disparate collection of funny animal videos into the home of truly talented individuals all creating professional-quality programming. In order to affect this
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Google Launches Chromecast, a $35 Dongle That Streams Content From Mobile To TV
Google recently unveiled Chromecast, a $35 dongle that is able to stream content from mobile devices to your television. This is Google’s latest attempt to grab a foothold in the TV industry, which it’s going to need to be
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Hulu Owners Decide Not To Sell After All | Fox, NBC, & Disney Reinvest Millions Instead
Hulu has been withdrawn from sale for the second time in its history, with the joint partners once again deciding against accepting the bids that were coming in, just as they did in 2011. Instead, the three partners are
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Video on Instagram Arrives To Compete With Vine | Facebook & Twitter Go Head-To-Head
Facebook and Twitter have been at war as competing social networks for a number of years. But the latest battleground between the two is mobile video, with Video on Instagram (owned by Facebook) arriving as a direct response
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PalmPad: HP Slate in Palm Clothing? 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
PalmPad: HP Slate in Palm Clothing?
Dec. 21, 2010 - 12:39 PM PDT Dec. 21, 2010 - 12:39 PM PDT Summary: It’s being reporting today that HP/Palm is preparing to release the “PalmPad” next month. The story is accompanied by a diagram showing the PalmPad.
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Home Health Monitoring is Big Business 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Home Health Monitoring is Big Business
Dec. 21, 2010 - 7:55 AM PDT Dec. 21, 2010 - 7:55 AM PDTSummary: Remote health monitoring generated €7.6 billion globally in 2010, an amount destined to grow as this nascent area of healthcare is used more heavily in the
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Last Minute Geek’s Holiday Gift Guide 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Last Minute Geek’s Holiday Gift Guide
Dec. 20, 2010 - 11:36 AM PDT Dec. 20, 2010 - 11:36 AM PDT The geek in your life is hard enough to find appropriate gifts for the holidays, and this year, once again you waited until the last moment. Never fear, we have scoured
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Android This Week: Leveling Off; Fring Calling; LogMeIn 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Android This Week: Leveling Off; Fring Calling; LogMeIn
Dec. 18, 2010 - 6:00 AM PDT Dec. 18, 2010 - 6:00 AM PDTSummary: The growth of Android in the smartphone space has been phenomenal, but recent ad statistics show it may be leveling off. VoIP calling is hot on Android, however,
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MobileTechRoundup 226 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
MobileTechRoundup 226
Dec. 17, 2010 - 8:00 AM PDT Dec. 17, 2010 - 8:00 AM PDT Summary: Join James, Matt and Kevin live for this week’s audio podcast where they’ll cover the week’s mobile technology news and share experiences with the
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Kindle for Android Gets Periodicals, In-App Store 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Kindle for Android Gets Periodicals, In-App Store
Dec. 17, 2010 - 7:08 AM PDT Dec. 17, 2010 - 7:08 AM PDTSummary: Amazon has rolled out a major new version of the Kindle app for Android that adds magazines and newspapers to the standard e-book fare. The app also adds shopping
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Samsung ATIV Smart PC 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Samsung ATIV Smart PC
The tablet market is going into hyperdrive.  The announcement of Microsoft’s foray into the tablet market utilization with Windows 8 architecture made a few ripples.  It will be really interesting to see how this plays
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Norton Hotspot VPN 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Norton Hotspot VPN
One of the thorniest issues is traveling and maintaining security.  Norton has come up with a nice little VPN package that allows for secure surfing while on open networks. If you have ever been in a hotel, most likely you
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Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance WordPress Error 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance WordPress Error
WordPress is awesome until it isn’t.  Knowing you (or not really knowing you – but knowing how most people operate), you probably did the automatic update with no backup. Yep, it’s what most people do.  You
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Tactus Amazing Tactile Mobile Buttons 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Tactus Amazing Tactile Mobile Buttons
Touch screens rule the day, but maybe not forever – if Tactus has anything to say about it.  They say the flat, touch screens are boring and they are looking to put some caliente into em. The idea is really simple. 
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Has LinkedIn Been Hacked? 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Has LinkedIn Been Hacked?
Well, that is the million dollar question, isn’t it?  I have seen a lot of accusation and rumor going around, but I have yet to see any substantiating evidence. In fact, updating twitters from LinkedIn are saying that
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Thoughts On Arrested Development Season 4 & How Netflix Is Changing The Future Of TV
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Arrested Development is back, with Season 4 made exclusively for Netflix. The whole season is now available for subscribers to stream, and it’s well worth watching. Take my word for it. But
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Nintendo Claims Copyright Over YouTube Gameplay Videos, Using Content ID System
Nintendo has, in its infinite wisdom, decided to declare war on the fans who dare to post videos of themselves playing Nintendo games. Not only is this a terrible decision in terms of a rich corporation making money off its
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Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV Set Top Box Review 25 May 2013, 17.11 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV Set Top Box Review
I recently purchased the Logitech Revue and I, ironically did a Logitech Revue review.  Anyway, I wasn’t so hot on the Logitech.  So, I nabbed me a Sony NSZ-GS7 to compare. The first thing you notice on the Sony is
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YouTube Starts Charging For Content | Select Subscription Channels Go Live For 99 Cents
As was rumored for some time, YouTube has started charging for content, with paid channels making their debut. The pilot scheme gives qualifying partners the opportunity to erect paywalls, but will viewers pay in the numbers
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Google Ups Ante For Original Programming Efforts With First YouTube Comedy Week
For one week in May YouTube is going to (try to) be the funniest website on the planet. The Google-owned property already boasts a multitude of funny clips, but YouTube Comedy Week is something altogether more ambitious. This
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FNN Home Technology
English (United Kingdom)
Tesla's sales model? It's simple: don't sell cars: If you are waiting with bated breath for electric vehicles to revolutionize the transportation sector, you are likely to pass out. If it happens, it will not be an overnight process. That...
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