Watch a Boston Dynamics humanoid robot wander around outside
Aug16

Watch a Boston Dynamics humanoid robot wander around outside

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.  Boston Dynamics, that company Google bought in 2013, has begun to testing one of its humanoid robots — those that are designed to function like humans — out in the wild. Marc Raibert, the founder of Boston Dynamics, talked about and showed footage on the research during a talk on Aug. 3 at the 11th Fab Lab Conference and Symposium in Cambridge, Mass. “Out in the world is just a totally different challenge than in the lab,” Raibert said at the conference, which was organized by the Fab Foundation, a division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms. “You can’t predict what it’s going to be like.” Boston Dynamics has tested its LS3 quadruped (four-legged) robot out in natural settings in the past. But humanoid robots are different — they can be much taller and have a higher center of gravity. So keeping them moving through rugged terrain, as opposed to paved asphalt, which is what Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robots dealt with recently during the DARPA Robotics Challenge, can be more tricky. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

Read More
How Tesla got Nevada to give it $1.4B in exchange for a giant battery factory
Nov16

How Tesla got Nevada to give it $1.4B in exchange for a giant battery factory

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Elon Musk is riding high. He’s running two acclaimed companies, SpaceX and Tesla. The former recently scored a multi-billion-dollar contract with NASA to shuttle supplies and astronauts to the International Space Station. The latter is building one of the most highly-acclaimed cars ever, simultaneously legitimating the electric car and proving that radical innovation in auto design is still possible. He’s been compared to Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and Tony Sark. And on the strength of his extraordinary reputation, Tesla has been able to win some extraordinary concessions from the state where it will be building its gigantic “Gigafactory” (.pdf) a huge plant that, once it’s at full capacity, will single-handedly double the worldwide production of lithium ion batteries. A recent Fortune story explains, step by step, what went on behind the scenes as various states jockeyed for Tesla’s favor. Ultimately, Nevada won out, by giving Tesla a generous package of incentives, including: 20 years without paying sales tax on equipment and construction materials (worth $725.8 million), 10 years of zero property taxes ($349 million) 10 years of discounts on payroll taxes ($29.4 million) $195 million in tax credits from a program originally meant to benefit filmmakers and insurance companies $113 million in Nevada state funds committed to building a new, four-lane highway from U.S. Route 50 to the Gigafactory location $8 million in electricity discounts for Tesla 980 acres, paid for by the state, in a desert location east of Reno A bill to legalize direct car sales in Nevada, a serious point of contention between Tesla and most other states. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on...

Read More
Ridley Scott to produce sequel series to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’
Nov03

Ridley Scott to produce sequel series to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. A sequel miniseries to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is in the works, and Ridley Scott is on board as executive producer. The new series, 3001: The Final Odyssey, will be based on classic sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke’s novel of the same name, and will reportedly see release sometime in 2015. According to SlashFilm, 3001 will be adapted for the screen by Pirates of the Caribbean scribe Stuart Beattie. The series will most likely follow astronaut Frank Poole who, after being thrown into deep space by HAL-9000 in 2001, is reawakened 1000 years into Earth’s future. Scott, for his part, is excited to be joining the project. In an official statement, the Alien director said: “I have always been a fan of Clarke’s extraordinary Odyssey series, and certainly Kubrick’s adaptation of 2001. I am thrilled to be part of bringing that legacy to audiences and continuing the great cinematic tradition that this story and its creators deserve.” Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: The Verge - Read the original article...

Read More
Instagram shows how Hyperlapse stabilizes your jittery videos
Aug27

Instagram shows how Hyperlapse stabilizes your jittery videos

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Instagram has already revealed a bit about how Hyperlapse turns your shaky handheld footage into smooth time-lapses, but what if you really want to know what makes it tick? Don’t worry – the company will happily satisfy your curiosity with a deep dive into the app’s inner workings. Ultimately, you’re looking at a significant extension of the Cinema tech used in Instagram itself. It’s still using your phone’s gyroscope to determine the orientation of the camera and crop frames to counteract any shakiness. The biggest change is in how Hyperlapse adjusts to different time-lapse speeds. It only checks the positioning for the video frames you’ll actually see, and that crop-based smoothing effect will change as you step up the pace. Importantly, Instagram’s approach contrasts sharply with what we saw in Microsoft’s similarly-named technique. There, Microsoft is calculating a 3D path through the scene and stitching together frames to create a seamless whole. That approach is potentially nicer-looking, but it’s a lot more computationally intensive; Instagram is taking advantage of your phone’s built-in sensors to create a similar effect without as much hard work. You don’t need to know the nitty-gritty about Hyperlapse to appreciate the effect it has on your clips, but the post is definitely worth a read if you have unanswered questions. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Inflated steel suit gets you up close and personal with fireworks (video)
Aug25

Inflated steel suit gets you up close and personal with fireworks (video)

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Making things – it’s pretty awesome whatever you’re creating. But, some things really encapsulate the maker spirit – and this is one of them. It’s an “inflatable” (or rather, inflated) steel suit, designed so you can enjoy the next fireworks display up close. Real close. Like the inside, kinda close. Its creator, Colin Furze, welded together sheets of steel, and hydroformed them into shape in sections. He originally tried doing the suit in one go, but the joints apparently tore at his “man bits.” As you can imagine, mobility is a bit of an issue, but you’ll see in the video – there’s a knack to it that Furze soon picked up. Anyway, the making of the suit is one thing, but you probably want to know what it’s like to use it among £500’s worth (about $830) of fireworks? Luckily enough there’s a video of exactly that (from inside and outside perspectives), and it’s just a click away. [Burley images] Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
NSA and GCHQ employees may be undermining the agencies’ work to hack Tor
Aug22

NSA and GCHQ employees may be undermining the agencies’ work to hack Tor

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It’s no secret that US and British spy agencies are trying to crack the Tor network, but new information suggests that the agencies’ floundering efforts may be sabotaged from within. For the uninitiated, Tor is a web browser that anonymizes a person’s identity, location and browsing activity using various technologies — it’s also a known gateway to the so-called “dark-web” that hosts sites like the Silk Road. Naturally, spy organizations see it as a threat, but the Tor Project’s Andrew Lewman says some of the agencies’ employees are undermining their own hacking efforts. “There are plenty of people in both organizations who can anonymously leak data to us and say, maybe you should look ere, maybe you should fix this,” he told the BBC in a recent interview. “And they have.” Technically, Lewman can’t know if these suggestions are coming from spy agencies, but he says it makes sense. Tor’s anonymous bug reporting system makes it impossible to tell where the reports come from, but the issues that are coming in are so granular, he says, they have to be coming from users who have spent hundreds of hours scrutinizing Tor’s source code. “It’s a hunch,” Lewman admits, but he’s convinced it’s accurate. NSA whistleblower William Binney has reportedly told Lewman that NSA employees are upset by the organizations activity recently, and may be leaking data to Tor as a subtle retaliation. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Giant crowdfunded darts will search for life on Mars
Aug18

Giant crowdfunded darts will search for life on Mars

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Is there life on Mars? Curiosity didn’t find any, but that’s hardly a conclusive answer. In fact, a handful of NASA scientists claim that the US space agency is looking for life in all the wrong places. The Mars rover explored the red planet’s dry, irradiated surface: if the planet still hosts life, it’s probably several meters underground. Now a team of scientists — including a few NASA veterans — are hoping to fund a mission to search for life under Mars’ surface. The project is called ExoLance, and its Indiegogo campaign hopes to pitch a series of high-tech darts at the red planet’s crust. “It’s time to turn our attention to the search for life on Mars,” says NASA scientist Dr. Chris McKay. “Over the past few decades the missions have focused on geology. It’s time to turn our attention to biology.” NASA’s official missions have barely drilled into the planet’s surface, excavating only mere centimeters. The ExoLance team says we need to go deeper, and has designed a penetrator probe that uses the momentum of planetfall to embed itself two meters below the surface. The ExoLance probes would be distributed to multiple sites across Mars, reporting back to a host satellite that would relay their findings to the team back home. The device has a clever design, but it’s untested — which is why the team has taken to Indiegogo. ExoLance needs $250,000 to test prototypes in the New Mexico desert, a site chosen for its Mars-like characteristics. If the delivery system and the darts themselves prove successful, the team will be able to pitch a real mission to NASA and commercial space programs. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
As your kid grows, this bike will transform to fit them
Aug14

As your kid grows, this bike will transform to fit them

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Like clothes, children tend to outgrow bikes pretty quickly. But what if there was a way to buy one and have it convert to fit a growing kid? Well, that’s just what designer Andreas Bhend has done with the Miilo bike. What starts has a simple scoot along option with no pedals can adapt to fit an older child by flipping the frame and adding pedals. The handlebars and seat are also meant to adjust so that the bicycle can remain an option riders between the ages of 2.5 and 7 – unless your kid hits a crazy growth spurt, of course. The project was inspired by another training bike that Bhend made by hacking up a pair IKEA stools, and from there, the idea to have a model that transforms began.   Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Companies have a tricky new way to track your movement across the web
Jul21

Companies have a tricky new way to track your movement across the web

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.  Researchers at Princeton have uncovered a new web-tracking method that’s nearly impossible to block. It’s called “canvas fingerprinting,” and can potentially follow users between sites even if they’ve disabled more conventional methods like cookies and isn’t logged into Facebook. Instead, the tactic works by asking the browser to draw a hidden image, and using that image to track the unique properties of the browser. Researchers found the tactic being used on five percent of the top 1000 sites on the website, includingWhitehouse.gov, YouPorn, The Blaze, and the official website for the State of California. The source behind the fingerprinting may be AddThis, a suite of plug-in share tools that is found on many of the named sites. AddThis has been testing canvas fingerprinting on certain sites as part of the company’s broader search for alternatives to cookie tracking. It’s still unclear how effective the tactic, with one survey only showing a 90 percent success rate, and AddThis says the fingerprinting trials may soon end since the results are “not uniquely identifying enough.” Still, as concerns over web privacy grow, it’s a reminder that simply blocking cookies may not be enough. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: The Verge - Read the original article...

Read More
Fantastic, futuristic fuel-cell limo ready for road testing
Jul20

Fantastic, futuristic fuel-cell limo ready for road testing

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. At the Geneva Motor Show in March, German firm Quant revealed a car powered by what it called ‘nanoFLOWCELL’ technology. Now, the flow-cell vehicle will make its road-going debut, as the car has been approved for real-world testing by the TÜV, or Technischer Überwachungsverein, Germany’s road safety monitoring agency. The first thing most will notice about the Quant e-Sportlimousine is its stunning styling. With a low hood line, double-bubble roof, and single-piece gull wing doors it manages to look new and distinctive without resorting to the kind of overt weirdness that might turn people off. But it’s that flow-cell technology that deserves real attention. Flow cells could be described as a cross between regular batteries and fuel-cells. Liquid electrolyte is circled through two tanks, between which is a membrane. Electrical charge passes through this membrane from one cell to the other, producing power for an electric drivetrain. It’s that simple, but the flow-cell’s makers suggest it has high charge density, high performance density and low weight–enough for five times greater performance than a lithium-ion battery of equivalent weight. The company thus quotes a range of 600 kilometers (372 miles). That’s from a flow-cell with 120 kWh of storage capacity–more than a Tesla Model S–but the company’s claims imply the flow-cell itself should weigh a lot less than a lithium-ion battery pack.   Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

Read More
Google’s Street View cars help locate gas leaks in US cities
Jul17

Google’s Street View cars help locate gas leaks in US cities

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Google’s Street View cars have a checkered history; they carry some truly incredible technology, but have also landed the company in hot water. But a few of Google’s cars have taken on an additional task while logging miles across the US. Instead of sniffing for Wi-Fi networks, they’re sniffing for gas leaks. Three Street View cars equipped with specialized sensors capable of detecting methane were dispatched in Staten Island, Boston, and Indianapolis. They took 15 million readings in all across those locations, which were chosen because of aging pipelines and other infrastructure issues that make leaks more likely. And the hunches proved correct; Google’s cars measured one gas leak for every mile they traversed in the city of Boston, though other test spots like Indianapolis fared significantly better. Methane leaks contribute to climate warming and can even cause explosions under the right circumstances. The extra hardware, which also recorded wind data, enabled cars to pinpoint where leaks were happening and estimate just how much gas was escaping at each location. Cars made multiple rounds of each city to confirm the accuracy of leak reports. The Environmental Defense Fund partnered with Google Earth Outreach on the effort, and the resulting maps are now online for public reference. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: The Verge - Read the original article...

Read More
Meet Data for Good, the Hacker News for showing off your world-changing data science
Jul16

Meet Data for Good, the Hacker News for showing off your world-changing data science

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Data scientists already have DataTau, a specialized version of Hacker News, that popular online water cooler for programmers. But some socially minded data scientists thought DataTau wasn’t great enough, and now they have their own site. Data for Good is a public-good-only fork of DataTau. Data for Good, which itself is a nonprofit organization, represents a new community to display the most noble-minded efforts of data scientists as the field stays hot and more companies pursue data scientists. Physical and virtual places to learn data science are multiplying, as are programs geared toward social good. So Data for Good’s appearance is timely. Tobias Pfaff, Vicens Fayos, and David Geffroy built Data for Good 10 days ago, during a startup weekend in Hamburg, Germany. Pfaff hails from the German city of Münster. Fayos comes from Spain. Geffroy is French. Fayos and Geffoy work in Hamburg. Pfaff, who lives in Munster and took a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Münster last year, wondered what he could do with predictive analytics after being inspired by a big data book that talks about how the New York City Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics prevents fire risk with predictive analytics. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

Read More
See how digital effects put the spectacle into ‘Game of Thrones’ (video)
Jul09

See how digital effects put the spectacle into ‘Game of Thrones’ (video)

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Game of Thrones has a healthy $6 million-per-episode budget, but that’s still nothing compared to the average Michael Bay blockbuster – especially for the special effects needed to fill in the magic (and gore). That’s where the creativity of effects house Mackevision comes in to play. If an epic shot can’t be done “practically” in camera, then the characters are often filmed against a green screen or threadbare set. From there, elements like terrain, castles, crowds of soldiers and even CG water are added. As you can see in the video below, with a touch of artful compositing, lighting, shading and color-timing, the result is a seamless final shot. If there’s any money left over, they may even add a dragon or three. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Thieves nab 40,000 Samsung devices through a daring Brazilian heist
Jul07

Thieves nab 40,000 Samsung devices through a daring Brazilian heist

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. When you think of gadget thefts, odds are that you picture muggings or smash-and-grabs at stores. Apparently, one group of thieves in Brazil had far more ambitious plans – it raided Samsung’s factory in Campinas and stole more than 40,000 laptops, phones and tablets that police estimate are worth $36 million. Reportedly, the heist played out much like a movie. The bandits both hijacked a company shuttle to get inside and took some of the workers hostage, going so far as to confiscate phone batteries so that no one could alert the police. None of the culprits have been identified, and Samsung contends that the actual value of the stolen goods is lower. However, authorities suspect that the crooks had inside help; they knew not just how to get in, but also where they would find certain valuables. Samsung will try to prevent a “repeat incident,” but a lot of damage has already been done. Those devices likely aren’t coming back, and future production runs might not be safe if the robbers really did get assistance from corrupt workers. [Image credit: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images] Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
New Snowden leak: Of 160,000 intercepted messages, only 10% from offical targets
Jul05

New Snowden leak: Of 160,000 intercepted messages, only 10% from offical targets

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Late Saturday night, the Washington Post dropped a bombshell of a report related to a trove of documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The documents included 160,000 e-mail and instant-message conversations intercepted by the NSA, as well as 7,900 documents taken from more than 11,000 online accounts. The Washington Post says that the information spans from 2009 to 2012. In the Post‘s analysis, “nearly half” of the files contained details that the NSA had marked as belonging to US citizens or residents, which the agency masked, or “minimized,” to protect those citizens’ privacy. Still, despite the 65,000 minimized references to Americans that the Post found in the cache, 900 additional e-mail addresses were found unmasked “that could be strongly linked to US citizens or US residents.” The Post did not reproduce any of the intercepted communications. The paper does describe some of the valuable information that the NSA was able to gather in the sweeping surveillance method. Fresh revelations about a secret overseas nuclear project, double-dealing by an ostensible ally, a military calamity that befell an unfriendly power, and the identities of aggressive intruders into US computer networks,” are all contained within the communications that Snowden leaked. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Ars Technica - Read the full article...

Read More
Third-person Oculus Rift hack delivers a true out-of-body experience
Jul03

Third-person Oculus Rift hack delivers a true out-of-body experience

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Who says VR needs to be experienced in the first-person? Using a stereo pair of GoPro cameras, mounted to a tall antenna carried in a backpack, some obscenely intelligent makers in Poland have discovered that it’s possible to enjoy an Oculus Rift experience from a third-person POV instead. The cameras don’t respond automatically to head movements just yet, so they have to be controlled by means of a small thumb stick, but they nevertheless augment the wearer’s 3D vision: By giving him a view of the real world as seen from a couple of feet above his head, he could scan a wider part of the horizon, or safely peer out from a sniper-infested trench (do we still have those?) or simply to enjoy the uncanny feeling of staring down at his own head and neck. Not bad for an amateur Intel competition entry that was apparently constructed in just a couple of days. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
A ‘bionic pancreas’ might transform how diabetes is managed
Jun16

A ‘bionic pancreas’ might transform how diabetes is managed

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Scientists have successfully tested a “bionic pancreas” on 20 adults and 32 teenagers with Type 1 diabetes for five days, reports the Associated Press. The pancreas is a wearable device that continuously monitors a patient’s blood sugar levels and administers insulin automatically, when needed. And, unlike other wearables currently in the works, this one was able to correct low blood sugar levels, as well as high. In the study, 20 adult participants were asked to stay in a hotel room for five days. They could eat and behave normally, but were asked to limit their alcohol intake, reports Time. The teenagers, on the other hand, were sent to a summer camp. During these experiments, the researchers said, the device performed better than conventional pumps and insulin monitors. These results were presented at the American Diabetes Association conference in San Francisco on Sunday, and the study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The device itself has three parts: two cell-phone sized pumps that administer insulin and glucagon, as well as an iPhone that connects to a glucose monitor. This might not seem like the best setup, but Kristina Herndon told the Associated Press that her 13-year-old son — one of the study’s participants — clearly preferred wearing the device over pricking his finger up to 10 times each day. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: The Verge - Read the original article...

Read More
Paralyzed teen to kick World Cup’s first ball with mind-controlled exoskeleton (video)
May26

Paralyzed teen to kick World Cup’s first ball with mind-controlled exoskeleton (video)

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. This year’s World Cup could be host to something more exciting than a bicycle kick scoring the winning goal. Thanks to an international collaboration between universities such as Colorado State University, The Technical University of Munich and Duke University, a paralyzed teen is set to open the sporting event by kicking a football while wearing a motorized exoskeleton powered by their brain. Colorado State University in particular recently published a video of its portion of the Walk Again Project, describing just how the mind-control helmet was 3D-printed layer-by-layer in order to fit the wearer’s head and connect the electrodes. Take a peek after the break to see the video in question, which also offers a fascinating look into how advances in robotics and 3D printing can improve people’s lives. Which is a hell of a lot more entertaining than watching Nigel de Jong roughing up Xabi Alonso again.   Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Twitter caves to Pakistani “blasphemy” censorship requests
May25

Twitter caves to Pakistani “blasphemy” censorship requests

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Twitter has honored five requests made by a Pakistani bureaucrat working for the country’s Telecommunications Authority to censor tweets and accounts it considered “blasphemous” and “unethical.” According to the New York Times, the social network agreed to shield certain tweets from the eyes of Pakistani Twitter users at the request of Abdul Batin. The requests including censoring crude drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, photographs of burning Qurans, and tweets from anti-Islam bloggers and an American porn star. This is apparently the first time Twitter has agreed to block specific content in Pakistan since it introduced its country-specific censorship policy in 2012. The policy takes into accounts local laws that apply to tweets and will consider reactively withholding access to certain content if they receive “valid and properly scoped” requests from authorized entities. Despite this, the NYT claims that a number of accounts were blocked not reactively, but in anticipation of the annual “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day,” which falls on May 20.   Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Ars Technica - Read the full article...

Read More
Share if you get sick: Yelp reviews lead investigators to restaurant health violations
May23

Share if you get sick: Yelp reviews lead investigators to restaurant health violations

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/unnormalized/4401596072/sizes/l New York City investigators have successfully used Yelp reviews to find hundreds of cases of food-borne illness and undiscovered health code violations. It appears that all those uneasy stories we read on review sites can end up saving us from unpleasant nights. “The results suggest that online restaurant reviews might help to identify unreported outbreaks of food borne illness and restaurants with deficiencies in food handling,” concludes the report. After mining Yelp reviews for phrases like “I got sick” and other unsavory descriptions, health officials contacted reviewers, some of which led to re-inspection of restaurants. In some cases, the restaurants had been reviewed just days earlier, “The two investigations and the routine inspection identified multiple violations at each of the outbreak restaurants.” For now, the Yelp investigation process is disturbingly slow. It takes around 8 days to find a review and interview the user. In that time, the restaurant continues to serve dangerous meals. “We’re now taking this a step further by providing a two-way street for the data: Alert environmental health inspectors when an outbreak occurs while providing the latest inspection information to diners,” said Yelp’s director government affairs, Luther Lowe. He hopes the new collaboration will lead to a “dramatic reduction in food-borne illness” The Yelp experience is another in a long line discoveries of how to mine social media for nuggets of health data. Twitter has led researchers to HIV outbreaks A rise in Google searches for flu symptoms can tip officials to an impending outbreak (though the accuracy is under contention). Healthmap can scan international news for ‘strange illnesses’, which led experts in the US to an outbreak of H1N1 in Mexico   Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

Read More
YouTube will soon let you crowdfund projects directly on the site
May23

YouTube will soon let you crowdfund projects directly on the site

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Plenty of users weren’t happy when YouTube ditched its commenting system in favor of Google+, and following that backlash the video-sharing service has been working hard to prove it is listening to its users. Its latest effort is a “Creator Preview” video teasing upcoming features inspired by the feedback of channel owners. These include a standalone mobile app with more useful tools and a new crowd-funding option that lets you contribute money directly through YouTube. The ability to donate to projects without having to hit up Kickstarter or Indiegogo is probably the most interesting tidbit, but a new app tailor-made for creators is also pretty interesting — especially for those who want to manage their accounts on the go. Finally, captions and subtitles will soon be crowd-sourced for 60-plus languages, as YouTube says more than 80 percent of its traffic comes from outside the US. No word on when these new features will show up, but for now you can check out the video below.   Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Oyster, the Netflix for e-books, tops half a million titles & looks to get social
May08

Oyster, the Netflix for e-books, tops half a million titles & looks to get social

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. E-book subscription service Oyster just fattened up its catalog. After raising a total of $17 million to bring the Netflix model to e-books, Oyster is taking a moment to bask in its early success: the startup just surpassed half a million titles and managed to win over new deals with publishing behemoths HarperCollins, Chronicle, and Wiley. Oyster’s promise is simple: “read unlimited books, anytime, anywhere.” The firm’s iPhone and iPad app debuted in October 2013 with just 100,00 titles. At 500,000, Oyster is set to eclipse Amazon’s own Kindle “lending library,” which currently sits at 500,000 titles. Oyster, which competes with firms like Scribd and the less interesting Entitled, refused to share the size of its user-base, but told VentureBeat by phone that its subscribers spend an average of 45 minutes a day reading within the app. While Oyster’s future rests in the hands of aging publishers, chief executive Eric Stromberg tells VentureBeat that the company is exploring ways to shake up the market — from the Spritz experimental reading tech to new social features. According to Stromberg, “social is an important piece of what we’re building. We do believe that often the best recommendations come from friends. What we’ve built is version one of that, but we do want to continue to build on that. It’s really a focus for us in 2014: how do we use social to create a high signal vs noise around books?” Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

Read More
Sitting all day is bad for your brain, too
May03

Sitting all day is bad for your brain, too

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. We know that spending all day hunched over laptops is shortening our lifespan and expanding our waistlines. Still, the threat of never growing up to be an Anderson Cooper-caliber silver fox may not be enough to motivate young tech workers to switch to a treadmill desk and sign up for some daily Jazzercise. But if you value your mind, beware: A new study shows how added pounds can make us dumber. “The findings show that lower-fit individuals lose more memory across time,” said Kimberly Fenn, assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University, in a chat with VentureBeat. The study found that less fit college-age students had a worse long term memories than their fitter counterparts. Even after controlling for race, age, and IQ, participants who had fatter body compositions and less aerobic capacity (Vo2 max), performed worse a test of long-term memory. Study participants were asked to memorize word pairs until they could reliably remember at least a few groups. Then, after at least 24 hours, they were asked to perform the same memory test. “These findings contribute to a larger body of research that has begun to indicate that cardiorespiratory fitness may be important for the optimal functioning of multiple aspects of high-level cognitive and memory processes,” concluded the researchers. In other words, poor fitness impacts at least one critical area of our intelligence and could be related to even more. Two possible solution Get a treadmill desk. I love my walking treadmill. I walk around four to nine hours each day, and don’t lose an ounce of productivity. Indeed, at least a few studies have show that people are smarter while walking. Treadmill desks are a tad expensive ($1,000-$1,500), but it’s well worth the cost in increased health and productivity. Exercise! I discovered that I could replace coffee with 30 seconds of high-intensity exercise. About every two hours, I do a quick bout of burpees, mountain climbers, or shadow boxing, and I feel an immediate surge of mental energy. In a word, if you value your mind, you have to value your body as well. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

Read More
Why do whales explode? (with super-gross video)
May03

Why do whales explode? (with super-gross video)

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Well, in one of the great let-downs of our time, the whale isn’t going to explode. If you don’t know which particular whale I’m referring to, check out www.hasthewhaleexplodedyet.com, for all your up-to-the-minute whale explosion needs. The 81-foot animal in question washed up on the shores of Newfoundland a few weeks ago, and since then has grown to become Canada’s second-biggest media export of the decade — the first being Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor, Rob Ford. Still, there’s more to this story than a world’s morbid fascination with a bloated animal carcass. We marvel at this amazing natural process, not unlike how savages might have gawked at an eclipse; it’s spectacular, and a bit scary, and very, very strange. After all, human beings don’t generally explode upon death. Do they? When a blubber-bag like a whale is left out, it slowly inflates with the gasses of decomposition, mostly carbon dioxide, methane, and the distinctively smelling sulfur-based gasses associated with death. Without an outlet, they will basically create one themselves, by ripping a hole in the side of the whale. When this happens, you don’t want to be nearby — whale carcasses have been known to expel internal organs up to 30 feet or more. In this case, a small-enough outlet must have developed to allow slow release of the gasses; Whaley the Whale seems to be slowly deflating, and danger of an explosion has faded. The town ought to be fine, so long as they don’t put any dynamite inside it — and while that might sound far-fetched, check out the most famous exploding whale video of all. This town cheated, manufacturing an exploding whale from one of the regular, non-exploding variety, but they paid what seems to be a fair price in exchange. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Source: Geek.com - Read the original article...

Read More
Lessons from NYPD Twitter scandal: Careful when asking Internet’s opinion
Apr27

Lessons from NYPD Twitter scandal: Careful when asking Internet’s opinion

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The Twitterverse was abuzz last Tuesday evening after the New York City Police Department made what it thought was a harmless request to its followers: post pictures that include NYPD officers and use the #MyNYPD hashtag. Much to the NYPD’s surprise and chagrin, the simple tweet brought on a torrent of criticism from the Internet. The result was national coverage of hundreds of photos depicting apparent police brutality by NYPD officers, which individuals diligently tweeted with the hashtag #myNYPD. “The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community. Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange, and this is an open dialogue that is good for our city,” NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Royster told Ars. Despite the NYPD’s spin, the rush of negative imagery and commentary from the Twitterverse is not without historical precedent; bungled public relations campaigns abound on Twitter. A look back at two corporate campaigns and two personal campaigns that sought to enlist the Twitter community’s comments—and the backlashes that ensued—provides evidence that public relations folks would be wise to tread lightly when soliciting reactions on Twitter. The negative associations such comments evoke can have serious repercussions for a brand’s reputation. “Once you have a negative association it’s almost impossible to just remove the link from people’s minds,” marketing professor Gavan Fitzsimons told CNN Money. The obvious take-away is that, given the Internet’s relative open architecture for free expression, those wishing to exercise some control over their public image might want to avoid such open-ended Internet queries. We know that won’t happen though, don’t we.   Here’s a sample of the negative responses tagged with #myNYPD.     Warning – the images below typically portray aggression and violence.     Here the #NYPD engages with its community members, changing hearts and minds one baton at a time. #myNYPD pic.twitter.com/GErbiFFDvY — Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) April 22, 2014 #MyNYPD One of my favorites pic.twitter.com/UqZiWE2U — gus (@brotherguss) April 22, 2014 Free Massages from the #NYPD. What does YOUR Police Department offer? Tweet at #MyNYPD pic.twitter.com/IFWr8exuqH — Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) April 22, 2014 Do you have a photo w/ a member of the #NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on their Facebook! pic.twitter.com/Ps7rThxgNw — Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) April 22, 2014 Need a mammogram? #myNYPD has you covered! Forget Obamacare! pic.twitter.com/Fusv3WhiRZ — आनिल् (@guru0509) April 22, 2014 #NYPD Keeping the Streets Safe. Show some love, and send your pics with #MyNYPD hashtags! pic.twitter.com/Sk31xWjQMp — Chelsea Manning♥ (@shushugah) April 22, 2014 Need a lift? The #NYPD‘s got you! Free Delivery, Only at #myNYPD pic.twitter.com/AStS3ZjoZu...

Read More
With the departure of the head of Google+, what’s next for Google’s social network?
Apr27

With the departure of the head of Google+, what’s next for Google’s social network?

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The departure of Vic Gundotra, the Google executive in charge of Google+ has fueled speculation about the future of the social networking platform. According to an article in Techcrunch, members of the Google+ team are being moved, with some of the team members being redeployed to work on Android. Gundotra’s Legacy Google+ has had a difficult childhood and some of the blame must lie with Vic Gundotra’s handling of its implementation. The first major problem was the so-called “Nymwars” when Google insisted that real names needed to be used to sign up for Google+. People with single names like journalist Stilgherrian was unable to use it properly on Google+. Violet Blue, another journalist was kicked off the service along with others for not having names that Google recognised as “real”. Vic Gundotra wanted to push through a service that linked all of Google’s products and to be really useful for marketing and advertising, it needed to tie back to an identifiable person. His reputation for pushing ahead at whatever the cost didn’t earn him supporters with the public. This aspect of his personality is said to have put colleagues at Google offside as he pushed Google+’s integration into products such as Gmail and YouTube. The Minus of Google+ Although reliable statistics on the usage of social networking platforms are hard to come by, most agree that usage of Google+ lags significantly behind Facebook and even Twitter and LinkedIn. The estimates of the use of Google+ are complicated however because of the way Google has integrated Google+ into all of its other products. Although the Google+ sharing platform has a significant and loyal user base (to get a sense of their feelings about all of this search for Gundotra on Google+), it hasn’t really made a dent on the use of Facebook as the predominant platform for social sharing. Nielsen reports that Google+ had 40 million visitors on their app in a month and that they spent an average of 11 minutes there. This compares with 108 million visitors using the Facebook app and spending seven hours there. Clearly Google+ has failed to engage Google users as a social networking platform in the same way as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have. This would translate into a lack of revenue for Google from this platform as advertisers shunned the interaction poor environment. Irrespective of whether there are niche communities that use Google+ as an alternative to Facebook, this wouldn’t translate into a business that has potential and worth Google continuing to invest in. On the Plus Side All of this...

Read More
Photobombed by the President of the United States…
Mar22

Photobombed by the President of the United States…

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The president of the United States is an important man. He’s arguably the most powerful on the planet and companies spend millions to access him and he can make nations tremble. Love him or hate most people most people manage to stay awake when he’s in the room. Well this little boy is clearly not ‘most people’ as he’s one of the few people on earth to sneak in a nap whilst in the presence of POTUS. He might be embarrassed about it now but not many kids from school will be able to top this photo at ‘show and tell’ on Monday. "Barack caught me sleeping" photo wins the week pic.twitter.com/Tmc1bNM6P9 — Geoffrey Ingersoll (@GPIngersoll) March 21, 2014   Tom Peters     Follow @Tom_Peters__ Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on...

Read More
NASA’s new flower-shaped spaceship will take real photos outside our solar system
Mar21

NASA’s new flower-shaped spaceship will take real photos outside our solar system

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released a concept earlier this week for a new sunflower-shaped spaceship that will take actual photographs of planets outside our solar system. While scientists have been able to detect planets for years, obtaining real photos hasn’t been possible due to the intense brightness of the stars those worlds orbit. However, the flower-shaped “starshade” spacecraft is designed to fix that problem. The ship is actually a hybrid telescope/spaceship that has two essential parts: the flower portion, and a telescope portion that can detach and operate independently. (Think of it as a far more expensive and cooler version of Sony’s QX Smart Lenses that uses your smartphone in conjunction with a powerful lens.) NASA’s PlanetQuest site explains that the flower portion will position itself between the telescope component and the star it’s observing to block out the light before reaching the mirrors. “With the starlight suppressed, light coming from exoplanets orbiting the star would be visible,” NASA explains. “Using this technology, astronomers would be able to take actual pictures of exoplanets—images that could provide clues as to whether such worlds could support life as we know it.” And the spacecraft’s shape isn’t purely cosmetic, either. “The shape of the petals, when seen from far away, creates a softer edge that causes less bending of light waves,” said JPL lead engineer for starshade Dr. Stuart Shaklan. “Less light bending means that the starshade shadow is very dark, so the telescope can take images of the planets without being overwhelmed by starlight.” For more information visit PlanetQuests great site Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

Read More
Judge rules that commercial drones are legal, effectively overturning FAA’s 2007 policy notice.
Mar06

Judge rules that commercial drones are legal, effectively overturning FAA’s 2007 policy notice.

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The FAA’s repeated claim that commercial drones are illegal has been cast aside by Federal Judge Patrick Geraghty who ruled in favor of Raphael Pirker. Raphael was fighting a $10,000 fine imposed by the FAA for filming a commercial at the University of Virginia. The judge ruled that the FAA’s 2007 policy notice banning commercial drone use was legally unenforceable. It is concluded that, as Complainant: has not issued an enforceable FAR regulatory rule governing model aircraft operation; has historically exempted model aircraft from the statutory FAR definitions of “aircraft” by relegating model aircraft operations to voluntary compliance with the guidance expressed in AC 91-57, Respondent’s model, aircraft operation was not subject to FAR regulation, and enforcement, By concluding that the FAA had not established a law to ban commercial drone use the Judge dismissed the case against Raphael Pirker and (at least temporarily) made it legal to have Tacos delivered to my rooftop. Please, please can someone make this happen immediately.   Andrew Richardson Follow @Andrew303 Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on...

Read More
Will 3D printing turn Lego into an intellectual property publisher?
Mar03

Will 3D printing turn Lego into an intellectual property publisher?

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Above: Is Lego destined to evolve into only being a director? Image Credit: Lego Can Lego get ahead of the 3D printing bandwagon? The maker of fit-together blocks and figurines is taking a good look at 3D printing, according to a story in Sunday’s Financial Times. The company has diligently tried to keep up with digital challenges. But 3D printing represents a new existential threat — the threat of personalized manufacturing. So the company is apparently trying to follow the key lesson in this age of evaporating competitive advantages: If someone is going to eat your lunch, it best be you. Lego needs to evolve faster because its customers are. Independent services like MiniFigs.me, for instance, already offer customized minifigurines from Lego parts. Custom blocks are another obvious 3D printing target, as are, say, missing construction pieces. Carnegie Mellon Professor Golan Levin, for instance, created a set of digital models to 3D print nearly four dozen plastic pieces that did not exist, but which could connect different kinds of toy construction sets. The objects were then released as a Free Universal Construction Kit. Lego is trying to look at the bright side. “It could well be,” Lego chief marketing office Mads Nipper told the Financial Times, that 3D printing “might be an exciting opportunity to print your own bricks.” If 3D printing becomes common, what model of a modern company should Lego itself use? Maybe it’s the modern record company, which doesn’t actually create physical products anymore.   Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

Read More