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Silent Circle's latest app democratizes encryption. Governments won't be happy

Silent Circle's latest app democratizes encryption. Governments won't be happy
Courtesy of Silent Circle For the past few months, some of the world’s leading cryptographers have been keeping a closely guarded secret about a pioneering new invention. Today, they’ve decided it’s time to tell all. Ryan Gallagher is a journalist who reports on surveillance, security, and civil liberties. Follow Back in October, the startup tech firm Silent Circle ruffled governments’ feathers with a “surveillance-proof” smartphone app to allow people to make secure phone calls and send texts easily. “This has never been done before,” boasts Mike Janke, Silent Circle’s CEO. True, he’s a businessman with a product to sell—but I think he is right. The technology uses a sophisticated peer-to-peer encryption technique that allows users to send encrypted files of up to 60 megabytes through a “Silent Text” app. By design, Silent Circle’s server infrastructure stores minimal information about its users. The cryptographers behind this innovation may be the only ones who could have pulled it off. Related:  Computer Applications astonishing

Spike puts laser measurement hardware on the back of a smartphone Through the Spike smartphone app, users are able to capture, measure, 3D model and share any object up to 200 yards (183 m) away with what the company says is laser accuracy Image Gallery (10 images) Traditionally, the technology that goes into laser hardware for surveying and 3D modeling has been the plaything of architects, surveyors and engineers. But now, with a view to expanding into the consumer market, Virginia-based IkeGPS wants to bring this functionality to the mainstream. And what better way to do it than sticking it on the back of a smartphone? View all Spike builds on the company's established GIS (geographic information systems) tools, which were used by the UN in the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Users take a photo of the object they wish to measure through the Spike companion app on their smartphone (the team has nearly completed an Android app and has an iOS app in development). Source: ikeGPS About the Author

PetMatch on the App Store Sproutling smart baby monitor learns and predicts baby behavior Babies don't come with instruction manuals, so the saying goes. But technology is promising to lend new parents a helping hand in the form of Sproutling, a smart baby monitor that keeps parents abreast of baby’s physical status, conditions in the baby’s room, and learns from baby's past behavior to provide specialized suggestions to sleep-deprived parents. View all The Sproutling system consists of three components; a breathable, washable band made from medical-grade, hypoallergenic silicone that the baby wears around his or her ankle; a dish that wirelessly recharges the wearable band and also monitors the room’s environmental conditions; and the Sproutling app, which collates all the data into useable observations and push notifications. All three are brought together via a home Wi-Fi network. The Sproutling team stresses that the system is not a thermometer, heart monitor, or a medical device, and thus does not need FDA approval at this time. Source: Sproutling Share

Latest supercomputers run truer simulations of extreme weather High-resolution simulations of the global climate can now perform much closer to actual observations, and they perform far better at reproducing extreme weather events, a new Berkeley Lab study has found. Lead author Michael Wehner heralds this news as evidence of a golden age in climate modeling, as not only did the simulation closer match reality but it also took a fraction as long to complete as it would have in recent history – just three months compared to several years. "These kinds of calculations have gone from basically intractable to heroic to now doable," Wehner said. "I've literally waited my entire career to be able to do these simulations." The researchers used a CRAY XE-6 supercomputer at the National Energy Research Supercomputing Center to conduct their analysis for the period 1979 to 2005 at three spatial resolutions – 25 km (15.5 mi), 100 km (62 mi), and 200 km (124 mi) – and then compared the results to both each other and to real-world observations. Share

9-dollar computer tops two million on Kickstarter Raspberry Pi has new competition in the ultra-budget computer universe. CHIP purports to be the world's first $9 computer and its run on Kickstarter is coming to a close after raising over $2 million, more than 40 times its crowdfunding goal from nearly 40,000 backers. CHIP easily fits in your palm and packs a 1GHz processor, 512 MB RAM and 4 GB of storage with Linux loaded and ready to roll. It has built in WiFi, Bluetooth and a composite video port; VGA and HDMI adapters can also be added. LibreOffice and the Chromium browser allow for instant web browsing and productivity just about as quickly as you can get the system connected to a display and means of input. The key to CHIP's low price is a partnership with China's Allwinner Technology, a chipmaker that has been particularly popular for open-source and budget projects, to drive down component prices through bulk ordering tens of thousands of chips at a time. Watch the full pitch video below. Source: Kickstarter

Pointing the Way: 3D Computer Cursors Could Navigate Virtual Worlds Forget everything you thought you knew about computer cursors. Researchers have come up with a way to turn cursors into a tool that can navigate around 3D space. Conventional pointers that are controlled with a trackpad and show up as a tiny arrow on a screen will soon be outdated, according to scientists at the University of Montreal in Canada. This futuristic technology could play an integral role in how virtual reality software responds to how users move in real life. Traditionally, a mouse and a cursor are confined to a screen "like a jail," said study lead researcher Tomás Dorta, a professor at the University of Montreal's School of Design. The high-tech cursor developed by Dorta and his colleagues can select objects in the 3D virtual world. "If I have this cup," Dorta said, picking up a coffee mug. The controlling plane appears on the screen, which can enlarge or decrease an object when the user pinches or expands it using their fingers.

The Software That Detects When a Cat Is Messing with Your Keyboard Via PROwabisabi2015 (Flickr) Every September, 1,100 finely-dressed denizens gather at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre — a building crafted with ornate woodwork and golden pillars — for an unusual ceremony. Launched in 1991 by science/humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, the “Ig Nobel” awards (a parody of the Nobel Prize) recognizes ten achievements per year, in a wide variety of fields, that “first make people laugh, and then make them think." Often, the winning ideas are slightly moronic, and border on the absurd: Priceonomics; via Improbable Research While 140 Ig Nobel prizes have been doled out in history, only one has been awarded in the category of “computer science.” As cat owners all too familiar with this phenomenon, we had to find out what PawSense was all about. “One day, my sister’s cat, Amos, walked across her computer keyboard and managed to uninstall some software, delete crucial files, and crash the machine,” Niswander recalls. He christened it “PawSense.”

Watch the past happen SitsimLab video demonstrates how the Forum Romanum app works. Imagine yourself, in the Blücher app prototype shown above, looking out over the Oslofjord from the town of Drøbak. Pleasure boats leave foamy trails in their wake. As you turn to the right, the screen image follows, and Oscarsborg Fortress comes into view. What does gunfire have to do with the humanities? Gunnar Liestøl is on fire, too. Liestøl wants to show that the humanities involve more than passive analysis, and that they can express themselves actively. SitsimLab video of their app showing the old port city Phalasarna on Crete. Genette’s theories of narratology are tools to analyse how narratives are constructed. Balancing sequence and access Years of development portrayed in a few sentences that are read within seconds. Duration is one of Genette’s narrative concepts. Liestøl gives an example. “So you pull up Wikipedia on your phone. The Blücher app uses this concept to solve a common dilemma in disseminating knowledge.

Angee automated home security system doubles as a personal assistant The relentless march of technology has helped make home security systems a more affordable option for homeowners, while the ubiquity of home wireless networks has helped extend their capabilities and ease of use. San Francisco-based startup Angee Inc. is looking to take things a bit further by adding some computer smarts to create an automated security system that is portable and doubles as a personal assistant. The Angee device shares a little in common with the Canary security system that was the subject of an extremely successful crowdfunding campaign in 2013. In addition to also being launched through a crowdfunding campaign, Angee can be controlled by and send notifications to a smartphone and features a cylindrical form factor housing a HD camera with night vision capabilities. Once set up, Angee is also designed to be completely autonomous and learn the habits of members of the household so it will arm and disarm automatically. The team's video pitch can be seen below.

synesthetic-app-typatone-music-writing-1426481484 For years she had tried to be the perfect wife and mother but now, divorced, with two sons, having gone through another break-up and in despair about her future, she felt as if she'd failed at it all, and she was tired of it. On 6 June 2007 Debbie Hampton, of Greensboro, North Carolina, took an overdose of more than 90 pills – a combination of ten different prescription drugs, some of which she'd stolen from a neighbor's bedside cabinet. That afternoon, she'd written a note on her computer: "I've screwed up this life so bad that there is no place here for me and nothing I can contribute." Then, in tears, she went upstairs, sat on her bed, swallowed her pills with some cheap Shiraz and put on a Dido CD to listen to as she died. But then she woke up again. It was around this time that she tried a new treatment called neurofeedback. After reading Doidge's book, Debbie began living what she calls a "brain-healthy" life. Debbie's story is a mystery. Age, too, presents a problem.

This is the web browser you should be using if you care at all about security No matter what you’ve heard about the Tor network, the basics of the service are simple: Tor keeps anyone who uses it safe, secure, and anonymous on the Internet. Originally created by the U.S. Navy, Tor can be used to browse the Web anonymously, send and receive private communications, or make other computer software anonymous by integrating it with Tor software. Tor’s reputation, however, is less straightforward. Many equate the anonymity the network provides with those who decide to use it for illegal purposes. What Tor does and where to get it Tor is developed and maintained by the Tor Project. Once you have Tor, it’s as simple to use as Chrome or Firefox. More from The Daily Dot: The Internet of Things is already here – just not the way you expected Tor lets you do plenty of other stuff, too. What is the Dark Net and Deep Web? When anyone talks about Tor, it’s crucial to understand a few key definitions. People often confuse the Deep Web and Dark Net. What’s a hidden service?

New face-reading apps determine your preferences for presidents and partners If you wander into the installation at SXSW sponsored by software developer Krush, you'll be immediately taken by the elevated white pod spinning around in the center of the room beneath a black-and-white video-display ceiling. This is Moveo, Krush's melding of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset with something akin to a flight simulator, or stand-alone roller-coaster car. While it's certainly impressive, the gizmo is really meant to draw people in and call attention to two new face-reading apps the company was demoing: Emotit For President and Heystax. Both apps make use of technology originally developed at the MIT Media Lab to help read the expression on the faces of autistic children, who often have a hard time conveying their emotions. Emotit for President shows you any number of political videos – Trump stumping or Hillary debating Bernie, for example. The second way Krush is employing their facial-tracking software is through Heystax, a new twist on a dating app.