Frog Makes Star Trek's Voice-Controlled Computers A Reality Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. Those are iconic words to any Star Trek fan--it’s the preferred drink of Captain Picard, as ordered from the Enterprise’s always-listening computer system. They also represent a vision of voice-activated, ubiquitous computing interfaces that took hold in sci-fi books and film nearly 70 years ago. It’s taken a long time for our world to sync up to Picard’s, but with the advent of Kinect and voice recognition systems, it’s finally happening. Installed at Frog’s Austin offices, RoomE’s hardware is all off-the-shelf: two Kinects provide an array of voice and motion sensors, while a series of projectors are positioned to turn any surface into a screen. The Emotional Cost Of Personal Computing Star Trek and Doctorow aren’t the sole basis for RoomE--contemporaneously speaking, the social cost of head-down computing was also an important jumping-off point for developing a radically new interaction model. In truth, ubiquitous computing isn’t all that intuitive to humans.
How Facebook Measured Gay Marriage Support With An Equals Sign This week, as the Supreme Court heard testimony regarding same-sex marriage, my Facebook profile was flooded with a single avatar--a pink-on-red equals sign promoted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Generally a curmudgeon about armchair activism, I was drawn the the strong visual (literally, as the eye is naturally drawn to red). I swapped mine out, too. But did it make a difference? Facebook’s avatar swaps by region. By comparing week-to-week trends, they saw that 120% more (or about 2.7 million) people changed their avatars than the week before. Those closest to 30 years old showed the greatest increase in updating. In other words, as a 30-year-old male, my stance was relatively predictable. Interestingly enough, Facebook figured this out without even looking at our individual avatars with some sort of picture-deducing algorithm. By pulling random HRC avatars from various profiles, Kenton Ngo was able to measure the JPEG compression of this very simple geometric image.
The 7 most interesting social media stats and what to learn from them 4.3K Flares Filament.io 4.3K Flares × One of the first things I’ve learnt, close to 2 years ago when taking the plunge into Social Media with Buffer, was that things aren’t yet very defined. There guiding metrics and studies are really just in their beginning phase and a lot is still quite vague. To help make things a tiny bit more clear, I thought it might be helpful to collect 10 of the most interesting social media studies and see what we can best learn from them. So without any further ado, let’s dig in and talk about the most important social media stats out there: 1.) In a very interesting study BlitzLocal looked at close 120 billion Facebook impressions and tried to make sense of it all. “Longer posts tend to perform poorly. Key takeaway: Whilst most of us know to keep postings short, getting actual data behind it is useful. 2.) Here is something we’ve struggled a lot with ourselves at Buffer in the past: To provide great customer service on Facebook. 3.) 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 6.) 7.)
Gotcha Turns Captcha Into Branded Pictures, Lets Website Owners Monetize Blocking Spammers Though very simple, ‘captcha’ technology has been very important for netizens to filter out spammers. Now an Indonesian startup called Gotcha.in is looking to jump into the market with its own version of captcha, which no longer requires site visitors to type given words, and giving website owners a way to make money in the process. Gotcha lets you verify yourself as a human by dragging and dropping pictures according to the given question (pictured below): How does Gotcha make its money? Co-founder Aditya Putra explains that the cost per click (CPC) and cost per thousand (CPM) ad process lets advertisers adjust their campaign products, while website owners will get commission from each ad impression. The idea for Aditya to develop his own version of captcha came when he was having spam problems when moderating his high school alumni website even after using a text-based captcha system. He argues that his gesture-based captcha can work better than the regular one.
Frustrated with iCloud, Apple’s developer community speaks up en masse Apple's iCloud is marketed to us end users as a convenient and centralized way to manage data on all of our Macs and iOS devices: sync contacts and bookmarks, re-download music and apps, back up iOS devices, and sync documents and data for third-party apps as MobileMe did. The last item, syncing of documents and data, is one of the least glossy features of iCloud, but it is one of the most important, and it should be among the most straightforward. Right? Perhaps not. What's the big problem, exactly? "In concept, the service is pretty simple. Indeed, there are multiple ways in which iCloud enables the syncing of data, though both users and developers are kept in the dark when things go wrong. "When it fails, there's no option to recover—all you can do is try again (and again...) until it finally works. Opaque errors are just the beginning—developers are also frustrated with how iCloud handles a user's data if the user chooses to turn off document and data syncing.
Possible security disasters loom with rollout of new top-level domains Plans to populate the Internet with dozens of new top-level domains in the next year could give criminals an easy way to bypass encryption protections safeguarding corporate e-mail servers and company intranets, officials from PayPal and a group of certificate authorities are warning. The introduction of Internet addresses with suffixes such as ".corp", ".bank", and ".ads" are particularly alarming to these officials because many large and medium-sized businesses use those strings to name machines inside their networks. If the names become available as top-level domains to route traffic over the Internet, private digital certificates that previously worked only over internal networks could potentially be used as a sort of skeleton key that would unlock communications for huge numbers of public addresses. The report went on to say that the number of "short name" certificates that could collide with the new domains is almost certainly much higher.
HTG Explains: Is Tor Really Anonymous and Secure? Some people believe Tor is a completely anonymous, private, and secure way to access the Internet without anyone being able to monitor your browsing and trace it back to you – but is it? It’s not quite that simple. Tor isn’t the perfect anonymity and privacy solution. It has several important limitations and risks, which you should be aware of if you’re going to use it. Exit Nodes Can Be Sniffed Read our discussion of how Tor works for a more detailed look at how Tor provides its anonymity. However, most Tor traffic must eventually emerge from the Tor network. In the below diagram, the red arrow represents the unencrypted traffic between the exit node and “Bob,” a computer on the Internet. People must consent to run exit nodes, as running exit nodes puts them at more of a legal risk than just running a relay node that passes traffic. This isn’t just a theoretical risk. Lesson: When using Tor, be sure to use encrypted (HTTPS) websites for anything sensitive.
Evil genius behind the Flashback OS X trojan may have been uncovered (Updated) A year to the week that a newer, more virulent version of the Flashback trojan was found to have infected more than 500,000 Mac computers, investigative reporter Brian Krebs has identified a young Russian man who has taken credit as the mastermind behind the malware. Flashback.K, as that version was known, was a breakthrough because it was among the first pieces of mainstream malware to hijack Macs even when users didn't enter an administrative password. Rather than trick users into installing what appeared to be an update to the Adobe Flash program—as previous Flashback versions did—this new release exploited a security bug in Apple's version of the Java software framework. Until now, there have been no public clues about the identity of the evil genius who was responsible for Flashback. The first clue came in a private message on July 14 between a VIP BlackSEO.com user named "Mavook" and a top forum member of the site.
PLATO History - PLATO History The Friendly Orange Glow book HTG Explains: Is Tor Really Anonymous and Secure? Some people believe Tor is a completely anonymous, private, and secure way to access the Internet without anyone being able to monitor your browsing and trace it back to you – but is it? It’s not quite that simple. Tor isn’t the perfect anonymity and privacy solution. It has several important limitations and risks, which you should be aware of if you’re going to use it. Exit Nodes Can Be Sniffed Read our discussion of how Tor works for a more detailed look at how Tor provides its anonymity. However, most Tor traffic must eventually emerge from the Tor network. In the below diagram, the red arrow represents the unencrypted traffic between the exit node and “Bob,” a computer on the Internet. People must consent to run exit nodes, as running exit nodes puts them at more of a legal risk than just running a relay node that passes traffic. This isn’t just a theoretical risk. Lesson: When using Tor, be sure to use encrypted (HTTPS) websites for anything sensitive.