colinneagle writes "A company called FacialNetwork has developed the first real-time facial recognition app for Google Glass that targets consumers, enabling Glass users to gleam detailed information about nearby people just by looking at them.
Called NameTag, a demo of the technology is shown in a YouTube video. Photos of famous people like Kanye West or Bryan Cranston, the actor of Breaking Bad fame, were strewn about the house as NameTag users tested the functionality. However, apparent users also claim to successfully find information about each other. After one user expresses doubt that the app would work with other people at the demo, he allegedly finds another user’s Facebook account simply by snapping a photo of his face with Glass and searching it on NameTag."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "Although Amazon's proposed drone-based product delivery service is still apparently years away, one hacker has already developed a sort of next-generation pirate ship that could hijack and redirect Amazon's delivery bots mid-air. On his website, Sammy Kamkar explained SkyJack, a witty name for a software he developed that allows a remote operator to take control over a drone while it's still flying.
The software, which Kamkar calls "Zombie drone" throughout a YouTube video explaining it, runs on a Parrot AR.Drone 2 and scans for other drones' wireless signals while flying. When it detects nearby drones, the software disconnects the target drone from its wireless connection to its operator, then takes the operator's place. The target drone is then subjected to the same control as the one that detected it, and can be controlled by the operator."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "Last week, it announced WinAMP would be shut down in December. Merry Christmas.
But now Microsoft is reportedly in talks to pick up WinAMP from AOL and rescue it from the tech graveyard. Now, Microsoft's track record when it comes to music isn't exactly ideal, but at least Microsoft has tried. Zune was a failure but it wasn't a bad idea, and some of its better parts live on in the Windows Phone music app. Microsoft is investing heavily in Xbox Live as a media center, and it could use a competitor to Pandora or iHeartRadio.
If Microsoft doesn't save it, WinAMP supporters are hoping AOL will turn the player over to the open source world. A petition has begun begging AOL to open source all of the WinAMP/ShoutCast code."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "Microsoft has hired what could be devastatingly effective new pitchmen to bash Google's Chromebook — the cast of "Pawn Stars." The show, which debuted on the History Channel in 2009, remains one of the network's highest-rated shows and its cast enjoys considerable popularity outside of the show.
An online video ad released Tuesday as part of Microsoft's anti-Google campaign "Scroogled" mimics an episode of the show, with the setup of a customer coming into the shop, a woman wanting to turn her Chromebook into a ticket to Hollywood. Rick Harrison, co-owner of the shop with his father, chuckles like he always does and declares it worthless unless you are connected to the Internet. "When you’re not connected, it’s pretty much a brick," he declares."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "Over the last several years I've tried quite a few different mechanisms of earning a living wage by developing, and distributing, open source software: donations, pay-to-download, software feature bounties, fund-raisers...you name it, I've tried it. And all of these attempts have fallen flat on their faces. Yet one thing consistently confounded me. That very same software sells like gangbusters when it is sold, closed source, under a shareware model. It typically has a big, extremely happy user base and great sales numbers. So how could it being open source possibly not work out exceedingly well?
Release software in a “standard” way – say, shareware, for example. Then put the source code up on GitHub to allow the tinkerers and developers of the world to gain access to the GPL licensed code. This would mean that the freedoms of the end users are being respected while the traditional revenue models of closed source software development are being fully utilized.
So, I've started doing exactly this with my software, Illumination Software Creator. If you look at the website you'll notice something: It looks like any normal commercial, closed source software website. (I present this as just an example of how I'm going about things; feel free to ignore my software if you like...it is pretty awesome, though.)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this sort of model. Do you like it as an end user? Do you feel, as a software developer, that this would work for your projects? Leave your comments below."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "A PhD student at Oxford didn't like how the campus pub was being run, so he hacked a Raspberry Pi to make it better, Wired reported."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "Linux blogger Bryan Lunduke has written a children's book about Linux, but suggests several other ways to get younger kids to actually take an interest in Linux."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "What better way to get out of work early than to fall victim to a virus that shuts down your PC? Well, being able to do that without actually suffering a virus.
That's the thinking behind the Happy Hour Virus, a simple service that makes your PC look like it has crashed so you can pretend to be really upset about missing out on the last three hours of your Friday afternoon before heading out to happy hour (I think that's where they got the name).
Colorado-based ad agency TDA_Boulder launched the service with a website, HappyHourVirus.com, that offers a pretty impressive menu of PC outages — a kernel panic, a notorious blue screen of death, or the trusty broken monitor, because you can't get your work done if you can't see it on your monitor."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the department of the British government tasked with collecting taxes, is zooming in on the property of those under investigation for tax collection to spot unreported expenses, such as home repairs or expensive vehicles. According to the Daily Mail, HMRC estimates that tax evasion costs the UK government more than $14 million per year.
This isn't the first time Google Earth has been used for this purpose, and it can be fruitful in uncovering tax fraud. In 2010, not long after suffering an economic collapse, the Greek government used Google Earth to find unreported property. It was particularly useful for identifying swimming pools that Greeks declined to report for taxes, discovering more than 16,000 that hadn't been on the books previously"Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "Two security features in Android 4.4 KitKat are particularly notable because they are Linux kernel developments. Security-enhanced Linux (SELinux) policies are fully enabled in KitKat, and dm-verity was added. Both features improve the integrity and trust of the Android operating system.
This builds on Google's earlier work to tighten Android’s defenses against attackers, such as full-disk encryption (dm-crypt) added to Android 3.x and Address Space Layout Randomization (ADLR) and Data Execution Protection (DEP) in Android 4.1.
SELinux policies that were first tested in Jelly Bean are fully enabled in KitKat. A policy limits a program’s use of files, privileges, resources and interaction with other apps and libraries. Consider, for example, an exploit that inserts malicious code into one of Android’s system functions that is designed to misappropriate user data and send it via the internet to the perpetrator. If the system function’s use of the internet is not configured as an SELinux policy, the exploit might run, but it will fail without internet access."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "Western Digital has been at the forefront of high-capacity drives, and it came up with an interesting solution: helium. The company on Monday introduced a 6TB drive called the Ultrastar He6 that packs seven platters into the space usually filled by five. The helium inside the drives keeps them from overheating and minimizes the friction of the heads as they move over the platters. The helium means less drag by the platters, so the motors don't have to burn as much energy spinning them.
The new drive runs quieter and consumes 23% less power when idle. It has to be hermetically sealed to keep the helium in, something the company said was a major challenge. It will be interesting to see how customers use the drive, since there are very few drives on the market that are hermetically sealed. This means a lot of scalability over the old max of 4TB in a 3.5-inch form factor. After all, you are talking about a 50% improvement in capacity in the same space with less power drawn. So you can take up less space, or more likely deploy more storage."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "The latest bit of genius comes from the folks at Microsoft Research, who created the Kinect Sign Language Translator to translate sign language into spoken language and vice versa in real time.
Kinect captures the gestures while machine learning and pattern recognition programming help interpret the meaning. The translation is bidirectional, so a deaf person can converse in sign language with a person who does not read sign but speaks vocally. Although right now the technology only works in Chinese, there are plans to start branching out into different languages."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "Ubuntu won a "Big Brother" award recently, adding to the criticism of a relatively new feature called Dash that allows for quick search of sites like Amazon.com. Previously, Richard Stallman had also taken issue with the feature, calling it "spyware."
But they're both wrong, because Ubuntu has always been straightforward about the integration, and even makes it really easy to turn off for users. Does it gather information? Yes. But you know it does this, and you can opt out at any time with absolutely no negative side effect. You can keep using the rest of your Ubuntu system without any restrictions whatsoever."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "LinkedIn's new feature, called Intro, basically uses Rapportive's technology to insert a banner into emails that show LinkedIn information about the person who sent them. So, users who get an email from a stranger can see the information that person has listed on LinkedIn without navigating away from the email. How this was accomplished seems pretty interesting, though. Rapportive's technology was once a Gmail plugin, but was banned from Gmail after a Google redesign. Making things even more difficult is that Apple's Mail app for iOS does not support plugins or extensions at all.
So LinkedIn built an API that "extends" the iOS mail app. Using a proxy server that speaks the IMAP protocol that most email providers employ, Intro tacks the banner featuring the sender's LinkedIn information onto the top of the message while the message is being forwarded from the device to the email provider. In this process, it also recognizes the specific device used to open it, and adapts its banner to meet its requirements. Then, using a CSS code response that is native on the mobile version of Safari, LinkedIn was able to make the Intro bar interactive, meaning users can click on it to find out more information about the sender."Link to Original Source
colinneagle writes "I installed Ubuntu Touch "1.0" on my first-generation Nexus 7 tablet and have been using it as my main tablet system for the last four days. Here's how it went. First off, the installation was surprisingly painless. I followed the official instructions and didn't encounter a single problem. That being said, the installation is really geared toward software developers, power users or people already comfortable on a Linux command line. If you're not in one of those categories, I recommend holding off for the time being. Once installed, Ubuntu Touch booted up rather quickly — in only just a few seconds (a fair bit faster than Android 4.x on the same tablet). And, immediately, I was presented with a short tutorial that appears the first time the system is booted, which, I might add, has got to be one of the slickest, least annoying tutorials I've seen.
But... there were problems. The battery life was, to put it mildly, terrible. Performance has been mixed, and the OS was prone to what I call "The Pulsating Seizure Feature" a few dozen times over the weekend. In a nutshell: launching apps (and, occasionally, moving between apps) can cause the device to freeze and begin flashing the screen rapidly.
The full review can be read here."