There have been plenty of tech announcements over the past few days, what with the Consumer Electronics Show going on in Las Vegas, each one claiming to be more exciting than the last – which gets tedious. So I mean it when I say that, Samsung’s new “Smart Window” is the most exciting thing to come out of CES 2012.
A UK judge ruled this week that Richard O’Dwyer, an English university student, can be extradited to the United States to face charges of copyright infringement – O’Dwyer being the former administrator of TVShack, a website that linked to pirated content. This sets a dangerous legal precedent for anybody who does anything fun on the internet.
This year Facebook will go public and start to sell shares on the stock exchange. Thanks to all of us, the social network is now worth $100 billion – more than giants such as Google, Disney, Amazon, and McDonald’s. But who is going to pocket all this money? Check out this infographic, detailing which Facebook friends will be getting pieces of the pie, as well as some other interesting facts:
Five days into 2012 and we’ve already got fancy new technology. A team from Cornell University have developed a light-distortion device that can mask events as if they hadn’t happened; they managed to use light distortion to hide an event for 40 picoseconds. Which, granted, is 40 trillionths of a second, but the research is groundbreaking in the extreme.
Apple is holding a product event later this month in New York – and since the Christmas buy-a-palooza is just past, it’s looking unlikely that they’re going to be announcing any new hardware just yet. Instead, Apple seems set to refurbish iBooks, their eBook retail platform, with a couple of new publishing options.
It’s the 29th of December, which means we are all now sick of Top 10 lists. There are Top 10 lists of Top 10 list. Except this particular Top 10 list is actually pretty informative, collating the year’s illegal torrent data to tell us which films people wanted to see but weren’t willing to pay for. #1 is really awful.
Peace and quiet can come at a premium, especially if you live and work in a busy urban environment. However, a new study shows that the biggest actual threat to our hearing is one we deliberately expose ourselves to every day.
Score one for creepy technology. Vocaloid, a voice-synthesis brand owned by Yamaha, has come up with a process by which to “resurrect” any singer’s voice for use in synthesized songs, without requiring the vocalist to build up a painstaking voice library first – so they could be doing that Kurt Cobain/Michael Jackson duet album pretty soon.
IBM have released their annual predictions for the future of technology, via the IBM “5 in 5” project, which looks at five innovations which they figure will transform modern life within the next five years; these include mind-reading computers, human-generated electricity, and biometric scanning replacing passwords.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) was put on hold for six months due to lack of funds – but, following donations from the public and the US Airforce, SETI’s Allen Telescope Array in northern California is operational again. So man, we’re going to feel pretty stupid if aliens called at some point during those six months.
The Carrier IQ software, installed on most modern Android, Blackberry and Nokia phones, is supposed to record some of the things phones do so manufacturers can do quality control. Except it’s also been logging everybody’s text messages, web searches, and phone calls. Which is pretty bad.
Last month, Google Maps’ Street View functionality started displaying photos of retail spaces’ interiors; now Google Maps itself is headed indoors, too, with a proposed Google Maps Floor Plans feature. This would mean Google maps of airports, shopping malls, and other buildings that you might somehow be able to get lost in.
The .xxx domain, set to launch by the end of the year, is meant to be the domain of choice for porn sites. Which is dandy, but means that opportunists could register ‘google.xxx,’ for instance, and capitalize on Google’s popularity – so American universities are purchasing .xxx domains to keep people from making porn sites with their names in them.
Nokia has released a concept video for their new HumanForm phone – which isn’t so much human-shaped as it is oblong. What’s interesting about it is that the casing is meant to be flexible, and the entire surface is meant to run off of touch recognition, which is fairly rad.
While Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of RIM, has already publicly apologized for last week’s three-day BlackBerry outage, the PR guys figured that that probably wasn’t enough. Which is why they’ve announced that they’re offering BlackBerry customers a bunch of free “premium apps,” in the hopes of winning back some love. Check the app list after the jump.
The unmanned spacecraft, Tiangong-1, which translates awesomely to Heavenly Palace, is set to blast off tonight from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gansu province, marking the start of China’s first rendezvous and docking mission. That guy is set to take off between 13h16 and 13h31 GMT.
It’s always nice when the world catches up with 80’s sci-fi films. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have succeeded in reconstructing people’s visual experiences using MRI and image libraries. Which means that if you click on the link you can see somebody’s brain try to replicate the Pink Panther film trailer.
Look, it’s nice to know Apple isn’t the only company that knows how to create buzz by accidentally leaking information. Ji Lee, Facebook’s creative director, tweeted about Facebook Music, which is set to launch tomorrow. The post was quickly deleted, but not before the Internet had time to get all excited about it.
Watch developer Arturo Castro shows off his fancy new FaceTracker API, which allows users to harvest photographs of other folks’ faces, and project them onto their own. Here we see Castro variously becoming Vladimir Lenin, Chairman Mao, and Steve Jobs. Because, why not?
Because what every good recession needs is a plan to go to space. NASA today announced their new launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), which should be able to take astronauts past the moon to near-Earth asteroids, and eventually to Mars some time in the 2030s.
I’m not clear on why we would still need travel agents or anything, but if we do, Google Flights, launching today, is up to the task. Initially only available in a couple of US cities, Google Flights is the first result we’ve seen of Google’s acquisition of travel software company ITA back in April.
Hello, internet people. Google Takeout has been launched for you – a “data liberation platform” that lets users export their data from a number of Google products. It’s an importance service! If all your information is on Google without a backup, then you don’t have much control over it. Click through and learn things.
Swedish designers have made a cycling helmet that isn’t totally obnoxious, which is pretty great. It won an award. Understand that no matter how nice this helmet is, it still isn’t okay to wear this guy indoors, because that’s rude. Still, it just won the Index:Award, the largest monetary prize for design in the world.
Do you know what day today is? Google knows what day today is – which is why their latest animated doodle pays tribute to the legendary Freddie Mercury, who would have turned 65 today, had he not made an early exit. Click through to take a look. Please insert your favourite Queen song title here.
I love Postsecret. I’ll just put that right there. It’s an ongoing community art project that started in the States in 2005. Now, after almost seven years of receiving the secrets, Postsecret are releasing their very own app for iPhone.
It’s pretty neat – the new pen by Wacom draws like a regular pen, but has a pressure-sensitive receiver that records your actual drawings for digital import and computer manipulation. So when you doodle obscene images, they show up directly onto your screen. Welcome to the future.
Remember the sad old days when the only screens that came with USB inputs in them were 15 inches wide, and you and 12 friends were forced to watch that awesome viral video on that single tiny screen, and inevitably there was a heated argument afterwards, because one of the guys who was watching from […]
Screenshots from a Chinese military propaganda video uploaded to YouTube last month reveal a cyberwarfare app designed to make attacks look like they’re coming from any IP address. In the video, the Chinese government can be seen sending attacks from an IP address belonging to the University of Alabama.
What did you do today? New York elementary school student Aidan Dwyer has designed and constructed a solar array based on the Fibonacci sequence that stores and generates energy between 20% and 50% more effectively than existing setups. He got the idea after noticing growth patterns in oak trees.
How unfair is this shit. When I was a kid, if you wanted something to fly you had to chuck it off a three-storie building, or tie it to a string and trail it out the back of your mom’s car, Napolean Dynamite style. These remote controlled badboys are super realistic,with actual moving fins to propel them through the air. And you get to choose between evil shark or cute clown-fish.