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Mobile Technology News, April 5, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Robot mannequin to test army kit
    The Ministry of Defence is to test armed forces’ protective suits using a £1.1m robotic mannequin named the Porton Man.
  • The Very Worst Types Of Guys You'll Meet Online
    Written by Rebecca Stokes on CafeMom’s blog, The Stir

    Dating is hard. Online dating is even harder. But it’s an increasingly common and less socially-weird-than-it-used-to-be way of meeting potential mates. I’ve done my fair share of it. I’ve triedOKCupid, eHarmony, and Match to name but a few of the cyber romantic walkways I have stumbled down. I haven’t found love yet (call me, Michael Keaton). And while I might every so often shut down every single account and vow never to do it again, I always come back for more.

    Because the odds are a whole lot more likely that I’ll meet a dude online than I will in real life. I work with mostly ladies, and while they are awesome, I am not attracted to ladies. When work is through, I go to the gym or usually I go home. So unless I plan on the potential disaster of hitting on someone at the gym or on the subway (where I feel like I’d just immediately be arrested for harassment), I’ve got to keep an open mind where online dating is concerned.

    It’s not always easy. In fact, it’s far more likely that I’ll decide to start taking classes or going to science lectures in the hopes of awkwardly meeting someone with whom I’d like to bump uglies, try that for a while, and when it doesn’t work, then I reactivate all my old accounts. Nothing changes when it comes to dating. There are basically six types of guys you come across. It can be bleak, but I do it anyway. Because while I’m a cynic, I’m also a romantic. He’s out there, I just, in the immortal words of Michael Buble, haven’t met him yet.

    1. The Two-Letter Lover

    “hi” That’s all he has to say. No caps, no punctuation, maybe an emoticon if you’re lucky. He’s into you enough to spend less than two seconds composing a message. He’s into you enough to trick you into doing the heavy lifting. In other words, he’s not into you at all. Dudes of the world, you’re better off not messaging us at all if ‘hi’ is all you have to say.

    2. Captain Overshare

    He seemed cute in his profile. His answers were quippy and on point; his photos were adorable. You guys like all the same bands! You should be psyched when you see his message in your inbox. And you are! Until you open it and see that it’s just an unsolicited photo of his junk. Don’t call us, penis. We’ll call you.

    3. Mr. Wuthering Heights

    Things are going great with this guy! You might even have made it as far as going out on a couple of dates. But something isn’t right. He talks about his ex … kind of a lot. And not, like, in a normal way. One glass of wine and suddenly he’s crying and sobbing her name. You guys are having a great night, until he begins screaming for his ex at the restaurant. He’s a real romantic, a rare breed indeed, but he’s obsessed with his ex.

    4. The Insta-Boyfriend

    You go on one date with this guy, and in his eyes, you’re married. He’s ready to get hitched, to settle down, to start with the baby-making. So much so that he doesn’t care who joins him in this endeavor — so long as she’s got reproductive organs and seems vaguely nice.

    5. Colonel Not-So-Serious

    He’s got a smoking body; he’s funny and smart. He’s the perfect catch. Except for one thing: He has no intention of ever seeing you again. He’s a lot of fun, and who doesn’t love fun? You. Try talking to him about ‘where this is going’ and you’ll get his lecture — he thinks you’re great but he’s not looking for anything serious, whatever his profile might say.

    6. … Hello?

    I am convinced there is a void where all dudes who you exchange one, positive message with before they disappear forever are currently sitting waiting to be rescued. Sure, stuff happens, but where do these mystery dudes go?

    What other types of dudes have you found while dating online?

    More from The Stir:
    18 Ways to Tell Your Date Is a Disaster
    17 Truly Bizarre Pickup Lines We Can’t Believe Men Fed Us (PHOTOS)
    My Date’s Shocking Confession About His ‘Roommate’ Left Me Speechless
    Confessions of an Online Dating Virgin
    The 12 Stages You Go Through on a Really Bad Date (PHOTOS)

    Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Apple vs Samsung, Day Two: Schiller gets cross, Christie on stand
    The second full day of the second Apple-Samsung patent trial is over, with Phil Schiller starting the day by continuing to submit to cross-examination by Samsung attorney Bill Price. Also on the stand on Friday was early iPhone engineer Greg Christie, and Apple-hired patent expert witness Dr. Andrew Cockburn. In the course of proceedings, some additional details about how buyers perceive the iPhone and its creation were revealed, and Judge Lucy Koh ruled against Apple on two objections.

        



  • The '#Selfie Generation' May Just Change The Future Of Healthcare

    Last month New York Time’s Magazine contributor (and graduate student in computer science) Yiren Yu, argued that Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem “makes for a lot of cool apps. But great technology? Not so much.” I’m willing to wager that if we trust young people to drive change through their innovations, we’ll be amazed by how much more impactful, sustainable and inclusive digital and mobile health interventions will become.

    This week, the Skoll Foundation released their Social Progress Index, ranking 132 countries on their social and environmental performance. For me, the most gripping outcome of the research is that contrary to popular belief, GDP does not equal social progress. Remarkably, the US ranks fairly poorly (16th) despite having the world’s 2nd largest GDP per capita.

    The Skoll Foundation’s findings revealed that we’re losing a lot of information and resources that can improve lives by judging countries and their potential for impacting progress by their financial wealth.

    As the Executive Director of YTH, whose mission is to advance technology for youth, health and wellness, this study begged the question — what are we missing when our society and culture assesses young people’s potential to ignite social progress by their access to wealth and privilege?

    TED Prize winner and education researcher Sugata Mitra declared last year that youth possess an innate sense of wisdom that is heightened when supported and encouraged through youth-driven collaborative learning and engagement.

    Though Mitra’s research was conducted with youth across social, cultural and socio-economic lines, one pattern remained consistent — young people can and will teach themselves (and each other) when motivated by the fire of curiosity, and building community with their peers.

    How does this relate to health technology? As the health technology marketplace becomes increasingly lucrative, low-income and underserved youth lack access to the billions of dollars flowing into the health tech workforce. While there’s an abundance of government and corporate health hackathon challenges, the participants and winners that emerge from these opportunities are primarily white, and/or well-resourced youth who have engineering and computer science curricula on their high schools. Skoll’s findings coupled with Mitra’s research compels me to imagine what we could achieve if we invested those billions in youth from underserved communities.

    The time has come for young people to be treated as designers and developers for health technology solutions that serve them and their communities on their own terms. That’s why YTH is collaborating with The Level Playing Field Institute and REACH Ashland Youth Center to convene our premiere Health Hackathon on April 5-6th.

    The YTH Health Hackathon will challenge about 100 young people from Alameda County to create an app or game related to youth, health and wellness that address real-life issues that impact their communities like teen pregnancy, HIV, substance abuse, obesity, bullying and more. The winners will showcase their innovations at YTH Live, the premiere conference for cutting-edge technology that is advancing the health and wellness of youth, young adults, and other underserved populations on April 6th in San Francisco.

    The Health Hackathon is one step towards bridging the gap in health tech innovation to narrow the chasm between groups with abundant access to digital and information technology and communities like youth of color who are at a perilous disadvantage. By arming youth from communities that historically lack access to computer science and STEM education with exposure to valuable skills that allow them to compete in a more highly-skilled global workforce, we’re also advancing towards diversifying the pipeline of power and influence in the health technology industry.

    Instead of regarding the “#selfie generation” as apathetic consumers who only use technology to play and procrastinate, it’s time for adult allies to provide our support and resources to equip youth (especially those who lack access) with the tools, capacity and resources they need to make a deep impact.

  • Georgia Tech Frat Suspended Following 'Luring Your Rapebait' Email
    ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech is suspending a fraternity for three years after an investigation into a member sending an email with instructions for “luring rapebait” at parties fueled with alcohol.

    A statement from the Atlanta school says Phi Kappa Tau violated student conduct rules and didn’t comply with sanctions imposed last fall.

    The suspension was first reported by Georgia Tech’s student newspaper, The Technique.

    The fraternity came under scrutiny following reports about the email.

    The student newspaper also published what it says are internal fraternity messages that include obscenity and describe sexual violence against women.

    The national fraternity says the Tech chapter violated both university and fraternity policies and needs a break. A statement says the chapter failed to live up to fraternal ideals.

    The group’s disciplinary suspension ends in 2017.

  • Internal Apple document reveals worries about iPhone competitors
    Although Apple has outwardly projected an image of total confidence in the iPhone, and criticized competing devices, some people in the company have been worried about advances made by rivals, according to an internal document presented during the ongoing Apple v. Samsung trial. “Competitors have drastically improved their hardware and in some cases their ecosystems,” an Apple sales team member wrote in a document for a FY2014 offsite meeting. The person also noted that all of the growth in the smartphone industry is coming from big-screen models over $300, or from devices under the $300 mar

        



  • Why does my phone think it's abroad?
    Data roaming in Dorset
  • First Public NSA Speech: "De-Militarization" of Cyber Space
    Last week, in the first speech ever publicly delivered by the National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called for the “de-militarization” of cyber space. There certainly is precedent for such actions – military limits have previously been imposed on the Arctic Circle as well as outer space. And, of course, there are numerous examples of arms control treaties being used to prevent the spread of extraordinarily dangerous weapons and technologies such as chemical and biological weapons, nuclear non-proliferation treaties, and even ballistic missile technology.

    The calls for limits on militarized cyber space certainly make sense, especially in light of the overwhelming amount of cyber attacks occurring at any given moment. Unfortunately, Secretary Hagel’s aspirations are likely to be doomed by the tough realities of cyber attacks. Put simply, cyber weapons are just too easy to develop, much less procure from sources not affiliated with a particular country or its national security apparatus.

    As I have previously noted, McAfee and others have done an excellent job of documenting the thriving black market for cyber weapons. The prices for malware and other malicious tools are so low, virtually anyone can afford to carry out a damaging cyber attack.

    Of course if you want the cyber weapon to penetrate sophisticated defenses or have no traces of authorship, the cost will rise dramatically. Regardless, the militarization of cyber space at this point seems to be a foregone conclusion. The return on investment is too high and the ability of such weapons to level the international security playing field make it too tempting a tool to be adequately controlled.

    Our efforts are likely better focused on drawing laws of cyber war, as well as making it clear that use of cyber weapons to attack America will be met with a digital and physical response as appropriate.

  • This Is What Happens When Art Meets Social Media
    A Ukrainian artist has given the pieces of the great Edward Hopper a 21st-century touch-up. Nastya Nudnik, of Kiev, decided to insert social media symbols and emojis into the artist’s paintings. “I realized that some of his characters deserve the right to be more active and dynamic,” Nudnik told The Huffington Post.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art writes that the works of Hopper, who died in 1967, are “pervaded by a sense of silence and estrangement.” After viewing Nudnik’s “emoji-nation. part 2,” we doubt Hopper’s subjects would feel any happier tweeting or sharing.

    (h/t AdWeek)

  • Half Of Nation Says Tech Companies' Snooping Goes Too Far
    By Alexei Oreskovic
    SAN FRANCISCO, April 4 (Reuters) – The personal data gathering abilities of Google, Facebook and other tech companies has sparked growing unease among Americans, with a majority worried that Internet companies are encroaching too much upon their lives, a new poll showed.
    Google and Facebook generally topped lists of Americans’ concerns about the ability to track physical locations and monitor spending habits and personal communications, according to a poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos from March 11 to March 26.
    The survey highlights a growing ambivalence towards Internet companies whose popular online services, such as social networking, e-commerce and search, have blossomed into some of the world’s largest businesses.
    Now, as the boundaries between Web products and real world services begin to blur, many of the top Internet companies are racing to put their stamp on everything from home appliances to drones and automobiles.
    With billions of dollars in cash, high stock prices, and an appetite for more user data, Google, Facebook, Amazon and others are acquiring a diverse set of companies and launching ambitious technology projects.
    But their grand ambitions are inciting concern, according to the poll of nearly 5,000 Americans. Of 4,781 respondents, 51 percent replied “yes” when asked if those three companies, plus Apple, Microsoft and Twitter, were pushing too far and expanding into too many areas of people’s lives.
    This poll measures accuracy using a credibility interval and is accurate to plus or minus 1.6 percentage points.
    “It’s very accurate to say that many people have love-hate relationships with some of their technology providers,” said Nuala O’Connor, the President of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet public policy group which has received funding from companies including Google, Amazon and Microsoft.
    “As technology moves forward, as new technologies are in use and in people’s lives, they should question ‘Is this a fair deal between me and the device?'”
    Fears about the expanding abilities of tech companies crystallized when Google acknowledged in 2010 that its fleet of StreetView cars, which criss-cross the globe taking panoramic photos for Google’s online mapping service, had inadvertently collected emails and other personal information transmitted over unencrypted home wireless networks.
    Yet many Americans remain ignorant of the extent to which Internet companies are trying to extend their reach.
    Google is one of the most aggressively ambitious, investing in the connected home through its $3.2 billion acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest. Google is also investing in self-driving cars, augmented-reality glasses, robots and drones.

    Almost a third of Americans say they know nothing about plans by Google and its rivals to get into real-world products such as phones, cars and appliances. Still, roughly two thirds of respondents are already worried about what Internet companies will do with the personal information they collect, or how securely they store the data.
    “We’re getting to a point in society where basically everything’s going to be tracked,” said Richard Armitage, a 46-year-old budget analyst in Colorado who participated in the survey. “They have access to so much data that they could use inappropriately in my opinion.”
    Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook had no immediate comment. Amazon and Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.
    But all have said protecting customers’ privacy is a top priority, or published strict policies restricting the use of personal data if needed. For instance, storing select data can make online searches and services more reliable.

    EMBRACING THE REAL WORLD
    Public sensitivity about privacy was heightened by revelations of U.S. surveillance activities by the National Security Agency, as leaked by former spy contractor Edward Snowden, said Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who recently wrote a paper about the legal and social implications of robotics.
    Those concerns will become even more pressing as Internet companies expand the scope of their activities, said Marc Rotenberg, director of EPIC, a privacy advocacy group.
    “The links between the online world and the offline world are growing tighter,” he said. “It’s no longer unplugging your laptop and walking away and rejoining the physical world, because the online world is now following you,” he said, citing examples like Google’s acquisition of home appliance maker Nest.
    Google has said it will not combine user data from Nest products with the data it collects about it users of its other online services, but some privacy advocates remain concerned.
    New wearable devices, like fitness bracelets and smartwatches that monitor heart rates and other biological information, will increasingly allow companies to collect biological data, said Jonathan Zittrain, the director of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
    “The whole can become more than a sum of parts,” when it comes to personal information, said Zittrain. “Little bits of innocuous data…can add up to very revealing, and sometimes intensely private, insights,” about people, he said.
    As Internet companies expand their scope of activities, they may not be able to count on the same level of public goodwill they enjoyed as smaller companies. Twenty-seven percent of the survey respondents said they did not think Google adhered to the “Don’t Be Evil” slogan that has long been its unofficial motto.
    Of the respondents to the survey, 42 percent said they had negative feelings about Internet companies developing drones which both Amazon and Facebook have said they are investigating, while 29 percent felt negatively about robots, which Google thrust to the forefront with its acquisition of Boston Dynamics.
    Only 13 percent of respondents indicated negative feelings about Internet companies offering home appliances however.
    “It happens to be that there’s a constellation of technologies that are next, that are new, that are transforming, and they are unsettling,” Calo said. (Editing by Edwin Chan)

  • Scientists Develop Health Trackers That Work Like Temporary Tattoos
    First there was the pedometer — simple in design and function, but it gets the job done. Then there were health trackers that you could either clip to your pocket (a la Fitbit) or wear on your wrist (a la Jawbone, Nike Fuelband, and so on and so forth).

    And now, the next stage in health tracking could come in the form of a temporary tattoo-like patch that sticks to the skin and sends health information to your phone without wires.

    Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University developed the health trackers, which are soft as skin and flexible but contain wires folded similar to origami, and compared their performance with EKG and EEG monitors. They found that the trackers worked just as well as the EKG and EEG monitors, and patients found them more comfortable. The findings are published in the journal Science.

    “When you measure motion on a wristwatch type device, your body is not very accurately or reliably coupled to the device,” study researcher John A. Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois, said in a statement. “Relative motion causes a lot of background noise. If you have these skin-mounted devices and an ability to locate them on multiple parts of the body, you can get a much deeper and richer set of information than would be possible with devices that are not well coupled with the skin. And that’s just the beginning of the rich range of accurate measurements relevant to physiological health that are possible when you are softly and intimately integrated onto the skin.”

    To see a demonstration of the patch, watch the video above.

  • The 'Social Currency' Final Four
    I travel around the country going to one social media conference after another, and I can confidently tell you that ‘cultivating long-term relationships’ is an increasingly trending topic in today’s social media discussions. Naturally, the question becomes how exactly can entities increase loyalty while attempting to build strong and meaningful relationships? Well, for starters, the industry is titled ‘social’ media for a reason, and should not be mistaken for ‘published’ media.

    Social advertising and publishing are great for awareness, but don’t do much for building loyalty. At the same time, from an engagement standpoint, the overwhelming majority of entities on social media are in mere reactive mode — addressing mentions as they come through. However, considering there’s an incredible amount of information about us available online, some of the best opportunities to engage are available before many of your targets even say a word.

    The phrase “humanizing the brand” has been exhausted in use, but although the words may have been over-spoken, marketers have failed to fully embrace the concept in full. As originally described in The Fortune 500 Social Currency Index, ‘Social Currency’ represents the value associated with a variety of subtle social touchpoints such as Follows, Favorites, Retweets and Lists that entities can ‘hand out’ to target individuals. In turn, this free form of currency can reap tremendous benefits from increasing perception, loyalty and ultimately impacting your bottom line.

    Most recently, I led a study on behalf of Insightpool reviewing the Universities selected to participate in the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and their usage of Social Currency.

    2014-04-04-InsightpoolTheFinalFourSocialCurrencyIndexInfographicQ12014.png

    After collecting all of the associated publicly available data, we whittled the original field of 68 participants down to the Social Currency Final Four:

    • The University of Cincinnati
    • San Diego State University
    • Virginia Commonwealth University
    • The University of Wisconsin

    Fittingly, Wisconsin made it to the official Final Four as well — as the popular basketball idiom goes, they must be firing on all cylinders.

    In general, The Final Four Social Currency Index was intended to deliver a deeper analysis on how Universities are leveraging Twitter and the wide array of touchpoints the platform facilitates. Follows, Favorites, Retweets, and Lists provide great opportunities for entities to engage with their top targets. In the University community, these targets could include prospective students, athletic recruits, existing students, alumni and more.

    As Wendy Clark, SVP at Coca Cola, puts it, “Be share-worthy in everything you do.” ‘Social Currency’ is an easy and inexpensive way to make somebody’s day — just look at some of the reactions that we included in this infographic:

    With the Final Four set to tip off tomorrow night, we’ll see if Wisconsin can translate their social media supremacy to the hardwood. Moving forward, it is my hope that every university (and any entity for that matter) fully embraces the notion of ‘Social Currency,’ and builds it into their social media strategy. It can only help.

  • Kids Do The Darndest Things … Like Hack Your Xbox
    Microsoft recently received a tip about a security problem uncovered by an unlikely source: a 5-year-old boy.

    Kristoffer Von Hassel, of California, had found a simple but clever way to hack into his father’s Xbox Live account. According to local news outlet ABC10, his parents said they noticed shortly after Christmas that he was playing games he wasn’t supposed to be playing on an account that he shouldn’t have been able to access.

    The ingenious tot was getting around his father’s account password by first typing in a wrong password, then typing only space keys and hitting enter when shown a password verification screen, allowing him into the account.

    When the pair brought the glitch to Microsoft’s attention, the company showed its appreciation by giving Von Hassel four games, $50 and a yearlong subscription to Xbox Live.

    “We’re always listening to our customers and thank them for bringing issues to our attention,” the company said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post. “We take security seriously at Xbox and fixed the issue as soon as we learned about it.”

    Techworm suggests that the hole in the system’s security may have been left over from developers and testers, who often create such shortcuts to save themselves time logging in and out. Microsoft seems to have accidentally left open this backdoor entryway when launching the system.

    Von Hassel missed out on the $10,000 bounty Microsoft pays hackers for finding security flaws in Windows software, but if he plays his cards right, his hacking skills might get him a job someday.

    Some tech companies are known to hire hackers who can break through security. Facebook, for example, in 2011 hired the hacker responsible for jailbreaking both the iPhone and Playstation 3.

  • How the Tech Industry Can Help Save the Climate
    Connecting people across continents. Delivering breaking news. Enabling government transparency. Facilitating social revolutions. Stopping global warming?

    The Internet is capable of doing so much, but perhaps the idea that it can help rescue the planet from runaway global warming comes as a surprise to you.

    Every time we post a Facebook status to our friends, watch the latest episode of our favorite show on Netflix, or tweet to our followers, that information is housed in giant data centers which require a lot of electricity. These data centers are a key part of the cloud, and a single one can require as much energy as a medium-sized city.

    If cloud computing were a country, it would rank sixth in the world on the basis of how much electricity it uses, and the amount of data shuttling around the world is expected to triple in the next few years as more and more people get connected.

    2014-04-04-KumiMacro3.jpg

    The Internet we love, and the companies that run it, are at a crossroads in terms of where their energy comes from. Many of these companies have already chosen the road to a green internet and a sustainable future. Facebook, Apple and Google have committed to 100 percent renewable energy, in response to users around the world who have asked them for a greener internet. Other fast-growing technology companies, like Salesforce, Rackspace and Box, have joined them in making the same commitment, proving that 100 percent renewable energy is 100 percent possible for any company with the will.

    By contrast some of the most popular online companies, including social media sites that we use every day like Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr, still power their platforms with fossil fuels and nuclear energy. The largest cloud company currently is Amazon Web Services, a division of Amazon.com, and hosts the data for some of the most popular online brands in the world. But unlike other major online brands like Google and Apple, Amazon is still primarily powering its digital empire with the dirty sources of energy that threaten our communities and our climate. Of course, Amazon doesn’t have to remain stuck in the energy sources of the 1800s. Energy sources like wind and solar made up for more than half of all the new electricity in the United States in 2012.

    Meanwhile digital pioneers are making our world greener, both online and offline. Apple is operating the largest privately owned solar installation in the U.S. at one of its data centers. Facebook pushed a U.S. power company to supply its data center with 100 percent wind energy. Google has pioneered the use of clean power purchases, buying wind energy to provide electricity for its services like Gmail and YouTube, as well as the rest of the power grid.

    If Amazon and others want to stay innovative and relevant, it’s high time they made the switch to the abundant, sustainable, renewable energy of today.

    Simply put, we need a greener online to preserve a greener offline.

    The Internet has helped move the world to more freedom, transparency and democracy. It’s only natural that it moves the world to a clean energy revolution that will last for generations to come. These companies can make that happen, but only if they hear from you.

    Join me in asking our favorite Internet companies to commit to 100 percent renewable energy for their data centers.

  • This Robotic Kangaroo Can REALLY Hop (VIDEO)
    Looking for a new pet? Have you considered a robotic kangaroo?

    As part of an ongoing program to study animals as models for new technologies, the German company Festo has created an experimental robot dubbed BionicKangaroo.

    With the help of elastic tendons and batteries that recharge on landing, the little guy can jump more than a foot high and about three feet forward. Hop up the page and check out the video above to see it in action.

    “With the BionicKangaroo we have precisely reproduced the most characteristic features of natural kangaroos: recuperating and storing energy, and then releasing it once more in the next bound,” Dr. Heinrich Frontzek, Festo’s head of corporate communication, told The Telegraph.

    The new “robo-roo” comes on the heels of other remarkable robotic animals unveiled by the company, including a robotic penguin, a flying bird, and jellyfish.

    Alas, these futuristic household pets are not available for sale to the public.

  • What will the Internet Look Like in 10 years? Elon University & Pew Internet Project Ask the Experts.
    Internet experts and highly engaged netizens participated in answering an eight-question survey fielded by Elon University and the Pew Internet Project from late November 2013 through early January 2014. One of the survey questions asked respondents to share their answer to the following query:

    Make your prediction about the role of the Internet in people’s lives in 2025 and the impact it will have on social, economic, and political processes. Good and/or bad, what do you expect to be the most significant overall impacts of our uses of the Internet on humanity between now and 2025?

    Among the key themes emerging from nearly 1,500 respondents’ answers were: The Internet will be invisibly interwoven in daily life…

  • BBC iPlayer shows online for 30 days
    The BBC Trust approves plans to extend the BBC iPlayer’s seven-day catch-up window to 30 days.
  • Happy 25th Birthday, Web! Here's What You've Taught Us
    The Internet just turned 25-years-old, a milestone in what’s arguably the most revolutionary invention of our time. From archaic dial-ups and angsty Myspace profiles, to viral YouTube videos and celebrity Twitter feeds, the last quarter century has been quite the ride. It is interesting, however, that billions of internet users visit countless websites each day, and very few of them understand how content arrives at their screens. As the internet celebrates this landmark age, I thought it would be interesting to review the fascinating history of its evolution.

    The Beginning

    In 1989, computer programmer and “father” of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, proposed the use of hypertext as a way of recording large amounts of data. He wanted to make this information accessible to a network of professionals, each of whom were in different locations. His idea was a success, and the web was born.

    The web — not yet worldwide — enjoyed a few quiet years of infancy because it was unavailable to the general public. This changed in the early 90s, when it became available to everyone — free of royalties. Web hosting emerged in 1991, and a meager 130 websites existed by 1993. The rest is history.

    How Exactly Does All This Happen?

    Every bit of data on the Internet is stored on servers. The client-server model emerged in the 90s, as the web grew into adolescence. This was essentially the landing space for shared information — the place where Berners-Lee imagined his network of individuals would store their information.

    Entire computers were dedicated to functioning as servers. As technology advanced, they were built with greater capacities and were designed to work more efficiently. There was eventually so much information shared via the Internet that telephone lines were required for users to stay connected. The era of telephone business signals and screechy log-ons had begun.

    The web lived as an ornery, rebellious teen at this point, and the system proved both expensive and inefficient. Connectivity was easily lost — not to mention time-consuming.

    The Rise of Hosting

    Web hosting companies began to emerge to help remedy these issues. Much like the name indicates, web hosts offer digital space for entities to store and share information. The host manages data organization, provides internet connectivity to the rest of the web, and monitors traffic. Popular host services eventually expanded; they also assisted with hardware and acted as Internet service providers, web designers, and technical assistance specialists.

    Over the years, web hosts have been called upon for assistance with marketing services and products, connecting socially, sharing news, networking with colleagues and distributing photos of kids and cats — among other things. As security vulnerabilities began to emerge, the hosting industry has undergone a rapid evolution to adjust, introducing new features, upgrades, and enhancements in a never-ending battle with would-be hackers.

    Other Advancements

    The turn of the century brought greater technological advancements, and Internet use became rampant. Email became a reliable, realistic means of communication. Technical knowledge was not required to navigate the web, either. Online advertising boomed; teens settled into MySpace; chatting took place via AOL instant messaging, and eCommerce changed the world of consumerism. These days, the “cloud” enables servers to work together and combine resources, making the entire system much more cost-effective and manageable.

    The web and its co-conspirator, the Internet, are still far from adulthood. Berners-Lee has identified a variety of areas that could be improved. Most of the world has yet to be connected to the Internet, for instance. There is some speculation regarding the use of drones to provide connectivity to remote areas of the world.

    Berners-Lee is even rallying for an Internet-related Bill of Rights. Because cyberspace has become an environment unto itself, Berners-Lee believes that human rights within it should be recognized and protected. Some of Berners-Lee’s ideas for online rights include affordable access for everyone, safety and security, freedom of expression and non-discrimination.

    Considering the astonishing magnitude with which the web has grown since its birth, it’s difficult to imagine how much it has yet to reveal. In all likelihood, web characteristics will continue to evolve in concurrence with the changing needs of consumers, the economy and even electronic devices themselves. It’s only a matter of time before smartphones, laptops and tablets are considered items of the past, and dynamic new Internet-connected tools emerge.

  • Wow Such Hamster Butt. Much Facebook. Amaze.
    Think you’re weird? Unless you’re into hamster butts, you’re apparently not weird enough. There’s a Facebook page in Japanese devoted to them.

    hamster butt facebook

    hamster butt facebook

    hamster butt facebook

    Are you still reading this? You are amazing. We love you almost as much as we love hamster butts.

    hamster butts facebook

    hamster butt facebook

    hamster butt facebook

    Hamster butt on an iPhone. Sending text messages with his butt on an iPhone.

    (h/t Kotaku)

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