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Mobile Technology News, August 29, 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.

  • OneDrive for iOS Update Brings Photo Viewer

    Microsoft continues to show they are serious about being a mobile and cloud centric company through their nearly universally supported OneDrive service.  The OneDrive for iOS app is no exception and yesterday received a healthy update that brings a new photo viewer to the application for your iPhone and iPad.  Now you can have a timeline-like view of all the photos that you have stored in OncDrive in one, easy-to-navigate page. OneDrive for iOS (Universal App) – Free – Download Now The new photo view is very similar to the Collections view that you will find in Photos in iOS,

    The post OneDrive for iOS Update Brings Photo Viewer appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Has the humble password had its day?
    What new techs can reliably establish our identities?
  • Google Building Fleet Of Delivery Drones
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google’s secretive research laboratory is trying to build a fleet of drones designed to bypass earthbound traffic so packages can be delivered to people more quickly.

    The ambitious program announced Thursday escalates Google’s technological arms race with rival Amazon.com Inc., which also is experimenting with self-flying vehicles to carry merchandise bought by customers of its online store. Amazon is mounting its own challenges to Google in online video, digital advertising and mobile computing in a battle that also involves Apple Inc.

    Google Inc. calls its foray into drones “Project Wing.”

    Although Google expects it to take several more years before its fleet of drones is fully operational, the company says test flights in Australia delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats and water to two farmers after traveling a distance of roughly one kilometer, or just over a half mile, two weeks ago. Google’s video of the test flight, set to the strains of the 1969 song “Spirit In The Sky,” can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRTNvWcx9Oo .

    Besides perfecting their aerial technology, Google and Amazon still need to gain government approval to fly commercial drones in many countries, including the U.S. Amazon last month asked the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to expand its drone testing. The FAA currently allows hobbyists and model aircraft makers to fly drones, but commercial use is mostly banned.

    Project Wing is the latest venture to emerge from Google’s “X” lab, which has also been working on self-driving cars as well as other far-flung innovations that company CEO Larry Page likens to “moonshots” that push the technological envelope. The lab’s other handiwork includes Internet-connected eyewear called Google Glass, Internet-beaming balloons called Project Loon and a high-tech contact lens that monitors glucose levels in diabetics.

    Google says it is striving to improve society through the X’s lab’s research, but the Glass device has faced criticism from privacy watchdogs leery of the product’s ability to secretly record video and take pictures. Investors also have periodically expressed frustration with the amount of money that Google has been pouring into the X lab without any guarantee the products will ever pay off.

    A team led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology aeronautics professor Nick Roy already has been working on Project Wing for two years, according to Google. The Mountain View, California, company didn’t disclose how much the project has cost.

    Drones clearly could help Google expand an existing service that delivers goods purchased online on the day that they were ordered. Google so far is offering the same-day delivery service by automobiles in parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York.

    “Self-flying vehicles could open up entirely new approaches to moving goods, including options that are cheaper, faster, less wasteful and more environmentally sensitive than what’s possible today,” Google said in a pamphlet outlining Project Wing.

    Google, though, seems to see its drones as something more than another step in e-commerce delivery. The aerial vehicles also could make it easier for people to share certain items, such as a power drill, that they may only need periodically and carry emergency supplies to areas damaged by earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural catastrophes, according to Google’s Project Wing pamphlet.

  • Live Stream Captures SWAT Team Charging Into Gamer's Office (VIDEO)
    When YouTuber Jordan Mathewson began his live stream Wednesday, playing a first person-shooter video game, he wasn’t expecting to end his session on the floor with real guns trained on him.

    Mathewson and the rest of his gaming collective apparently fell victim to a prank known as “swatting,” where hoaxers force an armed police response by calling in a false report on rival gamers.

    Mathewson was about two hours into a game of “Counter-Strike” at the collective’s office in Littleton, Colorado, when he heard a commotion outside his door. A SWAT team was searching the place, and they were about to charge into his office. As seen in the video, he quickly picked up on what was happening.

    “Uh oh, this isn’t good,” Mathewson said, pausing the game. “They’re clearing rooms. What in the world? I think we’re getting swatted.”

    Things got intense fast. The SWAT team stormed into his room, guns at the ready, shouting at him to get on the ground. When Mathewson did so, slowly, with the movements of someone who still didn’t quite believe what was happening.

    “Don’t you f—–g move,” another said.

    The Littleton Police Department later told media it had received a call regarding a hostage situation in the building. “The caller claimed to have shot two co-workers, held others hostage, and threatened to shoot them. He stated that if the officers entered he would shoot them as well,” the department’s statement said, according to local outlet ABC 7News.

    As Police Chief Doug Stephens told the outlet: “This is not a game. This is not an online game. We have real guns with real bullets and there’s a potential there for some tragedy.”

    Mathewson himself was eventually released by police.

    Dag nabbit that was dern sure an experience. I am all Ok though. Thanks for all the supportive tweets everyone

    — Kootra (@Kootra) August 27, 2014

    Twitter user @ScrewPain has claimed responsibility for the prank, though it’s not clear if the user was actually behind the swatting. In a followup story, ABC 7News said Littleton police brought “someone in for questioning in connection to the incident, but that person was released, pending a further investigation.”

    The incident captured on Mathewson’s live stream was re-uploaded by YouTube user Armund Johansen. Check out that video, above.

  • Are You Driving Your Data? Or Is Your Data Driving You?
    2014-08-28-candlemysteriosowithinformationtransformationquote.jpg

    In business, politics and philanthropy, being data-driven has become a point of pride.

    Leaders parade decision-making as rational and strategic because they “have the numbers” to support it. The tech revolution with its miraculous information-processing seems to support the idea of data as king.

    But any software engineer can tell you that information is completely dependent on context. Numbers are meaningless unless there’s a logical narrative frame to make sense of them.

    So is information the “king of kings” or just another useful servant?

    Think about the financial crisis of 2008. The information about mortgages being granted to people who, in all likelihood, could not pay them off was freely available well before the disaster. And the markets knew that financial institutions sold derivatives based on these unsustainable mortgages. But the prevailing story was about phenomenal growth in real estate. We all heard that story – we heard about the great amounts of money being made by people and companies who bought houses only to flip them. The information about the terrible risk involved only became useful once the narrative bubble burst along with the economic one.

    The wonderful Hans Christian Anderson story, The Emperor’s New Clothes, also captures the power of narrative over information. The naked king is only acknowledged as naked when a young boy, unaware of the fictional consensus, blurts out the obvious. Once the story is recast, perceived reality changes, and so does people’s behavior.

    Many businesses and philanthropies see big data as an oracle of understanding and analysis, yet the challenges big data seeks to address (the capture, curation, management and processing of vast amounts of information, Wikipedia) cannot be met without setting parameters. That means the technical wizardry for crunching the numbers depends on creating a narrative about what you might want to discover.

    Science, itself, starts with a hypothesis, a narrative guess at how cause and effect will play out. Scientists then design ways of testing their hypotheses. In this manner, they gather information in an active and critical way.

    We can, too. Even when we research a project at work or learn about something in our personal lives, we can make ourselves the director of a quest for understanding rather than a consumer of facts. We can ask questions as we learn. We can listen to our intuition when it tells us it smells a rat and then ask still more questions. We can grow as we discover. That’s when information becomes transformative.

    Organizations and people go looking for data to solve problems and aid decision-making. That’s good – even if we are just trying to locate the store that stocks local organic eggs from pastured chickens. Information becomes a tool, part of our life story.

    But I believe we should be wary of short-cuts. Already many of us look for data not to learn or to solve problems, but simply to support a conclusion we’ve already reached.

    This can save time in the short term. But it does not lead to transformation because it does not open our minds to other – and possibly dissonant – voices that can grow our approach.

    In a wonderful report on NPR’s TED Radio Hour, “Is Conflict Good for Progress?,” Margaret Heffernan explained her argument that contrasting information, ideas and interpretations can spur our best thinking:

    Openness alone can’t drive change… Open information is fantastic, an open network’s essential. But the truth won’t set us free till we develop the skills and the habit and the talent and the moral courage to use it.

    In other words, we become more creative and potent if we use information to diversify our thinking as well as to focus our actions. Imagine an organization regularly asking not only how it defines and assesses success, but if its gathering the kind – and variety – of information that can lead it to discovery and evolution.

    Imagine asking yourself: what information can I gather that would impact my ongoing happiness by challenging me to change in healthy ways?

    The supply side of information economy is multifarious beyond comprehension. And the data blossoms through a technical prowess that strikes me as magical. Yet, all the numbers and measurements matter little unless they are harnessed to an enlightened demand side of the exchange.

    Data depend on relevance for impact. We give numbers their meaning and their context by the stories we create. Transformation, human improvement, business and social innovation – these all rely on information leavened with an act of imagination.

    2014-08-28-candlestarquoteinformation.jpg

    Note: Quotes can be found in an extraordinary little book published by friends of mine, Maryellen Kelley and Dr. David Cumes: Messages from the Ancestors, Wisdom for the Way

  • Disney Seeks Drone Patents For Theme Park Entertainment
    Disney theme parks are known for going above and beyond when it comes to the attractions, characters and thrill rides that make for magical memories, and a new toy could soon be added to the Disney experience: drones.

    The entertainment giant recently applied for three drone patents, all for use in aerial light shows. Visitors could see giant illuminated characters above them in the air, or even see floating pixels, or “flixels,” replacing firework shows.

    Washington Post tech policy reporter Andrea Peterson stopped by HuffPost Live on Thursday to chat about the possibility of Disney employing this technology.

    “One of the things really important to think about is that these are three patent applications that were filed last week. Companies patent things that they don’t intend to roll out all the time,” Peterson told host Alyona Minkovski. “They’re a good way to lay claim to an idea, but they aren’t always practical to roll out in this specific time frame that you or I might think of anytime soon.”

    Catch the rest of the clip above, and watch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

    Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

  • Google trials drone deliveries
    Google reveals it has built and tested its own drones as part of a plan to make automated deliveries to remote homes as well as disaster-hit zones.
  • One Woman's Amazing Response To Sexism In The Tech Industry
    Brianna Wu regularly receives threatening emails, and she’s over it.

    Wu, the Head of Development at Giant Spacekat and host of the Isometric podcast on 5by5, recently wrote an incredible response to one sexist message that has us saying amen.

    I got a harassing email today, and decided to respond with this letter. Feel free to RT. pic.twitter.com/ut96HqxkCJ

    — Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) August 27, 2014

    Wu previously wrote about the daily harassment of women in the gaming industry in a July 22 piece for Polygon, revealing that she has been called terrible names, received rape threats, and was once threatened by someone who knew her home address.

    “I haven’t been out to my car at night by myself since January 2nd,” she wrote.

    Wu shared stories of other women who have been harassed similarly, concluding:

    If you are a woman working in the games industry, especially in a public way, you’re going to experience harassment. I imagine telling my 12-year-old self that fulfilling my dream of making games would lead to constant threats. Would she still do it? Would any woman?

    After Wu tweeted her response letter publicly on Tuesday, she continued to receive derogatory and threatening comments. She shared some of the negative feedback she was receiving on Twitter:

    @Spacekatgal women like you are the reason women get harassed at work. You are obviously stupid if you choose the path of more resistance

    — William (@wjphillips1985) August 28, 2014

    I would like to thank the hundreds of men who have written to inform me of my letter typo. I am deeply ashamed. Thank you for correcting me!

    — Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) August 27, 2014

    The way Wu and her contemporaries have been treated in their professional field is truly upsetting, but we love that Wu made her response public. Here’s hoping it will empower other women in a similar position to push back, too.

    The Huffington Post was unable to reach Wu for comment.

    [h/t BoingBoing]

  • The 'Kill Switch': A Win For Privacy Protection and Public Safety
    For an ever-growing number of us, our lives are in our smartphones.

    Whether we realize it or not, our phones contain large amounts of private information — everything from frequent flyer numbers to bank account passwords — that could be damaging if it fell into the wrong hands.

    California took an important step in protecting that private information, and cementing its reputation as a leader in technology consumer protection this week when Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 962. The bill by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) will require smartphones sold in California after July 1, 2015 to be equipped with technology that renders essential features of the devices inoperable if stolen.

    California is not only a leader in developing technology, it is also the largest market for wireless devices in the United States. A recent survey from the Public Policy Institute of California found 92% of Californians say they have a cell phone, and 58 percent of them have a smartphone — up from 39 percent in 2011.

    The requirement of a so-called kill switch that can be activated in the event that a phone is lost or stolen is an important, common sense protection in a world where most of us store much of our most important and private data on our mobile devices. Everything from contact lists to credit card and even Social Security numbers is put into millions of cell phones at one time or another.

    In a sample three-month period, Consumer Reports found 1.8 million mobile-phone owners used their phone to store their passwords to accounts and websites. And only about 20 percent of smartphone owners take the precaution of establishing a personal identification number or password on their phone.

    SB 962 will provide especially important protections for our children, who are among the most avid smartphone users and often do not take steps to protect their private information.

    Teens use smartphones to store troves of personally identifiable information. The numbers are staggering: According to a 2013 Pew Research survey 78% of teenagers have their own cell phone and more than two out of three (74%) access the Internet on a mobile device. More than one in 10 (12%) teens has “checked in” with their location from a mobile device, meaning that advertisers and others on their networks will know where they are. Among those teens who use social networking sites (80%), half (52%) have checked their sites from a mobile device, and 43% do their social networking from a mobile device most or half the time.

    The bill is also an important public safety protection, making cell phones less enticing to criminals at a time when cell phone theft is on the rise. That’s why it was supported by public safety leaders including Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.

    The new law requires that all mobile phones manufactured after July 1, 2015, and sold in California have anti-theft security features that would render stolen devices inoperable. The “kill switch” technology already exists so there will be no development burden on phone manufacturers or carriers. This bill simply requires it to be standard on all phones, and owners can opt out if they wish.

    Though the bill met some resistance from the cell-phone industry, California lawmakers should be commended for their wide, bipartisan support for the measure. By taking proactive steps to protect consumer and teen privacy, California is providing a roadmap for political leaders across the country to ensure that our private information remains private.

  • Digitizing Democracy: Shifting Power to the People

    It’s common knowledge that getting people to the polls during political primaries in America has become something of a fool’s errand, so headlines like “Major spending on elections met with total apathy by voters” and “Americans hate Congress. They will totally teach it a lesson by not voting” aren’t surprising.

    The numbers supporting such assertions — in this case, research conducted by the Center for the Study of the American Electorate — paint a bleak picture of the current political climate in the United States. As of last month, turnout in 15 of the 25 states that held statewide primaries dipped to historic lows and turnout in both the Democratic and Republican primaries combined was 54 percent lower than age-eligible citizens voting in 1966. More of the same was predicted for primaries during the last few weeks with officials expecting around 25 percent turnout in Connecticut and 15 percent in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Alaska and Wyoming officials reported slightly higher numbers for their primaries last week with 31.5 percent and 46 percent, respectively.

    To pile on, the Pew Research Center’s forecast for November is equally discouraging. Pew’s polling found that 45 percent of voters are less enthusiastic about voting this fall than in previous midterm elections. This percentage is as high as it has been since 1998 (the midterm elections held during President Bill Clinton’s second term on the heels of his tryst with Monica Lewinsky). Against this landscape of voter apathy and dissolution, you might assume that the system is fundamentally broken; that at its most basic level, the great experiment Alexis de Tocqueville once spoke of simply can’t scale in a country that has grown to more than 500,000 elected officials and 180 million registered voters.

    But the reality is that voters today remain deeply invested in issues; they are aware of and care about not only large national topics — like immigration, minimum wage and climate change — but also a host of matters closer to home. And this is represented in how they vote: according to the same Pew study, 34 percent of voters say national issues will make the biggest difference in their vote for Congress but 28 percent additionally name local and state issues as a priority.

    So if voters care about myriad issues, and see elections as an effective forum in which they can act upon those issues, why have they stopped racing to the ballot box? Why, taken as a whole, are people opting out of the system that is designed to serve them?

    I believe the answer is technology, or more specifically, the failure of technology to improve the democratic process. We live in an age when technology has pushed us to expect more from, and be pleasantly surprised by, every other aspect of our lives — how we socialize, how we work, how we consume news and content, how we travel, how we eat and how we shop. We live in an age of constant surprise and delight and yet, as our expectations in these arenas continue to soar, we constantly expect less from and are disappointed by the democratic process and those we elect to represent us.

    Almost every other aspect of our lives has become more social, more transparent, more simple and, ultimately, more gratifying. Democracy has become none of these. At a time when our personal and professional lives have become a largely social and shared experience, why do we vote alone, skip town hall meetings, cancel memberships to community organizations and talk less about politics with those around us? Why have sites like KAYAK transformed the travel industry by making pricing and scheduling totally transparent, but campaign finance complexity makes it next to impossible to know which corporations are funding which politicians? And even though technology has reduced shopping for any good anywhere at anytime to the click of a single button (literally, thanks to Amazon), it has done nothing to help the millions of unregistered voters who need to line up for hours and wade through horribly opaque identification laws to even get on the voter rolls.

    What this all boils down to is power (which is probably unsurprising, given we are talking about politics). Technology is making people feel increasingly powerful, capable of satisfying their needs, wants and whims from their tiny pocket computers, but politics is making us feel increasingly disempowered –disenfranchised, alone, confused and disappointed. Perhaps the right question isn’t why are 75 percent of an electorate not voting; it’s why are 25 percent of people bothering to vote?

    But it’s not all doom and gloom. If technology teaches us one thing, it is how quickly entire industries, entrenched behaviors and power centers can topple. Less than four years ago neither Uber nor Snapchat existed, and now they have become verbs. Solid progress has already been made by organizations like POPVOX, Code for America, the Sunlight Foundation and others, and I think new mobile technologies, networked approaches and connected communities can build on that momentum, and do for democracy what has been done elsewhere. In the not so distant future, citizens will not only see that others share their passions, but will see how together they can make a difference and continue the great experiment that is democracy.

  • V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Inventor Of Email, Fires Back At Critics Who Question His Discovery
    V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai was 14 years old when he developed the technology we now know as email. But despite having received “official recognition” of his creation in the former of a government-issued patent, some still question whether he was the veritable founder.

    Ayyadurai’s former colleague Robert Field explained the discrepancy and defended Ayyadurai in an upcoming blog on The Huffington Post. According to Field, “multi-billion dollar defense company” Raytheon BBN Technologies generated “their entire brand … based on claims of having ‘invented email,'” then unleashed a PR campaign to “discredit email’s origins” as well as Shiva’s claim to having invented it.

    Ayyadurai explained in a HuffPost Live interview on Thursday that he thinks these allegations stem from people who are both economically and racially prejudiced.

    “The reality is this: in 1978, there was a 14-year-old boy and he was the first to create electronic office system. He called it email, a term that had never been used before, and then he went and got official recognition by the U.S. government,” he told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, referring to himself.

    Ayyadurai said his modest background prevented him from getting the recognition he deserved.

    “After that took place, you have a sense of disbelief among people that comes from not so much the technology issue, but there’s a lot of economic issues associated here,” he continued. “[The discovery] wasn’t done at MIT; it wasn’t done at the military; it wasn’t done at a big institution. It was done in Newark, NJ, one of the poorest cities in the United States. It was done by a dark-skinned immigrant kid, 14 years old.”

    The creation of email falls under the pretext of the “American dream,” Ayyadurai explained, and he feels that those who challenge him as the inventor are afraid of upward mobility and change.

    “The narrative there is what changes and shocks certain people who want to control the narrative that innovation can only take place under their bastions,” he said. “The truth is that the American dream is really about [the fact that] innovation can take place anytime, by anybody.”


    Visit HuffPost’s ongoing series about the history of email here.

    Watch more of Shiva Ayyadurai’s interview in honor of the 30th anniversary of email here.

    Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

  • 6 Smartphone Features of the Future
    2014-08-15-shutterstock_128983076.jpg

    By Anneke Steenkamp

    With the new iPhone release date set for September 9th, the world is anxiously awaiting the latest in mobile development. We all have our own visions and definitions of what an ideal smartphone should look like — some people crave more storage space, while others yearn for more virtual controls or limitless storage. Instead of dreaming about the future, let’s take a look at some of the latest innovations.

    Bigger is Better

    If you take a look at the mobile developments of the past year, you will see a trend in screen size and display features. The latest smartphones all seem to showcase bigger screens such as the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S5, and Sony Xperia Z2.

    Even the newest iPhone is rumored to have two versions of the iPhone 6: a o4.7 inch phone and a larger 5.5 inch phone. According to  Android Police, Google may also be working on a larger display for its smartphone, logging in at a whopping 5.9 inches hence the hybrid concept of a phablet.

    Battery Life Immortality

    If you own a smartphone, you know that daunting ‘battery-low’ sound all too well. How many times have you found yourself frantically searching for a charger at a friend’s house or experienced a dead battery while using Google Maps to get to a meeting?

    Undoubtedly, one of the biggest problems with smartphones is their short battery life.

    Luckily, there seem to be many manufacturers looking to solve this energy-problem. Samsung aimed at improving this feature with their latest Samsung S5 by making use of the Ultra Power Saving Mode, a feature that extends standby time for up to 24 hours with just 10% battery.

    Another solution for increasing your phone’s the battery-life is Wysips, a product that turns your phone into a solar panel. Simply apply the thin layer of crystal on your watch, tablet, or smartphone to allow your device to convert sunlight into energy. It’s not visible on the outside of the phone, and it starts charging as soon as it’s exposed to artificial or natural light. At this year’s CES they also announced that Wysips is capable of Light Fidelity Data Transmissions  — a method of transmission data is sent and received via light waves.

    The Rise of Modular Smartphones

    Modular smartphones refer to phones constructed in a similar way to a puzzle. The phone consists of separate pieces that can selectively combined in order to create a smartphone as we know them today.

    The concept behind a modular smartphone  is that it helps reduce e-Waste. Instead of having to replace your phone because it is outdated, you can just replace certain parts within your existing  device to upgrade it.

    Think of it like a high tech legos. Plus, modular smartphone owners  only have to use the features that are relevant to them. For example, if you don’t want a fingerprint scanner or a top range camera, you don’t have to pay for that particular component. It will be cheaper to replace specific parts of a phone rather than buying a new phone and when certain parts break or become outdated.

    2014-08-15-shutterstock_170072084.jpg

    Project Ara is Google’s first attempt at creating a modular smartphone. We can just speculate that modular cellphones will become one of the big game changers in the mobile industry, especially if other manufacturers start jumping on-board.

    Smartphone Transformers

    Technology transforms and grows with its users and many users want smartphone usage to be simplified. The Asus Transformer Book V is a laptop, smartphone and tablet in one, that acts as a three in one device with modes switching between Android and Windows platforms. Switch between operating your device on a Android or Windows OS.

    This transformational phenomenon is most definitely not the most aesthetically appealing product to (soon) be launched on the market, but it allows you to use the product as a laptop, tablet and smartphone because of its 3-in-1 design.

    What you can get excited about is more compatibility between platforms and a possible prettier-version of a transforming smartphone/laptop/tablet. All in all, the smartphone might just turn into the PC of the future.

    You Can Hear Me Now!

    If you are a smartphone owner, chances are that you’ve been frustrated with poor signal at one point or another. Wouldn’t it be such a relief to know that you are able to make contact with the outside world even though you don’t have signal? The GoTenna is a product powered by a lithium-ion battery that connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. It’s a small radio transceiver that transmits on a very low frequency with a distance of about 50 miles apart.  If you get lost while hiking, you can transmit a message to your fellow GoTenna users to get in touch similarly as you would with a walkie-talkie when there is no possibility of smartphone signal.

    For about $300, the GoTenna is definitely not in everyone’s budget. At this point in time it won’t be as accessible to the majority of smartphone users, but surely in the near future we will see a cheaper version -maybe even built into a phone.

    Print Your Own Smartphone

    If you are into tech news, you’ve most probably realized the tremendous growth in 3D printing possibilities. The ‘future’ of 3D printing is ‘now’ and people are printing anything you can imagine. So, why not a smartphone?

    Forget the imagine of a useless plastic ‘Lego-like’ phone,  Nokia has already released  a CAD file for users to print out the Nokia Lumia 820 casing.

    Imagine a time, in the not too distant future,  when all cellphone parts are available online. You will be able pick and choose the parts, patterns, and colors that you want in a device. Owning a 3D printer is currently pricey, but before we know it we might all boast with one in our 3D printed homes.

    Based on the past decade’s tremendous growth in the mobile industry, we should expect big things in the next ten years. From being able to build your own phone, print your own parts 4 in 1 phablet and everlasting batteries, we cannot wait to see what the future holds. What do you want the smartphones of the future to look like?

     

  • Executive Director Of DIY Girls Luz Rivas Is Bringing Technology To Thousands Of Latinas
    Luz Rivas graduated from MIT as one of the very few women of Hispanic descent, but now she’s taking the reins to provide other Latinas with experiences in technology.

    Rivas, who is the founder and executive director of DIY Girls, is breaking real boundaries in the arena of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), fields that have historically been dominated by men. While women represent nearly half of the entire workforce, they only represent about a quarter of workers in STEM fields.

    In an interview with HuffPost Live, she shared her experience as a female minority student in a predominantly male institution.

    “When I entered MIT a third of the student were women, so there were very few women, and in my major it was less than 20 percent,” she told host Nancy Redd. “So once I got to classes in my major, there was very few of us. In a section there would maybe be two or three of us in a room of thirty.”

    She explained that with the support of her fellow underrepresented students, she was able to successfully complete her program. Now she’s paying it forward with her own organization.

    “Our plans for the next five years is to serve 3,000 girls in the Los Angeles area and to do that we need to build a strong and sustainable organization,” she said. “One area I’ve been exploring is how to develop this into a social enterprise, so that as a non-profit, we’re not just relying on individual donations, but we’re earning our own revenue [with] workshops or engineering classes at schools.”

    Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

    Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

  • The Coolest Networking App You've Never Heard Of
    There are many, varied, and well-known advantages to networking. But let’s be honest: sometimes it can be a real pain in the a**.

    There should be an app for that.

    Turns out there is. It’s called Coffee, and check this out: It’s LinkedIn meets Tinder.

    I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself from getting your mind blown.

    Yup, it’s one of those ideas that once you hear about, you can’t believe you hadn’t yet. Why didn’t I think of that? It launched in early July of this year, and has had several wins thus far:

    • A startup hired an intern they matched with on Coffee
    • Several students at NYU connected, and are now working on a startup together
    • Another student met a freelance UI/UX Designer, with whom she’s working to design her own app
    • In the coolest meta-move that could possibly have happened, the Coffee team itself connected with an investor through the app

    There are three distinct things that make it useful:

    1. It makes networking not suck

    I usually think of networking as a chore. It’s something I have to ‘do,’ whether seeking out a specific networking event or socializing at one. I always feel like a tool both asking and answering that dreaded question: “So, what do you do?”

    As someone who writes about Millennials (and being one myself), I can also attest to the fact that I live on my phone. It’s the first thing I check when I wake up and the last thing I check at night. So a networking app is baller — I can ‘network’ on my time: while walking to the subway, in line at Starbucks, in an Uber on the way to a meeting, while I’m waiting for my lunch, while I’m watching Netflix, etc. I get to choose when to do it, and who to do it with (#twss). And talk about a dream app for introverts; they don’t even have to leave their house.

    Finally, the format is familiar. As of July 15, 2014, Tinder had 13 million users, 85 percent of whom are 18-34. I mean that app gets around. Whether you’re on Tinder or have friends on it, you know how it works. And the only difference between Tinder and Coffee is that a Coffee date has a different, ahem, ending.

    Seriously, though, the utility of something like Coffee is bringing networking into our lives in a way that actually works for us. Making new professional contacts and/or chatting in realtime with new LinkedIn connections while I wait for my Jamba Juice? #powermove

    2. It forces you to get clear on your professional goals
    If there’s one thing I’m always on my friends about professionally, it’s to identify exactly what they’re looking for professionally and what they have to offer. (I’m also on them about doing this for their personal lives, but that’s a whole different article).

    It’s much easier to activate your network when you’re specific. Consider which of these are more engaging:

    • “Yeah, I’m looking for a job…” vs.
    • “I went to school for graphic design and I’m looking for a fun, dynamic startup where I can be a killer designer and do UI stuff.”

    Something like Coffee forces you to do way more of the latter and way less of the former. You have a limited number of characters to describe what you’re looking for, so there’s no time to mess around. You’ve got to be clear on who you are and who you want to connect with professionally.

    I like that like I like a really good cappuccino (get it? get it?).

    3. It helps employers, too
    In addition to being useful to young professionals, things like Coffee are also useful for employers and others looking to connect with young professionals. As one M&A associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers said, “Coffee dismantles the geographic obstacle that too often exists with in-person networking, and cleverly lowers the level of social awkwardness often associated with reaching out randomly to an industry professional on LinkedIn. It’s as efficient as it is intuitive, and as a result, a potential goldmine for recruiters.” (my emphasis).

    And check this out — he actually helped someone from Coffee land an interview: “Soon after I set my personal tagline to read something like, “Management consultant in a growing M&A Advisory practice,” and made a few swipes left and right, I was matched with a number of young, like-minded professionals. To my surprise, most were relatively forward, and began to chat with me about the industry, my background, and opportunities for employment at my firm. In the end, I was able to direct a very qualified candidate, to the appropriate hiring manager at my firm, after only a few days.”

    ———

    Our own team uses Coffee for a variety of purposes. We’re OpiaTalk, a tech startup in the eCommerce space, and we help retailers make the most of their organic traffic. Our social commerce widget turns browsers into buyers, hyper-converting traffic and driving opted-in leads at 4-5x industry average. Our CEO, Tom, uses Coffee as a recruiting tool. It’s an easy way to connect with those who are proactive enough to address him and see what we’re up to. As Director of Communications, I personally use it to connect with other writers and reporters in the tech space, extending my network and also seeing how I can add value to others’ professional goals. And, of course, like any high-powered startup, we’re always happy to connect with investors, of which there are several on Coffee.

    According to ABC News, 80 percent of jobs today are landed through networking. At any age, but especially when you’re young, one of the most important things you can do is take control of your career. Whether you’re still a student, current employed, or looking for a job, networking is one of the most important things (if not the most important) you can do to advance yourself professionally.

    The only danger I see with Coffee is falling into the same trap as Tinder: forgetting about it and/or not following up with contacts. Just like in any other professional setting, if you say you’re going to do something on a networking app (send along a resume, explore someone’s product, email details about your company), you’ve got to follow through.

    For those wise enough to do so, though, Coffee can be a powerful tool. In my opinion the smartest networkers will use it to transition to an in-person meeting, for which there is and will likely never be a substitute.

    After that, who knows? The possibilities are as endless as the swirls in my — you guessed it — coffee.

    Coffee is available in the app store as Coffeetheapp.

  • 'Massive structure' in place at Flint Center ahead of Apple event
    A “massive structure” is being constructed on the campus of the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, the site of Apple’s September 9 press event, witnesses say. The structure is encased in a white barricade, and appears to be about three stories tall. “Scads” of security staff are reportedly protecting it, and administrators will only say that they “are not at liberty to discuss that [structure] due to client wishes.”



  • Why You Should Worry About The Cyber Attack On JPMorgan Chase
    So many companies have been hacked in the past year that news of another major data breach has become almost routine.

    Yet, there may be new reasons to be concerned about JPMorgan Chase announcing Thursday that it is investigating a possible cyberattack.

    The attack, which appears to be a coordinated one against multiple banks, is a sign that hackers have found a way to breach perhaps the most protected computer systems in the American economy.

    While numerous retailers and grocery stores have been attacked by hackers over the past year, experts say the computer security at those places was relatively porous. Successful attacks against banks, however, are unusual because the financial sector has perhaps the strongest security of any industry, said Jacob Olcott, a cybersecurity expert at Good Harbor Security Risk Management.

    “The fact that even these companies can experience a successful attack should definitely raise eyebrows because they spend the most money and have the most sophisticated defenses,” Olcott said.

    JPMorgan said Thursday that it is working with law enforcement to investigate a possible cyberattack against its network. The bank said it is trying to determine how much data was stolen and has not seen any “unusual fraud activity.”

    A JPMorgan spokeswoman said the bank will reach out to any affected customers and encouraged them to contact the bank if they detect suspicious activity on their accounts. Customers won’t be held liable for fraud related to the attack.

    The FBI and Secret Service are also investigating the attacks.

    “Companies of our size unfortunately experience cyberattacks nearly every day,” JPMorgan spokeswoman Trish Wexler said in a statement. “We have multiple layers of defense to counteract any threats and constantly monitor fraud levels.”

    Many details about the attack remain unclear, including the origin of the hackers, their motives, which other banks were involved, and when the breach happened.

    Security experts said the attack could have serious consequences depending on what information was taken. While banks typically reimburse customers for fraud, the hackers could use access to banks’ computer systems to take out loans in customers’ names, commit other kinds of identity theft, or worse, manipulate financial data inside the banks’ computers, said Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer at Trend Micro, a computer security firm.

    “The average person should be very concerned,” he said.

    He added: “The question is, did they just steal data or did they also manipulate data? If you alter data, you are changing the value of money. It could undermine the integrity of the institution.”

    The hackers appear to have stolen gigabytes of data, including customer credit and savings account information, from JPMorgan and at least four other banks in a coordinated attack, according to The New York Times. Hackers also took sensitive information from employee computers, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news.

    At least one of the banks that was attacked believes the hackers were sponsored by the Russian government, and the FBI is investigating whether the attack was in retaliation for U.S.-imposed sanctions on Russia, according to Bloomberg News.

    Russian cybercriminals are considered to be the most sophisticated hackers in the world, even more skilled than Chinese hackers, experts say. While Chinese hackers often try to steal intellectual property from U.S. companies, Russian hackers frequently target banks and are motivated mostly by financial gain, experts say.

    If Russian hackers are retaliating against U.S. sanctions, “it’s a sign of an escalation of geopolitical tension that will directly impact the average American by attacking their finances,” Kellermann said.

    JPMorgan recently said it plans to spend $250 million on cybersecurity this year. But despite spending all that money, the bank may have been undone by the negligence of a single employee. Hackers appear to have found their way into JPMorgan’s network by hacking an employee’s personal computer, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person close to the investigation.

  • Miranda July's New App Will Turn The World Into A Miranda July Film
    Nobody explores the space between intimacy and technology quite like Miranda July.

    The performance artist, writer and filmmaker continually investigates the shapes of interconnectedness in the digital age, through films like “Me and You and Everyone We Know” and art initiatives like “We Think Alone,” in which July’s famous friends forwarded their intimate emails to your inbox.

    Now July has created an app that will blur the line between digital and personal interaction, and it’s called “Somebody.” Basically, instead of texting your friend, lover or desired text recipient, your message will be sent to a “Somebody” user in close proximity of the intended receiver, who will then deliver the message in person. You can attach personal touches to your text message, adding actions like “crying,” “begin air quotes,” “kiss,” or “scream.”

    So instead of reading your texts, the sendee will have the message personally acted out… by a stranger.

    bm

    “Texting is tacky. Calling is awkward. Email is old,” the “Somebody” statement explains. But this app is far more than a new mode of communication. It’s an improvised performance between two strangers, an unusual form of puppetry or even possession. “I see this as far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and conversation about the value of inefficiency and risk,” July explains.

    The app, created with support from Miu Miu, launched at the Venice Film Festival, along with an accompanying short film, which you can see below.

    Like most of July’s films, the short above blends the magical and the technologically enhanced, the banal and the uncanny, the awkward and the sentimental. But then again, this isn’t just a short film; it’s a trailer for the app. So, in a potential future where everyone has downloaded “Somebody,” we’ll pretty much be living in a Miranda July film. If that’s not incentive to download the app, we’re not sure what is.

    “Somebody” works best when there is a critical mass of users in the area, like a party, concert or office. July has already set up official “hotspots” for app users at museums around the country, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New Museum, Yerba Buena Center for The Arts, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where it will be part of the exhibition “Conversation Piece,” starting October 10.

    Learn more about “Somebody” here, and make sure to download the app from iTunes — yes, it’s free. Check out an earlier interview with July here.

    The MFA is hosting the lecture “Miranda July: The First Bad Man” with the artist on Wednesday and Thursday, April 15 and 16, 2015 –– part of the MFA’s Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Celebrity Lectures: Evenings with Creative Minds.

  • Apple officially announces September 9 press event [u]
    [Updated with Bloomberg confirmation of iWatch debut] As anticipated, Apple has formally announced a September 9 press event. Unlike past fall events, however, this one will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, rather than the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. It will begin at 10AM Pacific time, or 1PM Eastern.



  • Will We See The iWatch on 9.9.2014?

    In case you missed it somehow, Apple has sent out the invitations for the next big Apple event.  September 9, 2014, 9 September 2014 or 9.9.2014.  However you want to put it, this could very well be one of the single biggest launch events Apple has had in a long time – perhaps since the original iPhone.  Why?  Two reasons. First, Apple hasn’t had a major product release since October.  That’s a long, long time.  Given that Samsung is seemingly coming out with a new Android device every-other week, Apple’s once a year cycle is making these events bigger and

    The post Will We See The iWatch on 9.9.2014? appeared first on AlliOSNews.

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