In an effort to make a push for its recently unveiled Samsung NX1, the South Korean company is now recruiting celebrities to help along the way. As part of this, Samsung has revealed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known for roles in movies like 10 Things I hate About You and The Dark Knight Rises, is set to shoot a 4K UHD film entirely on the NX1 flagship camera. The production, titled In a City, will see Gordon-Levitt travel across the world to explore the daily lives of people and capture what makes every place unique. Samsung's partnership with the actor is also going to include working with the community from hitRECord, a production company founded by Gordon-Levitt which focuses on creating different categories of online videos. In a City is expected to be released on December 11th, and it'll be available to watch on the Samsung Camera Facebook and YouTube pages.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Apple said Wednesday it will stop supporting the encryption standard Secure Sockets Layer 3.0 for its push notifications service in response to a vulnerability identified earlier this month in the aging protocol. Apple announced on its developer site that it will switch on October 29 from SSL 3.0...
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Posted by Augustine at 3:28 PM
Security firm warning over DarkComet Remote Access Trojan, although campaign is not 'widespread' yet If you've got an email in your inbox from the World Health Organization offering "information and prevention" tips about Ebola, don't click on its attachment – you're likely to end up with a nasty...
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Posted by Augustine at 3:27 PM
Telefónica has launched a modular internet of things platform called Thinking Things, which consists of stackable modules for a variety of purposes. There will be many sensors, actuator modules and so on to come, but the first manifestation of the new platform is an "ambient kit pack" that includ...
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Posted by Augustine at 3:23 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
If you're anything like us, Google's Gmail has an iron grip on your life. Google's looking to create a whole new iron grip with a new app from its Gmail team, and it's called "Inbox." What is it? That's a good question -- Google's made a demo slash advertisement video that we've dropped below. As far as we can tell, Inbox is a combination of Google Now and your Gmail inbox -- a "smart" inbox, if you will. It combines alike pieces of email (bank invoices, for example), highlights related information (like Google Now alerting you to flight changes, traffic, etc.) and keeps track of your life (it'll give you reminders, among other heads ups). Is this the end of Gmail? We seriously doubt it, but it is Google's latest foray into simplifying email. Head below for more!
In introducing the service, Google's Sundar Pinchai called out the frustration of an overflowing email inbox. Inbox is Google's attempt to make the inbox more approachable and organized without much user effort. " For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do-rather than helping us get those things done," Pinchai wrote. "If this all sounds familiar, then Inbox is for you. Or more accurately, Inbox works for you."
As seen below in GIF form, the app both shows prioritized events and emails you've received. Think of it as the lovechild of Cards and Gmail. Whether it'll replace our standard Gmail app is another question altogether; trading the flexibility of Gmail for a more streamlined inbox is appealing, but also Gmail has an iron grip on our lives. In case that wasn't clear the first time.
The app's still in the invite stage, and Google says the first round of invites are already out in the world. Should your current Gmail (or whatever service) inbox be without an invite, Google's set up an email address for you to ask to get in on the action. It's only running on a Nexus 6 in the image, but Google says it runs on Android phones with Jellybean or better (4.1+) and iPhones running iOS 7 or better. There's a web-client as well, but it's a Chrome-exclusive.
[Image credit: Google]
Posted by Augustine at 2:35 PM
At its mobile developer conference in San Francisco, Twitter just announced Digits, a brand new way to login to apps with just your phone number. Instead of going through the tedious process of signing up with an email and password or using one of many different social logins, all you need is to enter in your number. When you do, you'll get a confirmation code via SMS. Enter that in as well, and away you go. Digits is not based on your Twitter account at all; it's actually an entirely new product that developers can incorporate into their apps. It's a key part of Fabric, Twitter's new mobile development kit that it's rolling out today. Digits is available for iOS, Android and the web, and it's available in 216 countries in 28 languages from day one.
Aside from Digits, Fabric includes several other tools that Twitter hopes developers will incorporate into their existing apps, such as Crashlytics, the crash reporting tool that the company bought last year. Especially of note is that developers can now not only embed tweets in their apps, but also the ability to compose and post tweets inside of them without having to launch the dedicated Twitter app.
Posted by Augustine at 2:35 PM
I've seen the future and it is math less and it is awesome and it is this PhotoMath app that solves math problems just by pointing your phone's camera at them. It's like a cross between a text reading camera, a supremely sophisticated calculator and well, the future. Point and solve and never do math again.
Posted by Augustine at 6:22 AM
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Neural activity maps frequently present an incomplete picture of how a brain works; you can measure electrical activity, stimulate it or visualize the anatomy, but you can't do all three. DARPA and the University of Wisconsin might just pull off that seemingly impossible feat, however. They recently built a hybrid brain sensor that combines both electrical and optical techniques to present a vivid picture of what's happening inside the mind. The sensor is primarily made of ultra-thin graphene (just four atoms thick) that both conducts electricity and lets light through. By putting this device on top of neural tissue, you can simultaneously create brain activity and monitor virtually every aspect of it. Graphene is safe for your body, too, so you shouldn't face the same risks you see with metal alloys.
It's still early days for the project, so you won't be getting graphene-based implants in the near future. However, a finished version might do wonders for medicine. Doctors and scientists could see tighter correlations between activity in certain parts of the brain and related behavior, which could help them study and hopefully treat diseases that previously remained a mystery.
[Image credit: Science Photo Library - SCIEPRO/Getty Images]
Filed under: Science
Posted by Augustine at 4:54 PM
As popular cities have become overrun with inhabitants, many are forced to give up the basic comfort of space to live in a cultural hub.
But Muji, the Japanese retail company known for it's minimalistic products, has designed a spacious home specifically for urban dwellers living in tight spaces — by building up. The home employs many strategies for making a space looking bigger than it actually is: there are no internal walls or doors, a large open stairwell runs through the entire house, and it has plenty of bright windows that let in natural sunlight. The prefabricated ‘Vertical House’ prototype is located in the notoriously overcrowded Tokyo. It occupies a small plot of land that is spread across three stories. The home has a “split-level system” where all functions and programs are placed side-by-side, so that the space has a more connected environment. The home has a simplistic style, and is minimally dec! orated w ith Muji products.
It will be available in Japan in seven different variations for about 20 million yen ($180,116), according to Quartz.
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Posted by Augustine at 4:36 PM
HP is preparing to release a new computer with a built-in projector and 3-D scanner, according to Re/code's Arik Hesseldahl.
The computer will be called Sprout, and HP is reportedly planning to unveil it at an event on Oct. 29. Based on Re/code's description, it doesn't seem like the Sprout will look like an ordinary laptop or desktop computer.
The Sprout is said to include three primary parts: a flat touch-enabled surface, a large flat screen display similar to HP's line of Pavilion desktops, and an overhead assembly that includes a 3D scanner and projector. It doesn't sound like the Sprout has a traditional keyboard.
The projector would display images on the flat surface, which users would be able to interact with. Specifically, Re/code says users will be able to manipulate whatever is being shown on the touch surface with either their hands or a stylus. This includes resizing elements of the user interface and moving things around.
What's potentially more interesting, however, is the Sprout's 3D scanner. Once and object is scanned, users will be able to place the 3D rendering of that object in whatever he or she is working on.
The Sprout will run on Windows at launch, but could eventually support Google's Chrome OS, Re/code's sources said. HP is likely to market the Sprout to businesses, but it may also try to target high-end consumers that may need it for professional purposes.
We expect to learn more about the Sprout next week. The news also comes after HP announced that it will be splitting its printer and personal computer segment from its corporate hardware and services business.
Posted by Augustine at 4:35 PM
In light of recent, highly publicized hacks on Target, Home Depot, and celebrity iCloud accounts, people are wondering if hackers are evolving more quickly than our cybersecurity methods.
Not so, says cybersecurity expert Michael Ricotta of Blue Fountain Media Development. We're just bad at using the security measures already at our disposal to protect our data, he says.
"Many of the hacks that are happening are the result of being too careless," Ricotta told Business Insider. "Hacking is not something that is done by some guy wearing a cloaked hoodie hiding in some corner who knows more than anyone else in the world … There are people who have an understanding of how computers work and are able to find where people who don't know how computers work are improperly handling their own system."
One way people make themselves vulnerable is by having a weak password. Some hacks are group-force attacks that use publicly available data to hit servers with different password possibilities. People who use obvious passwords are "basically leaving the key to their front door under the doormat," Ricotta said.
Hacks that target debit and credit card data look for other vulnerabilities.
In some cases, big companies provide access to their systems to third-party contractors who might not have the proper security systems in place. This could compromise customer data from that company.
That's what happened in the case of the Target hack. The retailer traced the hack back to network credentials stolen! from a third-party refrigeration, heating, and air conditioning subcontractor, according to security blogger Brian Krebs at KrebsonSecurity.com.
Once the Target hackers had the company's network credentials, they could access Target's payment system and upload software that would lift card information.
"[Companies] are providing access to their systems to unskilled employees who may not have the proper protocols and the proper security systems to actually secure their own environment," Ricotta said.
Sometimes, putting the right security protocols into place involves restructuring the way people do things within a company or organization. That could be costly and take time.
"The protocols are there. Are they being followed, are they sufficient? I would say they're sufficient and I would say they're not being followed," Ricotta said. "The difficulty is how do we straddle that dynamic and decide which way to go."
What people and companies should take from these recent high-profile hacks is that everyone should be diligent in protecting their personal information and the information of their customers.
"You have to very much take into account the same sort of mantra, which is I am responsible for myself and the information I provide the world," Ricotta said. "We really have become a society where dating is done online, your groceries are done online, everything is done online. You're releasing more information out there and there are more vulnerabilities."
Posted by Augustine at 11:29 AM
Google Is Leading A $542 Million Investment In Magic Leap, A Crazy-Sounding Stealth Startup Working On A New Way To See The World
Google has led a $542 million investment in Magic Leap, a technology startup based in Florida, the company announced Tuesday morning.
Magic Leap is a stealth company that describes itself as being a "developer of novel human computing interfaces and software." It just closed a $50 million-plus Series A round in February. The company is working on a new kind of augmented reality — which it calls cinematic reality — that it believes will provide a more realistic 3D experience than anything else that's out there today.
Google, not Google Ventures, nor Google Capital, is making this investment for Google. As such, Sundar Pichai, who runs Android, is joining the board of Magic Leap. Other investors in the round include Andreessen Horowitz, chip-maker Qualcomm, movie company Legendary Pictures, Ev Williams' investment group Obvious, KKR, Kleiner Perkins, and Paul Allen's Vulcan.
Not much is known about Magic Leap. The company is being intentionally vague about what it is building. However, the loose idea is that instead of creating an immersive virtual world separate from the real world, as with the Rift headset from Oculus VR (which Facebook bought for $2 billion earlier this year), Magic Leap will weave "3-D light sculptures" into the world around us, using a combination of proprietary hardware, software, and firmware.
Thomas Tull, CEO of Legendary, tells Fast Company: "It's so badass you can't believe it. It's one of the few things I've ever experienced in my life where I came out and said, 'This changes everything. This is a marker of the future.'"
You can get an idea of the company's vision on its website, where you see a video of a little elephant that looks as if it's hovering in someone's hands:
The company's founder and CEO Rony Abovitz told the South Florida Business Journal that he wanted Magic Leap's technology to be disassociated with current ideas of what virtual reality or augmented reality was like.
"It is a new way for humans to interact with computers," he says.
Magic Leap's technology will project high-resolution images into the world in front of you, most likely through a pair of glasses, according to details in a recent New York Times article. Abovitz says he envisions Magic Leap's technology being used in people's day-to-day lives, not just for gaming.
Based on its website, the company also has educational ambitions:
"The space program had Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, and we're in our Apollo phase," Abovitz tells Fast Company. "We know that space travel is possible. We're in the middl! e of ful l-blown product development and commercialization."
Abovitz says there's no specific date for it to come out, but: "It's very near term. But although we're trying to deliver on certain date, we're also trying to achieve an, 'Oh my god, I feel like I'm a kid again' experience."
Magic Leap has a partnership with Weta Workshop, the special effects team behind movies like "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit." The two companies are working on multiple projects together, and a Magic Leap team is even embedded with Weta in New Zealand. Weta's founder, Richard Taylor, is on Magic Leap's board. You can feel the pull toward the mystical on Magic Leap's site:
One of the things Weta and Magic Leap worked on together was an app called "Hour Blue," which let users interact with an augmented reality "speakbot." Abovitz has since called that app "more of a red herring" in regard to what the company is working on now.
Before Abovitz founded Magic Leap, he cofounded a surgical robotics company called MAKO that sold for $1.65 billion. He describes that company now as "like bringing 'Star Wars' droids to life to help people in medicine."
Magic Leap has a bunch of patents, including one for a tactile glove for human-computer interaction, an ultra-high-resolution scanning fiber display, a 3-D display that uses a "wave guide reflector array projector," a system that lets one or more people interact with the same augmented reality environments, and a head-mounted optical system (diagrammed below):
One of Magic Leap's central concepts is that its technology will feel more natural than anything else on the market. No bulky goggles here.
"What is remarkable is how well the human body and mind respond when technology respects biology, so truly magical experiences become possible," Abovitz says.
The company is currently based in Florida, and Abovitz says he plans to remain there despite the pulls of Silicon V! alley or Boston, eventually growing the business into an Apple-size company. Since it launched in 2011, Magic Leap has grown to over 100 employees, including well-known tech marketer Brian Wallace, who said that seeing Magic Leap's product in action was "one of the most profound moments I've ever had."
We are a good home for wizards, ninjas, jedis, art punks, rebels, humans, robots, vegans, dreamweavers, genius misfits and pro-Gandalfians— Magic Leap, Inc. (@magicleap) February 6, 2014
Another hire, games developer Graeme Devine, told Polygon that Magic Leap's technology blew him away when he first saw it:
"I went to the offices and I saw something that I did not think was possible. I like to think I know technology and I am not easily impressed. I worked at Apple, but when I saw what they were doing, I just said, immediately, 'How can I help?'"
Abovitz seems like a fascinating guy. In 2013, he gave a strange performance called The Synthesis of Imagination at TEDxSarasota:
In an eerie performance, Abovitz dressed as an astronaut and shared the stage with two furry creatures.
"A few awkward steps for me, a magic leap for mankind," he intones. ! < /p>
The creatures, called "Shaggles," were created by Travis Boatright Design, and based off the company's comic series, called "Magic Leapers":
Watch the whole performance here:
Posted by Augustine at 9:05 AM