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Showing posts from January, 2016

Passwords May Soon Be Passé

The early January theft of more than 320,000 user emails and passwords from cable giant Time Warner gave validation to the argument that simple password authentication is becoming less and less reliable. But the Time Warner Cable hack is far from being the worst case of identity theft. In fact, it’s quite insignificant compared to some of the more severe cases we’ve seen in the past year, including the five million user records stolen from toy manufacturer VTech, the 21 million federal employee records stolenfrom the Office of Personnel Management and the 80 million customer records stolen from healthcare service provider Anthem. When it comes to stealing identities, hackers seem to have an unlimited stash of weapons, including brute-force attacks, dictionary attacks, phishing, social engineering, man-in-the-middle, key-loggers, password resets from recovery emails and wholesale theft of passwords from databases. And when hackers gain access to our credentials, they can virtually rui…

NASA Rover Designed To Last 90 Days Celebrates 12 Year Anniversary

This week NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover celebrated its 12 year anniversary on the red planet. What’s truly remarkable about this is the fact that the rover was only designed to operate for about 90 days. Due to helpful unforeseen surface conditions and few creative software changes, NASA has been able to keep Opportunity alive and operational to this day. After a six-and-a-half month journey from Earth, Opportunity entered the Martian atmosphere and used a parachute, retrorockets, and a cocoon of airbags to land safely on the surface back in January of 2004.
One of the reasons NASA believed the rover would only function properly for 90 Martian days was because of the extreme level of dust on Mars. This dust was predicted to build up on Opportunity’s solar panels and eventually, the rover would be unable to receive power. Receiving solar power on Mars, which is 50 percent farther away from the Sun than Earth, was a known challenge even without the dust. NASA designed Opportunity’s sol…

The App Ecosystem’s New Status Quo

Americans spent more time using smartphone and tablet applications in 2014 than they did mobile and desktop web combined. With nearly four billion smartphones projected to be in use by 2020, the platform shift to mobile is well underway. The smartphone supply chain has already become a central and unifying aspect of the tech industry. For the first time, there exists a ubiquitous technology that connects us all to a central ecosystem, and apps form a huge part of this. The bar is constantly rising for mobile, and if we accept the “mobilization” of the future as a given, then what we are seeing is only just the very beginning. Paradigm shift in payment models Many people still view apps as unsophisticated software with simple, one-dimensional functionality. This perception, however, is going to change. With the widespread adoption of mobile devices and the continued improvement of the hardware layer, alongside the creation of a robust app economy, it has become possible for us to acce…

StatMuse Picks Up $10M For Its AI-Based, Graphic Search Engine For Sports Statistics

The business of sport revolves around stats — from those who use them to improve performance, through to those who look at them for fun, or for more financial ends. Now a startup that helps make it easier for regular people to dig into and visualise sports stats has picked up some funding to grow. StatMuse, a startup out of San Francisco that currently lets you search for basketball facts and statistics through ordinary “natural” language requests, has picked up a $10 million round of funding. The Series A comes from the Walt Disney Company and TechStars (StatMuse was in a 2015 cohort in the Disney/TechStars Accelerator), along with Allen & Company, Greycroft Partners, Promus Ventures, Haas Portman, Deep Fork Capital, and Bee Partners. The round also included some notable names from the sports world: former NBA commissioner David Stern and United Talent Agency also chipped in. The Disney involvement is strategic: after launching its public beta in the autumn of 2015, StatMuse sig…

16 Raspberry Pi Zero Cluster On Single Board

A Japanese startup company called Idein is developing a Raspberry Pi module called Actbulbfor applications using computational sensing and data analysis. Also Read: How to Build a Cheap Super Computer 16 Raspberry Pi Zero boards can be plugged in this board. And 32 micro USB ports for power and data, two for each Raspberry Pi Zero board. 16 USB type A ports16 Ethernet interfaces. According to CEO & founder of Idein, Koichi Nakamura, said that,”We are making a sensing device that uses Raspberry Pi compute module. So we need many Pi’s for the development and tests. Since we will use Pi’s GPU for image processing, deep learning, etc.” “We need real Pis but not just Linux machines. Another reason. It can be used for flashing eMMCs of our devices via USB ports when we have to do that by ourselves.” Also Read: Things You Can Do With Raspberry Pi At present the boards are not available for sale. The company is making more, but they will only sell one per customer for now due to high demand…

Oculus “Quill” Turns VR Painting Into Performance Art

Art doesn’t have to be an end product. Thanks to Oculus’ new internal creation tool, Quill, illustrators can draw in virtual reality and let audiences see their creations come to life stroke by stroke around them. Quill works much like Tilt Brush, the VR painting app Google acquired. Using Oculus’ Touch controllers and motion cameras, Quill users can select different brushes and colors, swing their hands through the air, and each flourish appears instantly within the 3D canvas. Oculus has no plans to make Quill available to the public like Tilt Brush or its own sculpting tool Medium, at least not yet, and is reserving it for its own illustrators. Oculus Story Studio built Quill to make its new VR short film Dear Angelica, where hazy watercolor drawings let a daughter explore the fantastical memories of her movie star mother. Oculus announced the film’s production at Sundance 2015 and it will be released later this year, but it’s now showing off a few scenes. Dear Angelica lets you wat…

SoftBank Plans To Open A Store Staffed (Almost) Entirely By Pepper, Its Humanoid Robot

SoftBank announced today that it will launch an app store to create a software ecosystem for Pepper, its humanoid robot. Perhaps more intriguingly, the company, one of Japan’s largest telecom and Internet firms, also revealed plans for a phone store staffed mainly by Peppers. The Japan Times reports that the store will be open from March 28 to April 3 in Tokyo and be run by five to six Peppers. The robot fleet will greet shoppers, demonstrate cellphones, and help them make purchases. Unfortunately for people who want to enjoy the novelty of completely robotic staff, human staffers will also be present in order to check customers’ IDs before they sign a phone contract. The enterprise version of Pepper launched last fall and is currently used by 500 companies in Japan, including Nestle and Mizuho Bank. About 200 firms will develop software for the company’s “RobotApp Market for Biz,” which is set to launch on Feb. 22 to let clients download apps directly to their Peppers. Four retail lo…

Workato Chat Bot Brings Enterprise Workflow Into Slack

As we head into 2016, enterprise chat applications like Slack are suddenly a hot commodity, and if you’re inside chat a good portion of the day the argument goes, you should be able to access other work without leaving the chat client. This is exactly what Workato’s newly announced chat bot, Workbot, is designed to do. Chat bots are small programs that integrate with a chat platform and provide some advanced type of functionality in a fairly easy fashion. The new Workbot-chat bot enables users to access and control over 100 enterprise applications such as a Salesforce CRM record, Quickbooks accounting information or Zendesk customer service interactions directly inside of Slack. One of the primary issues with early Enterprise 2.0 tools was that they were just another application busy employees needed to pay attention to. The idea here is to give users customer information directly in the context of the discussion they may be having with a fellow employee in an integrated fashion (or …

New 3D Touch To The Timeline – Facebook

With the Facebook’s iOS app users will soon be able to press on links, profiles and more, in order to preview content without having to navigate away from their current spot using their 3D Touch feature, which is available in the latest Apple devices. The places where this can be used as follows : web links, profiles, Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, Facebook Events, photos, profile pictures, and cover photos. According to a Facebook spoke person said that, “We are excited to start rolling out support for 3D Touch in our iOS app so people can quickly and easily peek into a preview of anything they are interested in on Facebook, and pop into that content to see more,” This new 3D Touch takes advantage of the new hardware’s pressure-sensitive screen to allow users to hard-press on items to preview content and then optionally act on it. For instance, a slight press on messages in the new iPhones ‘pops’ up a preview of the message without the user having to open the message. Facebook is …

Google Working On Its Own Consumer VR Hardware, Latest Job Postings Suggest

Google appears to be doubling down on virtual reality as they look to begin building “multiple” consumer hardware devices, according to new VR job postings on their site. Google’s current consumer VR offerings are confined to its Google Cardboard program, which allows consumers to experience rudimentary virtual reality with a simple system involving cheap headsets attached to smartphones. Now it appears that Google is working on hardware devices that do more than just act as bare-bones viewers for smartphones. Google’s VR ambitions were just in the news last week when Clay Bavor, its VP for Produt Management, left his work on other Google products to exclusively focus on managing the company’s VR offerings. The new job postings,first discovered by RoadtoVR, give a variety of hints suggesting Google’s future VR plans. This posting (for a Hardware Engineering Technical Lead Manager, VR) points to the employee leading a team in building “multiple” consumer electronic devices while direc…

Glu Mobile To Invest Up To $7.5 Million In QuizUp, With Option To Acquire

QuizUp, the Icelandic company that put trivia in an app, has announced that it is receiving up to $7.5 million in funding from Glu Mobile, with an option to call to acquire. This comes in the wake of a partnership forged between NBC and QuizUp, announced in October, with the network looking to turn QuizUp content into a proper TV show played both in studio and at home through the app. The extra work calls for some extra cash, and Glu Mobile’s CEO and Chairman Niccolo de Masi explained that the option to acquire makes sense given QuizUp’s current monetization strategy. “Glu is looking to consolidate once our partnership proves out the monetization capability of the QuizUp audience and app,” said de Masi. “At the moment the company has yet to begin monetizing significantly and as such would not be accretive to acquire outright.” Though QuizUp has more than 31 million registered users, who have played more than 5 billion games on the platform, the company has yet to take off on the reve…