Monday, August 29, 2011

Philip Zimbardo: The demise of guys?

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo asks, "Why are boys struggling?" He shares some stats (lower graduation rates, greater worries about intimacy and relationships) and suggests a few reasons.

Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure

Why do we like an original painting better than a forgery? Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that human beings are essentialists -- that our beliefs about the history of an object change how we experience it, not simply as an illusion, but as a deep feature of what pleasure (and pain) is.

Joshua Walters: On being just crazy enough

Comedian Joshua Walters, who's bipolar, walks the line between mental illness and mental "skillness." In this funny, thought-provoking talk, he asks: What's the right balance between medicating craziness away and riding the manic edge of creativity and drive?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Geoengineering Climate Control: Who Gets the Keys?

The title of the video is "Geoengineering Climate Control: Who Gets the Keys?" IMHO: This is a really good question? Personally I think any kind of global geoengineering is very dangerous.

About the video: Jamais Cascio, writer and co-founder of, examines various risks involved in the pursuit of mass-scale geoengineering as a response to global warming. Along with unknown scientific considerations, Cascio warns that geoengineering could be fertile ground for international political conflict.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Turning toys into cheap, effective medical gear

CNET reports: Jose Gomez-Marquez is like the MacGyver of medical devices, hacking toys and turning them into gadgets that can be used to diagnose conditions such as diabetes and dengue fever. By taking everyday items like Legos and bike pumps and turning them into replacements for expensive medical devices, he's attempting to save lives on the cheap.
"Most of the devices that get donated to developing countries fail because they were not designed to be used in these environments," Gomez-Marquez said during a visit to CNET this week to show some of his creations. "We need to make the Land Rover version of medical devices for these countries. Right now we are sending the Ferrari versions and they fail." (read the rest of the article)

AES proved vulnerable by Microsoft researchers

ComputerWorld reports: Researchers from Microsoft and Belgian Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have discovered a way to break the widely used Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the encryption algorithm used to secure most all online transactions and wireless communications.

Their attack can recover an AES secret key from three to five times faster than previously thought possible, reported the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, a research university based in Belgium. (read the rest of the article)

LEGO 3D Milling Machine - "3D Printer"

This model was developed by Arthur Sacek for ZOOM Education for Life.

Fora.TV: Flash Mobs

Learn about and see demos of:
  • Kickstarter
    • Helps you get starter funding for small and medium size projects
  • Makerbot
    • An inexpensive printer that allows you print 3D objects
  • Onlive
    • Play Windows-based video games, use 3D animation tools, and more from any device.
Watch the full program.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Food Fashion - Clothes Made Out of Food reports: "Fans of food and fashion will be intrigued by these outrageous clothes, accessories, and shoes made out of food! If you like all things outrageous, check out the weirdest restaurants in the world." (Read the rest of the article.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Internet Backup Solutions

Below is an excerpt from an article on another one of my sites called The Jason Chronicles: "Backing up data on your computer has always been critical. A long time ago floppies were used to backup your data, later it was CDs and then DVDs. Today there is no affordable external removable media capable of keeping up with modern multi-terabyte drives." (read the rest of the article to learn about the various services that are available and the Pro and Cons of using them).

State Of The Internet 2011

Online Schools reports: "The Internet is a strange, huge beast. It is getting bigger, faster and more mobile each day. Ferocious social networks fight each other to be on top and gain more of our attention and personal information. An entire economy is generated from our browsing habits. This is the face of the Internet now."

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Face Recognition Software, Social Media Sites Increase Privacy Risks, Says New Carnegie Mellon Study (Press Release)

In a Carnegie Mellon press release entitled "Face Recognition Software, Social Media Sites Increase Privacy Risks, Says New Carnegie Mellon Study". Researchers demonstrated the ability for computers to find public information on the web about people using facial recognition software.

I think the press release over-hypes the ability of this technology, because this software should not be able to find anymore information then someone doing the same search for that person by using their name.

The main advantage that a computer will have is its ability process a lot of information quickly, but unless a computer is programmed on how to interpreted the data properly it would still need a human to make sense of the data.

The idea of maybe pointing your phone's camera at someone face to identify them would be a cool technology. Although, it could be creepy at the same time.

You can already play with some of the basic concepts of this type of technology with your iPhone or Android smartphone using Google's picture search technology.

Press Release
PITTSBURGH—It is possible to identify strangers and gain their personal information — perhaps even their social security numbers — by using face recognition software and social media profiles, according to a new study by Carnegie Mellon University's Alessandro Acquisti and his research team. The results of the study will be presented Aug. 4 at Black Hat, a security conference in Las Vegas.

"A person's face is the veritable link between her offline and online identities," said Acquisti, associate professor of information technology and public policy at the Heinz College and a Carnegie Mellon CyLab researcher. "When we share tagged photos of ourselves online, it becomes possible for others to link our face to our names in situations where we would normally expect anonymity."

Acquisti said his research team, which included CMU postdoctoral fellows Ralph Gross and Fred Stutzman, combined three technologies — an off-the-shelf face recognizer, cloud computing and publicly available information from social network sites — to identify individuals online and offline in the physical world. Since these technologies are also accessible by end-users, the results foreshadow a future when we all may be recognizable on the street — not just by friends or government agencies using sophisticated devices, but by anyone with a smartphone and Internet connection.

The team ran three experiments and developed one mobile phone application.

In one experiment, Acquisti's team identified individuals on a popular online dating site where members protect their privacy through pseudonyms. In a second experiment, they identified students walking on campus — based on their profile photos on Facebook. In a third experiment, the research team predicted personal interests and, in some cases, even the Social Security numbers of the students, beginning with only a photo of their faces.

Carnegie Mellon researchers also built a smartphone application to demonstrate the ability of making the same sensitive inferences in real-time. In an example of "augmented reality," the application uses offline and online data to overlay personal and private information over the target's face on the device's screen.

"The seamless merging of online and offline data that face recognition and social media make possible raises the issue of what privacy will mean in an augmented reality world," Acquisti said.

Cloud computing will continue to improve performance times at cheaper prices, and online people-tagging and face recognition software will continue to provide more means of identification.

"Ultimately, all this access is going to force us to reconsider our notions of privacy," Acquisti said. "It may also affect how we interact with each other. Through natural evolution, human beings have evolved mechanisms to assign and manage trust in face-to-face interactions. Will we rely on our instincts or on our devices, when mobile phones can predict personal and sensitive information about a person?"

Unlimited Detail Real-Time Rendering Technology Preview 2011

I saw the the initial update for the "Unlimited Detail Technology" last year and found it pretty impressive. After their first update, the company Euclideon seem to disappeared from the news for a year. Now they're offering a one year update on how they're doing.

Euclideon claims that their Unlimited Detail Technology (which they say 'floating atoms' to draw object) can offer up 100,000x better graphics display quality over traditional polygon based graphic engines.

Know Your Rights!

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has published a document called Know Your Rights!.  This web page explains what you should know about your personal rights as a citizen when it comes to the electronic privacy of your information, and who is allowed to view it.

'Lab-on-a-chip' offers new hope in disease detection

telegraph Reports: "A cheap, highly portable blood test has proven as accurate as expensive hospital-based analyses in detecting HIV, syphilis and other infectious diseases, according to a study released on Sunday."

(Read the rest of the article)