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— Wearable Electronics

"Like-A-Hug" concept makes Facebook warm and cuddly

By - October 8, 2012 1 Picture
The internet allows us to communicate more easily than ever, but however many Facebook friends you have, there’s no substitute for a real hug – or at least there wasn’t until recently. Like-A-Hug is a concept social media vest which reacts to Facebook "likes" and posts on your wall, inflating to give you a “hug” on every such interaction. Wearers of the vest can embrace themselves in order to cause another person sporting a Like-A-Hug vest to get a hug, too. Read More

The future of online user authentication is ... graphics cards?

The anonymity of the internet is both a blessing and a curse. Not only does it make it easy to pretend you’re someone else and live out a harmless fantasy online, it also makes it relatively easy for someone else to pretend they’re you and run up a hefty credit card bill or the like with nothing but a few key pieces of personally identifiable information. European researchers propose a more secure form of online user authentication that uses common computer hardware to identify specific users. Read More
— Science

Ants invented the internet?

By - August 31, 2012 2 Pictures
Ask who invented the Internet and you’ll spark off an argument with everyone championed from DARPA to Nikola Tesla. However, two Stanford scientists claim that the inventor may have had six legs, antennae and a taste for disrupting picnics. Professor of biology Deborah Gordon and professor of computer science Balaji Prabhakar say that red harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) use the same Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) in foraging that the internet uses to manage data transmissions – making a sort of “Anternet.” Read More
— Good Thinking

ToS;DR highlights the good and the bad of website terms of service

By - August 15, 2012 1 Picture
A new website, ToS;DR (Terms of Service; Didn't Read) aims to raise user awareness of website terms and conditions by comparing like-for-like criteria across a variety of web services. Each criterion is assessed and given a rating of good, mediocre or alert (i.e. bad). The criteria are then collectively assessed to come up with an overall score for each service, ranging from Class A (best) to Class E (worst). Read More
— Telecommunications

France's Minitel shutting down after 30 years

By - June 29, 2012 2 Pictures
After 30 years of service, France’s Minitel information service is shutting down for good. Launched in 1982 by the French state telephone company Poste, Téléphone et Télécommunications (PTT), which later became France Télécom, it was France’s answer to the World Wide Web before the Web was even created. However, despite remarkable initial success, it proved unable to compete with the modern internet and on June 30, 2012 it will be switched off. Read More

Two more UK internet service providers block The Pirate Bay

Another milestone in the ongoing effort by UK lawmakers to restrict access to The Pirate Bay was reached on Friday, as British internet service providers Be Broadband and parent company O2 joined counterparts Sky Broadband, Virgin Media and Everything Everywhere in blocking access to the controversial file sharing website. Read More
— Telecommunications

First 802.11ac routers emerge promising faster WiFi at greater range

By - May 13, 2012 2 Pictures
With wireless home networks becoming increasingly crowded as more and more mobile devices appear under our roofs jostling for bandwidth, many will be pleased to see the upcoming 802.11ac WiFi standard stepping out from the planning meetings and laboratories and into the real world. Both Netgear and Belkin have announced plans to release dual-band routers supporting the new 5G WiFi standard that will boast speeds of up to 1,300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 450 Mbps on 2.4 GHz. Read More

LazyTruth hunts down urban myths in your inbox

Pretty much everyone has that one wide-eyed person in their lives who is constantly forwarding them emails about things like airplanes that disperse mind-control drugs, maniacs who hide under parked cars, and major corporations that are run by Satanists. While you may think about setting these people straight – and thereby helping to quell the online flood of malarkey – it can be a hassle finding the proper information to send them. That’s where the LazyTruth inbox widget comes in. Read More
— Music

“Game-powered machine learning” could make searching for music online easier

By - May 7, 2012 2 Pictures
When it comes to online music, we really are spoilt for choice. So spoilt it can make uncovering new music to match our tastes or finding a track when we don’t know the artist or song title, a hit and miss affair. Engineers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), have developed a new approach called “game-powered machine learning” that they claim is just as accurate as other methods, but is cheaper and has the potential to let users search every song on the web using a text search. Read More
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