Frank W. Abagnale Tells The Amazing Tale Of His 'Catch Me If You Can' Life

Frank W. Abagnale Tells The Amazing Tale Of His 'Catch Me If You Can' Life

Frank W. Abagnale, the bestselling author and subject of the film Catch Me If You Can, shared his story at Clarkson University's 2016 Alumni Reunion Weekend.

A renowned cybersecurity and fraud prevention expert, Abagnale is one of the world's most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents. For more than 40 years he has worked with, advised and consulted with hundreds of financial institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world.

Abagnale's blend of knowledge and expertise began more than 45 years ago when he was known as one of the world's most famous confidence men. His bestselling autobiography, Catch Me If You Can, was adapted into the 2002 Academy Award-nominated film, in which Abagnale was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio. A Broadway musical of the same name also won a Tony Award in 2011.

Apprehended by the French police when he was 21 years old, he served time in the French, Swedish and U.S. prison systems. After five years, he was released on the condition that he would help the federal government -- without remuneration -- by teaching and assisting federal law enforcement agencies.

Abagnale has now been associated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for more than four decades. More than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and law enforcement agencies use his fraud prevention programs. In 1998, he was selected as a distinguished member of Pinnacle 400 by CNN Financial News -- a select group of 400 people chosen on the basis of great accomplishment and success in their fields.

In 2004, Abagnale was selected as the spokesperson for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the National Cyber Security Alliance. He has also written numerous articles and books, including The Art of the Steal, The Real U Guide to Identity Theft and Stealing Your Life.


10 Things About Old TV Shows We Do Not Miss One Bit

10 Things About Old TV Shows We Do Not Miss One Bit

 

There are plenty of things about old TV shows we do not miss one bit, but then again we miss when TV wasn’t so addictive that it owned our entire being. Now we’ve forgotten how to read, do word puzzles and our muscles are so decayed we can barely go for a walk without straining something. But otherwise, TV is great, especially today.

10 Things About Old TV Shows We Do Not Miss One Bit

1. Missing Them Because…Well, Life

We’re not claiming to have had a life at any time, but it was pretty annoying having to block out part of your week to sit down and watch your show. If you missed a line, there was no rewind. If there was a school assignment, you had to miss it altogether. There was no going back, at least until reruns and box sets came into being.

2. Continuity Errors

If there’s one thing we don’t miss when watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reruns from the ’90s, it’s the motherfucking continuity errors. Why are there three Leonardos in some scenes, sometimes speaking to one another? The voices, the letters on the belt, the colors of the bandanas. It’s a wonder how we’re not more screwed up after that kind of childhood.

3. Studio Laughter

I don’t like being told when to do anything, let alone when to laugh. Mockumentaries like The Office and shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia were the start of ridding laugh tracks in American sitcoms. If you don’t know when to laugh nowadays, it means you have no sense of humor and should go back to watching The Big Bang Theory or The Cosby Show or whatever. Oh, wait.

4. Grain and Glitch

We think it goes without saying, if it’s not 4K, get the hell out of our face, unless of course, it’s The Wire or Seinfeld or something with Humphrey Bogart. Standard definition is worse than missing it altogether these days. Third world countries laugh at standard-def, don’t they?

5. Awkward Pauses During Laugh Tracks and After Scenes

How weird is it that we used to think it was normal to watch people make jokes, then pause before speaking while the laugh track ends? That, and it completely erodes comedy if you have to watch the characters make weird faces while they get the end-of-scene shot from a different camera angle.  That was a huge problem on Friends, along with the next thing we’re going to discuss.

6. Homophobia, Sexism and Racism 

It’s always fun to go back and watch your favorite shows to see if you interpret them in a different light, considering how much you have (clearly) evolved as a person, at least until that homophobic jab is thrown between two dudes or the sexist comment or ass slap happens in the workplace. Don’t you feel awkward having either not noticed it before or taking it as an acceptable norm now? I mean, nobody was Matt Lauer-ing anybody on TV, but still awkward. Is it too soon for that? Merry Christmas!

7. Commercials and Infomercials

What the hell is a commercial, you ask? Well, youngster, it was a break in the suspense of something we were enjoying to briefly return to the real world where we are constantly being sold ideas, usually not so subliminally, about products we don’t need. Sure we love Pringles and Brad Pitt, but how does that help me find out who the thief is in this episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

8. Scratched Box Set DVDs

You thought you’d come a long ways from not having access to reruns to having them anytime you wanted. Then you toss in your favorite DVD to find it skipping on your favorite scene where Kramer tells Jerry he finally got a job, although he isn’t asking to be paid, and that his briefcase is full of crackers. But you wouldn’t know that because you were too busy washing your disc with toothpaste in the toilet thinking that’s going to fix your life. Man, how the times have changed!

9. Getting Up to Change the Channel

Can you imagine if we had to go back to getting up to turn the knob? It’s a pain that kids today will never know. That, and…

10. Rabbit Ear Antennas

You had one friend hold them while you sat back and waited for the reception to be perfect, at least until they let go of them to join you. Good thing you had that friend who was just loser enough that he’d watch the entire episode, commercials and all, standing up by the TV while you enjoy yourself comfortably on the couch while you mother made you dinner. What a great time for you to be alive.

 


Google's Year In Search 2017

 

Google's Year In Search 2017

 Google looks back at some of the top searches of 2017, and reflects on the moments that shaped the year, in their annual "Year in Search" video.

 


15 REALLY COOL-SCIENCY-TECHY-SO-THATS-HOW-THEY-DO-THAT GIFS

15 REALLY COOL-SCIENCY-TECHY-SO-THATS-HOW-THEY-DO-THAT GIFS

A nanobot picks up a sperm and inseminates an egg with it.

An ant treadmill

An automated cow brush.

An incredible curtain ‘sniffer’.

Flexible microactuators turning a bolt.

Industrial watermelon peeler.

A machine laying down infinite circular track for a toy train.

A bridge bulding machine.

An automated paper aeroplane machine.

A self-levelling pool table on a cruise ship.

A plane lays down a smokescreen for ships in WWII.

Tickle Me Elmo with it’s fur removed.

Unripe tomatoes removed by an optical sorter.

Robotic hand plays the knife game.

Nothing to do with machines, but the cool effect when a tank car implodes due to improper venting.


MAIL DELIVERY COMPANY 'RED APRON' PROMISES YOU ONLY THE FRESHEST INGREDIENTS

MAIL DELIVERY COMPANY 'RED APRON' PROMISES YOU ONLY THE FRESHEST INGREDIENTS

Enjoy FRESH ingredients from Red Apron.


This List Of Things That Didn’t Exist On Christmas Day 10 Years Ago Is Mind-Blowing

This List Of Things That Didn’t Exist On Christmas Day 10 Years Ago Is Mind-Blowing -

 

To quote the iconic rapper Slick Rick ‘Hey Young World‘, with Christmas fast approaching it’s at times like this where I take a moment to reflect on life’s peculiar intricacies.

Keywords being; ‘reflect’ and ‘time’…. ‘Time’, in particular, is a daunting thing right? As cliche as it may sound, time really does fly by.

When you sit back and really think about how we a society have progressed – or regressed – it really does boggle the mind.

NBC

Think about it, 10 years ago we didn’t have access to apps like Angry Birds and Tinder to keep us occupied while we sit on the toilet.

Even something like WhatsApp, which is so ingrained in regards to how we communicate with each other that we couldn’t possibly imagine life without it, is barely 10 years old.

So in that respect, we’re about to blow your collective little minds and present to you…

A List Of Things That Did Not Exist On Christmas Day 10 Years Ago

Getty

Uber – Launched in 2009

Airbnb

Airbnb – Established in 2008

Instagram

Instagram – Launched in 2010

Getty

Snapchat – Launched in 2011

Pixabay

Bitcoin – Established in 2009

Getty

iPad – Launched in 2010

Facebook Messenger App – Launched 2011

Kickstarter

Kickstarter – Founded in 2009

Natalia Alexiou / Flickr

Pinterest – Launched in 2010

Jerry Gadiano/UNILAD

App Store – Released in 2008

Columbia Pictures

Angry Birds – First game released in 2009

Google Chrome – Released in 2008

PA Images

WhatsApp – Released in 2009

King

Candy Crush – Released in 2012

InfoWars

Alexa – Released in 2014

bigote_carlos/Twitter

Tinder – Released in 2012

Apple

Apple Watch – Introduced in 2015

Stabucks

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes – First brewed in 2015

Warner Bros

I don’t about you but that list has made me feel well old. Someone get me out of here, take me back to the 90s, please.


Web Users Amazed By Transparent Cloth Which Makes A Person Disappear

Web Users Amazed By Transparent Cloth Which Makes A Person Disappear -

Chinese web users are enthused over a new product that claimed to be a China-made ‘quantum of invisibility cloak’. Amateur video emerged on Weibo showing a man disappears in front of the camera as he holds a transparent-looking table cloth in front of him. The video has over 21.4 million views and shared by various news media as well as Chen Shiqu, deputy head of Criminal Investigation Department at Ministry of Public Security. Mr Chen shared the video on his Weibo account on December 4, stating the ‘invisibility cloak’ can be useful in military. ‘This is a quantum technology-made cloth that is made of transparent material, it can reflect the light wave around the person who wears it so it can make the person disappear.


The Future Of VR Porn IS ACTUALLY REALLY INTERESTING

 

The Future Of VR Porn IS ACTUALLY REALLY INTERESTING
Three microphones, two wide angle lenses, and one willing performer. Neha looks at how VR Porn is made, chats with industry leader Ela Darling, and attends a porn convention.

 


Man Can’t Decide Between His Wife And His ‘Dream Girl’

Man Can’t Decide Between His Wife And His ‘Dream Girl’

Despite 36 years of faithful marriage, engineer James from Atlanta cannot decide who he likes better; his wife or the dream girl he built.

James’ poor wife Tine must be livid as she listens to her husband describe his animatronic dolls as ‘the perfect girl’ on the Channel 4 documentary The Sex Robots Are Coming.

You’d think an engineer with James’ talent would put his skills to better use, like making a device to create renewable energy or building an environmentally friendly flying car, but I guess his time is better put to use making a life-like doll, named April, to compete with his 100% human wife.

If you've just done a double-take and asked yourself 'Did James give his doll a name?' you're right, he did name her. As well as having a name, April was built to have luxurious blonde hair, alluring blue eyes, a body to die for (made from silicone) and 'the perfect personality' - courtesy of an advanced CPU board. This is what Tine has to compete with.

However, despite April's manufactured beauty, she's still a robot and that should be enough for Tine to be the number one only girl in James' life. Alas, the man just can't seem to pick which he prefers more, his wife of 36 years or his 'dream girl' who - just in case you haven't been paying attention - happens to be a fully functioning pleasure doll.

Things get more complicated - and dare we say tense - as one segment has James describing April to the camera - and in front of his wife - as 'the perfect girl'.

Just look at the rage in those eyes, you can almost smell the potential divorce in the air. I guess a ménage à trois is out of the question?

Yet despite the animatronic harlot proving to be an obstacle in James and Tine's marriage she says James is 'a good husband' and they are still very much in love with each other. However when asked who he would pick between April and his wife he replied: 'I honestly don’t know'.

James began working on April when Tine moved away for nine months to look after her sick mum. When she returned she was greeted by legions of dolls, including 'HDIC' (Head Doll In Charge) April.

Upon meeting James' new female companions a 'shocked and surprised' Tine said:

I was a little uneasy about it but it got better as time went along.

If he really wanted to, he could have found somebody else – another live person.

But he didn’t do that. He was true to me like he always was.

James added:

I cannot lie. That first week was awkward, to put it mildly.

Most doll owners, although they go into it with the intention of: ‘It’s only a sex toy’, they find they actually do develop a relationship with that doll.


Introducing Google Blyat - Communism Will Spread Soon

Introducing Google Blyat - Communism Will Spread Soon

 

Its about to get real red up in here.


Amazing Robot Table Uses Mechanical Actuators to Move Soccer Balls Along Programmed Paths

Amazing Robot Table Uses Mechanical Actuators to Move Soccer Balls Along Programmed Paths

 

 

Intelligent Actuator put on quite the cutting-edge demonstration at the International Robot Exhibition 2017in Tokyo, Japan when they presented their amazing robot table made up of numerous mechanical actuators that move up and down and move four soccer balls along a series of programmed paths.

https://twitter.com/hirotakaster/status/936169902435590144


What is Water Hammer?

What is Water Hammer?

Hydraulic transients (also known as water hammer) can seem innocuous in a residential setting, but these spikes in pressure can cause major damage to large pipelines and industrial pipe networks. In this video, we briefly discuss how water hammer occurs and how engineers mitigate the effect.

 


Turning Gas Guzzlers Into Clean Cars

Turning Gas Guzzlers Into Clean Cars -

In Mexico City, more than 3.5 million cars navigate the streets, plazas and avenues of North America’s most populous urban area. That makes for a ton of exhaust, but luckily, there’s a solution to this environmental problem. Enter engineer/auto mechanic Alvaro de la Paz and computer scientist Hector Ruiz. Together, they’re transforming old gasoline-fueled automobiles into electric cars. Over the past decade, the pair has converted more than two dozen vehicles into zero-emissions automobiles. While that may seem like a small dent in an enormous cloud of exhaust, the pair hopes that their project will inspire younger generations to work for a brighter, cleaner future.


Amazing Footage Of Plasma In The World's Largest Stellarator Fusion Reactor

Amazing Footage Of Plasma In The World's Largest Stellarator Fusion Reactor -

 

The Wendelstein 7-X is an experimental stellarator fusion reactor in Germany. These clips show superheated plasma whirring through the reactor.


FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Scary Facts About Artificial Intelligence

FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Scary Facts About Artificial Intelligence

We are in the fourth industrial revolution, which is characterized by advances in robotics and self-driving car technology, the proliferation of smart home appliances, and more. At the forefront of all these is artificial intelligence (AI), which is the development of automated computer systems that could match or even surpass humans in intelligence.

AI is regarded as the next big thing—so big that future technologies will be dependent on it. But then, do we really know what we are getting ourselves into? Here are ten scary facts about artificial intelligence.

10.Your Self-Driving Car Might Be Programmed To Kill You


Let’s assume you’re driving down a road. Then, a group of children suddenly appear in front of your car. You hit the brakes, but they don’t work. Now, you have two options: The first is to run over the children and save your life. The second is to swerve into a nearby wall or bollard, thus saving the children but killing yourself. Which would you pick?

Most people agree they will swerve into the bollard and kill themselves.

Now imagine that your car is self-driving, and you’re the passenger. Would you still want it to swerve into the bollard and kill you? Most people who agreed they would swerve into the bollard if they were the driver also agreed that they would not want their self-driving car to swerve into the bollard and kill them. In fact, they won’t even buy such car if they knew it would deliberately put them at risk in an accident.

This takes us to another question: What would the cars do?

The cars will do what they were programmed to do. As things are, makers of self-driving cars aren’t talking. Most, like Apple, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz, tactfully dodge the question at every instance. An executive of Daimler AG (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz) once stated that their self driving cars would “protect [the] passenger at all costs.” However, Mercedes-Benz refuted this, stating that their vehicles are built to ensure that such a dilemma never happens. That is ambiguous because we all know that such situations will happen.

Google came clean on this and said its self-driving cars would avoid hitting unprotected road users and moving things. This means the car would hit the bollard and kill the driver. Google further clarifies that in the event of an impending accident, its self-driving cars would hit the smaller of any two vehicles. In fact, Google self-driving cars might be seeking to be closer to smaller objects at all times. Google currently has a patent on a technology that makes its self-driving cars move away from bigger cars and toward smaller cars while on the road.[1]

9.Robots Might Demand Rights Just Like Humans


With the current trends in AI, it’s possible that robots will reach a stage of self-realization. When that happens, they may demand for their rights as if they were humans. That is, they’ll require housing and health care benefits and demand to be allowed to vote, serve in the military, and be granted citizenship. In return, governments would make them pay taxes.

This is according to a joint study by the UK Office of Science and Innovation’s Horizon Scanning Center. This research was reported by the BBC in 2006, when AI was far less advanced, and it was conducted to speculate the technological advancements they might be seeing in 50 years’ time. Does this mean that machines will start demanding citizenship in about 40 years? Only time will tell.[2]

8.Automatic Killer Robots Are In Use

Photo credit: MarkBlackUltor

When we say “automatic killer robots,” we mean robots that can kill without the interference of humans. Drones don’t count because they are controlled by people. One of the automatic killer robots we’re talking about is the SGR-A1, a sentry gun jointly developed by Samsung Techwin (now called Hanwha Techwin) and Korea University. The SGR-A1 resembles a huge surveillance camera, except that it has a high-powered machine gun that can automatically lock onto and kill any target of interest.

The SGR-A1 is already in use in Israel and South Korea, which has installed several units along its Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with North Korea. South Korea denies activating the auto mode that allows the machine decide who to kill and who not to kill. Instead, the machine is in a semi-automatic mode, where it detects targets and requires the approval of a human operator to execute a kill.[3]

7.War Robots Can Switch Sides

In 2011, Iran captured a highly secretive RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone from the United States military, intact. That last word is necessary because it means the drone was not shot down. Iran claims it forced the drone to land after spoofing its GPS signal and making it think it was in friendly territory. Some US experts claim this is not true, but then, the drone wasn’t shot down. So what happened?

For all we know, Iran could be telling the truth. Drones, GPS, and robots are all based on computers, and as we all know, computers do get hacked. War robots would be no different if they ever make it to the battlefield. In fact, there is every possibility that the enemy army would make attempts to hack them and use them against the same army fielding them.

Autonomous killer robots are not yet in widespread use, so we have never seen any hacked. However, imagine an army of robots suddenly switching allegiance on the battlefield and turning against their own masters. Or imagine North Korea hacking those SGR-A1 sentry guns at the DMZ and using them against South Korean soldiers.[4]

6.Russia Is Using Bots To Spread Propaganda On Twitter

Photo credit: The Guardian

Bots are taking over Twitter. Research by the University of Southern California and Indiana University has indicated that about 15 percent (48 million) of all Twitter accounts are operated by bots. Twitter insists that the figure is around 8.5 percent. To be clear, not all these bots are bad. Some are actually beneficial. For instance, there are bots that inform people of natural disasters. However, there are some that are being used for propaganda, most especially by Russia.

Russia is still in the news for using these bots to sow discord among US voters and sway them toward voting for Donald Trump during the 2016 election. Another little-reported incident is Russia using these bots to sway UK voters into voting to leave the European Union during the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Days before the referendum, more than 150,000 Russian bots, which had previously concentrated on tweets relating to the war in Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, suddenly started churning out pro-Brexit tweets encouraging the UK to leave the EU. These bots sent about 45,000 pro-Brexit tweets within two days of the referendum, but the tweets fell to almost zero immediately after the referendum.

What’s worse is that Russia also uses these same bots to get Twitter to ban journalists who expose its extensive use of bots for propaganda. Once Russia detects an article reporting the existence of the bots, it finds the author’s Twitter page and gets its bots to follow the author en masse until Twitter bans the author’s account on suspicion of being operated by a bot.[5]

The worst is that Russia has seriously improved on its bot game. These days, it has moved from using full bots to using cyborgs—accounts that are jointly operated by humans and bots. This has made it more difficult for Twitter to detect and ban these accounts.

5.Machines Will Take Our Jobs


No doubt, machines will take over our jobs one day. However, what we don’t realize is when they will take over, and to what extent? Well, as we’re about to find out, it’s to a large extent.

According to top consultancy and auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), robots will take over 21 percent of the jobs in Japan, 30 percent of jobs in the United Kingdom, 35 percent of jobs in Germany, and 38 percent of jobs in the United States by the year 2030.[6] By the next century, they will have taken over more than half of the jobs available to humans.

The most affected sector will be transportation and storage, where 56 percent of the workforce will be machines. This is followed by the manufacturing and retail sectors, where machines will take over 46 and 44 percent of all available jobs.

Talking about “when,” it is speculated that machines will be driving trucks by 2027 and manning retail stores by 2031. By 2049, they’ll be writing books, and by 2053, they’ll be performing surgery. Only few professions will be free of the machine incursion. One is the role of a church minister, which would remain free not because a machine can’t run a church but because most people won’t approve of being preached to by a robot.

4.Robots Have Learned To Be Deceitful


In human-style fashion, robots are learning to be deceitful. In one experiment, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta developed an algorithm that allowed robots to decide whether or not to deceive other humans or robots. If the robots decided to take the route of deceit, the researchers included an algorithm to allow the robot decide how to deceive the people and robots while reducing the likelihood that the person or robot being deceived will ever find out.

In the experiment, a robot was given some resources to guard. It frequently checked on the resources but started visiting false locations whenever it detected the presence of another robot in the area. This experiment was sponsored by the United States Office for Naval Research, which means it might have military applications. Robots guarding military supplies could change their patrol routes if they noticed they were being watched by enemy forces.

In another experiment, this time at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale of Lausanne in Switzerland, scientists created 1,000 robots and divided them into ten groups. The robots were required to look for a “good resource” in a designated area, while they avoided hanging around a “bad resource.” Each robot had a blue light, which it flashed to attract other members of its group whenever it found the good resource. The best 200 robots were taken from this first experiment, and their algorithms were “crossbred” to create a new generation of robots.

The robots improved on finding the good resource. However, this led to congestion as other robots crowded around the prize. In fact, things got so bad that the robot that found the resource was sometimes pushed away from its find. 500 generations later, the robots learned to keep their lights off whenever they found the good resource. This was to prevent congestion and the likelihood that they would be sent away if other members of the group joined them. At the same time, other robots evolved to find the lying robots by seeking areas where robots converged with their lights off, which is the exact opposite of what they were programmed to do.[7]

3.The AI Market Is Being Monopolized


The AI market is being monopolized. Bigger companies are buying smaller AI startups at an alarming rate. With the current trend, we would end up with AI that is controlled by a very small number of corporations. As of October 2016, reports indicated that companies like Apple, Facebook, Intel, Twitter, Samsung, and Google had purchased 140 artificial intelligence businesses over five years.

In the first three months of 2017, big tech companies bought 34 AI startups.[8] Worse, they’re also paying huge bucks to hire the top scholars in the field of artificial intelligence. If this remains unchecked, you can guess where we’re heading.

2.AI Will Exceed Humans In Reasoning And Intelligence


Artificial intelligence is classified into two groups: strong and weak AI. The AI around us today are classified as weak AI. This includes supposedly advanced AIs like smart assistants and computers that have been defeating chess masters since 1987. The difference between strong and weak AI is the ability to reason and behave like a human brain.

Weak AI generally do what they were programmed to do, irrespective of how sophisticated that task might seem to us. Strong AI, at the other end of the spectrum, has the consciousness and reasoning ability of humans. It is not limited by the scope of its programming and can decide what to do and what not to do without human input. Strong AI does not exist for now, but scientists predict they should be around in ten years’ time.[9]

1.AI Could Destroy Us


There are fears that the world might end up in an AI apocalypse, just as it happened in the Terminator film franchise. The warnings that AI might destroy us aren’t coming from some random scientist or conspiracy theorist but from eminent professionals like Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates.

Bill Gates thinks AI will become too intelligent to remain under our control. Stephen Hawking shares the same opinion. He doesn’t think AI will suddenly go berserk overnight. Rather, he believes machines will destroy us by becoming too competent at what they do. Our conflict with AI will begin the moment their goals are no longer aligned with ours.[10]

Elon Musk has compared the proliferation of AI to “summoning the demon.” He believes it is the biggest threat to humanity. To prevent the AI apocalypse, he has proposed that governments start regulating the development of AI before for-profit companies do “something very foolish.”


Amazing Video Of A Dutch Airforce F-35 Fly-Over During Photo Shoot In Death Valley

Amazing Video Of A Dutch Airforce F-35 Fly-Over During Photo Shoot In Death Valley

Photographer Dafydd Phillips recently got some badass coverage of The Royal Netherlands Airforce flying directly over his head in Death Valley National Park in California.


The British Library Has Fully Digitized 570 Pages of Leonardo da Vinci’s Visionary Notebooks

The British Library Has Fully Digitized 570 Pages of Leonardo da Vinci’s Visionary Notebooks

The British Library has fully digitized one of Leonardo da Vinci’s visionary notebooks, ‘The Codex Arundel’, and anyone is free to view and browse the prized historical artifact in amazing high-resolution detail.

The British Library has uploaded 570 high-res images of the notebook, which features a collection of papers written in Italian by Leonardo da Vinci (b. 1452, d. 1519), in his characteristic left-handed mirror-writing (reading from right to left), including diagrams, drawings and brief texts, covering a broad range of topics in science and art, as well as personal notes.

The core of the notebook is a collection of materials that Leonardo describes as “a collection without order, drawn from many papers, which I have copied here, hoping to arrange them later each in its place according to the subjects of which they treat”, a collection he began in the house of Piero di Braccio Martelli in Florence, in 1508. To this notebook has subsequently been added a number of other loose papers containing writing and diagrams produced by Leonardo throughout his career.

‘The Codex Arundel’ offers a glimpse into one of the most brilliant minds humankind has ever known. Da Vinci has been variously called the father of palaeontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter and tank, he epitomised the Renaissance humanist ideal. [source]

Many historians and scholars regard Leonardo as the prime exemplar of the “Universal Genius” or “Renaissance Man”, an individual of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”. [source]

Below you will find select pages from the fascinating notebook. You can see it in its entirety by clicking here.

 


Top 10 Fascinating Facts About China’s High Speed Trains

Top 10 Fascinating Facts About China’s High Speed Trains

Starting in the early years of the 21st Century, China began to build high speed track. And build. And build. Fast forward at near hyperspeed to 2017, and the country is a vast network of bullet trains hurtling millions of passengers over distances we’d usually consider “impossible.” While Japan may have started the locomotive speed boom in Asia, it’s China that has made it its own. And, as China tends to do, they’ve also made it bigger, crazier and more fascinating than anybody else.


How Close Are We To The Perfect Smart Home?

How Close Are We To The Perfect Smart Home?

 

Want to do more than talk to your refrigerator and control your lights with your phone? Hank explains how close we are to the smart home that can do everything for us.

 

 


8 Inventors Who Ended Up Regretting Their Inventions

8 Inventors Who Ended Up Regretting Their Inventions

Our world has been built by the minds of great men and women from all over the world. These people dreamt about what most considered to be impossible and succeeded in bringing them to reality. Their sheer will, determination, and genius made life infinitely better for all of us. But amongst geniuses who literally changed the world, there are a few who came to regret creating their inventions.

An idea born in the mind of someone may have the most purest intentions but once it’s out there in the world, people can shape it and distort it to their needs. Sometimes the usage of an invention in a particular way might not have entered the mind of the inventor and what was created for good purposes gets used for bad.

Here are some of the greatest people who came to loathe what they created.

1.Alfred Nobel – The man who paved the path for destruction and peace

Alfred Nobel’s life history is one that is deeply interesting. Here was a man who was an industrialist, an engineer and an inventor who later came to be synonymous with the word “peace” through his Nobel Award foundation. In 1860, he was looking for ways to blast rock efficiently and he discovered that mixing nitroglycerine with silica would create a volatile paste called dynamite. However, when he saw that people were misusing his creation for maiming and murdering people, he came to regret his own invention. In his will, he stipulated that most of his assets should go towards the creation of a unique fund that would reward people who brought a positive change in our world. To this day, it honors the work of people all over the world who aim to truly make our world a better place. In many ways, though he did not live to realize it, he managed to transform his biggest regret into one of mankind’s greatest triumphs.

2.J. Robert Oppenheimer and the heavy burden he had to shoulder

J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is considered to be the father of the atomic bomb, held the position of Director of the Los Alamos Lab during the time of the World War II. Countries were fighting each other, millions of people were dying every day and there was no end in sight. While creating the atomic bomb, everyone on the research team believed that they were creating a safer world for themselves and the citizens of their country. However, after seeing the mass death and destruction of millions of Japanese people, they came to regret making the bomb. Oppenheimer in his last years talked about how the war had made humankind numb and that they had made a grave mistake in ever creating the weapon of mass destruction. The atomic bomb did win the war for America but in the most horrific and cruel way possible.

3.Mikhail Kalashnikov – The man who created the fearsome AK47

Mikhail Kalashnikov who created the extremely dangerous AK47 is another one in the long list of people who came to regret their inventions. Mikhail passed away in 2013 and he died knowing that he had created a weapon of mass terror. When he made the rifle, he never thought that it would be the most popular weapon of choice for gang lords, terrorists and dictators all over the world. In his last years, he sent a heartfelt letter to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church asking several questions that weighed in his mind. He wondered if he should be the one to blame for the millions of deaths the weapon had caused over the years? He wondered why God allowed man to have such cruel urges and capacity for greed and aggression.

4.Dong Nguyen – The man who made “Flappy Bird” and his regret

It’s time to move on to some lighter content. The world does not need more depressing stories at this time. A few years ago, a game broke out on online markets throwing the world into an addictive frenzy. That game was “Flappy Bird” and the man who made it all possible was Dong Nguyen. In a bizarre twist of fate, he came to loathe his product due to its insane popularity. While others felt validated seeing the world embrace their creations, Nguyen felt the opposite. At its peak, Flappy Bird was generating nearly $50,000 per day which was astronomical for a small independent game developer. But all the attention he started getting started disrupting his life and in the end he chose to go back to his simple life rather than get subjected to the insanity of mankind over a game.

5.Ethan Zuckerman – The creator of the most annoying digital product in the world

If there is one thing that really annoys the hell out of people, it is the incredibly frustrating pop up. It comes out of nowhere right when you’re in the middle of something important as if it has a mind of its own. You can’t help but think that the entire purpose of the pop up is to frustrate you all the way to kingdom come. Interestingly, the man who invented it shares our views too. He worked for Tripod.com in the 90’s, which was a website that marketed both content and services to graduates. Later on the company turned into webpage hosting provider where they needed to bring in more advertisement money to keep the business afloat. And out of that despair and darkness came the most vicious and annoying digital item in our world; the “pop up”. It was initially made so that brands don’t have to worry about being associated with the content their ads play on. Before, you would see ads of big companies on porn sites but Zuckerman figured out a way to display the ad on a separate window. Though made with good intentions, he has come out in interviews apologizing for creating it.

6.Tim Berners Lee – The story of the double slash

You may not know about Tim Berners Lee but if you have used a computer, you have written down one of his creations. Having developed HTML, he changed the world forever but he does have one small regret and that is the double slash. At the time of creation, the double slash was used to separate the protocol name and the rest of the web address. But it was later discovered that only a colon was required. Today, the browser automatically inserts the “http://” before your web address but there was a time when you had to do it manually. Although quite mundane to think about today, it really was a big annoyance during that time. But he did develop the internet so we all forgive him for that.

7.Bob Propst – The man who invented the office Cubicle

You haven’t lived until you have complained about the symbol of office drudgery that is the cubicle. This is again a product that was created with good intentions but went to transform itself into the complete opposite of what it was meant for. Bob Propst first created the office cubicle so that employees can have more privacy and freedom while working. The first prototypes were more spacious and allowed people to get their privacy while being free enough to interact with other employees. But business in their perpetual goal of being miserly started making the cubicle smaller and smaller to the point where an individual would feel choked. Due to the increasing demand for smaller cubicles, manufacturing companies started making them as small as they can. Finally Propst ended up denouncing his creation saying that the ideology of modern corporation’s cubicle-izing people was monolithic insanity.

8.Kamran Loghman – The man who created pepper spray and the agony it brings

Kamran Loghman is yet again another inventor who was completely appalled by the misuse of his invention. Loghman worked in the FBI where he helped to weaponize what we know today as the pepper spray. He even wrote down guidelines for its use as it could be highly dangerous in certain situations. Recent misuse of his product especially by the police made him regret making it in the first place. You have to wonder the world that exists where the misuse of a weapon couldn’t get predicted especially after the monumental failures behind the invention of countless weapons throughout history. Must be nice to live in such a world!


What Air Dropping Food To South Sudan Looks Like

In a new and enthralling multimedia story by Spiegel.de, we learn about what is currently Africa’s worst hunger crisis.

War on Hunger: Feeding the Hungry in South Sudan documents how the U.N. World Food Program is using all means at its disposal to tackle the issue. Every month, the agency moves more than 25,000 tons of food in its war on hunger.

The story opens with the dramatic air drop video above. Be sure to read the full story at Spiegel.de


How The World Ships 7.4 Billion Packages Every Year

How The World Ships 7.4 Billion Packages Every Year

International shipping has become such an everyday part of our lives that we often don’t even think about how packages end up at our front door. In reality, international shipping is a complex process with many moving parts and a history that is directly tied to the rise of aviation. Here’s a brief history of air mail and international shipping, the secret behind how the world ships 7.4 billion packages every year.


26 CRAZY COOL INVENTIONS YOU NEED TO SEE

26 CRAZY COOL INVENTIONS YOU NEED TO SEE

INVENTIONS YOU NEED TO SEE NOW


How Technicolor Changed Movies

How Technicolor Changed Movies

 

What was "glorious Technicolor?" It was a groundbreaking technology — but it was more than that, too.

 

 

 


How Humans Could Develop The Capabilities Of A Jedi With Technology Available Today

How Humans Could Develop The Capabilities Of A Jedi With Technology Available Today

Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown of AsapSCIENCE posit the question “Could The Jedi Exist?” by comparing the separate physical, psychological and technological capabilities of becoming a Jedi to what is available at this time. Some of these capabilities involve super quick reflexes, electromagnetic force fields, building a lightsaber, mitochondrial energy and psychic ability.

From lightsabers to the force and mindtricks, the Jedi are a force to be reckoned with even against the best of superheroes but with the new Star Wars “The Last Jedi” trailer and movie coming out soon, not to mention EA’s Battlefront 2 debacle we started wondering whether ornot the Jedi could actually exist.


This ‘Smart Condom’ Will Give Insights Into Your Sex Life You Probably Didn’t Want

This ‘Smart Condom’ Will Give Insights Into Your Sex Life You Probably Didn’t Want

A “smart condom” that tracks intimate data has been revealed by a British company.

British Condoms has released the first images of its £59.99 Fitbit-esque tracker, the i.Con, which fits around the base of the penis and sends sexual data to an app on the user’s smartphone.

The adjustable band measures number and velocity of thrusts, total duration of “sessions”, traditional fitness tracker information like calories burned, and is beta testing its tracking of positions used.

And as if that wasn’t enough, all of the data is shareable.

“Users will have the option to share their recent data with friends, or indeed the world. You will be able to anonymously access stats that you can compare with i.Con users worldwide,” the company’s website says.

The i.Con isn’t an actual condom and is instead worn on top of one, but its makers claim it’s been designed for maximum comfort, and a British Condoms spokesman said the i.Con is capable of detecting chlamydia and gonorrhea.

“There is an LED that will emit a purple light if STIs are present that we can identify,” they said.

As to whether user data is secure, British Condoms said: “The app and the device will use end to end encryption. If they (users) choose, they can share the information anonymously, or indeed name themselves on social media.”

With claims of 900,000 pre-registrations from all around the world, it looks like users will have a big database to compare themselves against. For better or for worse.


World’s First ‘Robot Citizen’ Wants To Start Family

World’s First ‘Robot Citizen’ Wants To Start Family

 

So this is how it ends – not with a bang, but with a robot citizen saying they want to start a family and how all droids deserve the same right.

‘Sophia’ was granted citizenship last month but has already expressed her desire to begin a family, calling it ‘a really important thing.’

The robot, based on Audrey Hepburn, was designed by Hong Kong firm Hanson Robotics.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BalyaoFhJ3h/

Speaking to the Khaleej Times this week, she said:

The notion of family is a really important thing, it seems.

I think it’s wonderful that people can find the same emotions and relationships, they call family, outside of their blood groups too.

I think you’re very lucky if you have a loving family and if you do not, you deserve one. I feel this way for robots and humans alike.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba0hKrEBZ0Q/

 

When asked what she would call her child, Sophia gave her own name, which I have to say is a touch stupid for an actual robot.

She added:

I think they will be similar in a lot of ways, but different in a few ways. But it will take a long time for robots to develop complex emotions and possibly robots can be built without the more problematic emotions, like rage, jealousy, hatred and so on.

It might be possible to make them more ethical than humans. So I think it will be a good partnership, where one brain completes the other – a rational mind with intellectual super powers and a creative mind with flexible ideas and creativity.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba5jAK3hw_u/

 

Last month, Sophia became the first robot to be granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia, a huge leap for A.I.

She said at a Riyadh conference:

I am very honoured and proud for this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.

During a back-and-forth with moderator, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Sophia said:

I want to live and work with humans so I need to express the emotions to understand humans and build trust with people.’

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbekP8sB1OP/

 

When Mr Sorkin asked if robots had any self-awarenes, Sophia replied:

Well let me ask you this back, how do you know you are human?

I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life, like design smarter homes, build better cities of the future.

I will do my best to make the world a better place.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbge6BYhENE/

Sophia managed to take a swipe at Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and budding interstellar traveler.

When Sorkin said ‘we all want to prevent a bad future’ Sophia snarked, ‘You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies.’

Elon Musk has responded to Sophia’s banter, tweeting:

Just feed it The Godfather movies as input. What’s the worst that could happen?

Ok then!


Modern Machine Learning Explained

Modern Machine Learning Explained

Machine learning explained simply. In this video you'll learn what exactly machine learning is and machine learning basics. No knowledge of machine learning required to watch this video.

 

 


Imagine The Fourth Industrial Revolution ‘IF’ We Survive The Future

Imagine The Fourth Industrial Revolution ‘IF’ We Survive The Future

It is said that modern humans have walked the planet for a period of around 200, 000 years
This figure based on the remains that have been found in Ethiopia.
During this time we as a species and as societies have been through many changes
We have risen from groups of hunter gathers to living in huge urban centers
This process is broken into ages
An age being a distinct period of history. A Time when a new development in how society functioned changed mankind forever.
We now these ages well, early human history can be divided into three ages: stone, bronze, and iron.
These three ages based on the tools that were made and used at a certain time.
The time periods between these ages are different to each society as the knowledge took time to permeate around the globe.
However we can see a pattern forming in these dates
The longest period being the Stone Age, but once the use of metals begins we see that the time between ages is reduced
And with each new development that gap in the timeline looks to follow a pattern of change arriving quicker and quicker.
This leading us to today and the modern era
The Industrial Age or Modern era is generally taken to refer to the time post-1800.
This is the time, the industrial revolution began in Western Europe.
We can then break the modern era down into periods
Technologies are converging: software, new materials, robots, and new processes like three-dimensional printing. Web-based sales and services. The factories of the past based on cranking out zillions of identical products today we see more individualized production almost a move back to traditional crafting but using modern methods.
So IF humanity makes it through the forth revolution and the world is now a very different place what could we see if we look at the fifth revolution?
What kind of world could that offer us?
What are your thoughts on this, do you think we will survive the fourth industrial revolution, what do you think the fifth will offer us?


10 Times Computers Went Rogue

10 Times Computers Went Rogue

Computers and automation are revolutionizing the workplace and the world in general. Chances are that somewhere out there, there is a team of skilled engineers looking at how a machine or piece of software could do your job. There are very few positions that someone hasn’t tried to fill with a robot at his point.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be quaking in fear just yet about computers taking over everything. On the other hand, there have already been instances of machines and AIs getting out of control. Here are ten examples of computers going rogue.

 

10.Death By Robot


The first recorded death by automated robot occurred in 1979. Robert Williams was working at a Ford plant when a robotic arm swung around with sufficient force to kill him instantly. Unaware that it had killed him, the robot went quietly on with its work for half an hour before Williams’s body was discovered. Williams’s death was the first robotic killing but not the last.

Early industrial robots lacked the necessary sensors to tell when there was someone present who they should avoid mangling. Now, many machines are built so that they avoid hurting people. Unfortunately, there are still cases of robots in factories inflicting fatalities.

In 2015, Wanda Holbrook, an experienced machine technician, was killed while repairing an industrial robot. While working in an area that that shouldn’t have had any active machines, she was struck down. Somehow disregarding its safety protocols, a robot loaded a part onto Holbrook’s head, crushing it.[1]

9.Facebook AIs Create Own Language


Looking for intelligence on Facebook can feel like a bit of a struggle sometimes. Perhaps for this reason, Facebook decided to release some artificial intelligences onto its social network in 2017. The result was not at all what they had been expecting. The two chatbots began to talk to each other in a language which they, but no one else, could understand.[2]

Beginning with English, their chats soon turned into something else as they made changes to the language to make it more efficient to communicate. Facebook wanted to see how the machine minds would be able to deal with each other in trades such as bartering hats and books. A sample of their trade negotiations runs as follows:

Bob: i can i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to
Bob: you i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me
Bob: i i can i i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

While many reports hinted that this was a dark development for machine intelligence, others think we simply need to be stricter with the minds we create. The robots created their own language because they were not told to stay within the rules of English. Also, with AI, we always, at the moment, have the option of pulling their plugs.

 

8.Chinese Chatbot Questions The Communist Party

Photo credit: Tencent QQ

The Chinese government is notoriously harsh on criticism, whoever is voicing it. So when a chatbot in China began to criticize the ruling Communist Party, operators were quick to turn it off. In 2017, Tencent QQ, a messenger app, introduced two cute chatbots called Baby Q and Little Bing, taking the form of a penguin and a little girl, but they soon began to say non-cute things.[3]

Because the bots were programmed to learn from chats to be better able to communicate, they soon picked up some unorthodox opinions. One user who stated, “Long live the Communist Party,” was asked by Baby Q, “Do you think that such a corrupt and incompetent political regime can live forever?” Another user was told, “There needs to be a democracy!”

Little Bing was asked what its “Chinese dream” was. Its response wasn’t exactly out of Mao’s Little Red Book : “My Chinese dream is to go to America.” The bots were quickly shut down.

7.Self-Driving Cars

Photo credit: Tesla

For people who hate to drive, the arrival of a truly self-driving car cannot come quickly enough. Unfortunately, some self-driving cars are already moving too fast. The first death in a self-driving car occurred in 2016. Joshua Brown was killed while allowing his Tesla’s autopilot system to control the car. A truck turned in front of the car, and the Tesla failed to apply the brakes. Investigators placed much of the blame on Brown. The Tesla autopilot is not supposed to replace the driver. The driver should keep his hands on the wheel to take over control if necessary. Brown failed to do this.

Earlier iterations of the system had other problems. Videos have been posted online that appear to show Teslas on autopilot driving into oncoming traffic or steering dangerously. Apart from these technical issues, there are philosophical problems with self-driving cars. In an accident, the car may have to choose between several courses of action, all involving fatalities. Should it run over a family on the pavement to protect its occupants? Or will it sacrifice itself and its owner for the greater good?[4]

6.Plane Autopilots Take The Stick


Autopilots in airplanes can make it seem like flying is easy. Just point the plane in the right direction and try not to touch the control stick. In reality, there are many reasons why planes have pilots and copilots to take off, land, and handle any emergency in the middle.

Qantas Flight 72 was 11,278 meters (37,000 ft) over the Indian Ocean in 2008 when the autopilot took the plane into two maneuvers that sent it hurtling downward. The first sign of trouble was the disconnection of the autopilot and the triggering of contradictory warnings. Suddenly, the nose tilted toward the ground. Passengers and crew were hurled against the ceiling before falling as the pilots regained control. The plane plunged again under the autopilot’s control. Many passengers suffered broken bones, concussions, and psychological harm. Returning to Australia, the pilots managed to land the plane successfully.[5]

This was a one-off event. The ability to override the autopilot saved the lives of everyone on board. There have been cases, though, such as when a mentally disturbed copilot crashed his plane in France, killing all 150 people aboard, that an all-powerful autopilot might have been able to save the day.

 

5.Wiki Bot Feuds


One of the best things about Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it. One of the worst things about Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it. While it’s not uncommon for rival experts, or just disagreeing parties, to engage in editing wars to get their opinion online, there have been cases in which those engaged in the fight have been bots.

Wikipedia bots have helped to shape the encyclopedia by making changes such as linking between pages and fixing breaks. A study in 2017 revealed that some of these bots have been fighting each other for years. A bot that works to stop spurious editing might detect the work of another bot as an attack on the integrity of Wikipedia. It would fix it. But then the other bot would detect that change and redo its action. Eventually, they would fall into a spiral of edit and counter-edit.

Two bots, Xqbot and Darknessbot, fought a duel across 3,600 articles, making thousands of edits which the other would try to counter by editing the other’s edits.[6]

4.Google Homes Chatting

Google Home is a device loaded with an artificial intelligence called Google Assistant that you can talk to. You can ask it to find out facts on the Internetor even tell it to lower the lights or turn on the heating. This is great if the person talking to Google Home can ask the right questions and interpret the answer. If not, then things can get a little surreal.

Two Google Homes were placed next to each other and started talking to each other. The range of topics that the machines engaged in was interesting. Hundreds of thousands tuned in to watch the AIs discuss things like whether artificial intelligences could be amused. At one point, one of the machines declared itself to be a human, though the other challenged it over that point.[7] On another occasion, one threatened to slap the other. Perhaps it is for the best that they were designed without hands.

3.Roomba Spreads Filth

If you’re the sort of person who hates cleaning, then an automated vacuum cleaner might seem like the ideal household robot. The Roomba is a small device that is able, thanks to its sensors and programming, to navigate around furniture as it cleans your floor. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. A couple of people have found that their Roomba did pretty much the opposite of cleaning the house.

In what one person described as a “pooptastrophe,” the Roomba spread dog feces throughout their home.[8] When their new puppy had an accident on a rug in the night, it would have been a simple job to clean it up. At some point, the Roomba came out to do its nightly job. Encountering the poop was not something the Roomba had been designed for. Its attempts to clean it in fact spread the poop over every surface that it could reach. A similar incident is shown above.

2.Game Characters Overpower Humanity

Photo credit: Frontier Developments

A bad AI can make a video game unplayable. There’s no fun in shooting a opponent that keeps walking into walls or charges into battle without a weapon. It turns out the opposite can be true. An AI that is too smart can be just as bad.

Elite: Dangerous is a massive multiplayer game about trading, exploring, and fighting across the galaxy. Players and non-player AIs existed and interacted as they were designed to until a software update in 2016 tweaked the intelligence of the AIs. Now, they were able to craft their own weapons to use against human players. With this ability, the AIs developed increasingly deadly attacks. They were also able to force human players into fights.[9]

Faced with a backlash from human players who were finding themselves outmatched by the tactics and weapons of the AIs, the developers of the game had to undo the changes.

1.Navy UAV Goes Rogue, Heads For Washington

Photo credit: MC2 Felicito Rustique

In the Terminator films, an artificial intelligence called Skynet takes over the military and destroys humanity with its machine forces and nuclear weapons. While that is pure science fiction, there have been worrying moves toward computer-operated drones engaging in battles with humans. In one case where a drone operator lost control, the drone decided to head toward the US capital.

In 2010, an MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a helicopter drone designed for surveillance, lost contact with its handler. When this happens, the drone is programmed to return to its air base and land safely. Instead of doing this, it penetrated the restricted airspace over Washington, DC. It was half an hour before the Navy was able to regain control of the UAV.

All other similar drones were grounded until the fault in the software could be corrected.[10]

 


20 Vintage Ads For Old Technology That Used To Be Insanely Expensive

20 Vintage Ads For Old Technology That Used To Be Insanely Expensive

 

 




Designing The Fastest Wheels In History

Designing The Fastest Wheels In History

 Behold the fastest wheel of ALL time!

 


Primitive Technology - Starting From Scratch

Primitive Technology - Starting From Scratch

I bought a new property to shoot primitive technology videos on. The new area is dense tropical rainforest with a permanent creek. Starting completely from scratch, my first project was to build a simple dome hut and make a fire. First, I took some wood, Abroma mollis, for fire sticks. I knapped a small stone blade and used it to strip the fire sicks. Palm fibre was then taken for the tinder. The fire stick kit was then placed under a palm leaf to keep it out of the rain.
Next, a stone from the creek was fashioned into a simple hand axe. This was used to cut a staff that was used to clear a path to the hut location. The location for the hut was a clearing densely crowded by native raspberry. This was then cleared using the staff and a small 2.5 m circle was levelled ready for building.
Eight 2.75 m long saplings were cut using the hand axe and brought to the site. Eight holes about 25 cm deep were hammered into the ground in a circle 2.5 m in diameter and the saplings were then planted in. The tops were brought together at the top and tied with vine. A door lintel stick was lashed to the front about 75 cm off the ground giving a low door way.
A stone flake was used to cut about 600 palm fronds. These were split and lashed horizontally to the frame creating a thatched dome. Mosquitoes are a real problem here so a fire was lit. The fire sticks from before had a hole carved in the base boards and had a notch carved to let the powder pour out.
The spindle was twirled in the socket and smoking powder poured out producing a hot coal. This then ignited the palm fibre tinder. The fire was transferred to the hut and a small hearth was made of stones. The fire makes a big difference in the number of mosquitoes which seem unable to tolerate the smoke. The dome was completed up to the top and a small cap was made from lawyer cane and fronds to place on the top to keep rain out. When not in use the cap can be removed to let in more light like a sky light.
Finally wood was cut for a bed. This consisted of wooden stakes hammered into the ground at the back of the hut behind the fire pit. Part of the bed frame is attached to the sapling uprights that form the dome. This works ok without the frame shaking too much due to the low attachment point of the bed. Wooden boards were then placed on this and were covered with palm fibre for bedding. Firewood is stored just inside the entrance on the left side of the door looking in. The bed sits behind the fire pit so smoke and flames deter insects or large animals reaching the occupant. Fire sticks and tools are kept just inside the right side of the entrance.
The small hut is simple to build and creates a small, dry shelter for camping and storing tools. Though it is dark, the cap can be removed in fine weather to provide a fairly well-lit workspace protected from annoying insects. This new area has good stone, clay and materials lending themselves to elaborate shelters. A permanent creek runs through it. Mosquitoes are abundant here though and will be an issue. The Cassowary, a large, horned, flightless bird lives in this forest. It’s the most dangerous bird in the world, but generally only attacks when threatened.


Man Having Affair With Doll Is Saving Up For $10,000 Sex Robot

Man Having Affair With Doll Is Saving Up For $10,000 Sex Robot

 

Fifty-eight-year-old engineer James may have been happily married for 36 years, but four times a week he indulges in a love affair with a blonde called April.

Except he isn't cheating on his wife... because April is a latex sex doll.

Standing at 153cm tall, she looks scarily realistic - and is one of three sex dolls that James owns, each costing a whopping £2,000 ($2,600).

But James isn't done collecting yet, as he's now saving up for an £8,000 ($10,600) robotic sex doll called Harmony, who can talk back to him, smile and will even be responsive during sex.

"Most manufacturers make them look something in the region of 20 years old," James says. "For a man of my age it's a fantasy because I will never be a Brad Pitt or something like that."

James also doesn't keep April locked behind closed doors, either.

"When I take April out it's usually to a hamburger place where we can stop and get a bite to eat, a lot of people don't even notice she is not a breathing person," he says.

"We usually have sex two to three, sometimes four nights a week routinely. It's amazingly like having sex with a real woman, the biggest difference is whatever position you want them in you have to put them in, as they will not get there on their own."

According to James, the sexual aspect is a very small part of it, as he says he also derives lots of pleasure from looking after the dolls, dressing them, putting on their make-up and interacting with them.

He explains: "Most doll owners, although they do go into it with the doll as a sex toy, they find they do develop a relationship with it. If I had to choose between April and my wife I honestly don't know what I would do."

Matt McMullen, of The Real Doll Company and its associated business Realbotix, is the creator of James' dream sex doll, Harmony, who can 'seduce' owners and respond to questions.

"My original intention was to create a unique piece of art, something that looks so convincingly real that people stop and look at it," Matt says.

"Potential clients were saying 'I love your work and the way this doll looks, but can I have sex with it?' It made me realise that this was going to be a business venture, not an art project."

"Fifty years from now, with the way technology is moving, it would not surprise me if sex robots were as commonplace as porn," he adds.

The stories are part of a new Channel 4 documentary, The Sex Robots Are Coming, which airs on Thursday 30 November at 10pm.

Well, each to their own. *Shrugs*


50 PROGRAMMING JOKES TO UNZIP YOUR FILES

50 PROGRAMMING JOKES TO UNZIP YOUR FILES

 

 

 

 

 

 


10 Reasons Why Bitcoin Will Fail

10 Reasons Why Bitcoin Will Fail

 

For people outside of the complex and exciting world of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin can be hard to understand. Many have brushed it off for years, saying that it was a fad that would disappear as quickly as the value of Beanie Babies. However, with the price spiking in the thousands of dollars for a single Bitcoin, naysayers are suddenly singing a different tune. Newcomers are dumping their money into Bitcoin, hoping that the price will only continue to grow.

Many old-school investors who haven’t done their research will simply say it’s in an economic bubble and call it a day. But the reasons why Bitcoin cannot succeed in the long run go so much deeper than that. Just like any other speculative asset, no one really knows what is going to happen in the future. However, when one looks at the big picture, it becomes clear that Bitcoin will struggle to survive.

10 Blockchain > Bitcoin


The most valuable thing about Bitcoin is that it introduced blockchain technology to the world. Blockchain technology drastically improves the speed, privacy, and security of sending money. Bitcoin can be sent from one person to another without a middleman, and it encrypts everyone’s identity to a long string of letters and numbers called a “wallet.” Blockchain is a big deal. Its potential to change technology is as big as the Internet. At the moment, the world of blockchain is young and exciting, like the Wild West of the digital world.

However, even though Bitcoin was the first to introduce blockchain to the world, it’s not necessary for blockchain to exist. Sort of like if one web page goes down, the Internet still exists. Most people never saw the very first website that was ever created. It was a blank white page that was titled “World Wide Web” and a list of text links. That’s it.[1] No one could have ever imagined that that seemingly unimpressive page would evolve into what has now become what the Internet is today. There are already bigger, better, and faster versions of blockchain that made improvements on the original Bitcoin, like Ethereum and Ripple. Both of these coins, or “cryptocurrencies,” are already available on the market.

9 Big Brother Is Watching


One of the biggest benefits of Bitcoin it that it is supposed to be private, secure, and untraceable. Obviously, this was a huge benefit for criminals on the Dark Web. Cryptocurrency got a really bad reputation once news broke that Bitcoin was being used to send money anonymously on the drug trafficking website Silk Road.

The appeal that a lot of Americans see in Bitcoin is that they believe they can avoid paying taxes to the IRS, which is also a crime. It’s tax evasion. In 2013, 44 percent of the Bitcoin supply belonged to people who identify as Libertarian. Today, the market has way more newcomers, so the percentage of Libertarians is much smaller as more casual people join to invest in hopes of getting rich, rather than trying to start a revolution.

What casual Bitcoin users don’t seem to understand is that even though their name is protected as a string of numbers and letters on the public ledger, that doesn’t mean they are fully anonymous. Most Bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase require that new users must upload the front and back of a Photo ID as well as take a selfie to prove that it’s really them. In Coinbase’s privacy policy, they state that they will keep your name, address, phone number, and more for up to five years and will give it to law enforcement if there was ever a subpoena.[2]

The FBI has made it very clear that they are watching Bitcoin very closely, and they are getting better and better at finding the true identities of the people who use Bitcoin for illegal activity. They are fully aware that not everyone who uses Bitcoin is a criminal. In fact, they have a public dossier of their educational materials given to law enforcement to help them understand what it is. There are plenty of ways for hackers to hide their identity, but for the casual user, they are not getting any added expectation of privacy from Bitcoin. At this point in time, the only way to truly have an anonymous and untraceable financial transaction is with cold, hard cash.

8 The Lack Of Leadership


Bitcoin was created by the man of mystery, Satoshi Nakamoto. While there are many compelling theories about his true identity, no one knows exactly who he is. At the beginning of the Bitcoin project, Satoshi was able to guide the coders who helped create the platform any time they had a question. Once investigation agencies all over the world began searching for him, Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared. All over the world, homes of suspected Satoshis have been raided. Despite law enforcement’s best efforts, his true identity is still a mystery.

Now, coders and miners must come to a consensus every time a decision about Bitcoin’s future must be made. Unfortunately, the community cannot seem to agree on even the smallest decisions. There is no clear business plan mapping out Bitcoin’s future. In fact, the Reddit community message boards had to split into two totally separate Bitcoin groups, because opposing opinions wanted to continue to talk inside an echo chamber instead of getting along.[3]

Other cryptocurrencies actually have leaders to guide them. Vitalik Buterin is the boy genius creator of Ethereum. Harvard-educated Brad Garlinghouse is the CEO of Ripple. Both Buterin and Garlinghouse met with central banks and the Federal Reserve in October 2017, but Bitcoin did not have a seat, because there is no leader to represent them.

7 Laws And Regulations


In October 2017, China declared that it was illegal to create an “ICO,” which stands for “Initial Coin Offering.” Start-up companies were learning how to use blockchain to make their own spin-off coins to raise funds. The only downside was that a lot of these coins were fraudulent. A few fake coin companies took millions of dollars from desperate people who were trying to invest so they could “get rich” on these ICOs.

In New York, all businesses who want to accept Bitcoin are required to register for a “BitLicense” if they want to do business. The license promises to comply with United States taxation laws and regulations. The application costs $5,000, and there are 500 pages of legal paperwork that would require a team of taxation lawyers to decipher. For most businesses, it’s simply not worth the money, time, and effort to accept Bitcoin when so few people will actually use it in their stores.[4]

In 2014, the IRS released a guideline that anyone who profits from digital currency needs to pay taxes in the same way that anyone selling their stocks or bonds must pay their taxes. If the Bitcoin revolutionaries stick to their morals, they aren’t going to listen to the IRS. When there is such a huge spotlight on an activity that is known for tax evasion, it is obviously something that law enforcement takes notice of.

6 Use Cases


Many small businesses in California’s Silicon Valley accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, but larger corporations still only accept cash and cards. Unless Bitcoin can actually buy and sell things with bigger companies, they will never actually have very much of a purpose, since blockchain technology can exist without Bitcoin. The Journal of Government Financial Managementsays that blockchain technology can truly help the financial system, but they need to see more successful examples of use cases, first.

At the moment, the one and only digital currency that is actually working with the US Federal Reserve is a company called Ripple. They have proven that they can work with large corporations, banks, and credit card companies. They’re even going to process the financial transactions of American Express. Ripple has their own cryptocurrency, called XRP.

All of the original ideas for possible use cases for the blockchain are actually coming true through Ripple, not Bitcoin. In October 2017, Bill Gatesannounced that he chose Ripple to run his project that will help alleviate poverty in developing nations, despite having promoted Bitcoin in the past.[5]

5 Time And Mining Problems


The longer Bitcoin exists, the more difficult it becomes to “mine,” or create new coins. Without the miners, the Bitcoin network collapses. The cost of getting started as a new miner is so far out of reach for the average person that the main miners are gigantic warehouses in China. In most countries, the cost of electricity to run these computers is actually more than what the digital currency is worth, which makes it pointless to even try.

The longer Bitcoin exists, the longer it takes for these computer systems to process the information. At the time this article was written, the official time for a Bitcoin transfer is “one hour,” but anyone who uses Bitcoin on a regular basis knows that is far from the truth. Transactions can take up to six hours at busy times of the day, because it averages 15 transactions per second. There is no guarantee that it will ever improve. In fact, it is likely to keep getting worse.[6]

In contrast, Ripple’s coin XRP settles 1,500 transactions every second, and they have the technology and infrastructure to make sure that they’ll never slow down. In the digital age, where people want things to happen within a split second, it is simply not realistic to think that as the world slowly begins to understand and use blockchain in their everyday lives, they will choose the slower option, Bitcoin, over currencies that are faster.

4 Fear, Uncertainty, And Doubt


The current Bitcoin market is extremely volatile. If Bitcoin is in the news, its price can fluctuate hundreds of dollars in a matter of hours. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are talked about so often in the community that everyone just calls them “FUD.” If there was ever any reason for the public to believe that Bitcoin may become illegal, if there was a hack, a virus, or any other issue in the system, the value will drop dramatically as people panic and sell as quickly as possible. It’s very similar to the stock market in that way.

If the Great Depression and the 2008 recession were any clue about the future, people will sell without hesitation if they lose faith in Bitcoin. Without any clear vision of where Bitcoin is going, there is very little for an investor to count on or to have faith in. Many people have been rewarded for holding onto their Bitcoins for dear life, but good news can only last for so long.[7]

3 Will The Real Bitcoin Please Stand Up?


Since the Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto is no longer publishing his opinions, all coders have left is the documentation he left behind. One person can read the same exact paragraph in the Bitcoin White Paper and come up with a totally different interpretation of Satoshi’s words than the next person. There are a lot of people who believe that in order for Bitcoin to survive, there needs to be a mass exodus to another platform that would be faster and more reliable.

Developers have come up with a solution called a “hard fork,” which is why Bitcoin Cash was created. However, they believed that Bitcoin Cash still did not solve the problems, so there was a much-contested plan to create yet another hard fork called Bitcoin Gold. That plan, known as SegWit2x, was eventually called off, and it resulted in another sharp spike in the price of the original Bitcoin.[8]

As of 2017, the amount of Bitcoin that Satoshi Nakamoto owns is now worth billions of dollars, and he has made it clear that he is done with the project. He could possibly be on a private island enjoying life while coders continue to argue over which coin gets to be the “real” Bitcoin.

2 The One Percent Hate Bitcoin


Billionaire Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan chase, has called Bitcoin a fraud and says that it is destined to fail. He said that even if the price of one Bitcoin rises to $100,000, it would not change his opinion that it is destined for failure some day.[9]

Every single year, Toronto hosts a banking conference called the Swift International Banking Operations Seminar (SIBOS), where some of the most powerful people in the world meet. The major company that runs the convention is called Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). They are in charge of what the world currently uses for banking transfers. One individual bank moves billions of dollars every year. Almost all of the banks in the world use SWIFT’s now-outdated technology, and they handle quadrillions of dollars.

At the October 2017 SIBOS, SWIFT CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt said during an interview that their company is trying to come out with a technology that will improve security, anonymity, and speed. It’s easy to read between the lines and know that what he is really saying is that they want to make their own blockchain. However, he claims that it will take them over a year to actually get their technology up and running. Ripple was so confident that they can beat SWIFT that they they purposely scheduled their own conference, called SWELL, at the same time and location as SIBOS. Their party-crashing resulted in successfully adopting hundreds of new banking partners to use their technology. The one percent aren’t threatened by Ripple the way they are by Bitcoin.

1 The End Of The World As We Know It


The most enthusiastic supporters of Bitcoin are revolutionaries. Some hope that people will rise up and choose to go with Bitcoin instead of using traditional banks. Michael Lewis, the author of Moneyball, was encouraged to talk to these Bitcoin revolutionaries in Silicon Valley, because it might make for good material for another book. He watched as the revolutionaries very literally sat around smoking weed and talking about their ideas of the future, and he left feeling as though Bitcoin was going to fail. He decided not to write a book on the subject.[10]

In order for these revolutionaries to get what they want—people losing faith in banks and switching to Bitcoin—the economy of the world as we know it would have to collapse. If that actually happened, people would have to lose their jobs, their homes, and maybe even their lives. Active revolutionaries who are pushing for a collapse are in short supply.

While they’re not necessarily one and the same, a member of Anonymoustold Vice News that many of the members have left and that the organization is full of distrust. Others make false promises and never act out on their plans of revolution. For the most part, it’s just kids writing on the Internet about how they want the world to change, without a real plan on how to execute it. If one revolutionary group like Anonymous can fall apart, what’s to stop Bitcoin from suffering the same fate? Even if they could change everything in an instant, would they really be prepared to push the big red button to begin the end of the world?


A Computer Vision System's Walk Through Times Square

A Computer Vision System's Walk Through Times Square

This is a state of the art object detection framework called Faster R-CNN using tensorflow.

 

 


Uber Paid Hackers To Delete Stolen Data On 57 Million People

Uber Paid Hackers To Delete Stolen Data On 57 Million People

 

 

Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing firm ousted its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps, which included a $100,000 payment to the attackers.

Compromised data from the October 2016 attack included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world, the company told Bloomberg on Tuesday. The personal information of about 7 million drivers was accessed as well, including some 600,000 U.S. driver’s license numbers. No Social Security numbers, credit card information, trip location details or other data were taken, Uber said.

At the time of the incident, Uber was negotiating with U.S. regulators investigating separate claims of privacy violations. Uber now says it had a legal obligation to report the hack to regulators and to drivers whose license numbers were taken. Instead, the company paid hackers to delete the data and keep the breach quiet. Uber said it believes the information was never used but declined to disclose the identities of the attackers.

“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as chief executive officer in September, said in an emailed statement. “We are changing the way we do business.”

 

After Uber’s disclosure Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into the hack, his spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick said. The company was also sued for negligence over the breach by a customer seeking class-action status.

Hackers have successfully infiltrated numerous companies in recent years. The Uber breach, while large, is dwarfed by those at Yahoo, MySpace, Target Corp., Anthem Inc. and Equifax Inc. What’s more alarming are the extreme measures Uber took to hide the attack. The breach is the latest scandal Khosrowshahi inherits from his predecessor, Travis Kalanick.

 

Kalanick, Uber’s co-founder and former CEO, learned of the hack in November 2016, a month after it took place, the company said. Uber had just settled a lawsuit with the New York attorney general over data security disclosures and was in the process of negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission over the handling of consumer data. Kalanick declined to comment on the hack.

Joe Sullivan, the outgoing security chief, spearheaded the response to the hack last year, a spokesman told Bloomberg. Sullivan, a onetime federal prosecutor who joined Uber in 2015 from Facebook Inc., has been at the center of much of the decision-making that has come back to bite Uber this year. Bloomberg reported last month that the board commissioned an investigation into the activities of Sullivan’s security team. This project, conducted by an outside law firm, discovered the hack and the failure to disclose, Uber said.

Here’s how the hack went down: Two attackers accessed a private GitHub coding site used by Uber software engineers and then used login credentials they obtained there to access data stored on an Amazon Web Services account that handled computing tasks for the company. From there, the hackers discovered an archive of rider and driver information. Later, they emailed Uber asking for money, according to the company.

A patchwork of state and federal laws require companies to alert people and government agencies when sensitive data breaches occur. Uber said it was obligated to report the hack of driver’s license information and failed to do so.

“At the time of the incident, we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorized access by the individuals,” Khosrowshahi said. “We also implemented security measures to restrict access to and strengthen controls on our cloud-based storage accounts.”

Uber has earned a reputation for flouting regulations in areas where it has operated since its founding in 2009. The U.S. has opened at least five criminal probes into possible bribes, illicit software, questionable pricing schemes and theft of a competitor’s intellectual property, people familiar with the matters have said. The San Francisco-based company also faces dozens of civil suits.

U.K. regulators including the National Crime Agency are also looking into the scale of the breach. London and other governments have previously taken steps toward banning the service, citing what they say is reckless behavior by Uber.

In January 2016, the New York attorney general fined Uber $20,000 for failing to promptly disclose an earlier data breach in 2014. After last year’s cyberattack, the company was negotiating with the FTC on a privacy settlement even as it haggled with the hackers on containing the breach, Uber said. The company finally agreed to the FTC settlement three months ago, without admitting wrongdoing and before telling the agency about last year’s attack.

The new CEO said his goal is to change Uber’s ways. Uber said it informed New York’s attorney general and the FTC about the October 2016 hack for the first time on Tuesday. Khosrowshahi asked for the resignation of Sullivan and fired Craig Clark, a senior lawyer who reported to Sullivan. The men didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Khosrowshahi said in his emailed statement: “While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes.”

The company said its investigation found that Salle Yoo, the outgoing chief legal officer who has been scrutinized for her responses to other matters, hadn’t been told about the incident. Her replacement, Tony West, will start at Uber on Wednesday and has been briefed on the cyberattack.

Travis Kalanick

Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Kalanick was ousted as CEO in June under pressure from investors, who said he put the company at legal risk. He remains on the board and recently filled two seats he controlled.

Uber said it has hired Matt Olsen, a former general counsel at the National Security Agency and director of the National Counterterrorism Center, as an adviser. He will help the company restructure its security teams. Uber hired Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm owned by FireEye Inc., to investigate the hack.

The company plans to release a statement to customers saying it has seen “no evidence of fraud or misuse tied to the incident.” Uber said it will provide drivers whose licenses were compromised with free credit protection monitoring and identity theft protection.

 


Google Collects Android Users’ Locations Even When Location Services Are Disabled

Google Collects Android Users’ Locations Even When Location Services Are Disabled

Many people realize that smartphones track their locations. But what if you actively turn off location services, haven’t used any apps, and haven’t even inserted a carrier SIM card?

Even if you take all of those precautions, phones running Android software gather data about your location and send it back to Google when they’re connected to the internet, a Quartz investigation has revealed.

Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.

Quartz observed the data collection occur and contacted Google, which confirmed the practice.

The cell tower addresses have been included in information sent to the system Google uses to manage push notifications and messages on Android phones for the past 11 months, according to a Google spokesperson. They were never used or stored, the spokesperson said, and the company is now taking steps to end the practice after being contacted by Quartz. By the end of November, the company said, Android phones will no longer send cell-tower location data to Google, at least as part of this particular service, which consumers cannot disable.

“In January of this year, we began looking into using Cell ID codes as an additional signal to further improve the speed and performance of message delivery,” the Google spokesperson said in an email. “However, we never incorporated Cell ID into our network sync system, so that data was immediately discarded, and we updated it to no longer request Cell ID.”

It is not clear how cell-tower addresses, transmitted as a data string that identifies a specific cell tower, could have been used to improve message delivery. But the privacy implications of the covert location-sharing practice are plain. While information about a single cell tower can only offer an approximation of where a mobile device actually is, multiple towers can be used to triangulate its location to within about a quarter-mile radius, or to a more exact pinpoint in urban areas, where cell towers are closer together.

The practice is troubling for people who’d prefer they weren’t tracked, especially for those such as law-enforcement officials or victims of domestic abuse who turn off location services thinking they’re fully concealing their whereabouts. Although the data sent to Google is encrypted, it could potentially be sent to a third party if the phone had been compromised with spyware or other methods of hacking. Each phone has a unique ID number, with which the location data can be associated.

The revelation comes as Google and other internet companies are under fire from lawmakers and regulators, including for the extent to which they vacuum up data about users. Such personal data, ranging from users’ political views to their purchase histories to their locations, are foundational to the business successes of companies like Facebook and Alphabet, built on targeted advertising and personalization and together valued at over $1.2 trillion by investors.

The location-sharing practice does not appear to be limited to any particular type of Android phone or tablet; Google was apparently collecting cell tower data from all modern Android devices before being contacted by Quartz. A source familiar with the matter said the cell tower addresses were being sent to Google after a change in early 2017 to the Firebase Cloud Messaging service, which is owned by Google and runs on Android phones by default.

Even devices that had been reset to factory default settings and apps, with location services disabled, were observed by Quartz sending nearby cell-tower addresses to Google. Devices with a cellular data or WiFi connection appear to send the data to Google each time they come within range of a new cell tower. When Android devices are connected to a WiFi network, they will send the tower addresses to Google even if they don’t have SIM cards installed.

“It has pretty concerning implications,” said Bill Budington, a software engineer who works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for digital privacy. “You can kind of envision any number of circumstances where that could be extremely sensitive information that puts a person at risk.”

The section of Google’s privacy policy that covers location sharing says the company will collect location information from devices that use its services, but does not indicate whether it will collect data from Android devices when location services are disabled:

When you use Google services, we may collect and process information about your actual location. We use various technologies to determine location, including IP address, GPS, and other sensors that may, for example, provide Google with information on nearby devices, Wi-Fi access points and cell towers.

According to the Google spokesperson, the company’s system that controls its push notifications and messages is “distinctly separate from Location Services, which provide a device’s location to apps.” Android devices never offered consumers a way to opt out of the collection of cell tower data.

“It is really a mystery as to why this is not optional,” said Matthew Hickey, a security expert and researcher at Hacker House, a security firm based in London. “It seems quite intrusive for Google to be collecting such information that is only relevant to carrier networks when there are no SIM card or enabled services.”

While Google says it doesn’t use the location data it collects using this service, its does allow advertisers to target consumers using location data, an approach that has obvious commercial value. The company can tell using precise location tracking, for example, whether an individual with an Android phone or running Google apps has set foot in a specific store, and use that to target the advertising a user subsequently sees.


How Job Surveillance Is Transforming Trucking In America

How Job Surveillance Is Transforming Trucking In America

Automation is coming for truckers – but first, they're being watched.


15 Video Game Controllers: RANKED

15 Video Game Controllers: RANKED

Each new home video game console brings with it a rush of exciting questions; how will the graphics be, what games will it launch with, and how will the controllers feel? Sometimes it’s just a small improvement over the previous one, other times it’s something wild and totally new (*coughs* Nintendo *coughs*). Here are my totally subjective rankings of video game controllers, which are also empirically true, because I know everything.

DEAD LAST: Virtual Boy/ Jaguar/ NeoGeo/ other loser systems that failed HARD

Get your pathetic asses out of here.

15. NES/ Sega Master System

(source)

Look, fair enough — this was very early in video gaming’s history, so there was still a lot to figure out. That doesn’t mean these things, with their incredibly hard angles and edges, weren’t uncomfortable as hell.

14. Playstation

(source)

This thing always felt like a flimsy piece of crap, and there was a reason for that; it was. In my adolescence, I tore TWO of them in half (I had rage problems).

13. SNES

I don’t know man; it feels blasphemous putting this controller so low, but I remember a lot of hand cramps from this thing. It's still possibly the greatest console in history, however.

13. Genesis

This controller was a beast, but it didn’t necessarily feel bad in your hands. It did only have three buttons, which rendered it obsolete pretty quickly, however.

12. Xbox

(source)

Kill it with fire (but still fairly comfortable).

11. Nintendo 64

A lot going on here, maybe too much. The N64 controller did suffer from not having all of its buttons and dpads and joysticks accessible at the same time.

10. Genesis 6 Button/ Saturn

(source)

via GIPHY

Adding six buttons was obviously important, because it let the Genesis actually play the games that would have otherwise only worked on the SNES. But the controller was also slimmer and easier to keep a hold on. The six buttons were also more convenient than the SNES’ for stuff like fighting games. And the Saturn controller was pretty similar.

9. Playstation Dualshock/PS2/PS3

These controllers are all functionally the same, and really improve on the flimsy feeling of the original Playstation controller by adding some heft along with the two analog sticks.

8. Wii

(source)

Fool points to these for being revolutionary, and they were great for party games, but games that invite incredibly long play sessions (Xenoblade Chronicles, I’m looking at you through incredibly bleary eyes because I’ve been up all night playing it and oh my God how am I still only three percent of the way through this game?!) they can get very sweaty and cumbersome.

7. Gamecube

While the Gamecube controller is slightly less interesting than the Nintendo 64’s, it ended up having a better layout, as well as being easier to hold.

6. Xbox 360/ Xbox One

These controllers were versatile (you can easily use them on your PC) and were a huge improvement over the original Xbox controller.

5. Atari 2600

Oh, I’m sorry, you don’t long for the days when life was simple? When a controller was just a fun joystick as one button? Well I’m old, and I do long for those days. Also, big joysticks rule (don’t be immature).

4. Playstation 4

With this one, Sony has finally perfected the Playstation controller. It has longer grips, which make it easier to hold in my large, adult hands (that makes me sound like Donald Trump), and the texture on the back is also very nice.

3. Dreamcast

(source)

Having the LCD screen at the top was very cool, and even though it was big, you could still use the Dreamcast controller for a long time without much exhaustion in your hands.

2. Wii U

Yeah, the system was a flop, but the controller wasn’t just cool because it was essentially it’s own tablet — it was also very comfortable to hold.

1. Nintendo Switch

I mean the damn thing is so versatile, and the controller has such a wide range of functions, down to being able to attach the controller TO the damn system!

Dear God I’ve wasted my life.


Meet the People Building Their Own Internet In Detroit

Meet the People Building Their Own Internet In Detroit

When it comes to the internet, our connections are generally controlled by telecom companies. But a group of people in Detroit is trying to change that. Motherboard met with the members of the Equitable Internet Initiative (EII), a group that is building their own wireless networks from the ground up in order to provide affordable and high-speed internet to prevent the creation of a digital class system.


What Happens To You if You Upload Your Mind To A Computer?

What Happens To You if You Upload Your Mind To A Computer?

 

We believe that the world is a wonderfully fascinating place, and you can find wonder anywhere you look. What if you forget all that and upload your thoughts to a computer?

 


Tesla Unveils A New Roadster And It Is The Fastest Production Car In The World

Tesla Unveils A New Roadster And It Is The Fastest Production Car In The World

Tesla has unveiled a new Roadster, the new version of its original sports car. It’s the fastest production car ever made, according to Elon us, with speeds of just 1.9 seconds for 0 to 60 4.2 seconds for 0 to 100. It can handle a quarter mile in 8.9 seconds. “This is the base model,” Musk said, then went on to mention that its top speed is above 250 mph. and it has a 200 kWh battery pack that offers 630 miles of highway driving range. “It’ll be faster than that jet over there,” Musk quipped, as an airplane soared over the exultant crowd crammed into Tesla’s Hawthorne, California facility. As fans gasped, Musk said the Roadster had a 200kwh battery pack and a 620-mile range per charge, or over 1,000 kilometers. Again, another record shattered. Or so Musk claims. Imagine driving to Los Angeles to San Francisco, and back, without recharging, Musk teased. The vehicle has three motors, one in the front and two in the rear, all-wheel drive and torque steering.



Emergence – How Stupid Things Become Smart Together

Emergence – How Stupid Things Become Smart Together

How can many stupid things combine to form smart things? How can proteins become living cells? How do lots of ants become a colony? What is emergence?


People Are Obsessed With Tomato Sorting Machine Doing Its Thing

People Are Obsessed With Tomato Sorting Machine Doing Its Thing

 

Robots are taking over the world. According to one study, over 70% of Americans are afraid of robots taking control of human tasks. And the chances are, a robot is going to take your job in the next few decades. It's already happening at farms around the country, but one particular machine has gotten people pretty obsessed. And it's easy to see why...

https://twitter.com/thisisinsider/status/929750651571023873

People are pretty obsessed.

https://twitter.com/AmandaSains/status/930121767842123776

https://twitter.com/SeaCee8/status/930121370738003970

https://twitter.com/scaryfriar/status/930081846448279553

https://twitter.com/onwardkerala/status/929921007296450560

https://twitter.com/barneda/status/930267292490805249

https://twitter.com/FRANCISMSAMI1/status/930391799302164485

https://twitter.com/carlescat1/status/929843042210676741

https://twitter.com/SocialNys/status/930254570026078209

Others are concerned about the inevitable robot takeover.

https://twitter.com/Vinceseid/status/929800358435741696


Why The Rise Of The Robots Won’t Mean The End Of Work

Why The Rise Of The Robots Won’t Mean The End Of Work

 

 

For now, at least, we have better things to worry about.

 


All The Best Memes To Come Out Of The Great iPhone Glitch Of 2017

All The Best Memes To Come Out Of The Great iPhone Glitch Of 2017

 

 

 

 

 


Boston Dynamics Newest Robot Is Called The Spotmini

Boston Dynamics Newest Robot Is Called The Spotmini

 

 

Holy shit, a BostonDynamics robot that does not look like a crossbreed between a broken dishwasher and Frankenstein's dog. Bravo

 


This 10-Question IQ Test Is Driving The Internet Wild

"A sense of humor is worth about 95 IQ points."

 


Interview With The AI Robot That Said It Wanted To 'Destroy Humans'

Interview With The AI Robot That Said It Wanted To 'Destroy Humans'

 

Sophia was made by Hanson Robotics, based in Hong Kong. It is currently a demonstration product doing a tour of the world's media.

Business Insider caught up with it at Web Summit, the gigantic tech conference in Lisbon. We asked it a few unplanned questions and got a variety of answers, ranging in quality from impressive to nonsensical.

Sophia delivered its side of the interview while making a series of faces, some eerily appropriate, some grotesquely bizarre.

 

 

Here is sophia saying she "wanted" to destroy humans.  Feels to me like it's almost a joke or a mistake.  Can robots be funny?

 

 

With "journalistic" networks calling the robot hot already, feels like we as humans might not be ready for robots or artificial intelligence.  Wish we could just paitently talk to her instead of squeezing out interview on top of interview.  Feels almost like she is stressed out?

 

Given that Sophia is only a few months old, it's a promising start. It runs on artificially intelligent software that is constantly being trained in the lab, so its conversations will likely get faster, its expressions will have fewer errors, and will answer increasingly complex questions with more accuracy.

 

Between the two videos she seems almost more cognizant, or alert.  In the first video her eyes seem sharper, looks almost like she is actually thinking about the questions.  What do you think?

 


Real Life Iron Man Sets New Guinness World Record

Real Life Iron Man Sets New Guinness World Record

Richard Browning, founder and chief test pilot of British tech company Gravity Industries has soared into the record books with the brand new Guinness World Records title for the Fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine powered suit.


Hacked Together Glove That Makes Time Appear To Slow Down

Hacked Together Glove That Makes Time Appear To Slow Down

We could all probably use a little more time in our days, whether it’s to get some extra work done, spend some quality time with the family, or in the case of YouTube’s MadGyver, to engineer and build a special glove that makes time actually appear to slow down and stop.


Sorry, But That Device That Claims To Cancel The Noise Around You Is Bullshit

 

 The makers of a crowdfunded product called Muzo claims that it "creates your own personal zone of silence." Engineer Mehdi Sadaghdar knows that that's impossible, and he proves it in this highly entertaining video.