Firefox Metro for Windows 8 to Go Public in December

Firefox Metro is now offered in the Nightly build.

Last week, Mozilla's Firefox planning meeting revealed that the company intends to launch a Modern UI version, aka Firefox Metro, on December 10. But as shown on the Mozilla start page upon loading Firefox, it's actually available now in the Nightly channel, and the company is currently calling on Windows 8 customers to help fine-tune the browser before it's merged into the Aurora channel (Aurora 26) on September 16.

"We’ve been working hard to bring the Firefox experience to Windows 8 and have an early version we'd like to share," the company states. "This Firefox is an experimental touch-friendly version optimized for Windows 8. Of course, you can always enjoy the stable, desktop version of Firefox in the traditional, desktop mode."

According to Mozilla, the Windows Aurora Firefox build featuring the Modern UI interface will be publicized as the Metro Preview Release next month. All Aurora features will then be merged into the Beta channel on October 28, thus making the Windows 8 touch-based version available to the Beta audience. After that, Firefox Metro is scheduled to be released as Firefox 26 on December 10 if all goes well.

For now, Firefox Metro appears in the Windows 8 Start screen as a blue "Nightly" tile. This build must be set as the default browser in order for the tile to not kick users back into the desktop version. Even after confirmation and the Firefox Metro version still fails to load, users will need to go into the browser's Options/Advanced/General panel and manually set Nightly as the default program.

As with all other Windows 8 apps, Firefox Metro consumes the entire screen. It can also be docked to the left column, docked to the right column, or dragged to another screen to consume its entire visual space. A "plus" sign sits to the right so that users can open another tab, and a left arrow on the left which serves as a back button.

To view all tabs, users simply right-click anywhere on the current page; the horizontal Tabs bar enters from the top of the screen and the address bar from the bottom. A back button is also present on the address bar as well as the usual bookmark star, pin button and find in page/view on desktop button. The Charms bar plays host to the settings, share button and so on.

News of the impending Firefox Metro arrives after Mozilla said that ZTE will begin selling phones using Firefox OS on eBay "soon" for $79.99 USD ($59.99 on eBay UK). There won’t be any local apps or features because these devices are general, unlocked global variants targeted at developers and early adopters around the globe. As the devices are open market devices, they are not optimized for specific networks, the company said.

Just recently, Web measurement company Net Applications revealed that Firefox has lost more than 11 percent of its user share over the last two months. At the end of July, Firefox owned 18.3 percent of the desktop browser market, whereas Chrome's market share was 17.8 percent, up two points since May. If the numbers continue, then Chrome will likely surpass Firefox by the end of the month.
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Samsung Starts Mass Production Of Advanced DDR4 Memory

Samsung announced today that it is mass producing DDR4 RAM modules in 16GB and 32GB capacities, following news that 16GB modules were being sampled back in July 2012. Samsung boasts that its modules support up to 2667Mbps transfer speeds, and that the 4Gb DDR4 memory chips used by the modules lower power consumption by 30 percent relative to comparable DDR3 chips.

The chips are expected to deliver a data transmission rate of 2.667 gigabits per second, which is 1.25x the speed achieved with 20nm-class DDR3 RAM.

    “The adoption of ultra-high-speed DDR4 in next-generation server systems this year will initiate a push toward advanced premium memory across the enterprise,” said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president, memory sales and marketing, Samsung Electronics. “After providing cutting-edge performance with our timely supply of 16GB DDR3 earlier this year, we are continuing to extend the premium server market in 2013 and will now focus on higher density and added performance with 32GB DDR4, and contribute to even greater growth of the green IT market in 2014.”

In late 2012, JEDEC finalized the DDR4 specification, which promised more performance, reliablity and efficiency compared to current DDR3 modules. DDR4 DRAM will be capable of 1.6 GT/s (gigatransfers per second) to 3.2 GT/s per pin, while running at a lower 1.2 volts, down from the 1.5 volts required for DDR3 memory.

Samsung hasn’t specified when their DDR4 RAM modules will be available to purchase, or how much they’ll cost, but the company claims that through using their 4 Gb DDR4 chip, they’ve developed “industry’s largest lineup of products tailored to applications from servers to mobile devices”.
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Elon Musk Building A Gesture Based System Like Iron Man

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors has often been compared to Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Both Musk and the facilities at SpaceX have had brief cameo appearances in Iron Man 2, whilst director Jon Favreau was open about the fact that Musk had been the inspiration behind the first Iron Man movie.

Now it seems that Musk is about to make Tony Stark a reality after it has been revealed in a tweet that he has “figured out how to design rocket parts just with hand movements.” Favreau tweeted asking “Like in Iron Man?”, and Musk responded that was the plan. With these tweets and the plans for the Hyperloop transportation system, it’s no wonder that Musk is compared to Iron Man.
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Brain Signals Sent Via the Internet

In a press release, two scientists from the University of Washington claim to be the first to demonstrate brain-to-brain communication. A signal was sent from Rajesh Rao to the brain of Andrea Stocco via the internet, causing him to move his hand.

Chantel Prat, an assistant professor of psychology who also worked on the project said, “The experiment is a proof in concept. We have tech to reverse engineer the brain signal and transmit it from one brain to another via computer.” A lot of work was involved in achieving the results of the experiment.

Rao had to spend time training his mind with feedback from the computer to emit the brainwave for moving the right hand so that it coulld be detected by the brain. “The intention can be as detectable as the movement itself,” Prat said. “Brain-computer interfaces have been capturing this with increasing accuracy over the last decade.”
The software detects the right signal and sends it via the Internet to a computer that is connected to a transcranial magnetic stimulation device, which is posistioned on the exact spot of the brain that controls the right hand. Although this may seem like a small advancement, the scientists believe it shows what is possible.
Prat explains, “Right now the only way to transfer information from one brain to another is with words. With advances in computer science and neuroscience, people could eventually perform complicated tasks, such as flying an airplane, and dancing the tango, by transferring information in a noninvasive way from one brain to another.

You can imagine all complex motor skills, which are difficult to verbalize, are just chains of procedures.” There is a concern that people will not like the idea of this technology being used to control minds against their will but Prat says at the moment this is not possible. “The signal is being transmitted remotely through the Internet, but the humans are connected to physical equipment and must be trained to create the right signals. There is no way to control minds without their willingness,” she said. Who knows how this will develp in the future.

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Top 10 Computer Tricks Every Geek Should Know

We've talked before about the things every computer user should know how to do, but we geeks are special: we want to go above and beyond, to explore every nook and cranny of our system and make everything easier. Here are ten ways to do just that.

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New Brain Scanning Technique ‘Can Read Minds’

Scientists have discovered a new brain scanning technique which can bring the old mind-reading party trick closer to reality. With the help of a high resolution MRI and a mathematical model, Dutch researchers were able to convert brain activity into an actual image.
The Radboud University’s team tested the technology on several subjects which had been shown various letters. The scanning technique helped researchers reconstruct an image of the brain in the process of recognizing the letters.

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Facebook Wants to Give Internet to 5 Billion People

Mark Zuckerberg has a dream. And if we’ve learned anything from the ‘Social Network’ is that what the Facebook founder wants, the Facebook founder gets.
This time, Zuckerberg wants to give Internet to 5 billion people. Just imagine how many new Facebook users that means.

Joking aside, and trying to ignore the profit such an enterprise could bring, Facebook has actually teamed up with several tech giants to set up, an organization whose main target is to bring the WWW to those parts of the world that still don’t have access to it. Other founding members include Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung, among others.

The organization names three major lines of action to reach their goals of offering widespread Internet access as a means to boost social, economic and political development and contribute to humankind progress, according to a UN Human Rights Council quote posted on the website.

The first step is to make Internet access more affordable, possibly by using high quality, yet lower cost smartphones. The second step is to use data in a more efficient manner; more specifically, to reduce the amount of data most Internet applications require, and one way to achieve this is by improving the infrastructure.  And the third step would be to bring in businesses that would support the project by offering them incentives.
One can’t ignore that this is quite an ambitious plan, even if it is far from being an altruistic one. All the companies involved, Facebook included, would benefit from bringing Internet to 5 billion people. According to the group, only a little over one third of the world’s population, 2.7 billion people have Internet access at the moment.

In an interview with CNN, Zuckerberg insisted that connectivity is a human right and would offer people access to things such as healthcare and information about their country’s state of affairs, ultimately helping them decide what sort of government they want.

Which is truly admirable, but it will take a lot of time until the plan can become reality, according to analysts. One of the major issues that the initiative will have to overcome is the lack of a constant electricity supply in most developing countries that the program is targeting. Other problems include the lack of proper infrastructure, poverty and illiteracy.
In other words, all those billions of new Facebook users won’t be able to share much and tag themselves in photos if they can’t read or only have enough electricity to check their feed only a couple of times per week.

So overall, the plan to bring Internet to 5 billion people is a good idea, but unlikely to happen any time soon. What do you think of the initiative? Should the tech giants behind it focus on other priority issues for the developing world before going ahead with the connectivity idea?

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Ambient Backscatter: Harvesting Power from Thin Air

A new system of wireless communication allows devices to interact and send data from one to another without having any source of power, whether it’s from batteries or a power outlet.
The system is based on the new ambient backscatter technology, which practically harvests all the existing signals in the air and converts them into power for communication devices.
University of Washington researchers created the new system, which absorbs all the different kinds of transmissions all around us in the air, from radio waves, TV and cell signals to mobile networks and Wi-Fi, and transforms them to both a source of electricity and a medium for battery-free communication.

Basically, prototype devices using the technology are equipped with antennas to pick up the signals and reflect them back and forth, in a coded version similar to Morse code. Other devices equipped with similar antennas then intercept and decode the signal and send a response, allowing full communication without any exterior power source and without any human intervention.
Washington University researchers tested the technology with devices the size of credit cards, consisting of circuit boards, antennas and a LED light, without any batteries. The devices were placed within several feet of each other and tested in different urban settings, including on a street corner and in an apartment.

The devices were able to communicate even when 6.5 miles away from a TV tower. The prototypes were able to transmit information at a rate of 1 kilobit per second both outdoors (2.5 feet apart) and indoors (1.5 feet apart). The rate is enough to transmit text messages or relay sensor data.
Researchers believe the technology can have multiple applications, most notably in speeding up the development of what is known as ‘the Internet of Things.’ The concept has to do with interconnecting everything in our environment, but one of the major obstacles is the need to provide every device that would be part of such a network with a sustainable power source.

The ambient backscatter technology could be used in construction, to incorporate sensors in concrete structures so as to monitor the integrity of that structure, without having to worry about the sensor running out of power.  The tech could also be used to allow smartphones to send text messages even if their battery is dead, or to tag various items such as keys, wallet or phone to transmit their location if they are lost.
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Pre Order Xbox One & PS4 At Walmart

For those super impatient gamers out there who cannot wait to get their hands on an  Xbox One or a Playstation 4, or in some cases both! there is good news!  You can pre-order the next generation consoles from Wal-Mart from August 24th.  In order to pre-order a PS4 or Xbox One console, Wal-Mart is requiring a 10% down payment, which is $40 for the PS4 and $50 for the Xbox One. Wal-Mart is then allowing customers until December 13, 2013 to pay off their consoles in full, even if the consoles release before that date.

Pre-order customers can make payments as they please, but must pay off the console in full before taking it home.  The Xbox One Day One Edition version of the console will retail for $499.00, and the Playstation 4 will carry a price of $399.00.
The Walmart Press release quoted below gives you all the necessary information about the scheme, consoles and games available: Walmart Taking Xbox One and PS4 Pre-Orders In Stores Nationwide Starting August 24. Walmart is making it easier to be among the first to play the long-anticipated Microsoft Xbox® One and Sony PlayStation® 4.
Starting, Saturday, August 24, customers can visit Walmart stores nationwide to pre-order the console of their choice. Quantities are limited so customers are encouraged to secure their console early.  “We know millions of our customers can’t wait to get their hands on the Xbox One and PS4,” said Laura Phillips, senior vice president of Entertainment for Walmart U.S. “As the current market share leader in video game hardware and accessories, customers can trust Walmart to have the latest gaming consoles and new releases available at a great low price.”  Customers simply need to see an associate in the Electronics department and take the following steps to secure the PS4™ or Xbox® One: Provide a 10 percent down payment – $40 for PS4™ and $50 for Xbox One.  Make payments over time or in full when the console becomes available.  Pick up the console on the launch date.
Walmart will hold pre-ordered consoles for customers wanting more time to pay it off until December 13, 2013.  The Xbox® One Day One Edition console for $499.00 includes an Xbox One System, Kinect, Day One Commemorative Edition Controller, an Exclusive Achievement and Special Edition Packaging. The PS4™ console for $399.00 includes a PlayStation® 4 System, DualShock 4 Controller and Wired Mono Headset. Walmart will also offer customers the option to reserve extra controllers and select games such as Forza Motorsport 5, Deadrising 3, Ryse, Killzone, Knack and Driveclub for $59.96 each.
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How To Hack Windows Password Using Ophcrack ?

What Is Ophcrack ?

Opcrack is an open source windows password cracker based on rainbow tables. It comes with Graphical user interface(GUI) and runs on multiple platform such windows, linux and mac.  It allows you to recover or hack windows password. 

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Make Desktop wallpaper ,screensaver unchangeable using Group Policy Editor

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Turn Any Surface Into A Touch Screen With Microsoft’s System

I think that every technophile has had that dream – turning any surface into a touch screen. It might not be as cool as having a virtual screen come up in front of you – heck, surround you – like in many movies, but having the ability to convert a surface into a touch screen is not something to scoff at, is it? And, guess what? Microsoft has a system that can do just that.

Microsoft has received more than its fair share of flak, and I am not exempt from doing some bashing now and then, but that company is not all that bad. Now, imagine if you had a bare wall which you could turn into a touch screen? Teachers, presenters, and speakers would have a field day! For shops, turning a table into a touch screen would also bring brownie points with customers. Lots of brownie points. At home, kids can have more interaction using the kitchen table to play.
The possibilities are humongous, aren’t they?
So how does this “turn any surface into a touch screen” thing work?
It involves Kinect sensors, projectors, and the Ubi software created particularly for this purpose. Take a look at the video below to see just how it works.

 Impressive and exciting, right? But how much will this setup cost you? Well, count the cost of a Kinect for Windows sensor, a projector, a PC running on Windows, and the Ubi software. They have different packages, ranging from $149 to $1499.
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DO-RA Radiation Meter For iPhone

The use of smartphone extension hardware is not a new idea, the device plugs into the headphone jack  or the USB interface on your phone and extends the phone’s use by feeding data it is designed to gather back to an app. I don’t think, however, that I have ever seen something like DO-RA, it’s a personal dosimeter-radiometer for measuring background radiation.

The market for this may not be for everybody, however, there are specific regions that have suffered major nuclear incidents, like Fukushima or Chernobyl, or for people who work in the nuclear industry.  DO-RA’s creators says Japan is going to be a key target market when they go into production, with other target markets being the U.S.A and Europe.  The firm behind this device, Intersoft Eurasia, says it will initially be able to ship 1 million DO-RA devices per year into these three markets.  The device is due to go into commercial production very soon, this autumn, in fact.  The Russian startup company behind DO-RA, claims to have interested parties, wanting orders, totalling 1,300 over the last few months, without doing any advertising campaigns (note, the majority of pre-orders are male iPhone and iPad owners).

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Microsoft Preview The Xbox One Dashboard

Microsoft have been rather guarded as far as letting us see the Xbox One’s user interface. It demonstrated the UI at the unveiling and then at E3 but only in very small doses. However, the company is now starting to focus on this aspect of the console, showing off the dashboard at Gamescom 2013. Although what was shown was not the final design, it gives us a good idea of what to expect when it is released in November.

The flat menu design makes it look more like a normal Microsoft experience and it all starts with a log in. The Xbox One allows six accounts to be signed in simultaneously, with Kinect able to tell the difference between the users just by the sound of their voice.

Microsoft is also making good use of the console’s IR blaster. The Xbox One is able to control individual components that make up a home theater, for example a TV or receiver. It recognises commands such as “Xbox, volume up”. Like a Harmony remote, you simply need to search for a device rather than trying to deal with codes or long-winded menus.

It is also possible to record the last 30 seconds of gameplay by simply commanding the console “Xbox, record that”. The captured clips can then be shared through a variety of video services via a dedicated Upload app that can be attached to the side of your screen.

As the November release date gets ever nearer, then no doubt more information will surface and we’ll update you as it comes through.
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Sigmo: Instant Voice Translator into 25 Languages

If you’ve been dreaming about the possibility of instantly communicating in any language, just like in Star Trek, you should know that this dream is now closer to reality. With Sigmo, the universal translator. 

The device, which translates speech into 25 different languages, relies on a Bluetooth connection with any smartphone and processing translation from an online cloud. And it does this in real time, thus eliminating the constant need for any tourist in search of directions to shove their phone in people’s faces.
 So what is this instant voice translator? The Sigmo prototype is a small square box that looks quite stylish and can be worn around the neck, attached to your belt or to any other accessory. It is small enough to fit any pocket and can be easily paired with your smartphone or even iOS or Android devices. The device has two modes of translation. It can be operated by setting up your native language and the language you translate to. By pressing the first button, your speech is instantly translated and by pressing the second, you will hear a translation of what your interlocutor is saying.
How does it work? Well, this is not some kind of magic that this little translator app performs on its own. Sigmo relies on existing online translation services, namely Google Translate and other resources. Thus everything is sourced from the Internet, so your smartphone will have to be connected, in order for Sigmo to operate. The team behind this little device, however, claim they are working on an offline mode version that will work based on a more limited vocabulary.
While Sigmo is not yet as advanced as the universal translator we have seen in Star Trek, its efficiency is still unquestionable. The device supports 25 languages at the moment, including English, Spanish, German and Japanese. The team of young researchers who came up with the device ensure us that the number of supported languages will increase as online translation services will come up with more updates.

The Sigmo universal translator is being featured on a very successful Indiegogo campaign and in only a few days, it has managed to surpass the creators’ $15.000 funding goal by $5.000. The initial price for the device will be $50, including free and instant access to online translating resources.

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Yahoo Weather Wows on Android

There is no lack of weather apps – and web sites – but there is much to be said about weather apps looking good and working excellently. Of the entities who know about weather and dishing up information to users, Yahoo is perhaps one of the oldest and most known, and now, they are making waves with Yahoo Weather on Android.

Released on Google Play last week, Yahoo Weather has been garnering positive comments from users, critics, and even competitors! Even Apple has recognized the awesome design of the app, referring to the iOS version, of course.
So, what’s with the Yahoo Weather app on Android that should convince you to ditch all other apps in the niche?
One look at those images, and there really isn’t much to say about the aesthetics, is there? Even though people have varying tastes when it comes to design, one would be hard pressed to find negative things to remark about the design of Yahoo Weather.
The fact that the stunning photos used for the background change to match the current weather conditions is icing on top of the cake. Heck, even if the weather forecast is not to your liking, the background images just might make up for that!
Additional features of Yahoo Weather on Android include:
  • Highly acclaimed design with beautiful photos that match your location, time of day, and current weather condition
  • Detailed weather information, including 10-day and 24-hour temperature forecasts
  • Interactive radar, satellite, heat, and wind maps
  • Severe weather alerts
  • Animated sunrise & sunset times and wind & pressure modules
  • Humidity sensor, UV index, and chance of precipitation
  • New home screen widgets
I think that the combination of eye candy and technical features is a recipe for success in this particular case, and with an average of 4.4 stars on Google Play (more than 100k reviews), Yahoo Weather on Android is bound to hold a good position in its niche.
What weather app are you using? Have you tried Yahoo Weather yet?
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PlayStation 4 Release Date Official: November 15

At Gamescom conference yesterday, Sony finally announced a PlayStation 4 release date. The next-generation console will launch in North America on November 15.

The gaming system will be available in Europe as of November 29 and is expected to be released in a total of 32 countries by the end of the year.

The announced release date will pit Sony’s PlayStation 4 directly against rival Microsoft’s Xbox One console, which is also expected to launch in November, at a yet undisclosed date. This will be the first time the two tech giants are releasing their consoles almost simultaneously.

The new console will be available in North America for $399. It will retail for £349 in the UK and for €399 in Europe.  The lower price tag, compared to Xbox One’s announced retail cost of $500 has driven PS4 pre-orders. Sony has announced at Gamescom that they already have more than one million orders for the next-generation console worldwide.

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Hyetis Crossbow Smartwatch with 41MP Camera

Smartwatches are virtually everywhere these days, so in such a crowded market, it’s pretty difficult for any newcomer to get noticed. The Crossbow smartwatch from Swiss manufacturers Hyetis, however, is unlikely to have this problem.
The Hyetis smartwatch boasts some very impressive features and a stunning design that combines today’s taste for tech with a 1970s retro look. But the most amazing part of the whole ensemble is undoubtedly its 41 megapixel camera.

The Crossbow is a blend of Swiss watch making tradition and state-of-the-art digital technology. The timepiece is equipped with an automatic movement system meant to ensure the fact that it will always tell the time with high accuracy.
In terms of smart features, Hyetis equipped the gadget with everything a good smartwatch needs: it can connect with smartphones that run iOS, Android and Windows, and is equipped with Bluetooth, WiFi and NFC.

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Worlds Thinnest Smartphone: Vivo X3T

I have had a number of different smartphones over the past few years, some have felt like a brick in my pocket, others felt slim and lightweight, but nothing prepared me for the BBK Vivo X3T, at a extremely thin, almost wafer thin if you will, 5.75mm thick it has passed its Chinese certification for sale and is expected to launch as early as August 22! on the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile.

The specifications for this marvellous piece of kit are as follows:  5-inch FHD at 1080 x 1920 Resolution, MediaTek 1.5GHz Quad-Core Processor, 1GB RAM, 8MP Camera, 5MP FFC (Front Facing Camera), 143.27mm x 71.03mm x 5.75mm, weighing only 150 grams and running Android Jelly Bean 4.2
The war continues to drag on for who can build the slimmest smartphone, but at only 5.75mm, the BBK Vivo X3T is the hands down, winner for now.  Only the other day at 6.18mm, Huawei’s Ascend P6, was the thinnest ruling smartphone on the market. The next in line was the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra which comes in at 6.5mm.  We need to just remember though, with thinness, comes less room, coupled with that comes a smaller battery, which means, obviously, shorter battery cycles and increased recharges. There is no battery size specified, as yet on the BBK Vivo X3T, but Huawei’s Ascend P6 has only a 2000mAh battery, so we should be expecting that or even smaller in the Vivo X3T.

The amount of stories I have heard regarding a screen being broken, due to a person’s smartphone (Galaxy S3 comes to mind) being left in a pocket is unreal.  However, it doesn’t help the situation when manufacturers and developers make the devices even thinner, does it? I would be happy with a slightly bigger phone with a  larger battery to give increased battery life, not to mention a sturdier handset!  Small and think is great, but at what cost?
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So how many people can read your email?

There was a time when it would have seemed over the top to encrypt an email. But, even ignoring the recent surveillance scandals from the United States, it’s long been a fact that giving your email a little extra privacy is no bad idea.

Although it’s seldom used by private emailers, encryption is actually quite easy to employ. A lot of applications also make it free and easy to set up.
Inquiries about encryption have been on the rise of late, says Kei Ishii, who runs a German consumer information portal.

“It’s like a letter and a mailbox,” explains Frank Timmermann of the Institute for Internet Security at Germany’s Westphalia University of Applied Sciences. “Unencrypted mails are the postcards, those with encryption are the ones in an envelope.” 

And there’s no reason not to encrypt, experts say. It has nothing to do with hiding deep, dark secrets, but with “recognizing our rights,” notes Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).
Public Key Infrastructure (PIK) technology is the key to encryption. It makes use of something called a public key to encrypt information, while a private key is needed to open it up. 
The public key can best be envisioned as used to lock up a mailbox once it contains a letter for a recipient, says the BSI.

That mailbox can then only be opened with the private key. Public keys are procured from special servers where everyone can see what’s needed to encrypt an email. But the private key can only be accessed with a password stored on one’s own computer.

There are two main — and incompatible — standards for email encryption: OpenPGP (Open Pretty Good Privacy) and S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions). S/MIME functions with keys from certificate sites, so-called trust centres, and usually costs money.

That’s one of the reasons OpenPGP is more popular among private users. It’s easy to put together a key in a short span of time. OpenPGP is used in applications like Gpgrwin for Outlook for Windows, Enigmail for Thunderbird (Windows/Mac OS/Linux) or GPGTools (Mac OS).

There’s no reason not to encrypt, even when using standard webmail services like Gmail, Yahoo or
Add-ons like Mailvelope for Chrome (under development for Firefox) come in handy here. To encrypt email on a smartphone, check out the app shop to see what’s available. There’s Android Privacy Guard (APG) for Android mobiles, or iPGMail for iPhones.

But problems persist. Setting up encryption for multiple devices can be a nuisance. A bigger one is that so many of one’s contacts might not be using it.

“The network effect is missing,” says Ishii. “Even if you use it, there’s often no one there with whom one can communicate.” But it’s still worth it to set up encryption systems. After all, one can decide before every email sent whether to use it or not.
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Quantum Teleportation Breakthrough

Before you jump off the deep end and have visions of “Beam me up Scotty” the research is nowhere near that advanced yet!  However, we are few steps closer than you may think, as scientists from Japan and Switzerland, have produced new research developments which “could change the very face of computing and technological security,” according to the National Journal.  The study of quantum teleportation is a process which uses the peculiarities of entangled quantum states in a pair of particles, such as photons, to transfer information from one location to another instantaneously.

The two research teams in question have said they achieved breakthroughs in controlling quantum teleportation.  The Japanese scientific research team have developed a “hybrid technique involving continuous variable teleportation of a discrete variable, photonic qubit.” This fresh technique minimizes photon loss during the quantum teleportation of information between photons, thereby “allowing for a faithful qubit transfer even with imperfect continuous variable entangled states,” they said.

In the interim, the Swiss scientists, headed up by Andreas Wallraff of the Quantum Device Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, has accomplished “full deterministic quantum teleportation with feed forward” using a “chip-based superconducting circuit architecture” (a microchip) the scientists said.

The device the team have created appears to get around a big problem in quantum teleportation, that of measuring the particles used in the process, known as qubits, alters them. The Swiss team have crafted a chip with micro circuits that “each act like an atom,” the National Journal reported, explaining that “tiny transmission lines connect the circuits and carry microwave radiation, which essentially joins the circuits and their properties to one another.” Utilising this device, those scientists were able to input quantum information into one circuit and cause a signal going to a second circuit to change, then “use that altered signal to determine the first circuit’s original properties and transfer them to the second circuit.”  In simpler terms, the scientists were able to “teleport” an electrical current from one circuit to another and measure the changed state with altering it, something no one has ever accomplished before.

These developments and other quantum teleportation breakthroughs are to be seen as keys to the maturation of quantum computing and quantum encryption.  These two intertwined, embryonic technologies theoretically could herald vastly more powerful computers than we see today and with them we maybe able to achieve the ultimate in cyber security, the uncrackable protocol, able to totally protect data transfers.

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Google & Microsoft Row over Windows Phone YouTube App

Windows phone users who want to watch funny cat videos on YouTube won’t be able to do it any time soon. At least not until Microsoft and Google find a way to solve their long-running dispute over a Windows phone YouTube app.

The bitter row between the two giants began earlier this year and escalated last week when Google blocked a new YouTube Windows phone app just two days after it was released. Google, which owns YouTube, said the app violates its terms of service

Google said the decision was made because Microsoft has not made the changes required and did not build a YouTube app based on HTML5, as instructed. Microsoft responded that neither Android nor iPhone apps are built on HTML5, so Google’s accusation was clearly manufactured.
A lawyer for Microsoft, David Howard, said Google’s action clearly shows that the search engine giant was deliberately trying to hinder the Windows phone platform by denying it access to YouTube.
Howard insisted that Google’s requirements are impossible to meet and are inconsistent, since the company is not asking the same of its own Android platform or Apple’s mobile operating system.

The reasons cited by Google seem manufactured, so that Microsoft cannot offer Windows phone users the same experience as other mobile platform users are getting, the lawyer said.
Google in turn defended its decision and said Microsoft failed to make the necessary browser upgrades for the YouTube Windows app. Instead, the company re-released the same Windows phone app that was already rejected by Google earlier this year, for violating its terms of service.
Back in May, Google asked Microsoft to take down its YouTube app from the Windows Phone Store because it did not allow the display of advertisements. The two companies found common ground on the matter and announced that they would work together on developing an app that would respect the video website’s terms. The Windows app Google blocked last week is presumably the result of the collaboration.

It’s unclear what will happen now, but what’s for certain is that Microsoft needs access to YouTube for its smartphones more than Google actually needs the relatively small number of Windows phone users. Windows phone is currently the third most popular mobile OS, after Android (79% of the market) and iOS (at 14.2%). The Windows phone holds 3.3% of the smartphone market.
What do you think may happen? Will Microsoft retaliate with a lawsuit, as some analysts suggest? Or will they just play nice and do whatever it takes to get their Windows phone YouTube app unblocked?
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MIT Creates New Multi-Material 3D Printing Software

3D printing technology is advancing in huge leaps, but most printers are still only able to create objects from only one type of material. The few printers that are able to print in multiple materials are excruciatingly slow and difficult to use.
But a new software pipeline developed by MIT researchers will make multi-material 3D printing a lot faster and easier, paving the way to creating objects of different texture and density practically in one go.

Current 3D printing methods using multiple materials require the creation of complex codes so as to instruct the printer how to produce various sections of the printable object. This would imply storing and processing huge amounts of data to print even a tiny object, which would make the entire process quite cumbersome and lengthy.
And this is where MIT’s research comes in. The university’s CSAIL (Computer Science and
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Meta Want To Mediate Your Reality

Meta is working hard on a project, which aims to not just augment reality but mediate it. The company’s CTO, Raymond Lo and chief scientist Steve Mann are aiming to meld together reality and all things digital in a fully functional computing device.

A couple of months ago, Meta showcased a prototype of a mediated reality headset. There were displays of typing in thin air and digital objects being grabbed and moved. Since then the company has made some improvements to the protype and the next step is work on the appearance of the technology.

So what is the differecnce between augmented and mediated reality? Well augmented reality adds things to your field of view, while mediated reality can add what you want to see and remove what you don’t. Steve Mann’s custom built Eye-Tap headsets already mediates reality and he joined Meta in order to share the technology with others.

The demos for the glasses show how it is possible to have 3D virtual chess matches and sculpt a vase in thin air before printing it in 3D. Users will be able to interact with both digital and real-world objects seamlessly and intuitively. Meta want to deliver on all the functionality that has been promised, making sure they don’t fail to deliver like so many other pieces of vaporware.
Meta wants to achieve more than say Google Glass, which although serves a different functional goal, uses far less powerful hardware than what is in Meta’s binocular headset. CEO of Meta, Meron Gribetz says that as well as limiting functionality, Google Glass is more of a glorified “notification machine”. In contrast Meta allows users to see 3D digital objects that are projected in real space and interact with them.

“Google’s gig is building an extension of a smartphone that acts as a notification machine. My gig is building a machine that will enable users to create,” Gribetz said.
Meta is ready to start taking orders for its first production headset, the Meta.01. It is available from the Meta website for pre-order at a cost of $667.00 with expected delivery dates starting from November.
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Ubuntu Break The Record in Crowdfund Pledge

Since beginning a crowdfunded campaign for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone, Canonical has raised $10,288,472 in pledges. It has set the record, raising more money in pledges than any other venture before it, even passing last years record which was set by Pebble for a smartwatch.

Although this is an achievement, in the bigger picture it does not look so good. There is six days left for the campaign and the target for Canonical is $32 million. If the target is not reached, then all the money received will have to be returned.

However Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical’s founder, is still optimistic and has said that public interest in the Ubuntu Edge phone was high.
“The campaign has sparked a level of interest that has surprised even us,” he said, adding that it had seized the attention not only of phone enthusiasts but innovators and futurists as well as manufacturers.

Mr Shuttleworth has admitted that the device may be too different from the current style of smartphone for institutional investors, like major telecom companies, to consider backing it now. “We would have been bringing the future forward a year or two at least”, Mr Shuttleworth said.
“Risky new technology is difficult for mainstream manufacturers,” he said, adding that the campaign’s funding target was “head and shoulders” above anything else.
Canonical have learned lessons from this campaign, with Mr Shuttleworth saying he would rethink the discounted price that was offered to early contributors.
He also added that if the campaign made significant ground in the next few days then Ubunutu would consider extending the online campaign but if it was still far from the target, then all the money would returned to those who contributed.
The campaign runs until August 21.
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Leap Motion Security App Hacked

The new and innovative gesture control gadget, Leap Motion, which has just been released to the public three weeks ago, has already had more than a million app downloads, may have to check some of those programs security levels.
A security team at Malwarebytes have already discovered how to bypass at least one of them. Jean Taggart, Malwarebytes researcher said: “I wasn’t even trying to hack it…I was just showing a coworker. He walked up, put his hand over my keyboard, and logged into my computer.” The application in question is Battelle SignWave, which is a free app on the Leap Motion’s Airspace app store, which enables you to log into your computer with hand gestures. Unfortunately, it appears, SignWave may not be as clever in distinguishing different users hands as Battelle thinks it is.

Leap Motion is an innovative keyboard-free computer controller about the size of a pack of chewing gum. It works by sensing the movement of your hands and fingers, enabling you to control your computer with gestures in the air. Leap Motion has been described as being 200 times more accurate than Microsoft’s Kinect, sensing even 1/100th of a millimetre motions of all 10 fingers at a speed of 290 frames per second.

The Battelle website informs us that SignWave Unlock uses this capability to identify the unique characteristics of your hand to build a profile (aka biometric signature) that allows the computer to identify you and quickly and securely access your computer by simply placing your hand over the Leap Motion device.

In the case of Taggart and colleague, they fooled the system by spreading his fingers and convincing SignWave that he is the rightful owner of the computer and unlocking the system for full use. “The app is in the experimental section, but it is not extra security over and above your password,” Taggart says. “If you install it, it allows you right into Windows.”

This is how SignWave is supposed to work by “quickly, easily, and securely” access your PC. However, VP of product marketing Michael Zagorsek pointed out that the app details state that SignWave Unlock “is not intended to replace your existing security measures.” The app description also says that it is designed to supplement your password, fingerprint reader, iris scanner, or facial recognition security features and that there is a “possibility of a false positive.” That differs from the description on Battelle’s website, which emphases the app’s ease and simplicity of use and not having to use a password: “Looking for a faster, easier way to sign in to your computer? Want more security without a complicated logon? Battelle SignWave Unlock is your answer. SignWave Unlock software uses 3D data and gesture-based authentication to identify users and allow touch-free access to computer systems, without having to type in a password. Just the wave of your hand lets you logon to your computer.”
If a security researcher wasn’t trying to hack it, but did, what if somebody decided to make it their mission to hack it?
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Holho Turns Your Phone into Hologram Projector

From Star Trek to Star Wars and beyond, there is one thing that cannot go missing from virtually any science fiction movie: a life-size moving hologram. While we are still a long way from building a real Holodeck, this little gadget called Holho is nonetheless an impressive hologram generator.
Holho, currently on Kickstarter, can be regarded as a more technologically advanced version of optical illusion gadgets that use two parabolic mirrors to project a 3D image of an object.

But Texas-based manufacturers Imagination Farm USA took Holho beyond that and designed a piece of technology that can play video holograms. And it does that by transforming your smartphone or tablet into a 3D hologram projector.

This hologram generator uses a set of mirrors to produce a moving 3D image of a video your run on your smart device, with the help of a special app. Holho will be available in several versions, from a simple one that generates a frontal projection to a four-sided pyramid that generates a complex 3D image which can be viewed from any angle.

The simplest version is called Holho Naked, designed especially for 10 inch tablets. It creates its frontal projection with the help of a fold-up mirror that can be used as a case for the tablet. The Holho Zed functions in a similar fashion, the only difference being that the tablet is placed at the top and projects the image on a tilted transparent screen.

A more complex version of the 3D hologram projector is the Holho Three-Face Pyramid which is exactly what its name says. This version uses the special Holho app to generate the hologram and is designed specifically for product display or commercial use.
But the most impressive of the lot is undoubtedly the Holho Full Pyramid. The gadget is made of a four-angled mirror with an inverted base sized for tablets and smartphones. The Holho app generates four images and projects them beneath the mirrors, creating a full motion 3D video that can be viewed from any angle. There are several videos already available and the app can be easily used to create more.

Developers are planning to raise $58,000 on Kickstarter, until the crowdfunding campaign ends on September 24. Backers can get their own Holho Full Pyramid with a free video for as little as $28. The special app costs $20 and more videos can be added for $10/each.
What do you think of the Holho? For the time being, it just seems to be a fun thing to have and a neat trick party. But what uses could this technology have in the future?
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TREWGrip: Querty Dock for Your Smartphone

How many times have you constructed an email on your smartphone, which started out in your head being only a few lines long and ended up being almost the length of War and Peace?  Well, you and me are not the only ones and there is a new Kickstarter project from TREWGrip available that promises to help you out.  But be warned it is pricey!

The TREWGrip Mobile QWERTY is a handheld typing device and mouse that will give your smartphone the ability to fly, well it will give it wings, of sorts. The TREWGrip wants to give mobile typists an alternative to the on-screen solution we are stuck with. Unlike most other Bluetooth keyboards, this accessory has a built-in mouse and intends to be usable while walking, although it is a bit cumbersome for that.  It has a strange curvature for users to more easily grip the device with two hands. There are buttons on both sides and the grips can be removed or replaced, allowing users to type using whichever set of keys they prefer.
Odd appearance aside, there seems to be a real draw for a device like this.  There may already be Bluetooth keyboards that can integrate with desktops, tablets, smartphones and TV’s but they generally are either too small for a heavy typing escapade or large enough that they are best resting on a flat surface. The TREWGrip, if it lives up to its promises, will be comfortable to use sitting on the chesterfield, standing in line at a cinema, or while trying to stay in touch during the commute (obviously not while driving).
The TREWGrip uses Bluetooth 3.0 and has a lithium ion battery that can be charged via a micro USB cable, which should supply ten hours of battery life.  It will weigh just over a single pound and it comes with a set of small, medium or large rubber grips which are available in colours of black, green, blue, and red.
As with most Kickstarter projects it is possible to pledge less and get your hands on a t-shirt, but you will need to pledge $249 or more if you want to receive a TREWGrip device.   Currently they are scheduled to ship in February. The project has, at this time, raised just over ten percent of its $100,000 goal so far and there’s still 21 days left to go for anyone who wants to jump on the bandwagon.
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HOT Watch Turns Your Hand into a Phone

There’s a new smartwatch in town and this one is literally hot! The HOT Watch is a brand new gadget that finally allows you to live out one of your dreams as a kid: talking to your watch like James Bond.

Developed by PH Technical Labs, the HOT Watch is equipped with a microphone and a directional speaker and lets users answer calls and talk on the phone just by holding their hand to the ear. This will probably make you look a bit crazy to non-connoisseurs, but it will definitely be cool.

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Twitter University

School is back, no kids really it is! Well for social media development students it is anyway.  Everybody’s favourite micro-blogging website recently announced the opening of Twitter University.  The program is designed for engineers to get world-class technical training and gain the abilities to teach the skills which they have already mastered.

Chris Fry, senior vice president of engineering, said in a recent blog post: ”We want Twitter to be the best place in the world for engineers to work” The social networking company already offers its employees an array of training opportunities, ranging from orientation classes to iOS Bootcamp courses.  These are taught by team members in an effort to develop a new skills set. “I’ve been inspired by those efforts,” Fry said. “Being able to continually learn on the job and develop a sense of expertise or mastery is a fundamental factor in success in the technology industry and long term happiness at a company.”  Twitter University will be vital for the company’s engineering department, he said.

To help run this program, Twitter has purchased an open-source training company called Marakana.  The company’s founders Sasa and Marko Gargenta have been teaching classes at the social network headquarters for several months now and “have been continually impressed by the engineering leadership, the company’s commitment to learning and the cultural fit between our two companies” they said.  Over the past ten years, Marakana has developed courses on HTML 5, Java, Android, Scala, Python, Hadoop, jQuery and other languages, delivering classes to more than 100,000 professional software engineers.

Developers are able to keep up with classes by following @TwU; the account already gained more than 700 followers since it launch.  That’s great for software developers, but what about us mere mortals?  Well, Twitter will eventually be releasing some of the University content online for anyone who would like to learn!
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Samsung Announce The Hennessy Flip Phone

Samsung has announced its latest smartphone, however this a little different from all the rest. The Hennessy, as it is called, combines a smartphone that runs on Android with a dual-screen flip phone body.
From the front the Hennessy looks like any other standard Android phone but once the front has been flipped, it reveals a second screen on the other side with a full keypad below.

The phone has a 3.3-inch touch screen with 480-by320-pixel resolution. It has a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 5-megapixel camera, 1500mAH battery and a microSD card slot. The Hennessy runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).
So far there have been no announcements on pricing or availability. It has only been announced in China, so when and where we will see this phone, we will have t wait and see.
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100,000 Mars One Applicants Want to Leave Earth Forever

It seems the prospect of living on another planet is quite appealing to many: four months after registrations opened, more than 100,000 Mars One applicants have already signed up for a one-way trip to the Red Planet.
The Mars One project’s goal is to colonize Earth’s neighbor, starting in 2022, when the first crew is scheduled to take off. The first mission is expected to cost $6 billion, which organizers are hoping to raise from sponsors and media broadcasting rights for documenting the project.

 " An artist’s rendition of what the Mars One settlement would look like."

An important step in the colonization process is the selection of the first settlers. The program opened in April and since then, there have been over 100,000 Mars One applicants that signed up and paid the mandatory fee ($38 for U.S. residents) for a one-way trip to Mars.

There will be four rounds of candidate selection, the first one being scheduled to end on August 31.
Eventually, organizers will chose a total of 24-40 applicants and all of them will be divided in groups.

Every group will then be trained together for eight years and taught how to work together in an isolated habitat and other harsh environments.

The first group, consisting of two men and two women, will take off in September 2022 and land on Mark in April 2023. More groups would follow every two years, according to organizers.
In an attempt to secure more funding for the Mars One space travel project, organizers are contemplating a reality TV program format. The program would monitor the entire trip, from training to take-off, and would be funded by the media and by advertisers.

As for how the colonization process will go, every mission sent to Mars will be accompanied by over 5,500 pounds of useful supplies. The travel capsules will become part of the local habitat and will be equipped with solar panels and other equipment to allow colonists to manufacture their own water, oxygen and electricity.

There are of course many questions about how the project will raise that much money or how the colonists will be able to survive in a hostile environment that does not support life as we know it. And for the sake of all star-gazers out there who are dreaming of space travel, we really hope organizers will find some sustainable solutions.

What do you think of the project? Would you like to be one of the first Mars colonizers and leave everything behind forever? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Liquipel Skins: Impact Protection for your Smartphone

No doubt you are like most people today, your constant companion may not be human (and no I’m not talking about your dog), your mobile phone is your sidekick which helps you out and never leaves your side no matter where you are or what you are doing.
Because we handle our phones more and more, the probability of dropping it becomes increased.  In fact, every smartphone that comes onto the market is given a drop test, to see how much damage there is to the phone when dropped from different heights and angles, with emphasis on the glass display.

 Dropping your smartphone in water, whether that be it the toilet, a puddle or indeed a swimming pool, or maybe even spilling your coffee on it is becoming an everyday occurrence and for that problem you can spend $60 and have those lovely people over at Liquipel coat and protect selected devices, with the most popular manufacturers models, such as Apple, Samsung, HTC and Motorola currently being covered.
That is great for liquids, but what about protection when you drop your phone; we need impact protection! what do you do if for some strange reason you do not have a case?  Now Liquipel has just announced a new product called “Skins,” a $15 treatment of “high-impact film” that will help dissipate the force of an impact that can lead to the display being shattered and can also prevent scratches on the device.
Liquipel Skins are created in a four-layer process and act as literal shock absorbers whilst also maintaining a smooth, glass-like surface. The film itself is a hybrid mixture of many of the top components which are found within other protective materials. The top layer is an incredibly durable polyurethane, which stems from military uses. To complement this abrasion resistance, there is another layer that increases the strength and rigidity necessary to keep the corners from peeling.

 Liquipel claims that with both technologies applied to your device, you can pretty much do what you want to, whether that be camping, fishing, rock climbing, hiking, etc. without fear of damage to your device and this would be really useful. (I remember hiking a few years back and smashed the screen of my Palm Trio).  The full-body coverage skins are currently available on Liquipel’s website for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 4S and 5 with other models being released in future months.

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Latest Figures Show Who is Winning The Smartphone Battle

Gartner’s latest quarterly smartphone figures are out, so we can find out who is winning in the battle and who is losing out in this highly competitive market.
It will come as no surprise that Samsung is still top dog. In the last three months it sold 107 million mobile phones, 71 million of them smartphones, worldwide. Even though the industry as a whole has grown, Samsung has managed to keep pace and hold on to its share of the market. For comparison, a year ago, Samsung sold 45 million smartphones and 90 million mobile phones in total.

 Whilst Samsung race ahead, Apple is beginning to lag behind a little. With the iPhone 5 not being as
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Specs And Images Of Rumoured Nokia Windows RT Tablet Leak, Will Launch In September

Windows RT may not have been the belle of the ball Microsoft wished for, and many OEMs are shying away from releasing a tablet with the ARM-compatible OS, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead.

Microsoft itself is rumoured to be launching a second-generation Surface RT in the coming months, having recently discounted the initial version to $349, and Nokia, Microsoft’s only true OEM partner these days, is also planning to release a Windows RT-powered tablet.

Nokia’s rumoured Windows RT tablet was leaked by Chinese site Digwo, and shows off a matte red backing, complete with Verizon 4G LTE logo. Nokia is expected to debut the tablet at a special event on September 26th, and has apparently been drumming up developer support in the process.

The back also says “Windows RT” on it, which is either a good sign that the tablet’s running Microsoft’s operating system for ARM devices or that someone really wants us to think this is a Nokia tablet running Windows RT.
While the photo doesn’t offer any detailed specs, it certainly looks about the right size for a tablet with a 10 inch display.

If earlier leaks are anything to go by, it’s likely that the tablet will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor and feature a 1920 x 1080 pixel display.
It is interesting to note that Nokia believes the Windows RT platform has a future, after Microsoft itself failed to make a dent in the market with its Surface RT tablet, taking a $900 million charge for “inventory adjustments” for the tablet in its last quarterly earnings.

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Ubuntu Edge Raises Recording Breaking $10 Million In Crowdfunding

The Ubuntu Edge smartphone has just received pledges that total over $10.3 million on Indiegogo, reports. That places its crowdfunded income above that of the Pebble smartwatch, which was previously the most highly paid crowdfunded device–albeit on Kickstarter rather than Indiegogo.

    “It’s our biggest story ever,” Indiegogo evangelist Adam Chapnick told me this morning at Grow Conference in Vancouver. “Whether it’s a success or not, I’m not sure yet.”

The goal is to create a novel device that dual-boots mobile Android and desktop Ubuntu, creating a smartphone that, with the help of a monitor and a keyboard, is also your heavy-duty, hardcore desktop computer. To make it happen, the Ubuntu Edge team believes they need a staggering $32 million dollars, the most that would ever have been raised via crowdfunding.

The Ubuntu Edge itself promises to be one of the most powerful smartphones ever made, despite its 720p display (which, by the way, is protected by scratchproof sapphire glass). With 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and full-fat desktop and mobile versions of Ubuntu and Android, it has the potential to be the first true PC that you can slip in your pocket.

Canonical’s main goal is to get $32m in funds to produce a limited quantity of 40,000 Ubuntu Edge units. Those interested can still pledge $695 or more to reserve a unit.

So if you’re still interested in the handset, there’s never been a better time to get behind the campaign.
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Facebook Testing Mobile Payments Service

Facebook is testing a new online mobile payments service feature for third-party mobile apps. Facebook claims early testing of a system that stores credit card data and then charges transactions with PayPal or other providers on third-party mobile apps. Facebook is testing the payments system with ecommerce company JackThreads.

But Facebook is not going to actually conduct the payment transactions, the social networking giant said in a prepared statement. It will use third parties, including PayPal, Stripe or Braintree for that. Facebook will only store the credit card numbers that people have used before for making purchases with Facebook Gifts, or games on Facebook. The idea would be to make it easier for people to make payments on third party mobile apps by clicking a Facebook button, instead of having to enter a credit card number. That would also help Facebook’s ad business because advertisers would see higher conversions if payments are easier to transact.

“We are working on a very small test that gives people the option to use their payment information already stored on Facebook to populate the payment form when they make a purchase in a mobile app. The app then processes and completes the payment. The test is designed to make it easier and faster for people to make a purchase in a mobile app by simply pre-populating your payment information.  It will be a very small test with 1-2 partners. Additionally, this test does not involve moving the payment processing away from an app’s current payments provider, such as Paypal.  We continue to have a great relationship  with our payment processing partners, and this product is simply to test how we can help apps provide a simpler commerce experience.”

One long-term potential of this moves Facebook closer to being a comprehensive portable digital identity for people wherever they go. Consumers already use Facebook to log-in to a variety of websites and apps to verify their identities. In some cases this is just for an easier log-in and to find friends you know, and in others it serves a deeper purpose, like proving on Airbnb that you are not a serial killer to others who may stay in your home. Facebook log-in also brings with it advertising opportunities to third-party sites and apps.

Facebook has had a number of payments products over the years. Last year, Facebook moved away from its Facebook Credits virtual currency because developers often had their own currencies. Facebook recently has been building out its Facebook Gifts product, which lets users send real-world gifts from Facebook. It also notifies people when it is their friends’ birthdays and suggests sending them a gift, rather than just posting a birthday message on their Facebook walls.

Forrester Research analyst Denee Carrington thinks Facebook will face a challenge in offering mobile payments even though the company has been building up its database of users’ credit cards.

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Google Chrome Developers Summit Coming in November

Last week, Google announced that they are going to hold a two-day event for Web developers known as the Chrome Dev Summit.  At this event they will discuss new API’s, performance tips, Blink and multi-device workflows with Google Chrome engineers.
It is, in all essence, Google I/O specifically designed for Chrome.  Maybe the upshot of this will be Google I/O will be more Android centred than Chrome? Or perhaps Android might get its own Developers conference, of sorts, at the start of the year and then have Google I/O in the middle of the year and Chrome Dev summit at the end?  Your guess is as good as mine!  This Dev summit is going to be held on November 20th and 21st and  it will be live streamed from their headquarters in Mountain View, on YouTube. We are not expecting any new news to come out of this event, other than new API’s from developers. But we will be keeping our eyes and ears open to see what goes down during the Chrome Dev Summit this coming November.

 Currently, Google is asking developers that are interested, to take a seven-question survey on Google Docs and to join a Google+ community.  At this time registration is not an open affair, but we will be sure to keep our eyes peeled and find out when it does become such and let you know.  There is likely to be news about Chrome as well as Chrome OS discussed during this summit however, but as always, it speculation until it transpires (but it is looking likely).  We may see some updates for both the browser and OS after the summit has finished? As always, we will bring you whatever news the breaks out of this summit from Mountain View as it happens.
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New 3D Technique Uses Single Lens

Harvard scientists have come up with a new way to create 3D images, which could have a significant impact on areas such as medical imaging and the 3D movie industry.
Unlike traditional 3D image generating methods, the new 3D technique relies solely on mathematics and computation, making do without special hardware and fancy lenses.

This new 3D technique could eliminate the need of using 3D glasses at the movies.
The technique, developed by Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences researchers, uses a computational method that creates 3D images with only one, stationary lens. The computational method is named light-field moment imaging.

The research team, led by natural sciences professor Kenneth Crozier, based their study on the idea of determining how an image would look from a different angle, relying only on the information they could extract from the rays of light that enter the camera, while keeping the camera still. Basically, what Crozier and graduate student Antony Orth did was infer the angle of light at every pixel instead of measuring it.

Their solution was to take two images of the same subject, with the camera in the same position, but with the focus at different depths. The two images would be very similar, but yet they provide enough different information to allow a computer to create a stereo image by stitching them together.
According to researchers, this new 3D technique eliminates the need of using expensive hardware and offers an accessible alternative to creating 3D images. The technique has great potential to be applied to various fields, from medical imaging to 3D displays.

For instance, the light-field moment imaging method will offer an accessible way of creating 3D images of biological tissues, as microscopes based on this computational method will be able to produce depth measurements and imaging faster and more accurately.

The Harvard discovery could also have an impact on the movie industry, and soon eliminate the need of using expensive 3D cameras or 3D glasses. As Orth explained, future 3D movies based on this computational method could be completely different from what they are like today: when played back on the right screen, the audience would just have to move their heads and feel like they’re in the film, for a significantly more immersive experience.

What do you think of the new 3D technique? Is it more feasible to use this computational method instead of the regular hardware? And would the resulting 3D images have the same quality?

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NASA Unveils Potentially Hazardous Asteroids Map

In case you were wondering if Hollywood scenarios like the Armageddon could ever come to pass, NASA has just found an answer for you. In a recently unveiled map of potentially hazardous asteroids, the US Space Agency suggests those dangerous asteroids that are close to Earth’s orbit are several thousands.
The disconcerting map of the inner Solar System points to the orbits of 1,400 PHAs that are currently close to our planet. This is part of NASA’s Near Earth Objects program and it only includes asteroid bodies that are considered dangerous.

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Intel Creates 10 Inch Education Tablet

World class chipmaker Intel, has introduced a ten-inch tablet reference design, which is made specifically for education purposes.  The device, is simply called ‘Intel Education tablet’ is based on an Atom chip and runs Android 4.0 operating system, it also comes preloaded with some Intel Education Software.  The Intel company hopes that its tablet design, which is to be delivered by local vendors, will enable collaborative learning and make the classroom environment a more exciting place to be.

Inside the Intel Education tablet is a dual-core Intel Atom Z2460 chip. The device features both front and rear facing cameras,will come with a stylus and sports integrated speakers and microphones to “bring interactive, multimedia content into learning”.  The screen of the device is equipped with shock-absorbers for those inevitable knocks, and it weighs only 680 grams.  The battery life is strong and will power the device for 6.5 hours, which should be  plenty of time to finish almost any educational tasks.
The additional software and learning tools accompanying the tablet include painting tools and accessories, an e-Reader, science, exploration and data analysis applications, a snap-on magnification lens and a plug-in thermal probe.  Intel’s educational software is not weak by any stretch of the imagination, as you will be able to see by  its Lab Camera, which can capture time-lapse imagery, serve as a microscope, and be set up with a motion trigger!  The ArtRage software allows to work with different effects including watercolour, ink pen, pencil and sticker spray, while the application  SPARKvue allows to analyse the world through the tablet’s built-in sensors.  For teachers, the company offers software to manage the tablet fleet, McAfee Mobile Security suite and something called ‘theft deterrent’ measures.  Intel already offers an Education tablet with a seven-inch screen, Atom Z2420 chip, Android 4.1 OS and nearly 8 hours of battery life, but it appears as though the company does not want to stop there as  John Galvin, vice president of Intel’s Sales and Marketing Group and general manager of Intel Education informs us “ Intel remains committed to helping teachers and students achieve better results through the development of complete solutions that span the hardware, software and digital content required for a 21st century learning experience.”
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