Tag Archives: Mashable

Don’t Have enough money for a “Real” iPad? Make one out of Paper!

Yeah, we know. Although experts have been congratulating Apple on how competitive the iPad prices are, when you actually have to part with 500 bucks or more (if you want 3G which is a must-have for such a device), it hurts.

There is a solution that won’t cost you a dime, though. It also won’t get you an iPad, but you can perhaps fool someone with poor eyesight you have one, at least for a second. Yes, we’re talking about a paper iPad.

To make one yourself, you’ll need these two PNG files: the front and the back. Print them, cut them out, and voila – your brand new paper iPad is ready to…well, it can’t really do anything except sit on your desk, but considering the price is zero, we won’t hold it against it.

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Google Street Car Tracked via GPS Tracking

This one will definitely put a smile on the faces of all those who think Google’s Street View service is invading their privacy: members of German Free Art & Technology group (F.A.T.) have noticed Google’s Street View car in Berlin and decided to attach a GPS device onto it and track its movement.

The result of their efforts can be seen on a large map, and although it doesn’t seem to show anything out of the ordinary – the Google Street View car seemed to be driving around Berlin as it should be, until they realized they’re tracked and removed the GPS device – but it was nice to be able to reverse the roles and snoop on Google, even for a short while.

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Internet Explorer: Security Hole

With world governments advising citizens to switch from Internet Explorer to alternative browsers, and an unpatched security hole in at least two major versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has to do something to restore faith in their browser. Easiest way to do it, apparently, is saying that other browsers are even worse than IE.

Microsoft’s UK security chief Cliff Evans told Techradar that “The net effect of switching [from IE] is that you will end up on less secure browser,” and that “the risk [over this specific] exploit is minimal compared to Firefox or other competing browsers… you will be opening yourself up to security issues.”

Evans then downplays the seriousness of this problem. “The reality of the risk is minimal, even if you have IE6; you would have to go to a website running the exploit,” he says. Even if we disregard the fact that many very serious browser vulnerabilities work in that way – e.g. you have to visit a website running an exploit to be affected – there’s still the fact that this particular vulnerability isn’t just lab-tested, it’s been successfully used on unsuspecting victims in the real world. This alone makes it as serious as security holes go.

Evans continues to undermine the security record of other browsers. “There are broader risks and issues with other browsers,” he claims, at the same time admitting that the IE vulnerability that caused this entire mess probably isn’t present with other browsers. “I’m not aware that the vulnerability exists in other products, but those products may have other vulnerabilities,” he says.

While one can say that absolutely no piece of software is ever completely secure, this logic is flawed. Microsoft’s IE has a serious, unpatched security vulnerability, and pointing to possible holes that other browsers may or may not have won’t make it go away.

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Google has decided to postpone its Nexus One launch in China, which was supposed to happen on Wednesday, agencies report. Although Google has entered talks with the Chinese government to discuss the future of their search business in China, it’s now obvious that, until the situation is resolved, other aspects of Google’s business in China will suffer, too.

Together with the news that China Unicom may be postponing all Android-based phone launches, this really shows how big the fallout from the Google-China dispute really is. It’s not only about Google’s search business in China. Google also stands behind one of the most important mobile platforms of today: Android, and cutting business ties with China would mean the demise of Android in one of the world’s biggest markets.

Google spokeswoman Marsha Wang declined to give a reason for the postponement, or a new date for the Nexus One launch.

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Face Book Connect Comes to Myspace

About a month ago, we’ve heard reports that MySpace and Facebook aren’t quite the archenemies they once were; on the contrary, MySpace was to implement Facebook Connect, which meant that users would be able to log into MySpace with their Facebook credentials.

Now, MySpace has indeed implemented Facebook Connect on its Fan Video service (which, like so many other services, isn’t available in my part of the world; some thoughts on that here). It’s quite an important step from MySpace, who was once the undisputed king of social networking, and it signifies the end of an era.

It’s obvious to MySpace that Facebook has taken over when it comes to growth and overall number of users, both in the USA and internationally. Not being able to win on all fronts anymore, MySpace now tries to establish itself at least as the king of music, video and entertainment; all areas which Facebook never fully developed. Therefore, Facebook is now a partner, not a competitor to MySpace, and we can probably expect more implementations of Facebook Connect on MySpace in 2010.

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Fugitive Caught via World of Warcraft(WOW)

Police have been known to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to track down thieves (the IRS, too), and careless Facebooking can quickly get you arrested. But if you’re on the run from the law, there’s another online territory you might want to consider avoiding: World of Warcraft.

Howard County, Indiana Sheriff Department Deputy Matt Roberson tracked down fugitive Alfred Hightower via the hugely popular massively multiplayer online game. Hightower was wanted on several counts of drug dealing but had fled the country to Canada.

After finding out Hightower was a WoW fan, Roberson sent a subpoena to the game’s maker, Blizzard Entertainment. With the information they sent back, Roberson was able to pinpoint the perp’s location.

Hightower will be extradited back to the U.S. to face charges. Lesson learned: virtual worlds don’t make as ideal places to hide from the law as one might think!

[via Massively]

[img credit: davidsonscott15]

Muscle Based Computer Control Scheme(Awsome!)

Imagine being able to control your computer or video game without needing to use a mouse or controller. Microsoft researchers have filed a patent for a muscle-based control scheme that does just that, and more — simple hand gestures could be used to do things like send commands to your MP3 player while jogging or open your car’s trunk remotely.

The technology behind the system is called Electromyography, or EMG. Electrodes on the arms, legs, head, or chest can be used to track muscle movements keyed to specific actions or commands sent to a computer, video game system, vehicle, or other device to provide a “hands-free” control scheme.

Check out the demonstration video below for some pretty cool visual illustrations of how EMG applied to consumer electronics could be useful, especially in situations where your hands are already busy or occupied with other objects. One interesting application shown in the clip is an “air guitar” version of Guitar Hero.

Let us know what you think — what other applications could you think of where muscle-based control systems might come in handy?

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