January 25, 2012
Users of tablet computers should place their device on the table and tilt its screen, rather than have it flat on their lap, to avoid potentially painful hunching of the neck, a study suggested Wednesday.
“Tablet users may be at high risk to develop neck discomfort based on current behaviours and tablet designs,” it warned.
A team led by environmental health researcher Jack Dennerlein of the Harvard School of Public Health asked seven men and eight women who were experienced tablet users to carry out tasks on an iPad2 and a Motorola Xoom.
Using a motion-analysis system, the team filmed the 15 volunteers as they worked on the tablet in four common configurations.
In the first position the tablet was not placed in its proprietary case but held on the lap in one hand while the other was used to touch the screen.
In the second the tablet was placed on the lap, but stayed in its case. The user worked with both hands on the screen.
In the third, the tablet was set up in its case on a table, with its screen set at a lower angle, and the user worked with both hands.
The last configuration, dubbed “table-movie,” entailed placing the tablet on the table in its case, tilted at a higher angle. The user did not work on the screen and instead watched movies or other programming on it.
The experiments showed the angle of the head and neck varied hugely across the four configurations and between the iPad and the Xoom.
May 2, 2011
By Chris Smith
TomTom has issued a statement after it was revealed that police in Holland are using historical speed data, captured by its savnav devices, as a guide for positioning speed traps.
Devices like the Go LIVE 1000 collect speed information automatically and backs it up to a TomTom database, which allows the company to improve the service the dashboard companion can offer.
TomTom also makes the database available to authorities for safety and logistic purposes, but says it was unaware that the police were using it in this way and promises to listen to customer concerns.
The statement reads: “We make this information available to local governments and authorities.
“It helps them to better understand where congestion takes place, where to build new roads and how to make roads safer.”
TomTom continues: “We are now aware that the police have used traffic information that you have helped to create to place speed cameras at dangerous locations where the average speed is higher than the legally allowed speed limit.
“We are aware a lot of our customers do not like the idea and we will look at if we should allow this type of usage.”
Satnavs like TomTom have traditionally informed drivers of where speed cameras are located, so news that speed information of drivers could be used in this way is a strange reversal of roles.
TomTom also assured customers that any information it gathers is anonymous and can never be traced back to drivers, so there’s no need to worry about a speed ticket coming through your door.
Today, Kevin gives you the scientific evidence that the Law of Attraction really does work and that drugs for cholesterol are a complete and 100% SCAM!
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April 21st, 2011
By: Charles Arthur
Security researchers have discovered that Apple’s iPhone keeps track of where you go – and saves every detail of it to a secret file on the device which is then copied to the owner’s computer when the two are synchronised.
The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone’s recorded coordinates along with a timestamp, meaning that anyone who stole the phone or the computer could discover details about the owner’s movements using a simple program.
For some phones, there could be almost a year’s worth of data stored, as the recording of data seems to have started with Apple’s iOS 4 update to the phone’s operating system, released in June 2010.
“Apple has made it possible for almost anybody – a jealous spouse, a private detective – with access to your phone or computer to get detailed information about where you’ve been,” said Pete Warden, one of the researchers.
Only the iPhone records the user’s location in this way, say Warden and Alasdair Allan, the data scientists who discovered the file and are presenting their findings at the Where 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. “Alasdair has looked for similar tracking code in [Google's] Android phones and couldn’t find any,” said Warden. “We haven’t come across any instances of other phone manufacturers doing this.”
Simon Davies, director of the pressure group Privacy International, said: “This is a worrying discovery. Location is one of the most sensitive elements in anyone’s life – just think where people go in the evening. The existence of that data creates a real threat to privacy. The absence of notice to users or any control option can only stem from an ignorance about privacy at the design stage.”
Warden and Allan point out that the file is moved onto new devices when an old one is replaced: “Apple might have new features in mind that require a history of your location, but that’s our specualtion. The fact that [the file] is transferred across [to a new iPhone or iPad] when you migrate is evidence that the data-gathering isn’t accidental.” But they said it does not seem to be transmitted to Apple itself.
Although mobile networks already record phones’ locations, it is only available to the police and other recognised organisations following a court order under the Regulation of Investigatory Power Act. Standard phones do not record location data.
MPs in 2009 criticised the search engine giant Google for its “Latitude” system, which allowed people to enable their mobile to give out details of their location to trusted contacts. At the time MPs said that Latitude “could substantially endanger user privacy”, but Google pointed out that users had to specifically choose to make their data available.
The iPhone system, by contrast, appears to record the data whether or not the user agrees. Apple declined to comment on why the file is created or whether it can be disabled.
Warden and Allan have set up a web page which answers questions about the file, and created a simple downloadable application to let Apple users check for themselves what location data the phone is retaining. The Guardian has confirmed that 3G-enabled devices including the iPad also retain the data and copy it to the owner’s computer.
If someone were to steal an iPhone and “jailbreak” it, giving them direct access to the files it contains, they could extract the location database directly. Alternatively, anyone with direct access to a user’s computer could run the application and see a visualisation of their movements. Encrypting data on the computer is one way to protect against it, though that still leaves the file on the phone.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at the security company Sophos, said: “If the data isn’t required for anything, then it shouldn’t store the location. And it doesn’t need to keep an archive on your machine of where you’ve been.” He suggested that Apple might be hoping that it would yield data for future mobile advertising targeted by location, although he added: “I tend to subscribe to cockup rather than conspiracy on things like this – I don’t think Apple is really trying to monitor where users are.”
April 11th, 2011
This tiniest device measures upto one square millimeter, but don’t go on the small size of this computer because pack inside the tiniest device is an ultra low power microprocessor, a pressure sensor , solar cell, wireless radio for communication to an external reader device, memory and a thin film battery.
Remember Gulliver’s travel to Lilliput, maybe our world is also turning smaller day by day because in the future this smallest computer (Unnamed uptill now) can be use efficiently for tracking, surveillance, military purposes and what not?
The miniscule computer system is developed by Professor Dennis Sylvester, David Wentzloff and David Blaauw.
Dennis Sylvester, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan further explained and said:” This is the very first true millimeter-scale complete computing system; small computing systems are possible by the usage of low-power components that can fit on a chip. A complete millimeter scale computer system enables us to collect, store and transmit data”.
The first application of millimeter scale computing system is in the field of medical. This device is implanted in the human eye to measure eye pressure and track the progress of glaucoma , which is a potential blinding disease.
The system starts working after every 15 minutes to take measurements and uses an average of 5.3 nanowatts energy, battery is charged through 10 hours of indoor light each day or 1.5 hours of sunlight.
The device is equipped with a wireless radio for communicating to external reader device but it can not communicate with computer systems of its own type.
Scientists are now working on decreasing the radio’s power consumption so that it’s compatible with millimeter-scale batteries.
Let’s hope this incredible device will open doors for further advancements in the miniscule computer systems.
August 2nd, 2010
Unilever’s Omo detergent is adding an unusual ingredient to its two-pound detergent box in Brazil: a GPS device that allows its promotions agency Bullet to track shoppers and follow them to their front doors.
Starting next week, consumers who buy one of the GPS-implanted detergent boxes will be surprised at home, given a pocket video camera as a prize and invited to bring their families to enjoy a day of Unilever-sponsored outdoor fun. The promotion, called Try Something New With Omo, is in keeping with the brand’s international “Dirt is Good” positioning that encourages parents to let their kids have a good time even if they get dirty.
Omo accounts for half of Brazil’s detergent sales and is already found in 80% of homes there, so Unilever’s goal is more to draw attention to a new stain-fighting version of Omo and get it talked about rather than looking for a big increase in sales.
That made the idea of doing a promotion where the prize finds the consumer, rather than the consumer having to look for the prize — and maybe not bothering — appealing.
Fernando Figueiredo, Bullet’s president, said the GPS device is activated when a shopper removes the detergent carton from the supermarket shelf. Fifty Omo boxes implanted with GPS devices have been scattered around Brazil, and Mr. Figueiredo has teams in 35 Brazilian cities ready to leap into action when a box is activated. The nearest team can reach the shopper’s home “within hours or days,” and if they’re really close by, “they may get to your house as soon as you do,” he said.
Once there, the teams have portable equipment that lets them go floor by floor in apartment buildings until they find the correct unit, he said.
Of course, Brazil has a high crime rate, and not everyone is going to open the door to strangers who claim to have been sent by her detergent brand to offer a free video camera. Bullet has thought of that. If the team tracks a consumer to her home but she won’t let them in, they can remotely activate a buzzer in the detergent box so that it starts beeping. And if the team takes too long to arrive, and the consumer has already opened the box to see if she’s a winner or just do laundry, she’ll find, along with the GPS device and less detergent than expected, a note explaining the promotion and a phone number to call.
“Anything can happen,” Mr. Figueiredo said. “We have to be innovative, but we don’t know what reaction to expect from consumers.”
In a big web component, the site experimentealgonovo.com.br (Portuguese for “try something new”) goes live in August, and will include a map showing roughly where the winners live, pictures of each winner and footage of the Bullet-Omo teams hunting down the GPS-enabled detergent boxes, knocking on doors and surprising consumers.
“It costs more than a traditional promotion and is riskier because it’s never been done before, but it’s worth it,” Mr. Figueiredo said. The technology aspect of the promotion costs less than $1 million, out of Omo’s overall marketing budget of about $23 million.
“We believe in using new technology for promotional marketing,” Mr. Figueiredo said.
Plus Bullet just likes figuring out how to ingeniously embed stuff in products. Two summers ago, sales of Unilever’s Fruttare Popsicles soared when Bullet disguised 10,000 iPod Shuffles as popsicles and popped them in freezer cases. The agency’s creatives had noticed while reading their iPod instruction manuals that an iPod can operate at temperatures below freezing. They immediately began freezing their own devices as a test, then constructed a fake ice-cream bar case that mimicked the popsicle but fit an iPod, and a wildly successful summer ice cream promotion was born.
January 7, 2010
A new device aimed at discouraging eaters from bolting their food is a useful tool in combatting childhood obesity, according to a study published online on Wednesday by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Doctors carried out an 18-month assessment of a small computer-linked scale called a Mandometer, which has been developed by scientists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.
The gadget entails an electronic scale which sits underneath the diner’s plate, weighing the remaining food as the meal is consumed.
Sitting next to it, on the table, is a small screen which shows a graph indicating the rate at which the food is being eaten. This line is matched against an ideal graph for consumption, as programmed by a food therapist.
Too much deviation from the “ideal” graph prompts the computer to make a spoken request for the eater to slow down. The idea is to train overweight people to eat less and more slowly, thus helping them to feel satiated.
Researchers at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and the University of Bristol in western England carried out a test among 106 patients aged between nine and 17 years.
All were clinically obese, meaning they had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is determined by one’s weight in kilos divided by one’s height, in metres, squared.
Some of the volunteers were trained on using the Mandometer, while the others were given standard anti-obesity care. Both groups were encouraged to raise their levels of physical exercise to 60 minutes a day and follow a healthy diet.
A year later, the Mandometer group had fallen 2.1 points in BMI on average, around triple that of counterparts in the “standard care” group. This improvement was maintained when the investigators carried out a follow-up test at the 18-month mark.
Portion sizes among the Mandometer group were also somewhat smaller by the end of the study, falling by 45 grammes (one and a half ounces). The volunteers’ speed of eating had reduced by 11 percent, whereas it accelerated by four percent in the other group.
Levels of “good cholesterol” were also much better in the Mandometer group.
The authors, led by Julian Hamilton-Shield, say the Mandometer is a “useful adjunct” in treating obesity among adolescents, a health area where the options outside the use of drugs are few, and call for further tests.
They point out, though, that Mandometer was not a “stand-alone” device in the experiment, as it was used hand-in-hand with education about nutrition and encouragement to do exercise.
December 30, 2009
By Paul Joseph Watson
Flight 253 eyewitness Kurt Haskell has astoundingly revealed how the FBI are deliberately hiding the existence of a second man who was arrested following the Christmas Day plane bombing incident after bomb-sniffing dogs detected a possible second explosive device in his luggage.
Appearing on The Alex Jones Show yesterday, Haskell related how after being allowed to disembark from the plane by officials, passengers were detained in customs with their carry-on luggage for six hours while they waited to be interrogated by the FBI.
Bomb sniffing dogs then detected a possible explosive device in the luggage of an Indian man around 30 years old before the man was arrested and led away to an interrogation room.
The probability that there was a bomb in the man’s luggage was all but confirmed when the FBI moved the passengers to another location. “You’re being moved,” the FBI told them, “it is not safe here. I’m sure you all saw what happened and can read between the lines and why you’re being moved.”
The identity of the second man has not been discussed by authorities or the media and Haskell’s description of his own interview with the FBI suggests that the feds are deliberately trying to bury the notion that the bomber had one or more accomplices.
The FBI was not pleased with Haskell when they conducted a follow-up interview yesterday in Michigan. They showed him close-up photographs of various people, including Mutallab, the accused bomber. “They kind of tried to trick me,” Haskell explained. The agents tried to pass off two photos of Mutallab as different people. Kurt asked the agents if they were attempting to impeach his story and smear him.