Each and every week, KT is going to personally select one of his favorite pictures from his gallery to display on the website! If you have a favorite, you can let Kevin know by leaving a comment below. Who knows, maybe your favorite is one of his favorites!
August 20th, 2010
By: Neill Hughes
Relying on a user’s picture or the sound of their voice, future portable devices from Apple like an iPhone or iPad could recognize individuals who pick up and use the item.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week revealed a patent application from Apple entitled “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device.” The security-centric invention describes methods to identify users through a picture, the sound of their voice, or even their unique heartbeat.
“The photograph, recording, or heartbeat can be compared, respectively, to a photograph, recording or heartbeat of authorized users of the electronic device to determine whether they match,” the application reads. “If they do not match, the current user can be detected as an unauthorized user.”
If an unauthorized user were to attempt to access an iPhone or another device, the owner of the handset could be notified in a variety of manners, including a phone call, text message or e-mail. It could even send the owner — or the police — a picture of the unauthorized user, or other information specific to the potential thief, such as the current location.
The handset could also recognize an unauthorized user if they do certain uncharacteristic activities with the phone. Specifically named are hacking, jailbreaking, unlocking, or removing a SIM card.
But beyond security, such technology could also be used to identify individual users and allow users who share a product, like an iPad, to customize it to their liking. Apple has shown interest in such capabilities for some time.
In January, before the iPad was announced, The Wall Street Journal revealed that an early prototype of the device would use a camera to recognize users’ faces, allowing it to be one device easily shared by the entire family. Apple reportedly experimented with the ability to customize the device, and have it automatically switch to a user’s personal settings once they picked it up.
One early feature included virtual “sticky notes” that one user could leave for another, and would be read the next time they picked up the iPad.
Apple’s security-centric patent application was first filed on Feb. 19, 2009. It is credited to Taido Nakajima, Pareet Rahul and Gloria Lin.
The invention is also not the first time Apple has explored recognizing users by their heartbeat. One patent application revealed in May dealt specifically with that technology, describing a heart rate monitor seamlessly built in to the exterior of an iPhone. Reading a user’s unique biometric data, the iPhone could then recognize them.
April 12, 2010
Researchers at the University of Minnesota carried out a series of studies which revealed those who counted money before taking part in an experiment where they were subjected to low levels of pain felt less discomfort than those who did not.
Its thought that fondling notes and coins helps ward off pain by boosting feelings of self-worth and self-sufficiency.
Previous studies have shown those with a greater sense of self-worth may be more likely to withstand pain.
Britain spends at least £500 million a year on over-the-counter painkilling pills and the figure is increasing every year.
But scientists remain baffled by why some people appear to feel pain more easily than others.
In the latest study, a group of students were asked to count out a wad of cash consisting of 80 one-hundred dollar bills, or just 80 slips of blank paper. They had been told researchers were simply testing their dexterity in handling the notes.
Each volunteer was then asked to dip their hands into a bowl of very hot water, to see how painful they found it and how long they could last.
The results, published in a recent edition of the journal Psychological Science, showed those who had handled money reported less pain and lasted longer.
The results support other studies highlighting how the brain can be tuned to ward off pain without the use of pills.
A University of Los Angeles team of scientists found just looking at a photograph of a loved one can also be a powerful form of pain relief.
They recommended anyone visiting hospital for painful tests or examinations should bring a picture to help them cope.
And patients who have had major surgery, such as a knee or hip replacement, can halve the amount of painkilling medicine they need simply by stroking a pet, according to tests at Loyola University in Chicago.