Posted by Alan Buckingham at 5:25 PM on June 30, 2012
RIM, or Research in Motion, is in trouble. That isn’t news anymore because it’s become fodder for every tech blog around. The mobile company that used to own the space has fallen by the wayside and the only thing left to decide is where the users will go and what last-ditch effort the company will make to save themselves.
As for saving themselves, there is one rumor that has been floating around – that they will go the Nokia route (another company that was in trouble) and become a Microsoft partner in the Windows Phone space. While that remains to be seen, there was a recent survey done over at the Blackberry enthusiast site, Crackberry, that asked where users would go if they couldn’t wait for the long-delayed Blackberry 10.
The results weren’t very surprising, except for one thing. iPhone 5 garnered the most votes at 47%, while Android picked up a solid 34%, but, most surprisingly, Windows Phone picked up 19% of the votes.
Windows Phone remains behind in the market and also in this survey, but they are gaining ground steadily and perhaps can still turn this into a race. Clearly it’s a three-way battle at this point with Nokia, while still making Symbian, conceding, and Blackberry losing their mojo. Android, iOS, and Windows Phone will be the only three mobile operating systems that will matter going forward.
Posted by KL Tech Muse at 1:09 PM on June 30, 2012
Drones are unmanned flying vehicles which are controlled by operators from thousands of miles away. They are used extensively in Afghanistan to track the Taliban’s activities. There has been increase talk among law enforcement in the United States that using drones might be useful in fighting crime. There is a Federal mandate that would permit drones to be used in US airspace. There are many questions involving the use of drones including privacy rights, lack of search warrants …. There are also technical questions. Right now the biggest problem that the DHS and the FAA are facing involving drones are jammers which don’t control the drones but simply jam the signal. This is the way the Iranians insist they were able to bring down a drone in 2011. Although that is still disputed by the US who insist it was operator error and not Iranian jamming that caused the drone to land off course.
However solving the jamming problem maybe easy compared to the problem of spoofing. Spoofing is where the drone is actually controlled by a third-party. In order for spoofing to be successful the drones GPS system must be hacked. That is what the University of Texas, Cockrell School of Engineering did under Assistant Professor Todd Humphreys when it hijacked a drone using $1,000 worth of equipment and custom software. These drones were using unencrypted software that the University of Texas team was able to hack. Their signal was more powerful than the GPS signal that the drone was receiving from the satellite that was originally controlling it. They were able to over ride that GPS signal sending the drone where they wanted to. As you can image this is a huge potential problem. Imagine what would happen if a terrorist group was able to hack a drone and send it where ever they wanted it to. They could control it from anywhere and sending it crashing into buildings with no risk to themselves.
Right now the DHS is still working on the jamming problem through the Patriot Watch and the Patriot Shield programs but the programs are underfunded and haven’t even started looking into the spoofing problem. Before we allow drones to fly above US cities we might want to find a solution to both jamming and spoofing first.
Wow time to get the heck out of Texas and back to the land of Aloha. I also determined what the skinny was on the lip sync issue with the video, final cut to the rescue. More details on the next show.. Have a cool background lets use it on the next road trip.
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Posted by KL Tech Muse at 7:17 PM on June 28, 2012
As of today Google Chrome browser is now available on iOs devices. Now you can sync your tabs between your computer, any android device you have and your iOs device. So if you open a tab on your Chrome browser on your desktop, it will be available under Other Devices on your mobile device in almost realtime. I did have to refresh the page for the new url to show up. You go from tab to tab by swiping with one finger and the edge of the page. Like any Chrome browser you can search or type in a url from the same search bar. You can also search in incognito mode. Which means it will not show up in your search history. To get to the incognito tab, other devices, bookmarks, find in page and settings just tap on the icon with four lines in the top left hand corner. You can also email a page directly from the browser by tapping the same icon and then email.
I think that most users will not notice the speed differences, after all we are talking about at the most seconds. The biggest strike against the Chrome browser on iOs is it isn’t the default browser. Unfortunately only Apple can fix this problem and they are unlikely to do that.
Welcome to The Gadget Professor’s NetCast. Show #63 hosted by Don Baine.
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Posted by Alan Buckingham at 10:23 AM on June 28, 2012
Rovio has been on a roll recently. They have launched the fastest selling mobile game in history with Angry Birds Space and also updated both Space and Seasons with new levels, as well as adding a Facebook version of the original Angry Birds game. Now they are pimping their next game, “Amazing Alex” with a new trailer and a couple of wallpapers for your computer.
Game play is essentially a series of Rube Goldberg machines that you create to solve problems and accomplish common tasks like cleaning Alex’s room. The game also allows the users to create their own levels. ”Got a great idea for a level? Design intriguing new levels using 35 interactive objects and share them — with friends or with the whole world! With other fans constantly creating and uploading new levels, there are always new challenges to check out!”
Rovio isn’t giving many details, only stating that the game is “coming soon”. They also aren’t talking price, but many versions of the Angry Birds series have been free. You can check out the trailer below and head over to Rovio to grab the wallpapers.
Live from New York, New Jersey, San Diego and San Francisco – It’s Wednesday Night! This week, Eric is in NYC. We discuss Google’s tablet, entertainment box, skydiving w Glass, the new Highlander movie, Digital vs Film, Spaceballs and more!
The game “Rock, Paper, Scissors” sounds simple. Two players quickly choose one of the three potential options, and both players reveal it at the same time. Scissors beats paper, paper beats rock, and rock beats scissors. Children play this game on the recess field when trying to make a decision about something.
The game just got a whole lot tougher to win! Researchers at the Ishikawa Oku Lab at the University of Tokyo have created a robot hand that has been taught how to play “Rock, Paper, Scissors”. The robot can beat a human opponent 100% of the time. You can play the game, over and over, as many times as you like, but the robot will always win.
Why does the robot always win? The simple answer is that it wins because it has been taught how to cheat. The robot recognizes a human hand with the use of a high speed camera. It takes the computer 1 millisecond to recognize the position of the hand of its human opponent. The robot quickly detects which of the three potential choices the human player has made and then selects the option that will allow it to win the game. This happens faster than the human eye can track it.
The purpose of this robot is not only to have a high-tech way to play a children’s game. Instead, it is an example of how robots and humans can work together in a cooperative effort that involves motion detection. The robot can follow the movement of a human hand without their being a time delay before the robot moves.
Posted by KL Tech Muse at 6:27 PM on June 26, 2012
Apple released a stand alone podcast app for iOS today. It is listed as Podcast app in the app store. I downloaded the app and over all I think it is a good start. When you open up the app if you have sync turned on in iTunes , the podcast you have subscribe to will automatically install. You can also add podcast manually if you want. To add a podcast manually you simply find it in the catalog and tap on the album art and then hit subscribe. Top podcasts are listed under Top Stations by categories. You move from category to category by sliding left and right using one finger.
To play a podcast you simply tap on the one you want and then click on the episode you want to listen to and it will start. While listening to the podcast if you click on the album art and the background changes to an old fashion tape deck. On the left hand side is a little lever with a turtle on one side and a rabbit on the other, so you can speed up or slow the podcast down. On the right hand side is a sleep timer and the ability to share to Twitter, message or email. To bring the album art back you slide it down from the top. When you first click on a podcast in your library it will bring up all available episodes. If you click on the gear in the left hand corner you can choose to auto-download the podcast. As long as you are online you can listen to a podcast by streaming it. If you plan to be offline than you will need to download it. You have the option to list the newest or oldest episode first. Once an episode is finish the next available episode for that podcast will start to play. If you subscribe to a master audio feed like the one that is issue by 5by5, you may want to sort the episodes with the oldest first. You can mark all episodes as played or unplayed. You can also turn the subscription on or off.
I did run into a couple of problems. It appears when you first subscribe to a members only podcast you still have to do that on your Mac. I couldn’t find anyway to do that directly on the iPhone or iPad. There is no ability to make playlist directly on the iOs device. I expect that Facebook will be added as a sharing option once iOs 6 becomes public. It is not clear whether the Podcast app will come installed with iOs 6 or not. At this point it appears it may not, for podcast creators this maybe a problem or an opportunity. If you are a podcast creator, you will want to upgrade your album art to the iTunes recommend 1400×1400 pixels. If you have no album art, you will definitely want to add it, if the first thing a subscriber sees is the default album art from iTunes it will look unprofessional. For most average users, this app will work fine, which will hurt many third party podcast app providers. Although I suspect that the more sophisticated users will continue to use their favorite third-party apps. I am going to try it for a while before I decide.