Tag Archives | Apps

Woman In China Hospitalized After Ghost Radar App Causes Her To See Spirits Everywhere

spirits in the crowdThe dangers of using smartphone apps to tap into the spirit realm, via The Star Online from Malaysia:

A 23-year-old woman is in hospital after she allegedly saw spirits while trying out a so-called ghost-hunting application on her smartphone, Kwong Wah Yit Poh reported.

The woman, known only as Wu, from Hubei, China, claimed to have seen spirits around her when she first tried the app.

When she went to the cemetery with her parents during the Qing Ming festival, she tried the application again. This time it allegedly showed three spirits by her side, leading her to have sleepless nights for three days. She had to seek medical treatment in a local hospital.

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Documents Reveal NSA Targets “Leaky” Apps Such As Angry Birds To Spy On Smartphone Users

Are virally popular, addictive phone games nothing more than a fiendish plot to get us to install spyware on our devices?The latest from the Snowden document trove via the Guardian:

The National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have been developing capabilities to take advantage of “leaky” smartphone apps, such as the wildly popular Angry Birds game, that transmit users’ private information across the internet.

The data ranges from phone model to personal details such as age, gender, current location (through geolocation), education level, sexual orientation – one app recorded even specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.

One mobile ad platform, Millennial Media, appeared to offer particularly rich information. Millennial Media’s has partnered with Rovio on a special edition of Angry Birds; with Farmville maker Zynga; with Call of Duty developer Activision, and many other major franchises.

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An App To Make Your Smartphone Sense Collective Consciousness

collective consciousnessBased on the controversial idea that spikes in mass consciousness can influence seemingly chaotic phenomena, the Collective Consciousness app turns users’ phones into random number generators and then pings you at times when spooky, anomalous patterns emerge in your area:

Collective Consciousness is a free mobile app. Data will be collected in formal investigations into “collective consciousness” effects.

In the simplest sense, labs have produced good evidence that conscious intention or attention can influence probabilistic physical systems, such as random number generators (RNGs).

The Global Consciousness Project [at Princeton University] has also shown that RNGs spread around the world produce statistical anomalies (unexplained coherence) when global events synchronize the attention and emotions of millions of people. Recent examples include the death of Nelson Mandela, and the attacks of 9/11.

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Data Analytics Firm Developing Sarcasm Detection App

shutterstock_656644-e1373035802202Via Slashdot

Oh, look everyone, a Sarcasm Detector. What a useful invention. This will go great for my iPhone!

French tech firm Spotter has apparently devised an analytics platform capable of identifying sarcastic comments, according to the BBC.

Spotter’s platform scans social media and other sources to create reputation reports for clients such as the EU Commission. As with most analytics packages that determine popular sentiment, the software parses semantics, heuristics and linguistics. However, automated data-analytics systems often have a difficult time with some of the more nuanced elements of human speech, such as sarcasm and irony—an issue that Spotter has apparently overcome to some degree, although company executives admit that their solution isn’t perfect.

“One of our clients is Air France. If someone has a delayed flight, they will tweet, ‘Thanks Air France for getting us into London two hours late’—obviously they are not actually thanking them,” Spotter executive Richard May told the BBC.

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App Scans Grocery Store Items To Identify Monsanto Products

Identify MonsantoSpecifically intended to point out items linked to the vast and nebulous tentacles of Monsanto and Koch Industries, the smartphone app uncloaks the corporate family tree behind a given barcode. Via Forbes:

The app itself is the work of one Los Angeles-based 26-year-old freelance programmer, Ivan Pardo, who has devoted the last 16 months to Buycott.

Pardo’s handiwork is available for download on iPhone or Android, making its debut in early May. You can scan the barcode on any product and the free app will trace its ownership all the way to its top corporate parent company, including conglomerates like Koch Industries.

Once you’ve scanned an item, Buycott will show you its corporate family tree on your phone screen. Scan a box of Splenda sweetener, for instance, and you’ll see its parent, McNeil Nutritionals, is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

 

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Hacker Demonstrates Android Smartphone App To Hijack A Plane Midair

hijack a planeOn your next flight, you may want to look over your shoulder at what the person next to you is doing. Help Net Security reports:

An extremely well attended talk by Hugo Teso, a security consultant at n.runs AG in Germany, galvanized the crowd attending the Hack In The Box Conference in Amsterdam. Teso showcased an Andorid app, PlaneSploit, that remotely controls airplanes on the move.

Teso has been working in IT for the last eleven years and has been a trained commercial pilot for a year longer than that. By creating an exploit framework (SIMON) and an Android app (PlaneSploit) that delivers attack messages to the airplanes’ Flight Management Systems (computer unit + control display unit), he demonstrated the terrifying ability to take complete control of aircraft.

His testing laboratory consists of a series of software and hardware products. But the connection and communication methods, as well as ways of exploitation, are absolutely the same as they would be in an actual real-world scenario.

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Using Smart Gadgets As Tools Of Social Control

How devices will soon begin pressuring us to “fix” our behavior. Via the Wall Street Journal, Evgeny Morozov writes:

Many smart technologies are heading in a disturbing direction. A number of thinkers in Silicon Valley see these technologies as a way not just to give consumers new products that they want but to push them to behave better. The central idea is clear: social engineering disguised as product engineering.

Last week in Singapore, Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette restated Google’s notion that the world is a “broken” place whose problems, from traffic jams to inconvenient shopping experiences to excessive energy use, can be solved by technology. The futurist and game designer Jane McGonigal, a favorite of the TED crowd, also likes to talk about how “reality is broken” but can be fixed by making the real world more like a videogame, with points for doing good.

Insurance companies already offer significant discounts to drivers who agree to install smart sensors in order to monitor their driving habits.

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Chubby Checker Sues HP Over Penis Size App

WIKI CHUBBY CHECKER 2Some men might be flattered if a penis size app was named after them, but not Chubby Checker, reports WebOS Nation:

Attorney Willie Gary of Stuart, Florida, has filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court, Florida’s Southern District, against HP and Palm on behalf of performer Ernest Evans over the Silicon Valley firms’ hosting of an app titled “The Chubby Checker” hosted in the webOS App Catalog. The app, a play on the stage name of Mr. Evans – Chubby Checker, was created by developer Magic Apps, was designed as a calculator for estimating the penis size of a man given the input of his shoe size.

The app was downloaded 84 times before being removed from the App Catalog in September of 2012 and no longer available in the store on device or in the App Catalog web listings. “Chubby Checker” is held as a trademark by the Ernest Evans Corporation.

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Silent Circle, The New Encryption App That Is Terrifying The Government

The idea is to “democratize encryption” by making it available to the non-tech-savvy with the push of a button. Will this be used for good or evil? Slate‘s Ryan Gallagher explains:

The startup tech firm Silent Circle’s groundbreaking encrypted data transfer app will enable people to send files securely from a smartphone or tablet at the touch of a button—photographs, videos, spreadsheets, you name it—sent scrambled from one person to another in a matter of seconds.

The technology uses a sophisticated peer-to-peer encryption technique that allows users to send encrypted files of up to 60 megabytes through a “Silent Text” app. The sender of the file can set it on a timer so that it will automatically “burn”—deleting it from both devices after a set period of, say, seven minutes. It’s a game-changer that will almost certainly make life easier and safer for journalists, dissidents, diplomats, and companies trying to evade surveillance.

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