Tag Archives | Technology

When Selfies Turn Deadly

Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe, Portugal.

Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe, Portugal.

I just heard about the Polish couple who fell to their deaths while trying to snap a selfie on a cliff in Portugal. As if that isn’t horrifying enough, their young children witnessed the event.

via Mashable:

A couple has died after falling from cliffs in Portugal while taking pictures of themselves on Sunday, according to investigators.

The man and woman reportedly went past a barrier set up to keep people off the cliff edge at Cabo de Roca, a popular coasta tourist destination near Lisbon. They slipped while trying to take a selfie, Captain Dario Pinto Moreira told Portuguese news station CMTV. The couple’s children, aged 5 and 6, were with them and are now in the custody of Polish diplomats.

This is, sadly, not the first time a selfie has turned deadly. Last week a man in Mexico was taking a selfie when he accidentally shot himself in the head.

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Creep Theory

technocreep[disinfo ed.'s note: the following is a chapter excerpt from Technocreep: The Surrender of Privacy and the Capitalization of Intimacy by Thomas P. Keenan]

Things were both brutal and creepy in the Paleolithic era as our ancestors struggled to survive. Homo erectus, Homo habilis, and Homo neanderthalensis all had the technologies appropriate to their time: stone tools, clothing, and most especially fire. Recent plant ash and charred bone evidence from the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa show that, even a million years ago, early hominids harnessed the power of fire on a routine basis.

We can only imagine how bizarre the astounding transformation of matter by fire would have appeared to these people. They would have been as unsettled by this mystery as we are when we walk by a billboard and it displays something we just mentioned in a tweet. They figured it out, and so will we, but not without some burned fingers.… Read the rest

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Randall Carlson on Rewriting History, Bridging the Gap Between Science and Religion and Avoiding Catastrophe

Via Midwest Real
image image 
Every night we go to bed taking it for granted that tomorrow will come. Sure, from time to time we have an unpleasant thought along the lines of “worst case scenario, my heart will give out and I won’t wake up.”

But, what if that wasn’t the worst case scenario?IMG_1109

As we speak, massive chunks of instant extinction are flying by the vessel we inhabit at preposterous speeds. If one of them crosses Earth’s path, it could easily be game over for the human race.

As long as we’ve been aware of that inconvenient fact, it’s been good for precisely one thing- apathy. That’s because the ability to do anything about it was completely absent from the equation. Well, that’s not the case anymore. We actually do have the technology and intelligence to do something about it. However, thus far, we’ve shown a complete and total lack of will to seriously discuss it.… Read the rest

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Polish Priest Says He’s Receiving Text Messages From The Devil

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto

I wish they would trace the number.

via The Austrian Times:

A Polish priest claims he has been getting hate texts – from a demon.

Parish priest Father Marian Rajchel from Jaroslaw, a town in south-eastern Poland, said he started getting the texts after carrying out an exorcism on a teenage girl.

But he said that the attempt to drive out the devil from the girl’s soul clearly failed, and that it was now using the teenager to attack him by using mobile phone messages.

He told local media: “The author of these texts is an evil spirit who has possessed her soul.”

He said that the devil and his followers were not shy about using modern technology but that in many cases their actions were not identified as being the work of evil.

He said: “Often the owners of mobile phones are not even aware that they are been used like this, however in this case it is clear.”

He said one of the text messages read: “She will not come out of this hell.

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“Fanbots” to Fill Seats for Korean Baseball Team

“Fanbots” will allow fans to attend the Hanwha Eagles’ games via robots. The robots will electronically show the faces of cheering fans.

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 4.27.27 PM

via Popular Science:

The Hanwha Eagles of Daejeon, Korea, have been on a long losing streak, the BBC reports… but they are winners in our hearts here at Popular Science. That’s because they have decided to amp up their fans by giving them access to three rows of telepresence robots. Not able to score a ticket to an Eagles game? No problem. These robots will be able to cheer, chant, show the faces of remote fans on their own screen faces, and hold up LED panels showing encouraging texts from fans.

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How The NSA hacks your devices

NSA-octopusFrom The Register:

“It’s not as bad as you thought – it’s much worse.”

A leaked NSA cyber-arms catalog has shed light on the technologies US and UK spies use to infiltrate and remotely control PCs, routers, firewalls, phones and software from some of the biggest names in IT.

The exploits, often delivered via the web, provide clandestine backdoor access across networks, allowing the intelligence services to carry out man-in-the-middle attacks that conventional security software has no chance of stopping.

And if that fails, agents can simply intercept your hardware deliveries from Amazon to install hidden gadgets that rat you out via radio communications.

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New Robotic Milkers Allow Cows to Choose When to Be Milked

Keith Weller/USDA

Keith Weller/USDA

New robotic milkers allow cows to choose when they want to be milked.

via The New York Times:

Something strange is happening at farms in upstate New York. The cows are milking themselves.

Desperate for reliable labor and buoyed by soaring prices, dairy operations across the state are charging into a brave new world of udder care: robotic milkers, which feed and milk cow after cow without the help of a single farmhand.

The cows seem to like it, too.

Robots allow the cows to set their own hours, lining up for automated milking five or six times a day — turning the predawn and late-afternoon sessions around which dairy farmers long built their lives into a thing of the past.

With transponders around their necks, the cows get individualized service. Lasers scan and map their underbellies, and a computer charts each animal’s “milking speed,” a critical factor in a 24-hour-a-day operation.

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The Irreverent, Allegorical, Satirical, Psychedelic Opus That is Closure in Moscow’s Pink Lemonade.

Journey deep down the rabbit hole with Closure in Moscow and their allegorical, psychedelic opus that’s soaked in a perfectly balanced brine technology and satire.

imageimage

pink lemonadeThere’s no group of creatives that has it tougher than today’s musicians. Their craft is exceedingly simple to steal, consume, judge, then cast aside like yesterday’s Hot n’ Ready crust (what this shockingly red handed dork who looks like he went straight from a wedding to reviewing a 5 dollar pizza doesn’t tell you is that it’s the most inexcusable food of all time).

To be fair, we have a right to be skeptical. The vast majority of today’s music is formulaic, predictable, shallow, devoid of any deeper meaning and often crafted for the sole purpose of grabbing the attention of the nearest industry turd. Then there are bands like my guests, Closure in Moscow.

Closure has always leaned toward the “all-in” approach with their music, but their latest release, Pink Lemonade, pushes the chips forward like nothing I’ve ever heard before.Read the rest

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Scientists Invent Cloaking Material That Makes Object ‘Invisible’ To Human Touch

Noted critic Patrick Bateman describes "Invisible Touch" as the group's undisputed masterpiece. (Pic: C - Virgin/Atlantic)

Noted critic Patrick Bateman describes “Invisible Touch” as the group’s undisputed masterpiece. (Pic: C – Virgin/Atlantic)

Would it be… an invisible touch?

Apparently the material disperses pressure so that you won’t feel anything when you touch it. Like your estranged ex feels.

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have created a material that sounds like something from a fictional tale: an elasto-mechanical unfeelability cloak. The polymer-based, scaffold-like structure can mask the presence of an object so it’s imperceptible to the human touch.

If you, for example, stepped on a large enough rock, the rubber and foam in your shoe would deform and result in a noticeable bulge. If your shoes were made of the cloaking material, it would disperse the pressure in such a way that you wouldn’t notice the rock beneath your foot.

How Does It Work?

The material consists of precisely calculated needle-shaped elements, such that strength depends on the location in a defined way.

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Your Filthy Smartphone Is Crawling With Your Personal Mix Of Staph, Strep, And Other Passengers

240px-Staphylococcus_aureus_01Your smartphone is filthy, and I don’t just mean what’s in your browser’s search history folder. A group of scientists have discovered that our cell phones carry our their owner’s individual devil’s brew of bacteria: A house blend of staph, strep, and other biological goodies.

To test our biological connection with phones, University of Oregon researchers sequenced microbes from the dominant-hand index fingers and thumbs of 17 subjects and from the touchscreens of their smartphones, during a recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation workshop in Princeton, New Jersey. The study found smartphones closely resembled the microbiome sampled from their owner’s finger, with 82 percent of the most common bacteria on participants’ fingers also found on their phones.

Interestingly, women were found to be more closely connected, microbiologically speaking, to their phones than were men. Although men and women were both statistically similar to their own phones, the relationship was stronger for women than for men.

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