Brain Hacking - Another Unintended Consequence of Technology?
Game developers came up with headsets to use with playing video games on computers for "hand-free gaming" - really cool, right? I mean, talk about sci-fi becoming reality! I remember "Firefox" a 1982 movie with Clint Eastwood, where he played a pilot who stole a super-secret Soviet plane that fired weapons using mind control by the pilot - in other words, all he had to do was to think a command, and the plane responded, firing the aforementioned weapon. Way out there, right? Well not so fast, Bippy - remember the pearl of wisdom from Napoleon Hill - "What the mind of Man can conceive, and believe, it can achieve" (probably not meant in this scenario, but it seems to fit). Leave it up to Video Game developers to come up with something to require even less physical activity, and we have "hands-free gaming" just think your commands using a headset which "reads" your thoughts, and BAM! you're annihilating your competitor with your MIND!
OK on the serious note, researchers from Oxford, Berkeley and Geneva produced "On the Feasibility of Side-Channel Attacks with Brain-Computer Interfaces" - (seriously, that is the title!), which found that subjects could reveal personal information, including PIN numbers, addresses, known people, all through spikes in brain activity when the subject recognized something familiar from a test group of data. Admittedly, this is still kind of sketchy, with about a 40% accuracy rate, but as the devices (headsets) improve their sensitivity and quality, higher results are expected.
According to the researchers, their motivation was to determine whether participants would inadvertently reveal private information while wearing one of these devices for another purpose, say, playing video games. During the testing, participants wore brain-wave reading devices and were shown a list of people, possible PIN numbers, and the likely location fo their home. Spikes in brain activity P300 (which activates when familiar information was recognized) occurred and the researchers were then able to guess the correct information contained within the lists shown to the participants. Preliminary results showed that the correct first PIN number was identified 20% of the time, their home's regional location 30%, their month of birth 60%, and their bank's ATM branch location 30%.
As the devices (headsets) and technology are improved, this raises the flood of applications and possibilities - consider this one - Law Enforcement Officers can use this technology in interrogation (same with the military) for various reasons, like identifying accomplices, collaborators, etc. as well as potential ambush sites - you get the idea. But, what if Facebook was now able to tell if you REALLY know that person to whom you are sending a "friend request" can you imagine that?
However, let's not forget the 800 pound gorilla in the room - the abject invasion of privacy of our MINDS! Will we inadvertently reveal our innermost secrets and private information, potentially harmful, by wearing one of these devices to play a video game?
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And they laughed about the idea of "tin foil hats" - maybe those folks were the ones really onto something way before its time - just sayin'!
Tell Me Again Why Capitalism is So Evil? Just Ask Apple, Why Doncha!
As reported today, Apple's Market cap of $623 BILLION makes it the largest US publicly traded corporation, surpassing the previous highest tally - $618.9 Billion, Microsoft, way back in 1999. OK, ok you purists, adjusted for inflation, Microsoft would be $850 - but remember that date I mentioned -1999? You might recall that was at at the height of the tech bubble!
Since 1999, Apple has gone on such a wild ride it would make your head spin! In 1999, Apple's market cap stood at about $9 billion, up from a paltry $2.3 billion just two years earlier, in 1997. To put Apple's run in perspective, what about some other billion$ companies from 1999 - how have they fared? Let's start with a few fairly well-known companies in that category - Cisco, AOL, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Dell Computers, Nokia, Yahoo.
The rankings of these companies in 1999:
#1 - Microsoft - $618.9 billion market cap
#2 - Exxon - $267.02 billion
#3 - Cisco Systems - $350 billion
#9 - Nokia - approximately $200 billion
#12 - AOL - also around $200 billion
Sun and Oracle were both similar, Oracle around $137 billion, Sun a little less at $116 billion.
Yahoo was high on the totem pole at that point, #39, market cap about $100 billion.
Dell rolled in at # 30, market cap was $122 billion.
So much for thie historical base point - what about today, and why should Apple be the subject of an article like this? Did I mention Apple is now the highest valued publicly traded American corporation today? I thought so. While this is remarkable, whre do those others I mentioned above fall now?
Cisco's market cap is near $100 billion; Nokia's - $8 billion and falling; AOL - today is $3 billion, but in the interim they bought Time Warner for $162 billion, and this acquisition turned around and spun off AOL!
Oracle bought Sun for 7.4 billion; Yahoo today has a market cap of roughly $18 billion; Dell has lost $100 billion, current cap is $22 billion.
What has Apple done in the same time? Only increased their market cap $614 BILLION, that's what!
As I mentioned at the outset, none of these accomplismments are possible in anything other than a capitalist system. The OWS types can scream all they want about "fairness" and "social justice" and "equality", but excuse me, where would all those employees of these "evil corporations" be without the innovation, the at-risk initial captial investments, the vision to create an enterprise, and yes, the profits which fueled the expansion and the increases of numbers of employees, the benefits paid, the taxes paid, the infrastructure, the construction workers required to erect the facilities where these companies produced their products, the suppliers who provide the supporting casts of thousands of materials used to manufacture the end products - funny, but I don't see any socialist/communist/statist systems capable of such production - correct me if I'm wrong!
Wake up, America! The Occupy movement is intent upon bringing DOWN our system which has produced results such as these, and offer NOTHING with which to replace it except empty rhetoric and vague generalities couched in unproven and unrealistic pipe dreams created from smoke and mirrors. I'll take the reality scenario anytime! $623 billion worth of reality scenario!Add a comment Add a comment
Dual cameras, a forward facing 1.9 megapixel and a 5 megapixel rear-facing are features, as well as the the 1.4Ghz quad-core Exynos processor that powers the 10.1-inch Android tablet.
Originally announced at Mobile World Congress in February, the Galaxy Note 10.1 has upgraded to a faster processor as well as other updated specs hoping to make it more competitive with other tablets on the market. It will launch with the Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" OS.
The tablet has a multitasking feature, allowing you to run two apps simultaneously on the screen, which could be used to surf the web or take notes during the presentation. Or various other uses creative minds will find useful!
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Google debuts "Vault" Archiving and Records Management System
Water cooler talk has been positive. If you already rely on Gchat or Gmail don't need to make any changes. This records management system simply archives the data that is already being communicated in those channels. It offers an easy solution during a difficult time. Legal processes that require a retention period, or hold, on such data go that much more smoothly when it's easy to locate and save that data.
Google explains that its Vault service allows businesses to comply with those legal holds and the system will hold the chat and email data until the retention expires. Although you can manually save some of this data, the automated records management system ensures that it is preserved for longer than Gmail or Chat may usually allow.
Even when litigation and compliance aren't an issue, this new service allows small company owners to quickly search through archived data to find specific information. The search tool is handy because it allows you to locate data based on message content and meta-data such as labels. It also promotes collaboration between users for message management purposes. Plus, there's no need to move your sensitive files between hard-drives, a practice that can sometimes result in corrupted files. This new service is just one more way to ensure that important information never becomes lost, even in the event of a hard-drive or network failure.
Google wants business owners and IT managers to sign up with this service right away. What is its reasoning? Vault provides an easy-to-access method for quickly finding data. The archiving service is a small fee, the company says, especially when compared to costly data retrieval and wasted man-hours when the auditor makes an appearance. Operations quickly return to normal, and audits become less painful. It's certainly a convincing argument and we think it's always better to be safe than sorry.
In response to the tragedy, many have begun to take a second look at Jobs fantastic life. Some have begun to assemble at Apple retail stores as they remember Jobs and his profound effect on the world. This effect was most recently realizied in the development of some of the most celebrated technological devices, the iPod, iPad and iPhone. The personal device revolution they have inspired is not dissimilar from the success Apple first experienced in the realm of personal computers.
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