Archive for November, 2011
Socialbots used by researchers to ‘steal’ Facebook data
"The four researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, created 102 socialbots for use in their experiment and one ‘botmaster’ – software that sent commands to the other bots. The researchers employed their socialbots over a period of eight weeks. In total the bots attempted to make friends with 8,570 Facebook users. 3,055 accepted the friendships. The researchers found that the more friendships people had on Facebook, the more likely they were to accept the ‘fake’ friend. To prevent triggering Facebook’s fraud detection software, the fake accounts only sent 25 requests per day. From the profiles of those they befriended and the extended networks of those friends, the researchers claimed to have ‘stolen’ 46,500 email addresses and 14,500 home addresses."
via BBC News
Bloomberg And Frog Turn Raw Data Into Branding
"Tasked with creating a corporate page for Bloomberg, frog had to figure out the central theme of all its myriad businesses: Data, which they then used as a clever bit of branding."
via Co. Design
OneSchool Puts Everything a Student Needs to Know About Her College on Her Phone
"OneSchool is a free app that can make your college experience much richer by connecting you to your school’s resources and helping you find what you need on or near campus. The app, for example, offers a campus map, bus tracking, course info and schedules, listings of eateries nearby, and college news feeds. Looking for a party? Use the app’s chat feature. You can also look up contact info for your professors or classmates in OneSchool’s Directory listing."
marcelo ertorteguy + sara valente + takahiro fukuda: room-sized electric guitar
"architect marcelo ertorteguy and sara valente collaborated with takahiro fukuda to create ‘cargoguitar‘, a room sized electric guitar. eight strings start from a vertical media column stretching eight meters to another horizontal media spine resulting in a hyperbolic paraboloid. each peg is tuned to a different note, achieving varied sound scales to be captured by the transducers. two amplifiers allow the vibrations to be felt in the room. a glow in the dark coat is applied to the strings, allowing visitors to not just hear the sound but to see it as it as well."
C3 Technologies’ 3D Mapping Looks Freaking Amazing
"What could be better than Google Maps? C3 Technologies’ stunning 3D city displays, which let you rotate, zoom and pan through the city as if you’d modeled it all on your computer. The technology, which uses footage captured from airplanes and processed through a formerly proprietary military missile-guidance system, absolutely must be seen to be believed."
With Backing From Google Ventures, Humanoid Brings Robot Supervision To Crowdsourced Tasks
"Humanoid starts with getting workers to review each other’s work and then augmenting that with bots that assign each worker a reputation. It also looks at statistics such as accuracy of completed tasks and indicators of developer fatigue. The bots even throw in errors to test workers. If someone is not up to snuff, they route the task to someone else."
PlateMate crowd-sources nutritional analysis of users’ meals
"PlateMate is a crowd-sourced dieting system, in which an online community determines the caloric value of users’ meals"
MapMap Vauxhall – remapping one’s perception of Vauxhall
"Fascinated by ideas of mental maps and obtaining an insight into the person’s perception of the world by simply asking them to draw a map from memory, in his ongoing Design Interactions master, Benedikt Groß created a Processing application that allows users to mould OpenStreetMap maps based on their recollection and experience. First the points are placed on the map, the mesh is constructed and map modified according to the new point position."
bibleQuran: Comparing the Word Frequency between Bible and Quran
"The densely populated interactive visualization allows people to search for any word (and similar variations of that word) to explore its frequency in both texts. As each verse is always visible, one is able to compare the relative density of ideas and topics between both passages. For instance, one could select verbs that represent acts of ‘terror’ or ‘love’, and investigate which book discusses the topics more. The appropriate little rectangles, each representing an according verse, which include such this chosen word, are then highlighted, and can be read in detail by hovering the mouse over them."
via information aesthetics
Google+ Ripples: Revealing How Posts are Shared over Time
"The ‘Ripple Diagram’ shows how a post spreads as people (publicly) share it using the Google+ service, with arrows indicating the direction of the sharing. A timeline at the bottom of the diagram allow the ripple to animate, revealing how this post was shared over time. People who have reshared the post are displayed with their own circle. Inside the circle are people who have reshared the post from that person (and so on). All circles are roughly sized based on the relative influence of that person."
via information aesthetics
Creepy/Awesome Banjo App Now Pings You When Your Friends Are Nearby
"Social discovery service Banjo, which launched its cross-platform mobile application for iPhone and Android earlier this summer, has just introduced a new way to keep track of where your friends are and what they’re doing: automatic friend alerts. Unlike the alerts you see on Foursquare, which ping you every time a friend checks in somewhere, this friend alerting feature works across social networks. And more importantly, it only bothers you when your friends are actually nearby."
Lines by The Cafe Society – What are the new contracts between author and reader?
"Lines is based on a writing technique from medieval times developed by monks as a solution to expensive paper and tedious writing. The monks were writing in the centre of the page allowing enough space for others to annotate the pages on the sides, method allowing you to read the story through other people’s writing. The problem arises when 5-6th person tried to comment there would be no paper space left over. As the time passed and writing material became cheaper this technique was abandoned and the techniques we used today were adopted. The team behind the project thought it would be interesting experiment to revisit the techniques using modern technologies, predominantly the “screen” as it has no borders and provides infinite space. The way “lines” works is that you begin with the first column / text. You can comment the whole text or you can comment parts of the text. You can comment this comment and the structure can grow very big. To access this structure you can zoom in and zoom out the projects, filter by text or time."
Augmented Reality Pop-Up Stores Near Famous Landmarks
"Shoppers with an iPhone or iPad 2 can use their device to scan the scene around 5 famous landmarks to find the store’s selection of party dresses – and once located, they can virtually try them on a picture of themselves, share and even order. Users of the Debenhams app were also given an exclusive 20% discount and could upload their images to Facebook and Twitter to get feedback from their friends and followers."
Users Complete Missions To Turn Off Alarm Clock
"Mission Alarm Clock for iOS is an app guaranteed to wake up its users by requiring them to perform fun and challenging games in order to turn off the alarm. Users simply set the alarm date and time, along with the sound and wait for it to ring. To turn the alarm off, users have to complete a task. In the case of the first mission, users must pull down a lever with their finger. The extra time and thinking spent turning the alarm off hopefully deters even the deepest sleepers to get out of bed."
The Virtual Nurse Will See You Now
"Researchers at Northeastern University have developed a virtual nurse and exercise coach that are surprisingly likable and effective—even if they’re not quite as affable as the medical hologram on Star Trek. In fact, patients who interacted with a virtual nurse named Elizabeth said they preferred the computer simulation to an actual doctor or nurse because they didn’t feel rushed or talked down to. A recent clinical trial of the technology found that Elizabeth also appears to have a beneficial effect on care. A month after discharge, people who interacted with the virtual nurse were more likely to know their diagnosis and to make a follow-up appointment with their primary-care doctor."
via Technology Review
In Croatia, postage stamps made trackable via QR code
"the new stamp lets users receive instant delivery confirmation for the mail they send, as well as details of when it was shipped, how many kilometers it traveled and when it arrived. More than 200 of the new stamps have been used so far, and a dedicated website offers a variety of statistics about their travels, including an interactive map displaying all the points they’ve visited."
Joukuu Manages Your Google Docs, Box.net, and Dropbox Files Within One Site
"If you have files strewn about Google Docs, Box.net, and/or Dropbox and would like the convenience of managing them all in one place, check out Joukuu. Previously in beta and Windows-only, Joukuu now has a webapp for accessing your cloud storage accounts."
Accurate short-term weather prediction
"Using your precise location, it tells you when it will precipitate and for how long. For example: It might tell you that it will start raining in 8 minutes, with the rain lasting for 15 minutes followed by a 25 minute break. How is it possible predict the weather down to the minute? What’s the catch? Well, the catch is that it only works over a short period of time: a half hour to an hour in the future. But, as it turns out, this timespan is crucially important. Our lives are filled with short-term outdoor activities: Travelling to and from work, walking the dog, lunch with friends, outdoor sports, etc."
Randomly juxtaposing diagrams of two everyday objects
"The Creatomatic is a piece of software designed to accelerate the imagination and prompt new inventions. It works by randomly juxtaposing diagrams of two everyday objects from a selection of hundreds. Through free association, the two objects can prompt the invention of an entirely new object, which can be practical or nonsensical. Inspired by the accidental nature of creativity, the Creatomatic uses the technique of surprise to overcome habitual ways of thinking and short circuit rational control."
Boston Dynamics releases amazing video of its PETMAN bipedal robot
"If you were tasked with testing clothing that was designed to protect soldiers from chemical weapons, it goes without saying that you wouldn’t dress an actual person up in those clothes, then fire chemicals at them. If you just put those clothes on an inanimate mannequin, however, it wouldn’t provide any information on how effective those clothes were when in motion, or in a wide variety of body positions. Well, that’s where Boston Dynamics’ PETMAN (Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin) humanoid robot comes in. The self-balancing clothes-testing machine can walk, run, crouch, and even do push-ups. Today, PETMAN’s creators released the first-ever public video of the robot being put through its paces – and it’s pretty impressive."
RFID Tags In Trees Prevent Illegal Deforestation
"The data provided by the chip can be accessed remotely, increasing the accuracy and reliability of the forest management process. For example, the date when a tree is mature enough to be harvested is easily available, as is information on the company responsible for it. However, the greatest potential benefit of the system is to reduce the high levels of illegal deforestation. The chip provides exact geo-location data on the tree at every stage during its lifecycle, from the forest through to shipment and delivery."
Lumenoise turns your old CRT-TV into an audiovisual synthesizer.
"Developed during the few days residency at La Gaîté Lyrique, Lumenoise is a project by Niklas Roy that enables you to turn your old CRT-TV into an audiovisual synthesizer. Using a specially devised pen, you paint abstract geometric patterns and sounds directly onto the screen. Niklas calls it a playful and performative device, as anything that you do will cause an instantaneous reflection in the gadget’s sonic and visual output."
Cell – Mirroring oneself into random online profiles.
"Cell is an interactive installation that explores notions of online identity by mirroring the visitors in the form of randomly assigned personalities mined from online profiles. It aims to get the visitors thinking about the way in which we use social media to fabricate our second selves, and how these constructed personae define and enmesh us. As users enter the space they are assigned a random identity. Over time, tags floating in the cloud begin to move towards and stick to the users until they are represented entirely as a tangled web of data seemingly bringing together our physical and digital selves."
The Latest From Betaworks: Findings. A New Way To Share Book Passages And Web Marginalia
"The service lets you share your highlights from Kindle books as well as articles on the web via a bookmarklet. But it is not intended to be a web clipping service. It is really more about reading in the digital age, sharing quotations from books and other writings that resonate with you and making them your own by collecting them into a feed. In many ways it harkens back to an earlier form of reading hundreds of years ago when Englishmen would hand-assemble their own collections of quotations into a “commonplace book.”"
New Robot Surgeon Will Keep Jittery Docs from Scrambling Your Eyeballs
"Its design is similar to the da Vinci Surgical System except that Meenink’s uses two sets of control modules—a master and a slave—rather than a single module like the da Vinci. This secondary slave unit helps to filter out a surgeon’s hand tremors and prevent accidental damage to the eye. So, if a ophthalmologist jerks away by a centimeter, the system will only move a millimeter."
New Tech Helps Users Point And Seamlessly Connect With Multiple Surfaces
"Its Touch Vision Interface is a tool that enables users to interact seamlessly with different connected surfaces through a mobile phones’ camera view. Users simply point their viewfinders to a connected screen and are able to ‘touch’ the distant screen virtually. The technology creates the feel of being able to directly manipulate a distant surface, resulting in an interaction that is natural and almost invisible. The client server application additionally works over IP based systems and doesn’t require any complex pairing for the device to take control of the screen."
Shoebox Digitizes All Your Old Photos with Your iPhone
"Shoebox makes the steps really easy, you just use the iPhone camera to take a picture of your old picture, crop the pic with their slick crop tool, tag it and share with all your friends just like you would an Instagram. Your new digital picture looks exactly like the print picture and you get all the cool new snazzy social sharing options. Plus, all the pictures you take with Shoebox are archived on 1000memories.com so you don’t ever have to worry about those prints getting destroyed."
FingerFlux Touchscreen Harnesses Magnets For Physical Feedback
"Just below the surface of their prototype interactive table sits an array of tiny electromagnets whose strength and polarization can be individually controlled. In its current form the system requires users to wear a magnet on their finger, like a small thimble, but that minor inconvenience facilitates some unique methods of interaction. One of the biggest issues with touchscreen interfaces is that you often need your eyes to guide your finger to a button. But the FingerFlux system could blindly guide a user’s finger to a specific part of the screen by generating strategically placed attractive and repulsive magnetic forces."
Comfort shoes with embedded GPS to keep track of Alzheimer’s patients
"The GTX system uses low power two-way GPS tracking technology that continually tracks the location and movement history of the wearer and relays the information to a monitoring center through mobile networks. The wearer can then be pinpointed by logging into a secure internet portal or via a smartphone app. The system also allows caregivers to receive an alert on their smartphone or computer with a direct link to Google maps plotting the wearer’s location when the GPS shoe moves outside a preset area."
Guitar and iPad join forces as the iTar
"The iTar won’t come supplied with an iPad, of course, but the Bo-Diddley-like square body will be home to a dock for securing the tablet in place while performing. Starr Labs is currently working on an application that will provide virtual strings across the touchscreen display of the docked device, but users will also be able to create and store custom playing surfaces."
Toyota Introduces Smartphone Mirroring Infotainment System
"Toyota have added the Touch Life to their range of infotainment products, giving drivers greater smartphone-vehicle connectivity by mirroring the device’s display on the system’s 7-inch touchscreen. Smartphone functionalities can be accessed using the screen or steering wheel-based controls."
Baroque.me by @alexanderchen visualizes the first Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suites by drawing notes as strings
"I created eight strings, as the Prelude’s natural phrasing is in groups of eight notes. The orbiting nodes pluck the strings, like a rotating music box. The user can also grab and throw the nodes off track, and watch the system slowly regain its rhythm. A harp is built around string length, with strings shortening as they ascend in pitch. This piece behaves like an impossible harp, as strings morph to the needed lengths. The looping, eight-note pattern is something we see all the time in grid-based drum sequencers. Bach’s Prelude is actually very grid-like as well. At every moment, the piece shows a visual snapshot of an arpeggio. It shows which notes change from bar to bar, and which stay the same."
What the Heck Is This Crazy Flexible Nokia Phone?
"It’s only a concept right now and there are no plans to put it into production but the flexible OLED display is more than just for show. When you twist the phone, it can scroll through music and pictures. CNET also says that "bowing it inward or outward zoomed photos in and out or paused and played music". That obviously sounds like a lot more work than just swiping a screen but flexible controls does give room for… flexible controls (there are more options than just what’s on the screen)."
True3D Head Up Display keeps drivers focused on the road
"Instead of one tiny rectangle down by the windscreen wipers, the True3D system uses a 3D projector technology to beam the display across the entire front window of the car. With a standard satnav readout, that would be like pasting a road map over the glass and about as dangerous, but what the True3D system does is blend its readout into what the driver sees on the road in front of the vehicle. It layers a luminous, three-dimensional landscape over the real world so that the information the driver needs is available without distraction."