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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Photo Credit: Tiago Custódio/Flickr

No. He doesn’t.

If Bin Laden had a twitter account he may be alive today.

It turns out that a man, Sohaib Athar, was living his everyday life as a computer programmer, when he heard a helicopter outside his house around one in the morning.

“Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” –Athar tweeted.

If Bin Laden had been more on top of his social networking tools, he may have learned about the attack before and realized the helicopters were for him.

It makes me question the secrecy of anything anyone does today. If it is happening it will be tweeted.

Read the full story here http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/05/02/20110502osama-bin-laden-liveblog.html

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With the option to write messages to other users, a constantly updated news feed, and the unspoken pressure to obtain as many friends as possible, “Moshi Monsters” seems to have certain qualities that Facebook possesses.

Moshi Monsters” is the first social network that children can play on before they are old enough to be introduced to Facebook. Michael Acton Smith, the CEO of the company Mind Candy, describes how “Moshi Monsters” is an online program that targets the general desires of children to win games, socialize, and discover a new world of monsters. He also explains the purpose for creating “Moshi Monsters” by saying that they,

basically tried to re-imagine a Facebook for children under 12…that is as popular for kids as Facebook is for grownups. Kids like communicating and showing off and sharing as much as grown ups do.

Photo Credit: Gamersgame.com

Children, ages five to twelve, are given a choice of monsters to choose from and design to their liking.

Users of this program commonly friend other “owners” and communicate with these individuals by going to their monster’s “homes” and writing on bulletin boards that are provided in each house. These messages can consist of any content unless it includes personal information or is reported by another user.

This sort of communication and pressure to friend others seems to resemble the Facebook phenomenon that has overcome our society. But how similar are these programs? Did Mind Candy make the child-targeting Facebook they dreamed of creating?

On the plus side, kids are given a contract to agree to that asks for users to play safe, respect the Moshi community, refrain from bullying or rude behavior, and also to refrain from cheating or scamming. The child must then create an “owner name” and password, provide his or her age, and also provide an email address from either the child or a parent depending on the age of the applicant.

But let’s be honest. These online questions aren’t going to keep a kid from friending creepers and becoming obsessed with knowing other people’s business. With parental supervision, however, this could arguably be a beneficial way to prepare children for what Facebook has in store for them.

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about Cloud Girlfriend, a new internet service that will create a fake girlfriend for the world’s lonely/creepy men.

CEO of the company David Fuhriman has spilled more details of how Cloud Girlfriend will work to create the perfect woman for it’s users on social media sites.

He believes the site will help men find relationships when women become jealous of their fake girlfriends,

The best way to get a girlfriend is to already have one.

Cloud Girlfriend will be a free service and will launch on April 26th. Several predetermined profile pictures will be available to choose from, and it is even a possibility for Cloud Girlfriend to create photos of you and your girlfriend together.

Real people will be operating these girlfriends so they can friend request people and truly interact using all of Facebooks interfaces. Users can have as many as they like for free.

It was skeptical if Facebook would object this idea because of their strict terms of service, but Fuhriman seems confident his site complies.

We can only wait to see how long this lasts.

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Have you ever wanted to go to a nude beach, dance provocatively at a night club or wear risqué clothing, but felt that you could not express those desires in society? Is finding a romantic relationship in our culture far from your comfort zone? Well, now you can “escape” to Second Life, the internet’s largest user 3D virtual world community.

One of my assignments in my Media Theory class, taught by Dr. Lisa Falvey at Emmanuel College, is to make an account for Second Life and create a research topic on an intriguing aspect of this world. To obtain as much research as possible, students must spend extensive hours on Second Life conversing and participating in activities with avid Second Life users.

Thus far, I’ve learned many interesting theories and concepts that will help me in the future to analyze mediums in my every day life, however, this assignment has left my fellow classmates and I a bit skeptical.

Photo Credit: Videogamesblogger.com

Second Life can literally be used as an alternate existence for people who feel held back in reality. Things that could never be done in the real world are accepted in this virtual reality. It’s a place where desires can be met for those who are either too shy or just unable to find what they want in the real world.

Through my experience of creating an avatar and becoming a member, I have determined that Second Life is both strange and entertaining, although I do not prefer this virtual world over reality.

While reality can be flawed and upsetting at times, I personally enjoy what society has to offer me, but there are those who feel differently.

Is Second Life a better life? For some, no. For others, yes.

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In an age where gadgets and devices are becoming smaller and smaller in size while maintaining their computing power, it was only a matter of time until big bulky printers became more compact and portable. Designer Moonhwan Park (Currently a student at Korean art school, SADI) has come up with the idea for the Book Printer which is true to its name.

The printer is made of a durable and tough plastic which has been molded into the shape of a book  and  measures 50 X 257 X 182 mm for easy transport and weighs as much as a normal book of its size.

The printer sports a USB slot and the user simply has to sync their device with the printer, insert the USB, ink, and paper and then they are able to print anywhere on the go. The printer comes with a small charger and does not require and outlet to power it.

The printer has the ability to print photos in full color or black and white depending on the preference of the user. It also sports a very small scanner which can scan and print ID, credit cards, or things of similar size

From the busy traveling businessman, to the college student who doesn’t have time to wait around for a printer to open in the library, this is a must have piece of technology.

 

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(photo credit: David/Flickr CC)

Cloud Girlfriend promises to help lonely men sink to rock bottom.

The new web startup company guarantees its users a fake, virtual girlfriend who will publicly interact with them on Facebook and other social networking sites. Cloud Girlfriend describes their service as this:

Step 1: Define your perfect girlfriend. Step 2: We bring her into existence. Step 3: Connect and interact with her publicly on your favorite social network Step 4: Enjoy a public long distance relationship with your perfect girl.

According to the website, “Due to high demand we are only able to accommodate a limited number of users to the site. Register early to get in line.” Apparently many people seem interested in a virtual, fake relationship.

Users can design their girlfriends to meet their precise specifications. Once you begin your relationship with your fake beau, somebody employed by the company will interact with you on Facebook via “her” profile. Then all of your single male friends can be jealous of your hot new girlfriend.

This just sounds like a recipe for disaster. What are your friends going to think when they realized you’ve paid a company to create a pretend woman to interact with you on the internet?

I have a strange feeling Mark Zuckerberg will have some issues with this, as Facebook doesn’t like fake profiles. And if there really are people out there who are desperate enough fake a relationship, wouldn’t they have already done it?

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Photo courtesy CC

Eschewing the obnoxious and clunky glasses required to utilize current 3D technology, Nintendo is changing the game with their newest hand held system, the 3DS.

The follow up to their astronomically successful DS system, the 3DS adds among other things stereoscopic 3D technology. This tech allows players to view their games in full 3D without the need of glasses whatsoever.

Though many people across the internet have claimed the system can cause some serious eye-strain due to the stereoscopic images essentially making a user’s eyes “crossed”, multiple reputable sources have confirmed that even after extended play time, the 3D tech causes no problems.

Along with the 3D visuals, the 3DS sports advanced graphics, multiple 3D cameras that can take 3D photos, internet connectivity and “AR Cards” which can turn your room or table into a Nintendo wonderland while looking at them through the 3D camera.

And apparently the public is as spell bound by this new gadget as Nintendo hopes them to by. According to Mike Sheehan, assistant manager at Gamestop in Coolidge Corner, Brookline, pre-orders are through the roof.

“We’ve been stunned by the level of response we’ve gotten for the 3DS” he said, “I think once people get their hands and eyes on the 3D tech, they’re automatically sold”.

 

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Just under one month from today on April 19th, NASA plans to launch the Shuttle Endeavor on its mission to the International Space Station. This will be Endeavor’s final mission before the shuttle is retired. The two week mission’s main task is to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer as well as delivering other parts which the station requires for maintenance. The six astronauts blast off next month will be a lift for NASA’s image after crashing from the large bag of cocaine found inside it’s facility.

After another recent finding of cocaine at the Kennedy Space Center on March 15th, this missions success seems crucial for creating positive press. Just one year after cocaine was found in the Shuttle Discovery’s hanger, a 4.2 gram bag of the substance was found at the space center in a location that NASA has not revealed specifically. It seems at least one NASA employee  no longer could get excited about working around space crafts.

Image Credit: NASA

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I hate Facebook every time it introduces some new, unnecessary feature. So does the rest of the planet. This morning, I found a brand new reason to completely loathe Mark Zuckerberg.

Photocredit: Paul Flickr/CC

No, its not the hideous photo banner or the disappearance of the “write something about yourself” box. It’s not the obnoxious black photo viewer or the lost applications like “bumper sticker.” Facebook has hit a new low.

Now, it has not only taken away things that were fun and informative and added ugly little pictures, it has changed the way we communicate with our “friends.”

Commenting on a wall post is now identical to Facebook Chat. The moment you hit ENTER, the comment will post to the internet for the world to see, rather then starting a new paragraph. In order to start a new paragraph, users must type SHIFT+ENTER to do so (this is explained in size 2 font under the comment box)

I can only anticipate the mass amounts of confusion today when people accidentally post unfinished comments to the internet. Why, Mark Zuckerberg, was this necessary?

There is a way to edit comments now that doesn’t require deleting them in a fury before someone notices your typo. Simply hit the X in the corner of the comment and the text will now remain, allowing it to be edited and reposted, or simply deleted.

HotTips reports that the edit feature is only available for a few short moments,

if you do make a mistake, and hit Enter early, you don’t actually have to retype everything. It will actually retract it from the comment thread, and allow you to edit it. The window to do this is pretty small, so you have to be quick about it.

So while the entire world is complaining about this new feature today, everybody just needs to remember to thank Mr. Zuckerberg. I wonder what’s next!

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Stalkers everywhere, rejoice! Finally, there is another way to track every single person you know/sort of know/have never even spoken to on Facebook.

The Facebook Breakup Notifier allows users to pick certain “friends” whose relationship status they would like to monitor (stalk.) Then, if one of the relationships change, the user will get an email notification.

“You like someone. They’re in a relationship. Be the first to know when they’re out of it,” the website guarantees. This is the creepiest thing I have ever heard.

Facebook blocked the app just 3 days after it launched, but there are talks to reinstate it. At The Globe and Mail, Sidneyeye Matrix, a media professor at Queen’s University in Canada states,

“My first instinct is to say that, culturally speaking, this is getting very close to a violation of their terms of service. They have pulled the plug before on viral campaigns and apps that violate their privacy standards for users.”

Dan Loewenherz, the 24-year-old creator began a campaign to bring the app back saying,

“it stuck a cord with people and illustrates the changing needs of those who use social media.”

The application, launched Saturday, February 19th, attracted over 3.6 million people in the 3 days it was active. One reviewer calls it, “brilliant but creepy.” Dr. Matrix calls it, “digital curiosity.”  I call it, “absolutely insane.”

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