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[H] Enthusiast Archives: July 2010Archive Listing

Saturday July 31, 2010

Health Advice Smartphone App Launches in South Africa

Most of the smartphone apps are for whims, pleasure or light applications, but Afridoctor is actually something that can make a big difference in the health field possibly saving lives in the process.

When Nokia launched a competition inviting entrants to design apps for its upmarket mobile models, Blueworld Communities developed Afridoctor in three weeks and submitted it. It was the winning entry. The company is now refining and testing a version of the app that will work on more basic Nokia phones and WAP enabled handsets.

Firefox 4 Beta 2 Hits the Streets

This definitely lives up to its Beta status, the new update is worth the download, but testing proves it’s not ready for the prime time quite yet. A few more laps around the track Firefox, but well worth watching.

The really important changes will be coming under the hood, and they're at most three-quarters baked at this point. HTML5 and WebM -- which aren't more than partially implemented -- have enormous potential to get us all weaned off Flash. Lazy frame construction should make page rendering faster, although Firefox has a long way to go to catch up with Chrome.One thing's for sure: Even if you love Chrome or Opera (or even Internet Explorer!), Firefox 4 struts some new stuff that's well worth absorbing.

Google Tops the List for Malware Searches

In a report from Barracuda Labs, Google was named the most popular search engine used by malicious attackers. I’m sure that is a dubious honor Google would just as soon pass on. Although, Google’s aware of the situation, and is catching up pretty fast, cybercriminals remain ahead of the game.

Interestingly, based on the data gathered, the most popular topic of choice for cybercriminals were spyware related searches, followed by entertainment news, with hosting sites, P2P and proxies related searches showing a significant growth.

FCC Gives Thumbs-Up to First LTE Phone Sale

I’m certainly happy that no one was on fire and the FCC was sent for water….they have finally approved the 4G Long Term Evolution phone for sale. This move paves the way for other 4G devices and networks to get rolling. Some significant actions should be made before the end of the year in LTE technology.

The Samsung SCH-r900 will be the first LTE phone to market in the US, which MetroPCS hopes to launch "this summer" according to InformationWeek. We're still mostly in the dark as to where MetroPCS plans to build out its LTE network (the company said earlier this year that it was targeting a number of metro markets, but only named Las Vegas), but regardless, it looks like Sprint will soon have to share the 4G limelight.

Seniors Take National Wii Golf Title

When the Wii system was invented, no one had any thoughts that it would take off the way it did or the number of lives it would effect. Take for example the foursome of senior citizens who range in age from 74 to 89, who just won the National Seniors Golf title.

Not only has Wii golf brought out the competitive nature of some of Parc at Duluth’s residents, it has brought together residents who might not otherwise socialize with one another- Sanger and Taylor are just one example. Socialization is one of the reasons corporate wellness director Angela Butler-Hackett recommended the purchase of a Wii gaming system for all four of the Parc facilities in metro Atlanta. A recreation therapist, Butler-Hackett recognized the multiple benefits a Wii could have.

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Chevy Volt Production Increased by 50%

General Motors is showing confidence in the Chevy Volt by increasing 2012 production from 30k to 45k due to the strong public interest in the Volt’s green technology and gas savings.

The Volt offers a total driving range of about 340 miles and is powered by electricity at all times. For up to the first 40 miles, the vehicle drives gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered, engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles on a full tank.

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Army Enlists Tentacled 'Snakebots'

The U.S. Army is taking robotics in a new direction by taking already existing robot technology and joining them together to make a completely new system of operations.

The snakes also work in groups, acting more like fingers or the tentacles of an octopus. Arranging several of them on a circular base creates an array that can gingerly pick up, rotate, and inspect an IED or possibly even open a door

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'BlackPad' tablet due in November?

The speculation on RIM’s entry into the tablet computer market has progressed a step or two. The word now is that the ‘BlackPad’ is due to be released in November to go head to head with Apple’s iPad

The new device will have roughly the same dimensions as the iPad, which has a 9.7-inch diagonal screen. It will also include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology that will allow people to connect to the Internet through their BlackBerrys, the sources said. RIM plans to call the tablet Blackpad, say sources. It will be priced in line with the iPad, which starts at $499. RIM acquired the Internet rights to this month, according to the Whois database of domain names.

The Web's New Gold Mine: Your Secrets

Data miners are striking gold with new software, tracking your moves in real time- where you go, what you do, what you prefer- basically a complete profile of your internet habits. The internet used to be a lonely place, but now you are never alone.

Tracking technology is getting smarter and more intrusive. Monitoring used to be limited mainly to "cookie" files that record websites people visit. But the Journal found new tools that scan in real time what people are doing on a Web page, then instantly assess location, income, shopping interests and even medical conditions. Some tools surreptitiously re-spawn themselves even after users try to delete them.

The FBI Checks In at Defcon

The FBI has taken a special interest in the ‘Social Engineering’ contest sponsored by Defcon. The participants will try to trick corporate employees into divulging not-so-sensitive data and the Feds want to insure that it stays non-sensitive.

Over the next three days participants will try their best to unearth data from an undisclosed list of about 30 U.S. companies. The contest will take place in a room in the Riviera hotel in Las Vegas furnished with a soundproof booth and a speaker, so an audience can hear the contestants call companies and try to weasel out what data they can get from unwitting employees.

The Internet Illuminati: Seven Hold Keys to the Digital Universe

Did you know that the fate of the internet rests in the hands of seven individuals dispersed around the globe? Well it’s a fact and not a well known one for sure. In the event of a cataclysmic event that disrupts the internet, they are the ones that gather to restart it. The spice must flow.

In the event of a terrorist or other attack on the Internet, the key holders will be flown to an undisclosed location in the U.S. Each key contains a fragment. If at least five are united, they will form a master key that can restore the Internet.

DIY Wearable Computer Turns You Into a Cyborg

Oh, those crazy Swedish. First it was the meatballs and now wearable computers. Martin Magnusson, a Swedish researcher and entrepreneur, has taken the first step and created a wearable computer that can be slung across the body. This redifines the word nerd.....and is quite the fashion statement

A Beagleboard running Angstrom Linux and a Plexgear mini USB hub that drives the Bluetooth adapter and display forms the rest of this rather simple machine. Four 2700 mAh AA batteries are used to power the USB hub. Magnusson has used a foldable Nokia keyboard for input and is piping internet connectivity through Bluetooth tethering to an iPhone in his pocket.

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