Monthly Archives

October 2013


October 3, 2013

Amy Webb: How I Hacked Online Dating

I better get started on some spreadsheets.

Twitter discloses its I.P.O. plans

Potential buyers aren’t the only firms eager for a piece of Twitter’s offering. Wall Street banks have battled for months for the privilege of leading the stock sale, which will bestow prestige and bragging rights. Goldman Sachs won that fight and is serving as lead underwriter along with with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Allen & Company and Code Advisors are joining as additional advisers.

I’m hesitant in invest in most “social media” companies such as Facebook and LinkedIn. However, I find Twitter to be exceptionally useful for breaking news.

Obamacare vs. Canada: Five key differences

Obamacare is a huge step in American health reform and, if it seen to improve the system, will represent a major victory for Democrats. Like other major reforms of the past, however, it will entrench the private nature of the system, and likely render national health insurance, or anything remotely like “Canadian-style” health care, impossible to attain.

There are certainly pros and cons for the US to adapt the Affordable Healthcare Act aka “Obamacare”. The transition won’t be easy, but he wants to extend medical coverage to the 15-20% of America that does not have it.

Samsung may have spied on sealed Apple-Nokia documents to aid patent deals

The company’s legal negotiator, Dr. Seungho Ahn, apparently told Nokia that its terms with Apple “were known to him,” despite the fact they were marked “highly confidential — attorneys’ eyes only.” This means they should have been for Samsung’s outside counsel only, and strictly off-limits for gaining leverage in any negotiations. Court documents show that up to 50 Samsung employees were given non-redacted copies of Apple agreements with not only Nokia, but Ericsson, Sharp and Philips, too.

This has been a terrible week for Samsung thus far.

Adobe gets hacked compromising 2.9 million users

From what Adobe has shared so far, it sounds like the hackers had access to encrypted data for as many as 2.9 million customers. While Adobe stresses that the data is encrypted and that they “do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers”, that data — encrypted or not — is definitely notsomething they want out in the wild.

No Creative Cloud for me…Oh, and they took the source code as well.

Lorde: Pure Heroine

She gets so caught up in the feeling that she lets herself blurt something truly vulnerable: “I’ve never felt more alone/ It feels so scary, getting old.” Lorde’s music is quietly wise to a particular modern irony: Beneath every #DGAF there’s a person who secretly gives a fuck about something, and behind every anti-pop song there’s a singer who—just likeeverybody else—knows what it’s like to feel happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.

Most of the time I can understand the fine folks over at Pitchfork. But in this instance, I have to say that the 16-year old New Zealander deserves at least an 8.0/10 on her debut album.

Technology, Uncategorized

Android Shenanigans

They’re (almost) all dirty: The state of cheating in Android benchmarks

We started piecing this data together back in July, and even had conversations with both silicon vendors and OEMs about getting it to stop. With the exception of Apple and Motorola, literally every single OEM we’ve worked with ships (or has shipped) at least one device that runs this silly CPU optimization. It’s possible that older Motorola devices might’ve done the same thing, but none of the newer devices we have on hand exhibited the behavior. It’s a systemic problem that seems to have surfaced over the last two years, and one that extends far beyond Samsung.

Pretty sad.

Note 3’s benchmarking “adjustments” inflate scores by up to 20%

After a good bit of sleuthing, we can confidently say Samsung appears to be artificially boosting the US Note 3’s benchmark scores with a special, high-power CPU mode that kicks in when the device runs a large number of popular benchmarking apps. Samsung did something similar with the international Galaxy S 4’s GPU, but this is the first time we’ve seen the boost on a US device.

It’s not surprising to see Samsung pulling a Samsung again. Even Phil Schiller outed them call this stunt shenanigans.

The Galaxy Note 3 comes with a “tiny screen” mode that enables one hand usages

When you enable a buried option in the one-hand operating menu, you can enable a “tiny screen” mode with a simple swipe gesture. Like Alice in Wonderland, what you see on your Note 3?s display suddenly becomes smaller and you’re effectively using Android as if it were a windowed application on your desktop computer.

So, this is innovation by Samsung eh? Great. Make gigantic devices that don’t fit in anyones pocket. And then lets make it have a one-handed mode.

Internet can be “100x more affordable” 

Zuckerberg explains a few of the methods that the tech companies involved are looking into. For instance, by extending the range of antennas and relays, infrastructure builders can reach distant areas with fewer towers (and less cost). And by using compression algorithms on everyday data, the amount of bits and bytes needed to watch a video or download an article can be reduced

And Zuck can make Internet even more affordable if we give him all of our personal data as well?


October 1, 2013

Rewired nerves control robotic leg

The major advance is that the man does not have to use a remote-control switch or exaggerated muscle movements to tell the robotic leg to switch between types of movements, and he does not have to reposition the leg with his hands when seated.

Another step to cyborgism. But seriously, this is breakthrough technology that is enhancing the lives of the many disabled people.

John McAfee reveals details on gadget to thwart NSA

McAfee said the idea for the device came to him well before computer analyst and whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked National Security Agency documents that exposed widespread monitoring of U.S. citizens’ phone calls and Internet communications.

Mr. McAfee might be a bit “crazy” at times, but he’s a genius at all times. “There will be no way (for the government) to tell who you are or where you are.” he says. I can’t wait to see what this device actually is or how it works.

Nikon files patents for an interchangeable sensor camera

Of course, this isn’t a new idea. Medium format cameras have allowed photographers to switch out backs since the film days.

It will just be amazing to see all the choices consumers will be able to configure in the future.

Facebook admits its ads are too annoying

Why Facebook isn’t already paying attention to such feedback from the people it supposedly runs its service for isn’t explained. It may be deduced from the way Ge’s post carefully balances promises to both ad-beseiged users of Facebook and the companies paying Facebook to besiege them.

You don’t say?

After 13-year ban, China to allow game console sales

China’s State Council, the country’s top decision maker, announced on Friday that companies could eventually start selling game consoles across China. In order to get the hardware on store shelves, however, the companies would need to have their devices approved by the Ministry of Culture. It’s not clear what might cause a particular console to be banned from sale.

Great. Just what the world needs. A billion-or-so more Asian gamers.

Bunnies can fly…proof

The above is cynically tragic.