Tweet After You Dead …

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Although life is something short-lived, your twitter account can be ever lasting.

LivesOn is a new controversial twitter application that will eventually, over time, tweet for you, even after you die. This application is the brainchild of London-based digital advertising agency Lean Mean Fighting Machine in collaboration with Queen Mary, University of London. LivesOn has the ability to mimic the actual user, and eventually your tweets become automated and all you have to do is approve or disapprove a specific tweet.

The combination of technology used in this application is made up of Google Prediction, genetic algorithms and Bayesian interface (a statistical method for calculating probability).

The theory is that LivesOn creates your very own twitter twin, once you have created such an account, the app will begin to “study” your every tweet, and begin to create a profile of all your likes and dislikes. It up to the user to choose topics of interest and allow the app to start making the right decisions, and only by the user assisting the app, will it begin to make perfect sense, and will it then start to sound more and more like the user.

There is still no set date for when LivesOn will become live, and no agreement has been made as of yet regarding monetizing the application.

LivesOn has not necessarily received the warmest of welcomes by many people. Some people are not too thrilled about the idea of seeing their relative or friend that has passed on, still tweeting. This idea has been frowned upon by many, and confronts the issue of how people will cope with death whilst an application like this makes it feel that the relative or friend still lives on.

However, the up side to having such an application, is that eventually (while you still alive), you can carry on with your day to day living, without the need to tweet every couple of minutes or hours.

An interview on CBC News with Drew Mathews, a 35 year old avid twitter user, from Toronto has signed up for such a project.

Mathews says, “Sometimes tweets are just movie or song quotes and sometimes it’s situational”.

“I tend to complain about a lot of stuff so I don’t know if (my LivesOn account) will be complaining until the end of time or if it knows I have tweeted about songs and it picks out other lyrics to post.”

Only time will tell how such an application will run, and how much of a good feedback it will get.

Shodan Search Engine

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In today’s day and age, when confronted with a question we automatically answer “Google it” and we punch in a few words with the hopes to find the answer, and when Google does not find that answer we generally assume it does not exist and forget the question ever existed.

However this is not true, the internet has so much to offer, and when using Google, we only scratching the surface, and seeing what we need to see, and nothing further.

Introducing “Shodan“, dubbed the world’s scariest search engine, and to be quite honest, I can see why.

Shodan does everything that Google does not and everything that shows us why technology, at times, can be a scary thing. Once you register with Shodan, you automatically become a “legal hacker”, for lack of a better word.

Shodan calls up numerous things that fly under the radar, things such as: traffic lights, security cameras, home automation devices, heating systems and anything else that’s connected to the Internet, but aren’t necessarily at the top of typical search results.

This is not seen as a problem by Shodan developer John Matherly, as he depicts that every user needs to register with Shodan, therefore unveiling who is searching what and why they searching such information. In my personal opinion, this is something that can be bypassed by any professional hacker. These are some of the reasons that Shodan is considered to be the scariest search engine around.

Some of the most concerning discoveries on Shodan is the command and control system for a nuclear power plant, as well as a French hydroelectric plant. Someone even had the opportunity to set traffic lights to “test mode”.

With a search engine like this, it is only a matter of time before hacking becomes even more out of control than where it stands at the moment.

Google Glass … How it works

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So it has been several months since we heard about what we can expect in the near future with regards to how Glass will shape it, and Google have jumped on the case revealing their latest technology “Google Glass”.

Now, many stories have evolved since this product was revealed to the world, such as Apple looking to release their own version, as well as stories that Microsoft could be developing their own glasses. This comes to no surprise seeing that there is very little creativity left in the world and everybody seems to be following one trend at a time.

So being that Google are the first to release such an innovative product, let’s look at how they intend to make this actually work. The following has been extracted from fastcodesign.com “First Look: How The Google Glass UI Really Works”

The Basic Setup

The Glass screen, much like your cellphone, is generally off and out of view. The frame on which the Glass sits on acts just like a track pad, and is functional with three gestures:

1. Tap once with a finger to select;

2. Sling your finger along the temples to scroll;

3. Swipe finger down to dismiss a screen.

To access the home screen you can either tap your finger on the frame, or simply nod your head. Once in home screen there are various options you can choose, such as:

1. Swipe your finger down on the frame to dismiss the screen and go about your day–it’s basically the same thing as the Android’s back button.

2. Tap again and say “OK Glass” to issue a command, like “take a picture” or “Google how to use Glass”

3. Slide your finger back along the frame to view a few Google Now-esque “cards”–like the weather report.

4. Slide your finger forward along the frame–and this is the heart of the experience–which takes you through a “timeline” of everything. From the photo you just took, to a search you just made, to a video you were sent to a notification you received earlier from the NYT. This is how Glass is much like Twitter, or may be, assuming you subscribe to several services for updates

What are “Cards/Bundles”?

Essentially a card is a form of notification from any subscription you might have, for example, lets say you subscribed to News 24, they will send you a card every hour or so which consists of a headline and in most cases an image. Some of these cards are considered bundles, these happen when you receive a card with a page fold in the upper right hand corner, indicating that this subscriber has its own time line. You can page through all the News 24 stories by just swiping once you have activated the bundle. You are also presented with the option to typically “share” the article, or it will be read aloud to you as well if you prefer.

Glass = Timeline

So essentially we have concluded that glass is just various layers of time line.

1. Main timeline, which is pretty much like your twitter feed or Facebook news feed.

2. Information timeline, these are your cards and bundles.

3. Options timeline, where you can share, reply etc …

Once the UI has been broken down and understood a little better, the whole concept of glass suddenly seems somewhat less futuristic and far fetched. I think that glass can be something that will change the future in a good way, and before we know it, glass will be around us in every aspect and not just hooked on a frame in front of our eyes.