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March 04 2014
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Seattle based artist, Cheyenne Randall, has created a amazing Tumblr called “Shopped Tattoos” where he collects iconic personalities from a parallel universe. Suits unbelievable perfectly on on most of them!
(via What Celebrities Would Look Like If They Were Covered In Tattoos › Inspiration Now)
March 02 2014
March 01 2014
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Apple to introduce in-car system with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo next week — Apple software to drive smart Ferrari — First the mobile phone, now the car. Having revolutionised personal communication Apple now wants to change the way we drive. The technology group will next week launch …
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Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Google Adds Full Restaurant Menus To Its Search Results Pages — Miley's Lawyers Want “Flying Cyrus” Off The App Store — Here is a small but nifty update to Google Search: if you ask it to find a restaurant menu for you, it will now often just show you the menu right on the search results page.
February 28 2014
Can you name all of the famous science fiction films represented by these beautiful and bizarre posters from Hungary?
The only diving suit that lets a human reach 1,000 feet underwater was put on display at the American Museum of Natural History on Thursday. Dubbed the "Exosuit," the system lets humans dive to regions where bioluminescent fish lurk in the darkness, with the goal of studying the fish and their environments more closely, as well as leveraging their biology for medical research.
Prior to the invention of this suit, the primary method for collecting deep sea fish to study was dredging them up from the ocean, according to John Sparks, a curator in the department of ichthyology at the AMNH. Currently, scientists are "basing their inference of [the fishes'] flashing patterns on anatomy."
Bioluminescent proteins are a burgeoning area of exploration for biomedical science. The proteins can be used for diagnostic imaging, and Vincent Pieribone, a researcher at Yale University, stated that the proteins can be used to alter a cell's response to electrical activity. This gives them potential for use in the brain, either as a probe or as a tool for developing brain-machine interfaces.
*Okay, it’s a university lab prototype, but I love this gizmo simply for the cheery fact that it works by cannibalizing power from TV broadcasts.
*Press release follows:
FROM: Michelle Ma
University of Washington
(NOTE: researcher contact information at end)
For Immediate Release
Feb. 27, 2014
Battery-free technology brings gesture recognition to all devices
Mute the song playing on your smartphone in your pocket by flicking your index finger in the air, or pause your “This American Life” podcast with a small wave of the hand. This kind of gesture control for electronics could soon become an alternative to touchscreens and sensing technologies that consume a lot of power and only work when users can see their smartphones and tablets.
University of Washington computer scientists have built a low-cost gesture recognition system that runs without batteries and lets users control their electronic devices hidden from sight with simple hand movements. The prototype, called “AllSee,” uses existing TV signals as both a power source and the means for detecting a user’s gesture command.
“This is the first gesture recognition system that can be implemented for less than a dollar and doesn’t require a battery,” said Shyam Gollakota, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering. “You can leverage TV signals both as a source of power and as a source of gesture recognition.” (((I knew there was some good reason that I’ve been stewing in TV radiation for my entire lifetime.)))
The technology is set to appear April 2-4 at the Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation conference in Seattle.
The researchers built a small sensor that can be placed on an electronic device such as a smartphone. The sensor uses an ultra-low-power receiver to extract and classify gesture information from wireless transmissions around us. When a person gestures with the hand, it changes the amplitude of the wireless signals in the air. The AllSee sensors then recognize unique amplitude changes created by specific gestures.
Sensors use three to four times less power than existing gesture recognition systems by harvesting power from wireless transmissions. This allows for mobile devices to always have the gesture technology on and enabled.
Gesture recognition already is possible on some mobile devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. But users have to first manually enable the feature and be able to see the device for the gesture technology to work, and if left on, the gesture system quickly drains the phone’s battery. In contrast, AllSee consumes only tens of microwatts of power and can always be left on. The user could gesture at the phone in a pocket or handbag to change the volume or mute the phone without having to touch or see the phone.
This technology could allow sensors to be attached to household electronics, making it possible to interact with everyday objects using gestures and also connect them to the Internet and to each other in an “Internet of Things” world. (((Who can’t like it? Until they patent the gestures and sue you for scratching your nose, that is.)))
“Beyond mobile devices, AllSee can enable interaction with Internet of Things devices. These sensing devices are increasingly smaller electronics that can’t operate with usual keypads, so gesture-based systems are ideal,” said Bryce Kellogg, a UW doctoral student in electrical engineering.
The UW team tested AllSee’s capabilities on smartphones and battery-free sensors using eight different hand gestures such as pushing or pulling to zoom in and out. The prototype could correctly identify the gestures more than 90 percent of the time while performed more than 2 feet away from the device.
Researchers have tested the technology for response time and whether it can distinguish between other motions and those directed at it. They found that the technology’s response time is less than 80 microseconds, which is 1,000 times faster than blinking an eye.
“This enables a seamless and interactive experience for the user,” said Vamsi Talla, a UW doctoral student in electrical engineering. The researchers also designed a wake-up gesture that allows the system not to confuse unintentional motions for actual gestures.
This technology builds on previous work by Gollakota on leveraging Wi-Fi signals around us for gesture recognition around the home. Prior wireless gesture recognition techniques, however, consume tens of watts of power and aren’t suitable for mobile or Internet of Things devices.
The research is funded by a Google Faculty Research Award and the Washington Research Foundation.
For more information, contact Gollakota, Kellogg and Talla at email@example.com.
Here's How The Comcast & Netflix Deal Is Structured, With Data & Numbers (Dan Rayburn/StreamingMediaBlog.com)
Dan Rayburn / StreamingMediaBlog.com:
Here's How The Comcast & Netflix Deal Is Structured, With Data & Numbers — There's been a lot of speculation involving the business and technical details surrounding the recent deal between Comcast and Netflix and plenty of wrong numbers and information being used.
February 27 2014
An unusual sound was heard Thursday in California — the staccato of raindrops. For the first time in months, rain fell in significant quantities across the parched state. Los Angeles picked up an inch of rain since midnight on Thursday, with higher elevation areas outside the city seeing heavier amounts. Rain also fell in the Bay Area and San Diego, as the first in a series of Pacific storms made landfall.
Heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms is forecast for southern California through Friday, with a second and stronger storm lasting from Friday through Saturday. Heavy snow is forecast for the San Bernardino Mountains as well as parts of the Sierra Nevada, where the snowpack has been running well below average due to a dry and unusually mild season so far. Read more...More about Storm, Global Warming, Water, Drought, and Us World
In an unprecedented act, a protester appears to have smuggled a video camera into the U.S. Supreme Court, captured footage of proceedings and posted it to YouTube.
The two-minute video ends with a plug for the website of a campaign finance reform activist group called 99Rise. The video's climactic moment shows a man rising and shouting at the court before being grabbed by guards
"I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people who believe that money is not speech and corporations are not people and our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder," the protester says. "Overturn Citizens United. Keep the cap in McCutcheon. The people demand democracy." Read more...More about Activism, Supreme Court, Youtube, Us World, and Us
Here’s a business idea, a grocery store aimed specifically at men. Sound crazy? Maybe not. According to Defy Media’s 2nd annual Acumen Report: Brand New Man 65% of men are the primary shoppers for several household product categories. And here’s a well-kept secret, 67% say they actually enjoy shopping for the family.
I’m one of those rare animals that actually enjoys grocery shopping, so I get it. It can be very relaxing and freeing and if you’re a dad, it feels good to choose the products that are right for your family.
The report clearly shows that the modern man is less interested in being the bread-winner as he is about being the bread buyer or even baker!
The important note for marketers is that men are happy to forgo the wife’s shopping list in favor of new brands if they have a good reason to do so.
Almost half of young men said there were influenced by recommendations from friends and family first, followed by ads and coupons. Note that 28% became aware of new brands via an online video. That’s a pretty big number for a small marketing segment. Also note that younger buyers are highly likely to by the brand their parents used. So if your brand has a history, don’t be afraid to use that in your marketing.
Older men were slightly more influenced by advertising and coupons. Recommendations from friends is secondary but still important. Video and social media barely register with this group. If this is your audience, spend more of your budget on real mail and less on email.
Buying from the Heart
Old comedies often show clueless male shoppers randomly grabbing whatever their hand lands on when forced to grocery shop. For an extra laugh, the man might ask a kindly older woman to help him choose the best laundry detergent or he might ask a pretty veggie shopper how to determine ripeness (when all he really wants is a date.)
But this new report shows that the modern male shopper is actually quite thoughtful when it comes to product choice.
- Almost half (49 percent) bought a product because he liked the brand’s story or history and 60 percent noted they bought a product specifically because it was made locally
“I will look at local as well; if there are local brands, I try and support [them]. That’s just for the economy and trying to help out what’s happening nearby.” – Derrick, Orlando, FL – survey participant
- Health matters: men appear to be seeking healthier options in the grocery aisles – more than half (58 percent) of men look for foods that are natural, low fat, less sugar or organic while 70 percent said they are buying more healthful foods compared to the past
- Close to 57 percent said they would stop buying from a company that did something offensive or illegal
Read that last one again. More than half would stop buying from a company that offends them. I know you think that can’t happen to you but that’s what the marketing manager for SpaghettiOs thought before he okay’d the tribute to Pearl Harbor Day.
The takeaway here is that a male-oriented marketing message might be all your company needs to move to the next level.
A couple of weeks back I went to the second of the Harnessing Disruption events put on by the folk at AdaptiveLab (I spoke at the first one a while back). The events are nicely informal gatherings focused on the theme of disruption in media. One of my favourite short talks from this one was on the unexpected theme of pricing strategy and came from Tom Whitwell, former Head of Digital at The Times. Tom knows a thing or two about pricing in digital, being behind the introduction of the paywall strategy in 2010. I'm not necessarily a fan of the way in which the paywall was so all encompassing, but his talk was fascinating not least because (as Tom points out) pricing is psychologically interesting, but also because it has direct and significant business impact (what seems like small changes can have a huge effect) and yet is rarely talked about. Tom talks about some of the psychology involved, the experiences of introducing the paywall, and how they later went about transitioning customers to enable them to double the price. The folk at AdaptiveLab will be doing more of these events and they're rather good. If you want to be notified about the next one you can sign up here.
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