Your iPhone's camera is good for a lot more than just snapping photos. For example, it can translate foreign-language signs, menus, and other printed materials in real time. And grade the foods at your grocery store. And scan documents on the go.
I don't mean to sound all grumpy, but now that the news of Grumpy Cat getting a movie deal has sunk in, I'm feeling pretty frowny about the Internet-famous cat's future in Hollywood.
Don't get me wrong. I have serious love for Grumpy Cat. The three-Grumpy-Cat-moon image is the background on my iPad. I very nearly bought that hideous Grumpy Cat belt at Hot Topic. I might still buy it.
Let's just say the announcement of producer Todd Garner and his company aiming for a "Garfield"-style feature film about the feline doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in me. After all, he was the man behind Adam Sandler's 2011 flop "Jack and Jill." What, was Martin Scorsese not available, or just not interested?… Read more
Those who haven't had the opportunity to visit New York City and see the Memorial at the World Trade Center now can tour it via Google Street View.
Users can zoom in and out and "walk around" to view the memorial from different angles. Images from the north and south memorial pools feature the engraved names of the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pa. The zoom feature is precise enough to read each person's name.
Google also has expanded its coverage of New York's famed Central Park. … Read more
At the moment, sending data via fiber means blasting a light signal down the line. The farther you want the data to travel, the more power you need to put into the light beam. However, higher-power data signals can actually interact with the material of the fiber line, getting noise degradation into the signal.
The researchers, working out of Bell Laboratories and led by Xiang Liu, tried a technique similar to the way noise-cancelling headphones work to improve the data signal quality across longer distances.
Instead of one light beam, two beams that are mirror images of each other are sent through the fiber. Each beam will gather noise per usual, but that distortion will also be mirrored, so when the two beams are recombined at their destination, the noise is cancelled out. … Read more
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been having a lousy week, and it may have gotten much worse.
Gawker's "Crackstarter" campaign on Indiegogo has reached its goal of raising $200,000 to buy a drug dealer's video allegedly showing Ford smoking crack cocaine and post it online.
That which people project is not necessarily an expression of that which remains inside.
This simple truth is one that has saved me even more often than relative sobriety in the early hours of many mornings.
It's a truth that's apparently confirmed by figures emerging from a famous hub of pornography. For they suggest that even in the most outwardly saintly parts of America, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.… Read more
It's always good to stop and smell the roses, but sometimes you have to tweet to access them.
At least that's how it works with an interactive Internet-connected garden created by the U.K.'s University of Lincoln. Familiar plants greet onlookers, but when they tweet using a specific hashtag, electronic paneled screens dividing the plot into two distinct areas shift to reveal an area containing more exotic foliage.
The garden, called "Digital Capabilities," just won a gold medal at this year's prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which runs through Saturday. But its architects hope to keep it up and blooming as a permanent installation. … Read more
Amusing Amazon reviews are an art form. They are delicate flowers of funny that need to be carefully nurtured in order to strike the right balance between absurdity, plausibility, and humor.
George Takei, known as Mr. Sulu on "Star Trek" and Mr. Internet anywhere social media resides, has the magic formula down.
Only slight sleuthing is needed to determine that the "George Takei" leaving reviews on Amazon is the real deal. He also cross-posts them to his official Facebook page. So far, he's only racked up six reviews, but they're good ones. He has tackled products as diverse as the "Best of David Hasselhoff" CD to the Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable.… Read more
UCLA Health isn't the first hospital to live-tweet a brain surgery, but it may be the first to employ 6-second video medium Vine as part of the proceedings. Surgeons on Thursday implanted a brain pacemaker to counteract the effects of Parkinson's disease in a patient and sent out Twitter updates using both Instagram and Vine.
The procedure has generated such memorable tweets as "Removing the skin and drilling through the skull for electrode placement." and "Electrode is prepared for implantation. Patient is being woken up at this time."
Amid questions to Google from Congress about privacy concerns related to Google Glass, a San Francisco startup is preparing an API to recognize faces with the controversial gadget.
The Google Glass Face Recognition API (application programming interface) from Lambda Labs will be available to developers within a week, TechCrunch tells us, quoting co-founder Stephen Balaban. … Read more