Technology

New lycra force-field replacement

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Road maggots have a new tool to protect them from 2 tonne steel vehicles.

On top of their lycra force-field they can now add an invisible spray that can reflect the lights of the car that is about to run them down.

An invisible paint that only shows up in the glare of headlights has been created to help protect cyclists on the road.

The spray, which comes in a deodorant-style can, can be applied to bags, clothes, shoes, helmets or the bike frame itself. It lasts around a week before fading away, or until the fabric is washed.   Read more »

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Is this the end of my Samsung Galaxy S love affair?

shattered-white-iphone-ogradyby Pete

The joke goes:  Q. How do you know if someone has an Apple device?  A. They’ll tell you.

I’m not an evangelist for the devices I use.  Each to their own, and Apple people, just shut up already, I really don’t care as long as you’re happy I don’t need to know.  I do however believe that if you go a certain way, you might as well leverage all it can offer.

Some years ago I decided to go into the cloud, and sell my soul to Google.  In return, I’ve enjoyed a relatively highly integrated tech life, no matter what devices I choose to use.  And the smartphone is very much part of this approach. Read more »

iPads and missions to Mars while breast feeding and menstruation remain taboos

A Canadian woman has set the cat among the pigeons a few days ago

Rupi Kaur uploaded a picture of herself on Instagram this week, and unleashed a revolution.

The image, seen below, showed the back of a woman’s body, including a spot of blood between her legs, as well as blood on her bedsheets. As most women will recognize, this is what happens when your period leaks. It was part of a photo series Kaur placed on her Tumblr account depicting her and her sister’s menstrual cycles.

Instagram, however, determined the image violated their community guidelines, and took it down — twice. Which led Kaur to fight back, garnering massive amounts of support along the way.

Kaur’s image, and her response to Instagram is over the break.   Read more »

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It’s easy to beat cancer when you never had it in the first place

Some people are just pure evil, ratbags from start to finish.

They go through life living a fantasy and suing people who tell the truth about them…one of those people is currently before the courts and she will be named sooner rather than later after being arrested at Auckland airport.

But in Australia there is another who has done the same thing and hoodwinked thousands with her cancer survivor story…but it is easy to survive cancer when you never had it in the first place.

Elle called her ‘The most inspiring woman you’ve met this year’. She also won Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Female award for social media.

Why?

Single mother Belle Gibson supposedly beat a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, shunning conventional medicine and focussing on a healthy diet. She then published a book and developed an app that told her story and showed others how to be healthy.

The story of her health battle is one that we now know was at best embellished and at worst was an outright lie.

Elle and Cosmo have written insider accounts of their experience with the young Brisbane mother… both admit to being thoroughly duped.

Cosmopolitan was right about one thing; Belle Gibson certainly is fearless.

Gibson has a top-rating health app that was set to be a default app on Apple’s new watch.

Its success and the empire she has built comes from her incredible story of triumph over adversity, of sickness into self-empowered health.

“She’s fun and fearless ‘cos: she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, but instead of giving in, it became the impetus for her dedication to health and wellbeing,” Cosmo wrote about their 2014 Fearless nominee. “Oh, and her app was named runner-up for the Best iPhone App of 2013 by Apple. Not bad, hey?”

Not bad at all. Except, as Fairfax revealed, Gibson failed to donate $300,000 of the money promised to charity from the sales of her health app, The Whole Pantry.

Claims then emerged that Gibson lied about ever having suffered from cancer.    Read more »

Face of the day

Before and after elevator girl

Before and after elevator girl

Today’s face of the day is the face captured by a technology called BriefCam which helped catch the Boston Marathon bombers.Thanks to this video search engine technology hours of footage can be condensed into minutes, enabling the good guys to catch the bad guys faster. People like Nicky Hager after a hard day pawing through other people’s hacked correspondence, will no doubt decry this technology as being controversial and ‘ shocking ‘ because it is taking away people’s privacy. I say, if you are in a public place expect to be under surveillance for both your protection and the protection of others. The crime solving capacity of this technology is exciting.

Films like “Minority Report” are no longer considered futuristic: video surveillance methods portrayed in this 2003 film are already in use. In fact, such methods have already helped in catching criminals and terrorists, albeit being controversial.

One of the most innovative technologies in this field was developed by Israeli company BriefCam, which helped in catching the Boston Marathon bombers. Using tracking algorithms, BriefCam enables users to track events caught on tape much more quickly, thus maximizing the potential of video surveillance.

A search engine for videos.

Read more »

Israel punches above its weight in so many ways

There are those who build and contribute to mankind and there are those who destroy.

ISIS's contibution to mankind. Destruction. Islam has a long 1400 year history of burning and destroying the libraries and museums of the countries it invades.

ISIS’s contribution to mankind.
Destruction.

Islam has a long 1400 year history of burning and destroying the libraries and museums of the countries it invades. Above is but one recent example. Islam dominates and destroys. One of the things that has always stuck in my mind is what happened when Israel withdrew and handed over land to the Palestinians. The land had been developed and had wonderful technology and buildings that could benefit the new occupiers yet the first thing they did when they took ownership was to tear down and destroy everything because it had been created by Israel.

Israel on the other hand makes lemonade when life gives it lemons. They work out how to farm the desert. They don’t just benefit themselves they create technologies that can benefit the world. The ReWalk is but one example.

Imagine giving a paraplegic back the ability to walk again.

Imagine that the man who created the technology is a quadriplegic.

Now imagine that the scientist who designed  this amazing technology is from Israel, the country that does so much with so little.

Invented by the Israeli entrepreneur, Dr. Amit Goffer, who became a quadriplegic in 1998, and manufactured by ARGO Medical Technologies, ReWalk™

Invented by the Israeli entrepreneur, Dr. Amit Goffer, who became a quadriplegic in 1998, and manufactured by ARGO Medical Technologies, ReWalk™

Read more »

You can watch Sky TV…. slide into obscurity

Is Sky TV unable or unwilling to rise to the challenges before it?

As everyone in the real world is abundantly aware, television and the way we consume it, is changing. There is an enormous shift to online and those that fail to embrace it will be destined to the history books.

This week, Sky announced a 12.7 percent increase in net profit of $92.5 million in the six months to December 31. Revenue from subscribers was up 3% with overall revenue up 1.8%.

But that’s about where the good news ends. The NBR’s Chris Keall has astutely described Sky’s revenue as “golden handcuffs”.

8,707 subscribers ditched the pay tv service resulting in a household penetration dip from 48.7% of the population to 48.3%. Churn rose from 13.2% to 13.7%.

While admitting that the industry is in transition to online, Sky CEO John Fellet seems entirely naive about how to do so. Having helmed the company through many years as a dominant monopolistic force, Fellet seems ill-equiped to steer the company through the obstacle course created by disruptive technologies. Read more »

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A reader emails about online voting

I am extremely concerned about the prospect of on-line voting. The suggestion that they are “looking into on-line voting” for the 2017 election, scares the hell out of me for two reasons.

  1. Votes will be cast without research or consideration. A last minute “click here” without any concept of what that actually delivers.
  2. 2014 election my 37year old stepdaughter with a very busy career went on-line and completed a questionnaire to help her decide who to vote for. The result was the Greens, so she voted accordingly. After the election she was disappointed with her vote as many Green policies were against her belief. The very thought of Laila Harre or Dotcoms influence in Government appalled her. Though she voted because she believes it is important to do so, she voted without understanding the MMP consequence. Lesson learnt.

How many people did just that? Asked a computer to decide their future and their political preference?

The democratic right to vote for a Government to represent us every 3 years should be taken more seriously than on-line polling or questionnaires. I do not suggest for 1 minute that it is a corrupt influence or process, however I suggest under MMP a computer cannot determine party coalition preference. Therefore it cannot be applied, and the result has dire consequences for NZ.

If a questionnaire was to determine my vote I strongly believe it would also recommend a Green Party vote. Why?   Read more »

If she was really taking aim at censorship laws she would abolish them

NBR reports that Amy Adams is taking aim at out-dated censorship laws.

If she was deadly serious she’d move to abolish them altogether.

Archaic classification laws for new media are in the Minister of Broadcasting’s crosshairs.

Following news of the chief censor taking a closer look at the growing video game and online streaming industries, Amy Adams tells NBR ONLINE she has officials from the Ministry of Justice advising her on “possible ways forward to address any issues in this area that may start to arise.”

“It is far from clear how the act applies to online content,” says Ms Adams, who also holds the portfolios of communications, courts and justice.

“Current classification and standards legislation came into effect over 20 years ago so it was inevitable there would come a time when the current regime would need updating.”

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The start of the slide for Dotcom as Andrus Nomm pleads guilty

One of the top six from Megaupload voluntarily handed himself in to US authorities and has plead guilty and copped one year in prison as a result…that’s a pretty sweet deal and likely to cause Dotcom some coming headaches.

NBR reports:

Programmer Andrus Nomm, described as one of the top six executives at Kim Dotcom’s former file sharing service Megaupload, has plead guilty to felony copyright infringement in the US and been sentenced to a year’s jail, Ars Technica reports.

A rapid-fire process saw Nomm arrested in the US state of Virginia last week after waiving his right to fight extradition from the Netherlands after a multi-year fight (he was first arrested in January 2012 shortly after the raid on Dotcom mansion). Virginia is the state where most of Megauploads servers were located before being shut down by the FBI three years ago as copyright, racketeering, money laundering and other charges were filed against Kim Dotcom and his co-accused.

Nomm’s sentence is relatively light. Earlier this week, Dotcom’s US attorney Ira Rothken speculated to NBR that Nomm has struck a plea bargain with authorities.

Read more »