Anorak

Technology | Anorak - Part 30

Technology Category

Independent news, views, opinions and reviews on the latest gadgets, games, science, technology and research from Apple and more. It’s about the technologies that change the way we live, work, love and behave.

Is sex with a robot adultery?

IS having sex with a sex robot adultery? As David Levy reported:

Upmarket sex dolls were introduced to the Korean public at the Sexpo exposition in Seoul in August 2005, and were immediately seen as a possible antidote to Korea’s Special Law on Prostitution that had been placed on the statute books the previous year. Before long, hotels in Korea were hiring out “doll experience rooms” for around 25,000 won per hour ($25)…. This initiative quickly became so successful at plugging the gap created by the antiprostituion law that, before long, establishments were opening up that were dedicated solely to the use of sex dolls… These hotels assumed, quite reasonably, that there was no question of them running foul of the law, since their dolls were not human. But the Korean police were not so sure. The news website Chosun.com… reported, in October 2006, that the police in Gyeonggi Province were “looking into whether these businesses violate the law . . . Since the sex acts are occurring with a doll and not a human being, it is unclear whether the Special Law on Prostitution applies.”

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Posted: 26th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


#RIPGreggJevin – twitter grieves for man

ON Twitter #RIPGreggJevin is trending. Gregg Jevin has died. Only, he hasn’t. He’s been made up. The knowing gather for the dumb show. (Anorak will have photos of Gregg Jevin’s death shed soon). Michael Legge broke the news:

@WstonesOxfordSt#RIPGreggJevin Eighteen very well researched and not at all rushed biographies of Gregg Jevin have already been commissioned.

 @michaellegge: Sad to say that Gregg Jevin, a man I just made up, has died.#RIPGreggJevin

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Posted: 24th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Facebook secret content rules – the full Abuse Standards Violations document

AMINE Derkauoui has shown the world the secret Facebook rules governing what content the site’s owners let the site’s 800million plus customers see. Content can be “flagged” by users as inappropriate. Staff at outsourced companies – paid as little as $1 an hour – then investigate. Derkauoui, a Moroccan employee, has leaked the Abuse Standards Violations (ASV) document. Facebook does not like sex. It bans breastfeeding photos. But hurting is ok:

“Deep flesh wounds are ok to show; excessive blood is ok to show. Crushed heads, limbs, etc, are ok as long as no insides are showing.”

Same-sex kissing is allowed. But “so long as no part of the [female] nipple is showing”. “Snot” is ok. Ear wax is banned.

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Posted: 21st, February 2012 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Wikipedia rejects expert and keeps the untruth

HOW does Wikipedia work? Timothy Messer-Kruse had a got at updating the Wiki  page on the 1886 Haymarket riot. He’s written two books on the Riot. You might say he’s an expert. Messer-Kruse wanted to make a correction. Only, he’s not a Wikipedia expert. So. His update was erased. The error stays.

I had cited the documents that proved my point, including verbatim testimony from the trial published online by the Library of Congress. I also noted one of my own peer-reviewed articles. One of the people who had assumed the role of keeper of this bit of history for Wikipedia quoted the Web site’s “undue weight” policy, which states that “articles should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views.” He then scolded me. “You should not delete information supported by the majority of sources to replace it with a minority view.”

The “undue weight” policy posed a problem. Scholars have been publishing the same ideas about the Haymarket case for more than a century. The last published bibliography of titles on the subject has 1,530 entries. “Explain to me, then, how a ‘minority’ source with facts on its side would ever appear against a wrong ‘majority’ one?” I asked the Wiki-gatekeeper. …  Another editor cheerfully tutored me in what this means: “Wikipedia is not ‘truth,’ Wikipedia is ‘verifiability’ of reliable sources. Hence, if most secondary sources which are taken as reliable happen to repeat a flawed account or description of something, Wikipedia will echo that.”

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Posted: 20th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Eternal Copyright: Adrian Hon’s argument is for his use only

WHO’s for eternal copyright? Adrian Hon writes in the Telegraph:

On Tuesday 14th, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) posted a message on RnBXclusive.com, stating: “If you have downloaded music using this website you may have committed a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine under UK law.”

SOCA’s threat is a stirring defence of what we hold dear in this country – the right of a creator to benefit from their intellectual property, whether it be a song, book, film, or game. Without this assurance of compensation, we might not see any new creative works being produced at all, and so it’s for this reason that we’ve continually lengthened copyright terms from 14-28 years as set out by the Statue of Anne in 1710 to “lifetime plus 70 years” today.

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Posted: 20th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Tumblr of The Day – WonderTonic (with free Facebook TSA body scanner App)

TUMBLR of the Day is Mike Lacher’s WonderTonic. It’s collection of mash-ups like Muppets with People Eyes and The Broadway Audience Soundboard – Now you can simulate the most frequently-whispered phrases by audience members of Broadway musicals. Also:

TSA Announces Facebook Integration For Full Body Scanners:

John Pistole, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, announced yesterday that full body scanners at airports across the nation will be seamlessly integrated with Facebook next month, allowing travelers to save, tag, and share their near-naked security photos with friends, family, and co-workers through the popular social networking site. Immediately after being subjected to a scan, the traveler’s photo will be automatically uploaded to a public album on Facebook and tagged accordingly. According to Pistole, this cutting-edge integration will allow travelers to stay more connected than ever with their social networks, letting Facebook users know when their friends have made it through airport security and if they are smuggling weapons in their rectums in real time.

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Posted: 17th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Social media experts explained – with donuts

HOW can you be an expert at social media. Well, let’s start by explaining what being an expert in social media is:

Spotter: Charlotte Cramer

Posted: 17th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Apple’s Chinese factories: they’re grrreeat!

APPLE’S Chinese factors are great. Really. You’d really have to have a heart of stone not to laugh over this. Various idiot and weepy lefty types over in the US have been decrying the labour conditions at the Foxconn factories in China where so much of Apple’s gear is made.

Petitions flying around, My God, it’s appalling, they only make $17 a day, they’re slaves, immoral capitalist bastards and….well, you get the picture.

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Posted: 16th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


How twitter caused Whitney Houston’s death

DID Whitney Houston die first on twitter? Everyone likes to be first with the news, and it loks like twitter user @AjaDiorNavy scooped the world:

omgg , my aunt tiffany who work for whitney houston just found whitney houston dead in the tub . such ashame & sad 🙁

Of course, her aunty got their first.

The Associated Press was the first mainstream source to make the announcement about Houston’s death, sending out at tweet at 1657 PST.

But hold on! Was @BarBeeBritt, the first when she (Brittany J pullard) enquired at 1602 PST on February 11.

“Is Whitney Houston really dead?”

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Posted: 15th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Man adds Wood burning stove to his Volvo

SWISS Volvo owner Pascal Prokop has built a wood-burning stove in his car. The Swiss Technical Inspection Authority gave him a pass, making it perfectly legal to operate. Does a wood burning stove go with a Volvo, car for the safety minded? Surely water bottles strapped to the interior would be the way to go. The wood-burning stove is a bit, well, Skoda. ..


YouTube link.

Mr Prokop lives in the town of Mettmenstetten, 25 km south of Zurich. Apparently the Swiss Technical Inspection Authority had no problem with a car that has a fireplace instead of a passenger seat.

Posted: 12th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Tumblr of the day – the trippy gifs

TUMBLR of the day is DVDP:

tumblr_l4p7gqk0om1qzt4vjo1_500

Posted: 8th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Can the virtual reality Snow World video game give pain relief by distraction?

CAN video games reduce pain? Pain sufferers in the US military are testing out a video game called SnowWorld to see if it can reduce pain by distracting them:

[A]fter Hoffman became director of the Virtual Reality Analgesia Research Center at the University of Washington Human Interface Technology Laboratory, or HITLab, he had some remarkable success. ..

If distraction was the key, why not just use over-the-counter video games for a fraction of the cost? To answer that question, Hoffman had run a control experiment. In his first case study, he had a teenager with a severe flash burn play Nintendo Mario Kart while having five staples removed from a skin graft. The data showed that in terms of reducing pain, anxiety about pain, and time spent thinking about pain, playing Nintendo Mario Kart compared poorly to SpiderWorld. The reason VR was so much more effective than a regular video game came down to a quality called “presence”—that sense of being immersed inside an artificial world.

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Posted: 5th, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Met and FBI keen to advertise the skills and power of Anonymous

ANONYMOUS, the hactivist collective, have posted an audio on YouTube of the Metropolitan Police’s e-crime unit talking with the FBI. The tape, called “Fuck FBI Friday”, claims to feature a 16 minute phone call. The call is said to have taken place on January 17. It features the two law enforcement agencies discussing what crap hole Sheffield is and…Anonymous.

Furthermore, Anonymous apparently have access to FBI’s email, posting an email between agents and tweeting:

“The #FBI might be curious how we’re able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now.”

Says a Met spokesman:

“We are aware of the video which relates to an FBI conference call involving a PCeU representative. The matter is being investigated by the FBI.”

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Posted: 3rd, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


A Google search for ‘Define An English Person’ produces the C-Word – Germans are ‘Evil Nazis’

IF you type “Define an English person” into the Google search engine you get the result for the Wikipedia page for “C*NT”.

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Posted: 2nd, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Facebook artists earns milllions – praise be Mark Zuckerberg

ARE we all about to hate Facebook, the 1% that aims to own information on the 100%? If a Government wanted to harvest data like Facebook does, there would a huge row. Yet we give it to Facebook and Google willingly.

Nell Jensen writes:

Facebook just released its first-ever official financial numbers as part of its filing to go public, and they’re very impressive. One billion dollars in annual profit impressive. Also: Much of humankind is hopelessly addicted to Facebook. Facebook tallied $1 billion in profit last year on $3.7 billion in revenue, revenue that has been roughly doubling for each of the past two years. The company ended 2011 with $3.9 billion in cash

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Posted: 2nd, February 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Breading is a meme – photos of wheat tolerant cats

BREADING is the newest internet meme. The idea is simple: you place a splice of bread around your cat’s next or ruff, take a photo and upload it on the web. It’s a good way to test if you cat is wheat intolerant. Look how much he loves it:

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Posted: 2nd, February 2012 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Rosat satellite, World War 3 and Daily Mail plagiarism

DID you know that Beijing, China, was “seven minutes from destruction’ when a 2.5 ton satellite crashed to Earth at 300mph“?

Allan Hall and Katie Silver have facts in the Daily Mail:

Seven minutes saved huge areas of Beijing from destruction last year when a 2.5 ton satellite hurtled towards earth, it has been revealed.

The Roentgen Satellite (Rosat) re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere between 01:45 and 02:15 GMT on October 23, 2011.

The Chinese capital was directly in the flight path of Germany’s research satellite Rosat when it plunged into the Bay of Bengal last October, two decades after it’s launch. The consequences of chunks of the 2.5 ton satellite falling into the city would have been catastrophic; huge craters, shattered fuel lines, explosions, wrecked buildings and untold human casualties…

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Posted: 31st, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Goodnight Captcha – a bedtime story made from website register words

CAPTCHA – those words you need to work out that appear on website register forms –  has been turned into a story. It’s a nice idea…

Captcha from Gabrielle de Vietri on Vimeo.

Spotter: Gabrielle de Vietri

Posted: 29th, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comments (6) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Libel and censorship on t’Internet – 190 countries control your words

LIBEL and censorship on the internet is big news. This new move by Twitter tells us something that most people don’t realise about this lovely playground that is the internet:

Twitter has refined its technology so it can censor messages on a country-by-country basis.

The additional flexibility announced on Thursday is likely to raise fears that Twitter’s commitment to free speech may be weakening as the short-messaging company expands into new countries in an attempt to broaden its audience and make more money.

But Twitter sees the censorship tool as a way to ensure individual messages, or tweets, remain available to as many people as possible while it navigates a gauntlet of different laws around the world.

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Posted: 27th, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


European Commission gives Facebook and Google users ‘right to be forgotten’

THANKS to the European Commission, you can be non-person on the internet. You can force the like of Google and Facebook to delete all and any information they hold on you.

The European Commission says we all have the “right to be forgotten”.

You will also have the “right of data portability” — being able to move all info on social network to another network.

Thank to Sony’s six-day delay in telling customers on its PlayStation gaming network that hackers had stolen their personal data, all companies will have 24 hours to inform their punters of any security breach. Break those rules and risk being fined 2 per cent of a company’s turnover.

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Posted: 25th, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Robot babies are coming to get you ( video)

ROBOT babies are coming to get you. He’s got his mother’s eye… his father left arm… grandma’s liver…

Sleep tight…

Spotter: mefi, the Daily What

Posted: 24th, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Anonyupload.com will not help Megaupload users get their ‘stolen’ property back

MEGAUPLOAD.Com, the file-sharing website registered in Hong Kong, is closed by the FBI and its multi-millionaire founder, Kim Dotcom (aka Kim Schmitz), arrested by the FBI and the Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand in the panic room at his New Zealand mansion on his 38th birday.

Kim Dotcom is not a US citizen. He holds residency in New Zealand, Finland and Germany.

Kim Dotcom was honest with the Kiwi authorities and passed the good character and health requirements for New Zealand residency.

New Zealand’s Dominion Post newspaper reports that Kim Dotcom was given residency in 2010 under the investor plus category, which requires an investment of at least NZ$10million in New Zealand. Dotcom invested in Government bonds.

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Posted: 24th, January 2012 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Anorak hit by DoS attack – Madonna fans go wild

ANORAK has been smashed about by today’s DoS attack. When it ended, we gelt good. We felt like Madonna had won two Golden Globes…

Posted: 23rd, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kim Dotcom refused bail: Megaupload founder banned from bedroom swimming pool (photos)

MEGAUPLOAD.COM is dead. The owner of the Hong-Kong-based file-sharing website, Kim Dotcom ( formerly Kim Schmitz), is in a New Zealand jail. The FBI accuses the 38-year-old multi-millionaire of internet piracy, criminal copyright, infringement and conspiracy to commit racketeering money laundering. The FBI alleges Megaupload defrauded the entertainment industry of $500m. Kim Dotcom was arrested at his NZ$30 million (£15 million) 25,000-square-foot rented mansion in Auckland last Friday. He was hiding in a metal-cased panic room and had to be cut out.

The mansion boasts a heated pool just off the master ensuite filled with imported spring water. The place has about seven 60-inch television screens – each with its own X-box and luxury, recliner chair.

Police seized $4.8 million worth of cars at Doctom Mansion, with license plates like “GUILTY,” “MAFIA”, “POLICE” and “STONED.”

Anne Toohey, the New Zealand crown prosecutor, put it to the North Shore court in Auckland that Mr Dotcom represented a a flight risk “at the extreme end of the scale”. Given his access to big money, cars, boats, aircraft and multiple aliases (Schmitz, Vestor and Dotcom), the chance that he would abscond seems high. Kim Dotcom’s lawyer, Paul Davison, said his client was no risk. He noted that Kim Dotcom’s assets have been frozen and his passport confiscated.

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Posted: 23rd, January 2012 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


SOPA and PIPA: When lending is a thought crime and theft is ok

THE Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) are not universally popular. Neither SOPA nor PIPA are all that close to be cemented in law. Right now they look like bad Bills that seek to turn us – the consumers – into thieves who need to prove our innocence.

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) are a response to lobbying by the entertainment industries upset at websites publishing their content for free. The Bills seek to kill file sharing sites that push content illegally. Offline this is called fencing stolen goods. Should the online world be different to the offline world? Is freedom of information on the internet something else, to cherish and foster? But can’t you pass on a book or magazine you bought or a DVD you rented to a friend? Can you download a song from a cousin’s collection? Is that theft?

One other thing: if you look at a photograph of a naked child in a book on a shelf have you downloaded it, like a paedophile? Are you a thief for downloading a song, or for listening to one on a friend’s player? Is the unique thing about the internt that it leaves an evidence trail? If you heard or saw what you did not pay for – what was shared – have you committed a thought crime? If you are a creator and some part of that shared song or book affected your thinking, are you a thief who needs to pay royalties to your inspiration?

But that is not all. The Bills would make it illegal for any US-based internet service providers, advertisers and payment processors from working with the outlawed sites – even if they are based abroad.

Wikipedia went dark in protest – but left the SOPA page remained live:

“The court order could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators from doing business with the allegedly infringing website, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison for ten such infringements within six months. The bill also gives immunity to Internet services that voluntarily take action against websites dedicated to infringement, while making liable for damages any copyright holder who knowingly misrepresents that a website is dedicated to infringement.”

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Posted: 19th, January 2012 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0