A tech savvy 2-year-old boy recently helped his injured mother to safety after she was attacked by a dog. How did he do it? FaceTime.
Laura Toone was shocked when a foster dog in her care unexpectedly bit her finger off as she tried to keep it from fighting with her other dogs.
Toone attempted to complete a 911 call to Tuscon police, but failed because of her injury. Her 4-year-old daughters, who were in the room at the time, were too scared to touch the blood covered phone.
Toone continued to lose blood and felt as though she would pass out when her son came to her rescue.
“Here comes my son from the kitchen bringing me our dish towel,” Toone said. “He wiped off the blood himself and proceeded to call my friend on FaceTime.”
When Connie Guerrero, Toone's friend, received the FaceTime chat request, she knew she had to answer it.
"Something inside of me just told me that I needed to answer this FaceTime," Guerrero said. "All I could see was his little forehead and I said 'Hi Bentley' and it was quiet for a little bit and then I hear Laura screaming."
When help arrived, 2-year-old Bentley even unlocked the door for firefighters.
A researcher has built a huge 3D printer capable of building a house in 24 hours and, possibly, of revolutionizing the construction industry.
Business Insider reports that Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis at the University of Southern California has already built the technology, complete with a nozzle that dispenses concrete. The robot builds a house based on a set computer pattern.
Khoshnevis told MSN that the technology is “basically scaling up 3D printing to the scale of building.” Dubbed Contour Crafting, the robot replaces construction workers with its super-efficient capacities, which can churn out a 2,500-square-foot home in just a day.
The printer will not eliminate jobs, Khoshnevis said, but ultimately create them. And it could provide people around the world with affordable housing.
“At the dawn of the 21st century [slums] are the condition of shelter for nearly one billion people in our world,” said Khoshnevis. “These buildings are breeding grounds for disease a problem of conventional construction which is slow, labor intensive and inefficient.”
As Khoshenevis pointed out, buildings are about the only things these days that have to be constructed by hand. Construction is a slow, laborious, expensive, and dangerous process. The Iranian-born professor foresees workers laying down rails for the robot to operate — and letting the computer take over. The nozzle would spray concrete to create hollow walls, then fill the walls with additional concrete. Manpower would be required “to hang doors and insert windows.”
Khoshenevis even shipped off a prototype to NASA back in 2005, according to an article in Discover magazine. The agency wants to explore the possibilities of constructing buildings on the moon from lunar dust.
Mozilla announced Sunday that it will begin making $25 phones in a chip deal with Spreadtrum.
The company made the announcement in a press release before the kick-off of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Mozilla, a non-profit, will be turning to mobile OS with smartphone capabilities with a focus on developing markets and global carriers looking for a third option, Forbes reported.
Mozilla launched its Mobile OS in 2012. Then Chinese manufacturer ZTE announced it would collaborate with the company on an open software-based device.
“It’s all part of our wider plans to create a better balance of products using various operating systems. We won’t just rely on Android or Windows,” said ZTE Director of Corporate Branding & Communications David Dai Shu.
Firefox OS is slated to move into Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama this year as Telefonica expands to those countries. Deutsche Telekom will contribute markets in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Macedonia and Montenegro.
While Windows has targeted the lower-end of the mobile market, Mozilla may be emerge the victorious underdog, according to Forbes.
Google is aiming to run completely on alternative energy sources, its Energy and Sustainability head said Sunday. Already a third of the search engine giant’s operations rely on wind and solar energy.
Rick Needham, the director of Google’s Energy and Sustainability office, told CNBC that the company is investing in raising its 34 percent reusable energy use to a full 100. In the last quarter it spent $2.25 billion on data centers and general infrastructure—giving it an incentive to use clean energy to cut day-to-day operational costs.
"We've invested over a billion dollars in 15 projects that have the capacity to produce two gigawatts of power around the world, mostly in the US, but that's the equivalent of Hoover's Dam worth of power generation," Needham said.
Google just opened the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, a gigantic field of mirrors on the California-Nevada border southwest of Las Vegas that harnesses solar energy and reduces energy costs.
"The fact is that all of these things, procuring power for ourselves, investing in power plants, renewable power plants, they all make business sense, they make sense for us as a company to do. We rely on power for our business," Needham told CNBC.
Other Silicon Valley companies are investing in renewable energy sources, if not with as much enthusiasm as Google.
"Silicon Valley is leading the charge to be more efficient, to work on solutions to some of these problems. Google is ahead of the pack and we'll have to wait and see how it works out. They are certainly trying many different initiatives to figure out how best to manage their footprint in the environment, as well as how to manage the cost of all their energy," said Ben Schachter, senior Internet analyst at Macquarie Securities.
That means that your next Google search could be powered by the sun.
Facebook introduced a list of 56 new gender identity terms on Thursday, allowing users to enter up to 10 options to customize their profile.
The change also allows users to choose a preferred pronoun: him, her or them.
Facebook stated that the changes allow its 159 million U.S. users more choices in describing themselves.
The company added that it also allows users worldwide to keep their gender identity private.
"It was simple: Not allowing people to express something so fundamental is not really cool so we did something," Alex Schultz, Facebook's director of growth, said.
GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBT media advocacy organization, praised Facebook for developing the new options.
"Once again, Facebook is on the forefront of ensuring that the platform is safe and accessible to all of its LGBT users,” GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said.
The updated list of options are as follow:
- Cis Female
- Cis Male
- Cis Man
- Cis Woman
- Cisgender Female
- Cisgender Male
- Cisgender Man
- Cisgender Woman
- Female to Male
- Gender Fluid
- Gender Nonconforming
- Gender Questioning
- Gender Variant
- Male to Female
- Trans Female
- Trans Male
- Trans Man
- Trans Person
- Trans Woman
- Trans* Female
- Trans* Male
- Trans* Man
- Trans* Person
- Trans* Woman
- Transgender Female
- Transgender Male
- Transgender Man
- Transgender Person
- Transgender Woman
- Transsexual Female
- Transsexual Male
- Transsexual Man
- Transsexual Person
- Transsexual Woman
A new device that costs only $26 to build can take over your car if it is physically plugged into your vehicle's Controller Area Network (CAN) bus.
Your CAN bus allows computerized devices inside your car to communicate without a host computer, and this new device, called the CAN Hacking Tool or CHT, can control your CAN bus.
The CHT recently made its debut at the DefCon 21 Hacking Conference (video below).
According to Jalopnik.com, once installed in your car, the CHT is controlled via wireless Bluetooth, which would give anyone with a cell phone control over your vehicle.
The developers of the CHT, Alberto Garcia Illera and Javier Vazquez Vidal, claimed they wanted to play with the settings of their cars to get better gas mileage.
The CHT uses a protocol designed for cars manufactured before 2010, but Vidal and Illera said the CHT could be configured for newer protocols and cars.
While the CHT creators do not have any criminal intent, it is possible that car thieves could use the CHT to control your car's headlights, steering, brakes, locks and alarms, noted the Daily Mail.
“It can take five minutes or less to hook it up and then walk away,” Vidal told Forbes. “We could wait one minute or one year, and then trigger it to do whatever we have programmed it to do.”
Flappy Bird, a popular game for mobile devices, was removed from online stores Sunday after its developer complained the fame had ruined his simple life.
In several tweets, creator Dong Nyugen noted that the game’s removal had nothing to do with a legal dispute, despite Forbes’ claims that he could soon be sued for intellectual property theft. Rather, apparently Nyugen was making $50,000 a day from the game’s advertising revenue, and that proved to be overwhelming.
"I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users," Nyugen tweeted on Saturday. "I cannot take this anymore."
Despite its simple graphics, Flappy Bird was a popular game because of its difficulty. Many users could not continuously tap the screen to keep the bird in flight and avoid hitting obstacles.
When Nyugen finally removed the game from online stores, many users tweeted him with hashtags like #RIPFlappyBird. Other fans expressed their relief that the game was gone, noting that it was the best for cracked phone screens everywhere.
A new poll shows that Americans prefer their smartphones, Internet access, cars, laptops and TV over sex.
The new study by Harris Interactive shows that while 20 percent of Americans say they can't live without sex, but 26 percent couldn’t live without using their smartphones.
Sex also got beat by the Internet, automobiles, laptop computers and televisions, notes the Daily Mail.
The poll also found that almost three quarters of adults say technology enriches their lives, almost half believe it helps their relationships and close to 40 percent claim that technology makes them happier.
But food topped technology and everything else with 73 percent of the vote.
Sex was able to beat computer tablets, social networking sites and GPS devices (navigation).
Even with all this love for technology, 69 percent did admit that gadgets were too distracting.
More and more tech companies are pushing users to store their content in "cloud" services, which are basically online depositories.
Originally made popular by Dropbox.com, these cloud services offer a certain amount of storage space for free, but then start charging users for extra files.
Cloud services are offered by Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other big (and small) players on the web. iPhones and Android phones are also getting in on cloud services, which were originally a convenient option.
However, Scientific American notes that some large tech companies are slowly eliminating the option for users not to use cloud storage.
Apple's new operating system Mavericks does not allow to users to sync their computer’s calendar or address book with an iPhone or tablet. Now, you can only sync your content via an Apple iCloud account.
With Windows 8 and 8.1, you can log on to your PC with either a local account on your computer or an online Microsoft account.
But without an online Microsoft account, you can't access SkyDrive or download apps from the Windows store.
What the web giants don't tell you is that cloud users are at the mercy of these corporations to access their own content. If a cloud site goes down, so does access to your content.
There is also the issue of privacy. Amazon landed a $600 million contract to create a private cloud for the CIA in 2013, reports InformationWeek.com. But will this new relationship compromise the security and privacy of other Amazon cloud users?
Apple, Google and Microsoft are also in possession of user's cloud content, which could be secretly accessed by the (National Security Agency) NSA. The agency's covert, mass spying activities have all cloud companies concerned about losing business, according to CRN.com.
The Independent reported in 2013, "All personal information stored by British internet users on major 'cloud' computing services including Google Drive can be spied upon routinely without their knowledge by US authorities under newly-approved legislation."
Google’s San Francisco “mystery barge” is being kicked off the island. The much-discussed floating data center/showroom/party boat will have to find a new home, a state agency ordered, due to a number of complaints.
"It needs to move," Larry Goldzband, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, told the Associated Press Monday.
Google doesn’t have the proper permits for the four-story construction, Goldzband said. Both the Treasure Island Development Authority and the City of San Francisco could face fines, too, for failing to enforce the rules.
The story of the “mystery barge” first broke in late October, when CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman found “Google’s fingerprints all over” the floating barge off the coast of Treasure Island, a former Navy base in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Though Google didn’t own up at the time, the reporter found that the structure matched that of a water-based data center, which Google had received a patent for in 2009.
Later the executive director at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Corporation (BCDC) confirmed that Google was the force behind the barge. KPIX 5 reported that the space would be a VIP showroom and party deck, personally overseen by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
But whatever it is, the mystery barge has to go, according to BCDC authorities. Google can move the barge to a permitted construction facility.
Environmental activists are happy with the agency’s no-nonsense enforcement. Jason Flanders, program director at San Francisco Baykeeper, a nonprofit pollution watchdog, said that regulation was essential for the bay’s wellbeing.
"Obviously, the bay is a valuable resource to everybody," Flanders said. "Requiring people and companies large and small to pass all environmental regulations before using the bay is essential."