Drone point of view of extreme snowstorm in New York


This is a fascinating possibility of the emerging technology.

WGN-TV

James Grimaldi lives in West Seneca, New York – one of the hardest hit cities by this week’s epic snowstorm.

Grimaldi used an aerial drone to shoot video of the winter storm hitting his upstate town and posted it to YouTube.

The footage that was captured is incredible.

 Related:At least 8 killed in massive snowstorm, Buffalo braces for up to 3 feet more

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The Secret Language of Girls on Instagram


Sometimes, when we talk about gender issues in my classes, the women envy young men’s ability to resolve conflicts physically, because it ends quickly an the guys are back to being friends and not holding grudges. I’m not so sure about that perception, but the byzantine world of girls’ aggression is fascinating. It’s good to have the thumbnail map.

TIME

Secrecy is hardly new on Planet Girl: as many an eye-rolling boy will tell you, girls excel at eluding the prying questions of grown ups. And who can blame them? From an early age, young women learn that to be a “good girl” they must be nice, avoid conflict and make friends with everyone. It’s an impossible ask (and one I’ve studied for over a decade) – so girls respond by taking their true feelings underground.

Enter the Internet, and Instagram: a platform where emotions can run wild – and where insecurities run wilder. The photo-sharing app is social media’s current queen bee: In a survey released earlier this month, three quarters of teens said they were using Instagram as their go-to app.

Instagram lets users share their photos, and “like” and comment on their friends’. The competition for “likes” encourages creativity in young users, who can use filters…

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Why the internet of things should be designed with efficiency in mind


Augmented reality should not drive us further toward climate change.

Gigaom

If you imagine 50 billion connected devices all consuming a few milliwatts of power, it adds up. With that in mind, we brought Oleg Logvinov, director, market development at ST Microelectronics and who currently serves on the IEEE Standards Association Corporate Advisory Group, on this week’s podcast to discuss strategies from the silicon up for making the internet of things more energy efficient.

Before Logvinov discusses both technologies and standards for cutting electricity usage and makes the case that even wired devices should consume less, Kevin Tofel and I talk about the previous week’s news including the August lock, the future of Bluetooth as a standard in the connected home, and Qualcomm’s planned buy of CSR. Stay tuned.

And don’t forget about Structure Connect, which kicks off later today in San Francisco.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Rafi Haladjian, CEO of Sen.se.

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Japanese man jailed for 3D-printing revolvers


We’ve been following such stories for a while. It is interesting how different societies take different approaches to this development.

Gigaom

In what appears to be the first sentence of its kind, a Japanese man has been jailed for two years for the crime of making 3D-printed guns and instructing others about the process.

28-year-old Yoshitomo Imura, who worked for the Shonan Institute of Technology, reportedly made several guns and also put a video online showing how he did it. Japan has very strict gun laws, and, following his arrest in May, Imura was sentenced on Monday for producing and possessing two functional firearms.

Imura’s design was known as the ZigZag. Although his defense team reportedly stressed that he designed in a plate to stop the weapons being fired, prosecutors said the plate was easily removed. This is apparently a video of the gun in question:

Cody Wilson, the American libertarian who arguably kicked off the current era of 3D-printed guns with his Liberator model, only incorporated space for one…

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The government is shamelessly trying to scare Apple and Google from encrypting their phones


BGR

Did you know that if Apple and Google encrypt the data on your smartphone, then pedophiles, bank robbers and terrorists will be able to wreak havoc upon America without any kinds of reservations? That’s the message that the United States federal government and law enforcement agencies are trying to send to both major tech companies and to the public at large about the dangers of smartphone encryption.

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The WordPress.com Transparency Report


As I publish several blogs on WordPress, I am happy to see this transparency report from them.

The WordPress.com Blog

Automattic’s mission is to democratize publishing, and a fully informed citizenry is the foundation of any functioning democracy. Keeping our users and the public fully informed about our policies on responding to government requests has always been important to us — and now, more than ever, candor in this area is vitally important.

In keeping with these principles, we’re pleased to release our first transparency report. This initial report summarizes the number of government information requests, takedown demands, and national security requests that we received during the second half of 2013. In addition to giving our users full transparency about the volume of these requests, we also hope that publicly reporting our data will help hold all parties (including us) accountable.

A few highlights of our report:

Information Requests. For the second half of 2013, approximately 0.0001% of the 48 million sites that we host were subject to a…

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big data: a definition


orgtheory.net

People often complain, justifiably, that “big data” is a catchy phrase, not a real concept. And yes, it certainly is hot, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t come up with a useful definition that can guide research. Here is my definition – big data is data that has the following properties:

  • Size: The data is “large” when compared to the data normally used in social science. Normally, surveys only have data from a few thousand people. The World Values Survey, probably the largest conventional data set used by social scientists, has about  two hundred thousand people in it. “Big data” starts in the millions of observations.
  • Source: The data is generated through the use of the Internet – email, social media, web sites, etc.
  • Natural: It generated through routine daily activity (e.g., email or Facebook likes) . It is not, primarily, created in the artificial environment of a survey…

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Mapping and driving is ok, appellate court says


Augmented reality has legal implications. Hands off my GPS.

BGR

A man who was given a ticket two years ago for using a map app on an iPhone 4 while driving had his conviction overturned by a Fresno appellate court on Thursday, which agreed that drivers should be able to use map apps on a smartphone while on the road, FresnoBee reports. “The Fifth District Court of Appeal unanimously concluded that the state Vehicle Code applies to listening and talking and texting on a cellphone while driving – not looking at a map application,” the publication writes.

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