Category Archives: Sufficiently Advanced Technology

Best News Story of the Week?

Parrot mimics owner to make purchases using Amazon Echo

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Very Cool Use of Technology

Build 2017: Project Emma is a watch-sized device with tiny motors in them that ‘short circuit’ the brain-body feedback look that seems to cause tremors in suffers of Parkinson’s Disease.

It was created by Haiyan Zhang, the Innovation Director at Microsoft Research. More details at betanews.

Spotted via Slashdot.

See the video:

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VideoFakes-R-Us

Researchers develop face-capture technology that can alter pre-recorded videos in real-time on low cost computers.

Boing Boing suggests it could be used to make George W Bush or Donald Trump appear intelligent.

I can imagine even worse:

  • Fake ransom videos
  • Horrible pranks of the Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress variety (fake relative’s video suicide/I’m joining ISIS/mass shooter note)
  • Fake Clinton videos admitting complicity in WhiteWater
  • Unretouched videos of Donald Trump

Feel free to add yours below.

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Repeated.donor.miracle

That’s the address for the MiamiLaw quadrangle’s center point, as assigned by the exciting new mapping software from What3Words.

Our Dean will love that.

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Oh Joy

Time to add _optout to the name of every wifi router out there.

A Windows 10 feature, Wi-Fi Sense, smells like a security risk: it shares Wi-Fi passwords with the user’s contacts.

Those contacts include their Outlook.com (nee Hotmail) contacts, Skype contacts and, with an opt-in, their Facebook friends.

But don’t worry!

Wi-Fi Sense doesn’t reveal the plaintext password.

Unless, of course, something goes wrong….

In an attempt to address the security hole it has created, Microsoft offers a kludge of a workaround: you must add _optout to the SSID (the name of your network) to prevent it from working with Wi-Fi Sense.

(So if you want to opt out of Google Maps and Wi-Fi Sense at the same time, you must change your SSID of, say, myhouse to myhouse_optout_nomap. …)

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Learning the Wrong Lesson from a Ripoff

Peter Himler draws the wrong conclusion from his bad experience with The F***ing Internet of Things — Adventures in Consumer Technology.

I soon learned that I had very few options in terms of service providers. The design of the Crestron system is quite complex, i.e., each system is programmed to the individual specs of the dealer and the dealer is the only one with the keys.

For my deep-pocketed and tech-luddite neighbors, this fact probably mattered little. If you have a $10-million dollar home, what’s tens of thousands of dollars? For us, however, it mattered.

Conversely, for the small group of local Crestron dealers, it’s a virtual bonanza.

Rather than conclude (as he does) that the makers of high-tech IOT-enabled products ought to remind their dealers to be less grasping, not to mention criminal, Himler should have concluded that we ought not to buy expensive (or mission-critical) products that have proprietary systems.

Open source, my friend, open source.

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