BBC News – Are we addicted to smartphones?

New research suggests we are a nation addicted to smartphones.

More than half of adults and two thirds of teenagers say they have used their smartphone while socialising with others.

Nearly a quarter of adults and a third of teenagers have used them during mealtimes and over a fifth of adults admitted using or answering their handset in the bathroom.

The research found that the line between work and social time is also becoming increasingly blurred with 30% of smartphone users saying they regularly take personal calls during working hours and work calls while they are on holiday.

James Thickett, Director of Research with the media regulator Ofcom says this is has affected the type of contracts that phone companies offer.

via BBC News – Are we addicted to smartphones?.

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The Chemical That Makes Food Fresh For Forever

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Discovered by accident, the naturally-occurring bisin preservative could be injected into our foodstuffs as soon as it gets the thumb’s up from regulators. And then, there’d be no need to throw food out, as shelf-life is prolonged by years.

It sounds like scary stuff—and the exact opposite of the organic revolution that’s swept through supermarkets and grocery stores. Now patented, Bisin was discovered by microbiologists at the University of Minnesota, and is apparently safe to consume. Unlike that week-old pot of yoghurt that’s been going blue in the corner of your fridge. But if bisin really does have a place in our future—in our stomachs!—then there’s no fear of eating food which has expired its shelf life, as it reportedly kills bacteria and prevents E.coli, salmonella and listeria from growing.

This could be good news for pregnant women and newborns, as listeria, while rare, is particularly deadly with around 500 people dying each year in the US alone. Found in dairy and meat products, it’s also one of the reasons pregnant women are told to avoid eating soft cheese.

There are obvious reasons why this preservative sounds so attractive. We’d have to buy less food, thus saving money, and the risk of contracting illnesses would be lessened. But why does it leave me feeling so cold? Nothing beats fresh food, and I doubt anyone would be able to get over the mental block of drinking milk that’s been in the fridge for three months. But as it’s expected to be used commercially by food makers within the next three years, we’ve got plenty of time to work up a taste for synthetic food, I suppose.

via The Chemical That Makes Food Fresh For Forever. via The Telegraph

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This Guy Is Actually Couch Surfing On Water

By Jesus Diaz

This guy got a real couch, attached it to a board and went off for some surfing on Kootenay Lake, chilling out while drinking beer. My new favorite sport. [Geekosystem]

via This Guy Is Actually Couch Surfing On Water.

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Virgin Media to ‘take a punt’ on free London WiFi network – Telegraph

Virgin Media
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The firm’s chief executive Neil Berkett told investors that it was in “quite advanced negotiations” with London councils over the plans and said he was optimistic the rollout would begin “in the not too distant future”.

“The proposition would be that we would provide free Wifi access for all,” he said.

Virgin Media’s WiFi network will be freely available to anyone at 0.5Mbps, and to its home broadband subscribers at up to 10Mbps.

The approach contrasts with BT’s extensive Openzone network, which although free to BT broadband customers, is charged at as much as £5.99 for 90 minutes’ browsing.

Mr Berkett described the plans as “a punt” that will cost Virgin Media “a few million pounds” and will “keep them [BT] honest”.

“It is part of our ethos of advancing digital lifestyles,” he said.

He said that 3G mobile broadband networks were not satisfying consumers’ demands for data on the move and suggested that the few years’ delay expected before 4G networks and devices are widely available left a gap in them market.

“The gap that is increasingly occurring between consumers’ need for data outsidfe the home and what they can get on 3G,” said Mr Berkett, adding that Virgin Media might wholesale the faster level of access to mobile networks.

The firm’s interest in public WiFi was first revealed in Novemeber, when its director of advanced technology said virgin media had been “inspired” by a scheme launched by the United States cable network Cablevision. It covered New York with WiFi at a time when American 3G networks were struggling to cope with the smartphone boom.

Virgin Media plans to install WiFi routers in its existing infrastructure, including the street-side cabinets that distribute its cable network into home. The talks with councils are focused on gaining permission for the necessary works.

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‪A robot that flies like a bird‬‏ – YouTube

http://www.ted.com Plenty of robots can fly — but none can fly like a real bird. That is, until Markus Fischer and his team at Festo built SmartBird, a large, lightweight robot, modeled on a seagull, that flies by flapping its wings. A soaring demo fresh from TEDGlobal 2011.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate.

via ‪A robot that flies like a bird‬‏ – YouTube.

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BBC News – Are we addicted to smartphones?

New research suggests we are a nation addicted to smartphones.

More than half of adults and two thirds of teenagers say they have used their smartphone while socialising with others.

Nearly a quarter of adults and a third of teenagers have used them during mealtimes and over a fifth of adults admitted using or answering their handset in the bathroom.

The research found that the line between work and social time is also becoming increasingly blurred with 30% of smartphone users saying they regularly take personal calls during working hours and work calls while they are on holiday.

James Thickett, Director of Research with the media regulator Ofcom says this is has affected the type of contracts that phone companies offer.

via BBC News – Are we addicted to smartphones?.

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Operation Shady Rat Is The Largest Cyber Attack Ever Uncovered | Gizmodo.com

By Kelly Hodgkins

If it wasn’t true before, it’s definitely true now. Hacking isn’t just for giggles, it’s a major threat to international security.

On Wednesday, McAfee released a 14-page report that details the largest coordinated cyber attack recorded to date. This particular attack, possibly orchestrated by China, broke into 72 organizations over the course of five years.

The targets include the US, Canada, Taiwan, India, South Korea, and Vietnam. The attack also hit the UN, the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-doping agency, defense contractors, tech companies and more. Most attacks lasted less than a month, but some, like that on the UN Secretariat, lasted for almost two years.

We may have wanted to stick our fingers in our ears and pretend a cyber attack like this wasn’t happening, but after this report, even my grandmother will know what this “cyber thingamabobber” is [Reuters; Shutterstock/Alexander Lukin]

via Operation Shady Rat Is The Largest Cyber Attack Ever Uncovered.

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BBC News – Internet Explorer users have lower IQ says study

Internet Explorer Mobile Logo
Image via Wikipedia

Internet Explorer users have a lower than average IQ, according to research by Consulting firm AptiQuant.

The study gave web surfers an IQ test, then plotted their scores against the browser they used.

IE surfers were found to have an average IQ lower than people using Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Users of Camino and Opera rated highest.

The report has sparked anger from IE supporters, who have threatened AptiQuant with legal action.

Researchers gave over 100,000 web surfers a free online IQ test. Scores were stored in a database along with each person’s web browser data.

The results suggested that Internet Explorer surfers had an average IQ in the low eighties. Chrome, Firefox and Safari rated over 100, while minority browsers Opera and Camino had an “exceptionally higher” score of over 120.

AptiQuant stressed that using IE doesn’t mean you have low intelligence. “What it really says is that if you have a low IQ then there are high chances that you use Internet Explorer,” said AptiQuant CEO Leonard Howard.

The findings have been treated with scepticism by Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University’s Statistical Laboratory: “They’ve got IE6 users with an IQ of around eighty. That’s borderline deficient, marginally able to cope with the adult world.

“I believe these figures are implausibly low – and an insult to IE users.”

However, Mr Howard said he didn’t feel threatened by a lawsuit: “A win in a court would only give a stamp of approval and more credibility to our report.”

via BBC News – Internet Explorer users have lower IQ says study.

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German geniuses hit 800Mbps with light bulb WLAN — Engadget

Light bulb WLAN

Last year, Chinese scientists showed off some new old-school tech, transmitting data with blue LEDs that flicker faster than the human eye can perceive. This throwback back to the good ol’ days of IR receivers was able to hit speeds of 2Mbps, but leave it to the fine folks at the Heinrich Hertz Institute to push the light bulb networking tech to the extremes. Earlier this year researchers hit 500Mbps with white LEDs now, using a combination of white, green, blue, and red, the team ramped that up to 800Mbps, officially putting Ethernet on notice. The line-of-site networking wont actually replace your standard Cat 5 line or WiFi router, but it could find a home in places like hospitals where radio-based wireless technology can cause problems for sensitive equipment. With any luck, we’ll soon be bathing our homes in HD-streaming illumination.

via German geniuses hit 800Mbps with light bulb WLAN — Engadget.

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