Saturday, February 9, 2013

Twitter Search Gets Big Upgrade, Archiving Of Tweets Continues

Right on cue: Less than one month after Facebook search was revamped, Twitter's search has done the same. Thecompetition between the social networks continues.
On Jan. 15, Facebook announced Graph Search, which is still being rolled out to its one billion users. Graph Search incorporates your social network to provide personalized results. It can be used for anything from professional networking to navigating the site itself.
On Feb. 7, Twitter continued a trend of leveraging its enormous archive of tweets in unveiling a search upgrade of its own. While you could previously only search for tweets within the past seven days, you can now go back much further. While Twitter won't say how far back you can go, I found tweets as early as 2008 in various search queries.
As Digital Trends notes, incorporating old tweets into Twitter - especially from years ago - is a significant engineering challenge, but Twitter has built the infrastructure to do just that. The number of old tweets in search results will continue to grow over time, and already from some poking around, it's impressive.
To see the new product in action, Twitter recommends searching #spottheshuttle. You can go back through old photos, news articles, jokes and eyewitness accounts of the Space Shuttle Endeavour flying over Los Angeles and San Francisco. You won't see every tweet; Twitter says the results that display are based on"engagement, like favorites, retweets and clicks." This makes them more relevant and frankly better results than the alternative.
Previously, on Dec. 19, Twitter announced it was giving every user an archive of all of his or her tweets. This continues to roll out and allows you to make interesting discoveries. Further back, in April 2010, Twitter said it was working the Library of Congress to index and preserve every public tweet ever. That project isreportedly close to completion, though of course the archive continues to be added to all the time.
Twitter's archive of tweets - in the billions - is valuable for numerous reasons. News events and breaking news are documented on Twitter first, so the historical value of the service for that reason alone can't be understated. It also captures real-time opinions and analysis nationwide and globally on any number of topics, serving as an index to our society and our culture and what people deem important in the new millennium. The research potential for all of this data, especially years from now, is huge.
The upgraded Twitter search brings back memories of Google Realtime, which Google nixed in July 2011 as its deal with Twitter expired and it was building out its social network Google+. In August 2010, Reuters wrote about Realtime, which allowed you to search for tweets by time period, "Searching for status updates is not Twitter's forte, so leave it to Google to make its own Realtime Search engine more powerful instead."
Now Twitter is entering the search space on its own. It has plenty of content, including images. For researchers, journalists and the human race in general, seeking knowledge and context, the new search and likely upgrades to come on Twitter's archives is an exciting development.

TPB AFK - The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard (Documentary)

The documentary about the founders of the Pirate Bay. Share it with the world! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mailbox app reservations go live in App Store

Developer Orchestra's free iPhone email client 'Mailbox' is now live in the App Store, with reservations being filled for those who registered with the company in late January.
AppleInsider was able to take an advanced look at Mailbox last month and found it to be a solid addition to any email workflow.

The app's unique interface allows users to turn a Gmail inbox into a type of "to-do" list, where each message can be "snoozed" for later perusal. 

For example, if an email isn't urgent, but will require action the next day, a user can select the "tomorrow" snooze, which will move the message out of the active inbox and return it the next day. Snooze time settings are fully customizable.

The iPhone-only app features swipe gestures reminiscent of to-do app Clear, with users being able to swipe left or right to activate snooze timers and send message strings to the archive folder or a customizable lists folder. Emails can also be deleted with a longer swipe.

Anyone can download the app for free from the App Store, and those users who pre-registered can enter their reservation numbers for first-come, first-served account activation. Those who have yet to sign up can do so in-app, while all users can watch the reservation line in real-time.

Το Instagram διαθέτει πλέον και web υπηρεσία

To Instagram, η δημοφιλής υπηρεσία mobile photo sharing, ανακοίνωσε πως η web-based υπηρεσία του είναι πλέον διαθέσιμη, επιτρέποντας στους χρήστες να βλέπουν τις φωτογραφίες τους και από το PC τους.

Οι χρήστες, μπορούν επίσης να επισκέπτονται προφίλ άλλων χρηστών που τους ενδιαφέρουν, να αφήνουν σχόλια κάτω από τις φωτογραφίες καθώς και να κάνουν "Like" μιας εικόνας που τους αρέσει. Το μόνο χαρακτηριστικό που δεν διατίθεται στη web-based υπηρεσία, είναι η δυνατότητα upload φωτογραφιών.

Ο συνιδρυτής του Instagram Kevin Systrom, δήλωσε πως οι χρήστες του Instagram, πρέπει να έχουν πρόσβαση στην υπηρεσία ανά πάσα στιγμή το θελήσουν και χρησιμοποιώντας όποια συσκευή είναι βολική για αυτούς, συμπεριλαμβανομένων υπολογιστών desktop και tablets.

Τον περασμένο μήνα, ο Systrom αποκάλυψε πως το Instagram έχει 90 εκατομμύρια ενεργούς χρήστες, οι οποίοι ποστάρουν 40 εκατομμύρια εικόνες κάθε ημέρα.

A new version of evasi0n iOS 6 jailbreak released, squashes all known bugs

Evasi0n, the first iOS untethered jailbreak was released a couple of days ago for the iOS 6.0 and 6.1 devices. The hack has been extremely popular since its launch and its popularity had resulted in a Cydia breakdown.
The original version of the hack had few bugs, which resulted in issues with rebooting and the weather app. The good news for all of you hesitating to get your iDevices jailbroken due to these issues is that the developer team has released a new version, which takes care of them.
Those of you who have already taken advantage of evasi0n can find patches for the issues in Cydia and they do not require the latest release.
Meanwhile, the traffic data on users downloading the jailbreak has been detailed and it turned out that China takes the top spot with nearly 3 million visitors. The second place is occupied by United States with 2.5 million visitors, while France rounds up the top three with 0.8 million visitors.
The jailbreak is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platform. The latest version of the jailbreak can be downloaded from its official website. Just in case, if you are wondering how the jailbreak works, check out the explanation from its developer.

Apple investigating new question-based iPhone unlock, hearing aid auto-detection

A pair of new Apple patent applications published this week show potential new ways to interact with an iPhone: an unlock system that asks the user to identify a random image, and a way to identify if the current device user is wearing a hearing aid.

Image-based authentication


The first filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week reveals a new unlock method that could offer personalized security. The system would require a user to accurately identify one or more objects depicted in an image.

A user could have a series of custom images selected for the unlock system, and an iPhone would randomly select one of those pictures to display when a user wishes to use the device. The user would also provide authentication data associated with the image to ensure security.

In one example, the iPhone would display a picture of a person, along with a list of names. The user would have to select the name of the person by sliding the appropriate icon across the screen to unlock the device.

Apple's picture-based unlock method is a potentially secure way to ensure that only authorized users have access to a device, without the need to memorize a passcode.

The filing notes that a thief sitting on a bus could easily take note of the passcode entered by an unsuspecting person. Someone could also potentially decipher a device's passcode based on fingerprints on the display of the device.

By employing multiple potential pictures, Apple's method could make it more difficult for a thief to unlock the device. It could also allow a device to be shared more easily among a group of people, such as a family, without requiring each person to remember a passcode.

The proposed invention, first filed with the USPTO in 2011 and published this week, is credited to inventor Ethan T. Lowry.

Hearing aid detection


Apple's proposed concept for an advanced iPhone-based hearing aid system would automatically determine whether or not the device is being used by a hearing impaired user who is wearing a hearing aid. The system would use a proximity sensor and a magnetic field sensor to detect a nearby hearing aid.

The proximity sensor could detect a change in distance of the iPhone to the user's ear, while the magnetic field sensor could detect movement of the iPhone relative to the hearing aid.

"The device selects between a normal audio mode of operation and a hearing aid compatible mode of operation based on both the change in detected distance and the change in detected magnetic field," the filing states.

In the application, Apple notes that some users will share a single phone. In that scenario, it is cumbersome to disable and then reenable hearing aid support based on which user is operating the device.

Apple's system would resolve this issue by automatically detecting the presence of a nearby hearing aid and enabling the appropriate settings.

The automatically selected hearing aid mode could make the iPhone produce sounds that would be better suited to be picked up by a hearing aid, rather than directly by the user's ear. Audio could also be directly transmitted to the hearing aid over Bluetooth — a feature Apple already supports with iOS 6 and upcoming "Made for iPhone" hearing aid accessories.

The application was first filed with the USPTO in August of 2011, and is credited to inventors Ching-yu John Tam and Shaohai Chen.

New Apple patent suggests solar-powered iPhone on the way

Let’s face it: battery life in smartphones is pretty awful, with only a few devices that are actually worthy of a battery-life crown. However, what if smartphones were powered by solar cells? That would basically change how we use devices, and we would essentially not have to worry about battery life anymore. A new patent fromApple may very well point to a possible solar-powered iPhone in the future.
Yesterday the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple patent #8,368,654 titled “Integrated touch sensor and solar assembly.” According to the patent’s abstract, the solar cell array consists of “electrodes that are used both for collecting solar energy and for sensing on a touch sensor array,” meaning that the touchscreen can also act as a solar panel.
The diagram above shows off how the solar cell array would work. It’s not much to look at really, and it’s a very basic illustration, but it provides a bit context to what seems like a nearly impossible concept. However, the illustration shows that the technology can automatically switch between solar-charging mode and touch mode once it detects a finger tap.
Obviously, this is just a patent and it doesn’t prove anything as far as if Apple will actually release a solar-powered device, but it does make us curious as to what the Cupertino-based company has cooking. Of course, if a solar-powered iPhone is indeed on the way, it certainly won’t be for quite a while, so be prepared to wait it out.

Belkin announces 7mm thin ‘FastFit’ Bluetooth keyboard case for iPad mini

Not to be outdone by Logitech’s new Ultrathin keyboard cover for iPad mini, Belkin announced its own Bluetooth keyboard cover for Apple’s smaller iPad on Wednesday that is actually even thinner than Logitech’s. The Belkin FastFit keyboard case is only slightly thinner at 7mm thick when compared to the Ultrathin’s 7.3mm, and it provides approximately the same three-month battery life or a little over 150 days active use. Other features include a 200mAh battery, magnetic snap-on keyboard with auto-wake, and a body made of anodized aircraft-grade aluminum. The FastFit also includes Belkin’s TruType keyboard:
The keyboard also features Belkin’s TruType keyboard, which provides well-spaced keys for fast and accurate typing. Each key has a spring mechanism that provides tactile feedback when struck, enabling fast, intuitive, and comfortable typing. The keyboard’s TruType keys are larger than most 7″ keyboards, and perform like laptop-type keys, allowing for fast typing with fewer errors than other small keyboards.
The FastFit Keyboard Case for iPad mini will be available through Belkin’s website for $79.99—the same price as Logitech’s Ultrathin keyboard cover.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

First Reviews of Microsoft Surface Pro: Good Display, Full Windows 8, Compromised Experience

The reviews for Microsoft's fully featured Windows 8 tablet/laptop combo are out. The Surface Pro firmly slots in between tablets like Apple's iPad and ultra-portable laptops like the MacBook Air, and some have wanted a similar Mac/tablet hybrid. 

The overall consensus is that while the Surface Pro does have some good features, it's ultimately brought down by trying to be both a tablet and laptop at the same time. 

Image via ArsTechnica Review

Here is a collection of some of the early reviews: 

The Verge 

- "There's something really weird about running Windows on a tablet, though. I never think about getting a virus on my iPad, or making sure to comply with constant system updates." 
- The Surface Pro comes with a Wacom-made pressure-sensitive and capacitive stylus that attaches to the device and is a "useful companion to the device." 
- "It's too big, too fat, and too reliant on its power cable to be a competitive tablet, and it's too immutable to do everything a laptop needs to do." 


- In battery tests, it lasted under four hours - less than half the stamina of the iPad and three hours less than Surface RT. 
- "Of the 64 GB of solid-state storage on the entry-level $899 model, only 30 GB of that is free for the user, according to Microsoft. On the $999 model, 90 GB of the 128 GB total is available for the user." 
- "As with the original Surface, the Pro is solidly built, with the same innovative metal kickstand that keeps it upright on a desk or table." 


- "Its Ivy Bridge i5 processor, the same you'll find in most ultrabooks, launches apps almost instantly (another big upgrade from Surface RT)." 
- "Its screen is too good. Which is to say, its 1080p resolution is so dense on the 10.6-inch screen that desktop programs seem too small, too cramped." 


- "As a laptop it is excellent. I was able to do nearly everything I needed to do including the editing of large documents, photo management, blogging, some minor gaming, and plenty of email and web browsing." 
- The physical $129 Type Cover and the capacitive $119 Touch Cover are "essential to the Surface Pro experience." 
- "There are obviously trade-offs, but the simplicity of form, the excellent design, and the promising OS make the Surface Pro a real treat – and threat to other manufacturers." 


- "That keyboard slowed us down and its trackpad continued to frustrate." 
- "Photos [from two 720p cameras] are incredibly full of noise and the sensor seems to be completely unable to manage contrast, resulting in images that are either totally washed out or far too dark." 
-  "If you're the type who likes to quickly pop on your tablet to check for new email or Facebook messages every few minutes, you may find yourself forced out of that habit here." 

The Microsoft Surface Pro releases on February 9 and comes in a 64GB version for $899 and a 128GB version for $999, with the Type Cover an additional $129 and a Touch Cover an additional $119.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mophie’s iPhone 5 Battery Case, The Juice Pack Helium, Now Available For $79.95

Mophie is one of the most trusted names in iPhone and mobile backup batteries, and the company has finally debuted its battery case for iPhone 5. The Mophie Juice Pack Helium is around 13 percent thinner than the Air version released for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 (get it? Helium is lighter than air), and retails for $79.95 right now direct from the Mophie store. The cases should ship in time for Valentine’s Day, the company says.
The new Mophie boasts a 1500 mAh battery, which keen readers will notice is technically enough to double the 1,440 mAh power station inside the iPhone 5. That’s enough to boost your device’s talk time life by up to 6 hours on 3G, or provide another 6 hours of cellular browsing, 7 hours of WiFi browsing, 30 hours of audio playback or 7 hours of movie watching, according to Mophie.
The new slim down design is offered in both dark metallic and metallic silver colors, with the dark scheme shipping first, and it has the same LED power indicator and forward-facing speaker ports that have made the Mophie line a winner for the past few years. Of course the things can also stand to shed some weight and girth, so this new thinner design is very welcome, but the fact is that when you need juice and you’re without any kind of outlet, having one of these on hand can really save the day, and they take up less space than something like an external charger.
One final advantage of the Juice Pack Helium is that it has a micro USB port to take the place of the Lightning connector, which handles pass-through charging and data syncing just fine. That’s good news if you’ve already got a ton of micro USB cables (one is also included) lying around from other devices and don’t want to invest heavily in replacing all those 3o-pin Apple chargers from your past iOS devices. This may be one of those cases where a blogger’s needs may not reflect the larger community’s, but I’m definitely a believer given Mophie’s track record, and for sure picking one of these up.

Hidden Radio Icons in iOS 6.1 Suggest Music Streaming Service from Apple Coming Soon

Apple has been widely rumored to be working on subscription based music streaming service for iOS devices. When Apple purchased LaLa, many believed that the company would introduce a streaming service. However, the purchase turned out to be to acquire talent to develop iTunes Match service.
Evad3rs released their ‘evasi0n’ unthethered jailbreak for iPhone5 on Tuesday and now 9to5Mac points us to hidden radio icons in iOS 6.1 release. Jailbreaking the iPad with evasi0n and then going through the files in revealed references to “radio button” with icons bearing resemblance to radio streaming icon in iTunes. Further, it was found that the button files are labeled with “buy” in the filename.
Many news publications like Bloomberg and WSJ previously reported on rumors about Apple working on Pandora competitor and cited music label licensing deals as being one of the hurdles being faced by the company. If those rumors are to be believed and with the hidden radio icons being revealed in iOS 6.1 is any indication then we could be seeing Apple announcing a new music subscription service soon.
Apple could be looking at allowing users to stream music tailored to their taste using the genius data and then integrating it with the iTunes store to allow purchase of favourite tracks. iTunes music store was recently made available in 56 new countries and the Cupertino, Calif. based company could now be looking at launching a music streaming service.


Android 4.2.2 Release Date

Google (GOOG) is believed to be preparing a major update to its Android operating system, known as Key Lime Pie, that will be unveiled at its annual developers conference in May

Before the company releases Android 5.0, however, it reportedly plans to release an Android 4.2.2 update. According to The International Business TimesGoogle employees are already testing the operating system on Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices. The small update is said to include a number of security enhancements and bug fixes such as the Bluetooth streaming issue on the Nexus 7, among other issues. Android 4.2.2 may launch as early as ”mid-February or mid-March.”

Mauz iPhone gadget with Minority Report interface

For those of you who’ve never heard of Kickstarter it’s a resourceful website that gives ingenious people the chance to promote their ideas for new products and raise funds to get them into production. We’ve seen some great creations come from the platform and today we have another Kickstarter project for you to digest and this time it’s the Mauz iPhone gadget with Minority Report interface.
This is something that should intrigue many people, especially iPhone users as in a nutshell the Mauz is a pointing device that is smartphone-enabled and can be used with gestures, visual clues and your phone to control nearby computers. So far, over $21,000 has been raised by 419 backers for the Mauz. However total funding needed is $150,000 and there’s another 31 days to go before the deadline is up on March 8, so if you like the idea you may want to back this project.
The Mauz is a kinetic three-dimensional computer mouse that connects to your smartphone and interacts with motion gesture and visual gesture programs. 

It uses Human Interface Device (HID) technology and the Mauz app is automatically prompted once the user connects the Mauz to their smartphone. You can see a video below this story that shows you more about the Mauz.

It uses right click, left click and scroll functions and a simple tilt of the phone enables the app to switch from computer mouse to TouchPad interface. It’s an innovative device and if you want to see more or to back the project head to Kickstarter here where you can also see how the visual and gesture controls work and details of shortkeys.
You may also be interested in some more of our recent Kickstarter project articles such as the Audojo iPad Case Controller for gaming and an iPhone and Android Charge Card charger. Let us know what you think of the Mauz iPhone gadget? Do you think this idea is one that should come to production? Let us have your comments.

Dyson Airblade Tap puts 420mph hand-drying technology right inside the faucet

dyson airblade tap

Dyson has unveiled its latest invention, and it's an update to the Airblade hand dryer that overhauls the form factor. The Airblade Tap takes advantage of some significant size reductions in the technology to integrate drying functionality into the faucet itself. "In washrooms using conventional taps, you'll need to move to a separate hand drying area, dripping water on the floors as you go," says Sir James Dyson, founder of the British company and renowned inventor. "With the Dyson Airblade Tap hand dryer, water isn't dripped on the floor because you don't need to leave the sink with wet hands."
The Tap uses a downsized 1600W motor that can dry hands in about 12 seconds by blasting air out at 420mph. It also cleans the air before blowing it back onto your hands, which Dyson claims makes it much more convenient than regular hand dryers — the HEPA filters are said to pick up 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses in the bathroom air. You won't have to touch the Tap, either, with infrared filters sensing your hands and sending out jets of water and air accordingly.
The Airblade Tap can be pre-ordered today and should be available March 1st. At £999 (about $1,574), you'll certainly be paying for the privilege, but Dyson says the low energy consumption will eventually work out in your favor; the Tap supposedly costs up to 69 percent less to run than a traditional hand dryer, and up to 97 percent less than paper towels.

Monday, February 4, 2013


iOS 6.1 Jailbreak Download

Following reports that an untethered jailbreak was finally set to be made available for iOS 6.1 users on Monday, the Evad3rs Jailbreak Team has made their jailbreak tool evasi0n available for download. The tool jailbreaks Apple’s (AAPLiPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad mini, all iPad models and third-, fourth- and fifth-generation iPod touch models running iOS 6.0 or iOS 6.1. The jailbreak is untethered, which means users will not have to connect to their computers to boot their devices after the jailbreak is applied. iOS blog has a step-by-step guide that explains the entire process, and the site’s guide is linked below.


New Android malware can infect phone, spy on you through PC mic

Anewly-discovered Android malware can cause havoc on your Android smartphone and Windows PC when the devices are connected. The irony is this app is masquerading as a "cleaner" app on Google’s Play Store. 

Last year, ESET predicted that Android malware would become more complex and expand the range of malicious actions they can perform on an infected device. That’s exactly what DroidCleaner does.

Discovered by Kaspersky to be a vicious malware, DroidCleaner has a long list of abilities to disrupt your life. After it has been installed on your phone, the app has the ability to send SMS messages, enable Wi-Fi, gather information about the device, open arbitrary links in a browser, upload the SD card's entire contents, all SMS messages, or an arbitrary file or folder to the master's server. It can also delete all SMS messages or read, write and upload all the contacts, photos and location data from the device to the master.
Another Android malware has been discovered

However, those are just parlour tricks, as far as this app is concerned. When it runs, the app also downloads three files to the root directory of your internal SD card, and opens up a backdoor to your PC when when it is connected to the smartphone in USB drive mode. 
Now, the app can control your microphone to spy on you and send recordings back to the master server. Fortunately, that’s all that it seems to do.

As Kaspersky notes, “Generally speaking, saving autorun.inf and a PE file to a flash drive is one of the most unsophisticated ways of distributing malware. At the same time, doing this using a smartphone and then waiting for the smartphone to connect to a PC is a completely new attack vector. In the current versions of Microsoft Windows, the AutoRun feature is disabled by default for external drives; however, not all users have migrated to modern operating systems. It is those users who use outdated OS versions that are targeted by this attack vector.

Thus, a typical attack victim is the owner of an inexpensive Android smartphone who connects his or her smartphone to a PC from time to time, for example, to change the music files on the device. Judging by the sales statistics for Android smartphones, I would say that such people are quite numerous. For the attack to be more successful, it only lacks a broader distribution scheme.

Another IT security firm, McAffee said last year that more than 60 percent of all Android threats originate from the the FakeInstaller family. FakeInstaller malware masquerade as popular apps and generate revenue by silently sending SMS messages to premium numbers without the user’s consent, which is what this latest discovered malware also does.

Fortunately, AutoRun is disabled by default on newer versions of Windows, but if you have enabled it and have been an unfortunate victim of this app, then it’s time to do a full check-up.