AndroidHaving trouble reading the news on your Samsung Galaxy while juggling a coffee cup? If you must use your tablet with only one hand, this demo shows users using only their eyes to interact with their tablets.

Plus Microsoft is looking for a few good ideas for Surface apps.

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Mi c With i Phone and i pad illIt’s never been easier to get music onto a phone, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. These tools help you find and record music–and even bust out an app for your band using HTML5.

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Bits Projectglass Tmag ArticleAugmented Reality just got a lot more fashionable. That wasn’t hard, as the previous standard was pretty much Geordi La Forge‘s automotive-filter visor.

That said, Google Glass looks pretty serious–like having Siri behind your eyeballs.

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The Bieber Shaver is only one of the works by the artist-hackers of F.A.T. Lab, which also include a fake Google Street Views car and the QR Stenciler mentioned previously on NMDnet.

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Governments and vigilantes are using Facebook and other social media to identify and jail protesters–even if they never left their keyboards.

A Chat With Zavilia, a Tool For Identifying Rioters

“Social media isn’t just great for starting ‘social unrest,’ it’s proving to be quite helpful for quashing it too. Not long after the bricks began to fly in London’s latest kerfuffle, locals angry over raging mobs scrambled to assist the police in their attempt to identify street-fighters and free-for-all hooligans … Now with more than 1,000 people charged over the chaos, a few citizen groups continue to provide web-based rioter identification platforms, in hopes of being good subjects, maintaining the country’s pursuit of order, and keeping their neighborhoods safe.”

In Britain, a Meeting on Limiting Social Media

Government officials and representatives of Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry met to discuss voluntary ways to limit or restrict the use of social media to combat crime and periods of civil unrest.

UK Men Get 4 Years For Trying to Incite Riots Via Facebook

“In addition to the 12 arrests from last week, a judge has sentenced 20-year-old Jordan Blackshaw and 22-year-old Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan to four years in prison for their failed attempts to use Facebook to incite riots in the UK. The judge said he hoped the sentences would act as a deterrent. The two men were convicted for using Facebook to encourage violent disorder in their hometowns in northwest England.”

Slashdot / Soulskill nonprofiteer writes “A bunch of vigilantes are organizing a Google Group dedicated to using recently revealed facial recognition tools to identify looters in the London riots. While Vancouver discussed doing something similar after the Stanley Cup riots, the city never actually moved forward on it. Ring of Steel London, though, is far more likely to incorporate FRT into its investigative work.” A related article points out how development of face-recognition technology has been kept under wraps by some organizations, but we’re getting to the point where it’ll soon be ubiquitous.

When police and vigilantes fail, there’s always PayPal.

PayPal Joins London Police Effort

“PayPal has joined a music copyright association and the City of London police department’s bid to financially starve websites deemed ‘illegal.’ When presented with sufficient evidence of unlicensed downloading from a site, the United Kingdom’s PayPal branch ‘will require the retailer to submit proof of licensing for the music offered by the retailer,’ said the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s latest press release.”

Meanwhile, Egyptian activists are getting in trouble for what they post on Facebook.

Egyptian Charged For Threatening Facebook Post

“The Egyptian Military Prosecution has charged 26-year-old activist and blogger Asmaa Mahfouz for allegedly defaming the country’s ruling generals and calling for armed operations against the military and the judiciary. Mahfouz, a prominent activist, was accused of using Facebook to call for the assassinations of Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) members and certain judges.”

Is it cheating to appropriate Google Street View images as photojournalism?

The Google Street View car is like the ultimate street photographer, a robo Cartier-Bresson methodically scouring the streets and documenting what it sees. But most people use GSV for practical purposes, and they view any drama or comedy captured by the roving 360-degree camera as accidents.

A few photographers are now looking for these ‘accidents’ intentionally. Instead of walking out on the street to find interesting scenes and people, they are simply curating the pre-documented streets from the comfort of their desk at home.

Michael Wolf, for example, uses a camera to photograph scenes from Google Street View open on his computer’s browser. In February, his honorable mention in the Contemporary Issues category at the World Press Photo Awards for A Series of Unfortunate Events ignited a storm of debate. Some balked at the idea that Wolf’s project was photojournalism, while others embraced the decision and called for more conceptual leaps and redefinitions of photojournalism in the digital age.

Meanwhile two women in Cincinnati are testing privacy ethics by selling reproductions of 1955 police mug shots.

On another mobile front: For those who prefer their art fresh rather than refried, tablet drawing is getting more sophisticated, as on this recent release by the same company that created AutoCAD:

SketchBook Pro, essentially a digital canvas and brush set, allows you to use both your fingers and aftermarket styluses to create illustrations and designs. Included are over 60 different brush tools, the ability to create up to six different layers for one file, as well as the ability to export files to Photoshop.

The app was previously available on iPhone, iPad and Android phone devices, as well as in an expanded desktop version. This is the first version of the app that will run on Android’s tablet-optimized software, a.k.a. Honeycomb.

Of course, just because you drew it on an iPad doesn’t mean you won’t be a kitschy derivative of other works–as demonstrated by a recent exhibition that showed off the iPad’s artsy side:

What would Leonardo do?

The New York Times reports on the increasingly frequent–but still very controversial–practice of incorporating Twitter and other “backchannel” communication networks into the classroom. Do such conversations make classes more inclusive or more distracting?

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SealThe raid is liveblogged when one of Bin Laden’s neighbors complains about the noisy helicopters on Twitter, while Bin Laden’s compound gets 3 of 5 stars on Google Maps. Also in the news: weaponized dogs and a tale of two seals.

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This may be the most embarrassing technology-related accident since the owner of Segway died by riding one of his company’s scooters off a cliff and into a river.

“An error on Google Maps has caused an international conflict in Central America. A Nicaraguan military commander, relying on Google Maps, moved troops into an area near San Juan Lake along the border between his country and Costa Rica (Google translation of Spanish original). The troops are accused of setting up camp there, taking down a Costa Rican flag and raising the Nicaraguan flag, doing work to clean up a nearby river, and dumping the sediment in Costa Rican territory.”

Google sent the following email (which serendipitously ended up on NMDnet automatically!) to the effect that it has quickly settled a class-action lawsuit about privacy violations. The same lawsuit targeted Facebook and Zynga.

The bottom line? The lawyers involved take home $2 million and users get nothing, except perhaps for a world in which the dominant Web service provider is a bit more conscious of privacy violations.

Google rarely contacts Gmail users via email, but we are making an exception to let you know that we’ve reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding Google Buzz (, a service we launched within Gmail in February of this year.

Shortly after its launch, we heard from a number of people who were concerned about privacy. In addition, we were sued by a group of Buzz users and recently reached a settlement in this case.

The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users’ concerns. In addition, Google has committed $8.5 million to an independent fund, most of which will support organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the web. We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be.

Just to be clear, this is not a settlement in which people who use Gmail can file to receive compensation. Everyone in the U.S. who uses Gmail is included in the settlement, unless you personally decide to opt out before December 6, 2010. The Court will consider final approval of the agreement on January 31, 2011. This email is a summary of the settlement, and more detailed information and instructions approved by the court, including instructions about how to opt out, object, or comment, are available at

When the rich get richer in the digital sphere, there’s no real consequences… right?
Continue reading » via Byline The Android App Inventor from Google is intended to help nontechnical types create their own apps. An intrepid explorer plunges into do-it-yourself territory….

Truth is, Android App Inventor is only the latest in a long line of “programming for the rest of us” kits: HyperCard, Automator, Scratch and so on. Each, at its debut, was hailed as a breakthrough. Each promised the dawn of a new era. And not a single one wound up delivering the idiot-proof, drag-and-drop software-creation process they promised. It may well be that “programming for nonprogrammers” is simply an oxymoron.

Another item for your checklist of what to do after graduation: change your name.

Google’s Eric Schmidt says that people’s private lives are so well documented now that the young will have to change their names when reaching adulthood to avoid their youthful indiscretions. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Schmidt says: “I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time.”

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Sure, it could lead to some crummy apps, but overall this is a big step toward making mobile devices about production as well as consumption.

theodp writes “Steve Jobs & Co. put the kibosh on easier cellphone development, but Google is giving it a shot. The NY Times reports that Google is bringing Android software development to the masses, offering a software tool starting Monday that’s intended to make it easy for people to write applications for its Android phones. The free software, called Google App Inventor for Android, has been under development for a year. User testing has been done mainly in schools with groups that included sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students and university undergraduates who are not CS majors. The thinking behind the initiative, Google said, is that as cellphones increasingly become the computers that people rely on most, users should be able to make applications themselves. It’s something Apple should be taking very seriously, advises TechCrunch.”

ttp:// via Byline

iPad, Android

via Byline The App Store and the Android marketplace are attractive lures for developers, but apps built to run on the mobile web can still impress. We take a look at the best frameworks available for mobile-web developers.

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iPad, Android

via Byline The App Store and the Android marketplace are attractive lures for developers, but apps built to run on the mobile web can still impress. We take a look at the best frameworks available for mobile-web developers.

A hacker gets Google’s Linux-based Android operating system–which allows Flash and other non-Apple-approved applications–running on an iPhone.

Could this be the salt that melts the ice of the increasingly closed Apple ecosystem?

(via @zeveisenberg)

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FailPoint One of the many problems of using FairPoint as your ISP is that their DNS system is horribly managed.  This often causes unreasonably long waits while a name resolves and can even cause some web pages to break as the browser tries to load assets from many different addresses.  If switching ISPs isn’t a viable solution, one workaround is to use another DNS provider.  There are many alternatives; in the past I’ve used OpenDNS, which was better than FairPoint’s but still occasionally had glitches (in addition to other potential concerns) and I’ve just started using Google’s Public DNS, which seems pretty good so far.  Simple tip:  if your computer(s) connect through a router, which they probably do, you should make the DNS change in the router’s control panel rather than on each machine.

Wicked Witch of the East

Many other companies have already stopped supporting older browsers like Internet Explorer 6.0 as well as browsers that are not supported by their own manufacturers. We’re also going to begin phasing out our support, starting with Google Docs and Google Sites. As a result you may find that from March 1 key functionality within these products — as well as new Docs and Sites features — won’t work properly in older browsers.

I think that officially means the rest of the world can do it as well.  And since everybody is going to be upgrading now, when IE8 is available (among other, better choices) that means there’s no need to support IE7 anymore either, right?



via Google’s Official Blog.

Encyclopedia Dramatica, a Meme encyclopedia, known to many internet power users as simply ED (genital pun usually intended) has had articles censored by google’s australian branch for distasteful content concerning the native people of Australia. Australia is well known for it’s iron fist of censorship. Many video games have to have special Australian versions.

It’s important to note that, just like Wikipedia, ED is a Wiki and therefore user edited. The fact that any one from google, regardless of region, would censor a wiki of any sort, is distasteful in it’s own right.

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