Organizations – Community Organizations
Description:

Unisa Radio

this group is created to support Unisa Radio to get a a permanent license, and maintain the frequency 98.9 .we are a vibrant, educational and entertainment station. your support would be appreciated.

Hope to hear from you out there. 

testing

Posted: April 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

bee

This and the fact that the iPad is choc-full of some of the most restrictive DRM ever to hit a consumer product. Defective by Design calls the iPad “a computer that will never belong to its owner.”

They’re sending this to Apple: “Mr. Jobs, DRM will give Apple and their corporate partners the power to disable features, block competing products (especially free software) censor news, and even delete books, videos, or news stories from users’ computers without notice– using the device’s “always on” network connection. This past year, we have seen how human rights and democracy protestors can have the technology they use turned against them.

By making a computer where every application is under total, centralized control, Apple is endangering freedom to increase profits. Apple can say they will not abuse this power, but their record of App Store rejections and removals gives us no reason to trust them. The iPad’s unprecedented use of DRM to control all capabilities of a general purpose computer is a dangerous step backward for computing and for media distribution. We demand that Apple remove all DRM from its devices.”

Article by  The Pirate's Dilemma

Starting this spring, you won’t need to gather the whole family around a 15-inch laptop screen to talk with cousin Joe on the other side of the country. As a matter of fact, you won’t even need to get up off the sofa after the evening news, because Skype is coming to the big screen – the big TV screen, that is.

Skype announced today that they have been working with LG and Panasonic to embed Skype in Internet-connected widescreen HDTVs.

Skype claims it is listening to its customers who (gasp!) want to get away from their computers once in a while.

“We know that Skype users are increasingly interested in conducting video calls away from their computers,” said Skype CEO Josh Silverman in a press release. “With Skype, consumers […] will now be able to participate in rich, real-time video conversations from the comfort of their couch.”

According to Skype, up to 5 million Skype-enabled TVs will be delivered during 2010, but the TV alone will not do it. In addition to a high-speed connection, users will need to purchase a specially designed web cam, which Skype spokesperson Jennifer Caukin told us would run about $150.

Caukin said the web cam is designed to pick up audio from a greater distance, so Skype TV users will be able to remain seated instead of huddling around a microphone. It will also provide high-definition video capabilities.

Skype will be embedded on LG’s NetCast series and Panasonic’s VIERA CAST series of HDTVs.

Written by Mike Melanson / January 5, 2010 11:29 AM

By Alistair Fairweather

Of all tech companies Apple Inc is the champion of playing hard-to-get. For 18 months it has had geeks and journalists salivating over rumours of another revolutionary product.

Finally, on January 5 the Wall Street Journal broke the (sort of) official news – Apple will be revealing a “multimedia tablet device” in January, and may begin shipping as early March.

Before you get too excited, that’s tablet as in Ten Commandments, not as in Panado. Essentially it’s a touch screen device around 11 inches (28cm) across which is rumoured to be named the iSlate. Imagine an iPhone or iPod touch, but with four times the screen area and you’re pretty close to Apple’s new device.

So why would Apple want to launch a giant iPod? Their seminal application strategy has made its small-form devices (iPhone and iPod touch) incredibly versatile and useful. But no one would willingly edit an entire document on an iPhone, or watch a whole movie on an iPod touch.

That’s where the iSlate comes in – it’s an entire laptop squashed into something the size and weight of a laptop screen. And because of the touch screen there is no need for peripherals like a mouse or keyboard – you do everything with the device itself.

But to think of it in those terms is to miss the potential game-changing genius that made the iPhone such a huge hit. The revolutionary thing about the iPhone interface is that it’s “gestural” – it understands what you want to do by the gestures you use. Swipe both fingers across the screen and it slides to the next image in a slideshow.

Tap your finger on an area and it “activates” (like a link being clicked). Stretch your fingers across the screen to zoom in and pinch them back to zoom out. When people first experienced this it was like something out of a sci-fi movie – Minority Report had come to life. Now imagine what Apple’s engineers will do with four times more screen area to play with. One thing is certain – the iSlate won’t simply be the iPhone interface blown up to scale.

Market-defining interfaces have long been Apple’s trademark, and the iSlate should be no exception. No one is watching the launch of the iSlate more keenly than magazine and newspaper publishers. Tablet devices may prove their saviour, allowing them to reach their readers cheaper and quicker while still providing all the visual appeal of their paper editions.

Reading on a laptop is clumsy, but flipping virtual pages on the iSlate will be as close to a “real” magazine as you can currently get. Of course this model is predicated on the iSlate having built-in internet capabilities (in order to seamlessly deliver new editions) but that looks to be a near certainty.

There’s a lot of debate around the pricing of the device. Apple’s cheapest laptop retails at $1 000 and the iSlate will probably cost the same amount, at least at first. Which begs the question – who would buy a tablet when you can get a laptop for the same amount?

Then again we said the same thing about the iPhone when it launched with a $600 price tag – and Apple have sold over 40 million of them. Will the iSlate live up to the hype? Or will it, like the MacBook Air, be one of Apple’s rare missteps?

On January 6 Hewlett Packard and Microsoft announced their collaboration on their own tablet, which should be on sale around the middle of 2010. The touch screen revolution clearly in full swing, so if Apple don’t succeed someone else will.

– News24

Augmented reality (AR) is a view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are merged with  virtual computer-generated imagery . AR, originally coined in 1990 by Thomas Caudell, is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, like for example sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally usable. This post will explore the applications and possibilities of such a (AR) reality.

Augmented Reality

The internet is now going to be smeared all over everything, everywhere you go information  is turned inside out and in the very near future it’ll be worse.  Augmented Reality is in some ways just another version of the web; a web applied, through novel interfaces.

How AR works

Emerging AR applications use two basic approaches:

In one, users hold up a specially coded sheet (which they can print) in front of a webcam or video camera and computer monitor.

Digital encoding is translated and displayed in a moving, 3D holographic form that can be rotated and otherwise manipulated.

The second, and perhaps hotter, way uses an iPhone 3GS, Google Android or similar new smart device to view the physical environment, say a city street or subway station.

Multiple layers of information are then overlaid on the phone’s screen, providing specific information about everything from available real estate, nearby bars and restaurants – even the identity and background of passersby.

augmented reality

Current uses of AR

1. Magazine cover/tech explainer: Popular Science and GE

Last month, PopSci and partner GE claimed to publish the first interactive 3D cover magazine cover. Three windmills pop off the page, build themselves and start twirling.

2. Interactive card and Website: Topps

Every kid’s dream – favorite stars come to life right on the card! Collector giant Topps does just that, using AR on select Topps 2009 baseball cards. Stars pitch, field and bat in 3D – like a mini video game on your desk.

3. e-tail: Zugara

For all its convenience, online clothes shopping frustrates in one key area: seeing how merchandise looks being worn. Similarly, online merchants fret about low browser/buyer ratios.

Enter online retailer Zugara, whose “Webcam Social Shopper” app lets users select clothes, print a special ”marker” app and “hold” up articles of clothing up in front of themselves as it tracks their movements.

I found a website that has 35 AR examples. I think these examples which I have given can be used in SA, especially since the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be held here.

Future uses

In the near future marketers may consider using AR to promote a new product via an interactive, web-based AR application. In the medical field AR may assist in complex tasks such as surgery.

For example, labels can be displayed on parts of a system to clarify operating instructions for a mechanic who is performing maintenance on the system.  A doctor could observe the fetus inside the mother’s womb. This is to be characterised as Mixed reality.

In the architecture industry AR can augment be employed to virtually resurrect destroyed historic buildings as well as simulate planned construction projects.

With AR, users can rebuild ruins, buildings, or even landscapes as they previously existed. Combined with a wireless network, the amount of data displayed is limitless.

The effectiveness of navigation devices and enhance for the purpose of maintaining industrial plants for a variety of applications. These types of devices can also be useful for airplane pilots, too.

AR can be applied to military and emergency services as wearable systems to provide information such as instructions, maps, enemy locations, and fire cells. In the fields of hydrology, ecology, and geology, AR can be used to display an interactive analysis of terrain characteristics.

Game Changer

AR Game Changer

Game Changer

In centuries past, the ability to conjure moving, talking 3D objects and people in thin air was exactly the sort of showboating sure to get you named court magician.

Now AR allows you to conjure similar dazzling and useful results, with decidedly less risk.

The notion of layering digital images and sounds is like creating a physical world in a new computer-enhanced experience.

All of this is a complete game changer for any industry, 3D technology will capitalise on everything. What future holds is unknown but extremely exciting… keep your eyes and ears open for things happening in the new media era.  This is futureye  signing out.

Post updated and corrected on the 9th of Nov 2009

Layar

Layar

On open platforms like Android we’ve already seen developments, including things like Layar, an augmented reality app that describes the world around you, and TwittARound, an app which shows you nearby tweets.

Layar Reality Browser  is a free application on mobile phones that uses the camera display view to show real-time geocoded digital information around you.  When you load Layar on your mobile phone’s camera view, the application adds “content layers” on top of the camera image.

Layar announced the addition of 3D capabilities to its augmented reality browser platform. With 3D, developers can tag real-life objects with 3D text, place 3D objects in real-world space, and create multi-sensory experiences.

Uses of Layar

Worldwide features include hotel-finding/booking, event ticket buying, the world’s first LBS graphic novel, user-submitted celebrity sightings, restaurants, a reality quiz game,  Google local search, Wikipedia articles and Yelp.

Layer apps in Netherlands include real estate prices, tourist points of interest (hotels, zoos, museums, etc), places to park, history tours, skating spots, rain data, post offices, banks, Mazda dealers and business listings.

In Japan, there are app layers to find a bus stop, train stations, refueling stops, hotels/lodging, tourist spots, movies, theaters, plays, and stores.

In Seattle you can find a nearby bus stop. In Paris and New York City, viewers can see ‘Poetry in Motion” related to place.  There’s a “Art Walk” app layer for Dusseldorf Germany. You can get information about trails at Purdue University.

Other interesting uses include mobile coupons, University Tours, area-rating, FlcikAR photos and TweetMondo Twitter search nearby.

Imagine the uses we could have for SA? Particularly now that we are planning the 2010 FIFA World Cup. If Layar was available in SA than fans from other countries can find their way to restaurants, bus stops, other stadiums etc.

Face detection

One initiative, AU facial recognition, is linked to new technologies such as like Facial recognition software (FRS) which can work easily with apps such as Layar.

FRS will basically enable anyone with a mobile phone to take a photograph and the software will automatically identify the person by matching 3D models of faces.

This technique captures the shape of the face and other distinctive features like the contour of the eyes, the nose, and the chin enabling us anyone to dig up information on someone.

Swedish software and design company The Astonishing Tribe is developing an AU concept called Augmented ID that “sees” people and tells you who they are.

In basic terms, people who have online identities can be photographed and their online id account will give you access to their online personal data and history.

I think this will work well when police men are searching for criminals.This would be a game changer in a country where it is filled with fraudsters and wanted criminals.

This is something that is new, it seems almost too futuristic to be real but believe me this will revolutionise how we communicate.

Limitations

However,  I think these devices/applications could exclude those who are not part of the online world. What happens to those who don’t have access to internet, let alone have an online identity?

Do they immediately become online John Doe?  But what happens if online identities clash or their similar online identities or brands or companies out there? What then?

What if someone hacks your online identity (refer to my previous blog post) and misuses the information? Perhaps tries to frame someone else. Matters of privacy-how secure is this software?

Future Possibilities

There are tons of possibilities with such initiatives which could change the way we take pictures, the way we collect and gather information on people, the way online identity and reality can shift.

This can change new media strategies in terms of multimedia and interactive platforms such as mobile, online, video and radio. Of course, implementing these types of initiatives can be challenging, especially in developing countries, but not impossible.  This Futureye signing out…

Post updated and corrected on 9th Nov 2009.

Hacking and Cyber attacking

Hacking and Cyber attacking

As you know by now, a few social networking sites (Twitter and Facebook) suffered temporary shut downs during the course of last week due to cyber attacks. Users worldwide experienced the attacks as they came in a number of waves.

I googled and found that Co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone, had posted an update on Twitter’s blog. Apparently, Twitter has had a few cyber attacks and they are still ongoing by .

Yet Twitter is in denial… Though Stone refuses to speculate on the motivation behind them, he does note that they appear to be “geopolitical” in their nature.

Not only did Twitter’s main service go down, these attacks forced it to shut down many of its API services which crippled many of the services built on top of Twitter’s platform.

It is also said that similar attacks also targeted Facebook, LiveJournal, Blogger and YouTube…This is much like a terrorism attack but on cyber space. But this could have enormous implications for the future.

Cyber terrorism

What exactly led to Twitter’s shutdown on Thursday is still being debated in security circles and across the Web. However, security experts say that coordinated cyber attacks were aimed at silencing a Georgian blogger critical of Russian actions against his country.

Facebook’s chief security officer Max Kelly said the simultaneous attacks were aimed at a user known as “Cyxymu” who had accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal and other affected sites.

They said the attackers first sent out a wave of spam which appeared to have come from “Cyxymu,” a technique intended to discredit a user by making him appear to be the source of large amounts of junk email.

Then, the hackers launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack designed to overwhelm a website’s servers with communications requests.

The last major cyber attack, driven by MyDoom, was Windows malware from 2004. … If you think that governments don’t use the Internet to knock out their enemies, clearly you haven’t been paying attention. Russians already successfully attacked Estonia’s Internet infrastructure in 2007.

Warning

The key point here is that obviously that the attacks intensified almost tenfold from what we were experiencing last week.

Social media sites, are susceptible to spear phishing, in which hackers send targeted messages masquerading as notices from legitimate organizations or people.

This makes cyber security is a major priority. Get tips on how to avoid being cyber attacked.

I think, if there aren’t any by now, there should be some anti-cyber attack law. This can reduce such dilemmas, before there’s a serious case on our heads like the previous Iran or China case.

If social networking sites are hacked who’ll be able to inform us if any news breaks? Most news organisations and users worldwide are depending on them.

This causes a great deal of questions and media houses and organisations ned to create strategies on how to combat such attacks and be completely ready for such events.

But I’m a bit thankful that Twitter and other social networking sites have experienced this and can now prepare for the future. Futureye signing out.

Google

Google

Apparently, within the next two weeks Google is planning to release a new version of Google Chrome that will include the ability to sync bookmarks between different computers.

“The synchronisation will be managed through a Google account”, said software engineer on the Chrome team, Tim Steele in a mailing list posting on Friday.

Sync or synchronisation is an act of causing software to operate simultaneously. So Google wants to synchronise Chrome with bookmarking software, much like our favourite bookmarking site del.icio.us.com

Google sees this venture as far more than just updating a list of links. In fact, it’ll be using the Google Talk (gtalk) infrastructure to handle the service.

Synchronizing will help one instance of Chrome to behave more like another, for example being able to retrieve more easily the address of a website that a user already visited on another computer

However Peter Kasting, another Chrome programmer, would’ve liked Chrome to have “history/visited link/omnibox syncing than bookmarks,” he said in a posting. Now if they do sync passwords and browser history, it’ll be quite a risk.

chrome_logo

Privacy?

Now I have not used Google Chrome yet (so this not making a promo for it because they’re not paying me) but the issues of privacy are quite pertinent.

There are millions of users that are already storing information via search history on Google’s servers. With Chrome’s synchronization feature, however, you would also store a complete record of all of your comings and going on other parts of the Internet on Google’s servers.

Not so long again I discovered that there are search engines, like Dutch based search engine ixquick, that do not store data.

I’m sure you’re thinking this is not new. Indeed it isn’t, in fact there are companies that do the same as Google Chrome, such as the likes of Xmarks, Bookmarksync, Netvous etc. However, what is important to think about is how this will affect us in future and what is means for future innovations.

Core message

This week’s post on Chrome raises some interesting pointers. In a networked personal and business computing environment, users want to be able to enjoy a similar experience regardless of the computer or device being used.

Google Chrome browser is Google’s first step in the direction of creating an interface not just for the web and computing.

The idea is that if more users will access their data directly from the Internet as opposed to a computer?s hard drive, then Google will provide both the interface (Chrome) and Operating System (Chrome OS) that will run on many devices.

In doing so, Google is going head to head with Microsoft and Apple ? not just in the browser market but the OS market too.

The beauty of Google Chrome

It is a unique system that provides real-time automatic bookmark synchronization between all your different browsers, computers, and operating systems.

Add a bookmark to Internet Explorer at work, and it will automatically be sent to your Firefox browser at home and your Safari browser on your Mac!

Moreover I read that it supports Unicode, so it works for bookmarks in all languages and it encrypts your bookmarks so you can securely access them anywhere in the world on any PC or via your PDA, mobile devices, RSS feeds, and publish your favorites using JavaScript.

This can change the way we deal with computers and our work. Personally, I think it could be very useful to students since we move around doing research papers, essays etc.

But then one could ask who needs another hyper-responsive utility just for synchronizing bookmarks or browser history lists when we’ve go delicious.com?

Is Google Chrome pushing a hidden agenda? What I do know is that I’ll be watching Google like a hawk and see when it officially becomes of their plans. Futureye signing out.

Post updated and corrected 30 September 2009

bliptvBreaking new media news this week, Blip.tv has unveiled innovative partnerships that will possibly shake the new media scene.

For the past year Blip.tv has been quite silent because they have been developing a massive integration deal with hosting platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo and many other sites.

The integrations will be for syndication, advertising and perhaps much more. News is that this deal will offer producers to syndicate videos directly to sites.

This is a financial breakthrough for Blip.tv, seeing that we’re in a recession. They can now also sell ads on the videos. The way they do it is that they embed ads into the shows and split the revenue with revenue share. Now this maybe a possible business model for both video and advertising companies.

BlipTVs Mike Hudack

BlipTVs Mike Hudack

Blip.tv’s CEO Mike Hudack said at the press conference that Blip.tv was designed “to make independent Web shows sustainable”.

It will run its own hosting platform and simultaneously let members upload to many other platforms. This allows for optional advertising programmes that split 50-50 with show creators revenue earned.

There are more speculations that Blip.tv will also be integrating with Roku quite soon. Roku, is a device that converts web videos to television sets. This connects directly to live streaming which audiences from all over can see. If they ever want to embed the coding, they can do so and it can go directly to their blog.

But where does this leave YouTube?

youtubeIt’s been well-documented that our dear friend YouTube has had a serious profit problem…Therefore they have been trying to get all sorts of tricks in order to generate revenue, they’ve experimented with brand sponsorship, user-generated homepage ads and brand placement advertising but alas, it was in vain.

However, their attempt of announcing a beta trial test with FreeWheel, a company that specializes in online video advertising, has saved them.

This venture will give them, from a content generator perspective, the freedom to choose the ideal ad format and platform – making monetization easier.

Will it truly save our dear friend YouTube? I think their partnership with Blip.tv is not a bad deal, their website has so much more than YouTube.

Blip.tv gets more points than YouTube

Not only is Blip.tv a thousand times cooler, it beats YouTube by far with these small adjusts which news organisations can use effectively to market their multimedia products. I gathered the top five points which I like about Blip.tv.

* Youtube lets you upload videos only in standard formats like the Windows AVI, MOV or the MPEG format. Blip.tv practically supports all video formats including the popular Flash Video (flv) format.

*Youtube imposes a 10 minute or 100 MB restriction on files sizes but blip.tv has no such limitation.

*Blip.tv, allows you to download videos. They also allow you download videos in the original format with the same quality – just right click the video link and choose save as.

*Blip.tv provides detailed stats about your videos including how visitors found your video, what format they preferred and where did they watch it.

*Finally videos uploaded on Youtube are automatically compressed and resized to the 320×240 format. Blip.tv maintains the original quality of the video and they do not resize the video clips. They encourage content owners to upload different formats of the same video suitable for downloading, watching on the internet or on cellphones.

Blip.tv definitely scores more points because it generates automatic feed enclosures for you RSS feeds. And wait, there is one more fact, one can upload videos to blip.tv via FTP.

Go, give it a shot. I dare you. This is just a testament of what is in store in the new media scene.

Corrections

Updated 3rd August 2009:

After writing this post I realised that I missed the point completely. In fact, Youtube’s teaming with Freewheel has far more significant implications in terms of future strategies for monetisation and targeting of online video
advertising.

The truth is Blip.tv is not competition to Youtube, nor would I think it aspires to be. Like other online video channels (Hulu, Justin.tv, Brightcove, Vimeo) each attempts to provide its own unique service – generally as free or paid for video host with add-ons.

Youtube is the ‘mass’ platform. Blip.tv is a quasi-professional platform for producers who want to produce their serialised content or online shows. Youtube  also has a section for independent producer shows (and now also movies and commercially produced series). But this is only one of the things Youtube does.

I made  judgement calls about services which I have never personally used. For this I apologies profusely and apologies for getting my facts wrong.