Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

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.

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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.

I remember when we were growing up, we’d play with tin cans, connect them with a string and pretend they were phones.Today mobile phones, better known as cellphones in South Africa (SA), have become ubiquitous everywhere you go, even children as young as five years old have their own cellphones (this does not only happen in SA only but in many other countries).A company in England is even targeting toddlers with a phone designed in the shape of a teddy bear. And this creates more of an “addiction” from a young age.

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), three-quarters of Australian children aged 12 to 14 own a cellphone but by the time they are 15 that number surges to 90 per cent. In Spain a media report recently spoke of a case where two children, age 12 and 13, were admitted into a mental health institution.

The ACMA concluded by saying that these children could not carry out normal activities without their cellphones, they tend to lie to their parents and relatives to get money to spend on their phones.

In Japan, the government is currently asking phone manufacturers to develop phones that are only used for talking. This is because Japanese youngsters are committing cyberspace crimes and spending hours exchanging mobile e-mails. Most phones in Japan offer high-speed Internet access.Things have gone so bad that the government is starting a program where they are warning parents and schools to limit their use among children.

Dr Jose Martinez-Raga, an expert in addictions, said children who developed a dependency on cellphones, like those who over-used video games, often became irritable, withdrawn and antisocial, and their school performance deteriorates. But children are not the only ones having addiction issues.

cellphone addiction

The Flip side

On the other side of the coin, most parents would say knowing where their children are is an advantage because they can just pick the phone and contact them.

The parents believe that the safety and security of their children is ensured by the cellphone. Their other reason perhaps may be that a cellphone gives children independence.

I’m sure this is great for mobile corporations in terms of sales but this trend has the potential to give brain cancer  because according to Research from the World Health Organisation and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency states that cellphones link to brain tumors.

This research center further says that thinner skulls and smaller brains put children at a greater risk.

I do think cellphones are important because most people have interaction through internet access and there’s a majority of people in the developing countries can not afford PCs. Cellphones are an affordable way to stay in touch with relatives, check friends on social network systems etc. Although cellphones are a great communication tool, it is creating major disorders, one of them being cellphone addiction.

The question I want to pose is, are certain companies thinking about what the consequences of ‘getting-them-while-they’re-young’ model is causing? I think there signals of distress out there and cellphones could be a danger in the future. Look at the video entitled “Why are mobile phones addictive“, to avoid cellphone addiction.  Futureye signing off.

Related links on mobile phone addiction:

Last updated and correction made on 27th May 2009.