Items tagged with mit

Given the revelations of the NSA’s data-gathering program coupled with the fact that if you use essentially any Internet services your data is out there and capable of being mined, more users than ever are looking for ways to thwart the prying eyes of power that be. One solution, called openPDS, has been developed by the MIT Media Lab’s Human Dynamics group and ID3, and it’s designed to allow users to “collect, store, and give fine-grained access to their data all while protecting their privacy”. The concept is to give users a Personal Data Store (PDS) where all of... Read more...
It’s deeply disconcerting, to say the least, that the NSA has been able to extract data about U.S. citizens from Internet companies using the secret (until recently) PRISM program. Because all of those companies likely handle data a little differently, it’s hard to say how much information the government is able to extract from email records, but a tool called “Immersion”, developed by MIT, shows you what your Gmail account can say about you. Immersion uses the same data that the government would have access to if it requested it from Google; it’s metadata, which includes... Read more...
Programmer/activist Aaron Swartz has been arrested for data theft in connection with an incident that occurred at MIT in late 2010. Swartz is accused of downloading nearly five million documents from JSTOR, an online, non-profit academic journal archive system. The particulars are as follows: Swartz, who has a history as a political advocate and founded the group Demand Progress, was granted access to JSTOR as part of a fellowship at Harvard University's Center for Ethics. He therefore had the undisputed right to access JSTOR content--though not, as the filing notes, the authority to download the... Read more...
For those of us with bad vision (really bad, in our case), the optometrist is an annual ritual. The researchers at the Camera Culture team at MIT's Media Lab have developed an Android application to make optometry nearly a self-diagnostic procedure. What they have developed is an app that uses a set of lines and dots that a user manipulated while looking through a $2 “eye” which was created out of the technology of a holographic barcode scanning device previously developed by MIT. Before you ask, it's Android only. What a patient does is to continue to adjust the image things comes... Read more...
A faster Internet has been a dream for many, and it has been a continually changing dream as broadband speeds got faster and faster. When 56k was the norm, just getting an ISDN line was a huge step-up. From there, ADSL or cable was another leap forward. Today, we need fiber to get things even faster, and while many universities and companies have tons of bandwidth on tap, we all yearn for something even quicker. Leave it to one of the brightest institutions in the world to find a way. A group of MIT researchers led by Vincent Chan, the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Professor of Electrical Engineering and... Read more...
Few institutions impact the world of consumer electronics as often as MIT, and it's a known fact that the entity has been working towards wireless power for years now. Wireless power remains one of the Holy Grails of electronics; even with wireless video and audio solutions in the market, there's still a power requirement that demands at least one cable. It's the reason that wireless surround speakers can't easily be mounted anywhere; you still have to run power to each one, or at least signal wires with power running through them. But MIT is getting closer and closer to making wireless energy... Read more...
A 19-year-old has apparently committed suicide while filming himself on the online live-video streaming service Justin.TV. According to NewTeeVee, not only has the suicide been confirmed, but he was apparently egged on by commenters at both Justin.TV and BodyBuilding.com. Abraham K. Biggs killed himself on camera Wednesday night. His handle was CandyJunkie on the Bodybuilding.com forum and Feels Like Ecstasy on Justin.TV. According to reports, he posted a suicide note on the Bodybuilding.com forum, but strangely (suspiciously), that forum is down for "maintenance." The suicide note was cross-posted... Read more...
The bruhaha over defective Nvidia mobile graphics chips keeps rolling along, even months after the initial headlines have faded. Despite Nvidia's promises to Apple that its Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT-based MacBook Pros had dodged the bullet and were immune from the defect, Apple now counters that it wasn't, in fact, so lucky: "In July 2008, NVIDIA publicly acknowledged a higher than normal failure rate for some of their graphics processors due to a packaging defect. At that same time, NVIDIA assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected. However, after an Apple-led... Read more...
Kingston Technology Releases Limited Edition HyperX Modules with Black Heatspreaders -- Available Only at Newegg Fountain Valley, CA – October 6, 2008 – Kingston Technology Co., Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced its popular 1066MHz HyperX DDR2 memory modules are available with limited edition black heatspreaders, exclusively for U.S. customers at online e-tailer Newegg.com. Available for Kingston part # KHX8500AD2K2/4G, the black heatspreaders show off Kingston's enthusiast memory in a new light while guaranteeing the same thermal performance benefits as the... Read more...
There are some people whose opinions matter more than others. Take Vint Cerf, for instance. Cerf is often credited as being the "father of the Internet." While that might not be a technically accurate statement, it is safe to say that he played a very significant role in shaping what would become the Internet as we know it today--and he is certainly one of only about a half dozen people or so who can potentially even lay claim to that title. In his current role as Vice President and Internet Evangelist for one of the most important Internet companies presently doing business--Google--his opinion... Read more...
I never use up my cell-phone plan minutes, do you? The cheapest plan gives you more than I'll ever need. But it's still always in the back of your mind when you're talking on the phone: Don't go over. Time Warner Cable wants to put "don't go over" in the back of your mind, too, when you're uploading or downloading stuff on your cable Internet connection with them. They're introducing monthly allowances on bandwith use, and will levy fees for going over your limit. Metered usage is common overseas, and other U.S. cable providers are looking at ways to rein in heavy users. Most have download caps,... Read more...
You'll recall our earlier story on registry corruption for certain users upgrading to Windows XP SP3. The cases of registry corruption seemed to have a common thread: Symantec security products. Originally Symantec blamed Microsoft, but in a post on a Symantec support forum, a a senior manager with Symantec indicated the fault may indeed lie with Symantec's products."After a lot of testing, we've reproduced a number of different cases where applying the XP SP3 upgrade adds additional registry keys within already-existing Symantec registry keys," said Anschultz. "We have determined that the SymProtect... Read more...
Two days ago we reported on Intel's alleged shortage of Atom processors. When we contacted Intel to confirm the story, an Intel spokesperson refused to comment. Perhaps we had the wrong person on the wrong day, because it would appear that today Intel is coming clean about the Atom shortage with Computerworld: "The new chip, code-named Diamondville, won't be officially released until June, but Intel Corp. has already been inundated with demands for early shipments, said company spokesman Bill Calder. He added that several PC makers plan to announce in June that they're working on Diamondville-based... Read more...
On Monday Skype, announced new subscription plans that allow flat-rate unlimited calling to 34 countries. It should be noted that for Skype defines unlimited as 10,000 minutes / month; after that standard fees apply.  Of course, 10,000 minutes equates to about 5 hours a day, so what the heck?The company said it was offering unlimited calls to landline and cell phones in the U.S. and Canada for $2.95 a month.It also offers unlimited calls to phones in 34 countries including Australia, China, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, for $9.95 per month, it said.Skype users in Europe can choose... Read more...
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