Technology

This Little Bluetooth Sensor Shouts The Second Anyone Tries To Move Your Stuff


TechCrunch / Greg Kumparak

This Little Bluetooth Sensor Shouts The Second Anyone Tries To Move Your Stuff

 Uh oh. You’re three cups of coffee into a busy work day, and you’re starting to get the ol’ caffeine rumble gut. But you don’t want to give up your prime table at the coffee shop.
“Hey, can you watch my stuff?” you say to the nearest complete stranger.
This box watches your stuff for you. If it moves ever so slightly, it can fire off a siren or send a… Read More

This Little Bluetooth Sensor Shouts The Second Anyone Tries To Move Your Stuff


TechCrunch / Greg Kumparak

This Little Bluetooth Sensor Shouts The Second Anyone Tries To Move Your Stuff

 Uh oh. You’re three cups of coffee into a busy work day, and you’re starting to get the ol’ caffeine rumble gut. But you don’t want to give up your prime table at the coffee shop.
“Hey, can you watch my stuff?” you say to the nearest complete stranger.
This box watches your stuff for you. If it moves ever so slightly, it can fire off a siren or send a… Read More

Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweets in support of Apple, says forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise user privacy (Jordan Novet/VentureBeat)


Techmeme /

Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweets in support of Apple, says forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise user privacy (Jordan Novet/VentureBeat)

Jordan Novet / VentureBeat:
Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweets in support of Apple, says forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise user privacy  —  Here’s Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s response to the Apple-FBI controversy  —  Google chief executive Sundar Pichai just weighed in on the ongoing issue …

Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweets in support of Apple, says forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise user privacy (Jordan Novet/VentureBeat)


Techmeme /

Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweets in support of Apple, says forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise user privacy (Jordan Novet/VentureBeat)

Jordan Novet / VentureBeat:
Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweets in support of Apple, says forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise user privacy  —  Google CEO Sundar Pichai backs Tim Cook over Apple-FBI controversy  —  Google CEO Sundar Pichai just weighed in on the ongoing issue over device encryption between Apple …

A New Technique Makes GPS Accurate to an Inch


Gizmodo / Jamie Condliffe

A New Technique Makes GPS Accurate to an Inch

GPS is an utterly pervasive and wonderful technology, but it’s increasingly not accurate enough for modern demands. Now a team of researchers can make it accurate right down to an inch.Regular GPS registers your location and velocity by measuring the time it takes to receive signals from four or more satellites, that were sent into space by the military. Alone, it can tell you where you are to within 30 feet. More recently a technique called Differential GPS (DGPS) improved on that resolution by adding ground-based reference stations—increasing accuracy to within 3 feet.Now, a team from the University of California, Riverside, has developed a technique that augments the regular GPS data with on-board inertial measurements from a sensor. Actually, that’s been tried before, but in the past it’s required large computers to combine the two data streams, rendering it ineffective for use in cars or mobile devices. Instead what the University of California team has done is create a set of new algorithms which, it claims, reduce the complexity of the calculation by several order of magnitude. In turn, that allows GPS systems in a mobile device to calculate position with an accuracy of just an inch. The research is published in IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology.The team hopes that the new GPS units could be used where accuracy is far more important that it was in the past. Autonomous vehicles is an obvious application, where knowing exactly where the vehicle is on the road is absolutely crucial—but it could be included in your phone, too.[IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology via PhysOrg]TechnImage by Aaron Parecki under Creative Commons license

A New Technique Makes GPS Accurate to an Inch


Gizmodo / Jamie Condliffe

A New Technique Makes GPS Accurate to an Inch

GPS is an utterly pervasive and wonderful technology, but it’s increasingly not accurate enough for modern demands. Now a team of researchers can make it accurate right down to an inch.Regular GPS registers your location and velocity by measuring the time it takes to receive signals from four or more satellites, that were sent into space by the military. Alone, it can tell you where you are to within 30 feet. More recently a technique called Differential GPS (DGPS) improved on that resolution by adding ground-based reference stations—increasing accuracy to within 3 feet.Now, a team from the University of California, Riverside, has developed a technique that augments the regular GPS data with on-board inertial measurements from a sensor. Actually, that’s been tried before, but in the past it’s required large computers to combine the two data streams, rendering it ineffective for use in cars or mobile devices. Instead what the University of California team has done is create a set of new algorithms which, it claims, reduce the complexity of the calculation by several order of magnitude. In turn, that allows GPS systems in a mobile device to calculate position with an accuracy of just an inch. The research is published in IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology.The team hopes that the new GPS units could be used where accuracy is far more important that it was in the past. Autonomous vehicles is an obvious application, where knowing exactly where the vehicle is on the road is absolutely crucial—but it could be included in your phone, too.[IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology via PhysOrg]TechnImage by Aaron Parecki under Creative Commons license

Your Stupid-Ass Typing Style Might Not Actually Be So Bad


Gizmodo / George Dvorsky

Your Stupid-Ass Typing Style Might Not Actually Be So Bad

Back in the olden days, most typists were trained to use all their fingers. That’s less of a concern now, leading to all sorts of self-taught typing styles. But as a new study shows, our lack of formal training—and our resistance to using all ten fingers—doesn’t mean we’re not proficient typists. I cringe every time I have to watch my teenage son type. Unlike his father, who still dutifully sets his eight fingers on the home row, this child of the digital era uses his two measly index fingers to type. Incredibly, however, it works for him; his fingers fly across the keyboard quickly and accurately. A new study from Aalto University supports this observation, suggesting it’s not the number of fingers that matters when typing, but how we use them. “We were surprised to observe that people who took a typing course, performed at similar average speed and accuracy, as those that taught typing to themselves and only used six fingers on average,” said study co-author Anna Feit in a statement. “The number of fingers does not effect typing speed. You could use just one or two fingers per hand and still type very fast.”Feit’s team recruited 30 volunteers of various ages and typing skills, and then recorded their individual styles with an optical motion capture system. A dozen high-speed infrared cameras tracked 52 reflective markers placed on the participants’ hands and fingers. This allowed the researchers to to measure the speed and accuracy of their individual typing styles. And to get a visual sense of typing commonalities, the researchers created finger-to-key maps. Fast typists, touch vs. self taught.Slow typists, touch vs. self-taughtAnalysis revealed that most participants used their left and right hands differently; some kept their left hands at the same place over the keyboard while their right hand moved from side-to-side, and vice-versa. Four groups of typists performed these similar movements with their left hand, and six groups with their right hand. The volunteers used anywhere from one to two fingers per hand (i.e. “hunt-and-peck”) to using all five. Some exhibited unique typing behaviors, like using the Caps Lock instead of shift, or using both thumbs together to hit the spacebar. Common strategies for each hand.Regardless of the style, however, the volunteers typed at different rates, some fast, some slow. This suggests that other factors are at play. For example, fast typists kept their hands on one position instead of moving them over the keyboard. They also used the same finger for the same letter virtually every time. The researchers also observed that untrained typists spent about twice as much time gazing at their fingers instead of the screen, which affected their ability to do complex editing tasks. The researchers say our typing techniques are often a reflection of the task being performed on the computer. “The touch typing system was developed for typing sentences on typewriters,” said Feit. “It is not advantageous for Photoshop shortcuts or gaming, often done with one hand on the mouse.” Developers could use this research to create better user interfaces both in software and in keyboards themselves. The interfaces should be tailored to the way we type today, not how we typed a long time ago.[Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems]Images: Aalto UniversityEmail the author at george@gizmodo.com and follow him @dvorsky.

Your Stupid-Ass Typing Style Might Not Actually Be So Bad


Gizmodo / George Dvorsky

Your Stupid-Ass Typing Style Might Not Actually Be So Bad

Back in the olden days, most typists were trained to use all their fingers. That’s less of a concern now, leading to all sorts of self-taught typing styles. But as a new study shows, our lack of formal training—and our resistance to using all ten fingers—doesn’t mean we’re not proficient typists. I cringe every time I have to watch my teenage son type. Unlike his father, who still dutifully sets his eight fingers on the home row, this child of the digital era uses his two measly index fingers to type. Incredibly, however, it works for him; his fingers fly across the keyboard quickly and accurately. A new study from Aalto University supports this observation, suggesting it’s not the number of fingers that matters when typing, but how we use them. “We were surprised to observe that people who took a typing course, performed at similar average speed and accuracy, as those that taught typing to themselves and only used six fingers on average,” said study co-author Anna Feit in a statement. “The number of fingers does not effect typing speed. You could use just one or two fingers per hand and still type very fast.”Feit’s team recruited 30 volunteers of various ages and typing skills, and then recorded their individual styles with an optical motion capture system. A dozen high-speed infrared cameras tracked 52 reflective markers placed on the participants’ hands and fingers. This allowed the researchers to to measure the speed and accuracy of their individual typing styles. And to get a visual sense of typing commonalities, the researchers created finger-to-key maps. Fast typists, touch vs. self taught.Slow typists, touch vs. self-taughtAnalysis revealed that most participants used their left and right hands differently; some kept their left hands at the same place over the keyboard while their right hand moved from side-to-side, and vice-versa. Four groups of typists performed these similar movements with their left hand, and six groups with their right hand. The volunteers used anywhere from one to two fingers per hand (i.e. “hunt-and-peck”) to using all five. Some exhibited unique typing behaviors, like using the Caps Lock instead of shift, or using both thumbs together to hit the spacebar. Common strategies for each hand.Regardless of the style, however, the volunteers typed at different rates, some fast, some slow. This suggests that other factors are at play. For example, fast typists kept their hands on one position instead of moving them over the keyboard. They also used the same finger for the same letter virtually every time. The researchers also observed that untrained typists spent about twice as much time gazing at their fingers instead of the screen, which affected their ability to do complex editing tasks. The researchers say our typing techniques are often a reflection of the task being performed on the computer. “The touch typing system was developed for typing sentences on typewriters,” said Feit. “It is not advantageous for Photoshop shortcuts or gaming, often done with one hand on the mouse.” Developers could use this research to create better user interfaces both in software and in keyboards themselves. The interfaces should be tailored to the way we type today, not how we typed a long time ago.[Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems]Images: Aalto UniversityEmail the author at george@gizmodo.com and follow him @dvorsky.

You Can Get 2GB of Free Google Drive Storage Today


Gizmodo / Jamie Condliffe

You Can Get 2GB of Free Google Drive Storage Today

Want some more space for your documents? Of course you do. Well, you can grab 2GB of extra capacity on Google Drive for free today. Here’s how.All you need to to is head to Google and run through a very brief security update—checking that your backup email address is correct, renewing account permissions, that kind of thing. For a couple of minutes of work, you’ll be given 2GB of extra storage on Drive. What are you waiting for? Go do it.The offer is to mark Safer Internet Day 2016, and it’s similar to a promotion Google ran last year, too. But don’t worry: If you got 2GB of free space then, you can still claim another 2GB today. Happy days.[Google via Reddit]

You Can Get 2GB of Free Google Drive Storage Today


Gizmodo / Jamie Condliffe

You Can Get 2GB of Free Google Drive Storage Today

Want some more space for your documents? Of course you do. Well, you can grab 2GB of extra capacity on Google Drive for free today. Here’s how.All you need to to is head to Google and run through a very brief security update—checking that your backup email address is correct, renewing account permissions, that kind of thing. For a couple of minutes of work, you’ll be given 2GB of extra storage on Drive. What are you waiting for? Go do it.The offer is to mark Safer Internet Day 2016, and it’s similar to a promotion Google ran last year, too. But don’t worry: If you got 2GB of free space then, you can still claim another 2GB today. Happy days.[Google via Reddit]