Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kind of a background article...
How To Bypass Internet Censorship
… I have mentioned VPN and Tor as a workaround to most forms of Internet censorship. However, I need to issue a caveat. Recent developments in China have demonstrated that even VPN can be blocked. In late 2012, it was widely reported that the Great Firewall of China is now able to learn, discover and block encrypted network traffic from several VPN systems (not all). China Unicom, one of the largest ISPs in China, is now terminating connections whenever an encrypted connection is detected.

I'd like to see the algorithm used in this one...
– is the first app in the world that automatically sorts the photos on your phone. You do not have to manually label each and every one of them – Impala “looks” into your images and videos and recognizes what’s inside. For instance, Impala can recognize cats, sunsets, beaches, and so on. Impala then automatically creates photo albums and organizes your photos.

The more you know (measure) the better you can plan. Something for my Statistics students.
How Long Can You Reasonably Expect Your Hard Drive To Last?
According to Backblaze, about one in 20 hard drives fails in the first 18 months. The failure rate drops to just 1.4 percent after this initial break-in period, before jumping up to 11.8 percent annually after 3 years.
Beyond that time period, though, Backblaze doesn’t have much data—they’ve only been around and collecting this data for four years. Still the fact that 74 percent of hard drives that they buy last longer than 4 years strikes me as pretty surprising. It also makes perfect sense that, as Backblaze points out, most available hard drive warranties are either 12 or 36 months.
… As Backblaze doesn’t have any hard drives that are older than its company it can only estimate that, based on the data already collected, the median hard drive life is about six years.

For my innovative students (and a certain Foundation running out of cy-près Funds?)
– Launch your own crowdfunding page without touching a line of code. Currently invite-only, CrowdHoster is open-source, and therefore the code can be viewed on GitHub. It includes a funding progress bar, sharing links, and customizable content areas. Running more than one campaign is also possible. Continue taking preorders even after your campaign ends.

Okay students, sic 'em!
Google Glass Explorer program waiting list quietly goes live
Google Glass is slowly coming within reach of members of the general populace who aren't developers, celebrities, or elite early adopters.
This week, as Google rolled out a Glass software update that adds a new command for listening to music, the company also quietly put a new form online that allows anyone to add themselves to a waiting list for the Glass Explorer program.

Perhaps there will be a market for 3D Templates of things other than guns?
MakerBot wants to put a 3D printer in every US public school
MakerBot wants to put a 3D printer in every school in the United States, and it's drumming up support from the industry and general public to make it happen.
While 3D printing, for now, remains a gimmick to many, it garnered enough attention for President Barack Obama to mention the emerging technology in his recent State of the Union Address. He described 3D printing as having the potential to "revolutionize the way we make almost everything."
… The US government is also supporting MakerBot's efforts. Tom Kalil, deputy director for technology and innovation within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in prepared remarks: "We all need to think creatively about giving our young people the tools to be 'the makers of things, and not just the consumers of things.'"
And once 3D printers start rolling out to schools? MakerBot insists the devices won't be expensive paperweights. The company is also launching Thingverse, an online 3D digital design community where schoolchildren can design, share, upload, and print designs of their own.
With the initiative launching Tuesday, individuals and corporations can donate funds using, a crowdsourcing site for teachers. Pettis wants those in communities around America to contribute to their local schools. Meanwhile, MakerBot is offering significant discounts to lower the price point of the 3D printing machines.

What hath Apple wrought?
Public at last: Apple II DOS code that launched an empire
… In early 1978, Apple signed a $13,000 contract with Shepardson Microsystems to create the DOS.
… Now, thanks to the help of the DigiBarn, a vintage computer museum in Santa Cruz County, Calif., the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., has officially published the DOS source code for all to see.
According to Bruce Damer, the founder and curator of the DigiBarn, Apple, which still owns the code, gave its blessing for the documents to be made public.

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