Archive for the ‘Digital Universe’ Category

Project Tango – Curtain Raiser

The future is really awesome as Google announces Project Tango. Wondering what it is about? Let me tell you. Project Tango is about launching an Android-supported Smartphone with powerful motion detectors and extraordinary 3D sensors. Yes! You read it correct, it is 3D sensors.

Smartphone with 3D Sensor

Team Google has been working with tech-experts, research labs, universities and industrial partners to make this dream come true. Through Project Tango, Google is trying to harvest approximately 10 years of research in Robotics and computer vision. ATAP – Advanced Technology and Projects group at Google is using all this research to silhouette a unique Smartphone – to be witnessed in near future.

Google Prototype SpecsJohnny Chung Lee, Project Lead at ATAP says: “We are physical being that live in a 3D world; yet, mobile devices today assume that the physical world end at the boundaries of the screen”. Thus, the goal of Project Tango is twofold: develop a Smartphone with human-scale understanding of space along with motion. Hence, in near future, we might be able to use a Smartphone that is Smart indeed.

This technology – this device will easily outrun any of the leading Smartphone products trading in the market today. A Smartphone with 3D sensors so powerful that takes ¼ of a million measurements per second updating the position and rotation of the phone – sounds too good to be true; but, for Google, impossible is the word that doesn’t exist.

Google Tango2

A Device with Endless Possibilities

Google is assessing the possibilities of applications that can comply to the standard of the Smartphone. A revolutionary device like this sure needs innovative applications. Currently, Google envisages indoor navigation and gaming applications for the sensors; but, we can’t imagine the possibilities associated with such innovative device.

With this device, the world will become your playground. You can generate a map – or a game-world of your own by simply scanning the fraction of your physical environment such as your living room. It won’t be just a device – it will allow you to interact with your environment in a radical style.

Google Tango33Project Tango is still in developmental phase. Nevertheless, Google aims to ship 200 prototypes by March, 2014 to authorized developers. Yes! The prototypes are ready. However, it may take Google months or even years to distribute the product to the end-users; because, we haven’t embraced such technology – and pioneering something is a hell of a job.

Google Tango1

Conclusion – More Like a New Beginning

After developers’ job is done, Google will dispatch the furnished prototypes to affiliate companies for navigation, data processing, mapping and gaming applications as well. I can’t wait for this dream to come true; because, with this device, the possibilities are endless. I totally agree with Johnny Lee on this one: “The future is AWESOME”.

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Prologue

There have been several conspiracies accompanying two most vigilant agencies we have ever witnessed – the NSA and GCHQ. This however wasn’t an end of their conspiracy streak. The vigilant agencies strike again – this time with yet another bizarre scheme and unbelievably absurd plot. The NSA and GCHQ have been supposedly targeting renowned applications such as Angry Birds as a source of user data.

Angry-Birds-NSA

The Conspiracy

The notorious agencies originating from the US and UK take undue credit on commercial data. Furthermore, they are determined to collect user data such as location, age, sex and other basic details from permeable applications including Angry Birds – which is perhaps the most playable game for every age group we know of.

The agencies are all set to infiltrate our privacy – or may be it already has as they have all the tools to execute their wicked schemes. Angry Birds along with other Smartphone applications that send out user information over the Internet are termed “LEAKY”. These applications are the primarily targeted by the NSA and GCHQ.

Snowden Revelations Recalled

According to Snowden revelations, Apple has been making the backdoor for the NSA. With this allegation, it now becomes crystal clear that the vigilant agencies have gone mobile. Along with Angry Birds, there are many applications that leak our personal data. In fact, we often share our scores on online scoreboards and compete with so-called online friends.

Except your social circle, are you sure that the person you are competing with isn’t a spy. As per an earlier witnessed buzz, NSA deployed its agents on different servers of leading and frequently played MMORPG such as Dota2 and World of Warcraft. With MMORPGs already victimized, Smartphone games and applications become the new target.

dota2

worldofwarcraft

Now the naïve among you might ignore this allegation. In fact, I am not sure if you give a damn to your personal information being leaked all over the Internet. However, intellectuals will understand the gravity of this concern and the tech-savvy community will surely condemn this.

There have been tons of documents delivered to The Guardian by Edward Snowden AKA The Whistleblower or Traitor to some of you. As per Snowden revelations, the NSA and GCHQ have been engaged in collecting massive amount of mobile and Meta Data.

Supposed Involvement of Millennial Media

By targeting the gaming community, they have just gone extreme – first MMORPGs and now Smartphone application. I mean come-on spare our leisure activities at least. I don’t think a terrorist would prefer to play Angry Birds, Candy Crush or Subway Surfers in his free time.

Judging from the information we give-away while using these leaky apps, the vigilant agencies can access information about our location, age, sex, gender, country, marital status and zip code etc. However, the NSA states that its actions are justified as they serve the interest of national and global security and their surveillance targets only intelligence targets not innocent people. Another claim targeted Millennial Media to be allegedly working with the NSA and GCHQ.

Millennial Media is a mobile ad platform which can offer access to massive user information – if the rumor is true. Millennial Media website declared that the platform has partnered with Zynga (a brand that launched Farmville and Texas HoldEm Poker), Rovio (maker of Angry Birds) and Activision (developer of Call of Duty) and many more.

zynga

rovio

Activision

Conclusion

Rovio (maker of Angry Birds) clearly declined the allegations saying that it has no allegiance with the NSA. Furthermore, Rovio also stated that the company has no idea about any user information leaked or slipped to the NSA or GCHQ for that matter. In addition, Rovio isn’t aware of the data leakage via any third party mobile ad platform, says Saara Bergström – Rovio’s VP (Marketing and Communications).

Millennial Media, a mobile ad platform alleged to be responsible for the data leak had nothing to say in this regard. Hence, I leave the conclusions to all the open minds out there – to hypothesize the ending – and to explore the reliability behind the rumors associated with this conspiracy.

The world went nuts this Friday afternoon when all of a sudden Gmail went down. The massive outage disturbed millions across the globe; especially, the ones using Gmail for diverse purposes. This indeed was a huge distress as every service associated with it G+, Hangouts and Google app dashboard were inaccessible too.

 

gmail pic

 

 

For a time, it just vanished from the face of the earth. It was like someone pulled off the main switch leaving service to crash on web and mobile along with third party clients (Apple Mail). For some it was just like end of the world whereas others mocked the concern – scoffing reaction of those who gave a damn.

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/StayPuft/status/426803095457103872

 

This surely had victimized many as people actually looked for alternatives to survive this mayhem.

 

 

Where millions grumbled over this chaotic incident – there were a few that affirmed that there was nothing wrong with the service – everything was as good as gold. Therefore, it can be presumed that Gmail wasn’t completely down. May be it was still accessible in some geographic regions or may be via some ISPs.

https://twitter.com/Qchillo/status/426817890348957696

 

Ironically, the ones who could access the service also complained about it – perhaps there was a glitch or a spam targeting individuals (may be).

 

 

Regarding the massive shutdown – there has been no official statement furnished from Google’s end so far except for the app dashboard. The seriousness of this event or what caused it can only be hypothesized for now unless the officials speak about the outage, the root cause or about the ones who were affected form it.

In general, the chaos alarmed the digital universe. There were divergent reactions. Some were like – come-on it isn’t the end of the world and the others thought – HOLY SHIT, SKYNET ATTACKED. Some thought of Zombie Apocalypse and other gave Zero Crap about it.

 

 

 

In 2009, Gmail faced massive shutdown as the service faced disruptions for days. This one however lasted a few hours only. Yes! The service has been restored now and those who can’t access it still – be patient – this will all end soon.