At this past year’s CES, we were inundated by tablet after tablet after, well, tablet. Some were big, some were small, and some were just right. A few, though, kind of faded into the wallpaper and didn’t return. Such was a little prototype NVIDIA brought by for us to play with, a 7-inch tablet from ASUS with Tegra 3 power and an amazing price tag — just $250. We got our hands on it briefly (as seen in the video below) and it was impressive, but it was never to be seen again.
One month later, Google’s Director of Android Partner Engineering Patrick Brady joined Matias Duarte in Taipei to meet with ASUS and to launch the project that would become Google’s first Nexus tablet, the 7-inch, Tegra 3-powered Nexus 7 that is shipping soon for an even more amazing $199. Coincidence? Join us for a discussion with Patrick about how Google’s mighty little tablet came to be.
Google’s Patrick Brady tells us how the Nexus 7 went from ‘start to finish in four months’ originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 02 Jul 2012 15:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Last weekend a group of hackers unveiled Stiltwalker, a hack that subverts the reCaptcha system Google uses to protect its services from bots with 99 percent accuracy. But just hours before the group was set to present their hack at the LayerOne conference Google patched it up so it wouldn’t work anymore.
Stiltwalker is an impressive piece of engineering by the hackers from Defcon Group. CAPTCHA hacks have existed before, but what makes this hack so neat is that when it was working it could nail Google’s coded system much more accurately than any other before it. Rather than attack a single vulnerability, the hackers attacked several shortcomings of the audio portion of the audio version of reCAPTCHA from multiple angles. Ars Technica reports:
What the hackers-identified only as C-P, Adam, and Jeffball-learned from analyzing the sound prints of each test was that the background noise, in sharp contrast to the six words, didn’t include sounds that registered at higher frequencies. By plotting the frequencies of each audio test on a spectogram, the hackers could easily isolate each word by locating the regions where high pitches were mapped. reCAPTCHA was also undermined by its use of just 58 unique words. Although the inflections, pronunciations, and sequences of spoken words varied significantly from test to test, the small corpus of words greatly reduced the work it took a computer to recognize each utterance.
Image by Dirtbag / Blackhatworld
Getting ketchup out of a bottle is a massive unsolved engineering problem. Plastic squeezy bottles, upside down bottles, tapping the 57, just shove a butter knife in there—none really does the job. But the wonderful nerds at MIT might have done it with their new non-stick LiquiGlide bottle.
LiquiGlide is actually a coating made up of super-slick materials that’s food-safe and can work on plastic, glass, or other types of packaging. Its creator, Dave Smith at MIT, told Fast Company, LiquiGlide is “kind of a structured liquid—it’s rigid like a solid, but it’s lubricated like a liquid.”
The long term goals—beyond cracking the $17 billion bottle industry—are anti-clogging for oil and fuel lines, or building a better, non-icing windshield. For now, though, check out the amazing video of your not-too-distant hot-dog topping future. [FastCo]
Twitter has acquired security startup Dasient, a company that specializes in fighting spam and malware.
In terms of the size of the team this acquisition was a large one, said TechCrunch’s sources.
It could be a match made in heaven — the most likely scenario seems that Twitter wants to protect its self-serve ad product from being used as a vehicle for spam.
With Dasient being well-versed in anti-spam and anti-malware efforts, it could be just what Twitter needs to maintain the product.
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I don’t live in a high risk area for deadly tremors, but after watching this earthquake-proof table easily survive having a 2,200 pound block dropped on it, I think I still want one for my office—just in case.
The table was designed by Ido Bruno and Arthur Brutter primarily for use in schools. Students are typically taught to hide under their desks in the event of an earthquake, but most desks aren’t designed to support the weight of all the debris were the building to collapse. Which is clearly demonstrated in this video when they drop just a 1,000 pound weight on a traditional desk and it’s immediately pancaked.
In addition to providing a safe haven for students, the desk’s supporting structure is designed in such a way that it also provides several escape routes depending on how debris has fallen. It’s also light enough to be lifted by just two students, and is built with durable but inexpensive materials so it’s actually affordable for a school to purchase en masse. Now it’s not available just yet, but based on these tests being conducted at the Structural Engineering department at Padua University in Italy, it shouldn’t have much trouble getting approved for sale. [designboom]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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