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mood posted a topic in Technology NewsAmazon reportedly working on a wall-mounted command center-like Echo device Amazon is reportedly working on an Echo device suited to be mounted on walls that acts like a control center for smart home devices. The said offering is expected to be a large touchscreen monitor, akin to the firm’s Echo Show, that houses microphones and cameras for not just controlling connected devices, but also work as a display for calendar events, video conferencing, playing music, and more. Sources familiar with the plans for the device that is currently under development suggest that the company is currently considering 10-inch and 13-inch screen sizes for the command center-like display – with the former similar in screen size to the current Echo Show. Internal murmurs reportedly hint at a $200 to $250 price range for the product. The idea of a control center for the home is not a new one. The e-commerce giant’s own offerings can be mounted with third-party wall mounts to be used as smart home controllers. Additionally, such a device from the company might also compete against products from the likes of Control4 that offer in-wall touch screens – all while offering the added benefits of Alexa integration. The prospect of such a device is an interesting one since it might also integrate natively with Ring security cameras and be a nifty addition for those invested in Amazon’s ecosystem of smart devices. This, along with the capabilities brought about by Alexa, might make it a viable alternative to current offerings from other companies. Of course, the addition of microphones and speakers for video calling will also make it a casual conferencing tool – possibly for use within the house in the form of a broadcast feature. While there is no firm information on when this product will see the light of the day, sources in the know of the development hint at a vague “end of this year” or the end of 2022 timeframe. Between now and then, there is no guarantee that the product will see the light of the day, as the company could decide to shelve the product depending on its view of the market for such a device. Source: Bloomberg Source: Amazon reportedly working on a wall-mounted command center-like Echo device
steven36 posted a topic in Security & Privacy NewsNew Pentagon Laser Can Identify High-Risk Individuals From Just Their Heartbeats The use of biometric technology to identify known enemy combatants is a major theme in military circles right now, and there are multiple tests and trials running to evaluate what works best under different conditions. Challenges include enrollment and identification at a distance, from vehicles, from covert deployments and on the move—and so all kinds of innovative thinking are being applied. Now, the MIT Technology Review has reported that this includes a laser developed for the U.S. military to "identify people from a distance by their heartbeat." The focus for these technologies within the military is the recognition of known threats at distance. The most prevalent solution for standoff biometric detection is facial recognition, but that technology clearly requires visibility of a subject's face and can be hampered by poor lighting and enrollment imagery. Jetson, the Pentagon's new device, "uses a technique known as laser vibrometry to detect the surface movement caused by the heartbeat," and can reportedly "identify people without seeing their faces... detecting unique cardiac signatures with an infrared laser." Albeit, it currently only works out to distances of 200 meters, has an accuracy rate of around 95%, and needs a pre-enrolled database of cardiac signatures. According to the MIT Technology Review, Jetson works by extending existing technology "used to check vibration from a distance in structures such as wind turbines [and] takes about 30 seconds to get a good return." The system is currently limited to stationary targets who are not wearing heavy clothing—so, early days still. Most biometric identification technologies operate in controlled conditions. Shifting to a standoff, non-compliant, non-controlled environment increases the complexity many times over. This new technology will encounter the same problems as other technologies. Cardiac identification joins gait recognition, voiceprint, facial recognition and fingerprinting as biometrics become ever more commonplace in identity assurance. From a military perspective, think connected IoT sensors leveraging central datasets in battlefield conditions. The U.S. Army’s Advanced Research Labs (ARL) envisages integrated sensors, wearables, weaponry and vehicles "to develop the fundamental understanding of dynamically-composable, adaptive, goal-driven IoBT (Internet of Battlefield Things)," including the fundamental challenge of target acquisition. Alexander Kott, chief of ARL’s Network Science Division, and colleagues call this "the emerging reality of warfare." Here scientists envisage laser missile shields and battlefields where ground and airborne vehicles, and even soldiers themselves, are autonomous robots. "Robots probably will fight robots," says Kott, "there’s no question about it." In that sense, biometric identification of humans joins a long list of new technologies being honed for the military but which will also have wider applications. Facial recognition has been the subject of significant criticism in recent months, given accuracy levels especially when applied to minorities. That said, the general accuracy of properly-applied facial recognition is higher than 95%, and it needs only a camera and a computer processor to work, no lasers are required. Ultimately, standoff biometrics with better than 99.9% accuracy, open source images including social media scraped datasets, as well as behavioral analytics and object classifiers, will all find their way onto the frontline. The questions that will then come will all be around the decision-making process when machines have identified potential matches. In the meantime, this technology may find its way into hospitals before it sees battlefield conditions. Source
zanderthunder posted a topic in Technology NewsNettox, a wristband device invented by Indonesian students to alert people about the time they spent being sedentary, on a table during a test at a university in Depok near Jakarta, Indonesia. JAKARTA: From browsing social media to watching videos and chatting with friends, Indonesian university student Tyas Sisianindita spends about eight hours a day on her phone. "I realise that I am addicted," the university student admitted, saying she checks her phone continuously from the time she wakes up, even when she is in classes. "At night, when I can't sleep, I can use my phone for up to five hours." A group of fellow students at the University of Indonesia, led by inventor Irfan Budi Satria, has spent three months developing a wearable device that can help internet users like Sisianindita cut down on the time they spend flicking at their phones. Called "Nettox", from "Internet detox", the device is worn on the wrist and contains a pulse oximeter sensor that measures haemoglobin oxygen levels and heart rate variability (HRV). Studies have found that prolonged mobile phone usage has a specific lowering effect on HRV levels. The Nettox device emits a sound when HRV and blood oxygen levels fall within this range, which reminds the wearer to stop using their phone. For people aged between 18 and 25, the HRV should ideally stay above 60, according to the American Psychological Association, Satria said. At a recent trial, Sisianindita's HRV reading was 44. Internet addiction is a growing social issue in Indonesia. In October, two teenagers were treated for their addiction to Internet gaming, media reported. "Children must be taught to be more active and take part in extracurricular activities," said psychologist Kasandra Putranto. Satria's team is working on personalising Nettox and improving its accuracy as HRV readings can vary depending on a person's body shape, gender and health conditions. They aim to apply for a patent for their invention with the university by next year. Satria says, though, that Nettox is targeted at those already invested in changing their behaviour. "Our goal is to help the health-conscious," he said. "To help people who want to free themselves from Internet addiction." Source: Put down that phone! Indonesians invent device to aid Internet-addicted (via The Star Online)
Hello, I am working on a new project, which is a disk formatter which allows you to completely erase MBR partitions, and which also allows you to create a bootable disk, in short a complete tool for writing an image on a disk whose the user will not have to install other software to make a bootable disk which will be very interesting for its publication. I could not put a download link for this tool because there are too many bugs for normal use. I look forward to your feedback on this project and the proposed names. Join the team: https://discord.gg/pndm5Ra Bye. Alan Kubiak