Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Google's official blog post offers some interesting insights into the process of collecting and analyzing the speech data needed to expand support. Thousands of hours were spent gathering voice samples and choosing key regional accents to analyze, and International Program Manager Linne Ha is clearly very appreciative of the Google users who helped the company complete the expansion. Without an enthusiastic base of users to lend a hand, Google Voice Search's polyglot powers would have been nearly impossible to deliver.
TiPb Asks: How do you check the weather or your iPhone or iPad? is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
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One thing is certain, though. [...]
Your vector-looking spacecraft is the fastest thing on the screen, most of the time. And as the header implies, you have absolutely no weapons; you can't get any, either. All you have is agility and maneuverability.
Your opponents shoot heat-seeking missiles at you; the missiles lock on and start tracking you. The trick is to dodge the missiles while putting them in the path of one of your enemies, thus letting them have a taste of their own medicine.
There are three types of enemies, at least in the first few levels: "simple" spaceships which fire slow projectiles, "tanks" which seem to be more serious and take more hits to destroy, and "circles." The circles simply explode, spewing twenty or thirty very fast projectiles. This sounds dangerous, but is actually great once you learn to use them; they are very destructive for tanks, and can even blow up other circles.
The soundtrack is very techno, but it meshes very well with this type of game. Intense fun!
Monday, May 30, 2011
While this is in no way any indication of an immediate release, seeing the Motorola Droid 3 listed in Verizon's device management pages means the folks at big red are getting ready for the new slider to make it's way into stores. We've seen pictures of the Droid 3 a few times, but the release date and specs still seem to elude everyone, although we've heard dual-core, 4-inch qHD display, and 3G only; sometime in June. This latest piece of the puzzle still doesn't shed much light on any of it, unfortunately. One thing we do know -- it's coming, and there's quite a few OG Droid users getting antsy to trade up to a newer model. Not only is that a testament to the longevity of the phone that many feel started it all, but it should also be a hint to Verizon to hurry and help folks spend their money.
The exploit, which used specially-crafted Flash embedding in Excel spreadsheets, was first reported on March 15 and has since been fixed. RSA was hacked sometime in the first half of March when an employee was successfully spear phished and opened an infected spreadsheet. As soon as the spreadsheet was opened, an advanced persistent threat (APT) -- a backdoor Trojan -- called Poison Ivy was installed. From there, the attackers basically had free reign of RSA's internal network, which led to the eventual dissemination of data pertaining to RSA's two-factor authenticators.
The attack is reminiscent of the APTs used in the China vs. Google attacks from last year -- and indeed, Uri Rivner, the head of new technologies at RSA is quick to point out that that other big companies are being attacked, too: "The number of enterprises hit by APTs grows by the month; and the range of APT targets includes just about every industry. Unofficial tallies number dozens of mega corporations attacked [...] These companies deploy any imaginable combination of state-of-the-art perimeter and end-point security controls, and use all imaginable combinations of security operations and security controls. Yet still the determined attackers find their way in."
What we'd like to know, though, is whether the attack on RSA was caused by Adobe's lackadaisical approach to patching Flash -- or was it the other way around? Was it the RSA attack that first brought the zero-day vulnerability to Adobe's attention?
The idea is very simple, and far from original: You get a board with pieces arranged in a particular pattern; you have to slide those around until you get the special piece into its target location.
It's not even about finding out where the target location is - you can just hover over "dim tiles" and instantly see where you're supposed to bring the special piece. But getting it there is a whole different story.
There are five tutorial levels, which I strongly recommend you do. Then there are twenty "beginner" levels, but that's really a misnomer. If those are the beginner levels, I don't want to know what the intermediate and advanced levels look like!
Every time you finish a level you get a score based on how many clicks it took you - each level has a "par" (the minimum number of clicks it could be completed in), and your performance is compared to that gold standard. Because it's such a brainy game, getting it right is quite satisfying. I was downright proud of myself when I managed to finish a few levels. All in all, quite recommended, especially if you've got a few minutes of quiet. It might actually help you focus better later on.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
The first is a full-featured proxy API, which will, for example, allow users to set different proxy servers for normal browsing and Incognito mode. Proxy auto-config scripts are also supported by the API.
The second -- Web Navigation Extension -- is a bit more expansive. This API will allow devs to build everything from more powerful safe browsing extensions -- like Traffic Light -- to data analysis and reporting extensions.
Both APIs are currently experimental, so you'll need to enable them on the about:flags page to try out any relevant extensions. Apart from a proxy example built by Google and shipped with the Chromium source, we're not aware of any examples just yet, however. We'll let you know when we spot any slick, new extensions which do surface.
Rather surprisingly, it turns out that Mozilla's numbers could be significantly wrong -- and if they're not wrong, the factors that Mozilla uses to tabulate an add-ons final score should definitely be made more transparent.
In the first set of tests, Palant shows that FlashGot's position in the top 10 is probably due to a fault in Mozilla's testing setup, and that add-ons can perform very differently depending on which operating system they're being tested on. In the second analysis, Palant uncovers an irregularity that doesn't seem to have an obvious cause -- but it could be due to an I/O bottleneck on Mozilla's test machines. Basically, even though performance testing of Read It Later is disabled because of a bug, it still (somehow!) manages to record a 14% slow-down on Windows 7.
Palant concludes both analyses by scolding Mozilla for going public with the performance data before its testing methods had been confirmed accurate. It definitely looks like Mozilla has been more than a little reckless, considering the importance of Firefox's add-on ecosystem.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Google and its poached Paypal employees got sued for trade secret misappropriation yesterday, but we didn't know the dirty details until now. A peek at PayPal's complaint reveals there's a bit more to the story. Apparently, Paypal and Google were in talks last year to use PayPal for payments in the Android Market. Osama Bedier was in charge of those negotiations for PayPal in October of 2010, when the deal was supposed to close, but was allegedly interviewing for a mobile payment position at Google at the same time (holy conflict of interest, Batman!). The complaint claims that Bedier initially rebuffed El Goog's advances, told PayPal of the job offer and professed that he would stay, but jumped ship a month later (bringing some PayPal coworkers with him) after being recruited by Stephanie Tilenius and the almighty dollar. Once it hired Osama, Google reportedly put the brakes on the PayPal deal and created Google Wallet. Then Google, Bedier, and Tilenius got slapped with a lawsuit. A brief rundown of the legal claims awaits you after the break.Permalink | | Email this | Comments