Page 3 - Technology Facts

In 2008 Internet griefers attacked an online epilepsy support forum by posting code and flashing computer animation on the website to trigger seizures!


We all know that the internet is flooded with haters.

There is not one social forum with a comment option that does not draw them out to air their grievances, or to just spew forth hate, prejudices or general negative opinions.

On March 28, 2008, what seemed to have been a propaganda war between a group known as Anonymous (filled, of course, with anonymous users) and the Church of Scientology, turned really ugly when an online epilepsy support forum, run by the Epilepsy Foundation of America, was assaulted.

Internet griefers posted JavaScript code and flashing computer animations on the forum's site to trigger migraine headaches and seizures in photosensitive and pattern-sensitive epileptics!

Reportedly the United Kingdom-based National Society for Epilepsy was also subjected to an identical attack, although this has not been confirmed.

Anonymous denied responsibility and blamed the Church of Scientology, saying the Scientologists did it "to ruin public opinion of Anonymous." Scientologist Tommy Davis accused Anonymous of hacking into the website.

The FBI could not find any evidence to link Anonymous to the incident and had "no reason to believe that these charges will be leveled against this group."

Members of the forum said they found a thread at 7chan.org (a supposed stronghold of Anonymous) in which the attack was being planned, but that thread has since been deleted.

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Stephen Hawking can only "speak" at about one word per minute!


One of the greatest minds of our time has been confined to a chair and a computer for most of his life.

Stephen Hawking can envision forces in the universe that most can't even fathom—unfortunately with the current technology, he can only convey about a word a minute.

Intel has worked on the tech that drives Hawking's speech program for over a decade.

It works by Hawking twitching his cheek in time to a continually scrolling cursor as he selects one letter at a time.

He used to be quicker, but his deteriorating condition has left him with a slow pace of choosing words.

Intel's CTO thinks they can do better and are determined to help the ailing genius.

The plan is to use Hawking's other facial expressions and use those to be able to construct sentences at a more rapid pace.

A decent word predictor could also bring Hawking's speech up to five to ten words per minute.

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MIT students developed a wristband that can regulate the body's temperature, thereby possibly eliminating the need for central heating and cooling in the future!


Sam Shames is a MIT senior who faced a rather common problem.

His body temperature usually runs hot and his mom's usually runs cold and, between the two of them, it was not easy to decide where to set the thermostat in a room when they were both occupying the same space.

He figured there must be a way where everybody can just live in peace and be comfortable at the same time, so he did some research.

He came across scientific papers that explained that heating or cooling certain parts of the body have an effect on how cold or warm we think we are.

Suddenly he asked the right question: Why, instead of heating or cooling a space with central air conditioning, don’t we just heat or cool our own bodies?

That is how he and a team of other students started working on ‘Wristify," a thermoelectric bracelet that uses alternating pulses of hot or cold to regulate the temperature of the person wearing it.

The ‘Wristify’ prototype won first place at the MADMEC, an annual competition put on by the school’s Materials Science and Engineering program.

In the U.S. alone air conditioning accounts for 16.5 percent of energy use. If ‘Wristify’ becomes available for public use, it will certainly contribute to lessening the energy problem the world is currently facing, because you will not need air conditioning if you can control your body’s temperature!

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Some awesome lists!

US Aircraft Bombers were fitted with a 'Fail Deadly' device that would have automatically released the nuclear weapons on board if the plane was shot down


A dead man’s switch is a device developed for emergency situations.

It does what it name says – it takes over a system or a machine if the operator of that system becomes incapacitated or dies. Originally it was meant to save lives if one life is lost.

It was first used in locomotives to bring the engine to an emergency stop should the engineer be unable to fulfill his duties.

Most gas station pumps are switched off by a fail safe button in case of a fire. These are all life saving functions, but the US military saw another application for emergency situation switches.

The Special Weapons Emergency Separation Systems (SWESS) was invented to kill more people if one person dies! It was meant to be a deterrent of sorts. Since the 1950’s Strategic Air Command ensured that all aircraft bombers were fitted with nuclear bomb release systems.

If a bomber was shot down over enemy territory or the controls failed and the plane dropped below a certain altitude, the SWESS automatically released the nuclear weapons on board. These switches were designed for nuclear weapons and are not used to launch missiles because missiles are designed to hit a specific target.

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The first MP3 was Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner,” created in 1987.


It’s pretty impressive how far music has come, on the consumer level. We’ve gone from live music to radio to records to 8 tracks to tapes to cds to simple data. Though many consider the rise of the MP3 player to be when digital music really took off (a claim which has a fair amount of merit), it all began back in 1987. It was Karlheinz Brandenburg who kick started everything when he chose Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner to be the first song to fine tune his MP3 compression algorithm. 

As you likely know, an MP3 is an audio file (and MP4 is a common video file). Brandenburg picked the a cappella version of song because the human voice was the hardest to compress into MP3, and so the challenge helped him to refine his codec. It was that moment that served as the root of the digital music revolution. 

Today, 23% of all music purchases are digital in the US, and services like YouTube and Pandora have helped to remove music sales from many consumers, causing the music industry to be less and less profitable every year. If you haven’t heard Tom’s Diner, you can listen below.

 

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