Posts Tagged ‘child’

Humble Bundle for Android and PC 9 goes live

Humble Bundle for Android and PC 9 goes live

The latest Humble Bundle offers games for PC and Android at a pay-what-you-want price, including the typeface-exploring title Type:Rider.

The latest Humble Bundle, offering games for Android, Windows, OS X and in all but one case Linux, has gone live, with over 62,000 copies sold within its first 24 hours.

Unlike the company’s usual Mobile Bundles, which package Android-only games in a pay-what-you-want format, the Humble Bundle PC and Android 9 includes copies of the titles for desktops, laptops and Android-based mobile devices for a single fee. All but one of the games are also fully supported on Linux, including via Steam – meaning it’s a cheap way for SteamOS fans to build up their collections ahead of the platform’s official launch.

Games included in the standard bundle are: Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror, which is the sole title not to claim Linux compatibility; Bridge Constructor; Type:Rider; and Ravensword: Shadowlands. Those volunteering a payment higher than the average, sitting at $3.79 at the time of writing, will also receive Kingdom Rush and Knights of Pen Paper +1 Edition, along with as-yet unannounced bonus games typically culled from past bundles.

As usual for the Humble Bundle, buyers are encouraged to send their cash to wherever they feel most appropriate: the developers of the games, charities Child’s Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or the Humble Bundle organisers themselves. If not customised, the default split is to send most of the cash to the developers, a smaller chunk to charity and the smallest chunk of all to Humble Bundle.

At the same time, rival – some might say ‘clone’ – bundle provider Bundle Stars by Focus Multimedia has announced its own Steam-linked package for a fixed price of £2.99. Based on the output of Kalypso, games available are Jagged Alliance Collectors’ Bundle, Tank Operations: European Campaign, Tropico 3 Gold Edition, Alien Spidy, Sine Mora, SkyDrift, Disciples III: Resurrection, Dollar Dash, and Dungeons. All games are, however, exclusive to Winodws.

The Humble Bundle PC and Android 9 is live on the site for the next two weeks; the Kalypso Bundle, meanwhile, runs for the rest of the month.

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Microsoft warns of Word zero-day vulnerability

Microsoft warns of Word zero-day vulnerability

Microsoft Word’s handling of rich-text files (RTFs) has been found to have a serious code execution flaw which is under active attack, with no true patch yet available.

Microsoft has warned customers of an as-yet unpatched zero-day vulnerability in its Microsoft Word and Outlook packages, which is under active attack to take control of targeted systems.

The flaw, described in Security Advisory 2953095, relates to how both Word and Outlook deal with rich-text format (RTF) content. Typically safe from the malware and viruses that have plagued the company’s own .DOC format, ne’er-do-wells have discovered a means of embedded executable code within an RTF which is then run under the privilege level of the currently logged-in user when the file is opened in Word or automatically loaded in the preview pane of Outlook.

That latter functionality is what gives real cause for concern: because Outlook versions since 2007 automatically parse RTF content and display it in-line within the preview pane, users can be exploited simply by opening an email – bypassing the usual need for the user to manually open the attached file. This does, however, only work if the system is configured to use Microsoft Word as the email viewer.

At this time, we are aware of limited, targeted attacks directed at Microsoft Word 2010,‘ Microsoft’s Dustin Childs has confirmed in a statement to users. ‘We continue to work on a securityupdate to address this issue. We are monitoring the threat landscape very closely and will continue to take appropriate action to help protect our global customers.

Although the targeted attacks currently concentrate on Word 2010, Microsoft has confirmed that the flaw exists in Word 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2013 RT, Word Viewer, the Office Compatibility Pack, Office for Mac 2011, the Word Automation Services plugin for SharePoint Server 2010 and 2013, and Office Web Apps 2010 and 2013. The chances of anyone in an office environment not having one or more of the above installed, then, are slim – making this a serious issue.

Currently, there is no patch available. To keep users protected while a more permanent fix is developed, Microsoft has released a Fix It which disables the loading of RTF content into Microsoft Word – closing the hole, but also making it impossible to work with the cross-platform document standard until the flaw is fixed properly.

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Restaurant uses parachutes, PayPal to deliver sandwiches


A woman removes the parachute from her just-landed “jaffle,” a toasted sandwich popular in Australia.

Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET)

Waiters are so last century. These days, sushi is flown to your table via a quadcopter and beer is dropped out of the sky from an octocopter. Now, a new pop-up restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, has added another, albeit less high-tech, method of food delivery: sandwiches that parachute several stories down to customers waiting on the street.

The novel nosh drop is the brainchild of David McDonald and Adam Grant, who make the toasted sandwiches, called “jaffles,” after people order and pay for them via PayPal on their Web site. The customers then stand on an “X” on the sidewalk and wait for their meal to drop down like mana from heaven. The locations change, and customers are kept up to date via Facebook. The company is fittingly called Jafflechutes.

The sandwiches are pretty basic — either cheese and ham for $6 AUD ($5.45) or cheese and tomato for $5 AUD — but this restaurant definitely seems to be more about style than substance.

Interestingly, parachute-delivered food could have a real benefit for would-be restauranteurs, as pointed out by Pop-Up City. Storefronts on busy city streets can demand super-steep rents. If chefs can prepare food from lesser-priced spaces higher up in buildings and then just throw it out the window to their customers, they could test out culinary concepts in a much less-expensive way. Plus, there are no pesky waiters to pay or tables to clean up.

At the moment, “Melbourne’s first float-down eatery,” as Jafflechutes terms itself, is taking a break to prepare for a roadshow to New York. So if you happen to be in the Big Apple over the next few months, be sure to keep your eyes on the sky. You just might see a sandwich floating your way. And if you’re in Melbourne, you can help the Jafflechuters create 1,000 new parachutes at its workshop on March 29, where they promise: “There’ll be beer nearby, some tunes, and a full afternoon’s worth of jafflechuting anecdotes (and other tall stories). We’re even working on a way to allow you to be recognised for every parachute that you make!”

(Via Pop-Up City)

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Kaffe qif qiya! Finally, a course to help kids learn Dothraki

Completely appropriate for children, the Muzzy Dothraki language program will have your kids running their own khalasar in no time!

Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET)

Hey kids! Have you ever wanted to learn how to say “I will dance in your blood?” in the Dothraki language made popular on “Game of Thrones”? Parents, do you want to arm your kids with vital language skills in a world that’s increasingly being taken over by strange terms like “Valyrian steel,” and “mother of dragons?” If so, video-spoof-making team Nacho Punch has got just the thing for you.

Their latest YouTube parody takes a 1990s commercial for a video set that teaches kids to learn a foreign language by following along with the slightly creepy character “Muzzy,” and melds it with the fantasy world of “Game of Thrones.”

“With this unique language course,” the video says, “humans, giants and even bastards can learn a second language with incredible ease.” The course isn’t just for wannabe Dothraki speakers either. It also offers lessons in Valyrian, Hodor and White Walker.

The cost for the set of “four delightful videos” is a deal too: just three petrified dragon eggs, or 20 gold pieces a month for six months.

Even though the video is a spoof, such a language-learning set for Dothraki isn’t really that crazy. The language actually exists. It was created by David Peterson, who won a contest sponsored by the Language Creation Society to invent the vocabulary and grammar for the HBO show. It has more than 3,000 words and a Web site that tells you all you’d ever really want to know about speaking the language.

The Muzzy/Dothraki mashup is just one of the latest in a long line of Nacho Punch short animations like “Star Wars: The Lost 1980s Anime,” humorous series like “Robin Banks and the Bank Roberts,” and spoof videos like “Hipsters Love Beer,” which went viral after it was released in January, according to the Nacho Punch peeps.

So act soon to reserve a Dothraki Muzzy language course for your kids, because you never know when they’ll need to talk their way out a tricky situation with a nomadic horde at school. And Qafak qov kaffe qif qiya fini kaf faqqies fakaya! (That means, “The trembling questioner crushed the bleeding boar that squished a kicking corn bunting,” but I’m still learning, so give me a break.)

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How to issue your own emotional Bitcoin

Now who might deserve that? And why?


Traditional forms of currency just aren’t current any more.

They’re made of stupid, old-fashioned things like paper and metal.

Everyone knows that real value can only be online, virtual and, at best, semi-sincere.

So along comes the iOS app called GoodFor, which allows you to create your own personalized, meaningful and even entirely insincere IOUs, good for as long as you decide they’re good.

This emotional Bitcoin is the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto, who, I understand, worked on some very secret and emotional projects at many institutions such as the US Postal Service and Starbucks.

I’m sorry, I don’t have that quite right. The GoodFor app was created by coupon company SnipSnap, which, for all I know, invented Bitcoin.

The SnipSnappers happened upon this idea when they realized that with their ordinary coupon app, people were trying to create their own versions.

So now you can use your creative skills to promise your lover four minutes of nuzzling every second Tuesday, or your dad the
car keys for two hours every Thursday.

You can spend minutes choosing your backgrounds and borders before offering your religious guru the password to your Playboy video subscription for precisely 12 hours every month.

You can even send your ex an IOU for all the years you wasted her time with your Meccano set.

Yes, it’s totally and utterly silly. But so are emoticons. And so is life.

The GoodFor app at least allows you to spice up your promises and hopefully encourages you to keep them, instead of what you usually do — flush them down the drainpipe of your self-involvement.

Moreover, it gives the recipients a chance to have an artistic record of just what a good-for-nothing you turned out to be.

I can imagine that in future divorce settlement negotiations, lawyers will project GoodFor IOUs on large screens, in order to help prove that something was, indeed, promised and not delivered.

Exhibit 73: A depiction of hearts and flowers and the caption: Good For One Expression Of Affection Every 48 Hours. Was fulfilled only twice. In 16 years.

Here, then, is your challenge: show that you can create a work of art and keep the promise within it.

It’s easier sent than done.

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Tidy Dog: Smart toy bin trains pups to pick up

Tidy Dog with dog

A cavalier pup poses with the Tidy Dog.

Tidy Dog)

For most humans, having a clean house is its own reward. Dogs, however, need some convincing. The Tidy Dog toy box on Kickstarter wants to help train your pooch to pick up its toys, a feat that many children have yet to master. The bin works on a tasty treat reward system, which is a form of currency dogs understand well.

The Tidy Dog looks simple on the surface, but it actually contains sensors that detect the weight of a toy when it is placed in the bin. In exchange, the box dispenses a treat.

Plenty of dogs will try to figure out how to game the system, but the software is designed to thwart that. If a dog removes a toy from the bin, then it won’t dispense treats for 30 seconds. That keeps the pooch from continuously picking up toys and dropping them back into place.

Tidy Dog creator Chris Lorkowski says the Tidy Dog can differentiate between a toy and the dog’s nose rooting around in the box. He also says it can tell if a dog is just standing in the box. It has load cells built into the design that detect vibrations created by an animal. Hopefully, this feature would also be able to tell if your cat crawls into the toy bin for a snooze. After all, you want to train your pup, not make it fat.

An early backer special puts the Tidy Dog along with a bag of treats at a $69 pledge level. The prototype was developed using Lorkowski’s dog Evie as the test subject. She definitely has the hang of cleaning up her toys in exchange for kibble. As far as doggie gadgets go, the Tidy Dog is an entertaining concept. It may be perfect for people who are tired of tripping over chew toys all the time. It just might create a new generation of canine neat freaks.

Tidy Dog

The Tidy Dog uses weight sensors to detect toys.

Tidy Dog)

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Glasshole heaven: Hotel offers free drink if you wear Glass

Give that woman a free drink.

Google/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Being seen in public wearing Google Glass is a statement.

Some, though, see it as a statement that you are tone-deaf, socially blind, and congenitally self-righteous.

Casinos have banned it and one Seattle restaurant owner described
Google Glass wearers as “man children stinkin’ up the joint.

But now one joint has come to Glassholes’ rescue. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the Stanford Court, in San Francisco’s snooty Nob Hill, is welcoming Glass wearers.

Indeed, it’s not just opening its arms. It’s opening its pockets, by offering a free cocktail to anyone who DOES wear Glass in its Aurea Lounge.

Naturally, there’s an element of brown-nosing to the monied. A hotel spokesperson told the Chronicle: “The complimentary drink is geared toward the local tech crowd who own a pair, and might feel like an outcast or nuisance due to the recent string of negative press. [We] want them to feel at home.”

There is a tiny catch. No, it’s not that you have to first count backwards from 100 in Mongolian.

To qualify for this fine free cocktail, you have to photograph your drink or the hotel with your Glass and post your work to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag #stanfordcourt.

In a possible lapse of humor, you appear to get nothing if you post your photograph to Google+.

Personally, if I walked into this hotel bar and saw that almost everyone was wearing Google Glass, I’d run for the hills. Even though I was on one.

But this is bold-faced marketing at its finest. The hotel is under new management. It was apparently spurred by the dust-up the other week in a slightly less fancy establishment, when a social media consultant called Sarah Slocum was allegedly assaulted for wearing her Glass and allegedly recording people.

Stories differ as to everything that might have truly transpired. Moreover, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that Slocum was once accused of recording her neighbors surreptitiously with her cell phone.

Still, I fancy that those who want to see a veritable coven of Glass doing their worst will be tempted to the Stanford with the idea of mockery or worse.

We should all be glad to live in such exciting technological times.

I can currently find no evidence that, if the promotion is a success, the hotel intends to rename its bar The Glasshole In The Wall.

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3D-printed medical device rescues baby’s breath

Baby Garrett with parents

Garrett with his parents.

University of Michigan Health System)

Garrett Peterson is only 18 months old, but he has been hooked to a ventilator just to stay alive. He suffers from a serious form of tracheobronchomalacia, which causes his breathing airways to collapse. Even slight movements can trigger the problem, so he has been unable to go home with his parents, Natalie and Jake Peterson. That’s about to change thanks to the use of a 3D-printed trachael splint.

“Nothing would stop him from turning blue,” said Natalie Peterson in a release from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, where Garrett underwent surgery in January. “Just lifting his legs for diaper change would collapse his airways and that was it. There was nothing we could do to help him.”

3D-printed splints

These 3D-printed splints were made to match Garrett.
(Click to enlarge.)

University of Michigan Health System)

Using a technique pioneered by researchers from the University of Michigan, Garrett was surgically fitted with a custom splint. It was printed based on a 3D model made from a CT scan of the baby’s bronchi and trachea. The splint is now helping to keep his airways open, and he is being weaned from the ventilator.

Glenn Green is one of the doctors who developed the device, and he assisted in Garrett’s surgery. “This is absolutely fabulous. We know that the splint’s working. He’s able to ventilate both lungs for the first time. I’m very optimistic for him,” said Green shortly after the surgery.

The splint was printed using polycaprolactone, a type of biopolymer that will break down and be absorbed by the body over the course of a few years. By the time the splint is gone, Garrett’s airways should be strong enough to stay open without assistance.

This is only the second time the technique has been used. The first time was last year, when a baby with the same condition received the device. That child recently turned 2 and is doing well, with no lingering symptoms from the condition, according to the release. News of that successful first attempt prompted Garrett’s parents to look to the 3D-printed splint as a solution.

Before the splint, Garrett would stop breathing up to several times a day and he wasn’t getting better. Since 3D printers have grown in popularity, doctors and designers have used them for everything from casts to prosthetics. Garrett’s case shows just how great an impact this burgeoning technology can have on a life. It’s giving a child who couldn’t even go home a ticket to a normal life.

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Could selfies be pushing more Americans to plastic surgery?

A woman takes a selfie outside Rockefeller Center last year.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Plastic surgeons say they’re seeing more patients who want facial surgery, and they attribute the rise to social media and the growing “selfie” trend.

In response to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, one in three plastic surgeons reported seeing an increase in requests for facial procedures by patients who wanted to look better online. The doctors reported that between 2012 and 2013, they saw a 10 percent rise in nose jobs, a 7 percent rise in hair transplants, and a 6 percent rise in eyelid surgery.

“Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and the iPhone app, which are solely image based, force patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with a more self-critical eye than ever before,” Dr. Edward Farrior, president of the academy, said in a news release. “These images are often the first impressions young people put out there to prospective friends, romantic interests, and employers, and our patients want to put their best face forward.”

In part because of social media, surgeons reported that plastic-surgery patients are getting younger.

The annual poll queries a select group of the organization’s 2,700 members to get a sense of the latest trends in facial plastic surgery. This year, 58 percent of the doctors surveyed said they saw an increase in patients under 30 coming in for plastic surgery and injections in the last year.

The study found that bullying is also a factor in young people deciding to get surgery, “but most surgeons surveyed report children and teens are undergoing plastic surgery as a result of being bullied (69 percent) rather than to prevent being bullied (31 percent).”

Women are still plastic surgery’s primary customers, accounting for 81 percent of all procedures and injections, but men are increasingly becoming more interested in plastic surgery. Whereas women more often ask for facelifts and eye lifts, men are more interested in keeping their hair and combating wrinkles.

Meanwhile, in the under-35 category, the nose job remained the most popular elective surgical procedure for both genders, accounting for 90 percent of procedures in women and 86 percent in men.

Have your selfies ever made you feel self-conscious about the way you look?

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10,000 free folding microscopes traded for inspiring ideas

Prakash Lab/TED)

The Foldscope — a low-cost microscope that can be constructed like origami out of a sheet of paper with components embedded — has the potential to revolutionize health care in developing countries — but it has the potential to do something else, too.

Creator Manu Prakash of Stanford University’s Prakash Lab wants to inspire a new generation of up-and-coming young scientists. To this end, he has created the Ten Thousand Microscope Project. Prakash will be giving away 10,000 Foldscopes to “people who would like to test the microscopes in a variety of settings and help us generate an open-source biology/microscopy field manual written by people from all walks of life.”

Prakash Lab/TED)

“Many children around the world have never used a microscope, even in developed countries like the United States,” Prakash said. “A universal program providing a microscope for every child could foster deep interest in science at an early age.”

The idea is to create a guide that will show examples of how to use the microscope, collated from the field testers, who may have unique perspectives and use the Foldscope in ways that others might not even imagine, thus inspiring other Foldscope users.

To sign up, users have to send an email to the address listed here, detailing the community they belong to and at least one thing they would like to do with the Foldscope. Experiments will need to be documented in a way that makes them replicable by anyone. The Foldscopes will be shipped this year to the applicants judged to have the best ideas.

“My dream is that someday, every kid will have a Foldscope in their back pocket,” Prakash said.

(Source: Crave Australia)

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