Posts Tagged ‘Tech’

I’ve always been fascinated by the amount of information we have on our cell phones. If someone were to get a hold of your iPhone, for example, they would potentially have access to your Facebook, bank account, Twitter, emails, Amazon account, and more. But these are just account names and passwords; it’s hard to comprehend how vulnerable we really are.

This is exactly what Malte Spitz wanted to highlight. In his ten minute TED Talk presentation, he talks about how much power and information the cell phone has given to the individual. During social movements in the last few years, such as those in Egypt and Syria, cell phones and social media have played huge roles. There is no doubt the cell phone is no longer a novelty, it is a part of our day to day lifestyle. However, this is also where issues begin to arise. While cell phones have provided their users with all sorts of services, they also provide the service companies with information we probably don’t want them to have.

Every time we use our cell phones, there is a record of it; even more so now that location services are so readily available. Service providers can easily store this information. Spitz wanted a straight answer – what kind of information does your service provider have and how much of it? He requested the data, and after a few attempts and a couple of lawsuits, Spitz “received 35,830 lines of code — a detailed, nearly minute-by-minute account of half a year of his life.”

How scary is that? Spitz wanted the convoluted lines of code to be better understood by everyone in order to represent the drastic amount of our personal lives that are on record somewhere. He converted the codes into visualization. You can see 6 months of his life here. Your regular cell phone services which have been around for a decade, combined with location services, begin to reveal a lot about your lifestyle. In Spitz’s train ride from Berlin, you can see his call records, duration of each call, text messages received and sent, the amount of data he used and more. This information is all in the hands of our cell phone provider, whether we like it or not.

So what do we do about this? Nothing. We live this way. I mean, it’s not like your service provider workers are sitting there going, “Check it out, Joe just went on RedTube.” The information is available in their hands, but it’s likely ignored… in most average people’s cases. Just hope your significant other doesn’t get a hold of your cell phone data. Another option still remains; you could go AWOL, cancel your cell phone service, stop shaving, and go live in a tree.

-Can Cakmak

App Spotlight: Pair

Posted: May 25, 2012 by jerkmag in SURF -- tech
Tags: , , , , ,

Will you take Jessica, in sickness and in health, till the Pair app doesn’t work and you can’t communicate anymore? I do.

Assuming you’re able to get a girl or boyfriend, and assuming they somehow stay with you long enough to be in a committed relationship, and assuming they move to a different city and create an obstacle in your relationship’s path… do not fear. The folks at TenthBit Inc. have got you covered. Their “Pair” app is one of the latest ways of keeping in touch. The app’s marketing strategy is directed at couples, and offers them a way to keep in touch in an easier, (probably creepier), way.

The idea is simple; while your iPhone messaging app can share text, images and short clips, this app combines them all and adds much more. It integrates Facebook, Twitter, voice clips and even the ability to draw something. No not the game, actually drawing something and making little doodles for each other. This app essentially combines almost all forms of communication available in today’s world and makes it private between two people.

All joking, sarcasm, and Jerk-yness aside -this app is quite clever and the best part …  it’s free. Before iMessaging, one of the most useful apps on many peoples’ phones were apps like Whatsapp, which allowed you to text through your 3G connection, meaning you could text for free from anywhere in the world as long as you were connected to WiFi. With the release and automated switch into iMessaging, there’s no longer any use for apps like Whatsapp. This is where Pair is very clever. It recognizes what the integrated messaging app on your iPhone can’t do, and makes you feel like you need to do it. Could you survive without Pair? Definitely. But it’s free, and probably quite useful once you and your significant other get used to it. Even for families and friends who live apart, integrating all forms of communication and social media is a great way of keeping in touch.

Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Actually they have, Ryan the temp from the Office tried to patent WUPHF, but no one believed in him (I hope at least a few of you get this reference).

In case you missed it (don’t worry, I did too), a game of Jeopardy was won by an IBM computer named ‘Watson’. While at first thought, to those of us who grew up with the internet and rely on Google for anything and everything we don’t know, this may sound trivial. It’s really not.  Watson was able to outwit the man who has won the most Jeopardy games in a row, by a landslide. The best part, Watson was being asked questions in the same manner that he was: aurally.

You know what this means? “Star Trek” is one step closer to being real (Which, I, for one, am ridiculously excited for). Evidentially, one of the creators of Watson, David Ferucci, attempted to create Watson in the image of the computer in “Star Trek.”

For, now we can only get excited, but one day, we’ll be able to awkwardly look up and call out orders to the starship’s computer. Let’s just make sure we complete Watson with Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, or we’re going to end up with a Cylon situation on our hands.

(Do you think I could fit more geeky references in this post?)


We are running out of IP addresses. You know what this means?

It’s all over. No more internet. No more tweets, Facebook statuses, or internet incited protests for democracy. I’m lying, of course. (more…)