What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they’ll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware.
Claim of the Day*: New Japanese iPhone app can allegedly control your dreams.
It sounds like something from the movie Inception, but altering a person’s dreams can reportedly be fairly simple. The app uses a timer and the Apple device’s microphone to detect when a user has entered REM sleep, which is when they’re most susceptible to dreaming. Then it begins to play a soundtrack for the specific type of dream that the user selects, which could include sound effects or voices directing their dream. The available dreams include walking through a forest, visiting the beach, flying, becoming rich, and even romances specified for both men and women.
Already available to download, but it is in Japanese.
*Thinking of starting new blog: The Daily Claim.
Google announced Tuesday that it will integrate users’ information across Gmail, YouTube, search and 57 other Google services.
Google privacy director Alma Whitten, who explained the changes in a company blog post released in the afternoon, said the company will “treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.”
What is Google doing? In a nutshell, Google is taking information from almost all of your Google services — including Gmail, Picasa, YouTube and search — and integrating the data so that they can learn more about you. (Information from Google Books, Google Wallet and Google Chrome will not be integrated, partly for legal reasons.)
Apple looking to destroy textbooks:
Apple is slated to announce the fruits of its labor on improving the use of technology in education at its special media event on Thursday, January 19. While speculation has so far centered on digital textbooks, sources close to the matter have confirmed to Ars that Apple will announce tools to help create interactive e-books—the “GarageBand for e-books,” so to speak—and expand its current platform to distribute them to iPhone and iPad users.
Once, we stored our photos and other mementos in shoeboxes in the attic; now we keep them online. That puts our stuff at the mercy of companies that could decide to throw it away—unless Jason Scott and the Archive Team can get there first.
Tools Developers Like
The folks at BestVendor.com interviewed 500 developers and compiled this profile of the tools that they actually use. A few stalwarts, such as Git, Eclipse, AWS, Dropbox, MySQL, and Google Analytics. But a few surprises too, including 23% use Notepad++ as their text editor and 8% using Heroku for hosting their apps.
Image: Detail from “The Developer’s Toolkit.” Click through for the whole shebang.
Above: Profiles on three of the top drones used by the US military. The Pentagon already includes unmanned drone attacks in its arsenal. Next up: housefly-sized surveillance craft, shape-changing ‘chemical robots,’ and tracking agents sprayed from the sky. What does it mean to have soldiers so far removed from the battlefield?
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China’s government attempts to clamp down on microblogging.
With more than $642.2 million in venture capital flooding the New York Metro area in Q2 2011, the City surpassed Boston as the leading location for deals outside Silicon Valley. In fact, a total of 98 companies in the Manhattan area received funding at that time.
Venture capitalists invested $2.2 billion in the New York City metro area last year, up 30% from 2009.
Click the image above to view the full infographic, and discover why the City is the best place to make your entrepreneurial vision a reality.