Vegard Skjefstad

www.vegard.net

Menu Close

Tag: Technology (page 1 of 10)

WTF Happened To The Superbook?

The Superbook promised to be a technological masterpiece that would turn your smartphone into a laptop. But WTF happened to it?

The Superbook was revealed back in 2016. In a very successful Kickstarter campaign, creator Andromium Inc. showed a device that could turn your Android smartphone into a laptop for as low as $85. The idea was simple: Install Andromium’s custom launcher on your smartphone, connect it to the physical Superbook shell via USB and voila! Your phone is now a fully working laptop.

Despite renowned tech manufacturer ASUS’ repeated failed attempts to achieve the same1, people obviously have bad short-term memory. When the campaign ended on August 20, 2016, 16,732 backers had pledged $2,952,508 to Andromium Inc.

Then, in classic Kickstarter fashion, the waiting started.

Read more

Android Phones Can Be Hacked – By displaying An Image

It should be no surprise by now that your phone can be hacked. But did you know it can be done just by you looking at an image on your phone?

Yes, I know this particular vulnerability doesn’t really pass as “news” anymore. It was patched on February 4, and The Inquirer reported about it over two weeks ago. But I drafted this post the day Google released the February Android security bulletin, and there’s no way in hell that effort will go down the drain. So this post gets published, news-worthy or not!

So what’s the issue? Let’s see what Google writes in their February security bulletin:

The most severe of these issues is a critical security vulnerability in Framework that could allow a remote attacker using a specially crafted PNG file to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process.

Android Security Bulletin β€” February 2019

Allrighty then…

Read more

1 the Road

Back in 2016, an AI wrote a movie script. Fast forward to last year, when another AI took it upon itself to write a novel, 1 the Road.

The 2016 movie, Sunspring, was written by Benjamin, a long short term memory recurrent neural network. Sunspring was somewhat confusing, but if you want to watch it, it’s available in the post I wrote about the movie. Benjamin has since retired, at least his website now belongs to a non-artificial Benjamin1.

Since AIs don’t reliably create new AIs – yet – Benjamin was the brain child of a human, Ross Goodwin. Goodwin describes himself as a “creative technologist, hacker, gonzo data scientist, and writer of writers,” who uses technology to create works of art. In 2018, he set out on another adventure. Goodwin hocked a camera, a GPS, and a microphone to a computer, placed everything in a car, and went on a road trip from New York to New Orleans.

Using input from the camera, GPS, microphone, and the computer’s internal clock, a neural network would then narrate the entire trip. A printer in the back seat printed a hard-copy of story as it progressed.

Read more

Electric Cars Are Total Nonsense!

Now that I’ve got the undivided attention of both the pro- and the anti-electric cars crowds, let’s get cooking.

I grew up in the small town of Notodden. As a kid, you normally ended up in one of three crowds: The petrolheads, the jocks, or the nerds. As a flimsy boy scout who played a lot of computer and role-playing games, it’s pretty obvious that I was quickly labeled a nerd. I had a few jock friends, but the petrolheads never really appealed to me in any way, shape or form. It’s a very prominent group of people in my home town, though, and the sub-culture most Norwegians associate with it. Not surprising, since they staged a damn riot back in 2007 when a section of the road they drive back and forth on was closed down. Documentary crews have also visited Notodden in numbers to poke their investigative sticks at the phenomenon.

When I left the city at the age of 18 to do my year of mandatory military service, I lost all touch with the petrolheads. But when I re-joined Facebook in 2016, I got another look at what was going on in that alternate universe. They share all kinds of – what’s the best way of put this – interesting stories. It’s often political material that doesn’t sit too well with my world view, and everything they come across that put their number one enemy, the electric car, in a bad light. Some of the articles are, interestingly enough, shared by my junior high science teacher.

One of the articles was a five year old interview with one Paul Rosenquist. I’ve never heard of him before I read the interview, but I assume most petrolheads know who he is. And old man Rosenquist certainly doesn’t like electric cars.

Paul Rosenquist. Photo: YouTube screen capture (https://youtu.be/R99kJfMPeWI).

Read more

Dump Google

Google shows its true colors, and removes “don’t be evil” from the code of conduct. It’s time to dump Google.

For years, Google’s been the good guys of the internet. They’ve provided great services without showing a single stick up their customers collective asses. But when they decided to go to bed with the Pentagon war machine, those of us with an ethical backbone started to feel a tiny tingle in the pooper. I covered the utterly moronic decision in the post You Might Be Helping Pentagon Train Killer Dones back in March.

Even Google’s own employees thought playing with Pentagon was a bad idea, and several thousand of them petitioned the company to end the so called Project Maven. About a dozen employees even quit the company in the wake of information about the project surfacing. But that’s a tiny drop in the vast ocean that is Google. With its 85,000 employees, a dozen resignations don’t make a difference.

Now Google has decided to go full anal fist instead, removing the well-known “don’t be evil” from its code of conduct. For me, this is a clear sign the once beloved company is heading in the wrong direction.

It’s time to dump Google.

Read more

Copyright © 2000-2019 www.vegard.net | Privacy Policy | Statement of Audience | Hosted on vbox4.vbox-host.com