All posts by Adam Prattler

Retina Scan: Will Replace The Airport Patrol Force

Photo credits: Expert Infantry

Security at airports around the world was stepped up after September 11, 2001. After terrorists slammed airplanes into skyscrapers in New York City – not to mention the Pentagon – governments began scrambling for ways to make air travel safer. While a lot of innovations have been come up with over the last decade, there’s one that’s likely going to become used more in the future – a move that could reduce the patrol forces necessary at airports.

Pros and Cons of Retina Scans

Let’s start by looking at some of the various pros and cons of retina scans in airports. These specific benefits and negatives will help you understand why this is such a complex topic that a lot of governments are having to deal with on a daily basis. Whatever is decided, there’s no denying that there are both pros and cons to retina scans at airports.

  • Con – Loss of personal freedom is one negative that a lot of people mention when talking about retina scans at the airport. You already have to supply a photo identification, so why take it to the next level some people wonder.

  • Pro – On the positive side of the coin, retina scans may be able to speed up the security lines at airports and also increase the accuracy of identifying people who shouldn’t be flying the friendly skies.

  • Con – Retina scans might also end up being a huge hassle that costs taxpayers a lot of money. From the equipment needed to the people who need to be trained to use the equipment, the cost can add up quickly.

  • Pro – At the same time, it may be found that retina scans actually decrease the cost of keeping airports safe. This wouldn’t be able to be determined until the system was actually put in place, but these days it’s looking more and more like a possibility.

Will retina scans totally replace human security guards at airports? Of course not, but it’s likely the technology is going to be continued to be used more in order to make sure people on a watchlist are not able to travel via planes. This may or may not cut down on terrorism in the sky, but one thing is for certain – it will likely be fought by many people who believe in freedom.

Where do you stand on the issue? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on retina scans at the airport. Are they needed or merely an invasion of privacy? Whether you agree with them or not, we’d love to hear from you about what you think. If enough people stand up and say they shouldn’t be used at all, it might be possible to stop them from becoming commonplace at airports around the globe. What do you think?

Google Teams With GM, Honda, and Audi to Bring Android to Cars

Google Teams With GM, Honda, and Audi to Bring Android to Cars

Photo: appleinsider

With fancy screen sizes of tablets, hand held devices and phones bombarding the markets, there was little that had not been touched by the wizard of the OS, Android by Google. It was not very far fetched to think of cars coming with embedded screen systems that would be powered by Android too. And like they say, Google has done and dusted everything you could ever think of.

Yes, Google has signed up with the multinational car production brands Audi, Honda, General Motors and manufacturers of Nvidia(the supercharged computer chips) to come in alliance and create the Open Automotive Alliance. This association looks forward to building and bringing to the market, cars that are fitted with Android-integrated systems. The concept sounds pretty neat and with such big names associated with evolving the whole concept, the whole world has its eyes set on getting to see what they can come up with.

It was at the Consumer Electronics Show held at Las vegas where this grand announcement was made. The involved groups put forward their plans and goals on how they aim to ideate and collate their vision. Although the first Android powered vehicle is set for a launch by the end of 2014, release times of vehicles will completely depend on the respective manufacturer. Its been a while since Android took the mobile world by a storm with their superior technology, and since cars explain mobility in the most literal format, the alliance’s formation was only about a matter of time.

Ergonomics and Ease of Use

With most people owning an Android device in current times, it becomes a lot more easier for them to get used to its user interface on the car system as well. Google promises to deliver a much more convenient driving experience backed by its mobile technology which ensures a better focus on the road without the hassles of getting distracted by other things. Such is going to be the ergonomics of the complete in-built system.

Innovation scope for app developers

This system will open doors for a new genre of apps for app developers. Where most app niches have been explored and flooded by various technology firms, it gives a fresh new area to work on and innovate. One can only wonder the tangents that innovative app developers are going to go into for making drives more convenient and hassle free. The organizations that have gotten into the alliance share a common goal: to connect the automotive industry with mobile power for innovation and progress. Driver’s safety if a big concern for them too and with this platform, it gives opportunity to analytic thinkers to come up with innovative solutions for automobile and on road safety too.

Apple following Suite

Most interestingly, this alliance does not mark Google’s debut in the automotive world. They have been working on coming up with a driverless car. With Google stepping into the automotive world, it takes no rocket science to understand that Apple would very closely follow suite. For the same, the company has already filed a patent of a touchscreen dashboard system. It has also been reported that they are simultaneously working with Honda and Hyundai among other automotive organizations for backing up cars with the iOS system in them.

 

GIFs and Internet Memes You May Have Missed

Animated Madness and Mayhem to Make you Laugh

If you look at the animated GIF to the right, you’ll see a good example of a classic animated GIF. It’s a short sequence of images but when put together they work really well. Add a one liner that’s funny and you have a winner.

Animated GIFs have been around since the very early days of the Internet, but it’s really become an art form to come up with one that goes viral and becomes an official meme that spreads quickly around the world.

Classic Animated GIF Memes

Here are some other classic animated GIFs you may have missed over the years somehow.

Haters Gonna Hate

The origin of this meme starts back in 2008 when an artist put up an animated gif of a cartoon character strutting in an endless loop. Then, in 2009 someone started the idea of using the phrase “Haters Gonna Hate” with a still picture of some sort of activity taking place – the more ridiculous the better. Eventually the two memes bled together and an outbreak of “Haters Gonna Hate” animated GIFs broke out in 2011 – and still continues to this day unfortunately!

Internet Fight

This meme started as a way to make fun of people who argue online in virtual forums. Because Internet arguing is so futile and doesn’t really solve anything, people began labeling pictures of people fighting with words saying that Internet arguments are pretty stupid. As always, the animated GIF people jumped on board with this meme and really helped it spread. Here’s one example you may have missed.

Scarlett Johansson Falling Down

Scarlett Johansson is a doll, a perfect sweetheart, but unfortunately that makes for a funny animated GIF for some people. This one was spread thanks to BuzzFeed originally, but since that time many others have taken up the cause and have gone out of their way to loop a GIF of her falling here, there and everywhere. How many times can you watch her fall? The record is 128 times by a man with no job in New Jersey.

Make Your Own

If you’ve been inspired by some of the classic animated GIFs above, you need to get your own GIF maker. Luckily, you can easily find a free GIF maker online that works really well. Once you have that, it’s all a matter of finding the right images and stringing them together so they’re animated. Just be careful, once you start making animated GIFs it can be very hard to stop – especially if one goes viral. Don’t let that stop you from getting some software and seeing what you can do. It really can be a lot of fun.

Five Tablet Computers for Students

Photo by Mike Licht / Flickr

If you’re a student or have on in your life, you’re probably wondering what type of tablet computer to get them. Worry no longer. Below, we have a list of five of the top tablets for students of all ages. You’re sure to find something that piques your interest.

When shopping, you want to make sure you take the time to come up with a list of needs and wants. After you have that, it’s just a matter at looking at the different models and picking one that fits all your needs and most or all of your wants.

Five Best Tablets for Students

You’re going to have to consider the age of the student before you buy them a tablet computer, of course, but we kept that in mind when preparing the following list.

  1. Google Nexus – You may not think about Google when you think of tablets, but you should. Running the Android operating system, this is a very well rounded tablet that has a lot to offer for a very competitive price.

  2. Lenovo ThinkPad – For something with a great screen that has good battery life, you should check out the Lenovo ThinkPad a little more closely. The display is high resolution and is easy to see in a lot of different light conditions.

  3. Kindle Fire – Some people think this is just an ebook reader, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. With an awesome color screen and many other features – like long battery life – the Kindle Fire is great for students young and old.

  4. Samsung Galaxy – This is basically a bigger version of some of the popular Samsung smartphones, but that’s not a bad thing. The display isn’t the best around, but it has a lot of extra features that make it special.

  5. iPad Air – Last but certainly not least, we have the iPad Air – named because it’s so light and thin. The big drawback to this one is the price, which is very high. Still, it’s a great value when you consider the beautiful design and the reliability of the operating system.

As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of great choices available. As long as you make sure the student you’re buying for is able to use the tablet correctly, you’re not going to run into any major problems. If you have any of your own recommendations for the best tablets for students, be sure to write a comment below and let us know what you think. There’s a lot of tablets out there these days, but some of them are definitely built better than others – even if you have to spend a little more money to get them.