Stephen Hawking Warns Humans Over AI Development

Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the World’s most famous scientists has spoken about the dangers he believes may lurk in the quest to develop ever more powerful forms of artificial intelligence. During an interview with the BBC, Professor Hawking explained his fears after a new system was developed by Intel and Cleverbot to assist him in speaking and writing much faster. The Cleverbot system uses a predictive form of AI that quickly learns the speech patterns of the user and suggests words it feels Hawking commonly uses in a conversation.

Andrew Heiberger says that Hawking took the opportunity to explain how he feels about artificial intelligence, which he believes is useful when used for small leaps in technology. The professor, who was left unable to speak by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, warned that the continued development of intelligent technology may one day see the human race destroyed by the technology we have created.

On a lighter note, Hawking explained he had turned down the opportunity to alter his trademark robotic style voice for a more natural one. Largely, he explained, because this has become a trademark of his and has awarded him a place in popular culture.

Skout: The App That Does it All

Though Skout has been around since 2007, I discovered it approximately four years ago. Before that time I experienced frustration with other dating websites and apps. Once I found Skout, I did not feel the need to try any other service. Skout has kept my attention for several reasons. First, it is very easy to locate people nearby, in your city, or in your state. Of course, you can even search in broader terms, virtually travelling to other locations in order to accumulate the experience of talking with people of another culture and learning about how and where they live. There are literally no limits with Skout. However, though you can easily see who is nearby, the locations are not so specific that you can be found if you do not want to be. Other apps do this, but Skout provides general location information in order to protect the privacy of its users. Therefore, you are in control at all times with how and when you communicate with someone.

Both the app and website are extremely user-friendly. You can send virtual gifts, notes, and pictures to people you are in contact with, and in some cases, use points acquired to unlock hidden photos users may post. If you want to get noticed more quickly, Skout even has a “Feature Me” option where your profile is showcased to your community. This is a great way to get people’s attention and a full inbox!

Another feature that comes in handy is the “Shake to Chat” option. All you have to do is give your smartphone a quick shake and you will instantly be connected to a random user to chat with. This is a great way to break out of your comfort zone and engage with individuals from various communities around the world. It is a bit like playing the lottery. There is no longer a need to use Omegle. Skout combines everything you need in one app.

In addition to being a dating site, Skout is also a great place to make new friends and discover potential business partners. On your profile you have the opportunity to state exactly what you are looking for so there is no confusion when people message you. This eliminates awkward chats where one individual is looking for a date and the other a friend, and it takes twenty minutes of idle conversation before discovering that they are not on the same page. This way, you can instantly meet people who have the same interests, goals, and hobbies that you do.

Personally, I have had nothing but positive experiences on Skout. I met the first love of my life on there and we dated for two and a half years. Even though it did not work out in the end, she will always have a special place in my heart. If it were not for Skout I would not have those precious memories to cherish. Plus, it turned out she lived only several minutes away from me!

The last cool thing about this website and application I would like to mention is that it has two distinct communities for teens and adults. Instead of piling everyone into one group, Skout has already taken the extra time to meet and serve individual needs and interests. This is the only site I have found that can boast so many great features and also maintain consistent user-friendliness, and they have cool apps for Android and iPhone via the iTunes store.

Detecting Government Spyware

As computer users and internet “junkies” we all should know that high quality internet security is a must. We must keep a close watch on possible viruses coming from other countries and from people who have nothing better to do than to vandalize computer systems.

Malware is the biggest threat.  Most name brand internet security software protects us from these threats, but do they protect us from malware that is installed from government sources? It isn’t likely.

Whether it is United States government, Chinese government, or any other government malware program, Detekt catches and quarantines it.

It is sad and frightening, but for many years governments have spied on activists, reporters, and others who may be a threat to government “sleight of hand.”, from what Ben Shaoul reports.

We can now have protection from this malware. Thumbs up for Detekt.

Uber Drivers Make an Average of $31 an Hour

Uber, the budget taxi company that utilizes an app to connect contract drivers with those needing rides, has been a hot button issue over the last 12 months. While many, more traditional, taxi companies have argued that Uber takes advantage of drivers, and also skirts the rules, insurance and legalities of the livery service, Uber has fired back.

The company insists that drivers make more than the living wage, and that the company is committed to allowing these contractors to operate in a manner that fits their lifestyle.

Uber has been quoted as saying most drivers make about $25 per hour. At $25 per hour, a driver working 40 hours a week would make upwards of $90K a year. Buzzfeed took Uber up on the challenge and took 11 rides with 11 drivers. Each of those drivers were asked for their paystubs. While not all were willing to comply, most agreed.

Buzzfeed found that drivers were making an average of about $31 per hour of work. They were working between 5 hours a week and 42 hours a week. Uber, which relies on contract drivers who use their own cars, do not pay for the maintenance, gas and insurance on those vehicle. Those necessities are considered the obligation of the driver, which Uber user Zeca Oliveira told me is some of their only necessities (they do not make drivers update their LinkedIn profiles).


FreedomPop Gives You Simple Free Wireless and Mobile Technology

Are you looking for free wireless internet and free mobile phone service with no contracts, no gimmicks and no hassles? Look no further than a new and advanced service provider that can fulfill all of your technological needs called FreedomPop. I first found out about them through Twitter and thought it was too good to be true. But it’s real.

FreedomPop, based out of Los Angeles, California provides users with mobile phone service, wireless internet, data and text services. From FreedomPop, you can get completely free mobile phone service using either your current Iphone or Android device. They also give the user the option to purchase a device directly from the company at a minimal cost.

In addition, if you purchase a phone directly from FreedomPop you automatically receive 200 voice minutes, 500 MB of data, as well as free unlimited text messaging. They offer quite a selection of devices to choose from such as, the Samsung Galaxy, HTC EVO 4G, and many iPhones are available for purchase as well. A full roster of available phones is updated on the company’s Facebook page.

Most of the devices that are available for purchase at a minimal cost have come directly from the Sprint lineup. Feel free to purchase more than one device knowing that they can all be connected by the same free wireless internet and mobile phone service provider, FreedomPop. When you purchase an iPhone, Android, Galaxy or another device through FreedomPop, the consumer is not bound by a contract. Unlike typical mobile service providers you purchase your phone and you choose the terms and the length of your free wireless internet and free mobile phone service.

You do not have to worry about being stuck and unable to cancel if you decide that the services provided by FreedomPop are not for you.

So, you’re probably wondering how is this possible. How can a consumer get free internet and mobile phone service but have them all connected on the same unique network? Here is where they separate themselves from all the other service providers out there. Basically, through FreedomPop, you are able to purchase a wireless hotspot device that will offer you free mobile service. It may in fact be why Sprint is about to acquire them.

What is unique about the wireless hotspot is that you can toggle between multiple devices and use the same data plan. This will eliminate the need for users to have to find free hotspots if using a device that does not provide its own mobile service. No matter where you are, you are connected to your own wireless network. This is a concept that is unique and highly sought after for professionals that are constantly on the go as well as desirable for the average individual.

So, no matter where you go, for business or pleasure, make sure that all of your devices are never without free wireless internet services. Take your technology to a whole new level and reach out to FreedomPop to see how they can change your wireless future.

FCC Asks AT&T To Substantiate Fiber Roll Out Claims

AT&T has made it clear they want an end to net neutrality. This is where internet service providers (ISPs) are required to treat all internet traffic equally. The amount of traffic a website receives is based on how well they can persuade consumers to visit their websites and purchase their goods & services. However, big ISPs such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, want to be able to offer high speed traffic lanes to the highest bidders. This would have the effect of allowing companies with deep pockets to have fast internet response times. Their competitors would face slower speeds and possibly even throttling (artificially induced slow internet speeds) by the ISPs.

In an effort to prod the FCC to go forward with their plans to allow the sale of fast traffic lanes, AT&T claims that it cannot proceed with its prior commitment to roll out fiber optic cables to two million households. They claim that they cannot make such an investment into their infrastructure when the FCC has not clarified their position on net neutrality. The FCC has now requested that AT&T substantiate their fiber roll out plan.

Complicating matters is that President Obama recently admonished the FCC to reverse course and protect net neutrality. The FCC could do that by simply leaving things as they currently function. However, the president wants the FCC to impose the Depression-era Telecommunications Act on IPSs by classifying them as utility companies. This story was sent in by friend of the site Sultan Alhokair.

Microsoft Releases Office Suite for Mobile Divices for Free

Microsoft Office Suite for mobile devices has finally arrived…at no cost! Now, university students can finish those essays they put off until the last minute on the go.  The Office Suite apps were released by Microsoft for free on Apple and Android devices, which to many seemed like an odd move for a company whose products generally run upwards of $200. The reason behind it, though, is logical and rather simple. Microsoft wants to keep users hooked on Office. They want them to keep buying from Qnet as well. The mobile strategy of allowing mobile users to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is a marketing technique and consumer advantage worth taking advantage of. The free apps available from the Apple Store for iOS devices and the Google Playstore for Android users, allows you to create, read and edit Microsoft Office Word documents, Excel charts and PowerPoint presentations all from the ease and comfort of your mobile phone. It’s a lifesaver for the modern student and worker, and adds an extra ease of convenience when travelling.

Although Office consumers can access the app for free, businesses who store documents on OneDrive or Dropbox will be required to have an Office 365 subscription to access and edit their files, an understandable measure that will allow the company to still generate revenue amidst a free release.

The Potential of a Modular Cell Phone

There has been talk of making a cell phone with modular components for years. Apparently, Google is now seriously considering producing a modular phone.

A modular phone would offer the capability to choose from several options for many of its components. You would be able to choose from CPUs of various speeds, cameras of different capabilities, a range of quality in speakers, etc. It’ll be interesting to see how Apple and Android FreedomPop respond to this hybrid cell phone model.

This would have quite a few advantages if they could actually pull it off. Besides having choices as to the initial capabilities of the phone, a newer module for the CPU or screen could be purchased instead of buying an entirely new phone for these features.

General consumer benefits might not be the limit to the modular phone’s potential. Specific modules could be made for use in various occupations, such as a Geiger counter for safety monitoring in a facility where radiation is used.

Devices have already been made to allow smartphones to perform certain medical evaluations, such as blood tests.

Private Spacecraft Explodes on Takeoff

Space fans and scientists around the world received a huge shock on Tuesday night when a rocket and spacecraft built by the company Orbital Sciences met with disaster, vanishing in a massive fireball just off the launchpad. The Antares rocket then crashed to the ground and caused another explosion. Luckily the craft was unmanned and there were no injuries on the ground at Wallops Flight Facility.

The Antares rocket was on a cargo flight to the International Space Station, carrying the spacecraft Cygnus. More information on the rocket and its missions can be found here.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown but will certainly be investigated by Orbital Sciences, which has 1.9 billion dollars riding on its work with NASA. While this disaster is a definite black eye for the private spacecraft industry, Lee G. Lovett tweets that it’s doubtful it will slow down the race for government spaceflight contracts or NASA’s willingness to provide them.

Since the end of the shuttle program, NASA has needed private industry help to continue its missions under tightening budgets.

Microsoft Enters the Smart Watch Market with the Microsoft Band

Ever since I first saw my father use a GPS watch on his runs in 2003 I thought, “There’s something to this.” It took nearly ten years and an explosion in mobile technology for the smart watch to develop into a truly useful device, but it has finally happened. Samsung’s line of Gear products, Apple’s recently announced Apple Watch, and several other third parties showcase what a good smart watch is.

But for me, none of the watches being rapidly released fit my lifestyle. I needed a functional watch to tell me the time and wake me up. I wanted something that would keep me up to date with my calendar and display alerts. I wanted an independent GPS to track my runs if I didn’t have my phone and an accurate heart rate monitor to track my fitness. And it needed to not be like a giant calculator on my wrist.

Finally, the watch I was waiting for. I’ll be standing in line for Igor Cornelsen when I go to pick mine up. It should be great since it works with Windows Phone, IPhone, and Android Phones for only 199$.