Wednesday, June 17, 2015

TechTalk June 15, 2015

It is that time of the week when Andrew Thomas from and I sit back and have a good old chat about what is new in the world of technology!

This week we have a guest in the studio as we talk about Oculus and the Samsung VR Gear!

Liam Flynn joins us from Twigs Marketing to share some cool stuff.

And the ever sought after show notes!

Testing the oculus rift

Amazing bit of kit!

The new social platform people are buzzing about.

Am I really going to play games in Facebook messenger?

Best iOS Apps according to Apple!

Snapchat on the iPhone allows front and back camera use!

Cool program to help find the android phone for you!
Google is cool love the gif at the start!

Augmented reality app from Disney! To explore nature!

Disneynature Explore is a free iPad app designed to help children learn about bear, butterflies, lions, chimpanzees, and sea turtles. The activities for learning about each animal include augmented reality components. Students can use their iPads to take pictures to put animals into settings that they photograph.

The app encourages students to go on nature walks with their parents. On the nature walks students can take pictures and record observations in their digital field journals.

My favorite part of the Disneynature Explore app is the interactive augmented reality aspect of the brown bear lesson. The lesson starts with a prompt for students to growl like a bear. After growling like a bear students swipe at salmon swimming up a river.

P2 Liam
Liam Flynn
Managing Partner

Twigs Marketing is a full service Branding & Marketing agency based in Dubai.
One of our services is producing content for Live Immersive Virtual Reality experiences - which is to create 360 degree videos & sound, of real life environments, and bring them to people through Websites, Apps and Virtual Reality headsets.
We partner with Visualise - who are Europe's leading VR production agency. They established in 2006 and have created some amazing experiences like;
  • Stadium experiences @ London 2012 Olympic Games & FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014
  • Driving round Brans Hatch, Silverstone and the Amalfi Coast with Mercedes, Audi & Lamborghini
  • Diving with Sharks and Kite Surfing in Cape Town for South Africa Tourism Board
  • Flying over New York in a Helicopter for Thomas Cook Holidays
  • Filming a live gig for Kasabian @ O2 Brixton Academy in London
We represent Visualise in the Middle East and are creating similar experiences with other leading organisations.
It's defined as: "Replicating an environment that stimulates physical presence in places in the REAL or IMAGINED world.
We focus on the REAL world scenarios, rather than IMAGINED - which is used in the gaming industry.
Do you remember the film THE LAWNMOWER MAN?
A science fiction film from 1992 about a scientist who creates a futuristic virtual reality experience - well, it took 30 years, but it's finally here.
Arguably Pierce Brosnan's best film!!!
We film environments using specialist equipment, to capture 360 degree video and sound, then edit it into a movie suitable for either a website, app of headset - the production process is different for all.
For a headset, the movie has two warped side-by-views, so outside of a headset it looks strange.
But the viewfinder in the headset has two 180 degree lenses, which transforms your view into an Expansive 3D Panorama.
The HEAD MOUNTED DISPLAY market really kicked off in 2012 when a company called OCULUS VR was founded by Palmer Luckey aged 19 in California.
After several prototypes he launched the Oculus Rift headset on Kickstarter, initially asking for around $250,000 to fund the development - it was so successful he raised $2.4m.
The Oculus Rift was realised, then he partnered with Samsung to produce the GEAR VR, which is a mobile version using a Samsung Note 4 to power it.
The Oculus was bought by Facebook in 2014 for $2bn by FACEBOOK - and Mark Zuckerberg was quoted saying that he believes "one day VR will become part of our daily lives for billions of people"
The Oculus Rift is still in development phase, with focus on the Gaming industry, and is launching it's new model in Q1 2016.
However, in January 2015, Samsung Officially launched the GEAR VR to the general public and is available to buy now online for $200. You will also need a Note 4 to power it, for around $500 so Total of $700.
You can pick up an Oculus Rift Demo Kit on Ebay for around $400 - then you need to power it through a computer / laptop (HDMI cable)
There is also cheaper versions like GOOGLE CARDBOARD, which work well and cost effective for short / lower quality experiences - utilising mobile devises. These are available from $15.
But the best High Definition experiences are with Samsung Gear and the new Oculus Rift
Online experiences have developed most recently with YouTube launching it's 360 degree interactive player, so developers can upload their 360 degree videos and use YouTube as a platform to play their interactive films - only through their app or Google Chrome at the moment.

YouTube Gaming is coming!
The internet services company had been expected to acquire Twitch last summer for an estimated US$1bn so it could merge the company with its YouTube division. However, it was Amazon and not Google that eventually purchased Twitch after Google reportedly balked at the last minute due to anti-trust concerns.
But now we have YouTube Gaming, which as reported by Engadget, was launched at a special event held in YouTube Space LA earlier today (12 June). The app and website will feature more than 25,000 titles, all of which will have their own dedicated page featuring videos and live streams.

8 second videos the sweet spot?
Instagram locks advertisers in to the 15-second social video ad, while Vine requires them to build six-second clips. As just about every platform and publisher pushes brands to run shorter videos that grab consumers' attention, Pandora's chief revenue officer John Trimble said he thinks eight-second promos could be mobile video's silver bullet.
Late last year, Pandora rolled out Sponsored Listening, an ad format that lets consumers listen to one hour of ad-free music in exchange for watching a short video promo. Bud Light, Fox and Sony PlayStation have all tested the format since then.
Currently, those pre-roll videos are at least 15 seconds and can run up to two-and-a-half minutes. But it's no surprise that getting people to pay attention for even 15 seconds is tough, causing Trimble to make the case for eight-second preroll. The idea is that an eight-second ad is a nice balance between the length of a six-second Vine and a 10-second video.

Poweliks! The world of computer security is crazy!

Trojan.Poweliks first grabbed people’s attention in 2014 when it evolved into a registry-based threat. As a registry-based threat, Poweliks does not exist as a file on the compromised computer and instead resides only in the Windows registry. While fileless threats that reside in memory-only have been seen before, Poweliks stands out from this crowd because of a persistence mechanism that allows it to remain on the compromised computer even after a restart.
This persistence mechanism is not the only trait that makes Poweliks unique. The Trojan uses other registry tricks, such as a special naming method, to make it difficult for users to find it and then uses CLSID hijacking to maintain its persistence on the compromised computer. Poweliks will also exploit a zero-day privilege escalation vulnerability to take control of the compromised computer. Furthermore, the threat adds the compromised computer to a click-fraud botnet and forces it to download advertisements without the victim’s knowledge.

Everyone is getting into starwars but the RC mini copters are cool!

Apple is launching a competitor to Google Street View, Why? Seems like they missed that boat.

11 stories wired says we missed at the WWDC

There is an algorithm for everything now, even the most creative painting

The problem of determining the most creative is then one of working out when certain patterns of classemes first appear and how these patterns are adopted in the future. “We show that the problem can reduce to a variant of network centrality problems, which can be solved efficiently,” they say.

In other words, the problem of finding the most creative paintings is similar to the problem of finding the most influential person on a social network, or the most important station in a city’s metro system or super spreaders of disease. These have become standard problems in network theory in recent years, and now Elgammal and Saleh apply it to creativity networks for the first time.

The results of the machine vision algorithm’s analysis are interesting. The figure above shows artworks plotted by date along the bottom axis and by the algorithm’s creativity score on the vertical axis.
Several famous pictures stand out as being particularly novel and influential, such as Goya’s Christ crucified, Monet’s Haystacks at Chailly at sunrise and Munch’s The Scream. Other works of art stand out because they are not deemed creative, such as Rodin’s 1889 sculpture Danaid and Durer’s charcoal drawing of Barbara Durer dating from 1514.

Many art historians would agree. “In most cases the results of the algorithm are pieces of art that art historians indeed highlight as innovative and influential,” say Elgammal and Saleh.

An important point here is that these results are entirely automated. They come about because of the network of links between paintings that the algorithm uncovers. There is no initial seeding that biases the search one way or another.

Of course, art historians will always argue about exactly how to define creativity and how this changes their view of what makes it onto the list of most creative. The beauty of Elgammal and Saleh’s techniques is that small changes to their algorithm allow different definitions of creativity to be explored automatically.

This kind of data mining could have important impacts on the way art historians evaluate paintings.  The ability to represent the entire history of art in this way changes the way it is possible to think about art and to discuss it. In a way, this kind of data mining, and the figures that represent it, are new instruments of reason for art historians.
Facebook is learning even when you do nothing!

You probably don’t always like/share/comment on the stuff that pops up in your Facebook feed, even if it’s something you care to see. Take, for example, a breaking news items about an earthquake on the other side of the world — you’d probably feel weird hitting a button labeled “Like” on that one, and you might not have anything to say… but that doesn’t mean you don’t care.
Realizing this, Facebook is tweaking its algorithms to account for a new metric: the amount of time you spend looking at things in your feed, regardless of whether or not you actively interact with it.
Scroll past something without stopping for long, and Facebook’s algorithms will slowly learn that you don’t particularly care for that sort of content.
Camp out on a post for a bit, though, and Facebook starts the timer behind the scenes. If you spend more time on this story than you spend on most things in your feed — studying a picture, perusing the comment thread — they’ll take that as a signal that it’s something you care about.
In other words: those endless baby photos and motivational fitness memes that you tend to scroll right on past? At least theoretically, this change allows Facebook’s algorithms to take the hint without requiring you to lift a finger.

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