Walking House: moving home takes on a whole new meaning

April 2, 2009, for anyone who has wanted to get away from it all without leaving the comforts of home Dutch design group N55 has just the thing – a walking house. Consisting of a basic module measuring 3.5m high by 3.5m wide and 3.72m long the walking house can cover a decidedly leisurely 60m an hour on its six insect like legs.


Each of the unit’s six legs works as an autonomous unit with its own accumulators and linear actuators. When it walks three legs are always on the ground to provide the necessary stability on all sorts of terrain. The designers say the house was constructed to move at a pace similar to human speed because, ‘walking often helps a person concentrate their thoughts and creates a mental state that enforces mobility of the mind,’ which suggests that anyone feeling stressed could benefit from getting out and taking the house for a walk.

Equipped with the basic systems for maintaining everyday life for a maximum of four persons, the house could easily be scaled up for larger family structures. Furniture is an integrated part of the structure and the module can be constructed from numerous materials. It is based on a framework made of steel, aluminum or wood and can be covered with steel, aluminum, wood or even semi- permeable textiles. Windows are made of polycarbonate and insulation could be anything from thin plates of Polyethylene to wool while the rear of the modules opens up to form a stair that functions as an entrance. The modular design means that several Walking Houses can even be added together to form a ‘Walking Village’ for transient workers.



For the environmentally conscious moving house dweller the Walking House also features solar panels and micro windmills to collect energy and there is a system for collecting rain water as well as a system for solar heated hot water. A small greenhouse unit can be added to the basic living module, to provide a substantial part of the food needed by the inhabitants and a composting toilet system allows sewage to be disposed of. The designers say a small wood burning stove could be also added to provide CO2 neutral heating.

It also sounds like the designers are looking to start a revolution challenging the concept of land ownership. According to their website manifesto that the Walking House requires no permanent use of land and thereby challenges ownership of land and suggests that all land should be accessible for all persons. Society could administrate rights to use land for various forms of production of food for example, but ownership of land should be abolished.” They go on to say that ‘Walking Houses should be owned by all persons in common and used by the persons wanting to live in them.” Long live the revolution!

Anyone who thinks that the designers are a bit wacky and need to get out and take their house for a walk should check out the video below of the Walking House taking its first baby steps. Who said the wheel was one of mankind’s greatest inventions?

Reference: http://www.gizmag.com/walking-house-n55/11380/

Blackphone is back: Privacy firm launches its next-generation ‘spy’ phone and a tablet that’s impossible to track

If you’re fed up of apps asking to access your private data and don’t want advertisers tracking your every move, there is now a range of ‘spy’ phones designed to keep you off the grid.

The original Blackphone was unveiled last year and its successor – the Blackphone 2 – as well as the first ever Blacktablet have been announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.00

The range is fully encrypted by default and comes with a suite of secure features that let you make calls and send texts that are impossible to eavesdrop on or track.

Blackphone’s Android-based devices are built by Spanish manufacturer GeeksPhone alongside security experts Silent Circle and Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). They launched the original handset at last year’s Mobile World Congress and told MailOnline that the range is for people who ‘want to stay private without compromising on the features seen on typical Android phones.

Everything from the custom-built PrivatOS to web browsing and apps, are encrypted, or have been fitted with an extra layer of security. PrivatOS is a so-called ‘skin’ that runs on top of traditional Android software, meaning all Android apps are compatible. The encryption on the Blackphone, Blackphone 2 and tablet is done via the Silent Circle and SpiderOak privacy and security software.

For the Blackphone 2, this software has been upgraded to version 1.1, designed to separate work apps from personal ones through the use of multiple profiles on the same device

If the phone is locked, a business can remotely lock and wipe just the enterprise profile while letting the owner take control of the private profile. Internet access is carried out through a virtual private network (VPN) that sends and receives data in a way designed to keep it hidden. When the phone boots up, it asks for a password and PIN before a wizard guides users through the security options.



  1. Everything, from the custom-built PrivatOS to web browsing and apps, are encrypted, or has been fitted with an extra layer of security.
  2. The encryption on the Blackphone, Blackphone 2 and Blackphone tablet is done via the Silent Circle and SpiderOak privacy and security software.
  3. Internet access on the phone is carried out through a virtual private network (VPN) that sends and receives data in a way that’s designed to keep it hidden.
  4. When the phone boots up it asks for a password and PIN before a wizard guides users through the security options.
  5. For example, it shows users which apps want access to which data. The BlackPhone owner can then decide to restrict access to that information and handpick the apps and the data they share.

With the Blackphone 2, in particular, the experts have teamed up with business technology and security experts such as Citrix to make it more appealing to companies and their employees. The Blackphone 2 is larger than the original with a screen size of 5.5-inches compared to last year’s 4.7-inch. A 13MP camera has been added to the rear, up from 8MP, and a 5MP is now on the front. The Blackphone 2 has doubled the storage of its predecessor and added a longer battery life – although the firm didn’t give specifics. It will go on sale by June this year, although price details were not announced. Last year’s phone cost $629 (£376) plus shipping and the updated version is likely to cost roughly the same amount. Silent Circle subscriptions start at $12.95 (£8.40) a month for 100 Silent World Minutes in 120 destinations, up to $39.95 (£26) for 1,000 minutes. But this is included in the price of the phone or tablet.


Reference: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2975406/Blackphone-Privacy-firm-launches-generation-range-spy-devices-impossible-track.html


The Future Of Social Media Is Mobile Tribes

The next big thing is getting smaller and smaller.

Historically, our social media experience has been chained to the first-screen browser and the one News Feed to rule them all. We’ve been saturated with bloated content from overpopulated streams. We’ve been bombarded with updates and notifications from friends and family we love, pages we Like, accounts we follow, colleagues we connect with, and acquaintances that can’t even remember where we knew them from—we just couldn’t keep up. We felt an impulsive urge to clean house, to make our feeds less cluttered and more manageable.


But as our daily Internet consumption moves away from the desktop (and even the laptop), the landscape of social media is seeing a dramatic shift in native platforms and user behaviors. Smartphone hardware has matured. Wireless data networks have advanced. Mobile-first design has gone main stream. But content oversaturation and deterioration of meaningful interactions is still a concern. That problematic intersection has birthed a new zeitgeist: Mobile tribes.

We crave interpersonal interaction, the basic human need to connect and communicate with each other. The basal layer of social media has remained unchanged, but the chief characteristic of tribes is the tendency to categorize membership in distinct groups, movements, cultures and ideologies—to band together in subpopulations of shared interests, tastes, demographics and marketplaces. Yet, within tribes is the free will to exercise personal choice over who we connect and communicate with. That’s where mobile comes in.

In the post-PC era, we’re increasingly finding content and connections exclusively on our phones.

The first generation of social media touted “networking”, but the next generation, raised in always-on connectivity, will embrace ephemerality and digital tribalism. Those users will abandon the major social networks and migrate to more granular mobile villages with simpler ecosystems. They will follow a small circle of close friends on Instagram, pin with a small handful of followers on Pinterest, message with a girlfriend or schoolmate on WhatsApp or Snapchat, or follow a co-worker’s check-ins on Foursquare. Or, they will build the next platforms and apps that don’t exist yet.

Every platform will be socialized, but every user base will be judged on quality of life, not sheer numbers. Big data will not matter as much as small relationships. Media and content will become less fragmented and centralized, more native and branded to the single-channel niche apps they appear in and the mobile tribes they appeal to.

Even Facebook, the big-box chain of social networking, realizes its problem of content oversaturation and the trend towards granularity and mobile tribes. The company has doubled down on developing its mobile suite (where most of the company’s active power users live, and where the ad dollars are most brisk) and “unbundling the big blue app,” according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“I think on mobile, people want different things,” Zuckerberg told The New York Times. “Ease of access is so important. So is having the ability to control which things you can get notifications for. And the real estate is so small. In mobile, there’s a big premium on creating single-purpose first-class experiences.”

Brands, companies and startups that build social products, services and devices must build for app-only tribes in the future. They must think like the end user, one that has always grown up with a smartphone and a few favorite apps. These new platforms will be connected for (and by) app-only mobile natives—carefully curated and tightly managed for the community, but also streamlined for productivity and responsiveness. They must know and respect the user, and his or her mobile tribe.

Because on the Internet, there’s just too much stuff to see, people to meet, food to Instagram, and not nearly enough time for it all.

Reference: http://readwrite.com/2014/04/18/social-media-future-mobile-tribes

For more information : http://emarketingblog.nl/2014/11/the-future-of-social-media-is-mobile-social-networks/

High-tech glasses wow with new advances

High-tech glasses are becoming more advanced and could one day give you options to get directions, place video calls or check into social networks.

The augmented reality vision that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cyborg character used to track people in the Terminator movies isn’t here yet, but researchers and tech companies are making progress building on similar concepts.


While it will take a few years for wearable computing to mature, recent developments show there’s a lot of interesting activity taking place in the field.

The Centre of Microsystems Technology at Ghent University in Belgium announced this week it has developed a rounded and curved LCD display that can be used in contact lenses and turn them into sunglasses or a highly pixilated display.

This LCD-based technology is different from LED-based contact lens displays that are limited to a few small pixels — it enables the use of the entire display surface.

The prototype shown in a video only displays a rudimentary pattern, but researchers say next-gen versions could be used to do things such as control light traveling toward the retina in case of a damaged eye, or for cosmetic purposes to change the color of a person’s iri.

Someday, they say, the technology could be used as a head-up display, although there are still barriers they need to overcome before it’s ready to be built out for consumer use.

Elsewhere in the realm of high-tech eyewear, Internet search leader Google stirred up a frenzy in June when it concocted possibly the best prototype demo ever.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin hijacked the Google i/o Developers Conference to show off skydivers jumping out of a Zeppelin sporting Google Glasses that streamed to the world video of their descent and landing on the roof of Moscone Center in San Francisco.

According to a Google concept video, its glasses will someday replace the smartphone and present in the periphery of your eyesight options including checking into social networks.

If you haven’t seen the demo, you’ll be amazed, not only at the technology, but at the stunt, as well.

The developer version of Google Glasses is set to ship in early 2013, which will mean new applications and hardware for the technology will be forthcoming.

There are plenty of other advances in wearable computing to track.

For instance, the Vuzix Smart Glasses M100 —a wearable Android computer — is slated for launch early next year. It makes use of a virtual display eyepiece, integrated WiFi and Bluetooth, a 720p HD camera, and head-tracking sensors, and can integrate with iOS or Android apps. Tricks the M100 can pull off include hands-free phone calls, image capture, web surfing, text messaging and navigation.



Need for Speed™ No Limits

Need for Speed, also known by its initials NFS, is a series of racing video games published by Electronic Artsand developed by several studios including EA Black Box, Criterion Games and Ghost Games. Need for Speed is the most successful racing video game series in the world, and one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. Over 150 million copies of games in the series have been sold to date. In June 2012, following Black Box’s restructuring, British developer Criterion Games announced that it was in full control of the Need for Speed franchise. However, in August 2013, Swedish and British developers Ghost Games, Ghost Games UK and Criterion Games joined forces for the foreseeable future of the Need for Speed series. At the time, Ghost Games UK staff consisted of 80% of former Criterion Games employees.



Race for dominance in the first white-knuckle edition of Need for Speed made just for mobile – from the developer that brought you Real Racing 3. Build your dream ride with an unbelievable range of cars and customizations. Launch yourself between chaos and control as you hit the loud pedal and roll into underground car culture. Win races, up your rep, then kick into more races, more customizations, and more cars. Make your choices and never look back. Tonight we ride! This app offers in app purchases. You may disable in app purchases using your device settings.

Pick up the real-world cars you’ve always wanted, from the Subaru BRZ to the BMW M4, McLaren 650s, Porsche 911, and more. Then trick them out with the hottest customization system on mobile, from spots like the Mod Shop and the Black Market, giving you over 2.5 million custom combos to play with. Your rides are waiting – take them to the stages or streets to go head-to-head versus the competition and prove yourself.

Steer onto the streets of Blackridge, driving reckless and juiced as sparks fly. Accelerate over jumps and around debris, into traffic, against walls, and through high-speed Nitro Zones. Flip on the nitrous and thrust yourself into another level of adrenaline-fueled driving and drifting. Around every corner is a fresh race as you clash with local crews and local cops. It’s a world full of wannabe drivers – can you stay in front and earn respect?


Never back down as you race anyone crazy enough to take you on, leave them gapped, and increase your rep. Dig, drift, drag, and roll your ride to wins with police on your tail, hitting each inch of the map hard by the time you reach the big end. Burn rubber in over 1,000 challenging races – and that’s just the starting line. Be notorious, own the streets, and score the world’s best cars. Because one ride is never enough!




The e-book phenomenon: a disruptive technology

A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry. In 2009, Milan Zeleny described high technology as disruptive technology and raised the question of what is being disrupted. The answer, according to Zeleny, is the support network of high technology.
For example, the e-book and its associated technology have emerged as a disruptive technology over the past ten years. The pre-e-book publishing world can be seen as a system in which authors delivered texts to publishers, who evaluated, edited, printed and distributed the published text to bookshops and thence to libraries and individual readers. The e-book has the potential to disrupt the processes for the production, distribution and use of authorial texts, and is already in the process of doing so, rather more rapidly than did the printing press.
The emergence of the e-book as a major phenomenon in the publishing industry is of interest, world-wide. The English language market, with Amazon.com as the major player in the market may have dominated attention, but the e-book has implications for many other languages and book markets. The statistics are compelling, but the scale of things should not be exaggerated: for example, in May this year, the BookStats report noted that the sale of e-books had increased by 45% since 2011 – 457 million e-books were sold in 2012, but that is 100 million fewer than the number of hardback, print books sold (Book Industry Study Group, 2013).
From the point of view of the children’s book market, the situation is rather confused, with contradictory research findings. A study in the USA of children’s reading shows a 25% increase in e-book reading in 2012 compared with 2010. However, 80% continue to read printed books and the context of e-book reading appears to differ from that of printed book reading. Further evidence is found in a global study by Bowker, which revealed that France and Japan have the lowest take-up of e-books, with 66% of French people saying that they had never read an e-book and did not intend to do so (Greenfield, 2012).

Only someone blessed with absolute certainty in forecasting the future can know exactly how things will change, but there is little doubt that the development of the e-book will bring about substantial changes in the processes of book production, distribution and use – and many of these changes will surprise us. Many questions will be resolved in coming years, such as: Will self-publishing of e-books continue to grow? Will universities enter the open access textbook market? How will publishers integrate their systems for the simultaneous publication of printed books and e-books?