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Man throws away millions and Google will print your phone: #StuffToKnow this week

Stuff to Know

He might not be happy about the upcoming movie about Wikileaks but at least he go to the States to watch it. Microsoft continues to only make themselves look bad by using smear campaigns. Google will soon be printing modular devices. Oh yeah and some guy threw millions in the trash can.

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US Government caught pirating military software, settles for $50 million
“Piracy is theft, clean and simple,” Vice President Joe Biden once said. Well, in a case that showed the US military to be the proverbial black kettle, having (as Joe would have put it) stolen a minimum of US$224 543 420.80 in licence fees to a software company called Apptricity which built a program that manages troop and supply movements.

Julian Assange unlikely to be charged in US
Wow finally — the man who gives the whistleblowers a voice, and has started a new trend where corporates and governments are held accountable in the public eye for their actions, is no longer hunted by them (at least not legally). US government lawyers came to the conclusion that they could not sue him without also prosecuting nearly every US news organisation and journalist that printed/televised what he found out from the classified documents. The same documents that were handed to him by the whistleblowers who risked their lives and careers so that the public knew various acts of dark deeds done in the organisation or government they worked for.

Missing: hard drive containing Bitcoins worth £4m in Newport landfill site
After hearing Bitcoin hit US$1 000 for the first time, the unluckiest man on the planet went to look for his old digital wallet which had 7500 bitcoins stored on it from back in 2009 when the were cheap… only to realise he had thrown it out in the trash earlier this year. That mistake just cost him £4-million. Ouch.

Eric Schmidt’s iPhone-to-Android Guide
Moving from an Apple iPhone to one of the Android devices? The ex-CEO and current chairperson of Google Eric Schmidt is here to help you out. “Eric’s Guide: Converting to Android from iPhone” states that they are a great gift for Christmas to help those iPhone users see the light along with apparently “80% of the world”.

Microsoft continues trend of trying to insult Google
This is getting embarrassing now. Microsoft used to be a giant and in many ways still is, but these incredibly obvious attempts to make the competition look bad rather than actually trying to improve their own products (which are woefully behind the curve and are piling up in warehouses due to not being sold). These lowbrow tactics just make the Redmond company look like those cheap politicians who use smear campaigns to get ahead instead of actually pushing their own issues.

Google enters 3D printing arena
Soon your Android phone will be printed. This industry of 3D printing is just going in leaps and bounds. Google via Motorola Mobility (you’ll remember Google bought the company earlier this year) will be working in conjunction with 3D Systems to print modular devices. For those that are not aware of this potential technology, the modular concept is that you will only need to buy and use the parts of the device you want, (ie the camera, speakers, microphone, touch screen etc). The picture below will give you a better idea of the underlying concept:

Google+ iOS app gets full resolution photo and video backups in iOS 7, new notification tray
You can now back up all photos and videos on your iPhone automatically to the cloud assuming you have the WiFi and low bandwidth costs (I wouldn’t recommend this feature for South African users). Well, technically you always could via the iCloud interface but that sucked and barely anyone uses it, at least with Google+ you can share the pics of the party straight away while it’s going on. Or better yet, take sneaky photos of something you shouldn’t right up till the security guy takes it away.

Embeds return to new Google Maps, will soon include ads
Soon the maps you see on the website will be catered to you, showing your favourite locations and be able to show the directions from your home to that point without having to jump over to Google Maps. You can see your personal profile pic in the top right when the system knows to cater for you.


Ditch the wristbands: for next generation of wearables, dumb clothes get smart
The wearable tech wave is starting to well up, and the main players right now only sense movement in one area — usually the wrist, such as the Nike Fuelband or an Up band. They don’t really see the whole body. For instance, if you do a 30 minute spin class, your Fuelband won’t notice you did much since your arms barely moved from the handle bars. So you need to have the sensors in multiple points much like the Notch concept which allows you to put the small devices wherever you will have movement.

Tongue piercing lets disabled drive wheelchairs
This is where technology really helps those who need it. This new system allows quadraplegics to have more mobility. The patient has their tongue pierced with a magnetic stud that resembles jewellery and acts like a joystick for the wheelchair that has the system in place. The system is incredibly intuitive, says Jason DiSanto, one of the first patients to try it. He says “the first time I did it, people thought I was driving for, like, years.” This new system works up to three times better than the current leading system called sip-and-puff that users operate by breathing into a straw.

Pills of the future: nanoparticles
Nah… this isn’t creepy at all. Soon your Panado will have tiny custom designed nanoparticles that are coated with antibodies that act as a key to letting the nanoparticles break through the intestinal walls and enter the bloodstream.


New X-Men: Days of future past viral video links Magneto to the JFK assassination
Apparently in the new Xmen movie, 50 years ago Magneto was implicated in the mutant plot to assassinate President John F Kennedy. This is the furthest out-there conspiracy theory I’ve heard about that fateful day.


This is awesome, best coin ever spent
A beautiful surprise for a little girl who puts down a coin for a cellist in a town square. The expressions of the viewers — especially those with kids — are just awesome.

Glass pool table
This is just plain cool. I know, first thought after you clean the drool from the side of your mouth is that it’s glass, how are the balls not flying all over the place due to what would be near zero resistance? The glass has a special transparent coating called Vitrik which allows the playing surface to replicate the rolling resistance of an average speed cloth. It is hard-wearing and even allows spin.

Let me know if I missed anything this week in the comments… they’re also a good place to leave any big things I should mention next week.

Julian Assange image: Mark Chew

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