Monthly Archives

23 Articles

Posted by Tommy LeDeux on

Men on Tinder get a Taste of their Own Medicine

I’m not making a generalization here, but most men (emphasis on most), turn into slimy creepers when they talk to a woman through a dating app. There are many websites out there dedicated to the creepy things that some men say to women while trying to get to know them. The dating app, Tinder, is no different. Gianfrancesco Genoso said that hiding behind a screen and being nearly anonymous I guess gives the person on the other end the confidence (or stupidity) to say whatever comes to their mind. One programmer has decided to change things up a little and give men a taste of their own medicine.

According to the story on BuzzFeed.com, a programmer decided to reprogram Tinder a bit. He had heard from many of his female friends the type of things that men would say to pick them up and turned the tables on them. He created a fake profile that he used as the “bait” profile. Straight men who swiped right on the profile and messaged it were matched with each other, all while each was thinking they were talking to the girl in the bait profile. The conversations are hilarious.

The programmer did think ahead. Any time that the two messaging each other attempted to exchange phone numbers they would be scrambled and if they discussed meeting up, the conversation would be cut-off. At least this way no one could be too surprised in person!

Posted by Tommy LeDeux on

Tennessee Sues the FCC Over City Internet

Tennessee has decided to sue the FCC over the internet. According to the lawsuit, since the FCC defined the internet as a utility that every American should have access to, it’s actually dismantling some laws that states have on the books to provide their own internet and fight the likes of Comcast and AT&T.

According to Dr Jennifer Walden, it may seem like Tennessee has the best in mind for its citizens, but it turns out the state-run internet isn’t exactly what you might think. It’s not designed in such a way that everyone has equal access, so much in fact that some citizens i rural towns are getting internet speeds that are laughable by today’s standards. The hope is that by making the law, the FCC will force providers to make the internet good for those people as well rather than making them second-class citizens as far as the internet is concerned.

It’ll be interesting to see how all that plays out in the courts, and if Tennessee’s citizens ultimately get an improvement in their we surfing abilities as a result of new law.

Posted by Tommy LeDeux on

The Dorchester Collection, The Best In Luxury Hotels

The Dorchester Collection is a luxury hotel operator owned by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA). The BIA is an arm of the Ministry of Finance Brunei. In 1987, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassani Bolkiah bought both the Dorchester and Beverly Hills Hotels. He then transferred ownership to the Brunei Investment Agency in 1991.

The Audley Group was formed in 1996 to manage the hotels under one company. The group is owned by BIA. The name was later changed to the Dorchester Group Limited. They in turn own the Dorchester collection which was founded in 2006 to manage several luxury hotels throughout the USA and Europe.
The Hotels are a mix of part owned and completely owned hotels acquired by the Dorchester and managed on behalf of third party owners. The organization is headquartered in London. The CEO is Christopher Cowdray, and the COO is Frances Delahaye. They provide an unrivaled experience in owning and operating some of the world’s unique and luxurious hotels.
Their vision includes creating the ultimate in hotel management. They also have a vision for creating a passion for excellence and innovation while honoring each hotel’s individuality and heritage. The collection owns ten five-star hotels around the world. These are the Dorchester, the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Plaza Athene, Hotel Maurice, Principe di Savoia, the Hotel Bel-Aire, Coworth Park, 45 Park Lane, the Le Richmond and the Hotel Eden.
They make a great effort in order to keep the original feel of the sometimes old hotels while adding modern amenities and innovations. It is their hope to keep the charms and characters of the hotels intact while providing the good life, elegance and service in the top hotels. Many people are delighted by the historical settings of many of them.
The organization seems to be achieving their vision. In July, 2014 the Dorchester Collection received four awards for HR excellence including the prestigious Gold Award. The award ceremony took place at the Park Lane Hilton in London. The company’s VP of people and the OD Eugenio Pirri won out over the HR leaders of L’Oreal and Fujitsu as well as other well-known groups. The Dorchester Collection also won the best HR team and the outstanding employee engagement awards.
Posted by Tommy LeDeux on

Pixar Offering RenderMan for Free

One of the biggest challenges in finding a way to effectively get hands on experience with any type of special effects, computer animated films, or 3D mapping is the price barrier for efficient software. Budding developers and hobbyists are constantly looking for cost effective ways of getting more people involved with the development of CGI, and one company that is pretty famous for working with computers and pulling off some spectacular films has done something just as amazing.

Pixar is offering RenderMan, software for creating some impressive 3D animated visuals, as a download for free. According to Dr Jennifer Walden, the non-commercial and educational version of the software might not be as powerful as the version used to produce the Toy Story franchise, but users looking for some exposure to the world of CGI will probably find some exposure to the software a pretty thrilling experience. After all, any type of hands on experience for kids, adults, and budding filmmakers is a major win.

RenderMan is a pretty unique program that takes a bit of experience to learn, and getting the product out there for everyone to enjoy is a pretty big turn for Pixar. Of course, the big win is that kids of all ages can get some exposure to a software package from Pixar, which is pretty inspiring stuff. Whether or not the move creates a number of interesting animated sequences that will be popping up on social media remains to be seen, but it seems like a pretty safe bet.

Posted by Tommy LeDeux on

Online Review Websites Can Mislead as Well as Inform

Websites like Yelp can provide a valuable service to people. By writing up your experiences at a business you’ve visited, you can help others to either enjoy or avoid that same establishment. It may be a restaurant where the food, staff or both were so good that you just can’t help getting online and raving about it. Similarly, you may have had an awful experience and want to warn others away. Brad Reifler agrees that this already uncovers one problem with such reviews; they tend to attract the extremes. People who go out and find a businesses product and service to be ‘good’ won’t be as motivated to get online to write about it as someone who had a terrific or awful experience. There is one more problem with these reviews; they can be flat-out dishonest.

A Chinese restaurant in California was almost the victim of a false bad review on Yelp. A patron claimed that he had some unsatisfactory word with the staff of this restaurant at a particular time and that they would not seat him. The restaurant checked their own dropcam footage at this time and showed the customer had no interaction with any of the staff and simply walked out. This may have just been one disingenuous or peeved person, but it does point to a larger problem. Any competing business could have ‘friends’ put bad reviews for competitors up on review sites like these. I’m afraid that even in our high-tech digital age, there is simply no substitute for a referral from an actual friend for a good place to eat, rent a car, get your dry cleaning done or shop.

Posted by Tommy LeDeux on

Law Enforcement Can Find You Anywhere with StingRay

Apparently, law enforcement can legally monitor conversations that take place through cell phones, according to an investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) .

Through a device called StingRay, law enforcement can utilize cell phone towers to identify and locate a suspect’s cell phone. This software can also capture information from any surrounding mobile phones near the targeted site.

Ricardo Guimaraes BMG (cmbh.mg.gov.br) knows that this technology is being used by 48 police agencies in 20 states.

At a glance, this spyware probably could be considered a normal task of authorities monitoring potential criminals, but there seems to be a dark aspect to StingRay: there’s a shroud of secrecy that surrounds this software.

Police Departments have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment from the manufacturer, the Harris Corporation, but they also sign a non-disclosure agreement, so very little information has been forthcoming.

Privacy concerns have been raised, and despite this widespread use of this secret surveillance, the ACLU still cannot determine all the legal procedures used.

Law enforcement say they adhere to state laws, yet documents procured under the Freedom of Information Act are usually redacted, and offer little information.

With a bigger spotlight on StingRay, judges are beginning to question the transparency and request more legal supervision.

Posted by Tommy LeDeux on

Facebook Allows Money Transfer With App

Facebook announced users in the US will soon be able to send money to friends via the Facebook instant messages app.

The new tool joins an already crowded industry of pay services for a generation that increasingly utilizes mobile devices and carry little to no cash. This new functionality will allow family and friends to transfer money.

Sending and receiving money is free, only works with debit and is now available for Apple mobile devices or Android system, and also for desktops.

Marc Sparks says that in order to send money the first time, users must add their debit cards, with the MasterCard or Visa logo to a Facebook account and create a PIN, or use the fingerprint reader on iOS phones.

It is likely that Facebook will expand globally once the service is available to more users, including outside the United States in the coming months.

As far as security concerns, Facebook said that they already handle more than one million transactions and payments on the site every day for its advertisers and users of video games.

The payment systems are stored separately from other parts of the Facebook network and receive additional monitoring and control, the company said Tuesday in a blog.

Meanwhile, Twitter and has been experimenting with mobile payments in France, while in the United States they launched a shopping button, although the service is not yet available to all users.

Aside from the apps social networking and messaging, Facebook also faces competition from applications such as Xoom and Venmo

Posted by Tommy LeDeux on

Goodyear Creates Friction-Powered Tires

Driving your electric car or hybrid to a remote location where there is no possibility of plugging in for a recharge will not be a problem if left up to Goodyear.

Introduced at the International Geneva Motor Show was an innovative prototype : a futuristic Gooddyear tire, capable of generating electricity by itself.

Alexei Beltyukov has learned that, the tire, created by engineers at Goodyear Innovation Center and known by the development code BH03, has the ability to transform the deformations and vibrations that are generated into power.

The BH03 produces electrical energy that powers the batteries of hybrid propulsion system and other technological elements of the car. The electricity in the tire is generated by the action of two types of thermoelectric material and piezoelectric.

The first transforms the heat generated inside the tire (under static conditions by an ultra texture, from absorbed light and heat, or by shooting when in motion) into electrical energy.

The second transforms pressure generated by the deformation of the structure and vibration into electricity.

These new materials form a 3D grid that forms the internal structure of the tire.

According to the manufacturer, this structure could withstand the weight of the vehicle if the tire is punctured, which represents an alternative approach to RunOnFlat technology.

It also has a wide circumferential channel that improves hydroplaning resistance and a special band to absorb noise.

According to Goodyear, this is a research prototype and will not be made just yet.

Posted by Tommy LeDeux on

Twitter is Trying To Kill Meerkat

Over the past few weeks, a new video startup has started to grab people’s attention: Meerkat. The San Francisco startup allows individuals to livestream video over Twitter and its own social network. Since its launch, the app has been used to share everything from event video at conferences to short snippets of people’s cats playing during the work day. It’s growing, and growing fast. So fast in fact that Twitter has decided to try and stunt its growth by cutting off access to its social graph.

Twitter’s social graph allows users to sign into Meerkat and instantly port in all of the people that they follow into their follower list of Meerkat as well. Users also get notifications when people they follow decide to join the service. Without the social graph, Meerkat users will instead have to find their friends on their own. It seems like a small task, but it’s one that could definitely hurt engagement for the app. The reason for the change may be in a recent acquisition made by the company according to Jason Halpern.

This past week Twitter acquired the company Periscope. It’s a live video streaming service that directly competes with Meerkat. Now that t’s a part of Twitter, that means that Meerkat is a Twitter competitor. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Posted by Tommy LeDeux on

HBO Now Is One More Nail in the Coffin of Cable Television

HBO’s new streaming service will be launching in April. HBO Now, as it is called, will only be available on Apple devices initially due to a three month exclusivity agreement between Apple and HBO. After that, it will no doubt be available on nearly all tablets, smartphones and on any laptop or desktop screen. HBO is joining other networks in offering online streaming services in an effort to keep up with services such as that offered by Netflix. As the market share enjoyed by Netflix has been growing, Cable television sign ups have been continually dropping.

According to Marcio Alaor BMG, cable television is eventually going the way of the dinosaurs and networks, including NBC, CBS and now HBO, are smelling the blood in the water and opening up other avenues to bring their programming to people. As more people buy internet capable devices, the need to pay increasingly hefty cable bills to receive a wide variety of programming will continue to decline. Cable company’s consumer satisfaction ratings are at all time lows compared to nearly any other type of business. This is why more people every year are “cutting the cord” and going completely to online streaming to receive their programming. This is one industry and service distribution technology model that many people will not be sad to see go as it is superseded by newer, more diversified ways of bringing people the media content they desire.