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13
Apr

Science learns which male dance moves the ladies like


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We’re not here to tell you folks how to get down in the club, but if you’re a guy wanting to get noticed (in a good way) by the opposite sex the next time you’re at the discotheque, listen up. Researchers at Northumbria University conducted a study to find out exactly what kind of gyrations draw in the ladies, and the keys to greatness on the dance floor may surprise you: an actively moving neck, head and torso and a fast moving right knee. Weird, right?

These conclusions were reached after using motion capture to record 30 men, aged 18-35, boogie down to the same, relatively simple beat. Researchers then replicated those movements using generic, digital, faceless avatars (thusly preventing the physical appearance of the dancers from exerting influence) and showed the results to 39 women. The researchers then tracked the specific motion patterns that, according to the report, “seem to influence women’s perceptions of dance quality.”

Apparently, women find men that move and twist their torsos and nod and shake their heads whilst grooving to be the best dancers. And, while they aren’t so keen on fancy footwork generally, moving your lower body quickly (as opposed to slowly) is the way to go — and bending and twisting your right knee is a particularly effective move to showcase your dancing skill. Sure, the study was of a small sample size, but if you want to dig deeper into the art science of dance, the source awaits with all the info you seek.

[Image Credit: AP Photo/Jessica Hill]

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Via: Business Insider

Source: Northumbria University (PDF)

13
Apr

Sid Meier’s latest Civilization game reaches for the stars


If you were worried that legendary game developer Sid Meier wouldn’t get his chance to make a new Alpha Centauri, it’s time to put those fears to bed. Civilization: Beyond Earth is coming this fall, and, as the name suggests, it takes the venerable PC strategy series to the stars. As Rock, Paper, Shotgun tells it, publisher Electronic Arts still holds the rights to the Alpha Centauri name (which was a Civ spin-off to start), so this is developer Firaxis’ effort at a sequel, sans the actual title. The trailer below doesn’t show any game-play, but it paints a simultaneously somber and epic picture of just why humanity has to leave Earth. Joystiq and PC Gamer have meaty features and interviews with info from the dev team, so if you’re jonesing for more details on the game’s randomly-generated alien planets, be sure to check ‘em out.

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Via: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Source: PC Gamer (1)

13
Apr

​What is Heartbleed, anyway?


If you’re an IT professional, gadget blogger or token geek in your circle of friends, chances are, you’ve been hounded relentlessly over the past couple of days about “this Heartbleed thing.”

“Do I need to update my antivirus?”

“Can I login to my bank account now?”

Google already fixed it, right?”

We’ve heard them all, but the answers aren’t all that clear or simple. In an attempt to take the pressure off — it is the weekend after all — we’ve put together a primer that should answer all of those questions and a few more. Next time someone asks you about that “Heartbleed thing,” just shoot them our direction.

How it works

The problem affects a piece of software called OpenSSL, used for security on popular web servers. With OpenSSL, websites can provide encrypted information to visitors, so the data transferred (including usernames, passwords, and cookies) cannot be seen by others while it goes from your computer to the website.

OpenSSL is an open source project, meaning it was developed by really talented volunteers, free of charge, to help the internet community. It happens that version 1.0.1 of OpenSSL, released on April 19, 2012, has a little bug (a mistake introduced by a programmer) that allows for a person (including a malicious hacker) to retrieve information on the memory of the web server without leaving a trace. This honest mistake was introduced with a new feature implemented by Dr. Robin Seggelmann, a German programmer who often contributes security code.

Heartbleed exploits a built-in feature of OpenSSL called heartbeat.

Heartbleed exploits a built-in feature of OpenSSL called heartbeat. When your computer accesses a website, the website will respond back to let your computer know that it is active and listening for your requests, this is the heartbeat. This call and response, is done by exchanging data. Normally when your computer makes a request, the heartbeat will only send back the amount of data your computer sent. However, this is not the case for servers currently affected by the bug. The hacker is able to make a request to the server and request data from the servers memorybeyond the total data of the initial request, up to 65,536 bytes.

The data that lives beyond this request “may contain data left behind from other parts of OpenSSL” according to CloudFlare. What’s stored in that extra memory space is completely dependent on the platform. As more computers access the server, the memory at the top is recycled. This means that previous requests may still reside in the memory block the hacker requests back from the server. Just what might be in those bits of data? Login credentials, cookies and other data that may be exploitable by hackers.

What should I do?

Because this feature is so specific, the number of servers actually affected is significantly fewer than many thought originally. In fact, while some estimates mentioned that 60% of all Internet servers had the Heartbleed bug, Netcraft says the number should be much lower, and under 17.5% (well, that’s still a lot of servers, but still less than 60).

After the discovery of the bug, the OpenSSL software was rapidly patched, and as of version 1.0.1.g the problem no longer exists. Even before that, if the OpenSSL software was installed without the heartbeat extension, the server never would have been vulnerable.

If you need the TL;DR, here it is: do not panic.

Now, the important question is if you should worry about this problem? The short answer is: “yes, but don’t panic”. You should definitely change your passwords at least for the services confirmed as vulnerable and have now been fixed, such as Google and Yahoo. But you should be changing your passwords regularly no matter what. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, you can always use a password manager such as LastPass or 1Password (remember: don’t ever write down your passwords on a Sticky note next to your monitor, a notepad, or a document inside the computer).

This password changing recommendation is nothing but a precaution, because even if hackers knew about the problem (something that hasn’t been confirmed — aside from by our friends at the NSA, apparently), the chances of them getting your password, and being able to match up that data to your username are pretty slim. Some people claim that the encryption certificates for servers (a technology that allows us to confirm that a website is in fact what it says it is) could have been stolen, but the company CloudFlare has said it’s very difficult to do. It published a challenge to whoever could steal this key, and it appears that someone did, during a server reboot. Regardless of the probability, companies are changing encryption keys so new data is not vulnerable if somebody was able to obtain the old keys.

TL;DR

If you need the TL;DR, here it is: do not panic. Simply, change the passwords of the services you consider more important (email, banking, shopping) and continue with your life. While doing so, follow good security practices: don’t use the same password across services, select passwords with 10 or more characters and use at least upper and lower case letters, in addition to numbers.

The Internet sure is fun!


Frank Spinillo and Ben Gilbert contributed to this article.

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13
Apr

Gadget Rewind 2004: Rio Carbon


It’s our 10th birthday, and to celebrate we’ll be revisiting some of the key devices of the last decade. So please be kind, rewind.

Before the Rio Carbon arrived to take on Apple’s iPod juggernaut in 2004, there was Diamond Multimedia’s first stab at the digital music market: the Rio PMP300, a portable music player released in 1998. Since it was one of the first portable MP3 players ever to be sold, Diamond ended up embroiled in a fight for the future of the format. The PMP300′s ability to play digital music files downloaded from a computer led to a groundbreaking legal battle with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The RIAA challenged the company in court, claiming that its use of digital music files was copyright infringement, but Diamond won out and cleared the way for a new wave of portable music players (PMPs) to hit the market.

In the years that followed, Diamond Multimedia released over a dozen portable players. But it was 2004′s sleek Rio Carbon that caught consumers’ attention, a device praised by many reviewers for its superior audio quality. The timing of its commercial release also positioned it as a head-to-head competitor to Apple’s iPod mini. The Carbon offered a 5GB hard drive where the iPod mini only had 4GB, and its chrome, pebble-like body matched Apple’s tiny player for size — even weighing slightly less. The Carbon’s remarkably smudge-resistant exterior and 20-hour battery life trounced the iPod mini’s meager 8-hour span. It even featured USB charging, which was far more convenient than Apple’s reliance on proprietary cables. It was this attention to detail that made the Rio Carbon such an attractive alternative for consumers and earned it many lifelong fans.

It wasn’t just the hardware that drew customers to the Rio Carbon; it had some compelling software chops as well. The Carbon stood out from the PMP pack by offering users the ability to bookmark audio and record digital voice memos. It was also compatible with Windows Media DRM 10.0, a digital rights-management solution that allowed users to store and play songs from subscription services like Napster to Go and Rhapsody to Go. The Carbon also offered users an open ecosystem, giving them the freedom to sync and manage files from Windows Media Player 10, iTunes, MSN Music and several others.

Although the Rio Carbon was a solid effort from a small, enthusiastic company in the PMP space, it ultimately failed to stave off the inevitable market crush from Apple’s iPod. And by 2005, just one year past the Carbon’s introduction, the brand shuttered. Even Microsoft, a company with the vast resources to take on Apple, struggled to succeed with its now scrapped Zune digital audio player. In the end, Apple’s iPod surfaced as the undisputed king of the portable music player hill, a title it’s now ceded to the multitasking machines our smartphones have become today.


Did you own a Rio Carbon? Add it to your Engadget profile as a device you had (or still have) and join the discussion to reminisce or share photos of your device with other like-minded gadget fans.

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13
Apr

Civilization: Beyond Earth Coming to Mac This Fall [Mac Blog]


2K Games today announced that Civilization: Beyond Earth, the next entry in the popular Civilization strategy game franchise, is coming to the Mac alongside releases Windows and Linux this fall.


Set in a science-fiction-themed future, the game will allow players to select one of eight different expedition sponsors that are looking to colonize alien planets in order to establish a new civilization. Similar to previous titles in the series, gameplay will center around building large armies and structures as well as researching advanced technologies. Civilization: Beyond Earth also features an enhanced quest system, unit customization, and support for up to 8 players in multiplayer.

As part of an expedition sent to find a home beyond Earth, you will write the next chapter for humanity as you lead your people into a new frontier and create a new civilization in space. Explore and colonize an alien planet, research new technologies, amass mighty armies, build incredible Wonders and shape the face of your new world. As you embark on your journey you must make critical decisions. From your choice of sponsor and the make-up of your colony, to the ultimate path you choose for your civilization, every decision opens up new possibilities.

The past two titles in the series, Civilization V and Civilization IV, were also released for Mac in 2010 and 2006, respectively. Those titles were developed with the help of Aspyr, which has published multiple major gaming titles for the Mac, including Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and SimCity 4. Currently, it is unknown whether Aspyr will help develop Civilization: Beyond Earth for Mac or if the series’ original developer, Firaxis Games will work on the port.

Civilization IV can be downloaded from the Mac App Store, Aspyr’s GameAgent digital store, and Steam for $19.99.
Civilization V can be downloaded from the Mac App Store, Aspyr’s GameAgent digital store, and Steam for $29.99.



13
Apr

All 277 apps for the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active leak out


samsung_galaxy_s_5_active_apks_leak

Whilst it’s no secret that the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is on its way soon since it’s been leaked numerous times, it seems that the leaks have gone one further with every single APK included on the new device being revealed.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active offers greater durability over the standard Galaxy S5 device which is more suited for those who are more active.

All 277 APK apps have been leaked out for the upcoming Galaxy S5 Active both confirming the device exists and also provides an insight into what the device comes bundled with.

The post All 277 apps for the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active leak out appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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