Most teenagers will find any reason under the sun not to do their homework.
But 16-year-old South Londoner Nick D’Aloisio’s excuse is better than most - he has been busy developing an app which has made international headlines and attracted a big investment from a Hong Kong-based billionaire.
Summly is an iPhone app which summarises and simplifies the content of web pages and search results. Currently it can condense reference pages, news articles and reviews but has the potential to go a lot further.
Mr D’Aloisio - the son of a lawyer and an investment banker - had the brainwave for it while studying.
“I was revising for a history exam and using Google, clicking in and out of search results, and it seemed quite inefficient. If I found myself on a site that was interesting I was reading it and that was wasting time,” he said.
“I thought that what I needed was a way of simplifying and summarising these web searches. Google has Instant Preview but that is just an image of the page. What I wanted was a content preview,” he says.
Remarkable images of life from one of the most inhospitable spots in the ocean have been captured by scientists.
Researchers have been surveying volcanic underwater vents - sometimes called black smokers - in the South West Indian Ridge in the Indian Ocean.
The UK team found an array of creatures living in the super-heated waters, including yeti crabs, scaly-foot snails and sea cucumbers.
They believe some of the species may be new to science.
Hydrothermal vents were first discovered in 1977. These fissures in the ocean floor spew out fiercely hot, mineral-rich water, yet somehow, diverse ecosystems are able to thrive in these hostile conditions.
Species such as this sea cucumber are not found in neighbouring ridge systems
The team, from the University of Southampton, was particularly interested in the vents on the South West Indian Ridge because this range is linked to the Mid Atlantic Ridge and the Central Indian Ridge, where vent life has been well documented.
Patients should be able to access their medical records and request prescriptions and appointments online, a government-backed group recommends. The NHS Future Forum, which advises the government on its health reforms, says it would like to see the proposals implemented in England by 2015. Prof Steve Field, who leads the forum, said the “vision” was that patients should feel they own their data. Patient groups have welcomed the plan, but say data must be protected. Medical test results and hospital discharge notes would also be available under the scheme, and patients would be able to obtain repeat prescriptions.
On the night last spring when Osama bin Laden was killed, the chief of staff to a former U.S. secretary of defense broke the news to the world—more than an hour before President Barack Obama’s announcement. Keith Urbahn (aka @keithurbahn) wrote to his 1,016 Twitter followers that he’d heard the news from a “reputable person.” Within a minute, 80 people had reposted the message. One of them was New York Times reporter Brian Stelter, whose retweet led to another large burst of responses. Urbahn’s tweet was on its way to going viral.
There is no recipe for virality, says Gilad Lotan, head of R&D for a startup called SocialFlow, which aims to help clients from the Economist to Pepsi more effectively capture attention on Twitter. But the deluges of data that viral tweets generate hold potentially valuable insights into how and why certain things spread beyond their author’s network of regular contacts. After the bin Laden event, Lotan took advantage of SocialFlow’s access to the Twitter “fire hose,” a real-time stream of every tweet, to analyze—and visualize—the responses to Urbahn’s post.
For thousands of customers of Subway restaurants around the US over the past few years, paying for their $5 footlong sub was a ticket to having their credit card data stolen. In a scheme dating back at least to 2008, a band of Romanian hackers is alleged to have stolen payment card data from the point-of-sale (POS) systems of hundreds of small businesses, including more than 150 Subway restaurant franchises and at least 50 other small retailers. And those retailers made it possible by practically leaving their cash drawers open to the Internet, letting the hackers ring up over $3 million in fraudulent charges.
In an indictment unsealed in the US District Court of New Hampshire on December 8, the hackers are alleged to have gathered the credit and debit card data from over 80,000 victims.
“This is the crime of the future,” said Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications at McAfee Labs in an interview with Ars. Instead of coming in with guns and robbing the till, he said, criminals can target small businesses, “root them from across the planet, and steal digitally.”
Four industry leaders breakdown the importance of online credentials
There have been many discussions about digital identities and online credentials in 2011. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) is picking up steam and organizations are seeking to further secure IT networks as threats from hacking increase.
But questions and uncertainty abound. What are digital identities and how do they work? Will one credential work with another? How will they impact privacy and help address regulatory compliance?
In light of these and other pressing questions, Re:ID editors asked some of the leaders in the space to share their thoughts and vision for online ID.
Republicans muscled a budget through the House of Representatives in April that they said would take an important step toward reducing the federal deficit. Introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the plan kept Medicare intact for people 55 or older, but dramatically changed the program for everyone else by privatizing it and providing government subsidies.
Democrats pounced. Just four days after the party-line vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a Web ad that said seniors will have to pay $12,500 more for health care “because Republicans voted to end Medicare.” […]
PolitiFact debunked the Medicare charge in nine separate fact-checks rated False or Pants on Fire, most often in attacks leveled against Republican House members.
Now, PolitiFact has chosen the Democrats’ claim as the 2011 Lie of the Year.
This is simply indefensible. Claims that are factually true shouldn’t be eligible for a Lie of the Year designation.
British Telecom is claiming billions of dollars of damages from Google in a lawsuit filed in the US which says that the Android mobile operating system infringes a number of the telecoms company’s key patents. The lawsuit, filed in the state of Delaware in the US, relates to six patents which BT says are infringed by the Google Maps, Google Music, location-based advertising and Android Market products on Android.
Robots are replacing humans on the battlefield—but could they also be used to interrogate and torture suspects? This would avoid a serious ethical conflict between physicians’ duty to do no harm, or nonmaleficence, and their questionable role in monitoring vital signs and health of the interrogated. A robot, on the other hand, wouldn’t be bound by the Hippocratic oath, though its very existence creates new dilemmas of its own.
This is the first paragraph of an article in the Atlantic about the ethical dilemmas around using robots or drones for military purposes. Important read!
Apologies for the blatant self publicity, but I just wanted to mention that I’m currently involved in a rather nifty new food blog called Don’t Burn It - http://dontburn.it
This is a place where nothing is ever knowingly overcooked. A small and organically growing blog run by three passionate foodies and covering all manner of food related subjects from innovative new recipes, tips and techniques, videos, reviews and a whole lot more.