Prototype glasses help the visually impaired avoid obstacles

Prototype glasses help the visually impaired avoid obstacles


The crafty engineers at Google aren’t the only ones working on augmented reality glasses. Researchers at the Instituto de Oftalmología Aplicada have created a prototype system, based around a head-mounted display and a pair of small cameras. Instead of overlaying info about landmarks or capturing video of your trampoline-based escapades, this prototype is simply meant to help the visually impaired detect and avoid obstacles. A small computer performs real-time analysis of the environment highlighting objects and color coding them to indicate distance. The goal is to help those with glaucoma and other impairments that hinder depth perception. The next step is to streamline the device, making the computer portion of it smaller and more portable and to make the goggles less cumbersome. For more detail check out the source link.


Podio Makes Managing Multiple Group Projects Free and Easy

webapps - Podio Makes Managing Multiple Group Projects Free and Easy


One of the biggest problems with project management software is that it can be so difficult to wade through that it’s hard to get the people you work with—whether they’re at the office, your neighborhood volunteer group, or the family members you’re planning a reunion with—using the same tool and on the same page. Podio is a free webapp that makes managing your projects a little less like slogging through pages of updates, and more like updating Facebook.

Podio is free for individual users and groups of up to five people at a time, which makes it perfect for small projects. Once you’re set up and logged in, you can build as many workspaces for as many projects as you like. Each project workspace has room to store documents, get status updates from other people on your team or people working with you on the project, and as many mini “apps” as you’d like in your workspace. Those apps can be selected from Podio’s built-in options, like a calendar, social feed, and document store, or you can build your own custom ones if you have specific needs. In addition to the Podio webapp, there are also Android and iOS apps you can use to update and stay updated on your projects when you’re away from your desk.

The service feels distinctly business when you take a first glance, but it’s flexible for individual users as well, like volunteers looking to organize their school’s PTA, or freelancers who want to give their clients updates on their progress in a single, consolidated place. Additionally, Podio announced today that they support Dropbox integration, so free users with limited document storage can leverage their Dropbox accounts to share and store documents for their teams or clients to see.

Podio’s greatest strength is its flexibility—you can customize and tweak your workspaces to fit the projects you’re working on or the people you’re working with, and you can manage as many or as few as you like from inside.



Collusion – Internet Trackers Are All In It Together

imageLook – every business organization has the right to generate income and make a profit – and, in the real world, most organizations generate that income and make that profit aboveboard, and in clear view. But, that’s not necessarily the process on the Internet. In far too many cases, companies generate revenue by staying far below a user’s horizon – in an underhanded and sneaky fashion.

The tool of choice – a tool, which by its very nature is sneaky and underhanded, is the appropriately named Tracking Cookie. A tool, which not only tracks a user’s footprints across the Web but, the data generated is then used to analyze the user’s online behavior.

It’s this behavior analysis (analyzing links I click on, the content I view, searches I make ….) where I draw the line. I find it disturbing that I have little or no say, in the manner in which I’m tracked as I surf the Internet. And, equally as important – how that information is used.

It’s fair to say, that many users do not object to being tracked. I wonder though, that if these same unconcerned users were aware of just how insidious and overwhelming tracking has become – if, they’d continue to be unconcerned.

Should an unconcerned user run the recently released Collusion Firefox add-0n– an add-on which graphs in real-time the “following behavior” of tracking cookies, they might feel less confident that their “I don’t care” perspective is the correct one.

Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs, in describing Collusion at the recent Technology, Entertainment, and Design conference pointed out, that Collusion “allows you to see all the third parties that are tracking your movements across the Web. It will show, in real time, how that data creates a spider-web of interaction between companies and other trackers.”

Kovacs went on to say that “Collusion will allow us to pull back the curtain and provide users with more information about the growing role of third parties, how data drives most Web experiences, and ultimately how little control we have over that experience and our loss of data.”

I’ve been tinkering with Collusion for the past several days, and I must admit to a new level of unease with this “behind the scenes” look at the nature of tracking now been practiced.

Here’s a screen shot of a spider-web of interaction between companies and trackers, from a short hop around the Internet which I made this morning.


I think you’ll agree, that the connection between and amongst trackers and tracking companies, might be more insidious than you had previously considered.

The graphic below (captured from the Collusion site),  briefly explains the  connections illustrated.


The Collusion add-on is available for download at Mozilla.

Back to the previous graphic for a moment – you’ll notice that you can export the graph. Should you do so, you’ll end up with data which will look something like the following. What you see is a very small portion of the exported data from today’s test.


And yes, there are a truckload of free tools which, to some extent, can impact and reduce the effectiveness of tracking – but, the downside in running with these tools is often a less than enjoyable Internet experience.