Happy New Year from the future, Welcome to 2011

Best wishes to you and your family on this new year from Sydney. Australia.

Advertisements

Evesdropping on digital mobile calls..

I remember my Motorola Pocket Classic that with a simple code and bit of foil between two bettery terminals, turned into a nice convenient little mobile phone scanner. This kind of easy cracking into other peoples phone calls was the big driver for going to the digital GSM standard; well now that seems to be finally hacked apart…

“a pair of researchers demonstrated a start-to-finish means of eavesdropping on encrypted GSM cellphone calls and text messages, using only four sub-$15 telephones as network “sniffers,” a laptop computer and a variety of open source software.”

So watch what you say and maybe start using VoIP calls on your mobile more often if your really worried about call security.

via Breaking GSM With a $15 Phone … Plus Smarts | Threat Level | Wired.com.

Social Network size may indicate larger brain size…

Research by Kevin Bickart and coauthors as published in Nature Neuroscience has shown “positive correlation in amygdala size with both social network size and complexity”.

Indicating that parts of the brain may b e growing to compensate for growing social interaction by humans in modern society.

via Brain Volume Linked to Social Networking | Wired Science | Wired.com.

Kinect’ed – The Microsoft Kinect Review part 1

Initial release of the Kinect device in Australia has no voice recognition, however my initial thoughts on the device are generally good.
Lets do a quick pros and cons then a small review of gameplay:
Pros:
Works in any lighting including very low light.
Recognises well even with two people in range.
It’s fun!

Cons:
Cannot yet tell between a close or opened fist.
A little bit glitchy on crossover or near edge of play zone.
Doesn’t work in normal Xbox Dashboard.
Cannot launch all your games from the Kinect control panel.

Now for the low down:

Personally i didn’t see myself jumping around too much, however I am surprised to see just how much I have got into it.
The gameplay is a lot of fun and the balance of music, interaction and ease of use is good. Even little things like the growd going wild when you stick your hands in the air on Kinect Sports.
I played three games, Kinect Adventures (comes with the Kinect), Kinect Sports and Dance Central.
All three were fun and had plenty of action. I also demoed Sonic Board Riders and the Kinect car game (name eludes me right now).
Each have an easy to manage gesture system and plenty of fun music to keep you hyped up and ready to run and jump.
There looks to be a lot of room for improvement but i am sure this will happen with future system updates.
For now, for only $199 it’s pretty good value and the kids (including the big kids) will have plenty of fun with it.

What is GOD? Part 1

I have asked myself this quite a lot, especially in the quest of understanding why we have these religious extremists. Muslim, Christian and others, most of the main stream religions have extremists in their midst.

This is where my own theory comes in….

Firstly, religion can have a place, although faith is a more important and not necessarily a subset of religion.

Why is faith important? As humans we have a fear of the unknown, to help combat this and feel more stable we have faith. With faith we can trust in the unknown rather than fear the unknown. This is why religion has become so popular, it fills a void that many people find scary.

Personally though I have faith in humans not needing religion. We have enough culture to sustain personality and social identity without religion.

For me, being a Darwinist and factual mind, there are two points at which we must concede:

1. Energy does not cease, it merely changes form. There is a great lot of energy in our bodies and to think that this can just stop is not possible. This is where religion fills in by saying we have a soul that travels off into heaven. Personally I believe our energy does go somewhere, but where? Maybe we just become one with the other energies in nature or maybe we have some kind of Quantum existence.

2. Big Bang, Single celled evolution to multi-celled seems logical but where did that first atom or cell come from? What was before the big bang, is there a creator up there somewhere?

So I have faith in myself, in the world that sustains us and the things we engineer, I try to have faith in others, although sometimes it’s hard lol

I believe religion has no real place in today’s society, and that’s not even going into the bloodshed and pain caused by some major religions, but instead we should have faith in our own species and rather than fear the unknown, have a healthy interest in it and we should enjoy sharing our own theories in it.

Life and death is just the ultimate adventure of learning!