Posts Tagged ‘bar’

Scientists Develop Chocolate That Won’t Melt At High Temperatures

December 3rd, 2012 12:34 admin View Comments


Zothecula writes “One of life’s less pleasant surprises is discovering the chocolate bar that you forgot you had in your pocket on a hot day. Two scientists working at Cadbury’s research and development plant in Bourneville, U.K., are fighting that gooey surprise with the invention of chocolate that remains solid even when exposed to temperatures of 40 C (104 F) for more than three hours. Aimed at tropical markets, the ‘temperature tolerant chocolate‘ is described in a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) patent application.”

Source: Scientists Develop Chocolate That Won’t Melt At High Temperatures

Google Nexus 4 Prototype Lost In a Bar

October 28th, 2012 10:15 admin View Comments


theodp writes “A little over a year ago, an iPhone 4s prototype walked into a San Francisco bar, prompting a controversial manhunt by a now-deceased Apple investigator and the SFPD. Now, Wired reports that a Nexus 4 prototype walked into a San Francisco bar last month, prompting Google to sic its security team on ‘Sudsy,’ a San Francisco bartender who notified Google that he’d found their phone, which was slated to make its debut at a since-cancelled Android event on Oct. 29. When the ‘Google Police’ showed up at the bar, Sudsy’s co-worker sent the ‘desperate’ Google investigator on a wild goose chase which landed him in an under-siege SFPD Station, from which he and Sudsy’s lawyer had to be escorted out of under the watch of police in full riot gear with automatic weapons so the pair could arrange a 1 a.m. pickup of the phone.”

Source: Google Nexus 4 Prototype Lost In a Bar

Experts Warn About Security Flaws In Airline Boarding Passes

October 24th, 2012 10:26 admin View Comments


concealment writes in with a story about a newly found security issue with the bar codes on boarding passes. “Flight enthusiasts, however, recently discovered that the bar codes printed on all boarding passes — which travelers can obtain up to 24 hours before arriving at the airport — contain information on which security screening a passenger is set to receive. Details about the vulnerability spread after John Butler, an aviation blogger, drew attention to it in a post late last week. Butler said he had discovered that information stored within the bar codes of boarding passes is unencrypted, and so can be read in advance by technically minded travelers. Simply by using a smartphone or similar device to check the bar code, travelers could determine whether they would pass through full security screening, or the expedited process.”

Source: Experts Warn About Security Flaws In Airline Boarding Passes

SceneTap Patents Using Cameras To Determine Bar Goers’ Weight, Height, Gender

September 26th, 2012 09:30 admin View Comments


nonprofiteer writes with news on what SceneTap has been up to for the last few months since. From the article: “SceneTap uses facial recognition technology to help bar-hoppers decide which night spot to go to based on how crowded a bar is and what the age and gender ratio is. … Despite the fact that what the app does now is fairly innocuous. But what the app could do in the future, as described in a patent application filed in June, is pretty creepy. The patent application describes much more detailed data collection, including bar goers’ race, height, weight, attractiveness, hair color, clothing type, and the presence of facial hair or glasses, and includes other possibilities usually left to the realm of dystopic fiction, including putting microphones in the cameras that could detect what customers are saying, and using facial recognition technology to identify customers and then get information about them from social networking websites and databases to determine ‘relationship status, intelligence, education and income for the entire venue.’”

Source: SceneTap Patents Using Cameras To Determine Bar Goers’ Weight, Height, Gender

Federal Judge Says No Right To Secret Ballot, OKs Barcoded Ballots

September 22nd, 2012 09:28 admin View Comments


doug141 writes “A Colorado county put bar codes on printed ballots in a last minute effort to comply with a rule about eliminating identifying markings. Citizens sued, because the bar codes can still be traced back to individual voters. In a surprise ruling, Denver U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello said the U.S. Constitution did not contain a ‘fundamental right’ to secret ballots, and that the citizens could not show their voting rights had been violated, nor that they might suffer any specific injury from the bar codes.”

Source: Federal Judge Says No Right To Secret Ballot, OKs Barcoded Ballots

Meebo Discontinuing All Services Except for Meebo Bar

June 11th, 2012 06:01 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes with news of Meebo’s fate, a mere six days after being acquired by Google. From the article: “Meebo, which began in 2005 as a browser based instant messaging program, will now cease most of its services by next month. The IM service supported various IM platforms such as Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, AIM, ICQ, MySpaceIM, Facebook Chat, Google Talk, CafeMom and others.” Their cash cow, the Meebo bar, will “…continue to be available to site publishers and will see continued improvements and new features in the weeks and months ahead.” With Meebo killing off their messenger, are there any good Android chat alternatives that aren’t tied to Google Talk?

Source: Meebo Discontinuing All Services Except for Meebo Bar

Facial Recognition Cameras Peering Into Some SF Nightspots

May 20th, 2012 05:46 admin View Comments


Fluffeh writes “On Friday a company called SceneTap, flipped the on switch enabling cameras installed in around 20 bars to monitor how full the venues are, the mix of men and women, their ages — and to make all this information available live via a iPhone or Android app. Privacy advocates are unimpressed, though, as the only hint that people are being monitored is via tiny stickers on the windows. Beyond academics and policy experts, some San Francisco bar owners that originally partnered with SceneTap have said that they’re pulling out and will be taking down the company’s cameras. An increasing number of bars still listed on the SceneTap’s site are now saying that they’re not working with the Chicago startup, including Mr. Smith’s, Southpaw, John Colins, and Bar None.”

Source: Facial Recognition Cameras Peering Into Some SF Nightspots

10 Tips for Using Evernote Effectively

February 21st, 2012 02:06 admin View Comments

evernote.pngEvernote is a tool for keeping track of, well, everything. At least everything as far as digital information goes, or information that can be digitized. Evernote comprises a Web-based service and clients for Windows, Mac OS X, mobile devices, and extensions for Web browsers. It’s a service I’ve been using for years, and over that time I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of the tool.

Learn the Shortcuts

If you’re using Evernote on the desktop, you’ll want to start by learning the keyboard shortcuts. With Evernote, you can assign a couple of shortcuts to create a new note without leaving whatever application you happen to be using. For example, on Mac OS X, the Cmd-Ctrl-N shortcut (Ctrl-Alt-N on Windows) will create a new note from any application.


If you have something in the clipboard you want to create a note from, you can use Cmd-Ctrl-V to start a new note with whatever’s in the system clipboard. That’s Ctrl-Alt-V if you’re using Windows.

Want to search for something that’s in Evernote? A quick Cmd-Ctrl-E will bring Evernote to the foreground and let you search immediately. If you’re on Windows, that’s Shift-Win-F.

The Evernote Web site has a full list of Windows shortcuts and Mac shortcuts.

Use Evernote as an Address Book and Contact Manager

I’ve yet to find a contact manager/address book that I actually like, whether it’s Web-based or native desktop software.

For people I keep in close touch with (co-workers, family, friends) I use my phone’s address book and sync with my computer. But there’s a lot of people I touch base with less frequently (sources, PR people, potential clients) that I’d rather not clutter my address book with.

To fill the gap, I’ve managed to use Evernote pretty successfully for keeping track of contact information and conversations. I use a Contacts folder and tag messages with keywords that will help me remember context later on. For example, in booking interviews for the upcoming Strata conference I tag correspondence and notes with “stata” and “big data” plus company names or general product categories (like “Hadoop”).

You can also use Evernote to keep track of business cards. Scan in business cards and save them to Evernote, and once they’re synced Evernote will use character recognition on the cards. This means you’ll usually be able to find someone’s contact information via their business card without needing to re-type it.

I have hopes that Evernote will become even better suited for contact management once they’ve refined the Hello App that was introduced in December of last year.

Put Notes in the Favorites Bar

Have something you refer to often, like a sales sheet or maybe the Markdown syntax? Create a note and it to the Evernote Favorites Bar.

If you’re using the desktop client on Windows or Mac, you should have a Favorites Bar that’s sort of like the bookmark bar in Chrome or Firefox. It comes pre-populated with several defaults, like all files that are created from Web clips or all notes that have file attachments.

You can create new favorites by dragging a note, folder or tag to the Favorites Bar. Simple, no? One caveat, though – this feature is only in Windows or Mac OS X 10.7 or later. For some reason, the Favorites Bar doesn’t appear in earlier versions of Mac OS X.

Local Folders

In some cases you may want to use Evernote, without uploading your data to Evernote. This might be because you have huge files that would put you over quota, or because you have sensitive files that shouldn’t be stored elsewhere. Whatever the reason, you can create a local folder for Evernote that won’t be synced.

When creating a new folder, the default is for a synced folder. But if you choose “Local Notebook” instead of “Synchronized Notebook,” your new folder won’t be counted against your quota. Of course, it also won’t be available via Evernote’s Web service or synced with your other clients if you’re using Evernote on mobile devices or other computers.

Note that you can’t change the notebook type after you’ve created it, but you can easily copy notes between folders. So there’s not much lost in creating a notebook as a local one instead of synced if you have any doubts about wanting to sync it with Evernote’s servers.

Next page: Shared Folders and More

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Source: 10 Tips for Using Evernote Effectively

Categories: readwriteweb Tags: , , , , ,

Google’s New, New Nav Bar

February 9th, 2012 02:24 admin View Comments

googlelogo150.jpgWhen RWW webmaster Jared Smith sent me screenshots of yet another change to Google’s top navigation bar, I thought it was a bug. Then I got it, too. It’s a weird hybrid of the old, black nav bar with plain, gray text and the new, light one with the icons and Google search box. Sure enough, just now, Google announced the change, so it will be rolling out to all users soon.

The black bar, sometimes called the “sandbar,” only appeared in the middle of last year as Google began to redesign its interfaces, and the gray Google Bar was launched in November. Some users still have the sandbar, and others have the gray one. Now there’s a strange hybrid appearing, and it’s sort of the worst of both worlds.

The New Google Bar:


Old Google Bar:


The black bar worked because it was simple. The text links were clear, and the important services were all easily visible, with a drop-down at the end for the rest. It wasn’t pretty, but it was inoffensive and functional.

Old-New Google Bar:


The gray Google Bar was more visually intensive. When Google introduced it, it sounded like the point was to give the user back some space by removing the black band at the top. The gray bar contained a search box for the Google service you were currently using, and to navigate to other Google apps, you used this crazy dropdown menu:


The icons helped, but it still wasn’t fast to navigate, because you had to open the drop-down menus.

New-New Google Bar:


What we’ve got now is some kind of hybrid. The search box is still there, but the black bar is back now, too. Instead of the drop-down under the Google logo, it’s among the text links at the top, and the drop down is just a list of black words that descends in the middle of the screen.


This inconsistency is starting to get crazy. Google’s navigation bar gets a lot of use, and it’s impossible to form habits with it constantly changing. The changes are inexplicable, too. Now the Google Bar is bigger than ever, but it doesn’t seem any easier to use.

What do you think of Google’s new, new Google Bar?

Source: Google’s New, New Nav Bar

First Glimpses of Office 15 Are Minus the Ribbon

February 9th, 2012 02:15 admin View Comments

120209 Windows 8 Consumer Preview 04.jpgAs part of a carefully timed preview of the forthcoming Windows on ARM (WOA) operating system, which borrows the new “Metro-style” usage model from Windows 8, Microsoft released a video showing WOA running what were described as technical previews of four “Office 15″ applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. But the key question which Desktop for which application developers have been seeking an answer may have been obscured: As Microsoft adopts a new usage model with elements gleaned from the “Metro” style, will Office be moving away from the ribbon? The first clips of the new Office in action deliberately obfuscate the answer.

What we do see from shots of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as demonstrated by Windows Principal Program Manager Scott Seiber completely obscures the title bar, assuming one is even present. Along the top edge are menu categories that are now presented, for the first time, in ALL CAPS, reversing a design decision made a quarter-century ago to avoid making software seem like it was SHOUTING at its user.

120209 Windows 8 Consumer Preview 05.jpg

The full-color shading for the File menu suggests that Microsoft will continue its full-screen approach to loading, saving, and converting files, which premiered in the current Office 2010. Such an approach would be in keeping with the company’s new “Metro” design approach, where options are made very clearly visible with plenty of white space.

But as these screenshots clearly show, Office 15 will not be a “Metro-style app,” running in the fast and fluid new WinRT-driven environment being grafted onto Windows 8. Although technically these shots do not show an Office 15 preview for AMD- or Intel-based PCs, they were described by Microsoft Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky today as fully feature-compatible as their x86/x64 PC counterparts.

“The new Office applications for WOA have been significantly architected for both touch and minimized power/resource consumption,” Sinofsky wrote. “This engineering work is an important part of being able to provide Office software with WOA, as these are not simply recompilations or ports, but significant reworking of the products with a complete and consistent user experience and fidelity with their new x86/64 counterparts.”

120209 Windows 8 Consumer Preview 06.jpg

At one point, the video (snapshot above) does depict the user right-clicking on a graphic object in PowerPoint (which, in multitouch, is accomplished by a tap-and-hold). This brings up a drop-down list, but also makes a pastel-shaded “FORMAT” menu appear. This behavior appears consistent with how PowerPoint 2010 works today. When you right-click on a graphic object, a new “Format” category appears, under a main heading “Drawing Tools” that extends into the title bar area. In the clips provided today, the title bar was obscured, so the “Drawing Tools” heading may actually be present and may also have been obscured.

Also in Office 2010, the Ribbon may be minimized until needed by way of an up/down carat button that appears in the upper right corner. That button does not appear in any part of today’s video, though conceivably it may also have been moved to the obscured portion of the title bar.

The Ribbon screen device, which first premiered with Office 2007, is not exactly compatible with the “Metro” layout approach, and for some users has proven to be more difficult with multitouch than it is for the mouse. Rather than the traditional drop-down menu that at one time was “written in stone” by the Common User Access specifications, the Ribbon divides a horizontal strip into segments by category, and places command buttons of varying sizes into each segment. The size apportioned to each segment may vary according to the width of the window, and may shrink itself as that width is reduced.

The reasons this issue is so important are twofold: 1) Developers of functions and add-ons for Office 2010 need to know whether they must begin the long, arduous process of redesigning for Office 2013 – or instead just give up and develop for some other platform. 2) An entire industry devoted to training employees depends on the stability of the Microsoft Office platform. If Microsoft made cosmetic changes to the Ribbon that we’re just not privileged to see yet, publishers can use in-house staff members to make new screenshots and quick rewrites. If it instead scrapped the tool altogether in favor of a menu bar that looks more like Metro, those publishers will have to make significant new investments in completely rewritten content.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined all further comment on Office 15-related issues for now.

Source: First Glimpses of Office 15 Are Minus the Ribbon