Archive for October, 2011
Many of science fiction’s most rosy ideas of the future seem less and less likely, or they’ve already failed to materialize on schedule. But the future could still be a beautiful place.
There are still plenty of optimistic science fiction stories that haven’t been disproved yet. They don’t involve science that’s been debunked, or events that were supposed to have happened by now. If you need something to believe in, here are some positive science fiction stories that could still come true.
Top image: Monosquare by Sparth.
Nowadays, it feels like a lot of science fiction is focused on apocalypses and dark challenges. Meanwhile, a lot of the older, more upbeat science fiction is already expired. We didn’t colonize Mars by the year 2000. The Eugenics Wars didn’t happen. A lot of magical technologies, like faster-than-light travel, are seeming less and less plausible. We seem no closer to eliminating war and famine and other scourges.
So what positive, hopeful science fiction stories could you still believe are real — or at least make a case for? Here are some suggestions.
What it’s about: This is probably the most classic utopian future that everybody has seen. It’s the year 2062, and everybody’s living in middle class paradise. It’s apparently a post-scarcity society. American manufacturing is alive and well, and George only needs to work nine hours a week to provide for a stay-at-home wife, his two children, and a dog. There don’t appear to be any poor people — in the Christmas episode, which is ostensibly a lesson about “giving,” Spaceley only learns to “give” George more time off, not to give to the poor. Still, we have no idea what sort of post-apocalyptic mutants might be inhabiting the surface of the Earth in this universe — we never see what’s happening on the ground, so it could be a zombie-strewn wasteland down there.
Now well into its fifth year of life, iOS has always been known for its exceptional polish — and also, its glaring feature holes. But, just like clockwork, each year since its 2007 debut, those shortcomings have been addressed one by one in a sweeping annual update. In 2008, the platform was opened up to developers giving us the App Store, 2009 saw the introduction of copy and paste — which we’d argue is still the best implementation to date — and last year “multitasking” finally made a presence. So what has Apple chosen to rectify in 2011? Well, for starters, notifications gets a complete overhaul with Notification Center, tethered syncing dies at the hands of iCloud and messaging gets a do-over with the birth of iMessage.
If you recall, we first got acquainted with iOS 5 in May after downloading the developer preview, but how does the final release stack up? And does it have the chops to compete with the latest from Mountain View and Redmond? After drudging through seven betas, we’re ready to conquer all that the final release has to offer, so join us, if you would, past the break.
Albert Einstein once said that
“Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.”
and Steve jobs had that courage thank you
Today is a sad day not just to the Apple followers but too many of us in the tech community. It is hard to deny the impact that Apple and Steve Jobs has had on our lives. Take a moment today to think about how and where Apple was in your life.
For me I look back and I am sure to some degree I take these things for granitite. I remember back in grade school using an Apple computer to control a “turtle” to draw shapes and pictures. The school years would come and go and Apple computers would do everything from, teach me how to type and to find out where in the world Carmen Sandiego was. While in my senior year of high school I would get to use the Macintosh classic II. This little black and white system would be the first system I would use to design or create on. Sure I have a PC at home but it was what this MAC had to offer that kept my interest. Years later the iPod was the new Walkman and having that ability to take all my music with me would change the way I would view convenience.
Today with the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad Apple has created the foundation of a new more “connected” information age and although I do not consider myself a Mac user I will take a moment of silence for the MAN and the company that have influenced so many over the years.
HTC users, take note: a new security flaw has been found in some Sense-enabled handsets that allows apps with Internet permissions to gain some sensitive data on your handset that’s being collected by an HTC logging app. According to the folks at Android Police, newer HTC phones running Sense (like the ThunderBolt and EVO 3D) include an app called HTCLoggers that collects data like phone numbers in your call log, email addresses, and GPS location info and then sends all of that back to HTC. Users are given the option to not have the data sent to HTC upon first setup of a Sense device, but that doesn’t stop the HTCLoggers app from gathering the info in the first place.
The problem is that HTC’s app is built in such a way that any other app that requests Internet access could gain access to the data inside HTC’s logs. Because of this, it would be possible for someone to create a malicious app that asks for permission to access the Internet and then specifically gathers the data from this HTC app and sends it back to their own server.
HTC has responded to the issue, saying, “HTC takes our customers’ security very seriously, and we are working to investigate this claim as quickly as possible. We will provide an update as soon as we’re able to determine the accuracy of the claim and what steps, if any, need to be taken.” Android Police points out that owners of a rooted device can remove HTC’s logging app right now, but those of you that aren’t currently rooted can’t do much about the issue until HTC takes action.
Although HTC’s logging app doesn’t collect things like passwords, it’s still a little unsettling to know that a malicious app could gain access to some of your data because HTC’s software doesn’t block any ol’ app from accessing it. When we hear more from HTC on the matter, we’ll be sure to pass it along. Until then, be careful about which apps you download, and make sure to avoid anything that you feel is suspicious (which you should be doing anyway). Be safe out there, folks! A video of the vulnerability in action is below.