Technology News

 2009



29th December   

Futureworld...

Simply-Adult
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First sex robot to be unveiled
Link Here  full story: Sex Robots...Future World

Futureworld DVD Peter Fonda True Companion is set to unveil the first female sex robot at the upcoming Adult Entertainment Expo at the Sands Convention Center Jan 7-10 2010.

This female robot from True Companion is described as an artificial intelligence robot which was been specifically engineered to completely gratify the owner. The robot is said to be fully equipped with the capabilities to carry on a conversation or to have an intimate encounter.

I told my husband about this new artificial intelligence female sex robot and all he could say was: they made one mistake when they equipped it to talk.

 

30th September   

Torrents of Self Interest...

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TalkTalk to implement voluntary internet filtering for broadband customers
Link Here

TalkTalk logo TalkTalk plan to introduce rating system for broadband Tuesday 29 September 2009.

Broadband connections with a cinema style rating could be coming to a computer near you following an announcement by TalkTalk that they were looking to implement parental controls within their network. The system would allow households to decide what rating to apply to their home with options of U, 14, 18 or unclassified.

Selecting a rating such as U or 14 would block access to websites such as pornography and gambling. Crucially, these ratings could also block access to file sharing websites such as the Pirate Bay.

The system proposed is implemented by the ISP so customers do not need to install software on computers or worry about keeping it updated.

This is something that we are going to do anyway, as a service to our customers, but through doing it we can also help the content industry by blacklisting sites that have BitTorrent [a file-sharing technology] files on them, said Charles Dunstone, (CEO) Carphone Warehouse

 

30th September   

A New Chapter...

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BBC Radio working on providing chapters for online radio programmes
Link Here

Radio 5 Live logo A couple of weeks ago we at BBC Radio took a first tentative step on what will hopefully be a significant journey. We started to identify chapters within programmes. Chapters is the term we're using to describe sections of a programme, rather like the chapters of a DVD.

We're excited about chapters for several reasons.

Firstly, they allow listeners or viewers to navigate back and forth through programmes e.g. jumping to the start of an interview, or replaying an item you found interesting. We think this will be useful for existing fans of programmes.

Secondly, chapters will help people to find items of interest from across the BBC - including items from programmes they might never have watched or listened to before.

In the future you might be able to download those chapters, or embed them in a blog, or sign up to get a podcast of all items on a particular subject... but we're only just starting to think about these possibilities.

5live were the first to experiment, and they're adding chapters to several of their programmes. You can find links to them on the 5live homepage (look out for pink links) and the Simon Mayo show is a great example (visit any episode, or click on the Chapters link).

We're starting slowly, with a limited selection of programmes, as we learn about what does and doesn't work. A couple of factors that may influence the selection are whether there are people available to do the extra work, whether we are able to add chapters from a rights perspective, and whether we think it's editorially appropriate and valuable to add chapters. The intention is to grow the number of programmes over time, but in a controlled and measured way.

 

14th September   

I'm Halal...

Muslim search engine
Link Here

I'm Halal logo A new search engine, called ImHalal.com, aims to protect the sensibilities of Muslims by filtering out content that is 'haram' or forbidden by the faith.

The site will warn people if they are searching for a query that might return explicit content, site-founder Reza Sardeha said.

Besides developing the search technology, Sardeha and others in his team, based in the Netherlands, have also introduced a two layer filter.

When users get a haram rating of level one or two out of three, they are advised to choose another keyword to search, but they can still continue their search if they believe the results fetched will be clean, Sardeha said.

Words like 'porn' and 'rape' are considered to be at a rating of three, and are blocked, he added. Terms like beer and pork, however, get a haram rating of one because users cannot consume them off the internet.

 

10th September   

Updated: Rhetorical Questions...

Vivid asks about downloading adult movies to PS3 consoles
Link Here

Vivid logo Video game sites were abuzz with the news that Vivid Chairman Steven Hirsch has issued an informal call for Sony to allow adult movies to be downloaded to Playstation3 (PS3) consoles.

Hirsch made his comments to gamer business portal MCV, saying that allowing the distribution of porn films on PS3 could be a boon for the adult entertainment industry: As long as proper age verification is in place, there is no reason why consumers should not be allowed to view adult movies on any device that they desire. It's too early to say to what extent this could help our business, but it certainly has real potential.

Hirsch's comments come on the heels of an August announcement that Japanese game portal DDM.tv plans to launch a porn-on-demand service for PS3. The service is expected provide HD adult movies to the consoles.

Digital Playground, a leading adult producer, already offers adult content for PS3, but only in a streaming format. According to Digital Playground Vice President of New Media Farley Cahen, the company's current policy does not encourage download-to-own of its movies: We're pretty adamant at this point about not allowing content to be downloaded for people to own.

Sony has not responded to Hirsch's request, but that may be because it was made informally through MCV and not directly to officers of the consumer electronics giant.

 

9th August   

Offsite: eBook Wars...

Technology battle between incompatible eBook readers
Link Here

Sony Book Reader The latest technology battle pits the country's major book sellers and gadget makers -- including Sony again -- with competing formats, all fighting for dominance in the burgeoning e-book market. And here we are, again, having to chose between, not two, but a gaggle of pricey machines for downloading and reading books on our handhelds.

This means, if you want to buy a book from Amazon.com and want to read it on your $279 Sony Reader -- you can't. If you buy a book from the Sony e-Book Store and try to read it on your $299-$489 Kindle -- you can't. If you download an e-book from Barnes & Noble and want to read it on your Kindle -- you can't. If you buy a book from Audible.com and have a Sony Reader device -- you get the idea. It's up to us, again, to handicap the products in the hopes that the device we put our money in will not end up in a garage sale.

..Read full article

 

1st August   

China Blue...

Chinese produce cheap alternative to Blu-ray discs
Link Here

CBHD logo China has unleashed a new format war for control of the high-definition DVD market in an audacious attempt to unseat the Blu-ray disc as the sole global standard.

The launch of the China Blue High-definition Disc (CBHD) for domestic use is viewed by analysts as a dramatic assertion of the country's rising technological confidence and they believe that the format could mount a serious challenge to Blu-ray.

The potential growth of the format in China has already become clear. In just a couple of months since it was launched, the cheaper all-Chinese CBHD players are thought to be outselling Blu-ray players at a rate of about three to one. The discs, priced at 50 yuan (£4.50), set consumers back about a quarter of the cost of a Blu-ray.

Toshiba confirmed that the CBHD format was based largely on technology developed for HD-DVDs and that it was in a licensor-licensee relationship.

China's decision to back the new format is understood to arise from a desire to protect its electronics industry from the royalty costs of using technology developed overseas. Chinese makers of ordinary DVD players have to pay about $22 per machine in royalty costs to a variety of patent holders; the dominance of Blu-ray would have condemned them to many more years of payments as that technology grew in market share.

The creation of a home grown format will fatten the margins of Chinese technology groups as Beijing pushes them to become internationally competitive.

CBHD was initially expected to flex its muscles as a format in China alone. Warner Bros has said that 100 titles will appear on the format by the end of this year and about 30 are already available. But at least one other big Hollywood studio is understood to be considering support for CBHD, suggesting to some that it may creep out from China into neighbouring markets. CBHD players are available in Hong Kong and the cheaper format may prove attractive in other emerging markets in the region.

 

5th July   

Update: In the Best Possible Taste...

Microsoft pull puke advert for private browsing in IE8
Link Here

OMGIGP Microsoft have pulled a pukey advert for private browsing mode introduced for their internet browser IE8.

A woman borrows her husband's computer, visits a curious link in his Internet browser history (presumably porn), and vomits all over her husband. Then Dean Cain shows up and tells the viewer how to avoid such situations by using IE8's private-browsing mode.

Anyway, Microsoft has pulled the advertisement - as much as you can from the Internet. The ad, as you can tell, is still available on YouTube and other places, though not through Microsoft. It was also taken off of BrowserForTheBetter.com, which is Microsoft's IE8 promotional Web site.

Microsoft apparently got a slew of complaints about the video. 

We make a point of listening to our customers, a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to CNET News: We created the OMGIGP video as a tongue-in-cheek look at the InPrivate Browsing feature of Internet Explorer 8, using the same irreverent humor that our customers told us they liked about other components of the Internet Explorer 8 marketing campaign. While much of the feedback to this particular piece of creative was positive, some of our customers found it offensive, so we have removed it.

 

23rd June   

Where Art Thou Romeo...

UK phone companies working on locating internet users in real time
Link Here

NICC logo UK Phone companies are developing a system to allow 999 operators to pinpoint the location of internet callers, supposedly to assist police, paramedics and fire crews to attend emergencies promptly.

They that the technology could be in place in some ISPs next year, according to the chairman of the industry group leading the work.

The vast majority of calls to 999 are currently made via traditional landlines and mobile phones. BT has seen a tenfold increase in the volume of VoIP calls to its emergency contact centres in the last 18 months, however. The ability to locate emergency calls is vital as callers may be under duress, too ill to speak or may simply not know where they are.

While traditional landlines can be found by what amounts to a reverse directory lookup, using the line identity number and mobile phone coordinates approximated by triangulation, solving VoIP location is a more complex problem.

The group tasked with developing the system has been working under the auspices of the NICC - a UK network industry interoperabilty body - for about three years and is chaired by John Medland, BT's policy manager for 999 services.

At first glance the solution is simple. When a VoIP user makes a 999 call, their provider knows the IP address they are calling from. So to trace the call, the VoIP firm could forward the IP address to a central 999 authority, which would look up which ISP serves that range. The central authority would then contact that ISP for a line identity number, which would allow a reverse directory lookup to retrieve the address of the caller, as with a traditional call. All this would happen automatically in a matter of milliseconds.

The major stumbling block is that many ISPs frontend systems are not connected to their backend database, so they cannot quickly match an IP address to a line identity. Under the forthcoming NICC proposals, ISPs would be asked to install a Location Information Server in their network to bridge the gap and serve the 999 authorities' data requests.

Equipment and maintenance costs mean some ISPs are likely to be resistant to the proposals, however. But Ofcom, which regulates 999 services, has indicated to ISPs that even if they are not the VoIP provider, they are bound by law to make location data available to emergency services.

 

13th June   

Searching for Hassle...

Microsoft unveil new search engine for websites, images and video
Link Here

bing logo Bing, Microsoft's new search engine, has caused controversy by allowing users to see porn videos without leaving the site, once safety controls are turned off.

The site became available to users, two days ahead of its official roll out date on June 3. One of its defining features is the functionality which enables it to auto-play videos in search results, when users hover the mouse above the stills. By typing in words with sexual connotations, once the safety search setting is off, Bing users can access porn films and other similarly explicit material, within the site. Other search engines, such as Google, do not play the videos within their sites, but provide links to external sites.

The ‘safe search' is on by default, however anyone can turn it off with two clicks and self certified age verification.

Last week Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive unveiled Bing at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego, as a replacement for its current search engine, Live Search.

The new search engine aims to better understand what users are looking for, and therefore displays fewer results in certain circumstances. A search for the website Facebook, for instance, would bring up just one result linking to the site itself, with the option of displaying further results about the site.

Update: Hint: Select a Free Country in the Country Location set up

4th June 2009.  Based on article from business.rediff.com

Bing.com, Microsoft's new search engine and much ballyhooed answer to Google, seems to have a neurotic attitude towards pornography.

While users in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia can search for sexually explicit material within the search page itself, Bing.com is automatically set-up to censor searches from Thailand and other censorial countries.

Other countries to get this censorship treatment are Middle East nations, China, Germany Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey.

Searches from within Thaialnd for the term 'sex', along with other sex-related terms, return the following result: THE SEARCH SEX MAY RETURN SEXUALLY EXPLICIT CONTENT. To get results, change your search terms. No results are listed. There is no safe search' option where users can toggle on/off this automatic censorship.

However, it's been discovered that if users change their country location setting to an uncensored country, say the US, full results will be displayed, provided the user then turns off safe search.

Update: Microsoft rearrange Bing.com to allow easier blocking

13th June 2009.  Based on article from news.cnet.com

After plenty of coverage about how its Bing search engine makes it all too easy for kids to find and view porn, Microsoft has made some changes that will make it easier for parents, companies or states to block or monitor what people are viewing on the site.

In a blog post, Microsoft announced that it is making two changes the company thinks will help address the issue.

According to the post, explicit images and video content will now be coming from a separate single domain, explicit.bing.net. This is invisible to the end customer, but allows for filtering of that content by domain, which makes it much easier for customers at all levels to block this content regardless of what the SafeSearch settings might be.

With this change, parents should be able to use parental control tools to block that domain and therefore block the images and videos. Almost all third-party filtering tools can be configured to block specific domains or sites, as can the parental controls in Microsoft Vista and Mac OS X.

Microsoft will also return the "source URL" information of specific images and videos, so if a filtering program blocks that site, it will prevent the video or image from being viewed within Bing. For example, if there is a video playing at Playboy.com, a filtering program that blocks Playboy would also prevent someone from viewing the content from inside Bing.

In an e-mail, Microsoft spokesman David Burt said the company has reached out to more than 25 filtering and security vendors to work with them to provide a solution for filtering explicit content while using Bing.

 

7th June   

Carnalpedia...

A wikipedia for all things related to sex
Link Here

Carnalpedia A Wikipedia for Porn has launched. Carnalpedia aims to be the definitive online resource for all things related to sex, including the porn industry.

Carnalpedia will remind visitors immediately of Wikipedia, the site that has become the web's favourite destination for finding facts on just about every imaginable topic. The layout is identical, as is navigation and organization of content within article pages. It also maintains the wiki convention of being free to access and open to anyone to create and/or edit submissions.

Although the site has only been online for a few weeks, it already contains more than 120,000 articles, including a growing list of adult movie titles, which currently sits at about 76,000.

When asked about why the web needs a Wikipedia for sex, Carnalpedia creator Jeremy Haddock said The fact that Wikipedia has a certain type of audience leaves a lot of information about sex and the adult industry either blocked or censored.

Haddock notes that all of Carnalpedia's article pages will be labeled with the Restricted To Adults (RTA) tag which will prevent them from being accessed on computers equipped with services like NetNanny which only allow age-appropriate content to be viewed.

The site is trying to avoid being a resource for people who simply want to swap adult material: only authorized individuals from approved sources are allowed to upload images.

 

21st April   

Searching for Google...

Microsoft Family Safety Filter blocks Google
Link Here

Microsoft logo Some users have been experiencing problems using the latest version of Microsoft's Family Safety Filter, which has been blocking access to none other than Google.

Slashdot poster mike.rimov notes:

I saw that part of the brand new Windows Live package is the Family Safety Filter

So I decided to give it a spin. Turned it on, set it to 'basic filtering' (their lowest level), and went to Google ... oops, it blocks Google!

So I logged into the settings and added Google as an exception. Google still wouldn't come up. Just in case, I turned off the family filter: voila, Google.

Oh yeah — and with the filter on, Microsoft's own search engine, live.com comes up."

 

20th March   

Port 80 Nutters...

Mormon conspiracy to censor the web
Link Here

CP80 logo Mormon anti-pornography nutters led by SCO Group chairman Ralph Yarro III are calling on ICANN to give more political clout to those who want to kick porn off the web.

Scores of Yarro's followers have this week petitioned ICANN to OK the formation of a new Cybersafety Constituency which would help develop binding policies for the internet's domain name system. The Cybersafety Constituency would represent the interests of families, children, consumers, victims of cybercrime, religions and cultures.

The drive is being orchestrated by Cheryl Preston, the top lawyer for CP80.org, an Internet Zoning censorship campaign headed by Yarro. CP80.org wants all adult material banned from Port 80, the standard protocol port for the web, and confined to a new port.

ICANN is responsible for managing internet port and IP address allocations globally.

ICANN has asked for comments on the Cybersafety Constituency proposal. So far, the vast majority of commenters support the move, and a majority of those are identikit stock letters, written by and sent at the request of Yarrow. The large majority of commenters giving physical addresses or phone numbers appear to be located in the Mormon stronghold of Utah.

 

2nd February   

Sex and Zen in 3D...

But don't expect a poke in the eye as it sounds distinctly softcore
Link Here

Sex and Zen DVD cover Here's some eye-popping news. Sex and Zen , the classic Category III sexploitation film, is being remade in 3-D to lure patrons back into Hong Kong theaters.

Producer Stephen Shiu Jr has said that he will use special effects to make the love scenes as realistic as possible! (suggesting that it will be distinctly non real softcore).

Shiu says that 25 to 30% of the remake will be made up of love scenes, including many close-ups. The source article goes on to cite the producer as saying that actresses would appear only a few centimeters from viewers, who would need 3-D glasses to enjoy the full effect.

Shiu is looking outside of Hong Kong to find actresses to fill the lead roles, specifically porn stars from Japan and Taiwan.

Shooting is expected to begin in April with a release set for Christmas.

 

 

 Technology News

 2009