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mobile wallet app

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), the German firm behind the nano-SIM, is proposing a "comprehensive" cross-platform mobile wallet solution. Named SmartTrust Portigo, the solution requires users to download a dedicated app that will interact with a secure hardware element — one of G&D's nanoSIMs, for example — before interfacing with carrier-side software from various service providers, such as banks. At present, the standard is centered around NFC as the primary payment method, but G&D says that the system would work with other standards; what's more important is the process and backend.

Although it sounds like yet another competing standard in the crowded mobile payments market, G&D isn't trying to compete with the likes of VISA or...

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kim dotcom

Wired has details of Mega, the new cloud storage project from embattled Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. In many ways it sounds suspiciously similar to the previous file-sharing service that came under fire from US authorities, but a new encryption system gives users the ability to limit access to any file via generated keys. Mega won't keep the decryption keys on its servers, protecting them from possible hacks or government raids, and also meaning that the service won't be able to know the contents of users' uploads. As Dotcom explains it:

"If servers are lost, if the government comes into a data center and rapes it, if someone hacks the server or steals it, it would give him nothing. Whatever is uploaded to the site, it is going to...

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Peter Molydeux Twitter account

Wired has published an intriguing dual interview with legendary game designer Peter Molyneux and his Twitter doppelganger, @PeterMolydeux, telling the story of how the parody account helped jump-start the British designer's career. Having made his name with classics such as Populous, Theme Park, and Black & White, Molyneux was acqui-hired by Microsoft in 2006, where the ill-fated Fable series gave him a reputation for ambitious promises that never quite came to fruition. But tweets from @PeterMolydeux — which specializes in posting outlandish game ideas — helped him to resist the temptation to dumb down for corporate palatability and pushed him to quit Microsoft earlier this year, starting a new independent game studio called 22Cans....

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Google NC data center via Street View

Google may have taken extreme measures in the past to keep prying eyes from its data centers, but the search company’s latest endeavour has pulled back the curtain. As detailed on its official blog, Google has posted an expansive — and impressive — photo gallery of its data centers strewn across the globe. The company enlisted the help of photographer Connie Zhou to illustrate the technology, people, and places that keep the internet moving. As if that wasn’t enough, Google has mapped the inside and outside of its Lenoir, North Carolina server farm using Street View, allowing users to explore both the interior and exterior in great detail.

A short video has also been posted to accompany the experience, explaining exactly what...

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True Skin

Independent science fiction short films have boomed in the past few years, as creating special effects and distributing the finished product has become far easier. But "True Skin," a short film by music video veteran Stephan Zlotescu, has been getting attention from the mainstream film world. Upon release earlier this week, Roger Ebert linked to the piece, which he said seemed "destined to become a feature," and the team behind it is definitely angling for a larger production.

As it is, the short film is a beautiful piece of effects work, pairing Blade Runner's neon-lit alleys (and, unfortunately, an equally awkward voiceover) with more recent science fiction tropes like voluntary prosthesis and augmented reality. It's included a nod to...

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acoustic barcode

Chris Harrison, a PhD candidate in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, has created Acoustic Barcodes, an inexpensive and effective way to attach a binary ID to almost any surface. Using a simple contact mic, the system reads the audible waveform given off when an object — like a fingernail, card, or phone — runs across the notches that make up the unique barcodes. As demonstrated in the video below, Acoustic Barcodes can be built into store window displays to provide product information or can be used to initiate file syncing with your smartphone by dragging the device across a coded surface. Acoustic Barcodes can be applied to a number of materials, ranging from wood and metal to glass and stone,...

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winner2

Yes human beings, it's the moment you've been waiting for. The moment when we announce which of you will get a car in exchange for your sick internet skills. Sure, it's taken a long time, but to be fair, you didn't make it easy.

We entrusted you with a quest to seek out the most magical source material you could find from episode 009 of On The Verge and, once identified, transform that primordial internet ooze into a GIF so poignant and so important that it would make young mothers cry, and strangely, stop their babies from crying altogether.

And you did it. Well, some of you did, but let's be honest, not everyone's a winner and not everyone is special. In the end, we can only give one of you a Ford Focus Electric.

Congratulations c...

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bedrocket media

Bedrocket Media bills itself as a "next generation media company" backed by New York heavyweights from the world's of internet and television. "The old order – with its big, high-cost studios and gatekeepers – is crumbling, and the future belongs to nimble content creators who can take advantage of the seismic changes happening in the industry. We see a unique opportunity to become 'cable in the cloud,'" said Bedrocket CEO Brain Bedol.

The startup was one of the fist partners for YouTube's new channels initiative, creating a sports channel named Network A, but wanted to push things a little further. "We love YouTube, but we also want to expand beyond the model of showing TV on the internet. The web's strength is that it lets you do...

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oha logo large

Earlier today there was some strange drama as Acer abruptly cancelled the launch of a smartphone. The phone was running the Aliyun OS, which is created by Alibaba and which Google says is actually a "non-compatible [version] of Android." At the time, Acer said that Google had "expressed concerns" about the launch, and now Google has come forward to explain its side of the story in a statement:

Compatibility is at the heart of the Android ecosystem and ensures a consistent experience for developers, manufacturers and consumers. Non-compatible versions of Android, like Aliyun, weaken the ecosystem. All members of the Open Handset Alliance have committed to building one Android platform and to not ship non-compatible Android devices....

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tokyo metro signs

Japan is well-known for its polite populace, but that doesn't mean everyone follows the rules. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the country's crowded public transport networks, where people frequently listen to loud music, do their makeup, and take up space on the priority seats.

To combat these breaches of the peace, in 2008 the Tokyo Metro commissioned a series of 36 posters (collected here in full by Gakuranman) that set out to educate people on the right way to behave. Bunpei Yorifuji's simple line art and even simpler messages became instantly recognizable on Tokyo's subways, and while we can't say they entirely eliminated bad behavior, they did make riding the trains more amusing for a while. If you want a crash course in...

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