GizmoRay

Amazon Drone Delivery Services

Dec 16th, 2013

amazon-drone

Amazon has always been an envelope pusher — they’ve furthered online shopping to a point where most expect goods to be ordered and delivered with one mouse click. Earlier this month, Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s CEO) announced that Amazon was making moves to create a drone delivery network to further decrease that delivery time… to thirty minutes.

For me, the mere possibility that a drone service with thirty minute delivery time would even be considered, says something rather worrisome about what our society is coming to. Not only are there concerns for safety and privacy, with thousands of automated flying-spinny-blade-package-dropping-thingies hovering around in the air, but it also generates concerns for the level of impatience that one would have to have, if one required such speedy delivery of their items (which I’m sure are very creepy). All that, and it also creates worry for the current delivery providers (namely UPS and FedEx). Amazon is by far the largest online distributor currently around, and most likely one of the largest users of the aforementioned companies.

Amazon is currently awaiting FAA approval of their system — which, if approved, will most likely be released in a small scale in some location. Drop a comment, if you’re interested in the close-shaving delivery method.

Dreamhost Reviewed

Jun 9th, 2013

DreamHost

Website hosts are something that should be trusted in, they should also provide an excellent customer service experience, alas—DreamHost doesn’t provide such a service. For the past year or so, I’ve been using their service to host a plethora of websites, including this one. About a month ago, I found myself at a small disadvantage in terms of loading speed – website graders were giving me “improve server response” messages, as such I took the community to release my troubles upon them. Having found another user with a similar issue, I commented to see if I could receive a response from the staff, unfortunately I was met with an administrative member with an eager trigger-finger and a very large ban-hammer. Feeling mildly violated, and disgruntled, I took to the other form of company communication – their support line. With an extremely cantankerous attitude at this point, I wrote a message. After several days I received a response from an extremely apologetic customer service representative, that stated the aforementioned staff member had been reprimanded and the ban lifted, I also received one month of free service.

Feeling rather contented with myself, I took the forums once more, ready to “improve server response”, however, much to my dismay—I was still banned. At this point, I was exasperated with the service, I immediately took to the great Google, and started the search for a new host, one that wouldn’t ban its users for voicing opinions, or give false information in custom-service responses. I’m now happily hosted on Knownhost, with great customer service department, and even more control of the server’s functions.

If at all possible, I would recommend avoiding DreamHost and switching to almost any other service. If it was in question, this is not a sponsored post, and I’m not necessarily recommending any other host, simply providing a word of warning against using DreamHost’s services. Drop a line below with other host horror stories.

Hosts: Dreamhost, Knownhost

Government & NSA Tracking Your Every Move — Updated

Jun 6th, 2013

uncle-sam-watching-you-feature

In semi-breaking news today the government, to nobody’s surprise, is watching your every move. Verizon, on June 5th started a storm of accusations against the NSA, claiming that over the past several months, they’ve been sharing their users’ information with the aforementioned government agency. Adding to the mess of accusations, other companies have come out to support Verizon’s claims, including Facebook (obviously the most surprising, with their spectacular privacy policies), AT&T, Sprint, Google, Apple, Microsoft, as well as several others. However, the companies have specified that they have not allowed any government agencies direct access to their servers.

The above companies have admitted to freely giving the NSA access to personal information, in a blanket security clause that was thrown at them. The program, known as PRISM, has only now surfaced from the deep and murky depths of inconspicuousness. The program was launched from a previous program, founded by the former US president George W. Bush, that warrantlessly surveilled various companies and individuals.

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Lighter-than-air material created

Jan 2nd, 2013

bds_hrl_948x432

Material Science is a remarkable area of study, it’s been responsible for a terrific number of today’s most common materials, ranging from ceramics to metallurgy to the vast and unknown corners of nano-tubes. With the latter being the most relevant to the above title, as the aforementioned field has yet again yielded a remarkable material – Aerographite, a material so light that to form one kilogram of the stuff, you would need 14 car trunks (one square meter base, five meters high).  The new imponderous material has many practical applications, such as a casing for batteries, shielding for satellites or waterproof clothes.

Source: Advanced Materials, EuroNews

3D Illusion with CSS tricks

Dec 30th, 2012

Prepare for incoming nerdiness – you have been warned.

CSS is widely overlooked in terms of its power for certain applications, the number of websites the don’t utilize its amazing properties is flabbergasting. Ranging from box-shadows to border-radiuses, designers will often use other complicated workarounds, where the latest iteration of CSS would easily have solved the issues.

The above photograph is a perfect example of where CSS could handle the situation with ease, but where most will use images or complicated HTML5 and Javascript properties to draw the image. However, the aforementioned example was accomplished with pure CSS, not a drop of JS or HTML5 to be seen for miles. One can very easily draw a shape with transparent border styles and various margins, adding the three dimensionality takes slightly more thought, though. As for the example, I created a pentagon with two separate shapes, an askew rectangle and a triangle. To add the third dimension, I simply used the outset border-style property, however, this effect could also be achieved via different coloring of the top section. Check out the full code below, good luck in your designing!

Bugs:

There are a number of issues that I’ve noticed in using this method, such as artifacting with the transparent border-colors, as well as the edges of the shape. Also, the colors within the transparent border-colors will look slightly different in Firefox and IE 5+.

#pentagon {
margin: 100px 0 0 0;
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;
position: relative;
width: 500px;
border-width: 500px 180px 0;
border-style: outset;
border-color: #FFD300 #1770cf;
}
#pentagon:before {
content: “”;
position: absolute;
height: 0;
width: 0;
top: -800px;
left: -180px;
border-width: 0 430px 300px;
border-style: outset;
border-color: transparent #1770cf #FFD300;
}

Zuckerbergs don’t understand privacy

Dec 27th, 2012

asdf

Facebook’s privacy policies have always been slightly malformed, starting as one simple line of text back in the day, then leading to a mountain of legal terms longer than the United States’ Constitution. In fact, it’s so confusing, that even Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, Randi Zuckerberg was confused. She stumbled on the idea that Facebook’s privacy policies and online etiquette are equal or greater to “human decency”, which I’m hopefully correct in assuming, we all know to be a falsity. The sister Zuckerberg posted the above picture to her Facebook feed, assuming that it was a private photograph. One of the Zuckerbergs who was tagged was friends with Vox Media Marketing director Callie Schweitzer, who tweeted the picture to her ~40,000 followers. Randi Zuckerberg was then hit in the head with the same astonishment many other Facebook users have over privacy policies. However, attempting to center the blame anywhere other than Facebook, Randi Zuckerberg took to the battlegrounds of Twitter to defend her actions, blaming Mrs. Schweitzer for not following the practices of “human decency”. Saying: “Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings, it’s about human decency” and later defending this statement with: ” I think people often forget that there is a human on the other end of a post or tweet! Sometimes they need reminding :)”. All of this goes to show that even Mark Zuckerberg’s sister can’t fully understand the monstrosity that is Facebook’s privacy policy.

Happy Holidays

Dec 25th, 2012

8bit

Happy holidays and a merry Christmas to you all! Have a wonderfully nerdy New Year!

The Republic of Cupcakes – Sandboxed Platformer

Dec 25th, 2012

cake

Worlds away, on a planet in the Milky Way Galaxy, lives a society that terrorizes the smaller sub-species with forks, knives, and sporks. Your job as the commander of the Walking Cakes is find a way to end the war on cakes around the globe. Complete many different goals and challenges to finally find the light at the end of the long and hungry tunnel.

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Hackers be Creepin’ in Hotels

Oct 25th, 2012

hacker

There are innumerable reasons to be terrified of hotel rooms, ranging from bedbugs to rats and spiders. There’s now another reason to be afraid of them: hackers… and anyone that can build a $50 home-brew device with open-source software that is freely available online. Forbes recently released an interview with a Black Hat security conference presenter about the security flaws of hotel locks, more specifically locks manufactured by Onity, which have been installed in four to five million hotel rooms around the world.

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Testing Post

Oct 1st, 2012

hawaii

Just a testy test! Actually posted on December 25th 2012.