Showing posts from: Programming

amazon dash button
November 29, 2016

The Amazon dash button and the Internet of Things shopping

After an initial period of availability only in the US and UK, the Amazon dash button this fall came to the rest of Europe and it is about to revolutionize the world of home shopping. But what is the Amazon Dash button? It is a small WiFi button that allows customers to order through a click some everyday products, such as razors, detergent, diapers, coffee, beer etc. To work, the button has to be connected to an existing Amazon account and thus allows customers to place the order without having to access each time the Amazon website or mobile app.

At the first use, the button must be configured through the Amazon app to set the type and number of the packages that we want to receive and then it is ready for use. Just the ease of using the dash button is the realization of the Internet of Things concept, a concept on which rivers of ink have been spilled by experts and futurists and which now suddenly becomes a concrete and daily practice. The connection between intelligent objects marries simplicity and goes to satisfy consumers’ daily needs, making the supply of basic necessities more comfortable.

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electronic-voting-machines
November 7, 2016

US Election Day and Concerns over Electronic Voting

Tomorrow, Tuesday November 8th, the United States will choose their 45th President, the election campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will end and the votes of US citizens will decreed victory for the Republican or Democratic candidate. What not everyone remembers, however, is the way in which the voting will take place. In America, in fact, for years, numerous voting mechanisms have been coexisting: traditional ballot papers to be inserted in the ballot box have been flanked by many devices for electronic voting.

Electromechanical voting machines (which record the vote by punching on paper) and computer with touchscreen terminals are only two of the types of machinery used to express electoral preferences: alongside the undoubted advantages in terms of speed and storage of voting data, they have an unavoidable component of vulnerability that every four years rekindles the debate over the safety of the vote in the US.

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indoona IFTTT
October 19, 2016

Indoona is now on IFTTT!

As you all probably already know the motto of indoona is “Connecting everything” and it is no coincidence. For us “connecting” means building bridges, it means putting people at the center of their choices and give them the freedom to communicate as they prefer. Communicate with other people, but also with the web, objects, applications and intelligent services, and do it directly with tools that are used every day: smartphone and personal computer.

But this is not enough for us, we like the idea that the indoona universe can communicate 360°, even with other universes: and it is for this reason that we are happy to announce that starting from today indoona is on IFTTT with its official Channel! What is IFTTT? IFTTT stands for If This Then That and it is the most important app interconnection platform in the world, developed to create automated interactions between different applications, including of course indoona 😉

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perfect password
September 29, 2016

How to create the perfect password

The news of the recent data breach which affected 500 million Yahoo accounts has highlighted again the issue of IT security and data protection. The Yahoo email hack is certainly an extreme case and every day experts around the world work to make online services more secure through mechanisms such as double check, monitoring of logins from other devices and data encryption. However, users can help increase system security by adopting difficult to predict passwords.

When you create a very strong password the main problem is being able to remember it: the more secure a password is, the more difficult it is to remember. Guessing a password like 6&gdNuNLW&^% may take billions of tries, too many even for an Artificial Intelligence. Remembering it for a human would be just as difficult: therefore, is there a way to create a secure and at the same time easy-to-remember password? Ana Swanson from the Washington Post writes that two researchers at the University of Southern California may have finally come up with a great solution. Marjan Ghazvininejad and Kevin Knight have published a paper in which they show a way for creating passwords hard to crack and relatively easy to remember: randomly-generated poems.

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indoona wordpress plugin
September 15, 2016

WordPress users, put your website on indoona with our plugin!

WordPress is the most widely used CMS platform for creating sites and blogs and allows virtually anyone to create and manage a website without the need for special skills in programming. To testify that WordPress is both reliable and functional not only for amateur sites, there is a growing presence of many professional websites made with this platform: in fact WordPress not only provides a set of easy-to-use tools to create sites and blogs, but also gives the opportunity to enrich and improve them through plugins developed by third parties. One of these is the indoona plugin.

One of the main needs for anyone who runs a website, in fact, is to increase and diversify the traffic as well as keep regular visitors up to date with the news that are posted online. The indoona plugin allows you to keep your followers and fans always up to date with your WordPress site, directly from their indoona chat: by installing this plugin in your WP website you will be able to notify your followers in real-time when you publish something new.

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no man's sky
September 6, 2016

No man’s sky and the infinite possibilities of Sandbox games

On August 10 the british indie studio Hello Games released for PlayStation 4 and PC “No man’s sky”, a space exploration video game set in what is probably the biggest virtual universe ever created. Thanks to a special algorithm, the galaxy of No man’s sky is made up of 18 million billion (you read that right) planets, each with unique and different geography, flora and fauna.

No Man’s Sky cannot be completed: the aim of the game is to explore planets, harvest resources to improve the player’s spaceship, trade or fight with other players but there’s no real end goal. This, together with the vastness of the galaxy, makes the game virtually endless and potentially very long-lived. In the world of video games this is not an absolute novelty: for few years the so-called “sandbox” (or “open world“) video games have established themselves successfully alongside the more traditional products.

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meg-ryan-instant-messaging
August 25, 2016

Some facts about Instant Messaging…

We all daily use Instant Messaging softwares or websites, including our indoona. We do it to communicate quickly and easily with friends and family and share files and documents. We are so used to using the chat – via PCs and smartphones – that probably we don’t remember anymore when we started to chat and what was “our” first chat service.

Where did it all start? Here are some interesting facts about the history of instant messaging, many years before the rise of Whatsapp, indoona and their “brothers”:

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Pokemon GO Augmented Reality
July 13, 2016

A new beginning for Augmented Reality?

Four days after its debut on the market, Pokémon GO, the new video game for smartphone developed by Nintendo, has already surpassed the dating app Tinder in total number of downloads on Android devices in the US and is poised to pass the number of Twitter daily users. What is the reason for this incredible success? No doubt the fact that the game allows players to catch Pokémon exploring the real world, thanks to the so-called Augmented Reality, the mechanism by which fictional digital elements are added to the images of reality, displayed by the smartphone camera.

Basically, the app allows anyone to run into Pokémon specimens (among the most famous: Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander etc) to try to capture them and earn points. The success of the app – which in just four days broke all records for download and use – is certainly due to the popularity and affection that Pokémon has achieved over the years (many of those who now play Pokémon GO are the same who watched them on TV as children) but mostly it is due to the idea of ​​intelligently leverage Augmented Reality to make it a mass market technology.

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artificial intelligence R2d2
June 28, 2016

The era of Artificial Intelligence: Part 2 – Issues and Concerns

The evolution of the AI programs is reaching many fields: for example, to allow the AI to communicate in an ever more human way, Google’s DeepMind developers have started to make it read hundreds of romance novels to help it improve its dialectical skills and develop a minimum of personality. The choice fell on the romantic novels because they have very linear plots and simple narrative schemes but also they are very similar to each other, an element that AI can learn to manage and rework to interact with a human being. The next step is to draft long and elaborate sentences, or even writing entire novels. Not surprisingly, a recent book written by a computer has passed a literary prize screening. The Japanese literary prize Hoshi Shinichi is also open to works produced by artificial intelligences and the jury – without knowing its origin – admitted the book “The day a computer writes a novel”, written by the program of a professor of the Hakodate Future University.

All right, then? Not exactly. Not all AI are evolved and capable in the same way: recently an AI experiment on Twitter run by Microsoft went horribly wrong: Tay, a bot programmed to respond automatically to other users and learn from their sentences began writing racist things, insulting and denying the Holocaust. This because its internal mechanisms of imitation and emulation have not been able to correctly filter the information received. Apart from these drawbacks, the current debate on Artificial Intelligence focuses on a bigger and more important question: is there a danger that the AI will become capable of harm – deliberately or by emulation – the man?

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artificial intelligence
June 24, 2016

The era of Artificial Intelligence: Part 1 – Neural networks & Deep learning

Artificial Intelligence has been discussed for a long time and often inappropriately: some say that it represents a great opportunity, while others say it could be the biggest threat to humanity. But many do not even know what it is exactly. Perhaps because it is a discipline by poorly defined contours, debated among scientists and philosophers, which presents theoretical and practical aspects as well as ethical.

We can generally define the AI as a computer’s ability to perform typical functions and reasoning of the human mind: according to this definition it is clear that today we already are surrounded by examples of AI, for example Google. The search engine of Mountain View, in fact, no longer shows just lists of links, but also direct answers to various questions (try typing “obama birth date” or “David Beckham’s wife” and see the results). To do so, DeepMind, the AI division of Google, uses sophisticated algorithms that help to understand the context of the questions.

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