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Question by : What is haptic research in terms of robotics? I get that it has to do with grasping…but thats about all I know. What are applications of work done in haptics?
Answer by sectrixHaptics is using a computer to communicate a sense of touch. If graphics are a computer communicating visual information, haptics are a computer communicating tactile information.
It is not the same as a a human communicating to a computer a tactile information.
Now think, if we could use computers to communicate physical sensations – how could that be useful?
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Vehicle assistance service OnStar has always struck me as slightly creepy, but I can appreciate its utility unfamiliar locations and emergency situations. And the notion of a company tracking your location constantly is apparently as reassuring to some as it is disturbing to me.
But I doubt even those optimistic souls would find it reassuring to learn that OnStar now reserves the right to record your location, speed, and so on “for any purpose, at any time” to “any third party” provided the information is anonymized.
The changes to the TOS (noted by Jonathan Zdziarski, and also reported at Reuters) were announced this week and, to be fair to OnStar, sent to their subscribers in full. And the major changes are right there on top (PDF). But that’s cold comfort to anyone concerned with their privacy.
Sharing anonymized information isn’t anything new for users of online services. Unless you actually opt out, it’s likely that most of the stuff you use online is being tracked, and that data sold in some way or another. Most companies are careful about anonymizing data, but not all data can be anonymized. A GPS record is rather hard to decouple from identity, since an intact record of a day or a week will plainly yield home and workplace locations, among other things.
Cross reference that with the data they now sell to “credit card processors and/or third parties we contract with who conduct joint marketing initiatives with OnStar,” and you’ve got a nice little database of easily identifiable individuals going.
It should be noted that there’s some tension here regarding what’s private and what’s public information — certainly it can easily be found out from voting, property, and tax records where someone lives and works. And the make and model of your vehicle is easily discernible by anyone nearby.
But that’s a misleading way to think about it; customers agree to the TOS with the implicit understanding that their location and speed would be used for the services they pay for, and if necessary shared with law enforcement. Not only now does the TOS essentially say that as long as they take your name off it, they can sell your data to literally anyone who wants it, but they now will also continue to collect that data even if you don’t use OnStar.
Again, to give OnStar credit, they say right away that you can totally deactivate their data connection by telling a representative that you want to. Hopefully the opt-out process is as easy as they say. But it’s a little odd that a company with whom you have no connection other than a piece of hardware in your car should want or be able to access that information. If you’re really intent on being invisible to them, search for OnStar and your vehicle make and model to find where the GPS unit is, and simply disconnect it.
To be honest, this really isn’t such a big deal, but it’s always discouraging to see companies with sensitive data taking the route of companies like ISPs and carriers, whose data handling practices are highly suspect. Furthermore, the legitimacy of the data sharing relies on the effective anonymization of this GPS data, and they have not convinced me that they are doing this effectively. If you have OnStar, this might be a good time to question whether the utility of the service really outweighs the potential for abuse.
Update: five minutes after posting this, I was contacted by OnStar, who wishes to make clear that “OnStar has and always will give our customers the choice in how we use their data. We’ve also been very open with our customers about changes in services and privacy terms.” I agree with the latter, but clearly the former is not true. Customers appear to have a choice between using the service and not using the service; subsequently what data is collected and how it is used appears to be entirely OnStar’s decision.
We’re seeing a heavy surge in Microsoft’s relentless pursuit of licensing deals in light of recent patent-infringement claims. Wistron Corp, a spinoff of Acer, is the latest company to make an agreement with Microsoft in a string of lawsuits and royalty clashes that’s spanned the course of two months. While we’ve seen Android suppliers such as Itronix and Velocity Micro come to agreements with the folks in Redmond, as well as others like Motorola and Barnes & Noble becoming courtroom fodder, this is the first time Chrome OS has been targeted. Wistron’s an ODM (original design manufacturer) that supplies other companies with computers, tablets and e-readers using either Google OS, so it’s not necessarily a surprise that it signed up for the Microsoft lawsuit prevention plan. Scant details are available aside from the fact that royalties will be collected as a result. Now that Chrome is involved, it not only shows that Team Ballmer isn’t backing down, it appears to have even more companies in its crosshairs — we just wonder who’s next on the list. Full (albeit brief) PR after the break.
Continue reading Microsoft and Wistron come to terms in royalty agreement, Android and Chrome OS now targeted
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Look, we know you know all about LED backlights, light diffusion, subpixels, and the things that turn them on, but not everybody does. The humble LCD you’re most likely reading this on still retains a level of mystery about the nitty gritty details of how it works for the vast majority of its users, so here’s a terrific video breakdown of both its component parts and method of operation. Bill Hammack, a self-appointed Engineer Guy, takes us from the LED arrays that provide the light for most current LCDs, through all the filters and diffusers designed to make that light uniform, and into the ways thin film transistors make it possible for us to show moving color images of cats diving into boxes on such displays. It’s exciting, deeply nerdy stuff, and it awaits your audience after the break.
Continue reading LCD technology torn down and explained in the most lucid and accessible terms yet (video)
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…speed, responsiveness, meta data support, reliability, and codec support?
*.mkv with h.264 and/or VC1 video with AC3/DTS sound. do either support HD lossless codecs in *.mkv embedded and/or external subtitles in *.Mkv and *.mp4/*.m4v -*.srt subtitles -*.idx & *.sub subtitles *.m4v with h.264 video and ac3 sound
In terms of WAF, which of these 2 work… gdgt – new in gadgetsRelated Posts:
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Props to EngadgetRelated Posts:
I’m also wondering If there’s any information on the new OLED displays and if I should just wait for that, It will probably be a few months before I buy anything, depending on the price of the recommended TV, thanks for your help!Related Posts: