This week's best in tech - from cybercrimes, hardware and scientific discoveries to Tumblrs and GIFs
TUMBLR OF THE WEEK: Dronestagram
James Bridle's latest project provides an interesting perspective on the drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles) so popular with the US military. Dronestagram combines journalistic content with Google map imagery to provide us with a 'drones-eye-view' of drone kill-strike sites, replete with the famous instagram filters.
GIF OF THE WEEK: The GIF Connoisseur
The .gif is dead! Long live the GIF. No gif sums up the 'week that was' for 2012 word of the year better than this seapunk satire of Rihanna: "If you're going to perform on SNL in front of a screensaver, go with the most classic" via The GIF Connoiseur.
SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK: 99 Problems But fMRI Ain't One
To study what your brain looks like during a period of intense creativity, scientists sent 12 rappers into an fMRI machine. Half of the group was instructed to freestyle which the others reeled off a memorised verse. The findings indicate that rappers enter a 'flow state' comparable to an athlete being 'in the zone': a mental state of peak performance and relaxed inhibition
CYBERCRIME OF THE WEEK: Iran Hacks Into Israel's Military
This week the cybercrime is all about Israel. Following the IDF's criminally crass use of gamification both Anonymous and Iranian terrorists Islamic Jihad targetted Israeli databases. The latter was far more proficient (which is fair given the previous Israel and Iran have when it comes to cyberwarfare). The unit obtained detailed information on 5,000 high-ranking Israeli military personnel, including telephone numbers and addresses .
WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Infinite Jukebox
Visit site. Upload song. Listen... FOREV4R! Cloud streaming (from Echo Nest) and generative music come of age to provide your indefinite jam! - the entry to beat so far? Infinite R Kelly's Ignition
HARDWARE OF THE WEEK: Nintendo Wii U
The Wii U triggers the starting gun of next gen consoles. It's too soon to say if will be a hit or the next Virtual Boy, but its certain to test how far tablets can reinvent our gaming experiences to date.
GEEK OF THE WEEK: Nate Silver
“Can we open source Nate Silver?” asked Wired earlier this week. Surely that is the highest accolade a geek could desire. Nate is still riding high after his rigorous data driven methodology called the US election spot on, shaming expert TV pundits everywhere.
ALGO ANXIETY OF THE WEEK: Facial Recognition Tech
CCTV 2.0 was unveiled at the C&C iEXPO2012. The NeoFace platform recognises faces and estimates age, gender and assigns a unique ID. This is used to analyse customer visiting frequency, and shopping behaviour.
WETWARE OF THE WEEK: Walking Bio-Bot
Are we now post-robot? It's a question that's begged by a new entry into 'soft robotics' - a nightmarish robot that is part living rat cells, part rubber. Watch it undulate in the following video...
TECHNONOMY OF THE WEEK:
This is probably the no.1 entry in 'back in my day' toy envy. Puzzlebox provide a helicopter that you instruct with your brainwaves.
For the first time in history, it is now possible to purchase a car manufactured by a distributed, collaborative corporation (Wikispeed) using currency issued by no bank (Bitcoin). Welcome to the future.
Text by Stephen Fortune