DCT Tech News Digest

Run iOS Apps in Android?

Meet Cider, an operating system compatibility architecture that allows users to run iOS apps on Android devices. The Cider architecture has been developed by computer science students at Columbia University. The project essentially makes iOS apps compatible with Android, regardless of the fact that apps from the two ecosystems are developed in entirely different coding platforms.

We have built a Cider prototype, and demonstrate that it imposes modest performance overhead and runs un-modified iOS and Android applications together on a Google Nexus tablet running the latest version of Android

A spokesman for the team said he hopes the project helps spur more research into bringing cross-platform compatibility in the mobile world.

EFF Report – Which Companies Protect Your Data Best

EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), the international non-profit digital rights group, has released it’s latest rankings for major companies based on how well they are protecting consumers’ data from government requests. The EFF ranks companies on six criterion, awarding a star for each pass – 6 stars being the best possible score.

It might surprise you to learn that Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Google are among the companies who gained a passmark in all six categories, earning the maximum 6-star rating. The EFF has published its findings in a report appropriately headed “Who Has Your Back”, including a graphical summary of results for all companies involved – here: https://www.eff.org/who-has-your-back-government-data-requests-2014

“Far Cry 4” Coming in November

The latest iteration of the hugely popular Far Cry series of FPS games is to be released on November 18th this year. The date was confirmed by Ubisoft shortly after presenting their annual earnings report.

The game will be set in a wild region within the Himalayas known as Kyrat which is undergoing hardships due to a self-appointed king. The title will be released for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC on November 18, 2014. Customers who pre-order “Far Cry 4” will get a limited edition game which includes Hurk’s Redemption, a single player mission featuring Hurk from Far Cry 3.

Sony Pictures Wins Rights to Snowden Story

Will it be a blockbuster? Sony Pictures Entertainment announced on Wednesday that it has purchased the rights to the Edward Snowden story as chronicled by award-winning national security journalist Glenn Greenwald in his recently published book No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.

Greenwald’s book tells the story of the journalist’s covert and risky trip to Hong Kong to meet the National Security Agency whistleblower last year. After this trip, Greenwald and filmmaker/investigative journalist Laura Poitras facilitated the publication of a series of disclosures related to a treasure trove of secret government documents leaked by Snowden, exposing the massive extent of covert US surveillance.

Just as an aside; does anyone else reckon actor Ryan Eggold from ‘The Blacklist’ TV series is a dead ringer for Edward Snowden?

Incredible Robotic Arm – A Breakthrough in Prosthetics

Dean Kamen’s robotic prosthetic limb, the DEKA Arm System, has been granted approval by the FDA. The artificial limb, dubbed “Luke” after Luke Skywalker, is controlled by electrical signals from sensors where it meets the wearer’s limb.The arm is a huge step forward from existing mechanical prosthetics, allowing for more detailed procedures such as turning keys and pulling zippers.

The arm is roughly equivalent in weight to a human limb, but is packed with sensors and motors. EMG electrodes pick up the contraction of muscles in the arm close to the point of attachment, differentiating between up to ten powered movements:


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