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Sage Lazzaro

the robots are coming

This Fleet of Robots Can Identically Forge Handwriting, Signatures

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A new company called Bond specializes in helping busy people keep communication with loved ones personal. Simply type up a note you’d like to send someone, and Bond will put it on stationary in a curly cursive or other friendly font and mail it for you. It’s like in the movie Her, except the message contains your own sentiments. Oh yeah, and it can also be written in your own handwriting, if you so choose.

Bond  has made this possible by building a fleet of robots that can identically copy a person’s handwriting. These are more than the simple autopens that have been signing signatures for decades; these robots go beyond replication, using software that actually learns all the intricacies and imperfections of a handwriting sample—from the way one connects letters to the spaces between words and lines—to produce writing indistinguishable from something the person would’ve written himself. Read More

Reddit All-Stars

Why This 14-Year-Old Liberian Ebola Survivor’s Reddit AMA is So Important

Mohammed's Ebola survivor certificate. (Imgur)

There’s no denying that America has moved on. The fear mongering news segments have subsided, no one in the U.S. is infected and our country is not at risk. Ebola just isn’t on our minds any more.

Yesterday afternoon, a 14-year-old Ebola survivor from remote Libera named Mohamed hosted a Reddit AMA where he bravely discussed the loss of several close family members and his own struggle to survive. Read More

The Future Will See You Now

Hack-Proof Smart Keyboard Learns How You Type, Won’t Work for Anyone Else

(Flickr/Paul Hudson)

Scientists have developed a new keyboard that can protect your computer from direct hacking.

The intelligent keyboard (IKB) uses keystroke dynamics to identify users by the way they type, according to the journal ASC Nano. By sensing typing patterns such as the speed at which a user types and the amount of pressure applied to the keys, the keyboard can accurately distinguish one user from another and prevent unauthorized users from accessing a computer. Read More

Happy New Year

Breaking Betabeat News of 2014: What You May Have Missed in the Tech Blogosphere

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That’s it, folks. Dig out the noisemakers, throw on some sequins and pop the champagne because 2014 is coming to an end.

But before the ball drops, there are a few things one must do to properly prepare for the new year—create a list of resolutions (i.e. “go to the gym”), watch the latest United States of Pop video and catch up on the tech news of the passing year, to name a few. With the latter in mind, we’ve created a guide to Betabeat’s biggest breaking news of 2014.

Yes, Facebook manipulated your emotions, curved TVs drove us wild and a “potato salad guy” achieved Internet celebrity status. We’re sure Twitter told you all this, so rather than summing up what made the tech blogosphere rounds this year, we’re offering a collection of the biggest and most interesting stories brought to you by yours truly, Betabeat. Read More

In The News

Wiki Co-Founder Creates ‘Wikipedia for News’ to Fight Bias in the Media

The newest news stand. (Dan Kitwood/Getty)

The grand jury decisions for the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases sent the media into a whirlwind. It was difficult to get a good sense of what was going on—with right-winged news outlets pushing one bias, left-winged pushing another, everyone aggregating everything and Facebook friends circulating falsities they read on Reddit. As our country erupted in discussion and protest, information was distributed through a buzzy media and Internet rumors. The “facts” weren’t as readily available.

To rid the public of this type of problem, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger made Infobitt, a free, open content news resource he’s calling “Wikipedia for the news.” No, it’s not Wikinews; this site grabs facts from news sources, summarizes them and organizes the information to make it a news go-to. Like our beloved online encyclopedia, Infobitt is a collaborative effort. Read More