Thursday, September 11, 2014

Was you Gmail address hacked today?

A database containing nearly 5 million Gmail user accounts and passwords was leaked on Bitcoin Security, a popular Russian website devoted to the cryptocurrency – Bitcoin Security.

It appears, however, that much of the data is old or most of the passwords don't actually match with the Gmail accounts on the list. Mashable suggested that data was likely gathered via various data breaches and includes emails and passwords for websites or third-party services rather than Gmail itself.

In a blog post, Google said that it "found that less than 2 percent of the username and password combinations might have worked, and our automated anti-hijacking systems would have blocked many of those login attempts. We've protected the affected accounts and have required those users to reset their passwords."

The hackers did not obtain the usernames and passwords via a breach of Google systems, the company said.

If you want to check if your email address is on the list, you can download and search through the file still loaded in the Russian forum:

The data in the file does not include password, but just email addressed for you to check if you are affected.

You can also check if your Gmail account was hacked through KnowEm, who has made the hacked list of emails publicly searchable. You need to enter your address and get instant not if you're on the list of possible compromised accounts.

Some experts, however, say that placing inquiry may notify the potential hackers that this email address is active. Not sure, how true that is, but I checked my non-essential Gmail addresses, and got notification that I am clean. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

SCiO – Handheld Molecular Food Ingredients Scanner

Smartphones give us instant answers to questions like where to have dinner, what movie to see, and how to get from point A to point B, but when it comes to learning about what we interact with on a daily basis we’re left in the dark. We designed SCiO to empower explorers everywhere with new knowledge and to encourage them to join our mission of mapping the physical world.

Dror Sharon, the CEO of Consumer Physics

SCiO is the world's first affordable molecular sensor that fits in the palm of your hand. It is a non-intrusive, no-touch optical sensor that provides a seamless user experience with the click of a button, while data is sent directly to your smartphone.

How it Works?

SCiO is based on the near-IR spectroscopy method. The physical basis for this material analysis method is that each type of molecule vibrates in its own unique way, and these vibrations interact with light to create its own unique optical signature.

SCiO includes a light source that illuminates the sample and an optical sensor called a spectrometer that collects the light reflected from the sample. The spectrometer breaks down the light to its spectrum, which includes all the information required to detect the result of this interaction between the illuminated light and the molecules in the sample.

The spectrometers which are normally used for these high-end near-IR spectroscopy applications are very big and expensive. They can be the size of a laptop and cost tens of thousands of dollars. SCiO is unique as it is based on a tiny spectrometer, designed from the ground up to be mass-produced at low cost with minimal compromise on the available application. This unique feature is achieved by several technology breakthroughs our team has made in the past few years, as we reinvented the spectrometer around low-cost optics and advanced signal processing algorithms. 

SCiO illuminates a spot of light over the sample with a diameter of about 15 mm (about half an inch) and depth of a few millimeters (~0.1”). The sensor detects the light that is reflected back from the illuminated part of the object and analyzes its chemical make-up using sophisticated cloud-based algorithms. The overall analysis is subject to the average of concentration of molecules in that region.

To deliver relevant information in real time, SCiO communicates the spectrum to your smartphone app via Bluetooth, which in turn forwards it to a cloud-based service. Advanced algorithms analyze the spectrum and within seconds deliver information regarding the analyzed sample back to the smartphone to be presented in real time to the user.

Technical Specs

What Can You Do With It Today?

Out of the box, when you get your SCiO, you’ll be able to analyze food, plants, and medications.

The process is simple: pair SCiO to your phone via Bluetooth, hold it about an inch away from an object, such as an apple, and press a button. In just a matter of seconds, SCiO supposedly analyzes the actual chemical makeup of the apple, sends the data to the cloud, and accurately identifies the fruit and provides nutritional information about it. The food app can also give information about how ripe that apple is.

Additionally, SCiO can also scan medication. During one of the live demonstrations, Consumer Physics’ co-founder Dror Sharon scanned two brands of ibuprofen, and SCiO was able to identify which pill was a generic brand. Sharon explained that SCiO won’t be marketed as a medical device at the start, but has the capability of scanning the skin and bodily fluids and could evolve into a medical device if there is enough interest from consumers.

For example, you can:

* Get nutritional facts about different kinds of food: salad dressings, sauces, fruits, cheeses, and much more.
* See how ripe an Avocado is, through the peel!
* Find out the quality of your cooking oil.
* Know the well being of your plants.
* Analyze soil or hydroponic solutions.
* Authenticate medications or supplements.
* Upload and tag the spectrum of any material on Earth to our database. Even yourself!

These are just a few of the starter applications that you can use upon receiving your SCiO. After SCiO is released new applications will be developed and released regularly.

The possibilities of SCiO applications are endless. For example in the future you can use SCiO to measure properties of cosmetics, clothes, flora, soil, jewels and precious stones, leather, rubber, oils, plastics, and even your pet!

Please Note: Out-of-the-box SCiO is NOT a medical device and should not be used to treat or prevent medical conditions such as allergies.


The SCiO developers is the Consumer Physics (Israel).

SCiO launch on Kickstarter raised almost $3M, making it the 17th most funded Kickstarter campaign ever - of over 150,000. The launch has received worldwide media coverage: CNN, TIME, BBC, NEW YORK TIMES and many others.

Video Presentation

Sources and Additional Information:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

15 Facts You Didn't Know About Robin Williams

Actor, comedian and screen legend Robin Williams has died aged 63.

As tributes continue to pour in for the Oscar winner, here are eight facts you probably never knew about this comic genius…

1. Robin Williams first achieved international fame playing the alien Mork alongside Pam Dawber in the hit sitcom Mork and Mindy, which ran from 1978 until 1982.

When Robin Williams auditioned for the role of Mork from Ork on Happy Days (1974), producer Garry Marshall told him to sit down. Williams immediately sat on his head on the chair. Marshall hired him, saying that he was the only alien who auditioned.

The series was, in fact, a direct spin off of the longer running sitcom Happy Days. Williams appeared as Mork in the season five episode My Favorite Orkan in which he attempted to abduct Ritchie Cunningham (Ron Howard).

In 1979, Williams (now already a success in Mork and Mindy) made a return visit to Happy Days. As a prank, Williams ensured one episode of Mork and Mindy featured a character called Arnold Wanker.

2. As with many comedians, Williams’ humor stemmed from an unhappy childhood.

He was grossly overweight as a boy and voted ‘Least Likely to Succeed’ at High School although he was also voted ‘Most Humorous’.

3. When Williams was first starting out, he performed as a mime outside New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to make money.

4. Steven Spielberg hired Williams to entertain cast and crew during the notoriously grueling shoot for the harrowing Holocaust drama Schindler’s List.

Williams was otherwise not involved in the film, but his relentless ad-libbing provided a much needed boost to morale between shots.

5. Williams played a huge number of diverse roles in his Hollywood career.

Including everything from a starring role in a live action version of the cartoon Popeye, elderly bald US President Eisenhower in the recent The Butler (2013), Peter Pan himself in Hook (1991) and the voice of a hologram of a scientist in Steven Spielberg’s AI (2001).

6. Robin Williams improvised most of Genie for "Aladdin."

Apparently, the Academy Awards rejected the bid for "Aladdin" in the Best Adapted Screenplay category because so much of Williams role ended up being improvised. According to producer and director John Musker, Williams ended up improvising about 70 impressions to be used in the film as well. In a Reddit AMA, Williams explained: “Initially they came in and I was just doing the scripted lines and I asked 'Do you mind if I try something?' and then 18 hours of recording later, they had the genie. I just started playing, and they said "just go with it, go with it, go with it." So I improvised the character. I think that in the end, there were something like 40 different voices that I did for that role”.

Williams was known for improvising most of his iconic roles in some way or another.

7. Williams and Robert De Niro were the last stars to see John Belushi alive, albeit on separate visits to Bungalow #3 of the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles that fateful day in March 1982 when he died of a drug overdose.

8. Robin Williams dressed in scrubs and surprised his friend Christopher Reeve in the hospital following his career-ending accident.

Reeve and Williams became good friends when they both attended The Juilliard School together. Williams claimed at the time that Reeve was "literally feeding me because I don't think I literally had money for food or my student loan hadn't come in yet, and he would share his food with me." In his book, "Still Me," Reeve wrote about Williams visiting him in the hospital:

Then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. He announced that he was my proctologist, and that he had to examine me was Robin Williams...for the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay.

9. Williams received $20 million for his role in 1999’s Bicentennial Man.

Ironically, it is one of his worst films.

10. Robin Williams enjoyed cycling and occasionally trained with Lance Armstrong.

11. When “Blame Canada”, a song from South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999), was nominated for a Best Song Academy Award, it was Williams who performed the song at the ceremony because the actress who sang the song in the film, Mary Kay Bergman, had taken her own life a few months before the awards show.

12. Williams co-owned the Rubicon restaurant in San Francisco with Robert De Niro and fellow Bay area resident Francis Ford Coppola

13. Williams was nominated for four Oscars in his career for the films, Good Morning Vietnam (1987), Dead Poet’s Society (1989), The Fisher King (1991), and finally winning for Good Will Hunting (1997).

14. Asked by James Lipton about what he would like God to say when he arrives in heaven, Williams answered that “There is a seat in the front” in the concert of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Elvis Presley.

15. In 1997, Robin Williams was voted ‘The Funniest Man Alive’.

Robin Williams: 1951-2014.

Sources and Additional Information: