Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • We’ve all seen those people at concerts or sporting events, hoisting their 10-inch iPad to snap a few pictures or take a video, and in turn, blocking the view of those around them. Generally, it’s a pretty jerk move.

    If this guy hadn’t been taking a few photos at this softball game, however, he could’ve ended up with a very nasty injury.

    [ Related: iPad survives wild ride after getting lodged in a car’s bumper ]

    CNET came across this video of a man taking pictures at the University of Northern Iowa women’s softball tournament, and if he hadn’t been using his gigantic substitute for a camera (which, in fairness, he was unobtrusively holding on the railing), he would’ve ended up with a very nasty surprise:

    The iPad takes the foul ball full on, and yet, still seems to work well enough to carry on snapping pictures after the fact. That probably wouldn’t have been the case had he taken the ball to the face.

    So next time you’re sitting at a game and think, “man, what a jerk, blocking

    Read More »from Don’t take pictures with your iPad – unless it will save you from injury
  • It may not exactly be practical, but you’ll certainly stand out from a sea of black and white iPhones with a custom gold-and-diamond encrusted iPhone 5.

    If you’ve got $15 million to spend on it, that is.

    British designer Stuart Hughes, who has become known for his high-end after-market electronics, has developed what is likely the world’s most expensive iPhone. To buy it would run you £10,000,000, or about $15,650,000 CAD, but Hughes’ design isn’t for the general public to purchase.

    The iPhone 5 Black Diamond is a custom design for a Chinese businessman that Hughes only referred to as “Joe” in an interview with ABC News. Joe had purchased some of Hughes’ other expensive creations in the past, and wanted something that really stood out.

    The phone is covered in 24 carat gold, and the logo and sides of the phone are adorned with 600 white flawless diamonds. But what bumps up the price of this phone so much is the home button. Joe had a 26 carat black diamond, and decided it would be a

    Read More »from ‘World’s most expensive iPhone’ will cost you $15,000,000
  • Police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013.When the news first broke of an explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, I didn’t find out about it from a TV news channel, or from a news website; a fellow editor in the Yahoo! Canada newsroom shouted, “hey, did you guys see what’s happened in Boston? There’s been an explosion at the marathon. It’s all over Twitter.”

    And for the first five minutes after the news broke, that’s where the world looked for information on what happened; people who were there quickly tweeted (uncensored) photos from the scene, and those photos were retweeted thousands of times as people sought out more news about the incident. It wasn’t long before online news sites and TV stations started covering the news, but it was communication on Twitter that got the news out fastest.

    [ Full Coverage: Boston Marathon Explosions ]

    It’s one of several online sources that highlighted yesterday how the news coverage and communication surrounding an event has come to depend so much on social media and the

    Read More »from How technology shaped the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing
  • Eight-year-old Martin Richard, the first of three victims in yesterday’s Boston Marathon attack to be identified, hoped for a world where what happened to him wouldn’t happen to anyone, ever.

    An image of Martin was posted to Lucia Brawley’s Facebook page earlier today, showing the little boy holding up a poster he had made in class:

    (Image from Facebook)

    This is Martin, 8. He died in the Boston bombing yesterday. He was at the finish line with his family, waiting for his dad to cross. His mother and little sister were catastrophically injured. He was the student of our dear friend, Rachel Moo. His message resonates powerfully today. My prayer is that we all live by Martin's words, paying tribute to his too-brief, but immeasurably valuable life by following his example.

    Boston.com reports that the poster was prepared for a march at Dorchester City Hall last May, when Rachel Moo’s second-grade class at Neighborhood House Charter School prepared posters for a “stop the violence” rally.

    At the time of writing

    Read More »from Boston bombing’s youngest victim, Martin Richard, shares hope for peace in photo
  • For anyone who didn’t grow up with having to rewind video tapes or waiting for your TV to stop showing snow while TRACKING flashed across the screen, this probably won’t mean much to you. But if, like me, all the movies you watched as a child were on VHS, YouTube has a little bit of nostalgia for you.

    On the 57th anniversary of the first commercial video cassette recorder, YouTube has added a special filter to certain videos that let you get that ‘vintage’ feel of a VHS. In a post on Google+ today, YouTube shared a photo and a short description of the feature:

    Not too long ago, the video tape was the media of choice for living rooms around the world. In celebration of the 57th birthday of the first commercial video cassette recorder, check out a fun VHS mode for the YouTube player to relive the magic feel of vintage video tapes. On select videos, you'll find a VHS button in the bottom right of the player--just click to turn back the clock and enjoy the static and fuzzy motion of the

    Read More »from YouTube celebrates 57th anniversary of cassette tape with VHS button
  • (Photo from Imgur)We’ve seen Apple products survive some crazy situations before, like this iPhone 4 that still worked after plummeting from a skydiver’s pocket. Add the iPad to the list of hard-wearing products, as this one managed to come out with only apparently cosmetic damage after going for a ride in a car’s bumper.

    Alexa Crisa of Marietta, Georgia got quite the surprise last Friday when she arrived home after a shopping trip. After parking her car in the driveway, her father inquired, “why is there an iPad in your car?”

    “I got scared and said, ‘Did someone throw something in the sunroof of my car,’ and he said, ‘No, there’s an iPad in the bumper of your car,” Crisa told ABC News.

    [ Related: Possible tablet thieves send photos of themselves to former owner ]

    Sure enough, Crisa saw that there was an iPad firmly lodged in her Nissan Sentra’s bumper. After her father managed to dislodge it using a hammer, he and Crisa were surprised to discover that the device still turned on. The glass of the screen

    Read More »from iPad survives wild ride after getting lodged in a car’s bumper
  • The Google Street View team has taken a break from driving around in the Google car to head inside Canada’s Parliament Buildings, so Canadians and others around the world can see where the country’s top politicians go to work every day.

    A blog post from the Google Canada team explains that virtual visitors will be able to go on a tour of the Hall of Honour, the Memorial Tower, the Peace Tower and Confederation Hall, all from the comfort of their computer. You can even “stand” in the foyer of the House of Commons, and pretend that you’re in one of the media scrums we’ve all seen on television that take place there.

    [ Related: Google Street View seeks to give people a rare look at Nunavut ]

    There won’t be any politicians speaking to the media in these images, though. MPs are currently still on break, and won’t be back in the House until April 15. So if you’re hoping to spot Stephen Harper sitting in his office, or Jason Kenney popping out for a coffee when the pictures go online,

    Read More »from Google Street View’s trolley pays a visit to Parliament Hill in Ottawa
  • REUTERS/Brian SnyderFor most university and college professors, you only find out if your class did the assigned readings when you ask a question during lecture – only to be met by averted eyes and uncomfortable shuffling in seats.

    Some Texas A&M professors, however, can now know for certain whether or not their students have read their textbooks. A pilot project with CourseSmart technology will let those profs know if students have done the e-readings, right down to knowing if students had skipped pages, taken notes or highlighted passages.

    "It’s Big Brother, sort of, but with a good intent," Tracey Hurley, the dean of the school of business at Texas A&M, told The New York Times.

    [ Related: How to borrow ebooks from the local library on all your devices ]

    CourseSmart is a digital textbook service that lets students rent digital versions of their course materials so they can read them on their computer, or via the CourseSmart apps for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. There’s plenty of benefits, like

    Read More »from Big Brother is watching: Teachers track whether students are doing their e-readings
  • Why Wikipedia doesn’t want you as an editor

    (Wikipedia logo, Joordens in combination image)Wikipedia has gained a reputation as being the encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. One professor from the University of Toronto decided to take this a step further, asking his students (as an optional assignment) to seek out articles on Wikipedia about which they were knowledgeable, and contributing to them. But it appears that those who pride themselves on being a part of Wikipedia’s ‘elite’ group of editors didn’t appreciate the help.

    Steve Joordens, a professor at the University of Toronto, proposed to his class that they should help the Wikipedia community by adding content to relevant Wikipedia pages, The Canadian Press reports. Of his 1,900 Introduction to Psychology students, only a small portion of them opted to edit some of the Wikipedia pages.

    [ Related: Two free ways to get a university education, virtually speaking ]

    Some of Wikipedia’s core group of volunteer editors began to complain about the sudden influx of edits to pages, and expressed concern that those who

    Read More »from Why Wikipedia doesn’t want you as an editor
  • If you’re one of those people who’s paranoid that the government is reading your personal correspondence, turns out you should consider getting an iPhone.

    An internal document from the Drug Enforcement Administration states “it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices,” according to CNET who saw the document, even if the investigators have a federal judge-issued search warrant.

    [ Related: Fido customer gets $22,000 phone bill for roaming charges ]

    While both Apple and the DEA are declining to comment on the claim, CNET says the “intelligence note” goes on to explain that the problem first came to light when a San Jose, California office of the DEA sought to obtain a record of text messages under the U.S.’s Federal Wiretap Act. The text message records were apparently incomplete, evidently because the messages between the parties being investigated were sent using iMessage.

    When iMessage was announced in 2011, Apple said that it would use “secure end-to-end

    Read More »from iMessage encryption ‘impossible’ to intercept by government agency: document

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