Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • In the midst of U.S. citizens being outraged that their emails and text messages may have been read by their government, a California school district is taking a risk by electing to monitor its students.

    Students in Glendale, California will need to watch what they write if they don’t want to be reprimanded for posting derogatory things to others online. The school district has hired an outside contractor, Geo Listening, to monitor the activities of its students, and look for not only signs of bullying, but also indications of a potential suicide about to happen.

    CNN reports the district saw two of its students commit suicide in the past two years, prompting Glendale to look into ways to prevent these incidents from occurring. Superintendent Richard Sheehan said that the firm was hired on an interim basis last spring, and during that time, the firm flagged a student who was talking about ending his life.

    “We were able to save a life,” Sheehan told CNN. “It’s just another avenue to open

    Read More »from California school district thinks it has the answer to bullying: monitoring its students online
  • (Screengrab from Galapagos Islands trek on Google)As part of its continuing efforts to explore remote or unique locations around the world through Treks, Google Maps has partnered with the Charles Darwin Foundation to let anyone with an internet browser explore Galapagos National Park.

    And if that wasn’t cool enough, you can help further scientific research by poring over those images, and report what you see for further investigation by scientists.

    Using the Darwin for a Day online app and the footage gathered by Google Maps on their trek through the Galapagos Islands, you can hunt for creatures, then submit your observations with key information like how abundant the creature was in the area, and what kind of habitat it’s in.

    If you don’t feel like joining the research team and just want to bask in the sights of sea lions, giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies, you can visit the Galapagos Islands trek page here.

    [ Related: Instant Wild helps stop poachers, identify new species with your smartphone ]

    On the other hand, if this just

    Read More »from Google Maps invites armchair explorers to experience the Galapagos Islands
  • Earlier this week, when Apple announced two new iPhones, there was little else being covered in the world of tech news. But a Dutch designer by the name of Dave Hakken chose that time to begin what he hopes is a quiet revolution.

    His idea is called Phonebloks, a phone that is comprised of a screen, a peg-board, and whatever ‘blocks’ you want to use to make up the rest of the device. He’s currently trying to drum up support via a Thunderclap campaign, encouraging people to share the concept over social media.

    The concept is straightforward: Instead of using a phone for a short amount of time and trading up when the phone breaks, you can customize the phone to suit your needs and replace parts as they wear out. As demonstrated in the video, the use places the Lego-like bricks of their choice into the board to get a phone configuration that best suits their needs, and replaces and upgrades the parts as needed.

    [ More Right Click: iPhone 5s vs iPhone 5: What’s changed? ]

    Some news outlets and

    Read More »from Phonebloks seeks to make phones more customizable, environmentally friendly
  • (Image from Motorola)It’s a big job, being the first device out of a new partnership. Over a year since Google acquired Motorola, and the Moto X is the first product to be unveiled as the fruits of that union. And that means everyone is asking one thing about the Moto X: does it live up to those expectations?

    I had the chance to use the Moto X for several days recently, and overall, I have to say that yes, it does live up to the hype.

    Physically, the phone is heavier than I expected based on its look, but I personally prefer a slightly heavier device (so I’m not constantly checking my pockets out of fear that I’ve lost it). It comes in at 130 grams, which is slightly heavier than the iPhone 5 (112 g) and the same as the Samsung Galaxy S4. In fact, it has a similar overall feel to the Galaxy S4, with its rounded corners and a screen that feels comfortably large for a phone. The curved back on the Moto X feels nice to hold and fits most hand sizes; the only overall complaint I have about the form is the back –

    Read More »from Quick Hit: Moto X a solid smartphone choice for Android fans
  • Apple’s newest and arguably most innovative feature on its new smartphones, the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, may have a small security flaw. While it certainly boasts some impressive technology, it isn’t perfect, as one little girl has figured out.

    Redditor iZeeHunter posted this image (presumably) of his daughter figuring out how to get around that new security feature.

    (Photo from imgur)

    You just know that smile says, “tee hee hee, I’m going to beat Dad’s high score on Candy Crush.”

    [ Related: iPhone 5s vs iPhone 5: What’s changed? ]

    The biometric sensor in the phone, located beneath the iPhone 5s’s home button, scans the finger of a user and, reading beneath the skin’s surface, verifies that it’s the correct user accessing the phone. It will also allow users to verify in-app purchases being made on the iPhone 5s, instead of having to enter your Apple ID password each time. The fingerprint data is encrypted and stored locally on the device (not on the iCloud), so there’s presumably no risk of your

    Read More »from Little girl spots security flaw with Touch ID, Apple’s new fingerprint security
  • iPhone 5s vs iPhone 5: What’s changed?

    So, you’ve had you’re first look at Apple’s new iPhone 5s. As expected, it's faster, has improved features and even a nifty fingerprint security button. But once you step back from all those bells and whistles, you probably find yourself asking, just how different is it from my iPhone I have now?

    If you are currently toting an iPhone 5 and want to know if it’s worth ditching it to get the iPhone 5s, we’ve got you covered. Here are the ways that the iPhone 5s outperforms the iPhone 5, and the areas where nothing much has changed.

    Processing Power

    The new iPhone 5s’s A7 chip will have processing power that rivals computers we were buying just a few years ago. It’s the first 64-bit chip to ever be put in a phone, making what Apple is calling a “huge leap forward in mobile computing performance.” That leap forward means the iPhone 5s will be twice as fast as the iPhone 5, and have twice the graphics performance. To demonstrate the difference, Apple demonstrated Infinity Blade III, a sequel to

    Read More »from iPhone 5s vs iPhone 5: What’s changed?
  • After weeks of rumours, leaked photos and lots of educated guessing, it's finally time. Apple is expected to unveil not one, but two new iPhones today. One is the immediate successor to the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5S, which many have suggested will come with much larger storage capacity (up to 128 GB) and be available in three colours, black, white and gold. The other is the iPhone 5C, a "mid-range" smartphone that is likely designed to compete with the plethora of mid-range Android devices currently available. In emerging markets like China and India, a lower-cost iPhone is certainly needed, and today may be the day we finally see Apple make a grab for those regions.

    Either way, we'll have all the latest here in the live blog, courtesy of the Yahoo News tech team, CNET and Ustream:

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    Need to know what’s hot in tech? Follow @YRightClick on Twitter!

    Read More »from Live Coverage: Apple expected to announce two new iPhones
  • (Image from Instant Wild)There are only so many times you can flip through your friends’ vacation photos or Instagram collections of food before they all start to blur together. Perhaps you’re looking for some different photos to look at – how do animals at a watering hole in Kenya strike your fancy?

    If you want to help the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in its mission of animal protection, all you have to do is download an app. Currently available for iPhone, Instant Wild has you playing the part of zoologist yourself as you look through images of animals, trying to identify them. The system is pretty straightforward: cameras are set up at watering holes at various sites in Kenya, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the U.K. and the U.S. Each time a camera is triggered by movement (up to 30 times a day), users get notified that there’s a new image. The user looks at the photo and selects from a list of animals to help identify what’s in the image.

    [ More Right Click: This 3D camera can read your mood ]

    While the project

    Read More »from Instant Wild helps stop poachers, identify new species with your smartphone
  • Must-see videos of the week – Sept. 7

    This week’s selection of must-see videos has made me feel like I wasted my potential as a world-class musician. Back in middle school, I used to play the flute, and a (potentially fake) video shows us that having flute skills can be a lifesaver. And if I had become a stellar musician, I could’ve achieved YouTube fame like the teenage prodigy featured below. But regardless of how my musical career panned out, I think I’m just happy I’m not featured as the worst wedding singer ever, as seen in our first clip this week.

    1. Wedding band fail

    There’s always something bound to go wrong on your wedding day. You can at least aim to have a better musical experience by not hiring this band. YouTube user TheUforiaFilms, who posted the video, wrote that this was a band at a real wedding. I’m really, really hoping the vocalist is actually the best man having a laugh after a few drinks.

    [ Last week’s must-see video: Ominous storm clouds roll over city ]

    2. How to make a bear go to sleep

    Forget horse

    Read More »from Must-see videos of the week – Sept. 7
  • As if British Prime Minister David Cameron wasn’t having a hard enough time selling his pornography-blocking plan already, some recently released information about the activities of those in the House of Parliament may make his job even tougher.

    Following a Freedom of Information request by Huffington Post UK, it was found that there had been attempts to access pornographic material by users of the Parliamentary Network servers more than 300,000 times. That network is used by the approximately 5,000 people on the parliamentary estate, BBC reports, and is made up of MPs, staff members and their visitors.

    According to the information obtained by Huffington Post, the peak number of attempts to access pornographic websites on the network peaked last November (for the one year period under scrutiny) with 114,844 requests.

    Here’s the month-by-month breakdown:

    May 2012: 2141

    June 2012: 2261

    July 2012: 6024

    August 2012: 26,952

    September 2012: 15,804

    October 2012: 3391

    November 2012: 114,844

    December

    Read More »from Porn website requests from British Parliament allegedly in the thousands

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