Posts tagged ‘Software’

July 14, 2016

Chatbot

clippy

A chatterbot (also known as a talkbot, chatbot, Bot, chatterbox, or Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Such programs are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner, thereby passing the Turing test (a measure of how well a computer can trick a person into believing that the computer is a person too).

Chatbots are typically used in dialog systems for various practical purposes including customer service or information acquisition. Some chatbots use sophisticated natural language processing systems (programs that understand not just recognize language), but many simpler systems scan for keywords within the input, then pull a reply with the most matching keywords, or the most similar wording pattern, from a database. The term ‘ChatterBot’ was originally coined by Michael Mauldin (creator of the first Verbot, Julia) in 1994 to describe these conversational programs.

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July 16, 2014

Napster

napster

Napster was a peer-to-peer (P2P) music sharing application first developed in 1999 by Shawn Fanning at Northeastern University. The original program was available for three years before being shut down by a court order for copyright violations. The company’s brand and other assets was subsequently acquired at a bankruptcy proceeding by Roxio, maker of CD burning software. In its second incarnation Napster became an online music store until it was bought by music streaming site Rhapsody in late 2011.

Fanning lead the original company along with his uncle John Fanning and entrepreneur Sean Parker (who would go on to make billions as an early employee of Facebook). Later companies and projects successfully followed its P2P file sharing example such as Gnutella, Freenet, and many others. Some services, like LimeWire, Grokster, Madster and the original eDonkey network, were brought down or changed due to similar circumstances.

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December 20, 2013

Scareware

scareware by Scott Pollack

Scareware, nowadays included into the class of malware known as FraudTool, comprises several classes of ransomware or scam software with malicious payloads, usually of limited or no benefit, that are sold to consumers via certain unethical marketing practices. The selling approach uses social engineering to cause shock, anxiety, or the perception of a threat, generally directed at an unsuspecting user. Some forms of spyware and adware also use scareware tactics.

A tactic frequently used by criminals involves convincing users that a virus has infected their computer, then suggesting that they download (and pay for) fake antivirus software to remove it. Usually the virus is entirely fictional and the software is non-functional or malware itself. Another approach is to trick users into uninstalling legitimate antivirus software, or disabling their firewall.

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December 19, 2013

Ransomware

ransom

Ransomware comprises a class of malware which restricts access to the computer system that it infects, and demands a ransom paid to the creator of the malware in order for the restriction to be removed.

Some forms of ransomware encrypt files on the system’s hard drive (cryptoviral extortion), while some may simply lock the system and display messages intended to coax the user into paying. While initially popular in Russia, the use of ransomware scams has grown internationally.

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November 28, 2012

Plex

plex

Plex is a partially open-source freeware media player software with a 10-foot user interface (optimized for use with a TV), with a matching closed source media server (Plex Media Server) software, which is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Its media player source code was initially forked from XBMC, a free media player, in 2008. Plex’s front end media player, Plex Media Center, allows the user to manage and playback video, photos, music, and podcasts from a local or remote computer running Plex Media Server.

In addition, the integrated Plex Online service provides the user with a growing list of community-driven plugins for online content including Hulu, Netflix, and CNN video. Plex began as a freeware hobby project but since 2010 has evolved into a commercial software business that is owned and developed by a single for-profit startup company, (Plex, Inc.).

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September 9, 2012

Uber

uber

Uber (formerly UberCab) is a venture-funded startup company based in San Francisco that makes a mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of luxury vehicles (e.g. Lincoln, Cadillac, BMW) for hire.

The company arranges pickups in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Vancouver, Toronto, Paris, and Philadelphia. Cars are reserved by sending a text message or by using a mobile app. Using the apps, customers can track their reserved car’s location.

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August 23, 2012

Waze

GPS

Waze is a free GPS application featuring turn-by-turn navigation, developed by the Israeli start-up Waze Mobile for mobile phones. Waze differs from traditional GPS navigation software as it is a community-driven application and learns from users’ driving times to provide routing and real-time traffic updates.

Additionally, people can report accidents, traffic jams, speed traps, police and can update roads, landmarks, house numbers, etc. Waze also helps users find the cheapest, closest gas station around them or along their route. Waze is available for download and use anywhere in the world, but some countries have a full basemap, whereas other countries still require users to record the roads and edit the maps.

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July 17, 2012

Abandonware

hotu

abandonia

Abandonware are discontinued products for which no product support is available, or whose copyright ownership may be unclear for various reasons. Abandonware may be computer software or physical devices which are usually computerized in some fashion, such as personal computer games, productivity applications, utility software, or mobile phones.

Definitions of ‘abandoned’ vary; generally it refers to a product that is no longer available for legal purchase, over the age where the product creator feels an obligation to continue to support it, or where operating systems or hardware platforms have evolved to such a degree that the creator feels continued support cannot be financially justified. Software companies and manufacturers may change their names, go bankrupt, enter into mergers, or cease to exist for a variety of reasons. When this happens, product rights are usually transferred to another company that may elect not to sell or support products acquired.

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May 24, 2012

3DMark

3dmark

3DMark is a computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark Corporation to determine the performance of a computer’s 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities. Running the application produces a 3DMark score, with higher numbers indicating better performance.

The 3DMark measurement unit is intended to give a normalized mean for comparing different PC hardware configurations (mostly graphics processing units and central processing units), which proponents such as gamers and overclocking enthusiasts assert is indicative of end-user performance capabilities. Founded in 1997 as ‘Futuremark’ by members of the former demoscene group ‘Future Crew,’ the company is the leading producer of computer benchmark applications in the world.

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May 3, 2012

64k Intro

farbrausch

amiga

A 64k intro is a demo (a non-interactive multimedia presentation) where the size of the executable file is limited to 65,536 bytes. At demo parties there is a category for this kind of demo. 64k intros generally apply many techniques to be able to fit in the given size, usually including procedural generation, sound synthesis, and executable compression.

The size of 64 kilobytes is a traditional limit which was inherited from the maximum size of a COM file. An intro originally referred to an endless demo where all the action happened on a single graphical screen, often to promote a BBS or a game crack. Nowadays it can refer to any demo written within a strict size limit, such as 4 kB or 64 kB.

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January 19, 2012

Artificial Life

spore

Artificial life (alife) is a field of study and an associated art form which examine systems related to life, its processes, and its evolution through simulations using computer models, robotics, and biochemistry. The discipline was named by Christopher Langton, an American computer scientist, in 1986.

There are three main kinds of alife, named for their approaches: soft, from software; hard, from hardware; and wet, from biochemistry. Artificial life imitates traditional biology by trying to recreate biological phenomena, such as sexual reproduction and response to stimuli. The term ‘artificial life’ is often used to specifically refer to soft alife.

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December 25, 2011

Google Goggles

google goggles

Google Goggles is an image recognition application used for searches based on pictures taken by handheld devices. The program proposed will be able to identify virtually anything. Currently the system can identify various labels or landmarks, allowing users to learn about such items without needing a text-based search. The system can identify products barcodes or labels that allow users to search for similar products and prices, and save codes for future reference, similar to the failed CueCat of the late ’90s, but with more functionality. The system will also recognize printed text and using optical character recognition (OCR) produce a text snippet, and in some cases even translate the snippet into another language.

Google is currently working to make the system able to recognize different plants and leaves, which can aid curious persons, those wishing to avoid toxic plants, and botanists and environmentalists searching for rare plants. Goggle applications are in the process of being used for metaverse virtual world image indexing and catalog applications. Regional coordinates are cammed by avatar-based movement in virtual camera scripted vehicles. In 2011, version 1.3 was released; it can solve Sudoku puzzles.

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