Tech Talk

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Tech Talk – March 31, 2023


  • Vacu-Man is hiring for general labor positions in Hamilton downtown, with a starting wage of $20/hour and benefits. Applicants need a valid driver’s license and can apply on their website. The company also offers ongoing education support for their employees.
  • The DEA used an Apple Air tag for surveillance on a pill press intercepted from China. The tag’s precise location information and reliable connectivity made it an attractive tool. Apple has built-in protection against such actions, including warnings for unknown tracking devices detected through Bluetooth.
  • Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have re-engineered concrete for modern-day applications with energy harvesting capabilities. The self-generating electrical signals can power roadside sensors, monitor damage and earthquakes inside concrete, and even power chips embedded in roads to help self-driving cars navigate.
  • Smartphone phishing scams have risen by 637% in the last two years, giving attackers access to apps and data. Users should be careful and avoid clicking on suspicious emails or links from reputable companies like Prime, Netflix, Apple, and Amazon.
  • Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney have developed a non-invasive sensor that allows for controlling robots through thoughts alone. The technology uses a product combined with silicon and can send out nine different kinds of commands with up to 94% accuracy.
  • Google Photos is launching a new feature called Unblur that can unblur photos and videos. It will be available in a couple of weeks and officially released with the Google Pixel phone system.

With the warm weather here, Vacu-Man is experiencing an increase in business and is currently hiring for general labor positions. If you have a valid driver’s license, you can apply for the position through their website. Training will be provided for the job, and if you show potential, they can also assist you with further education such as obtaining a gas ticket. The starting wage is $20 per hour, and benefits are included. Vacu-Man is located in downtown Hamilton.

The Apple tag is a reliable and useful product for surveillance, as demonstrated by its use by the DEA. Recently, border agents intercepted two packages from Shanghai China containing a pill press and pill dies intended for a narcotic manufacturer. The DEA inspected the device and decided to find out who it was intended for. They used an Apple Air tag inside the device and obtained a search warrant. This was the first time a Federal agency had used an Apple tag for surveillance. One of the advantages of the Apple tag is its precise location information and reliable connectivity, which are not found in other GPS trackers. However, Apple has taken steps to protect users against unwanted tracking. iPhones now warn users when an unknown tracking device is detected through their Bluetooth, and air tags emit a beeping sound when they are not near the owner since December 2022.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a metamaterial that is capable of generating power and can sense itself. While concrete has been used for infrastructure since ancient Roman times, the team has re-engineered it for modern-day applications, making it stronger, more flexible, and malleable for builders. The material can generate electrical signals that can be used to power roadside sensors, monitor damage inside the concrete, and detect earthquakes while minimizing damage to the building. Furthermore, it has the potential to assist autonomous driving, as it can power chips embedded in the road to aid self-driving cars when GPS signals are weak or lidar is not functioning correctly.

Security experts are warning that smartphone phishing scams are on the rise, with the frequency of such attacks increasing rapidly. In the past two years, phishing links have surged by 637%, making them one of the primary weapons in advanced cyber campaigns. Such attacks give hackers access to apps and data on mobile devices, with over 50% of mobile devices exposed to phishing attacks as of 2022. While not immediately damaging, these attacks are designed to collect data, and more than 36% of the US population is likely to fall prey to phishing scams. It’s essential to exercise caution and not click on links from reputed companies like Prime, Netflix, Apple, or Amazon. Always scrutinize the email carefully, including the subject line and body, to detect potential phishing attempts.

A team of researchers at the University of Technology Sydney has developed a non-invasive sensor that enables users to control robots using their thoughts. This technology is hands-free and voice-free, and can interface with keyboards, touchscreens, and hand gesture recognition all by a single thought. By combining a product with silicon, they are able to overcome corrosion, durability, and skin contact resistance using these wearable sensors. While brain-machine interface (BMI) is not a new concept, its use for managing complex robotics is groundbreaking. The technology allows for nine different commands to be executed in just two seconds, meaning that operators can quickly choose from a variety of commands using thought alone with up to 94% accuracy. When you concentrate on the thought of what you want, the signal is sent out to the robot.

Google Photos is set to launch a new feature called “unblur” in a few weeks, which will be available on the Google Pixel phone system. This feature will allow users to fix blurry photos or videos caused by camera movement, as well as unblur photos and videos using advanced technology. It is hoped that this feature will be able to address common issues such as photos that have been accidentally taken with a finger over the lens.