Stereopublic: an app to map noise level

WIRED.com writes about Stereopublic, a crowd-sourced app to find peace and quiet.

Stereopublic’s creator, Jason Sweeney, explains Stereopublic as an app that navigates users through a city based on noise—in this case the lack thereof. “It was very personal desire to think of future cities as having dedicated quiet spaces that were either built into them or to nurture those spaces that already existed,” he says. “So the idea for the app came about when thinking of a way to make a ‘quiet-seeking’ tool that the public could freely access to participate in this quest for quiet.”

The idea is that as users walk around a city, they geo-tag their favorite quiet spots. You can add a picture, record an audio file and file the spot under different mood categories depending on how you’re feeling, essentially creating an interactive map of the most peaceful spots in a city.

Porsche Design BlackBerry a phone that no one will buy?

The $2,400 Porsche Design BlackBerry P’9982 is a repackaged BlackBerry Z10 for the rich.

There are many status symbols but this is probably a bad idea unless you only need a simple phone for texting and calling.

IDrive backs up you Facebook uploads and media you were tagged in

IDrive launches a new feature to back up your Facebook photos and media, including those that you were tagged in.

The service is now available to all IDrive users (including those on the free 5GB plan) and once all the data from Facebook is backed up, users can access their images and videos from any web browser and the company’s iOS app. An Android app, the company tells me, is “coming soon” and all the data is automatically encrypted with what IDrive calls “an NSA-proof private key option.”

In case someone decides to block you on Facebook, you can still access the photos you were tagged in.

18 months of research to switch to e-books ended in a disaster

Independent.ie reports on how a school’s switch to e-books had a disastrous end.

Students experienced problems such as tablets failing to switch on, tablets spontaneously going into sleep mode, devices looping while performing automatic repairs, system board failures and issues with wi-fi.

Principal Gleeson said it was “an informed decision” to choose the HP Elite tablet.

“A year and a half’s worth of research was put into choosing the right device for us.”

They cannot blame anyone if they chose the HP Elite Pad after 18 months of research for the right device.

How Touch ID secures fingerprint information

TechCrunch reports on Apple filing a patent application for Touch ID.

The patent describes a system that not only siloes data on the Touch ID “enclave” section of the A7 processor, but that also encrypts the fingerprint maps registered on the device to make it that much more difficult for any thieves to even attempt to pull the data off in any kind of usable form. The enclave is a one-way street, too: the system can check new fingerprints against the stored ones, but there’s no way to check or call up the stored fingerprints at all for external examination once they’re registered.

Waze to use celebrities for voice navigation

Engadget reports that Waze is partnering with Universal Pictures to use celebrity voices to give driving directions.

Waze wants to give us what we really want, which is, quite naturally, driving directions delivered with the gravitas only Hollywood actors can bring. To that end, the social navigation company has partnered up with Universal Pictures to deliver some cross-promotional synergy that’ll have actors in forthcoming films acting as your virtual co-pilot.

If it included Benedict Cumberbatch or Chris Hemsworth it would definitely pique my interest.

HTC introduces gold-colored HTC One for the masses

This, coupled with the Galaxy S4 gold edition, should silence the mocking of the gold iPhone 5s.

HTC reveals another gold-colored One, this time without the 18-carat finish

The latest variant does come late to the game, with Apple’s gold iPhone 5s enjoying huge demand and Samsung launching the Galaxy S 4 gold edition, albeit in limited markets. HTC says the device will be available across Europe with a number of partners.

iCloud limits increased

iCloud: My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing limits

There is no limit to the number of photos you can upload to My Photo Stream over time, but iCloud limits the number of photos that can be uploaded within a given hour, day, or month to prevent unintended or excessive use.

Seems like Apple is gradually increasing the bandwidth as they scale their iCloud infrastructure.

Fans petition AOL to open source Winamp code

Considering the history of Winamp, I’m not surprised that many people are sad at its impending shut down. I honestly doubt that a petition to keep the project alive or letting it go open source will gain any traction at AOL, but I guess there isn’t any harm in trying.

Winamp lovers beg AOL to open source code

“The history of digital music started with Winamp,” says the group, which includes nine developers who have pledged to improve Winamp if the source code is released. “Our goal is to convince Nullsoft [the AOL subsidiary behind Winamp] to release the Winamp source code and we will take it further in an open-source way.”

Instagram messaging?

Om Malik predicts that Instagram will be introducing a messaging system as a new feature.

Well-placed sources tell us that the company is gearing up to launch new private messaging features inside its still red-hot photo and video sharing service. It is also experimenting with the idea of group messaging, our source tells us. The new features are likely to find home in the next version of Instagram, which is expected before end of the year.

He sees it as a natural step towards increasing communication between users.

It is fundamentally my belief that most applications need a layer of communication — comments and lightweight signals such as Facebook’s likes are part of that layer. And so is messaging.