Frenchman Learns Rockclimbing to Retrieve Strangers iPhone

Finding a lost iPhone might be a blessing at first thought, but what if it is just out of reach and let’s say 20 meters down a large cliff used for cliff diving? One Frenchman took this as a challenge and made it his mission to retrieve the discovered treasure.

The first problem, however, the man had never done any rock climbing before and had to learn the basics first. Getting down there is relative easy, you just slide down the cable. But getting up again is a little more tricky and something you don’t just do.

A couple of hours training in the garden and he felt confident enough to attempt the rescue, all while his girlfriend was documenting everything on camera. Long story short, he succeeded and you can clearly see the joy on his face when he held it.

Once back into safety, the phone was examined and the battery was dead. Must have been there for a while now. But they charged it and it still turned on. To their surprise, there wasn’t any password or lock code and they could just get in there. Using the data found, he now set out to help this stranger that the phone and what better way to do that than with social media. The YouTube video you can see further down was uploaded and it was shared to facebook.

Two days later the lucky owner was identified and the two are now in contact to arrange the safe return of both the data on the phone as the phone itself.

 

The video is well worth the little over 2 minutes to watch and it’s nice to see that some people still go beyond what you’d expect in order to help someone else, even if it’s a completely unknown stranger that dropped their iPhone down a cliff.

Pro-ISIS Hackers Take Down French TV Station

TV5Monde, a French TV station that broadcasts around the world, was attacked by ISIS and taken down for around three hours before it could get its stations broadcasting again.

The reports indicate that the stations Facebook page and website were also taken down by the attackers, having network director Yves Bigot stating that the station’s operations were “severely damaged”. However, TV5Monde’s broadcasting, Facebook page and website are now back online.

A similar attack was also registered in the US and like the latter, the jihadist group used the site to issue threats against French soldiers and reveal the identity of their relatives.

France is said to provide air support for anti-ISIS ground forces that recently liberated the Iraqi city of Tikrit, and declared that ISIS must be “wiped out” after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

The methods used to hack TV5Monde are not clear just yet, but it is confirmed that the attack was issued by the same “Islamic State Hacking Division” who took credit for US military base attacks.

The conclusion was drawn based on the fact that the hackers ‘introduced’ themselves as the “CyberCaliphate” on TV5Monde’s Facebook page.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Google ‘Ebola-proof’ Tablet for Biohazards

For too long now, doctors have had to use pen and paper, rather than any of the technology available to them when fighting some of the deadliest diseases. But when French organization Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) came to Google with the request of something they could work with, Google delivered.

They developed a tablet that is completely encased in polycarbonate, which can be soaked in chlorine for decontamination. Syncing with battery-powered servers outside the area’s they work in, which makes keeping track of patient info much more streamlined. What Google accomplished is a very polished design for passing the intense restrictions for biohazards. And it’s not just Ebola that the design is limited to, as it can be adapted for any future outbreaks. This won’t be a super exclusive benefit though, as Google and Médecins Sans Frontières are both working to open source the project, so anyone who could use this has that advantage easily.

Source: Engadget

Apple Approves ‘Je Suis Charlie’ App in 1 Hour After Tim Cook E-Mail

Apple is notoriously famous for its lengthy App Store approval process. Some apps can take weeks to get approved for sale on the store. Well one new app got approved in just an hour after the developers e-mailed Tim Cook.

The app in question has been created for the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ campaign in support of the victims of last week’s terrorist attack in Paris. It simply allows users to tag their location on the map as a supporter of the campaign.

The developers apparently e-mailed Cook, Apple’s CEO, and they received a response from an employee in 10 minutes. The company promised that it would be reviewed in an hour and voila – it’s now available to download.

Source: 9to5Mac

Apple and Google Show Support for ‘Je Suis Charlie’

Among many tech companies showing their respect for the victims of Wednesday’s shooting at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris, Apple and Google have made modifications to their websites in support of those affected.

As you can see above, Apple has included the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ message on their French homepage, while Google has posted this black ribbon as can be seen bellow on its homepage across Europe.

“Remembering the victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo.”

Google also has a considerable presence in the world of journalism and news, and has also posted the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ message on their Google News France homepage.

Source: Google, Apple

Parrot Announces Ultimate In-Car Solution

Parrot, the French telecommunications company most famous for its AR Drones, has announced the Parrot RNB 6 – a pretty impressive in-car unit.

The RNB 6 combines pretty much everything you could ever want for an in-car ‘infotainment’ system. It offers easy integration with iOS CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as running its own standalone copy of Android Lollypop.

It has a HD screen and includes a special dash cam that allows for advanced lane assist in the sat nav.

You can get a good look at it and all it’s features in this handy video.

Source: Parrot

Forget About Smart Watches, it’s all About the Smart Belt

It’s CES 2015 this week (in case you didn’t know) and there’s a whole manner of new ‘smart’ devices being unveiled. From the usual phones and now smart TVs,  to the increasingly common smart watches, there’s a whole lot of ‘smart’ going on in Las Vegas. One thing we didn’t see coming though, was smart belts.

Yes, a new belt that goes by the name of ‘Belty’ is the world’s first smart belt. I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of finding a belt just fine while standing up, but perhaps a little too tight when we sit down. Well, Belty aims to solve that by adjusting itself dependent on your position, utilizing some motors to tighten or loosen its grip on your waist.

The belt connects to a smartphone app and allows you to control the amount of tightening and loosening, allowing you to adjust it for moments like when you just ate a big meal for example. The belt and its companion app is really quite clever though, in that it can learn just how much loosening or tightening is required for whichever scenario it may face. It also carries a pedometer too.

The belt is currently a prototype, but will be manufactured by French company Emiota with the hope of it being released later this year.

Source: Gizmodo

France Unhappy with Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s Storyline

Ubisoft has been copping quite a lot of flack recently. If I were to link to you all of the articles that only just eTeknix has written over the last two months, it would take me all day. But if you’re interested in what started the original ‘witch-hunt’, look no further than Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed: Unity developers claiming that 60 FPS ‘looks weird’, further stating that 30 FPS provides a much more ‘cinematic’ experience.

Former Minister and Presidential Candidate of France, Jean-Lux Mélenchon, has publicly slated Assassins Creed: Unity and it’s developing company – Ubisoft. Thanks to Polygon and TweakTown, we’ve learned that Mélenchon has stated that Unity is nothing more than “propaganda” and “favors the narrative of France’s ruling elite over the revolutionaries”.

It doesn’t stop there. Through an interview conducted on French radio and translated by the Daily Telegraph, Mélenchon’s words only got stronger. He proudly stated that “[Unity] presents an image of hatred of the Revolution, hatred of the people, hatred of the republic which is rampant in the far-right milieu” damning Ubisoft’s representation of Marie-Antionette as she is a “poor little rich girl” and a “cretin”.

There’s no doubting that many proud French citizens are quite passionate about their long history, this is the first time that we’ve seen it transfer across to hatred for a game. Mélenchon was also quite disgruntled about the representation of his people during 1789 – which is the time period that AC: unity is set in, stating:

“The man who was our liberator at a certain moment of the Revolution, because the Revolution lasted a long time, Robespierre, is presented as a monster. It is propaganda against the people, the people who are [portrayed as] barbarians, bloodthirsty savages. In 1789 there were the poor aristocrats, and they are presented as fine upstanding people”.

You know that you’ve done something very right, or very wrong when you start insulting those who would have never heard of your computer game otherwise – especially those who are diplomats. I wonder what American politicians think of Call of Duty?

We will continue to report as the story develops here at eTeknix.

Image courtesy of eTeknix

Reliable Tech – Hardware Repair Rate Rankings Released

As computer enthusiasts often get hostile about their favorite brands warranties, returns and reliability, we’ve just been given an insight into hardware failure and warranty rates across popular technology manufacturers.

Only just being released but complied with data relevant prior to October 2014, these statistics will show the top four performers in each category.

Starting with motherboards, the results read:

  • GIGABYTE: 2.51%
  • MSI: 2.65%
  • ASUS: 2.86%
  • ASRock: 2.99%

Before you grab your pitchforks and book the next-leaving flight to the island country of Taiwan, take a close look at the results and think about what you see. The first thing noticeable is that all four of these figures are land within a 0.5% margin, which is a pretty impressive result. Another interesting fact is that of ASUS’s ranking. We’ve just reported that ASUS are looking to out-sell all other brands in 2014, followed next by GIGABYTE, but looking at these statistics shows they aren’t the most reliable.

As with many other things in life (even including CS:GO tournaments), these broad spectrum statistics aren’t a be-all and end-all. Obviously it’s a little damaging for ASRock to be places last in the race and GIGABYTE are sure to have some PR bragging rights given their first place rating – but warranty tracking is often a fickle thing.

If you wish to see the full list of rankings and percentages (and have a translating app or add-on handy), please feel free to check a list compiled here (in Chinese), or the full comprehensive list (in French).

Power supply rankings came in at:

  • FSP Group: 0.83%
  • Be Quiet!: 0.84%
  • Corsair: 1.32%
  • Cooler Master: 1.51% 

The memory (RAM) rankings are:

  • Kingston: 0.36% 
  • Crucial: 0.57%
  • G.Skill: 0.97%
  • Corsair: 1.20%

Graphics card failure rates are slightly higher than any other statistic – ranking from 5.09% down to 2.25%.

  • MSI: 2.25%
  • Gainward: 2.67%
  • GIGABYTE: 2.98%
  • ASUS: 3.00%

It’s also interesting to note that there’s a rather large (in comparison) failure rate here reported of the Radeon R9 280X – coming in at 8.81%.

Hard Drive manufacturers have reported:

  • Seagate: 0.69%
  • Western Digital: 0.93% 
  • HGST: 1.01% (former Hitachi)
  • Toshiba: 1.29%

SSD’s saw most of the lowest rates of failure and a very close race within the top 3:

  • Samsung: 0.24%
  • Intel:  0.27%
  • Sandisk: 0.29%
  • Crucial: 0.57%

Please note that this statistical data has been taken from French online dealers, meaning some companies were not included due to their product sample being too small to manage. But either way this gives you a pretty fair comparison of companies units as a whole.

Coming from my own experience, as a person who’s previously worked in a hardware manufacturing company for 4 years, here’s a few things I’ve noticed about this warranty/failure rate subject:

  • Not every end user will warranty their broken products
  • Warranty percentages can often be skewed by a bad batch of products due to shipment, storage or factory error
  • Warranty percentages are not always reported, double checked, nor stock-taken

Rankings thanks to Hardware.fr

13 New Languages Added to Gmail Covering 94% of the World’s Internet Population

Google has announced it has added 13 new language support for its Gmail service, which previously had support for 58 languages, summing up the service’s language support to a total of 71 languages now. The company has stated that, along with the new languages addition, it also now covers 94 percent of the world’s internet population.

The additional languages added include Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Chinese (Hong Kong), French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Nepali, Sinhala, and Zulu.

Email is a universal way to communicate. No matter where you are, you can reach anyone else in the world with the press of a button. We take it for granted now, but it’s so much easier to keep in touch with people than it was in the old days of pens, paper, and stamps. But there’s still an important barrier we need to overcome to make email truly universal: language. Gmail is already available in 58 languages, and today we’re bringing that total to 71—covering 94 percent of the world’s Internet population and bringing us closer to our goal of making sure that, no matter what language you write in, you can use it in Gmail.

The company stated that the email service is a universal way to communicate and support for as many languages as possible make the whole experience as natural and smooth as possible. The additional languages are currently available on both web and mobile browsers.

Thank you Geeky Gadgets for providing us with this information

Chip Which Mimics Human Brains Revealed

According to Fudzilla, there is some news that a chip which works like a human brain has been developed. According to the French Tribune, the chip will appear in the shops in 2014. Scientists say that this chip will enable the computers to mimic human brains and with the help of this novel device computers will also be able to learn from their own mistakes.

It is confessed by the researchers that this newly designed chip will be able to connect with wires and will also mimic biological synapses. In this completely new as well as digital age, these new brain-like computers will most probably have the ability to beat as well as tolerate errors. These chips will also potentially make the term “computer crash obsolete,” the tribune said. These chips have been designed by the scientists in order to function identical to the biological nervous system of the human beings.

Larry Smarr, one of many research centres devoted to developing these new kinds of computer circuits, said, “We’re moving from engineering computing systems to something that has many of the characteristics of biological computing”. Curiously no one has said where this chip is being made, what is being called or when it will be in the shops. We guess the French press was as short staffed as we were over Christmas.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Google Voice Search Receives An International Upgrade

Google responds to their users’ requests to add multiple languages to their Google Search engine for other parts of the world. By tapping the microphone icon in the search bar, French, German and Japanese speakers can ask Google any number of questions and have their smartphone respond in their native language.

Google also gives some examples, with asking for some coffee in Munich: “Wo bekomme ich Kaffee in München?” and users will get a list of local options, or the height of the Eiffel tower by saying: “Quelle est la hauteur de la Tour Eiffel?”, as well as who invented the transistor in Japanese: “トランジスタを発明したのはだれ?”, giving you the answer to the latter question.

Given the localization standards, we can see languages such as Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese and even Netherlands added to the search engine, give or take. But as Google did not make any official announcements on this matter, it should be taken with a grain of salt. At least German, French and Japanese users can enjoy searching in their native language so far.

The changes will not require a new update, as the feature is to be implemented server-side. Download the application for your iPhone, iPad or Android from their respective stores if not already done so and ask away. Or you could use the traditional way and type your question as well to get you answer. The means is entirely up to you.

Thank you Google for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Google