Science Says Ending a Text Message With a Full Stop Makes People Suspicious of You

U ok hun?

If your response to that is…


…then you’re a phony, or at least could be perceived as one, according to science. Why? That damned full stop. How dare you use proper punctuation? A study at Binghamton University’s Harpur College, which looked into “the role of the period [full stop] in text messaging”, suggests that you should ditch everything you’ve ever learned about grammar to make lame-brains trust you more.

126 Binghamton University undergraduates were shown a series of text messages and handwritten notes. Each exchange began with a question (e.g. “Are you coming out tonight?”) and were followed by a response (“Yep”, “Nope,” “Maybe”, etc). There were two versions of each conversation; one in which the response was punctuated by a full stop (“Yep.”) and another with no punctuation at all. The majority of participants adjudged the responses punctuated by full stops to appear less sincere.

“Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face conversations. When speaking, people easily convey social and emotional information with eye gaze, facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses, and so on,” said Celia Klin, Associate Professor of Psychology at Harpur College and lead researcher on the study. “People obviously can’t use these mechanisms when they are texting. Thus, it makes sense that texters rely on what they have available to them — emoticons, deliberate misspellings that mimic speech sounds and, according to our data, punctuation.”

The overused exclamation mark, however, makes messages appear more sincere, according to a follow-up study.

“That’s not surprising, but it broadens our claim,” Klin added. “Punctuation is used and understood by texters to convey emotions and other social and pragmatic information. Given that people are wonderfully adept at communicating complex and nuanced information in conversations, it’s not surprising that as texting evolves, people are finding ways to convey the same types of information in their texts.”

Image courtesy of The Guardian.

Windows 10 Desktops Will Soon Be Able to Talk to Mobiles

Microsoft wants to provide a complete and unified infrastructure with Windows 10 and the newest feature in this area is being tested with internal builds at the moment. The new feature is naturally for Cortana and just that feature will soon be able to send texts from your desktop and notify you the same place about missed calls on your mobile phone.

The feature is currently neither available in published nor insider builds, so you don’t need to go searching for it yet. The guys from WinBeta got a chance to play around with the latest internal build of Windows 10 and that is how we’re able to show you a video of it in action. Build 10565 for desktops includes an option to alert you when you miss a phone call as well as let you send a reply text message back; all voice controlled.

This is a really cool feature and I am sure that it is one that will make a difference for Windows 10 users, at least once it has been rolled out and polished. In the test, it took 11 minutes for the desktop to notify the tester about the missed call.

We all have so many gadgets in our homes, but none of them work together on their own. We can sync content between them, but that’s about as far as it goes. With a feature like this and Windows’ vision of a unified system, a smarter setup is on the way. Why should I pick up my phone to use it, if it’s all connected? For example, imagine you put on your headset and just ask Cortana to call someone and it will do so via your mobile phone. That and many other tasks could become a lot easier once devices start to talk to each other.

Researchers Prove How They Can Stop a Corvette with a Simple Text Message

Since a couple of hackers found a way to remotely control a Crysler, we’ve heard a lot of similar successful attempts on other vehicles. The latest comes from researchers over at the University of California, who have taken an interest in third-party devices coupled to the TCUs.

The TCUs are directly linked to a vehicle’s Controller Area Network bus, who sends and receives messages from all systems. The thing is that TCUs also have a SIM card to send data back to the manufacturer or insurance companies. This is how the researchers were able to discover, target and compromise a Corvette’s systems with just a simple text message.

The researchers made a two-staged attack, first by updating the device’s software, then making use of funnel commands which could be sent directly to the CAN bus. They were able to prove on a Corvette that they can remotely start the windshield wipers and ally the breaks while the car was moving.

In the researchers’ paper, they state that finding mobile numbers for TCU SIMs is fairly easy, having assigned numbers that start with the 566 area code. They also said that the TCUs are not cryptographically signed, allowing them to install the malicious software update without the TCU knowing and that TCU NAND flash units share the same SSH key, allowing hackers to use it on other TCUs.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Scientist Send Text Message Using Vodka

Researchers at York University have managed to send a text message which read “O Canada” using Vodka, or as I prefer to think, they’ve found a great way to thinly disguise one of their drinking games as research. Using a sprayer, a fan and a sensor the team were able to send a message encoded in a mist of Vodka over a range of four meters, measuring the rate of change in concentration of alcohol molecules. Hardly the most useful method of communication but certainly a fun one.

 “We believe we have sent the world’s first text message to be transmitted entirely with molecular communication, controlling concentration levels of the alcohol molecules to encode the alphabet, with single spray representing bits and no spray representing the bit zero.” Said Nariman Farsad, a doctoral candidate at York University who led the experiment.

By controlling the concentrations of Vodka, they were able to encode the alphabet by representing bits of data, ones and zeros, with a single spray representing bits, and no spray representing zero bits. It’s an interesting method and a great concept for communication using chemical analysis and sensors, but again it’s not exactly practical.