Chatroulette Mind Reading Will Blow Your Mind

A online psychology researcher is reading minds online and we’re not LION.

Nick Kolenda, has taken his skills to the online chat website, Chatroulette, which matches you with strangers who are often scantily clad, and shows us that there is no magic to his mind-reading trick at all.

Watch to find out how Nick does it, and to learn how people are affected subconsciously through subliminal messages.

via Technology – The Huffington Post

Would You Stay at a Hotel Without Wi-Fi?

The Hotel Henri IV in Paris will keep you offline. Photo by Tom Meyers

How would you react if, while traveling in Europe, you arrived in your hotel room, plopped down your bags, and tried to join the hotel’s Wi-Fi network, only to find… (spinning, spinning)…. nothing?

We’re not talking about having to hang out with your laptop in the lounge downstairs because the Wi-Fi doesn’t reach your room. And it can’t be blamed on a frozen modem or a confused router.

The hotel, it turns out, doesn’t have an internet connection, Wi-Fi or otherwise.

You experience (pick one): Panic? Anger? Relief?

It’s incredible how something that was presented just a few years ago as a new amenity is now considered almost a right. (In fact, an Estonian tourism official recently told me that in her country free Wi-Fi is, in fact, considered a “human right.”)

Rewind a decade or so, and the hotels I was inspecting and reviewing in Europe were eagerly embracing the new Wi-Fi technology, especially as it represented a new revenue stream. Some charged by the hour, others by the day. But almost everyone, it seemed, charged. In the years since, as the cost of offering Wi-Fi has dropped and online hotel bookings have become more competitive, I’ve noticed that many hotels offer the service for free to attract guests.

Not every hotel, of course, offers it for free. I’ve written before about the tendency for upscale chain hotels to charge for Wi-Fi, even as smaller budget hotels give it away for free.

Many of the most popular listings in our Paris hotel guide, for example, offer free Wi-Fi, including the Tiquetonne, the Esmeralda (really only works in the lobby), Grand Hotel Jeanne d’Arc and even the super-duper zero-star cheapo, the Hotel Rivoli.

But there are still a very few hotels that don’t offer it at all.

I was recently updating our review of the Hotel Henri IV, a super cheap sleep located on the Place Dauphine at the tip of the Ile de la Cité in Paris. (Given its extraordinary location, doubles going for €60 are indeed considered “super cheap.”)

When I visited the hotel last month, the friendly receptionist reminded me that the rooms are rather basic, and don’t have TVs. Fine. (This isn’t actually that unusual for small hotels and pensions, as one room’s blaring TV can echo down the hallway, disrupting the mood.)

But then he came to the clincher: “And we don’t have Wi-Fi.”

Ah, right. I scribbled down the note and didn’t think much more about it until I updated the review and made a point of calling this out. I took to Twitter, mentioning that, after all these years I’m still impressed by the hotel’s low rates:


Minutes later, a follower responded:



I certainly understand why we think it indispensable, especially when traveling abroad. We rely upon Wi-Fi to check email, find restaurants, search maps and fire up Skype to call loved ones. Not to mention keep up with work.

So what about the incredibly shrinking list of hotels that not only don’t offer it for free, but actually don’t offer it all?

It sounds almost like, well, a vacation.

What do you think?

Do you think that Wi-Fi should be offered by all hotels? Would you stay at a hotel without a connection? Do you think this entire conversation is foolish and that everyone needs to unwire themselves and get a life? Leave a comment below!

A version of this column was originally published on EuroCheapo. You can read that here, as well as read reviews of budget hotels in Paris.

via Technology – The Huffington Post

NSA Monitored Phone Calls Of 35 World Leaders: Report

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – The United States monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders according to classified documents leaked by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, Britain’s Guardian newspaper said on Thursday.

Phone numbers were passed on to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) by an official in another government department, according to the documents, the Guardian said on its website.

It added that staff in the White House, State Department and the Pentagon were urged to share the contact details of foreign politicians.

The revelations come after Germany demanded answers from Washington over allegations Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was bugged, the worst spat between the two countries in a decade.

The White House did not deny the bugging, saying only it would not happen in future.

“In one recent case, a U.S official provided NSA with 200 phone numbers to 35 world leaders,” reads an excerpt from a confidential memo dated October 2006 which was quoted by the Guardian.

The identities of the politicians in question were not revealed.

The revelations in the centre-left Guardian suggested that the bugging of world leaders could be more widespread than originally thought, with the issue set to overshadow an EU summit in Brussels.

No immediate comment on the report was available from the NSA.

via Technology – The Huffington Post

The Vast Majority Of Music Online Goes Basically Unpurchased

Katy Perry Roar

Here’s an insane stat: 98.9% of all digital music tracks in existence in 2011 sold fewer than 1,000 copies.

That’s 7,931,408 out of 8,020,660 songs.

And 73.9% of all digital music tracks sold fewer than 10 copies in 2011.

The data is from a new book by Harvard Business School Professor Anita Elberse’s new book, “Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment” (and spotted by Bob Lefsetz). 

The data is similar for albums: 58.4% of all albums in existence sold fewer than 100 copies in 2011 — 513,146 out of 878,369.

And 97.1% of all albums available sold fewer than 1,000 copies.

To turn the data around, just 400 separate albums released in 2011 accounted for 35% of all music sales.

For tracks, just 1,514 songs out of 8,020,660 available in 2011 accounted for 40% of all sales.

Elberse comments that the old 80-20 model of the music business, which dictated 80% sales come from just 20%  percent of products, has been obliterated.

“For music albums, it is close to an 80/1 rule – if we can speak about a rule at all. Even if we take a conservative estimate of what would be on offer in a bricks-and-mortar store at any given point in time, [predictions] that long-tail sales will rival those in the head are far off.”

And all this is even before Spotify took off in the U.S.

And she discusses the implications of these data, for music and entertainment in general:

“what Warner Bros., NBC, and many other entertainment businesses have found out—often the hard way—is that a ‘blockbuster strategy’ works.

“The leading television networks, film studios, book publishers, music labels, video game publishers, and producers in other sectors of the entertainment industry thrive on making huge investments to acquire, develop, and market concepts with strong hit potential, and they bank on the sales of those to make up for the middling performance of their other content.

“…rather than spreading resources evenly across product lines (which might seem to be the most effective approach when no one knows for sure which products will catch on) and vigorously trying to save costs in an effort to increase profits, betting heavily on likely blockbusters and spending considerably less on the “also rans” is the surest way to lasting success in show business.”

Helps explains why you keep hearing and seeing the same big, lumbering songs and movies.

SEE ALSO: 17 Cover Songs Way Better Than The Original

Join the conversation about this story »

via Tech

Microsoft Slices Another $100 Off Original Surface Pro Tablet



It looks like Microsoft is trying to get rid of the original Surface Pro tablets. The company has now reduced the Windows 8 tablet’s price by another $100.

The discount, which only seems to apply to buyers living in the United States or Canada, sees the first-generation model fall to $699 and is due to expire on Dec. 31. The Surface Pro price was previously cut by $100 in August.

Microsoft is almost certainly doing this to sell off remaining inventory and might well stop selling the first-generation device altogether in 2014, as it is no longer listed on the firm’s main Surface website.

The company announced the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 in New York last month and the former is now available starting at $899. Read more…

More about Microsoft, Tablets, Tech, Apps Software, and Gadgets

via Mashable

A Dose of Reality: More Online Woes for Obamacare

This month’s launch of the online insurance marketplace called for in the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was more than a little sickly. The goal of the law, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is to make health care “more accessible and affordable for many Americans,” but the online portal designed to deliver that access to Americans has been riddled with problems. Unfortunately, those who look for help elsewhere on the web may run into even more problems.

This is why presenting accurate information where Internet users are looking for it, especially if those Internet users do not realize what they’re looking for, is so key to a company’s or government’s domain name strategy.

FairWinds Partners surveyed the domain name space and found 22 registered domains that are typos of “Affordable Care Act,” a common shortened version of the law’s formal name. The content of those sites breaks down as follows:

– 68 percent resolve to pay per click (PPC) sites

– 23 percent resolve to content, some of which is health care related and some of which notes that the domain name is for sale

– 9 percent resolve to an error or index page

FairWinds found another 60 registered domains that are intentional misspellings of the term “Obamacare,” a moniker many Americans use to describe the health care reform law — sometimes without knowing that the two are one and the same. A CNBC survey, for example, found that 46 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare, while 37 percent oppose the Affordable Care Act.

The content of the Obamacare domain name typos breaks down as follows:

– 53 percent resolve to pay per click sites, some of which are for sale

– 30 percent resolve to content, some of it health care related

– 17 percent do not resolve or resolve to an error page

In both cases — typos of Affordable Care Act and typos of Obamacare — the majority of domain names resolve to pay per click content. This is unsurprising, given that PPC sites are an easy, passive way for the domain name owner to gather money from visitor traffic (the domain name owner collects a fee for each click on an advertising link,).

More disconcerting for Internet users, the U.S. government, and even brands, however, may be those domain names that resolve to actual websites, since these websites peddle information that is not officially sanctioned. and, for example, have the same owner and resolve to content that claims to provide “free quotes from top insurance companies”:


Not only does the content confuse visitors who may want to learn more about the Affordable Care Act (which does not extend to home insurance, life insurance or auto insurance), it associates major brands with an unofficial, potentially misleading health care information page. If these brands have not consented to the use of their marks, Internet users cannot be certain that the information is accurate or that any personal information they provide won’t be used for malicious purposes.

Then, there is


Neither President Obama or the Department of Health and Human Services wants the Affordable Care Act to be associated with “destroying the middle class,” as this content declares. But some unwitting Internet users may not realize the site is a scam.

My favorite typo?


Because who doesn’t like a good cat meme?

Nevertheless, the misuse of Affordable Care Act and Obamacare domain names not only erodes understanding of the health care reform law and mislead Internet users on brand information, it undermines the value of the Internet itself by confusing users for ill-gotten gain. This does not apply to gripe sites or pages set up for entertainment: Those are considered fair use.

Perhaps the Obama administration should have anticipated this issue and registered some of the more obvious typo variations (like, even though it’s impossible to think of and register all possible domain name variations that could be misused. That’s why Internet users should surf the web with a life preserver on: In other words, remain vigilant when looking for information on the Affordable Care Act. Stick with .GOV sites for official information about the law and enrollment into the program.

via Technology – The Huffington Post

Steampunk Meets Deep Ocean Creatures In This Eerie Short Film

Watch LA-based artist PES steampunkify and recreate deep ocean creatures using metal objects like bullet belts, faucet knobs and calipers.

PES is known for transforming familiar things through stop-motion animation, as in his earlier work, “Western Spaghetti.”

In his newest video, simply titled “The Deep,” it’s hard to take your eyes off the re-imagined haunting ocean world.

Check out more PES here.

via Technology – The Huffington Post

"You heard it here first…if you haven't already heard it elsewhere"