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Category Archives: hardware

Apple users might feel insulated from the exploding batteries currently fueling Samsung’s Note 7 nightmare, but a new story of out of south Australia serves as a helpful reminder that true safety is just an illusion. On Thursday, surf instructor Mat Jones told Australia’s 7 News that an iPhone 7 he left in his car wrapped in a pair of pants caught on fire, taking both the pants and the car with it.


Using the app, customers can manually turn home or office devices on and off, or create on/off schedules. There’s also a built-in thermal sensor that will automatically shut down the connected device if it becomes overheated. The Wi-Fi Smart Plug will monitor energy consumption and provide statistics via the mobile app as well.

My concern is more personal and local: The NSA’s version of patriotism is corroding Silicon Valley. Integrity of our products, creative freedom of talented people, and trust with our users are the casualties. The dolphin in the tuna net is us — our industry, our work, and the social fabric of our community.Product integrity is doomed when the NSA involves itself in the product development process. The scope of NSA’s activity here is unknowable. But what I hear from founders and other investors — never mind Reuters’ reporting about RSA Security, and Spiegel’s about backdoors in networking products — is beyond my worst expectations.

Your home computer is the perfect machine. It’s customized to your exact needs, runs all your must-have apps, and holds every important file you’d ever need to access. The catch: It’s not exactly practical to lug a computer with you everywhere you go. That’s where remote access comes in. Here are three dead-simple ways to control your home computer from anywhere—your laptop, phone, or even a friend’s computer—as though you were sitting directly in front of it.

Google’s come a long way from web search and email, but every now and again the company still manages to announce a product or service that will take us totally by surprise. The company last night announced that its latest endeavor is a smart contact lens aimed at those suffering with diabetes. This contact lens will help diabetes patients by removing the need to constantly check blood sugar via a prick of the finger. Google hopes to use miniature chips and an antenna thinner than human hair to measure tear glucose. 

On Tuesday afternoon, the New York Timesreported that the National Security Agency has placed malware on nearly 100,000 computers around the world for offensive and defensive purposes.Based on information found in NSA documents and gathered from “computer experts and American officials,” the Times confirmed information that came to light towards the end of December regarding several of the technologies that were available to the NSA as of 2008. The NSA’s arsenal, the Times wrote, includes technology that, “relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.”

Samsung’s smart TVs are getting smarter next year.The Korean company announced todaythat it will showcase its 2014 Smart TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, which features improved voice interaction capability by focusing on the most frequently-used functions and taking usage patterns into consideration.Users can change their TV channel in one step by just saying the channel number, unlike Samsung’s 2013 Smart TV which requires a two-step channel change. When using voice interaction to search for information, a pop-up window appears on the bottom of the TV with search results, and users can move to the app and see the details.

Posted via a mobile Android device.

“For me, the most important thing is context. Take a grocery list,” said White, who’s also earning his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Maryland. “Glass should recognize things at the supermarket,” telling you when it sees something on your list without having to actually show the list to you.”You want it to be a non-annoying friend; you want it to add value,” he said. Glass needs more of those kind of apps, he said.Word Lens translates text seen through Google Glass into your language, as demonstrated at a hackathon for the newly released Glass Development Kit.

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A second blogger has published evidence that his LG-manufactured smart television is sharing sensitive user data with the Korea-based company in a post that offers support for the theory that the snooping isn’t isolated behavior that affects a small number of sets.In addition to transmitting a list of shows being watched and the names of files contained on USB drives, the Internet-connected TV also sent the names of files shared on home or office networks, the blogger reported. He made the discovery after plugging the Wireshark packet-sniffing program into his home network and noticing that an LG TV—model number 42ls570, purchased in April—was transmitting file names that sounded vaguely familiar even though there was no USB drive plugged in.”It turns out it was pulling filenames from my shared folders over the network and broadcasting those instead,” he wrote in a blog post published Thursday. “I moved all the media out of the folder and put a few duds in named ‘GiantPorn,’ turned the TV off and on and it was still broadcasting the old filenames. The TV couldn’t see those files whilst browsing manually so I’d hazard a guess it’s caching some of these locally.”

Posted via a mobile Android device.

Google’s Chromecast dongle just got another streaming service. Hold on to your dragons: HBO GO support is available starting today.The not-quite-a-set-top-box Chromecast is Google’s answer to the Apple TV and Roku line of streamers. But unlike other over-the-top devices, the small dongle is controlled via Android and iOS devices, or through the Chrome Browser instead of a remote. With a supported app like Netflix — or now HBO GO on your phone or tablet — you can “cast” videos to a connected TV and continue using other apps on your device. When using the Chrome browser, you can cast any online video to your TV.While other streamers also let you push online video to your TV, the Chromecast’s $35 price point makes it particularly compelling. 

Posted via a mobile Android device.