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October 31, 2014
fitbit-hr-surge-charge
Fitbit's devices are essentially useless to anyone who doesn't mind carting a new iPhone 6 around. For everyone else, there's an Apple smartwatch on the horizon and plenty of others on the market. That said, I suspect I'd be far more likely to wear a Fitbit than an Apple Watch. They look fine, but not terribly exciting. That'll be a problem for Fitbit in the months ahead. [More...]

October 31, 2014
Qubes OS is a hybrid computing technology that raises the bar for security. It takes locking down computers to a new level. It has advanced far beyond the primitive proof of concept demonstrated more than four years ago. Beta Release 2, which arrived in late September, is a powerful desktop OS. Qubes succeeds in seamless integrating security by isolation into the user experience. [More...]

October 30, 2014
microsoft-health
Fitness bands are coming out of the woodwork, but Microsoft's entry into this crowded market may have an edge. The Microsoft Band -- part fitness monitor, part smartwatch -- is cross-platform. "The big weakness we have in healthcare is integrating data into hospital systems," said Frost & Sullivan's Greg Caressi. Bringing all the information into one platform is a big deal. [More...]

October 30, 2014
apple-pay
Apple Pay and CurrentC will help train consumers to pay with their smartphones. That seems convenient. If I can reduce the size of my wallet, I'm all for that. The problem is, Apple and other merchants want our iPhones and smartphones to communicate with them -- to recognize who we are when we come near. Remember Apple's iBeacon? The premise is to help guide you -- but there's a dark side. [More...]

October 29, 2014
hp-blended-reality-sprout
HP wants to ease computer users out of their flat two-dimensional digital world through a new product ecosystem dubbed "Blended Reality." The central idea seems to be to empower people to interact with images in ways that aren't so reliant on keyboard and mouse clicks, while bringing more dimensionality into the experience. The upshot could be more interesting products created by small shops. [More...]

October 29, 2014
bash-shellshock
Shellshock may pose a serious risk to consumers for some time. Those who purchase electronics for their home entertainment systems, for example, might be in for a nasty surprise. Many home devices -- including cable boxes, routers, NAS devices, and Internet-connected devices and services -- make use of Linux or Unix running a Bash shell, noted Lieberman Software's Chris Stoneff. [More...]

October 29, 2014
ampy-motion-battery-charger
Most people, most of the time, are near electrical outlets on reliable energy grids. For these people, Ampy is more about motivation than convenience. If you're aware of your motion and can associate exercise or movement with a positive benefit, you might be more likely to bike to work or go for a run. For backpackers, hikers, or people who live off the grid, Ampy shows promise. [More...]

October 28, 2014
elon-musk-artificial-intelligence-demon
Elon Musk fielded questions for more than an hour on electric cars, Mars colonization and his Hyperloop idea, but it was the seconds he devoted to artificial intelligence that got his MIT audience sitting up straighter. Musk called for regulatory oversight to "make sure that we don't do something very foolish," characterizing AI as a demon that might not be subdued by sprinkling holy water. [More...]

October 28, 2014
Malware writers behind Koler, a bad app that attacks Android devices, have upped their game with a new variant of the pernicious program. In its original version, Koler hijacked phones it landed on and wouldn't set them free until a ransom was paid. This latest strain of the malapp also does the ransomware thing, but it takes its malignancy a step further. [More...]

October 28, 2014
ikea-motorized-sit-stand-desk-ergonomics
There are all sorts of contraptions available to raise desktop equipment to standing work level, but they tend to be awkward or expensive. That's changing, as a simple motorized push-button desk from IKEA suggests. "Everyone is finally getting onto the bandwagon," said furniture industry analyst Mike Dunlap. "Every company I know that makes the mechanics can't keep up with the demand." [More...]

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