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Friday - October 10, 2014
The least-goofy gadget I've been ogling this week is the Pronto Fast-Charge Battery. It might be a bit of overkill, with nine charges, but hey -- if you've got a smartphone that's more than 6 months old and you actually enjoy using it, the extra juice could come in handy. Of my goofier choices, the Romocart looks like the most fun and the Minipresso the most useful. The RE (pictured above) is the most redundant. [More...]

Friday - October 10, 2014
Unless you're Samsung or Apple, gaining visibility in the smartphone market is becoming an increasingly onerous task, but HTC this week appeared up to the challenge. Its Desire Eye has a 13-megapixel front-facing camera for high-quality selfies. When you're not gazing into a lens to snap your own mug, you can shoot stills and videos without looking at the camera at all, with HTC's new RE. [More...]

Thursday - October 9, 2014
Thync on Wednesday announced it had raised US$13 million in funding from "top-tier" investors, including lead investor Khosla Ventures. Thync's product, possibly called the "Vibe," is a wearable device that purportedly uses neurosignaling to modify a user's state of mind in relation to energy, calm and focus. Thync's claims have raised some eyebrows. [More...]

Thursday - October 9, 2014
Apple's pretty much annual October new product media event usually is preceded by a cute invitation sent to journalists. The invitation typically includes a phrase or graphic element that provides a vague clue to the secret agenda of the event. Presumably, this is to drum up excitement and speculation, in addition to creating an ah-ha moment. [More...]

Wednesday - October 8, 2014
Hands-free communications systems in automobiles might seem safer than fiddly devices, but recent research suggests they can be highly distracting. Speaking to Siri is particularly risky, the study found. The solution may be simply to wait a while. "With self-driving cars coming to market in volume within two years, the problem will begin fixing itself," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. [More...]

Wednesday - October 8, 2014
The Majorana fermion experiment revealed the atomic structure of the iron wire on a lead surface. The zoomed-in portion of the image depicts the probability of the wire containing the Majorana fermion. Importantly, the image pinpoints the particle to the end of the wire, which is where it had been predicted to be over years of theoretical calculations. [More...]

Wednesday - October 8, 2014
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reportedly co-opted a woman's identity to create a fake Facebook page as a ruse to investigate suspects. The agency posted racy pictures of the woman, then known as "Sondra Prince," as well as a photo of her young son and niece, to the sham page. The photos were taken from her cellphone, which DEA had seized when Prince was arrested in connection with a drug ring. [More...]

Tuesday - October 7, 2014
Apple has climbed to No. 1 in a category the company would rather not dominate: It is now the most-phished brand. That title used to belong to PayPal, but with customers' Apple IDs increasingly being connected to more corners of their lives, phishers are finding the draw irresistible. "There are lots of different attack vectors," noted Rod Rasmussen, coauthor of the latest APWG report. [More...]

Monday - October 6, 2014
Microsoft's RoomAlive system is not yet ready for the market, but a demo this weekend suggested some tantalizing possibilities for truly getting into the game. It may take a while to simplify the setup and bring the system to an accessible price point, but when and if it debuts, there may be a strong core of enthusiasts ready to immerse themselves into something a bit like a holodeck. [More...]

Monday - October 6, 2014
The Food and Drug Administration last week released long-awaited recommendations aimed at better managing cybersecurity risks to protect patient health and information. The new standards recommend manufacturers take into account cybersecurity risks as part of the design and development of a medical device. They require device makers to submit documentation to the FDA about identified risks. [More...]

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