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Monday - January 12, 2015
volkswagen-golf
Volkswagen's Golf and Ford's F-150 claimed the prestigious car and truck of the year awards at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. "This win is huge for VW," said Justin Cupler, editor in chief of TopSpeed.com. "It is a little surprising actually, because normally the Golf doesn't attract a lot of attention. It is one of those cars that simply sells in volume." [More...]

Monday - January 12, 2015
By this time, you likely are getting a bit sick out of folks talking about wild new products that won't be on the market for weeks or months while you are paying your Christmas bills. So rather than tell you about a slew of new products, I'll focus on the back stories that didn't seem to get much coverage at CES -- what now is the largest technology show in the U.S. [More...]

Saturday - January 10, 2015
sony-high-res-walkman
Sony just won't let the Walkman glide off gracefully into the sunset. The latest incarnation, the ZX2 (pictured here), is a high-end music player that's said to offer crystal-clear audio. That's great! I'm all for consumers enjoying music and movies as artists intended them to be experienced, but I can't justify shelling out $1,120 for a fancy music player when my phone does the trick just fine. [More...]

Friday - January 9, 2015
cepheus-computer-poker-research-group-university-alberta
There might not be much practical use for a computer program that can always win at Texas hold'em, but the University of Alberta's Cepheus -- which apparently has learned how to do just that -- represents an important advance in AI research. Possible future applications include deciding optimal medical treatments, obtaining guidance on investments, and political and military strategizing. [More...]

Friday - January 9, 2015
"100 lashes if you don't die of laughter!" reads the bubble in this Charlie Hebdo cover. Devastated by a terrorist attack that took 12 lives and left 11 injured, apparently as a reprisal for satirizing Islamic radicalism, the magazine's surviving staff nevertheless plan to publish on schedule next week. Google and others have pledged funds to support their largest print run ever. [More...]

Thursday - January 8, 2015
ford-motor-ceo-mark-fields-ces-2015
Several self-driving cars of the future were on display at CES 2015, but if Ford Motor has its way, autonomous vehicles will reach the mass market sooner rather than later. The technology appears to be almost fully baked, but what may take much longer to work out are rules, regulations and insurance policies, suggested Frost & Sullivan analyst Praveen Chandrasekar. [More...]

Thursday - January 8, 2015
kepler-planets-habitable-earth-like-goldilocks
NASA's Kepler observatory has discovered two new "Goldilocks" planets, which earned the nickname by appearing to be just right for supporting life as we know it. The planets' potential for habitability is based on their size, distance from their suns, and likelihood of being rocky. "We don't know for sure whether any of the planets in our sample are truly habitable," said astronomer David Kipping. [More...]

Thursday - January 8, 2015
There is a hot new MacBook Air rumor that's got the tech press all in a flutter, and get this: It's not about a long-awaited Retina display for the MacBook Air. Instead, the rumor claims that Apple's redesigned MacBook Air will be remarkably smaller, with a 12-inch screen -- and just one port. The new MacBook Air design reportedly will drop the current MacBook Air's USB 3 ports. [More...]

Wednesday - January 7, 2015
samsung-gear-vr-virtual-reality-2015-ces
Virtual reality wares are making a strong showing at this year's CES, even though few products are available for the mainstream market. On the show floor, "Oculus Rift was the most visible, but Samsung had what appeared to be the best implementation," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. 3DHead introduced its own headset display, which can be used to develop virtual worlds for films or gaming. [More...]

Wednesday - January 7, 2015
Ever since smartphone makers started incorporating fingerprint scanners as a means of unlocking mobile phones, the Chaos Computer Club has attacked the technology with vigor. Not long after Apple added Touch ID to its iPhones, the German hackers demonstrated how to lift prints from a surface and create a flexible pad containing the print that could be used to break into a phone. [More...]

Tuesday - January 6, 2015
sony-high-res-walkman
Everyone had a Walkman in the 80s. Now Sony is positioning its newest Walkman for an elite crowd -- music lovers willing to shell out $1,200 for a superb mobile listening experience. "Sony's reputation for producing premium products has all but disappeared over the past 20 years," said Tellus Venture's Steve Blum. "Introducing the high-resolution Walkman is an effort to reclaim it." [More...]

Tuesday - January 6, 2015
samsung-ceo-bk-yoon-internet-things-ces-2015
Samsung CEO BK Yoon stopped short of asking the audience to hold hands and sing along, but his depiction of the Internet of Things as an Internet of People was starry-eyed nonetheless. "This was a talk on IoT and how wonderful it will be with everyone connected, but no real discussion on how we will get there or the problems that will need to be overcome," noted tech analyst Rob Enderle. [More...]

Tuesday - January 6, 2015
Microsoft got a fiery start to 2015 when Google last week publicized a kernel vulnerability in Windows 8.1 Update. Google Project Zero's James Forshaw, who discovered the flaw, ranked it as a high-severity issue. Although Forshaw reported it to Microsoft last September, the company had not yet fixed the problem when Google published it. The vulnerability lets people falsely pose as administrators. [More...]

Tuesday - January 6, 2015
gogoro-smartscooter-electric-scooter
Gogoro may succeed at bringing electric driving to the mainstream, starting with its Smartscooter, which already has been dubbed "the Tesla of e-scooters." Gogoro has better financial backing than other e-scooters, noted futurist Glen Hiemstra. It's "more a true, modest scooter than a motorcycle look or intent," and there's "much better consumer awareness of electric everything in 2015." [More...]

Monday - January 5, 2015
hp-pavilion-mini
HP has unveiled a couple of mini computers that can nestle comfortably in the palm of your hand. The tiny devices are full-fledged desktop PCs, though, running Windows 8.1. What's perhaps most interesting is the price range HP has set for the devices. The lower-end Stream Mini starts at just $180. "Vendors are looking for new and inventive ways to draw a user in," said IHS analyst Craig Stice. [More...]

Monday - January 5, 2015
Writing a CES teaser is a bit difficult because I actually know a great deal about what will be announced, but I can't share the details because I'm bound by a variety of ironclad NDAs. However, I can comment in general about the product categories you are going to see opened up at the show, and I have to say you'd better lock up your wallet because much of this is cool and you'll likely want it. [More...]

Friday - January 2, 2015
spacex falcon 9
Next week's challenge will be part of SpaceX's mission to use the Falcon 9 rocket to send an unmanned Dragon spacecraft to the ISS, much the way it did for the first time back in 2012. Over the next year, SpaceX plans at least a dozen more launches for further testing. It's likely that one of them will include not just landing a Falcon 9 first stage but also re-flying it, the company predicted. [More...]

Friday - January 2, 2015
Instagram recently added some new filters -- the first time it has done so in two years. Each of the filters included in the latest version allow users to make subtle mood changes to a photo. "Filters are becoming a competitive advantage for Instagram so I suspect you'll see it develop more filters as time goes on because that's the real value of their service," noted IDC Research Director Chris Chute. [More...]

Tuesday - December 30, 2014
new mind-controlled robotic arm in a project run by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Earlier this year, demonstrated her ability to use her thoughts to move the robot hand into different positions while controlling the wrist and arm. Mastering four distinct movements gave Scheuermann control of the hand in 10 dimensions. However, the school recently closed down the project. [More...]

Monday - December 29, 2014
Hacker Jan Krissler, aka "Starbug," this weekend told attendees at the 31st Chaos Computer Club convention that he had replicated the fingerprints of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leven using a standard photo camera and commercially available software. Krissler used a close-up of a photo of the minister's thumb and other pictures taken at different angles during a press event in October. [More...]

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