Items tagged with Misc

The news of two truly horrible security breaches broke this year; one was the NSA’s shadowy data grabbing and surveillance program, and the other was the Heartbleed bug that left about two-thirds of the Internet utterly exposed to any bad actor. According to a Bloomberg report, these two stories have merged, as “two people familiar... Read more...
Inspired by Lego, a small team has developed TinkerBots, which are building blocks that you (er, your children) can use to create robotic toys. They’re designed to let you create whatever you want without necessarily locking you into a specific end product. The heart and brain of TinkerBots is the red cube Power... Read more...
Remember that neat little Micro 3D printer that we covered a few days ago? The one that was looking for $50,000 in funding via its Kickstarter campaign? It was doing well out of the gate, nabbing about $1 million on its first day, but that frenetic pace has not abated much. The current total in pledges is at $2.28... Read more...
Longtime Apple Human Interface designer Greg Christie is retiring from the company, and reportedly friction between he and designer Jonny Ive hastened his departure. According to 9to5Mac’s sources familiar with the matter, Christie’s software group will now report to Ive, who himself oversees the... Read more...
If you picture an HP executive as a straight-laced person in a conservative suit, it’s time to shake up that image, because three HP subsidiaries--in Russia, Poland, and Mexico--have spent years bribing government officials in those respective countries to snag lucrative contracts. "Hewlett-Packard subsidiaries... Read more...
You have to give Microsoft credit for having a sense of humor. Now that the company has ceased support for its venerable but aged Windows XP, users need to upgrade or become (even more) vulnerable. As a nod to those who no doubt will hang on to that old OS come hell or high water, Microsoft created a humorous game... Read more...
Terrible news, everyone: There’s a coding error in the OpenSSL cryptographic software library that allows anyone with the right tools and a little know-how to access secret encryption keys, usernames, passwords, and even content on sites using OpenSSL for protection. That includes roughly two-thirds of the... Read more...
You know those people who always lose at video games and scream, “This game cheats for you!”? Stanford engineers have modified an Xbox 360 controller in such a way that a game can, actually, “cheat” for a given player. Well, sort of. The team, led by professor Gregory Kovacs and in... Read more...
In-flight wireless is a godsend if you’re stuck on a plane for three hours and have a lot of work you need to get done, and provider GoGo is upping its speeds even as it pushes forward with new technology to provide its service. GoGo is developing a worldwide 70Mbps solution, which blows past what it could offer before. "When we launched... Read more...
It seems like everybody thinks they can make great TV shows these days. Following in the formidable footsteps of Netflix and (to a lesser extent) Amazon, both Microsoft and Yahoo are looking to get into the original programming business. Yahoo’s effort in that direction, as reported by the Wall Street Journal... Read more...
In the race to drive down costs for and increase the capabilities of 3D printers, the team behind the Micro 3D printer believe they’re among the frontrunners. The Micro is designed to be inexpensive and incredibly easy to use while also offering reliability and consistency. “It is the most affordable 3D... Read more...
Google TV was a swing and a miss in terms of Google’s play for living room dominance, and thus it was good news when word leaked that the company was both rebranding its TV platform to “Android TV” and ostensibly making it better with a different foundational version of Android. Now, The Verge reports that it has acquired... Read more...
Tetris is available on a wide array of gaming platforms, so you can play it on screens ranging from 2-inch square monochromatic affairs to glorious 4k displays--also, on the side of a Philadelphia’s Circa Centre, whose effective “screen” is 100,000 square feet. The Circa Centre’s facade had hundreds of LED lights, embedded... Read more...
Graphene is a sort of super material for electronics; it’s thin, durable, light, transparent, and flexible, and Samsung says that it’s developed a way to synthesize the substance so it can speed of the commercial development of graphene and thereby usher in a new era of electronics development. Samsung... Read more...
The Amazon Fire TV isn’t the only intriguing new tech to come out of Amazon this week. The company is also debuting a powerful new shopping tool called Amazon Dash, and it portends a future where you can order all the groceries and supplies you need as you go and as you think of them. Dash is a small handheld... Read more...
We’ve had more than one look at Unreal Engine 4 demos, and they look amazing; with the upcoming Unreal Engine 4.1 update, though, Epic is adding support for more platforms. “We have good news for you! The 4.1 source code has initial support for running and packaging games for Linux and SteamOS. We love... Read more...
The newly-appointed CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, has decided to step down after a firestorm of criticism erupted when it was made known that he donated $1,000 to support Prop 8, which was a measure to ban same-sex marriage in California. Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker penned a blog post discussing... Read more...
The U.S. may be embroiled in a bitter fight over net neutrality, but Europe has few such issues. European Parliament voted to protect net neutrality rules by an overwhelming margin of 534 votes to 25 (with 58 abstentions). Forbes quoted rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera as saying, “We have achieved further... Read more...
Amazon confirmed today one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry, which is that the company now has its own streaming set top box. It’s called the Amazon Fire TV, and true to the rumors, it offers streaming TV and movies as well as games. “Fire TV is a tiny box that plugs into your HDTV. It's the... Read more...
Although the 3D printing market has and will continue to grow rapidly, there are still some capabilities that the market needs that we take for granted on the paper printing side of things. For instance, you have to convert those excellent 3D models into a printable format, and that can be tricky. Enter Slic3r, a free... Read more...
ASUS is boasting that it’s achieved an industry milestone by developing a PC that requires essentially no cooling and emits zero noise. It’s also remarkably compact, measuring just a couple of inches square. There’s an Intel Core i7 chip inside that ASUS has paired with one of its own ASUS DirectCU II GPUs. There’s... Read more...
At a critical time wherein the deadline for this year for enrolling for private health insurance through Obamacare hits today, the Healthcare.gov website went down--again. It’s now back up, although there are reports that accessibility is still sporadic, and in any case many users are being put in a digital... Read more...
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