Wednesday , 23 August 2017
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Gadget Ogling: Custom Kicks, Heartbeat Tricks, and Office Picks

Welcome, one and all, to Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, the column that probes the latest gadget announcements through the lens of slightly too much eggnog. Yes, even this early in December. In our sleigh this week are sneakers with a customizable display, a paper recycling system, a way for distant lovers to feel closer to each other, and a different ... Read More »

Steve Ballmer’s Excellent Android Adventure

Steve Ballmer last week presented an interesting plan to kill Android — or at least compete with it. What’s ironic is that Ballmer’s tenure at Microsoft wasn’t short of good ideas — it was short on execution. In contrast, Satya Nadella has shown strength in execution but (so far) hasn’t come up with anything that represents the kind of risks ... Read More »

Hot New BunsenLabs Linux Eases Pain of CrunchBang Loss

  Developer Philip Newborough retired the popular minimalist distro earlier this year. In a world of feature-packed operating systems and bloated Linux distros, he felt his CrunchBang alternative served no further purpose. BunsenLabs is one of three CrunchBang replacements that mimic the lightweight but highly functional OS. CrunchBang++ and CrunchBang-Monara are the other two. BunsenLabs Linux is based on Debian ... Read More »

4-Inch iPhone With Apple Pay May Be Coming Soon

The new iPhone model will have an A9 processor — the same processor found in the latest iPhone models — and a metal casing offered in several colors, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said, MacRumors reported last week. The unit also will have 2.5D cover glass with curved edges — like the iPhone 6s — and 8 megapixel rear-facing ... Read More »

Hello Barbie, Can We Talk About Your Security Issues?

New security issues that surfaced last week in connection with Mattel’s Hello Barbie doll, which talks back to kids, have heightened fears that hackers could use the toy to steal information about its owners and their families. The Hello Barbie app, which is available for iOS and Android, uses an authentication credential that can be reused by hackers, Bluebox disclosed. ... Read More »

Social Media Firms Face Quandary Over Terror Prevention

Following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., social media companies are coming under increased pressure, both internally and externally, to protect their networks from being used as platforms for operational planning and propaganda. There needs to be a greater balance between promoting free expression on the Web and allowing social media to become a tool to ... Read More »

Apple’s Pricey New iPhone Battery Case Gets Very Little Love

Apple on Tuesday unveiled its own battery case for the iPhone 6s. Offered in white and charcoal gray, it has a silicone exterior and a microfiber lining. In addition to offering protection, it increases iPhone usage times. The intelligent battery status is displayed on the iPhone Lock screen and in Notification Center. Priced at US$99, the case supports Lightning accessories, ... Read More »

Microsoft to Open Source Chakra JavaScript Engine

Microsoft last week revealed that it will release the core components of its Chakra JavaScript engine to open source as ChakraCore. It will be available next month on GitHub under the MIT license. ChakraCore offers best-in-class JavaScript execution with the broadest set of ES2015 feature coverage and dependable performance, reliability and scalability, Microsoft said. It will target cloud-based services, the ... Read More »

Gadget Gives Passwords Pocket Protectors

As much as many Web travelers and security experts would like usernames and passwords to disappear from use, the pesky credentials aren’t going away anytime soon. That’s why password managers are seen as a way to make the best of a bad situation. They allow you to store scads of usernames and passwords in the cloud where they can be ... Read More »

Mozilla Gives Up Firefox Phone Ambitions

Mozilla on Wednesday confirmed that it has hung up on the Firefox OS mobile phone and will try using the operating system to dial into other connected device uses instead. It ended its sales program of the Firefox mobile operating system to carriers and will no longer develop the OS for smartphones, Mozilla said. Some Mozilla members broke the news ... Read More »