Technology

Comfy Earbuds, Barking Bots, and USB Killers

Welcome to Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, the column that somehow stopped reading Internet rumors about the new Star Wars movie long enough to pore over the latest gadget announcements. In our rebel base this week are moldable earbuds, a robot dog, a permanent USB security lock, and a battery to turn a regular smoke alarm into a smart one. These ... Read More »

Will Apple Beat the Enterprise Curse?

Given that it is basically a big iPad with a better keyboard option and stylus support, the iPad Pro has been getting decent reviews. It can be classified as a first-generation product — and as such, it does far better than most. However, there have been a huge number of companies in Apple’s space that have gone under or stalled ... Read More »

Microsoft Gives Gamers a New Xbox One Experience

Support for legacy Xbox games is the headliner for the NXOE, but the roughly 1.15-GB update also includes new social elements baked into a reworked interface. The refreshed Xbox One interface is faster and more social, the company said. Microsoft could have coordinated the recent launch of a more robust version of the Xbox One, including a new eSports controller ... Read More »

FBI Paid Carnegie Mellon $1M to Crack User IDs, Claims Tor

Tor’s claim appears to have been triggered by areport last week in Motherboard that said the FBI’s arrest of an alleged member of the Silk Road 2.0 drug ring was based on “information obtained by a ‘university-based research institute’ that operated its own computers on the anonymous network used by Silk Road 2.0.” That network was Tor, and the research ... Read More »

Paris Attacks Deepen Encryption Debate

Western intelligence agencies blamed the technology for enabling communications among the attackers, according to a New York Times report, and some officials renewed their calls for technology companies to give them decryption keys. However, the terrorists may have communicated through private messages on the PlayStation 4, or even during game play, camouflaging relevant statements as routine gaming chatter, according to ... Read More »

Uber Launches ‘Going My Way’ Feature

Uber this week announced a feature that lets drivers set their destinations twice a day for when they only want to pick up riders traveling their way. The feature is rolling out this week in the Bay Area, reportedly in the company’s hometown of San Francisco first. “We haven’t announced when and where we will offer this feature next, but ... Read More »

Microsoft Retools Minecraft to Teach Kids to Code

A 2-D tutorial version of Minecraft will introduce players ages 6 and older to simple coding, encouraging them to mine and craft by using visual programming, Microsoft said. After completing the tutorial, players will have the opportunity to engage in a bundle of 14 challenges to reinforce what they’ve learned. Building Blocks Minecraft was retooled for students and educators to ... Read More »

Google+ Tries On New Social Media Identity

The site has undergone a major redesign that takes away some of the bloat that slowed down the navigation process, the company said. Its new focus is to serve as a virtual gathering place for people with common interests. “Today we’re starting to introduce a fully redesigned Google+ that puts Communities and Collections front and center,” said Eddie Kessler, director ... Read More »

Huawei’s Fast-Charging Batteries Could Solve Power Users’ Problems

The batteries, developed by Huawei’s Watt Lab, recharge 10 times faster than their competitors and can reach 50 percent capacity in two to five minutes, the company said. Huawei demonstrated two models at the 56th Battery Symposium in Japan last week: a 600-mAh unit that reached 68 percent capacity in two minutes and a 3,000-mAh model that reached 48 percent ... Read More »

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft reveals Enceladus’ north pole in stunning images

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has begun returning its best-ever views of the northern extremes of Saturn’s icy, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus. The spacecraft obtained the images during its Oct 14 flyby, passing 1,839 kilometres above the moon’s surface. Mission controllers said the spacecraft would continue transmitting images and other data from the encounter for the next several days. Scientists expected the north ... Read More »