Technology

Google Makes Maps Useful in the Boonies

Users can download a regional map — say, a city, county or country — either by tapping “download” on a search result or by going to “Offline Areas” in the Google Maps menu and tapping on the “+” button. The downloaded map will function in offline mode automatically when the user enters an area with poor or no connectivity, and ... Read More »

Valve’s Steam Gaming Hardware Hits Home

Valve this week rolled out the hardware phase of its road map from bedrooms and basements to living rooms and lounge areas with its long-awaited video game controller, PC link box and Steam boxes. Valve’s road map to the living room began with Big Picture mode in 2011, continued with in-home streaming in 2014, and now includes the new Steam ... Read More »

Ford to Test Autonomous Vehicles at Mcity

Ford on Friday announced that it will be the first automaker to test its autonomous vehicles at Mcity, a full-scale simulated urban environment that was developed as part of the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center. The site will allow Ford to test its autonomous vehicle fleet close to its Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters, taking advantage of the diverse roads and ... Read More »

Apple Faces Twitter Storm Over Mac App Security Glitch

The expiration appeared to impact a number of apps, including Acorn, Byword, Daisy Disk, Tweetbot and 1Password. It’s likely that the incident occurred due to problems with the security certificate management system. “The big firms, providers of applications and services, want to maintain control of the services and software they are selling,” noted Ian Trump, security lead at Logic Now. ... Read More »

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 »