This week, we go over some Super Bowl TV tips, including what to do if you're not going to be near a TV at all. Julie talks about developing new battery life tests, and Josh laments the decline of the compact point-and-shoot camera.
Symantec may have mistakenly labeled more than a dozen Android apps as malware, according to security researchers at Verizon-affiliated ICSA Labs.
It's an easy mistake to make, according to Roger Thompson, an ICSA "emerging threats" researcher who authored a blog post on the subject. Thompson suggested that the apps appear to include a new release of an ad platform that merely resembles malware in certain ways.
Symantec recently raised an alarm over an alleged Trojan it dubbed Android.Counterclank, saying its researchers had discovered 13 apps on the Android Market that had millions of downloads combined were &… Read more
Back from CES, we show off some video clips of our favorite products, Ty tells us why OLED matters, and Scott and Dan debate the best laptop for covering trade shows.
A group of scientists has gone offshore in an effort to bypass the food-versus-fuel debate.
Startup Bio Architecture Lab today published a paper in Science it claims will turn seaweed into a viable feedstock for fuel and other chemicals.
Making fuel and chemicals from crops such as corn and sugar cane requires significant quantities of land and fresh water, creating competition for resources with agriculture. Macroalgae such as seaweed, by contrast, grow in salt water and are relatively productive energy sources because they are 60 percent carbohydrates and don't contain lignin, which binds up useful molecules in many earthbound … Read more
When I was a kid and my family went on road trips, my siblings and I played "Punch Buggy," a particularly brutal game of spotting a VW Beetle and punching the kid next to you in the arm. Kids today have less combative forms of in-car entertainment such as DVD players and game machines. But kids in the future may have backseat entertainment that looks like it's straight out of a sci-fi movie.
In the future, robots equipped with tails may help with search-and-rescue missions, but it also could be that robots deployed by those with tails will also have a hand in finding survivors.
A new system created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Lab and Ryerson University's Network-Centric Applied Research Team provides another way to get audio and visual feedback from a disaster zone, particularly those areas that are too small for humans or canines to search. The twist here is that it's all initiated with a dog's bark. … Read more
You've probably already read about the latest and greatest in smartphones, tablets, and OLED displays, so let's take a look at the coolest high-end audio goodies. We've assembled some of the most promising candidates for your approval.
The Arcam rPAC is a portable USB powered digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier, but it can also be played over a hi-fi system. "USB powered" means there are no batteries or "wall warts," it's powered by your computer's USB port. The entire component is enclosed in a small precision-cast aluminum case.
I've loved … Read more
In advance of CES, the folks from Tely Labs recently came by our offices in New York to demo the fledgling company's new $249 consumer video-conferencing solution for TVs--the TelyHD--that combines an Android-based HD video camera with a heavily skinned version of Skype.
Some TVs already offer Skype video-chatting capabilities via integrated cameras, but TelyHD is one of a few options arriving this year that will allow you to add a higher-quality HD camera with built-in Skype functionality.
From what we saw from the demo, we were impressed by the overall experience. We did a test call back to … Read more
We know Superman's weakness is kryptonite, but what about the rest of us mortals? What can bring us to our knees and turn us into a pile of goo? Cuteness, that's what.
Meet Boxie, the cutest cardboard robot to ever roam Earth. Boxie is the creation of a team researchers at MIT's Media Lab, who set out on a project to gather stories from people with only the help of machines. Of course, part of the challenge there is to get humans to open up to a robot, but the solution turned out to be pretty simple: make the robot adorable.
Led by researcher Alexander Reben, the group from MIT designed Boxie out of cardboard and equipped it with a microprocessor, a board that generates audio, and some sensors, among other things.
Reben said they originally made Boxie out of white plastic but the end result was rather scary looking, so they made the switch to cardboard. Not only more friendly looking, cardboard also kept the cost, complexity, and weight down, allowing the team to create more Boxies. … Read more
Whether you need to quickly access something on your desktop or just need a quick way to hide an open window from prying eyes, there are better ways to accomplish this task than with a keyboard shortcut. One of these is Zigzag Cleaner, a clever little utility that will minimize any open windows with just a swipe of the mouse. But that's not all it does: Zigzag can also be used to quickly accomplish a variety of common desktop tasks.
Zigzag Cleaner appears as an icon in the Windows system tray; right-clicking on it brings up a configuration menu … Read more