The optimist in me wants to say this week will go down as a turning point in the struggle to protect the privacy of user information. The pessimist in me says wait and see--yes, there are glimmers of hope that change is afoot, but this is an industry with a spotty track record.
Last week, a firestorm hovered over Path, after it was found to be uploading and storing user data from iPhone address books without requesting permission. The company subsequently changed its policy and apologized to users. But the selective outrage irked Michael Arrington, the blogger-turned-investor whose CrunchFund has … Read more
This year, Sony's refresh of its entry-level E-Series Walkman line is much different from previous generations.
The new NW-E060 series--due in Japan on February 11--will only come in 2GB (NW-E062) and 4GB (NW-E063) options, which is far less capacity than its predecessor (which went up to 16GB). What is truly noteworthy is the inclusion of digital noise-cancelling, which is a feature previously only available in its high-end Walkman audio players. Music playback with this option enabled is rather amazing, as it nearly removes disruptive ambient noise in its entirety.
Battery life is a healthy 30 hours for MP3 playback (24 hours with noise cancelling on), but that figure is 20 hours less than the previous model. Similarly, the screen is only a 1.4-inch LCD, once again a downgrade from the 2.0-inch screen used in the past. I am wondering if the cost of integrating digital noise-cancelling contributed to these cuts. On the other hand, maybe the gurus at Sony finally realized they were selling several MP3 players that were too similar and wanted to differentiate.… Read more
Segways are expensive. If you don't want to drop $6,500 and you also don't want to have to walk anywhere, the Personal Rover Electric Transportation Vehicle will do the job for just $999.
The Personal Rover looks like the result of a mad scientist mating together a Radio Flyer Wagon, a skateboard, and a set of skis.
It sports an 800W motor that can carry a rider up to 12 miles at up to 15 mph. Steering is conducted with what looks like a couple of ski poles.
The Rover is made more for open areas than … Read more
When it comes to protecting your PC, there's no substitute for full backups capable of resurrecting your system from total disaster. But we're also big fans of regular targeted backups of personal files, favorites, and other data you don't want to lose, especially if your big backups are fairly infrequent. To be sure none of your important stuff falls between the cracks, we recommend a specialized backup application like Yadis Backup from Codessentials. This free tool creates full, one-to-one backups of your important personal data, settings, and documents that you can access normally, without having to restore … Read more
The head of a consumer online privacy watchdog says U.S. regulators should look into Google's new personalized search to see whether there are antitrust or privacy issues.
"Google is an entrenched player trying to fight off its challenger Facebook by using its market dominance in a separate sector," Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy InformationCenter, told The Los Angeles Times. "I think that should trouble people."
Rotenberg also said the personalized results will make personal data of users on Google+ more accessible, which may raise privacy concerns. He said he is considering … Read more
Now that Google has made it possible to personalize searches with social information from Google+ and Picasa, some of its social-media rivals are getting hot under the collar--starting with Twitter.
The microblogging service today fired back at Google's new "Search plus Your World" feature in unusually blunt terms. Twitter general counsel Alex Macgillivray, who formerly worked at Google, tweeted:January 10, 2012 Twitter followed up with this formal corporate statement:
For … Read more
LAS VEGAS--When on the go, you want to stay connected at all times and carry as much data as possible without having to physically carry a lot, right?
Soon you'll be able to do just that.
Seagate revealed and demonstrated at CES 2012 the prototype of a product tentatively called the Personal Server 4G LTE Wi-Fi. This is basically a combination of what the company's GoFlex Satellite has to offer and a 4G LTE mobile hot spot in one compact box.
Seagate said this is result of a 1.5-year collaboration with Verizon, which will be the exclusive … Read more
Mint is the iOS mobile companion to Mint.com, the popular financial services site that helps you track all of your accounts and budgets.
You have to set up an account with Mint.com to use the app (which involves giving Mint.com access to your bank, credit card, and investment accounts), then you can monitor your accounts, budget, and cash flow from the site or the app. The passcode-protected app presents your finances in summary form, with the capability to drill down to the item level of a purchase. Follow the trail to the end to edit an item'… Read more
Modern Combat: Fallen Nation is a first-person shooter with jaw-dropping graphics. The third installment in Gameloft's Modern Combat series for iOS, this game challenges you to fight through 13 missions from Pakistan to Los Angeles, and you will find and use several different kinds of weapons as you complete mission objectives. The game is a universal download, so you can play on any of your iOS devices, but we think it is at its best on the iPad.
You get three different types of control schemes to pick from, with variations of onscreen joysticks and touch-screen actions. I found … Read more