Put that novel password "12345" aside for a moment. The founders of Knock -- an iOS app that launched Tuesday -- want to make getting into your computer as easy as rapping your knuckles through the pocket of your jeans.
And that's exactly what their service allows. Using Bluetooth low energy technology to let iPhones communicate with their Mac brethren when in proximity to one another, the Knock app turns two steady knocks on the front or back of your phone into a secure unlocking tool to let users bypass the Mac password screen.
The iOS app is $3.99 and works in conjunction with a free Mac counterpart. It only works on select computers: MacBook Airs and 2011 Mac Minis or newer; MacBook Pros and 2012 iMacs or newer; and Mac Pros from this year only.… Read more
You know that new-computer smell, the scent of Styrofoam packing materials, ink on instruction books, and fresh plastic. Buyers of Dell's Latitude 6430u ultrabook have been complaining for months about a more odoriferous issue with their new machines, along the lines of eau de cat piss.
The hub for complaints is a Dell tech support discussion titled "New 6430u smells awful." It contains a veritable bouquet of descriptive missives, including, "The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box."… Read more
I struggle with theories. They so rarely work out in practice. And though teachers tried to force-feed theories, theorems, and theologies down my throat when I was impressionable, these days nothing gets through.
Two Apple aficionados, however, decided to take on the Big Banging Theory -- whether God exists -- and claim they now have proof.
My irregular reading of Der Spiegel brought me to the news that all it took was the help of one MacBook and one early 20th century theorem. (Thank you, TechEye, for sending me there.)
The theorem belongs originally to Anselm of Canterbury and was taken on by Austrian mathematician Kurt Godel. It goes like this: "God, by definition, is that for which no greater can be conceived. God exists in the understanding. If God exists in the understanding, we could imagine Him to be greater by existing in reality. Therefore, God must exist."… Read more
Know just about any person -- or cat -- who has some sort of impact on the Web? That soul could score a free HP Chromebook courtesy of Google.
As of Tuesday, a new promotion designed to push Chromebooks asks you to nominate someone you think helps make the Web an "amazing" place. The rules of the contest seem pretty loosey-goosey. The categories include "tech savior," "cryptic updater," "snap-happy parent," "computer hog," "link spreader," and "selfie fanatic." You can even nominate yourself.
Congrats to David O. of Colorado Springs, Colo., for winning an Elev-8 Quadcopter Kit from Parallax in last week's giveaway. This week's prize should give you something to talk about. We've got a copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12 speech recognition software for PCs.
The $199.99 software is among the many offerings from Nuance Communications that let you compute with your voice -- dictating or modifying documents and presentations; sending e-mail; searching the Web; capturing notes on the go using a digital recorder; and, of course, leaving comments on CNET stories.
And it promises to let you do all that faster, and with more accuracy, than earlier versions of the software. … Read more
The problem of smoking laps due to hot-running laptops isn't new. All sorts of cooling devices have made their way to the market. Many are fairly large, suspending the laptop above your thighs, sometimes even incorporating fans. There is a simpler way, besides just using your laptop on a desk or table.
The Curb is a $12.99 device from Designed by M that has no moving parts. It's pretty much just a little triangular silicone prop made to keep your laptop up and air circulating between the hot bottom and your tender skin. It has a notch for your power cable to go through.… Read more