Showing posts with label smartphones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label smartphones. Show all posts

Crushing Bugs: Snowden To Sever Secret Smartphone Radio Transmissions

Oh, Edward Snowden.  A hero to any modern man who doesn’t want every other modern man, woman, and robot peeking into his business, the young former NSA operator has sacrificed his safety (and effectively the rest of his life) in pursuit of reform of the sickening surveillance state.  Now, he’s created a new device that shows his mission has not subsided in the slightest…

How can you cut a cord you can't see?
Snowden knows.
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No Shoot For You! Apple Patents Phone-Camera Blocking Technology

In an age where the average first-world citizen could expect to find themselves under the eyes of a camera literally hundreds of times per day, it becomes somewhat surprising when technology is invented to abet the exact opposite.  However, will blocking certain cameras’ features be in the best interests of society, or is this just a new form of censorship?

Well, at least shows will be way less populated by people like this.
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Leave A Message, I'm Busy Vaping: New E-Cigarette/Cell Phone Hybrid

As we hurtle towards a fascinating future filled with automation of all ilk, we must be careful that our desires for instant gratification are not surrendered to a ridiculous level of robotics.  Sure, it's nice to have certain things on your phone, like the ability to customize your wake-up routine (complete with kickstarting the coffee pot from bed!), or an app that lets you cuddle with other peoples' dogs, but we need an e-cigarette on there too?  Really?

A fire-free Frankenphone to fill your lungs in between chats.  Oh, technology, you're so crazy.
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But Does It Go To Eleven? Marshall Set To Launch Smartphone

They're known by musicians and music fans worldwide for their impeccable attention to sound quality, and soon, you could have a Marshall in your your phone!

Be a monster of rock...AND call your mom.  What a nice device.
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Lo-Fi Love: Classic Camera Configuration + Smartphone = Art?

As smartphone cameras increase in capability, some pretty cool video imagery has captured the public eye.  Now, thanks to a fun "throwback"-style invention, you can bring some of the style of classic cameras to your modern movies...

That's an iPhone 6 inside there, because the future is awesome.
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Aviation Vs. Incarceration: Drones Delivering Drugs Into Prison Yards

Drones!  Is there anything they can't do?  They help to fight fires, deliver contraceptives, bomb insurgents, and don't even require an endless supply of pharmaceutical-grade speed to keep their pilots awake!  Now, they've added a naughty new skill to their flying functions...

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Clock 'N Roll: It's Almost Time For The Apple Watch!

Heads up...the next shiny chunk of future is about to fall of the tech tree and land on your wrist.  The much-heralded Apple Watch will go on sale next Friday, April 10th...

Anything with "space" in the color title has got to be interesting.
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The Good, The Bad, And The Shutdown: New Apps For Feelings (And Lack Thereof)

Feeling down on yourself in this cruel world, and need a bright note to cheer up your day?  Or do you prefer balling up your hatred and slinging it recklessly at another?  Thanks to miraculous modern technology, there are apps to abet both...

"Yo Mama's so dumb, even her smartphone counts on its fingers!"
-"That's not very nice, Greg.  Do you need a Positive Compliment?"
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No Wires Required: Ikea To Offer New Furniture With Inductive Charging Pads

It's been a universal human quest since the dawn of mankind:  the lust for power.  Now, Ikea is making that quest a little easier, thanks to a new line of wireless charging furniture...

"+" marks the spot for the treasure of phone-charging power.
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Dial-Up Diagnosis: Smartphone Device Identifies HIV Quickly, Cheaply, And Effectively

Sure, your smartphone has always been pretty sharp, but now, a new app makes it intelligent enough to diagnose diseases.  Thanks to a small device that plugs into a phone, HIV can now be detected in 15 minutes, using only a single drop of blood.

HIV hasn't been cured, but now it's much easier to spot.
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According to, the device has been deployed in Rwanda at healthcare facilities for the purpose of detecting HIV and syphilis.  The device was over 90% accurate in its diagnostic capability.  Handheld and lightweight, it can travel to far-flung patients who may not be able to make lengthy treks to clinics for tests.  Best of all, the devices only cost $34 apiece.

The implications of being able to bring this formerly-expensive and arduous technology to the masses are huge, particularly for the most vulnerable sufferers of HIB.  Samuel Sia, head of the device's research team from Columbia University, explained "If you diagnose and treat them on the spot, you can save the life of a newborn… If it’s not treated, you can have stillbirth."  With 17.1 million people in eastern and southern Africa currently suffering from HIV, the device could be a critical element in saving future lives.

That's DR. Smartphone, to you.
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iPhones And Nunchucks...Together At Last

Ever worry about your own personal self defense in this troubled world?  Particularly, do you worry about the safety of your precious smartphone?  Embrace your inner ninja this year with the new iPhone nunchaku case.  It fits the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and does...well, this.

You'll at least distract any potential attackers or thieves with your ridiculousness.  And that's worth the $30 cost, right?

Strawberry Trees Forever: New Public, Solar-Powered Cell Chargers In Serbia

We all know and hate the feeling...during a busy day on the town, after using maps, apps, and countless texts on your smartphone, the inescapable dread of watching the battery drop to critical levels sets in.  If you're lucky, you have a charger on you, and can beg some power from a local bartender or the rare unoccupied coffee shop outlet.  But this is the future, and now there's a better way to handle these things.

This is what hitting rock bottom as an "Angry Birds" addict looks like.
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Behold, the Strawberry Tree.  According to CNN, the Strawberry Tree is solar-powered public charging station that was developed by Serbian student Milos Milisavljevicwho has an eye for clean technology.  After winning the Verge Accelerate startup competition, the invention has now spread to various cities and towns throughout Serbia.

Entirely solar powered and built from recycled/recyclable materials, the Strawberry Trees contain enough power to continue their charge mission even if it hasn't been sunny in twenty days.  Sixteen USB and wi-fi plugs allow for power for the masses.

You never have to boredly keep an eye on your children playing in the park, ever again!
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The Strawberry Tree, named for the first fruit of summer, also cares about your well-being.  Its chargers indicate local amounts of air pollution, noise levels, and UV radiation.  Plans in the future could include even more localized environmental data.  Plus, it is there for you in an emergency.  As Milisavljevic says, "Strawberry Tree could have an emergency button which would send a signal to emergency services that you are in danger, and in any kind of a disaster, for example if the power grid is down, the Tree would be the place where you could call for help and get in touch with your loved ones."

The future is for everyone, and now its technology has become a little more helpful to the common person. Just try not to spend a whole nice sunny day in the park messing around on your phone.

Old wonders and new can coexist peacefully in this new future.
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Your Smartphone Can Act As Your E-ID In Iowa Starting Next Year

Ever been caught without your driver's license and wished you could have some other critical bit of your physical property to cover for you?  Maybe something that you'd be carrying around every day?  Something like, say, your cellphone?

Seems legit.
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Now, thanks to new legislation in Iowa, drivers will be able to use their smartphones as credible license identification, starting in 2015.  According to, the official license app will make your e-ID acceptable for police stops, airport trips, and other instances of age verification.

While it's not known what would happen if one were to lose the battery power to their "ID", or if other states would accept this app as valid, the idea is one that (if successful) could prove to be the forefront of change for many other states.  It's quick, it's easy, and it's usually right there in your pocket or hand anyway.  The only problem is dealing with who might set up fake license sites for the underage...

"It's okay officer, I'm not drunk, really...I puke all the time."
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Google Play's Best Apps Of 2014: Music, Movies, and Multiculture

It's the time of the year for annual roundups of cool stuff to be listed, and Google Play has been diligent in their research.  Their list of Best Apps of 2014 has been released, with many useful and interesting elements for you to consider.

Not a long time ago, in a smartphone not far, far away...

The usual suspects are, of course, in appearance.  The music-identification app Shazam, the highly-informative TED app (relating the various and fascinating TED talks), and apps for popular services like Groupon, Uber, and OKCupid were favorites in 2014.

Language-learning apps proved an innovative and popular way to get your brain around another country's verbiage.  The Duolingo app teaches and tests on Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English language skills, while the Monki Chinese School app works for those who would venture further east.

For those who were more about entertainment than information, the Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, and Hulu apps made the list for your television viewing pleasure, while the Disney Movies app brought the animated movie magic.

The Economist "Espresso", Buzzfeed, Yahoo News, and the "breaking news" apps from CNN and the New York Times all delivered the news better than a paperboy thanks to their programs.

Music proved as important as ever in the smartphone app community, with Pandora, TuneIn Radio and IHeartRadio apps appearing on the list.  Other music-involved apps such as edjing (a "DJ Music Mixer Studio"), Equalizer+ (a sonic equalizing app), and musixmatch (a lyrics synching app for karaoke adventures) also made the cut.  Rock on!

And if you just need to drop everything and hit the road, there's the Anywayanyday app, to find you a flight or hotel somewhere special.  Or just somewhere different.  Why learn all this cool stuff about the world and not go see some of it?

Just remember to, you know, put down your smartphone for a little while when you're out there.
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New "Cicret" Bracelet Projects Your Phone-Screen Onto Your Flesh

The market for wearable technology has been steadily increasing, and whether you're rocking a FitBit or waiting for a full-scale neurosensory device, there's no denying that tech-to-go is now a glowing facet of modern life.  Now, a new invention may allow you to interface like never before: tapping a touchscreen that's projected onto your flesh.

That crashing sound is your productivity flying out the window.
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The Cicret bracelet, as reported by, uses long-range proximity sensors and a pico projector to illuminate your smartphone screen directly onto your forearm.  The "touchscreen" operates by the sensors determining when one has been intervened on by a finger, and data is sent accordingly.

While Cicret is still in the developmental phase, it has attracted a fair amount of attention.  An anonymizing, secure messenger app is also in production by the same company.  Visit their website to learn more about the bracelet or app, and donate if you feel this is something you'd like to rock on your wrist.  Apologies to those whose cool forearm tattoos precluded the development of this technology.

"Is there a glitch in the program or is my ink just awesome?"
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Pay Your Dues As You Snooze: New Alarm Clock App Makes Charity Donations Every Time You Hit "Snooze"

Do you hate leaving the warm embrace of your bed in the morning?  Do you hit the snooze button enough to prolong your beauty sleep by a matter of hours?  Now, put your laziness to work, with a new app that donates money to charity every time you choose to snooze.

"I will give you $100 to shut up and let me sleep until it's dark out again."
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iCukoo, according to the Daily Mail, is a new app that functions as an alarm clock and donation device.  Just select your charity of choice, the usual duration of your snooze-nap, and the amount you're willing to donate rather than get up and be a productive human being.

The app currently only donates to charities in the UK, but the list is a nicely diverse one.  Parkinson's UK, National Literacy Trust, Starlight (a support group for seriously ill children), Prostate Cancer UK and Maggie's (a cancer charity) can all benefit from your extended sweet dreams.

iCukoo is currently available on iOS and is in development for Android devices, so soon all types of smartphone users can enjoy their snooze as a donation accrues.

Just don't do to your smartphone what you did to your last obnoxious alarm clock.
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New "Tinder For Jobs" App: Score A Job As Easily As A Date?

If you're willing to meet strangers via an app to make your life better via intimate encounters, why not also meet strangers who'll make your life better by giving you a job?  That's the idea behind a new app that hails itself as "Tinder for jobs."

The nspHIRE app (pronounced "inspire") was recently created by a Chicago startup, amid a slew of other Tinder-type notions.  The app uses LinkedIn information to help users create a profile that is essentially their resume.  Employers can then contact desirable candidates and chat with them for $.99.

"Think it's worth a buck to laugh at this nerd's 'references'?"
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The "swiping right" acceptance that is inherent to the original Tinder app works here too.  Prospective employees "swipe right" on jobs they are interested in, and are notified of a match if employers swipe right on them as well.  Anonymous posting abilities allow for you to seek a new gig on the down-low.  An in-app chat service allows for communication.

As reported by, nspHire co-founder Rasheen Carbin explained, "The idea of mutual match was very attractive to us because it solves the biggest problem with job boards. If you’re a candidate, when you press submit, you have no idea what happens. For the most part whoever that goes to, that person is probably never going to look at your resume. And if they do, maybe they’ll give it 6 seconds."

Thus, if employers are willing to pay $.99 to look at you, perhaps they truly feel you're more worth their while.  Some 500 downloads for the Android version of the app have already taken place, with the majority being jobseekers.  The iOS version, to be released soon, will incorporate a projected initial 20,000 workers and 2,000 employers.

Just don't confuse it with actual Tinder, or your job could get weird.
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Score Scorchy Selfies With New Thermal-Imaging Smartphone Camera

What new photo tool brings the real hotness for your smartphone?  Literally?  How about your own personal thermal imaging camera?

According to, the Seek Thermal Imaging Camera is a new iPhone and Android-operable device that turns your smartphone into something like you'd spot in a cool spy movie.  Thermal imaging cameras, which use infrared technology to sense the presence of heat, make any temperature-producing item visible, regardless of lighting conditions.  Ninjas hiding in your house at night?  Not anymore, you spotted them with Seek!

Your evil black cat may resent his fresh lack of hiding skills.
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The Seek can detect heat signatures at up to 1,000 feet, recognize more resolutely at 250 feet, and identify specifics at 150 feet.  As their product description explains, "Our eyes rely on light to see, Seek Thermal relies on heat."  It has a spectrum from -40 degrees to 330 degrees Celsius, so you can just as easily determine if your drink is acceptably ice-cold as you can gauge how well-done your burgers are.

Your pet penguins can be kept suitably chill thanks to infrared analysis.
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For $199, the 8-ounce, micro-USB-enabled Seek can capture all the hotness (or coolness) around you.  It's the same technology that NASA uses to spot space phenomena, surely you too can come up with some interesting experiments!  Besides, wasn't that sepia filter starting to get boring anyway?

AAHHHH, FLAMETHROWER ATTACK!  Oh no, just a hairdryer in infrared.
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Grumpy Cat Hates Telling You About The Weather Via Your Smartphone. And Everything Else.

You can set your phone or computer's desktop to an image of a funny feline.  Chances are you've seen a few amusing animal videos or GIFs as well during the course of your existence - maybe a lot, if you work in an office and get bored frequently.  So it comes as no surprise that now even the most mundane search of your day - that of meteorological news - can also be customized with a cat.  And who better than the internet's most famous one?

According to, the free Weatherkitty or Weatherpuppy app for your phone can feature up-to-date weather information superimposed on pictures of various furry friends, though the species options are currently limited to cats and dogs.  Your own pet can feature, or you can upgrade for $1.99 to be graced daily with the sourpuss hilarity of Grumpy Cat, scowling and serenading you with stats on snow or sunshine.

Bonus: reflections on your own mortality!
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This isn't merely another meme.  The information included in the Weatherkitty or Weatherpuppy app includes a daily forecast with weather changes broken down by the hour, a weekly prediction of upcoming elemental events, wind speed, precipitation, atmospheric pressure, visibility, and highs and lows.  It's comprehensive.  Plus cats.

Developers Suraj Hemnani and Shiv Takhar are glad their app has made people's days a little brighter, even if it's dark out.  Hemnani explained, “We are social beings and we spend so much time alone, always working. So, we appreciate the company of dogs and cats very much—they have a way of bringing us back to the present moment and relaxing us.”

Grumpy Cat would perhaps be disappointed to learn he's considered "relaxing"...better put him to work as your own personal weather reporter.  Who else is better to tell you that it's raining out than a cat who'll be happy to tell you something worse?

Correct yet again, Grumpy Cat.  Well, at least its sunny out.
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Bring The Undead (And Your Halloween Party) To Life With These App-Animated Creepy-Cool Costumes

Do you need a Halloween costume that's crazy-creepy, but you can't spend a lot of money?  Do you need an outfit to set you apart amidst the hoards of zombies, ghouls, and sexy this-and-thats?  Or do you just need a last-minute costume that doesn't require too much makeup, but also isn't simply a sheet thrown over your head?  This Halloween, Digital Dudz may be able to help you out.

As reported by, the premise is simple: download an app onto your smartphone and insert the phone into one of Digital Dudz's masks.  Instantly, you're outfitted as a cyclops with an eerie giant eyeball that stares around, a clown whose mouth bursts with maggots, a cyborg assassin scoping targets out with a laser eyeball, a diver drowning in his own deep-sea suit, or a variety of other options.  The vivid imagery imparted by the apps make the masks seem startlingly realistic and solidly unsettling.

The e-eyeball scares with a stare.  It twitches, too.
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For those who are more of the casual type, Digital Dudz also makes t-shirts that turn your phone into part of the fun.  You could sport an exposed beating heart, power up your chest's arc reactor as Ironman, or set the aforementioned eerie eyeball to twitch in the sockets of a devilish doll or Frankenstein's face.

Digital Dudz's masks are priced from $45-$60 and include their free imagery apps.  Both the masks and t-shirts are capable of carrying a wide array of digital devices, which can be easily extracted in case you need to quickly call the police after causing a few heart attacks with your awesome costume.  Check out all their creepy coolness (as well as some truly hilarious morphsuits) in their seasonal video below.  Then get out there and treat folks to some terrific tricks!

PS - Don't forget to check back during Christmas, for Digital Dudz's flaming yule log or snowglobe-enabled shirts!