I’m back! Did you miss me? Reviewing last week.

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 21st, 2014, 08:37
Category: Apple, Article, Consumer Electronics, Google, News, Opinion

newspaperI was sick for most of last week, which accounted for the crickets you might of heard when you loaded up the PowerPage. While I get back up to speed on all the current tech news, I thought I’d provide a short list of key articles from last week by other tech sites to get you caught up in case you missed them.

Target data hack only the beginning of massive, sophisticated attack – BGR.com

This is one story that hit close to home. Because of the breach, my credit card company is reissuing my credit card with a new account number which means I get to spend a day or so updating ALL of my automatic billing accounts. Have you noticed this sort of thing seems to be happening more frequently lately? Frankly, I’m starting to consider switching to stuffing my mattress with cash.

Google’s smart contact lens tracks glucose levels for diabetics – AppleInsider.com

Wow, Google really wants to do do stuff with your eyes. While I applaud the clever idea of “always on” monitoring of glucose levels, I have to question why this tech needs to be stuck in your eye. While tears can provide this information, blood is actually the better source for it. Current glucose meters already require regular calibration and a margin of error, partly due to variations in blood. How are you going to do this with a contact lens? And how do you account for the many people who can’t or won’t wear contact lenses, and adding prescriptions to them for people who do wear them? Wouldn’t it be better to have a sensor imbedded under the skin, that anyone could use and didn’t have to be constantly cleaned, removed, replaced, etc.? Eyes are already responsible for a lot of data, do we need to be sticking more things in them?!

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules – MacObserver.com

If you aren’t familiar with the battle for net neutrality, you should start educating yourself because this won’t go away for some time, and if people aren’t paying attention, they could just get royally screwed by large corporations that are fighting it. The “net” part refers to the Internet and in a nutshell, without net neutrality, everything you do on the internet (which IS practically everything) will cost you more, especially your connection to it. This ruling is kind of a drop in the bucket, but it is a minor setback in the fight to maintain neutrality and keep the greedy profit-seeking providers from gouging everyone just to watch a movie or read an email.

Beware of this Apple ID phishing scam – TUAW.com

I think people on the whole have been getting better about detecting phishing scams, where unscrupulous types attempt to sucker innocent people into willingly handing over their account information by posing as an email from a service they use. Now someone is trying this with an email that looks like a security warning from Apple. Read the details in the article and remember to ALWAYS be cautious with these kinds of requests and make sure the messages are actually coming from where they say they are.

Box overhauls iOS apps and offers 50GB of free storage for life – Macworld.com

Now THIS is a hot tip, and one I took advantage of myself. I’ve had a Box account for some time, but never really used it because the default, free account only provided 5 GB of storage and I have quite a bit more available to me over at their competitor, Dropbox (Oooo…I should write an article about how I did that.). Also, at the time, Box wasn’t as slick and well integrated with the Mac and iDevices as Dropbox. Well, now Box is throwing down the gauntlet and offering 50 GB of storage to users that create (or have) an account and download the iPhone and/or iPad apps, for the next 3 weeks or so at least. Plus, the new iApps have been overhauled and look pretty spiffy. I won’t give up Dropbox, but I’m sure going to find a use for that 50 GB. Can you say “online backup”?

Google acquires smart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion in cash, Father of iPod now Google employee – 9to5Mac.com

This was kind of a surprise, but with wearable computing and home automation being the hot topics at CES this year, it seems to make sense. Perhaps I’m more surprised Apple didn’t acquire them given its pedigree and Apple-like design. While I was kind of disappointed to see another successful company swallowed up by a big fish, I wasn’t as paranoid as a lot of people who felt the proper response was to rip the device off the wall and put it on CraigsList. This one’s a two-fer since it’s a perfect lead in for Apple marketing chief Schiller unfollows Nest & Tony Fadell on Twitter following Google deal.

Prescription frames for Glass start at $99 and available soon

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 3rd, 2014, 09:28
Category: Accessory, Announcement, Consumer Electronics, Gadget, Wearables

Screenshot 2014-01-02 23.59.00We’ve talked quite a bit about Google Glass recently, and I even had a chance to drive it around the block a bit thanks to Jason O’Grady. One of my biggest problems with Glass, somewhat ironically, is that I already wear a pair of glasses which made for very awkward placement of the Glass frame on my face. Without my glasses, it was a strain to look at the tiny display hovering over my eye. According to Slash Gear, however, the solution to this problem may not be far away with prices starting at $99.

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Will the next NSA satellite have an Apple logo?

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 1st, 2014, 08:24
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, iOS, iPhone, Legal, Mobile, Mobile Phone, News, privacy, security, Services, Software

geoeye-1-satellite-apple-460Well, perhaps that is a stretch, but Apple’s possible connection with the NSA was revealed in a report dating back to 2008. Reuters explains that the report outlined a system that the NSA was developing, called DROPOUTJEEP, which would be software implanted into an iPhone that allows infiltrators to push and pull and retrieve data from iPhones such as contact lists. The report didn’t actually specify any involvement by or with Apple, although the iPhone is referenced in the report.

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More iOS purchases over Christmas than on Android

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 31st, 2013, 09:36
Category: Android, App Store, Apple, Apps, Holiday, iOS, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Software

iOS-vs-AndroidBefore we ring out 2013, we probably want to slip in that Apple did extremely well against Android over the holiday season. Regarding apps, it appears that the AppStore did quite a bit of business around Christmas as compared to Android. IBM’s latest Digital Analytics Benchmark Report found that purchases made from iOS devices accounted for about 23 percent of the online shopping done on Christmas Day in the U.S.

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iPhone users exhale, MyGlass for iOS back in the AppStore

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 20th, 2013, 09:49
Category: Android, Apps, Developer, Gadget, Google, iOS, iPhone, News, Review, Software, Software, The Apple Core, Wearables

MyGlass_for_iosYou might have caught some stories about the long awaited MyGlass app appearing on the AppStore, and then quickly disappearing leaving iPhone users crying, “nooooooooooooo!”. Well, they can relax, Google re-released the app and it’s available for download. About a week ago, I had the opportunity to play with a Google Glass without having to shell out $1500. As it happens, someone I knew had one and was willing to ship it out to me to play with (that “someone” being Jason O’Grady from The Apple Core). My full review will be available soon, so I’ll skip over a lot of Glass details to focus on the app and what it adds to the Glass-iOS experience.

 

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OS X 10.9.1 update drops

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 17th, 2013, 21:36
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Desktop Mac, Installation, Mac, Mavericks, Software

maverickslogoThis one slipped by me. The App Store app on my Mac didn’t even register it. Anyway, lo and behold, 10.9.1 is out. Apple continues to add additional fixes to Mail for handling Gmail accounts. This one adds support for custom settings in Gmail. Here’s the complete change log;

  • Improved support for Gmail in OS X Mail, and fixes for users with custom Gmail settings
  • Improves the reliability of Smart Mailboxes and search in Mail
  • Fixes an issue that prevented contact groups from working properly in Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from speaking sentences that contain emoji
  • Updates Shared Links periodically when open in the Safari Sidebar

Run to your local Apple download site, or open up the App Store app and hope it sees the update. Also, I recommend closing all apps and repairing file permissions both before and after applying the update. Happy Gmailing!

Google opens Glass Mirror API

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 5th, 2013, 08:38
Category: Accessory, Consumer Electronics, Developer, Gadget, Google, News, Opinion, privacy, security, Wearables

google_glass_grey-580-90Last week, Google finally made the Glass API for Google Glass open to all developers. Previously, the API was only available to developers that actually shelled out the $1500 to own the Google Glass hardware and were added to a whitelist of approved owners. Now Google doesn’t care if you have the software or not. TechCrunch breaks down the methods for developers to write software for Google Glass.

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OS X 10.9.1 on the horizon? Apple seeds build 13B40 to developers

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 4th, 2013, 12:33
Category: Apple, Developer, Mac, Mavericks, Software

maverickslogoOn Tuesday, Apple dropped the latest build of OS X 10.9.1 to developers for testing. Apple is asking developers to focus on Mail, Safari, Graphics Drivers and VoiceOver. The OS update appears to focus on the Mail app with more Gmail fixes in the works. Here are the posted improvements for the update:

  • Improved support for Gmail in OS X Mail, and fixes for users with custom Gmail settings
  • Improves the reliability of Smart Mailboxes and search in Mail
  • Fixes an issue that prevented contact groups from working properly in Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from speaking sentences that contain emoji
  • Updates Shared Links periodically when open in the Safari Sidebar

 

Doctor Who: Legacy – new mobile game launching on Wednesday

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 26th, 2013, 17:29
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Phone, Software, Software

Screenshot 2013-11-26 13.43.43Are you having Doctor Who withdrawal now that all the 50th Anniversary hubbub is over? Can’t wait until the Christmas episode? Well have no fear, the Doctor is here…in this game I’m going to talk about. According to PadGadget, BBC Worldwide in cooperation with Tiny Rebel Games and Seed Studio, is releasing a new mobile game with is being launched tomorrow, November 27th. What’s even better is that the game is FREE! The official press real ease states;

“Build a team of your favourite companions and allies drawn from the extensive and illustrious history of the show; face the Doctor’s most notorious enemies; and relive the Doctor’s greatest triumphs.”

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Waze adds celebrity voice directions

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013, 11:14
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, News

waze_logoWaze, the popular crowdsourcing navigation app, which was recently purchased by Google, announced a new partnership with Universal Pictures to add celebrity voice navigation to its quiver of features. First on the list of celebrities is actor and comedian Kevin Hart (no, I don’t know who he is either). Hart acted on Real Husbands of Hollywood, a comedy-improv parody show on BET and in January, stars in an upcoming movie with Ice Cube called Ride Along. The addition of Hart’s voice is a promotional move to get the word out about the movie. Whether future voices will be tied to promotions is still unknown, but Waze already offers other advertising opportunities for businesses by having the app notify the driver when they get near the business. Both the Waze app and Hart’s voice are free so there is no reason not to try it out. To have Hart tell you where to go, navigate to Settings > Sound, and select “English – Ride Along” as your language.