Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring Cleaning and Organizing Made Easier With Your Intel 2in1

Organizing your daily life around the changing seasons can always be a challenge. However equipped with the right technology those challenges are easy overcome.

With spring in the air and summer quickly ushering it's way in there are plenty of things to do around a busy house or office. Warmer weather means a change in apparel, a change in goods and services used and for many spring cleaning. Keep track of those tasks can be a real challenge. Today we will discuss a few ideas that will keep you on track!

Create a checklist and check it twice!

A checklist goes a long way to helping you stay on track. Take the time to sit down and build a list of tasks you want to accomplish, things you need to buy and things to put away or take out for the season. I suggest creating more than a few lists and keeping track of them on a portable device. This is where a portable #Intel2in1 comes in handy. You can use the keyboard for typing out the long lists and the on-screen keyboard and touchscreen for when you are on the go.

There are several apps out there that will fit the bill. However, I suggest using Google Docs. This way you can sync your lists between all of your devices and always have it with you on the go.

Start with and stick to the BASICS!

Now that you hopefully have your checklist started you should have a good idea of what you want to accomplish. For most one of the biggest parts of spring cleaning is getting rid of clutter that you don't need. Here is another area the right tech can save the day!

Schedule and maintain your spring cleaning

Use the technology at your fingertips to make a schedule and stick to it. For many getting started is the hardest part of all. Create a schedule, sync it to your calendars (and to the team if you have one) and make sure you set alerts and get on the ball. Make it a priority!

Organize your junk: Putting that mess away
I you could see the office of most geeks and tech bloggers on most days you'd know that there are always new products, new packages and new toys laying around. One thing I learned a long time ago was there may be a place for everything, but not everything will ever find its place. This is why I now have a two step process.

First I create labels for all my boxes, storage bins and everything else I can label. Anything that is in a drawer, cabinet or storage closet is also cataloged during the cleaning process. We won't tally every last screw, but being able to create a document or Excel that details what it in storage room 2 goes a long way!

Second I chart the clutter. You'd be surprised how much it helps to snap a photo or two of the area you just organized. This is another area our #Intel2in1 comes in handy. Not only can we snap photos but I've even on occasion used the Digital Pen to create small diagrams or added notes of where we packed things away.

Sale off the clutter
Garage sales are a thing of the past. With a camera, a #2in1 tablet, a couple apps and some creativity you'll be up and selling your unwanted stuff in no time! We suggest snapping a few pictures then editing them using the touchscreen or even better adding some creative art working using the Digital Pen. Then you can post your items to Craigslist, eBay or Amazon. Since you have your portable tablet staying updated on the items that you have listed should be a breeze.

Stay on top of your services
When the seasons change so do your service needs. Hot weather often means needing an AC tune up, oil change, additional lawn services and more. It is always good to maintain a good contact list with the right people to call if the need arises. It is also helpful to note dates of past services as there are many things that need to be done annually, semi-annually or within certain other parameters.

Final thoughts
Technology certainly makes doing most of the tedious tasks much easier. Though I would say have the right technology just makes it that much more fun. Being the geeks we are we use as much tech as we can to take as much pain out of the process as possible. For us our #2in1 just happens to be the best option for everything involved. We love having a full keyboard or the longer typing sessions, camera for snapping pictures and full access to any of our apps we might need. If you want to checkout a few options click here to learn more about Intel 2 in 1. 

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

iPhones Being Held For Ransom, Possible iCloud "Hack" To Blame

Over the past several days reports of iOS devices being locked via 'Find My iPhone' and held for ransom have been mounting and as of yet no one can explain what is going on or how the hackers gained access to the iCloud accounts.

Reports initially began to trickle in earlier this week, when Australian newspaper The Age discovered Tweets and forum posts from owners of Apple devices from across Australia. Users were reporting receipt of a Find My iPhone message indicating their iPhones and other iOS devices gad been remotely locked by "Oleg Pliss". The message, seen below, is demanding payment of a US$100 ransom via PayPal to unlock affected devices.

It now appears as though the issue is much more widespread and encompassing! The original Apple Support community page has grown to include 27 pages (at post time) of iOS devices owners posting reports similar problems.

Of course the first thing people assume when they see their locked device is that somehow, Apple is to blame. It must be a vulnerability in iCloud, right? When asked to comment Ben Grubb from the Sydney Morning Herald got this response from Apple.

The blanket generic response "we take security seriously" statement doesn't mean much. Apple is denying any compromise of iCloud and implying that weak user credentials are to blame. This may in fact be case! We know from numerous reports that people often make very bad password choices. However, their response is dismissive and does little to reassure a customer.

So how is this iCloud hack being propagated?

At this time no one really knows for sure, and Apple sure isn't saying.The only statement issued so far follow those Mr. Grubb recieved:

In full, Apple said: "Apple takes security very seriously and iCloud was not compromised during this incident. Impacted users should change their Apple ID password as soon as possible and avoid using the same user name and password for multiple services. Any users who need additional help can contact AppleCare or visit their local Apple Retail Store."

The ransom may just be the beginning!

Locking a users iPhone or iPad and asking for $100 could just be the start of something far grater. If the hackers truly have full access to someone's iCloud account there is much, much more potential than just a small ransom.

For starters, most people use iClouds automatic back-up feature to keep their device contents in Apple's cloud. An attacker with control over someone's iCloud has full access to those contents and the ability to restore one of these backups to their own device. This means they get the victim's photos, videos, documents, iMessages, email stored on the device and basically any conceivable digital asset the victim has on their iPhone or iPad. It's a very large collection of extremely personal data.

There is also the potential and very real threat of stalking victims or using their location data. Find My iPhone present the location data of each device the hackers have on a map. Clearly that creates the potential for a serious invasion of privacy, particularly when you consider that families often have multiple devices under the one iCloud account.

In addition to the above threats we are hearing that it's not just iDevices connected to iCloud that have been breached. According to a few reports we've already seen Macs impacted as well. This opens the door to a whole new level of intrusions and data leaks.

The hard reality is that our digital lives are so intrinsically chained together across otherwise independent devices that a breach of a common service like iCloud can have very broad-reaching ramifications.

PlayStation Plus Members Get Access To Up To 6 Free Games Each Month

Sony is making some major changes to the way the way the company offers up free PlayStation Plus games. The new program, announced today, will kick off in June and will offer PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita users the ability to download two free titles from the PlayStation Store each month.

June will bring six new free games to Plus members. PS4 owners will get Trine 2: Complete Story, the puzzle platformer from Frozenbyte, and PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate, the twin-stick shooter from Q-Games. On PS3, Plus subscribers will be treated to Visual Concepts' NBA 2K14 and Sanzaru Games' Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. And PS Vita owners will receive Renegade Kid's Mutant Mudds Deluxe and Engine Software's port of Re-Logic's Terraria.

Checkout June's free titles in the video below:

Starting in July, every title in the Instant Game Collection will be available the first Tuesday of the month, and will be free for the month, until the first Tuesday of the following month, taking the guesswork out of how long the game will be available for free. In the coming weeks, you’ll see that several of the titles that have had a nice, long stint in the Instant Game Collection will be phased out, so if you’re new to the service and haven’t had a chance to download all of the titles available through PS Plus — or if you’ve been thinking about subscribing but haven’t yet — now is the perfect time to get all the great games available with PS Plus.

Protip: you don’t have to download the game to your hard drive (or memory card) to gain the entitlement — you can also go to the web store, add them to your cart and check out. Once the game says “Purchased” below it when you’re logged in, you’ll be set for the future as long as you’re a PS Plus member.

Source: PlayStation Blog

Monday, May 26, 2014

Registry Hack Extends Windows XP Updates [Update]

Thanks to a newly found registry hack Windows XP may live on! The hack first reported by BetaNews and later confirmed by ZDNet is fairly simple and only requires a short piece of code, making it easy for just about any user to perform.

The hack works by making a few minor changes in the registry of a Windows XP machine and works by basically tricking the automatic update servers at Microsoft into thinking the OS is Windows Embedded POSReady 2009. The OS is based on Windows XP Service Pack 3 and it will continue to get security updates from Microsoft until April 2019.

To apply the hack, create a text file with a .reg extension and the contents below:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Run it by double-clicking in Windows Explorer. After this is done you'll be able to launch and run Windows Update. It should be noted that there’s no way of knowing how long this trick will work -- Microsoft could update their servers to put a stop to it at any moment. Also, because you’re installing updates for a system other than Windows XP, there’s the possibility that not all updates will work as intended. But for those still wanting to squeeze a little extra life out of their Windows XP machine it may be worth a shot.

Update: Microsoft has issued the warning below to users that this hack may cause serious functionality issues, as well as not fully protecting a users XP machine. Definitely use caution if you try this at home!

"We recently became aware of a hack that purportedly aims to provide security updates to Windows XP customers. The security updates that could be installed are intended for Windows Embedded and Windows Server 2003 customers and do not fully protect Windows XP customers," a Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet. "Windows XP customers also run a significant risk of functionality issues with their machines if they install these updates, as they are not tested against Windows XP. The best way for Windows XP customers to protect their systems is to upgrade to a more modern operating system, like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1."

Saturday, May 24, 2014

eBay Hit By Security Breach, Users Prompted To Change Passwords

Earlier this week eBay was hit by a security breach that has prompted the company to issue a warning to all users to change their passwords! The company has reported that Cyberattackers compromised a 'small number' of employee log-in credentials, allowing unauthorized access to eBay's corporate network, and databases that contain user information.

eBay officials stated that the database contained encrypted passwords and other non-financial data. However, it was added that confidential personal information was also compromised. According to the report the database, which was originally compromised between late February and early March, included eBay customers’ name, encrypted password, email address, physical address, phone number and date of birth. However, the database did not contain financial information or other confidential personal information.

After conducting extensive tests on its networks, the company said it has no evidence of the compromise resulting in unauthorized activity for eBay users, and no evidence of any unauthorized access to financial or credit card information, which is stored separately in encrypted formats. However, changing passwords is a best practice and will help enhance security for eBay users.

How to change your eBay password

After a bit of criticism over the difficulties users faced with finding the right page to change their passwords eBay has simplified the process a bit. However, changing your password still requires a bit more work than most sites. For starters you need to find the right page, located here. Then the company requires a two step process. First they'll either send you a text, phone call or email.

Assuming you selected the email option, eBay sends you a Reset Your Password message. Click the link in the email. That link brings you to a page where you can enter your new eBay password. If you picked the text option instead, eBay displays a form to enter a PIN and texts you that PIN. Type the PIN in the appropriate field on that form, and the page to enter your new password appears.

Why Changing Your eBay Password Still Isn't Enough

Given the personal information acquired by the breach, changing your eBay password alone isn't good enough. As with most data breaches we see attackers will use that personal information to the fullest extent. So we are likely to see several phishing attempts based on the attack along side several targeted, or 'spearphishing' attacks.

It’s not that difficult for would be attackers to put together a seemingly legitimate email that appears to come from a legitimate business — maybe it won’t be from eBay, but scammers will contact you and impersonate a person or companies you trust as a way of getting you to click on malicious links and share information they can use to commit financial fraud. Given this added threat is extremely important to stay vigilant. Don't blindly open emails and click links. Double check site credentials and make sure they are secured sites before entering any passwords.

Source: eBay Press Release

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

D-Link Wants To Add A Little Color To Your Home Network

Most home networking devices look, well, pretty blah! Your choices in colors don't vary much and you might as well forget anything that adds a splash of style. For us geeks that generally isn't an issue as we typically prefer functionality over form any day. However, for the typical user, style can be a concern.

Enter D-Link and their new line of AC750 Wi-Fi Routers (DIR-818LW). This new batch of consumer friendly home routers feature a cylinder form factor and promise to 'Bring Color To Your Life' with four different colors to choose from: Red, Teal, Black and White.

"Wi-Fi routers have never had the reputation of being the most aesthetically pleasing products in the home, and we set out to change that with our color routers," said Daniel Kelley, vice president of marketing, D-Link Systems, Inc.

D-Link says the new routers are perfect for any house looking for a reliable and strong home network ideal for HD video streaming, online gaming and multiple user activities. In addition with the free mydlink Lite app, users can easily manage their network remotely and see what websites are being visited, block unwanted connections and set up automatic email alerts when unauthorized connections are made on any iPhone, iPad or Android device.

D-Link AC750 Wi-Fi Router Features

  • Next Generation AC750 Technology – increased speed, range and reliability ensure strong whole-home coverage 
  • Fast Gigabit Ports – four 10/100/1000 Gigabit ports provide high-speed wired connectivity
  • Dual Band Performance – up to 433Mbps on the 5GHz band and 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band for maximum throughput with less Wi-Fi interference 
  • Backward Compatibility – works with existing Wi-Fi devices 
  • mydlink Cloud Services – remotely monitor your network using your smartphone or tablet
  • SharePort – stream content from a connected USB drive to multiple mobile devices with a free mobile app

Availability and Pricing
The new line of D-Link AC750 Wi-Fi Routers (DIR-818LW) is now available in four colors (red, teal, black, and white) for $79.99 exclusively at through May. Detailed specifications are available online at

You can look for our review in the coming weeks, until then additional information about the new routers from D-Link can be found here.

Microsoft Unwraps Surface Pro 3 With Massive 12-inch Screen

Microsoft may be the underdog in the tablet and smartphone wars. However, that hasn't stopped the company from trying. Earlier today the company unveiled its latest offering, the third generation of the company's Surface Pro tablets, the Surface Pro 3.

Surface Pro 3 Blue

The new 2 in 1 devices are Microsoft's most powerful, thinnest and lightest Surface Pro yet. They will feature a 12-inch ClearType Full HD screen with 2,160-by-1,440 resolution, your choice of 4th-generation Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors as well as up to 8GBs of RAM and up to a 512GB SSD drive. All in a packed that weighs just 1.76 pounds and is 0.36 inches thin, which according to Microsoft makes it 30 percent thinner than an 11-inch MacBook Air.

The Surface Pro 3 is both a “full PC and a brilliant tablet,” says Panos Panay, Microsoft corporate vice president for Surface Computing, who unveiled the new Surface at a live event in New York City.

In addition to the new tablet Microsoft also announce a new line of Surface accessories like the improved Surface Pro Type Cover, which will take Surface Pro 3 from tablet to laptop in a snap. The new premium Surface Pen with pressure sensitivity to enable a more natural writing experience, while a full-size USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader and Mini DisplayPort allow for quick file transfers and easy connections to a range of peripherals.

Additional optional accessories, include a new Docking Station for Surface Pro 3 and a Surface Ethernet Adapter, to build a Surface Pro 3 that has all the features and capabilities of a complete laptop.

The Surface Pro 3 will go on sale tomorrow, starting at $799 for the Core i3 version with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. Core i5 and Core i7 versions will set you back $999 and $1549 respectively. The range-topping model will set you back $1,949 and gives you a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. More information on Surface can be found at

Source: Microsoft Newsroom, Microsoft Surface Blog

Friday, May 16, 2014

Apple Sued Over iMessage Deactivation Failure

A former iPhone user has filed a suit against Apple due to issues with iMessages not forwarding SMS text messages to her new Samsung smartphone. Adrienne Moore says that she was forced to use Apple's iMessage system on her Apple iPhone 4 when her phone was updated to iOS 5. Resulting in issues receiving her text messages once she decided to leave Apple behind.

The problems for Moore began when she decided to dump her iPhone 4 for a brand spanking new Samsung Galaxy S5. Since then, Moore says that iMessage is still sending messages from other iPhone users to her deactivated iPhone 4, but is not forwarding them to her new Galaxy S5. To make matters worse, those sending messages to Moore were never informed that their messages were not reaching her.

Apple warns users that are moving their old SIM card and/or phone number to a non-iOS device to make sure to shut down iMessages before the actual move is made. However, rarely do customers receive that warning directly from sales reps. Nor do they receive adequate instructions as to how to disable their iMessage account. Without completely removing the number associated with iMessages other iOS devices will continue to send messages through the iMessages for up to 45 days before giving up.

An issues that so far, Apple has been unable or unwilling to fix!

Moore contends that she and other former iPhone users were not made aware of this. As a result, she and others missed "countless messages" which caused "irreparable harm." Moore seeks to broaden the suit to class-action status under California's unfair competition law, arguing that iMessage is not allowing customers of wireless carriers to have their contract fulfilled, by restricting the distribution of text messages.

Apple has not commented formally on the issue, but its customer support has been acknowledging the problem while unable to fix it.

If you want to transfer your SIM card or phone number to a device that doesn't support iMessage: Go to Settings & Messages and turn off iMessage. Apple has also said you can also text STOP to 48369 and that should remove it. However, be aware that neither method is immediate and can take several days to complete.More details can be found via this customer support page which instructs users how to turn off iMessage.

Source: Scribd via Bloomberg

Thursday, May 15, 2014

FCC Vote Puts The First Nail In Net Neutrality's Coffin

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today voted in favor of advancing a hotly debated proposal that would allow for broadband providers to charge additional amounts towards companies that wish to offer 'priority access' to users. Opening the possibility of Internet service providers charging Web sites for higher-quality delivery of their content.

The proposal brought forth by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposal would allow internet service providers such as Comcast or Verizon to charge individual Web sites or services such as Netflix additional fees for the guarantee of higher bandwidth. Offering those companies tat do pay flawless service.

After weeks of public outcry over the proposal, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the agency would not allow for unfair, or "commercially unreasonable," business practices. He wouldn't accept, for instance, practices that leave a consumer with slower downloads of some Web sites than what the consumer paid for from their Internet service provider. Wheeler stated his proposal, would consider the slowing of broadband connections by providers to be unreasonable and prohibited.

"When a consumer buys specified capacity from a network provider, he or she is buying open capacity, not capacity where the network provider can prioritize for their own profit purposes," he said. "Simply put, when a consumer buys a specified bandwidth, it is commercially unreasonable, and thus a violation of this proposal, to deny them the full connectivity and the full benefits that connection enables."

The proposal is not a final rule, but the vote on Thursday is a significant step forward on a controversial idea that has invited fierce opposition from consumer advocates, Silicon Valley heavyweights, and Democratic lawmakers. The FCC will now open the proposal to a total 120 days of public comment. Final rules, aimed for the end of the year, could be rewritten after the agency reviews the public comments.

We highly suggest that the public get involved and voice their concerns! You can send your comments to the FCC via this page: You may also email your comments to

Monday, May 12, 2014

California Passes Smartphone Kill Switch Bill, Why You Should Care!

Over the past few years we've seen carriers willing to do next to nothing to protect consumers from lost or stolen cellphones. Up until recently the only minor protection a consumer had was the newly enacted stolen phone database, which has seemingly done little to deter thieves as we've seen smartphone thefts continue to rise at alarming rate.

On Thursday, California legislators took steps toward becoming one of the first states in the country to pass laws requiring smartphones to feature stronger anti-theft technology. The California Senate approved a measure that would require every smartphone sold in California to include a so-called kill switch that allows victims of theft to disable a stolen device. The bill fines retailers between $500 and $2,500 for selling smartphones without a kill switch.

While many may argue that most smatphones have software with the ability to track a lost or stolen phone and many even include the ability to remotely wipe those devices. A kill switch, or reactivation lock could take those measures to an even greater level, one that could offer even more protection than that of a carrier's IMEI blocking.

If implemented correctly (and I'll admit that is a major IF) just knowing their would be victims have phones that can't full fledged kill switches could be a major deterrent to would be thieves. Who would steal a phone if you know for certain it could never be used again and could be locked and wiped immediately?

Just how bad is smartphone theft?

About 3.1 million phones were stolen in the U.S. in 2013, nearly double the number of thefts from the previous year, according to Consumer Reports. That totals more than $5 Billion dollars worth of stolen cellphones that need to be replaced world wide each year. Think that isn't bad? Smartphone theft also account for roughly 30% of all crimes in major US cities.

Checkout the infographic below for more!

Mute Those Annoying Tweets With The New Twitter Mute Feature

We've all got them, you know those annoying friends on our social media feeds that over share everything! Thanks to a new Twitter feature you can now block those friends while not offending them by totally un-friending them.

The new Twitter Mute feature, which Twitter announced early today in blog post, allows you to avoid seeing tweets from people you'd rather not engage. Leaving them the ability to see your tweets and retweets just as if you were still a happy follower.

"In the same way you can turn on device notifications so you never miss a tweet from your favorite users, you can now mute users you'd like to hear from less," Twitter wrote in its blog post. "Muting a user on Twitter means their tweets and retweets will no longer be visible in your home timeline, and you will no longer receive push or SMS notifications from that user."

People will still be able to see, "re-tweet," or comment on Twitter posts of those who have muted them, but the person doing the muting will not be looped into the activity.

To mute a user from a Tweet on your iOS or Android device or on Twitter for web tap more and then mute @username. To mute someone from their profile page, tap the gear icon on the page and choose mute @username.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Amidst User Feedback Mozilla Dumps New Tab Ad Placement In Firefox

Earlier this year Mozilla revealed a new plan to place advertisements in the Firefox 'New Tab' page until the user has begun browsing. A plan which, we feel, rightfully met with enough negative feedback that it has caused the company to change course and explore options for other features in the Firefox new tab page.

In a blog post, Mozilla's vice president of Firefox Johnathan Nightingale wrote:

A few months ago Darren posted about some experiments we wanted to do with the new tab page. It didn’t go over well. A lot of our community found the language hard to decipher, and worried that we were going to turn Firefox into a mess of logos sold to the highest bidder; without user control, without user benefit.

That’s not going to happen. That’s not who we are at Mozilla.

While it appears as though this plan was foiled by strong user feedback the company hinted that we may still see some new changes. Nightingale added that Mozilla will still be experimenting with other features in the Firefox new tab page in its pre-release channels.

According to the posting the company plans to test a mix of their own sites and other useful sites on the Web as well as potentially adding in a few layout changes. Nightingale suggested that these tests are,"purely to understand what our users find helpful and what our users ignore or disable." Stating that for now at least these tests are not about revenue and none will be collected. He did however leave the door open to future revenue generation through "sponsorship" which may come down the road.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

New Android Ransomware Demands Payment To Unlock Phone

Security researchers have discovered a new piece of Android malware that depends a hefty payment to re-enable basic phone functions on an infected device and settle a supposed "fine" of about $300 for illegally viewing pornography.

According to the Ars Technica report the 'ransomware', dubbed Android-Trojan.Koler.A, uses the infected phone's geolocation functions to tailor a false security warnings to whatever country a victim happens to reside in. The screenshots, originally obtained by Bitdefender, shows the malicious software invoking an FBI warning which is the notice that's displayed on infected phones connecting from a US-based IP address.

Android Ransomware via Ars Technica

"The ransomware's main component is a browser view that stays on top of all other applications, Bitdefender Senior E-Threat Analyst Bogdan Botezatu wrote in an e-mail to Ars. "You can press Home and go to the homescreen, but a timer would bring it back on top in about 5 seconds. I managed to uninstall it manually by swiftly going to applications and dragging the icon on the Uninstall control, but it only works if the application icon is on the first row. Otherwise, one wouldn’t have the necessary time to drag it to the top, where the uninstall control is located."

The malicious Android software is automatically downloaded when users visit unspecified pornography sites using their Android phones. The site side-loads an APK file claiming to be video player used for premium access. To be infected, a user must change Android settings to allow out-of-market apps and then manually install the APK. According to the report the social engineering trick has already claimed at least 68 victims in the past six hours—40 in the United Arab Emirates, 12 in the UK, six in Germany, five in the US, and the rest in Italy and Poland.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Google Maps Update Adds New Features

Google has been busy of late adding loads of new features to several of the company's mobile applications. The latest app to see a slew of new updates is Google Maps.

Google Maps

A few of the more useful features we found are the addition of offline map viewing with a new “Save map to use offline” feature. A new smart lane selection feature, so as Google says you'll never miss an exit again and Uber integration. Now, as long as you have the Uber app installed on your device, when you check public transit and walking directions, Uber will appear as an additional option with an estimated time.

One addition that we see as potentially helpful for all of us party geeks, are the new filters options. Here you can browse through restaurants, bars and hotels by opening hours, rating, price, and more—where available—to find just what you’re looking for, right when you need it. For those of you that are always misplacing their cars there is also a new option to save locations for later making it easier for you to track down the car or a recently visited location after a night on the town.

Check the official Google announcement for more details on the update, which is available now for your iOS and Android devices.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Teardown Suggests $1500 Google Glass Cost Just $80 to Make

Google Glass might be one of the hottest things on the market today. With many geeks clamoring to plop down their hard earned cash to get their hands on the hottest thing in wearable tech. However, you might be surprised to learn that you are paying a hefty premium to be an early adopter!

Google Glass Teardown

According to, which you guessed it had a chance to teardown the device, the Google Glass comes with a bill of materials of just $79.78. That is $80 just for the parts to make a $1500 device!

Now lets face it w are all accustomed to mark-ups for various items. Most of our $600+ smartphones only cost a fraction of that price to actually build. And let's keep in mind much of that price is associated with R&D, marketing, development and other various costs associated with a new platform, apps and services.

We’re talking about millions of developer hours here. But that is still a pretty heft mark-up considering that many of the Glass hardware components are already in use in modern smartphones. The same goes for the software which is a modified version of Android and the company’s existing voice recognition technology combined.

Google has not revealed how many units it has sold, but up until a one-day sale in April, sales which have been limited to invites had been estimated in the 10,000 range. If it cost $10 million to develop the product and start up initial manufacturing, that would be $1,000 per unit, and the engineering and design costs could run much higher. This also wouldn't include other fees like those associated with licensing to use the intellectual property rights that Google doesn't directly own.

On the plus side though is just how affordable it is to manufacture the devices. That fact alone should give geeks everywhere a glimmer of hope that at some point in the not that distant future, the Glass will cost no more than few hundred bucks, making it much more affordable for the masses.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Microsoft Issues Internet Explorer Security Fix, Includes Windows XP One Last Time!

In light of recent news coverage over the last few days about a highly publicized vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE) Microsoft has issued an emergency patch for the company's browser, which despite the end of support even includes Windows XP users.

"The security of our products is something we take incredibly seriously, so the news coverage of the last few days about a vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE) has been tough for our customers and for us," said Adrienne Hall, general manager with the company's Trustworthy Computing section on a Microsoft tech blog.

The fix, which went live today at 10 a.m. PDT, is coming outside of Microsoft's usual monthly security update cycle and is a direct response to ongoing attacks of a security vulnerability that plagued all version of Internet Explorer. The security flaw allowed malicious hackers to get around security protections in the Windows operating system. They then can be infected when visiting a compromised website.

Today's update is being pushed out via automatic updates for those with the featured enabled. If for some reason you aren't running automatic updates you can click the “Check for Updates” button on the Windows Update portion of your Control Panel to manually get the update process going.

Even though Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft the company has decided to give users a reprieve and update their systems as well. Stating:

Even though Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and is past the time we normally provide security updates, we’ve decided to provide an update for all versions of Windows XP (including embedded), today.  We made this exception based on the proximity to the end of support for Windows XP.  The reality is there have been a very small number of attacks based on this particular vulnerability and concerns were, frankly, overblown.  Unfortunately this is a sign of the times and this is not to say we don’t take these reports seriously.  We absolutely do.

Despite making today’s patch available for XP users as well, Microsoft still recommends users upgrade to new versions of Windows, Windows 7 or 8. Security experts, including U.S. CERT, recommended that users avoid using the maligned browser until a patch was made available. It is also recommended that even if you aren't running Internet Explorer as your main browser that you still install the update as it is always vital to keep your entire system patched to the fullest possible extent.