Friday tech news roundup for November 1

Livescribe’s new smartpen
This week Livescribe released its newest pen—the Livescribe 3. It’s looks like any other high-end pen (unlike some of their previous efforts which were a tad clunky) but there’s one key difference—it digitizes everything you write and draw. It even has a microphone so you can record while you take notes and go back and listen as you need to. The Livescribe 3 connects via Bluetooth and anything you write will appear on your tablet or phone after about a second. You do have to purchase, or print, their special paper to get all the functionality though. Check out their promo video—I’ve gotta say one of these would have been reeeaaallllyyy handy during graduate school!

Kindle MatchBook officially started Tuesday
If you’re a Kindle owner, know that you can now get digital editions of print books you ordered from Amazon for only $2.99 each (or less, in some cases). Get ’em while they’re hot! (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Netflix movies, coming to your house AND the theater?
AllThingsDigital reports that Netflix might be jumping into the movie production business. They’ve recently started making their own TV content such as “Orange Is the New Black” and some smaller documentaries and stand-up comedy specials. But based on Netflix’s earning call last week and a speech given last weekend, it seems they may interested in backing a bigger theatrical effort. It makes sense because Netflix could possibly bypass the traditional movie release flow where new releases hit theaters, then DVD or video-on-demand before they are released to providers like Netflix. It’ll be interesting to watch and see what happens!

Be careful using public Wi-Fi
The New York Times reported that mobile security researchers have found a new way for hackers to access your iOS mobile device from Wi-Fi networks. Apparently there is a vulnerability within the coding of some (but not all) apps which allows the hacker to load data without the victim knowing. This would allow them to load malicious links, or insert fake “market-moving news into a news app.” The researchers wouldn’t name specific apps that contain the vulnerability for fear that hackers would exploit the information. Hopefully though, now that this news is public, app developers will be updating their code quickly.

WrisitfyPotentially marriage-saving temperature device in development
Wristify” is a piece of wearable tech that could end arguments over the thermostat settings. By subtly warming or cooling the skin on your wrist, Wristify regulates the temperature of the person wearing it. You wouldn’t be too cold or too hot, regardless of the actual temperature around you. The researchers developed the technology in answer to the energy used to run air conditioning in homes and offices (in the U.S. air conditioning, according to the piece in Wired, accounts for 16.5 percent of energy use!). I think the potential energy savings is brilliant, but I think my husband would appreciate the technology for other reasons—I might actually stop complaining about being too cold in the house in the winter when the theromostat is set at 68!

Stop turning off your electronics during take off and landing
The FAA announced yesterday that they’re loosening the regulations around using electronic devices on planes. There is one big “but” though—whether you have to turn off your devices will ultimately depend on each airline because the potential for problems could vary by plane. That said, the FAA thinks that most airlines will let you use your phone, computer, or tablet (in “airplane mode”) by the end of the year. And, of course, that’s not the only stipulation. The FAA says you have to put safety first, can’t talk on your cell phone, and you must listen to the safety instructions (so put down Candy Crush for a moment!).

Never-before-seen Star Wars clips

If you’re a Star Wars fan, I hope you heard about the never-before-seen footage that was put online this week. The footage comes from a LaserDisc that someone picked up on eBay—it was one of 50 made to promote a Lucasfilm digital editing system (which didn’t take off). The posts have been made to the “Return of the Jedi long lost Edit Droid Laserdisc Discovered” Facebook page. Be sure to check them out!

google_barge_up_close_102913Google’s fancy new…barge?
Have you heard about the mystery barge floating off of San Francisco? Despite various folks trying to get a closer look, no one knew for sure what it was until yesterday. CBS in SanFran found out that the barge will have luxury showrooms and a party deck for Google to promote Google Glass. It’ll be invitation only, so if you score one, be sure to let us know what it’s like!

And finally, in kitten news…
In celebration of National Cat Day, Uber—the tech-savvy transportation company—started delivering kittens (at least in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle). All you had to do was select “KITTENS!” when you opened the Uber app between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. You got 15 minutes of kitten snuggle time with an adoptable kitty (and a cupcake backed by “Ace of Cakes” an some Uber swag). It only cost $20 and the money went toward participating shelters. However, it’s been SO popular that there’s now an Uber cat shortage in New York City!

About Missy Kellor

Missy works on the Corporate Communications team and reports stories to TDS employees and customers. This is right up her alley because she’s an extrovert and also a big fan of research (really, she’ll look up just about anything that strikes her interest). Missy is a native of Madison, Wis. with an undergraduate in Anthropology and a master’s degree in Life Sciences Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her interest in the Internet as a mass media shaped her work towards a PhD in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s also worked as an editorial assistant, copywriter, and production artist. In her off hours, Missy is a crafter, Pinterest addict, reader, wife, and mom of two kids.
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