Friday tech news roundup for January 3

polaroid-4k-tv4K TV for $1,000 (and it’s actually a decent size)
It’s the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) time in Vegas—well, it actually starts next Tuesday, January 7th, but that hasn’t stopped companies from releasing info in advance. Polaroid (yes, the camera company), announced it will be showing off a 50-inch 4K set for $1,000. If you’ve ever looked at 4K TVs, you know this price point is pretty great. Of course, whether you need to upgrade at all is another issue (and one covered by Mike Manley’s blog post).

Buy an Audi if you want Android in your car
At CES Google will be formally announcing a partnership with Audi to put Android in their cars. According to Engadget, “Android will power an in-car entertainment system for that automaker, which will run on hardware built directly into the car rather than your smartphone.” Apparently the partnership will also mean that you’d be able to access the same navigation, entertainment, and communications functions as well. There’s no info yet about when Audis will feature Android, but that will likely be revealed next week at CES.

FordSolarCarFord unveils sunlight-powered car
In eco-tech news, Ford announced a concept car yesterday that runs pretty much only on the sun’s rays. The car will make its debut at, where else, CES next week. The car, called the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept (I’m trying hard not to cringe at the use of “i” in the word “energy”) has a solar panel roof. However, it’s not an “average” solar panel—it has a concentrator lens (not unlike a magnifying glass) to gather as much sunlight as possible. According to Ford, the car would have a range of 620 miles (including 21 electric-only miles) and the sun could power up to 75% of all travel made by an average driver. News outlets are saying exact car won’t go into production, but I would bet elements of this technology could be included in future models.

Snapchat icon
Find out if your Snapchat account was hacked
You probably read the headlines about Snapchat being hacked and 4.6 million names and phone numbers being exposed. The hackers claim they simply wanted to expose the security holes in the product, but have apparently hinted they would release all the information under “certain circumstances.” If you’re wondering if your account was compromised, there’s a way to find out by clicking here. Even if your account wasn’t hacked, it might not be a bad idea to update your password (remember, F-Secure offered their tips for making secure passwords here).

FAA selects drone testing sites
With all the interest in deliveries by drone (you recall I told you about this effort in Australia along with Amazon’s recent announcement), the FAA has decided on six sites for drone testing. Drone research will happen at The University of Alaska, Texas A&M University, North Dakota’s Department of Commerce, New York’s Griffiss International Airport, Virginia Tech, and in the State of Nevada. These spots were chosen for their geographical and climatic diversity. The results of the testing will help the FAA develop regulations for commercial and civil drone use. Under the current law, drone tests will continue until at least February 13, 2017…so don’t get too excited for delivery by drone yet.

Coinye West cryptocurrency to challenge Bitcoin
No, seriously—it’s true. Someone has actually just created a new digital currency and they’re calling it Coinye West (get it, like Kayne West). Time reported the story. Apparently the creators’ goal is to make it easier for regular people to use cryptocurrency, saying that mining Bitcoin is, “kind of a dark art.” Their plan is to release a Coinye mining program to simplify the process. The currency debuts January 11th (with the end of the word soon to follow 😉 ).

And in “no duh” news…
Research shows new drivers are distracted by cellphones
Yes, it’s true because it has been scientifically proven. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development did the research and watched drivers as they texted and tweeted (and ate). By in large, novice drivers are more likely to engage in “high-risk secondary tasks”—things that take your eyes off the road such as handling a cell phone to dial or text, reaching away from the steering wheel, looking at something along side of the road, and eating—and get into accidents. Even if you’re an experienced driver, don’t text and drive!

Paper pyramids may replace foam peanuts as the best packing material
Wired had a cool story this week about small paper pyramids you can use like Styrofoam peanuts when you ship things—only apparently they’re way better at protecting the goods (and they’re recyclable curbside!). They’re called, ExpandOS (they couldn’t come with a better name?). I don’t know about you, but I love innovations that take a fresh take on existing tech. The video of the guy throwing and kicking a box containing the pyramids and a glass globe is pretty impressive.

“Best of 2013” lists
It just wouldn’t be the end of a year on the Internet without some “best of” lists! Here’s a few I came across this week I thought you might enjoy:

Plus, here’s a list of 12 free web apps to help improve your drawing (not nunchuck) skills.

Popular on FB this week
This came across my feed at least 3 times this week. It IS a particularly fantastic rendition of our national anthem (some much more famous stars should take some notes):

And then there’s the dialect quiz on The New York Times. It’s a little freaky how well it can pinpoint where you’re from.

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. You can find Missy on G+ and on Twitter.

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  1. Friday tech news roundup | TDS Home - January 17, 2014

    […] West is no more I told you about this new digital currency only two weeks ago, but it’s already going down the tubes. Kanye West hit Coinye with multiple lawsuits for using […]

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