Friday tech news roundup for February 28

Download the Apple iOS/OS X security patch ASAP if you haven’t already
This week it was discovered that iOS and OS X Apple devices are vulnerable to security breaches thanks to a SSL bug. SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” which is the technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link, if properly configured, ensures that all data passed over it is safe and secure. Thanks to a glitch, the Apple’s was not. A security patch is ready and downloadable, so look for those updates if you haven’t!

Gizmodo selfie pictureWarning: selfies could get you head lice
A lice expert, after seeing a huge increase the number of head lice cases in teens, believes that selfies are to blame. It’s speculated that when teenagers stick their heads together to snap a photo, it gives head lice ample opportunity to travel from one head to another. So, if you’d like to stay lice-free, you might want to re-think taking that group selfie.

Turn any web or video camera into a video monitoring system
CamioCam has developed a service that turns any Internet-connected camera in your house (whether it be your tablet(s), smartphone, or computer) into a cloud-based video monitor system. Just imagine—you’d be able to see what your cat or dog REALLY does all day…or keep an eye on your front door and see if UPS delivered your latest Amazon.com order. What’s neat is the CamioCam sends alerts to your phone when it detects motion on the camera so there’s no need to sit and watch all day. And, you can even keep an eye on a certain “zone” in your house such as the counter, crib, or fridge (or your kitchen trash can!). The first camera is free, and then it’s $9/mo. for each additional and their website says there’s “no subscription gotchas.” Really kind of an interesting idea, isn’t it?

Learn how to make sense of data
Learning how to understand surveys, research, and data is an important life skill—especially with the Internet, when anyone can self-publish research that might only be “research.” (Heck, even the daily USA Today Snapshot can be seriously misleading sometimes.) Well, Google is offering to help you to become a better data consumer by offering a free course titled, “Making Sense of Data.” It’ll be running from March 18 to April 4 and is open to the public via series of video lectures, interactive projects, and with the help of community teaching assistants. Here’s more information about the course.

Side note: if this is a topic you find interesting, I highly recommend books by Edward Tufte. His “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” is quite fascinating, and so are his others.

samsung-gear-2-mwc-2014-2_610x458Samsung introduces new smartwatches and a fitness tracker
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is less than a year old, but they just introduced three new items to the product family. There’s the Gear 2, the Gear Neo, and the Gear Fit, each with its own personality. The 2 is very fashionable and has all the bells and whistles, from what I can gather (CNET has a review of it here). The Neo is about the same, but doesn’t have the camera. The Fit is, as you might guess, all about the fitness (and here’s a review of that one). Pricing hasn’t been divulged yet, but the reviews are pretty positive as long as you can handle Samsung’s proprietary operating system.

Want a $35K Tesla? All you have to do is wait until 2017
Tesla announced that its building what it’s calling “Gigafactory”—a giant factory that will allow them to build a $35K (ish) car by 2017. With the factory, Tesla projects it will build half a million Tesla cars per year and will keep costs low by working on the raw materials, cells, modules and battery pack enclosures all in one place. In addition, the plant will have a renewable energy features by using wind and solar power. The cost for this uberfactory? Tesla is in the process of raising $1.6 billion. After seeing a few Teslas around town, I’ve gotta say they sure look impressive (and did you see the S model was just ranked “Best Overall” by Consumer Reports?). Maybe in 2017 I can afford one of the new ones!

AfterCreditsNever miss a secret post-credits bonus scene again
There’s a free new app out called AfterCredits for iOS that will make sure you never miss a bonus scene at the end of the credits (one of my favorites being the “shwarma” scene at the end of Avengers). As TechCrunch said, “ The premise is pretty straightforward: every new major movie to hit theaters gets and entry, and helpful moviegoers vote on whether or not there’s any extra content during or after the credits. If the majority of people say there’s content, the app considers it truth.” There’s a similar app available for Android called Anything After, but that one’s a buck.

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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