This week: Kindle MatchBook helps you digitize books you bought in print, Yahoo! finally picked a logo, Jawbone released a new mini speaker, iPad cases got Apple fans in a frenzy, heartbeat passcodes are here, read about the forgotten father of the search engine, Pew Research says we’re all protective of our digital footprints, Elon Musk really is Iron Man, and some Friday fun links.
I doubt you could have possibly missed this news, but just in case…
Amazon announced a program on Monday called Kindle MatchBook, which offers digital versions of print books you got from Amazon at a steeply discounted price (or for free, in some cases). So, if you’ve been wanting to reclaim the space that your bookshelves are taking up, you now have a much more budget-friendly way to do that.
Yahoo—Yahoo! has a new logo
Did you notice the change? After trying out different logos for the last 30 days, Yahoo! finally unveiled their pick. My response? “Meh.” AdAge has the story behind the logo pick and Yahoo! has a short video and images of all the logos they tried out in the last month (I prefer day 1, Day 3, and Day 10 myself).
The portable Bluetooth Speaker market just got more crowded
Jawbone announced a new Mini Jambox (available in fun colors, of course). This speaker will now compete against other “mini” offerings such as the Bose SoundLink Mini (which my family recently purchased [we like it!]), and the UE BOOM. The Mini Jambox will retail for $179. Click over to TechCrunch for more info.
Apple fans were excited about a leaked next-gen iPad case
Unbox Therapy apparently got hold of a case from a yet-to-be-released iPad (likely the newest version to be announced in September and released in October). Time will tell if it’s legit, but if it is, the newest full-size iPad will have the same size screen, but a smaller footprint due to a smaller bezel (and it’s thinner to boot). TechCrunch got the story and video up mighty quickly on Wednesday morning.
Mashable had a story this week about a new wristband called Nymi, which confirms a user’s identity using electrocardiogram sensors so monitor the heartbeat. The device can authenticate a range of devices, and the developers say that heartbeats are harder to imitate/fake than fingerprints or facial recognition (something we’ve all learned from the movies—and given the often gross methods used, this product sure sounds a lot more appealing!). Pre-orders started on Wednesday. Go to Mashable’s report and the promo video.
The forgotten father of the search engine
This is another one of those “dreamer” stories I enjoy (only shorter than last week’s recommendation). BBC reported on Jonathon Fletcher, a guy who 20 years ago was working at the University of Stirling in England, who thought there had to be a better way to find information on the fledgling world wide web. He invented the first web crawler to index the web automatically. His first effort in 1993 cataloged the world wide web in 10 days and indexed 25,000 pages. Good stuff here about an unsung Internet pioneer. Check it out this afternoon or weekend if you have a few minutes.
You’re not the only one who wants to delete old online accounts
The Pew Research Center released the results of a new study this week and reports that 86 percent of surveyed adult Internet users in the U.S. have made efforts to obscure their “digital footprints.” And 55 percent have gone beyond that and tried to block specific people or organizations. Remember last week I told you about JustDeleteMe, if you’re now inspired to take action.
Elon Musk/Iron Man is in the news again
With a video showing his Iron Man-esque virtual workspace, where you can rotate 3D models with hand gestures. I know his discussion of the workspace hit the news a week or so ago, but the video is new. Watch it at The Verge who had the story.
And for some Friday fun…
1. Okay, so it’s not strictly “tech news” I’ve decided it falls into the closely-related “geek news” category and is worth mentioning. Mashable has featured 14 awesome Star Wars Vine videos. Resistance is futile so just go watch them (and yes, I know I’m mixing sci-fi shows here. Work with me.) You’re welcome.
2. Buzzfeed had “60 Things I Learned At The 2013 Internet Cat Video Film Festival.” I appreciated #59, because maybe we’ll all have a shot of seeing the festival in person.