Friday tech news roundup for September 20

In the news this week: redesigned Bing, an HP laptop with gesture control, graphene—the most amazing substance you might not have heard of, Dropbox, severed fingers won’t unlock the new iPhone 5S, Grand Theft Auto 5, plus get some tips of the week and a “Friday fun” link.

A redesigned Bing hits the web
Microsoft unveiled an updated logo and user experience for Bing this week. According to Microsoft, the new experience is “faster, cleaner and more visually appealing.” In the latest release they’ve combined the Snapshot and Sidebar features to give both data and “the human perspective” on what you’re looking for. They’re now introducing something called Page Zero, “a new function in Bing that helps a user get an answer or take an action before they even see the first results page.” I haven’t tried it yet. If you have, let us know in the comments what you think of the new, improved, Bing.

Image: The Verge

Image: The Verge

HP releases Envy laptop with Leap Motion gesture control
You might think your Windows 8 notebook’s touch screen is cool, but wait until you see the new HP. It’s got Leap Motion’s gesture recognition technology built into the palmrest, “allowing users to move seamlessly between the touchpad, touchscreen, and 3D gesture control,” according to The Verge. The Verge’s review didn’t find it to be “all that” but I still think it gets us one step closer to having and Iron Man–like (or Elon Musk-like) input for our tech.

Graphene: the wonder material you might not have heard about…yetgraphene
Have you heard about graphene? It’s being called “the strongest material in the world” and is made from a single layer of carbon atoms that are bonded together in a repeating pattern of hexagons. It not only conducts electricity better than anything (ever), it’s also stronger than diamond. MIT researchers this week published a paper suggesting that light, not electricity, could power computer chips made with graphene. Mashable has a summary of the research and a little more about this new wonder material.

Dropbox: the mobile era’s answer to the hard drive
If you use Dropbox, you know how handy it can be. Dropbox is a simple cloud storage service which makes it easy to access and share files across computers/devices. But whether you use Dropbox or not, you might enjoy this piece in Wired about the two men behind the service (and what they hope to bring you in the future).This is sort of my “technology dreamer of the week” story.

Image: Mashable

Image: Mashable

Severed fingers and the iPhone 5S
You recall that last week I told you about a new heartbeat-based security app (and mentioned how movies make you feel like this would be much better than cornea scans or fingerprints). Well, Mashable assures me that if you have an iPhone 5S, your digits will be safe. They talked to experts who said the finger must be alive and attached in order for the iPhone to detect the sub-epidermal layers of skin.<whew!>

Grand Theft Auto V

Released this week, is now be the best-selling game of all time. The reviews are in and it supposed to be awesome. If that doesn’t sell you, check out a few reviews and maybe you’ll feel better dropping the $60 on it. Here are some to save you some time: Business Insider, IGN, Conan O’Brian/Game Informer, The Verge.

Tips of the week:
• Make the most of your browser space: Don’t settle for a cluttered, jam-packed, browser window and/or tabs bar. Check out this list of 6 ways to maximize your browser real estate. Super handy, if you ask me.

• Get 10 ways to customize your Windows Taskbar on How-To Geek. They’ve got tips for Windows 8 and 7 (and many were both new and helpful to me). I highly recommend checking them out.

Friday fun:
Check out Mashable’s list of 14 machines that were brilliant in 1985.

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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