Weekly tech news roundup for August 7

Update Firefox ASAP—exploit found in the wild
I’m not sure anyone who isn’t super techy will understand the nature of the exploit (“the interaction of the mechanism that enforces JavaScript context separation and Firefox’s PDF viewer” –see? I told you), but the point is, it’s bad and needs to be patched. In a response to discovering someone using this security gap, Firefox has issued a new security update you can download . Also, Firefox says it would be “prudent to change any passwords and keys” set for emina, Filezilla, Psi+, text files with “pass” and “access” in the names and any shell scripts.

photo-originalPebble Time Steel now open for preorders
The famous-in-the-smartwatch-world, Pebble, keeps rolling out new stuff. Their Pebble Time has only been available for purchase for a few weeks, but yesterday they announced you can preorder the same watch in a Steel variant. It’s all stainless steel and can come with a metal link bracelet for $299 or with a leather band for $250. It’s available in three colors: red, black, or silver. Reviewers such as The Verge like Time, but are a little hesitant to say it’s worth it to spend $250-300 for a watch with less functionality than others like the similarly priced Apple Watch. Reserve your own on their Kickstarter page.

Xbox One backwards compatibility coming in November for all
Just in time for the holidays, Microsoft will be rolling out backwards compatibility with 360 games starting in November. Right now it’s only available to Xbox One Preview Program members. They’ve released a list of currently supported games and more are coming. Check out the current list here. According to reports, Xbox sales are still lagging against the PS4 (by 12 million consoles!), so this might be Microsoft’s chance to pull ahead.

Finally! The Lexus hoverboard in action
I’m not going to lie—this made me happy this week. Why? Because it’s just cool. Sure, it can only be used in the skate park they built for it (it needs metal under the concrete for the magnets to work), but come on, IT’S A HOVERBOARD! Here it is in action (and sure, it’s a quasi commercial, but it’s worth it to see it IMO):

And, here’s a time-elapsed behind the scenes from pretty much day one of how they made it. Science is just so cool.

Epson’s doing away with print cartridges
No, really. This week Epson announced they’re debuting a new line of printers that will have ink reservoirs, rather than cartridges. So what? How about this: this new system will print 4,000 documents right out of the box, rather than only 220. Even better? You’ll be able to refill the ink using bottles, rather than tossing cartridges in the trash. The only downside? The printers won’t be nearly as cheap, starting at about $379. But to escape the so-called “razor-and-blades” model? I dunno, it might really be worth it. Bloomberg had the story.

Kickstarter of the week: Inkbox, the two week tattoo
This is tattoo tech at its finest. Inkbox is a temporary tattoo on steroids—it’ll hold up for two weeks, even if you head to the pool. How? The inventors created a fruit-based stain (100% organic!) that goes on clear, but “develops” over 12 hours. The stain permeates the epidermal layer, but not the deeper dermal one—that’s where a regular tattoo sits (while temporary tattoos stay on the top of the skin).

The creators were looking for $15K…and had about $71K last time I looked. Clearly, there’s a demand! They also have a full catalog of designs ready for you. This product just seems smart, doesn’t it?

Turn any food into caviar
No, it’s not a fancy replicator or some kind, it’s called a Spherificator. It uses a seaweed extract and calcium to turn raw ingredients into “pearls.” Want Tabasco “caviar?” Done! Black current pearls over cheesecake? Fancy! Rum with Coke pearls? Highbrow! It’s another Kickstarter, but I just couldn’t help but include it for the novelty of this tech alone. If you love to cook, maybe you need one? There are still pledges available at the $175 level.

Hyperloop transport closer than you might think
TechInsider had a recent piece arguing the hyperloop “futuristic rail system” is gaining traction and quickly. Elon Musk introduced the idea but then open-sourced the idea, literally inviting others to help make it happen. Well, they’ve come…in droves. TechInsider says that thousands are working on it right now. Their story goes over the high points of what’s the loop right now (sorry, couldn’t resist), and it’s a fun read if you’ve got a few minutes.

 
 

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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