Windows 10 coming July 29!
This week Microsoft announced its newest operating system will be available next month. The best part for you Windows fans? You can upgrade right from your computer. Engadget says you should be able to look in your taskbar Notification Area and see a Windows icon. If you click on it, you’ll get some fancy upgrade panel (if you click on the image at the right, you’ll see what I’m talking about). Remember, you can apparently upgrade for free for the first year and then get free security updates for the life of that device.
Want to know every virus you’ve ever gotten? All it takes is one drop of blood to know
This is huge medical news. Called “VirScan” it’s a test that can, as it was put by one of the researchers, “take a look back in time” and see all the viruses you’ve ever gotten. Seriously. This means scientists can now see if there are associations with viruses and chronic diseases. It also means that doctors won’t have to guess anymore, when faced with a patient they think might have something. CNBC had a pretty easy-to-understand article about the technology if you’d like to read more.
TempTraq: a Bluetooth thermometer patch
After debuting at CES this year, the TempTraq is now available for purchase. It’s an interesting idea: a Bluetooth-enabled patch you can stick under your child’s arm and then get 24-hour’s worth of real-time data on your phone. You can also get alerts if your child’s temperature goes above a certain point and you can log when they take their meds or eat. The only catch? The patch only lasts 24 hours and then you’ve got to replace it. Still, if your kid was in the midst of a horrible illness? This could allow you to maybe get a little sleep when they do, knowing that TempTraq has you covered.
Apple’s WWDC (that’s Worldwide Developer Conference) coming on Monday
The Apple world is in a lather, speculating what new updates and gadgets the company is going to announce. You can stream the conference yourself at apple.com/live…but only if you use their Safari browser, of course. Everyone is expecting Apple will announce an update to Apple TV, possibly even a stand-alone TV service, and also a music streaming service. I’ll fill you in next week, in case you don’t catch the news.
Apple HomeKit devices are hitting the market
Speaking of Apple, also hitting the news this week is that their HomeKit platform is finally coming to some real devices. This will allow folks to control devices using iOS and probably Siri. TechCrunch has a good roundup of all the new toys, but quickly they include things like: an air temperature, quality, and and humidity device; the ecobee3 thermostat; a wireless lighting hub from Caseta; an Insteon Hub (if you want to go with their LED bulbs, lamps, thermostats, cameras, door locks, and more); and even a smart plug that lets you turn anything plugged into it into a “smart” device.
ThinkGeek and GameStop—a corporate elopement no one saw coming
The famous purveyor of all that is geeky has been shopping for a buyer. Up until this week, it was understood that Hot Topic, a geek’s favorite mall store, would be the lucky winner. All of that came to a crashing halt this week with the surprise announcement that GameStop made ThinkGeek a better offer. Like, according to reports, $2.50 more per share and a “termination fee” paid to Hot Topic for putting on the brakes. It’s an interesting marriage, that’s for sure. Is it wrong to hope that I can stop at GameStop for geeky gear? Because that’d be awesome.
Growing a new limb in a lab
You might have heard about scientists growing organs in a lab, but limbs are an entirely different story. Up until now, no one had figured out how to grow, say, a new arm. But, scientists have done it…at least with rats. Some Massachusetts General Hospital researchers took a donor limb and stripped it down to the building blocks (decellularization, it’s called). Then, they then “seeded” it with cells from the eventual recipient and grew a new one (huge oversimplification, but you get the idea). What’s amazing is that, if they can refine this technique, it would mean an end to transplant rejection.
New phone called “Selfie”
Check this out—there’s a new phone being introduced that was designed to make taking selfies easier. Made by ASUS, according to TIME, the phone has a “seflie button” that can be pressed with an index finger as easily as adjusting the volume on your phone. Even better for those who love selfies? It has a “beautification mode” that one person described as like having a personal spotlight where her skin tone looked more even, and the lines of her face softer. I suppose it was only a matter of time.
Lego unveils its own Minecraft-like game
The rumors are true—Lego World is now available on Steam and on Windows for $17. My understanding is that it’s a beta, and not as full-fleshed out as Minecraft as of yet. Here’s a preview to wet your whistle if you like sandbox-style construction games.
My 11-year-old boy is chomping at the bit for this one. As a parent, I fear what kind of pricey real-world Lego tie-ins they could ask people to cough up money for. I’m sure I’ll be able to tell you soon!