“FREAK” encryption bug security warning
All supported versions of Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS and OS X and Google Android operating systems are vulnerable to a newly discovered bug called “FREAK.” It’s an encryption bug the experts now realize has been around for more than 10 years that lets cybercriminals spy on “purportedly secure communications between browsers and website servers.” An estimated 9.5% of the web’s top one million websites are susceptible. Firefox and Chrome have security patches, all others are coming soon so update your software/browsers as soon as patches are available!
ANOTHER new Pebble
If last week’s reveal of Pebble’s Time smartwatch didn’t trip your trigger, maybe their new premium Steele version will. Through the same Kickstarter campaign, backers can upgrade to the all-metal watch which is available for $250 (note: if you’re already in line for a Time, you can pay the extra for the steel and not lose your place). Steele will come in July, two months after the regular Time.
Shazam will soon identify sounds AND sights
This week Shazam said they want to extend their music-identification app to physical objects such as retail products. Reuters reports, “The next phase of development will be to enable phone users to Shazam actual objects such as a cereal packet in the grocery store to get more nutritional information or a DVD case at home to buy the movie soundtrack.” The story does not say when consumers can expect this next generation of Shazam.
Runcible: the round pocket watch/smartphone
This week was Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where all the latest-and-greatest mobile tech is revealed. The media was quite charmed by Runcible—it has all the capabilities of a smartphone, but it’s unique shape and finish made it stand out. It’s round, you see…with a wood back (which can be swapped out for others if you prefer ceramic, metal, or leather). Made by Monohm, the goal of the device is to challenge the smartphone experience and make one that is a bit “quieter” while still offering the functionality people are looking for. You’ve gotta admit, it’s cool. It’s in prototype phase right now, but is expected to hit the market later this year. More from The Verge and Engadget.
Hubble Mania 2015!
Forget that whole basketball tournament—do Hubble Mania instead. To celebrate Hubble’s 25th birthday in April, NASA’s letting you vote for your favorite photos taken by the satellite—bracket style. The winning photo will be announced on April 6 and the first round ends March 11 so get out there and make your selections!
Bike connects to your smartphone and give you navigation feedback through the handlebars
Ford, yes the car company, introduced smart bicycle concepts this week. They connect to your smartphone and help you navigate through the handlebar grips that vibrate if you need to turn left or right. Mashable says the bikes will also tell you if there are any hazards ahead or behind, and offer electric pedal assistance. They look pretty cool!
NVIDIA’s new Shield hardware is a set-top box
Also announced at Mobile Congress: NVIDIA’s new set-top box for gaming called Shield. Its streams games over their “Netflix for gaming” platform GRID. It also streams games from your local PC and it powers Twitch streaming. Engadget got a chance to muck around with it and said it might be pretty good—but will need some at-home time to know for sure. They offer a pretty detailed review of their trial so check it out if you’re into gaming.
How Minecraft worlds are made
If you play (or your kids play) Minecraft you notice all the little details. Ever wonder how the game makes the terrain? There’s a lot of detail – frozen wonderlands, tropics, grasslands, etc. PBS investigated how it all happens. Check it out (or send the link to your kids – they’ll enjoy):