CES is almost here, but it's important to keep in mind that the biggest consolidated electronics show of the year is often a mixed indicator of the year's actual tech trends. Case in point: consider CES 2010, where "big" products included smartbooks and Cell TVs, but the major wave of Android phones and the iPad were nowhere to be found.
The wave of distributed denial of service attacks that hit U.S. banks in October was next-to-nothing compared to what could happen if cybercriminals actually carry through with their plans for next year.
According to a report (PDF) released today by McAfee Labs, an impending attack on U.S. financial institutions -- dubbed Project Blitzkrieg -- isn't only a possibility, it's a "credible threat."
"McAfee Labs believes that Project Blitzkrieg is a credible threat to the financial industry and appears to be moving forward as planned," the report reads. "Although Project Blitzkrieg hasn'… Read more
Rear-projection TV is dead, and there's little reason to think the technology will pull a Lazarus anytime soon.
On Monday Mitsubishi confirmed it has already ceased production of its last RPTVs, and told Twice.com that inventory is almost gone.
"The decision to exit the category was based on lack of profitability in the big-screen TV business," according to Max Wasinger, executive VP at Mitsubishi Electric Video Sales America. "MEVSA will honor all product warranties. Consumer relations will continue to support consumers and dealers' product service related needs." He added that there are no plans … Read more
Dell began selling its sleekest ultrabook today with a version of Ubuntu Linux.
The XPS 13 ultrabook comes with Ubuntu 12.04 preloaded and is the fruits of a project at Dell to create an Ubuntu-based developer laptop.
"Our first project officially launches today for customers in the United States...We loaded a super sleek Dell machine with Ubuntu to give developers the essentials they want," Dell said in a statement.
And, at $1,549, it is loaded indeed with lots of fast silicon including an Intel Core i7-3517U Ivy Bridge processor, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz, and a 256GB solid state drive. It also sports a 1,366x768 13.3-inch display. … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel join "Girl Meets World" pilot.
- Wii Mini confirmed, brings cut-price gaming to Canada only.
- HoboJacket.tk lets you donate your RIVAL college's jackets and shirts to the homeless.
- This lamp tells you the weather by recreating it inside your house.
- Why liveblogs outperform other online news formats by up to 300%.
Apple has reportedly taken a page from Google's playbook by offering employees time to work on side projects that fall outside their normal routines.
The Wall Street Journal's Jessica Lessin notes in a video interview today (via Business Insider), that Apple CEO Tim Cook quietly started a program code-named Blue Sky that gives some of the company's employees two weeks to work on projects that aren't part of their job.
While shorter, the idea is similar to one popularized by Google's "20 percent time," which allows company employees to work on side projects … Read more
The Nexus 7 has been one of the smokin' hot tablets of 2012, and unfortunately for one user in China, that was literally the case.
The user posted the photo above to a forum on Baidu (China's home-grown answer to Google), claiming that the device began smoking while plugged in and charging on its original factory charger. In the process, the guts of the tablet seem to have been totally torched.… Read more
Prepare to witness a tantalizing glimpse at our future robot overlords.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency yesterday released a stunning video showing how an autonomous robot can navigate and jump over obstacles with great ease.
In the clip, the Pet-Proto robot -- a predecessor to DARPA's Atlas robot -- traverses a simulated hallway containing a very tall step and a thin walkway. Pet-Proto easily uses its strong arms to balance itself as it climbs a step, then perfectly leaps down with a thud. The highly agile walker stretches its legs to continue its journey along the thin edges of a gutted hallway floor. … Read more
I had the worst case of headphone cord tangle on Friday, and wouldn't you know it? Just as I had finished unwinding and unknotting, a co-worker showed up at my desk with two samples of the Unlace, a colorful and rubbery new twistable detangler that just kicked off a funding run on Kickstarter.
If I'd had these twisties sooner, I could have prevented my most recent cord conundrum, but oh well... I'm excited to have them around for future knotty situations.
Inspired by the look of a shoelace, the Unlace comes in two sizes -- a 5-incher for earbuds and similarly sized cords, and a 10-incher for power cords and other burly cables. The longer Unlace can even be configured into an impromptu smartphone stand. Both sizes come in eight colors: white, yellow, orange, pink, blue, green, silver, and black. … Read more
One of Intellectual Ventures' biggest secrets is under attack.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based patent firm and invention lab, co-founded in 2000 by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myrhvold, owns more than 40,000 patents or pending patents and keeps a tight lid on its collection. So tight, in fact, that you can't see it unless you partner with the company and sign a non-disclosure agreement.
The end result can be that companies with products that might infringe on one of those patents, or that simply want to license one of IV's patents, don't exactly know what they're … Read more