There's a new trend in technology that is dangerous and possibly ruining some lives. The term for it is "Swatting". It is when a caller makes a call, usually through the internet like on Skype or a VOIP phone, and says that there's an intruder in the home. In actuality it's just a hoax. The calls are untraceable and the police must respond. So far swatters have hit a few celebrities and over the weekend the swatters got a computer security expert named Brian Krebs from Cnet. When he opened his door he was met by a swat team all pointing guns at him. Krebs smartly allowed the police to handcuff and take him away before being released later that day after it was found to be a hoax.
A new product developed using micro funding site Kickstarter has come out with a new smart watch and beating Apple and Samsung to the punch. The watch is called the Pebble and it costs $150. It will work with either your iPhone or Android device as a Bluetooth connection back to your smart phone. You can read your texts, tweets and emails.
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A man convicted of illegally gaining access to AT&T's servers and stealing more than 100,000 email addresses of iPad users has been sentenced to more than three years in prison. Former Arkansas resident Andrew Auernheimer was convicted in November of identity theft and conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers. Auernheimer's attorney had sought probation. Auernheimer castigated the government for an unfair prosecution before a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey, pronounced his 41-month sentence Monday.
Verizon is among the firms pondering some new approaches. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Terry Denson, Verizon's chief programming negotiator, said the company was considering a model whereby Verizon would pay to carry TV channels based on how many people watched those channels rather than overall subscriber numbers. At this point, cable firms pay content owners to carry their channels based on the number of homes in which those channels are available on a monthly basis. That fee is paid whether or not most subscribers actually watch the channels available on their cable lineup. Paying for channels based on viewership would allow Verizon to offer a larger number of smaller and independent channels. But those channels would only get paid based on how many people tuned in. For the channel to secure a "unique view," someone would have to watch for at least five minutes. A Verizon spokesman confirmed the Journal's report, saying the idea is "a concept at this point." While the idea might appeal to up-and-coming channels that want to be featured on major cable lineups, it might be difficult to get major content providers to agree. Ultimately, the deal could end up "hurting revenue for some companies but improving others," the Journal noted. ESPN, for example, gets $5.04 per month per household from Verizon under its current deal, while USA gets $0.68 - even though both channels get about 1 million viewers tuning in on any given day.
Earlier this month, Electronic Arts announced that it would be providing those affected by the SimCity server issues a free video game of their choice based on a short list of games that the publisher would release later on. Today, EA has listed the games that SimCity owners can grab for free, but choose wisely, since you can only pick one.
Recent reports indicate that Google might soon come up with the next big smartphone in the Nexus series, the Google Nexus 5. The Google Nexus 5 will be the successor to the already famous Google Nexus 4 which was manufactured by LG.
The Google Nexus 4 has been one of the most popular and best selling smartphone last year, and the demand for this smartphone is still high. Google plans to capitalize on this fact and bring an even better smartphone that can go head to head against the next generation smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z.
Pinterest underwent a style makeover and today hit the streets with its fresh new look. The new-and-improved site includes ramped up browsing and search features to make content discovery easier. Pinners are able to explore an entire board without leaving the page they are on, look through all pins from the same source, and see a 'people who pinned this also pinned' screen. Like anyone going through a style transformation, Pinterest is highlighting its best qualities while also going through a health regimen to firm and smooth the user interface. Design changes include bigger pins and features new navigational capabilities. However, true makeovers are not only about the surface (Cher taught us that in Clueless.) Pinterest also rebuilt the backend foundation to make it more reliable and easier to improve.
From BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins' point of view, Apple's iPhone is growing rather long in the tooth. "The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about, is now five years old," Heins told The Australian Financial Review. Not that Heins has no respect for the iPhone - it's more that his respect is somewhat like that which you have for your granddad, that upstanding member of The Greatest Generation. "Apple did a fantastic job in bringing touch devices to market. ... They did a fantastic job with the user interface, they are a design icon. There is a reason why they were so successful, and we actually have to admit this and respect that," Heins said. Just like you have to respect Glen Miller, Artie Shaw, and Woody Herman, but you don't have to tag their tunes into your workout playlist. You'll also notice that Heins chose the past-tense "were" rather than the present-tense "are" when discussing Apple's success.
Electric-car owners tend to be enthusiastic evangelists for the good points of driving on grid power. At least, the ones we hear from usually are. But there's another group of plug-in electric car owners who aren't quite as enthusiastic. In fact, up to one-third of electric-car buyers in Japan say they might not buy another one, according to a current article in McKinsey Quarterly, the business journal of the well-known consulting firm. In its study of early plug-in car buyers, McKinsey said, the firm found that some of them felt "seduced" by the various advantages of driving electric. Those include the better driving experience during a test drive, various forms of government incentives and financial subsidies, and the promise of lower per-mile costs for "fuel ." But, unlike well-informed and environmentally aware green buyers, who understood the tradeoffs, these buyers only became aware of electric-car drawbacks after they purchased.
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Laura from Sacramento asks "Is the Chrome laptop worth checking out?"