The High Tech Society’s Tech News Recap
January 12th – 18th 2013
This past week has seen some interesting information in the tech news arena. Facebook has offered free calling for iPhone users, and a new graph search system. A new way to control your laptop by moving your hand has been introduced, and Gondolas may become a more widely used method of transportation. In this article, we are going to briefly recap some of the more interesting tech news that has occurred this week.
Facebook Graph Search
Most of us hate the many Facebook updates, but many users may like the new Facebook Graph search feature. This new Facebook search is geared to help you find your friends, favorite locations, photos, and more quickly and easily. If you decide that you do not want your Facebook account to appear in the new graph search, you can edit your privacy settings to make much of your profile completely private. It is limited at this time to how many people can use this service, so be sure to sign up now for the beta version.
Control Your Laptop by Moving Your Hand
In other tech news this week we are asked: Are the days of the mouse coming to an end? It is quite possible as many laptops and tablets are being released that are controlled by voice, touch, eye or hand movements. A new product that has been announced is a controller made by Leap Motion that will sell at Best Buy for about $70, with pre-orders beginning sometime in February. The controller is a small black box that can track the movements of your fingers and then use the movements to control your laptop.
Gondolas May be the Next Method of Public Transportation
When we think of Gondolas, we usually think of ski lifts, however that could change in our future. In fact, the owners of Frog Design have come up with a Gondola system that could easily be used as an inexpensive alternative to public transportation. Their system, simply called The Wire, was introduced at a conference in San Francisco, and has already caught the attention of transportation development in Austin, Texas.
Facebook Free Calling for iPhone Users
Making two tech news appearances is Facebook. This second news story about the social giant is about how you connect via phone. Facebook has introduced many new features recently, and they have also upgraded their iOS messenger application for iPhones, which now includes a free calling application. Facebook users using this app can place free voice calls to anyone in their contact list who also has Messenger installed via 3G or wifi. At the moment, this service is not available for Android users, but Facebook state that they are working on expanding the application for both Android and Blackberry users.
The Node, a Handy Gadget
The Node is a small, cylindrical gadget that can do all kinds of different things. It is made by Variable Tech, and they are referring to it as ‘the Swiss Army Knife of sensors’. The node can detect carbon monoxide levels in your home, tell you when your laundry is finished, and help you choose the perfect shade of paint for a wall.
The Node was featured at the Consumer electronics Show (CES) (which we covered in last week’s tech news) in Las Vegas, and is now in full production. A base model will cost about $149, and add on sensors that can record a variety of different information can be purchased separately.
USB Malware Attacks Put Power Plants at Risk
As for a bit of scary tech news, recently, the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT_ released their quarterly report that included some shocking news. According to their update, U.S. power plants are being attacked by USB malware. These attacks have included fairly common and extremely sophisticated malware, and have not yet been pinned down to one person or group. Attacks on power plants have grown over the past few years, and some have resulted in downtime of up to three weeks, as companies fight to get their software back online.
The High Tech Society News Update:
Here’s a little update of our own. Watch this week for the start of our new blog, Mac911! It will debut on Tuesday the 22nd of January, so if you have any Mac questions, get them ready to ask your Mac 911 operator, Trish Rounsaville. Guest Mac 911 operator and HTS owner Kimberly Carver, is thrilled to add this great new blog to the site. This isn’t the only new addition, says Kimberly.
She also says that we can look forward to some more great tech blogs coming onboard, including one that will tell you where you can find the best deals, internet freebies and other helpful tips, tricks and ideas to help you save money. Make sure to watch for that and more in the weeks to come!
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