Tech Today w/ Ken May

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Swyp is yet another one-card wallet vying for your attention

Posted by kenmay on January - 28 - 2015

High-tech cards that store all your credit, gift and loyalty card info haven’t exactly made it big yet, but the competition’s already heating up. The newest entry in the race is called Swyp: a metallic device with a screen that transforms into the card you want to use when you need it, so long as you choose the appropriate one using its scroll buttons. In order to upload info, you’ll need to scan credit cards and loyalty cards with magnetic strips (support for scannable barcodes will come later) using a reader that plugs into a phone’s headphone jack. Each card’s details are then stored in the accompanying app, which you can also use to snap pictures of paper receipts. The device itself can store up to 25 cards’ info, more than what its rivals can handle: Coin , its oldest competition, can store up to 8 cards, while Plastc can keep up to 20. According to The Verge , Swyp was designed to deactivate if your phone detects that the card is more than six feet away, though there’s a way to override that if you’re, say, paying at a restaurant. Its creator, Ash Dhodapkar, also told the publication that Swyp will have a rechargeable battery (Coin, on the other hand does not — you’ll have to toss it when it runs out of juice), though it’s unclear if it will work with wireless chargers. It lacks a bunch of other features found on Plastc, including chip-and-pin technology, as well as NFC support, but it is loads cheaper than the competition (Coin costs $100, while Plastc is $150). A small number of Swype cards are now up for pre-order for $49 per, but once those are all gone, you’ll have to pay $99 to get one when it launches this fall. Filed under: Misc Comments Via: The Verge Source: Swyp

Linux users around the world are scrambling to update their operating systems, as a new flaw known as GHOST has been shown to have the potential to cause “a lot of collateral damage on the Internet.” Read more…

What Should I Read Next? suggests books, similar to the algorithm used on sites like Netflix and Amazon based on your use patterns and ratings. Read the rest

The jolly good life of a pirate was not a jolly healthy one, what with the syphilis and scurvy and ship-raiding. Archeologists excavating Blackbeard’s flagship off the coast of North Carolina have unveiled their latest findings: a cache of medical instruments that include this rather horrifying urethral syringe. Read more…

New Google Fiber Cities Announced

Posted by kenmay on January - 28 - 2015

New submitter plate_o_shrimp sends word that Google has announced the next group of cities set to receive gigabit fiber infrastructure. They’re concentrating on cities around four metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham. “We’ve been working closely with city leaders over the past year on a joint planning process to get their communities ready for Google Fiber—and now the really hard work begins. Our next step is to work with cities to create a detailed map of where we can put our thousands of miles of fiber, using existing infrastructure such as utility poles and underground conduit, and making sure to avoid things like gas and water lines. Then a team of surveyors and engineers will hit the streets to fill in missing details. Once we’re done designing the network (which we expect to wrap up in a few months), we’ll start construction.” Google also said they’re currently looking into Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and San Jose. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Michelin and Bridgestone have been racing to take the air out of everyone’s tires—but in a good way. Both companies have been developing open-air wheels that will never puncture or deflate, and while they’ve mostly seen use in research and military vehicles to date, John Deere will finally offer a ride-on mower that uses Michelin’s see-through Tweels . Read more…

FCC: Blocking Wi-Fi in hotels is prohibited

Posted by kenmay on January - 28 - 2015

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission issued an “Enforcement Advisory” stating that blocking W-Fi in hotels is unequivocally “prohibited.” “Persons or businesses causing intentional interference to Wi-Fi hotspots are subject to enforcement action,” the FCC bluntly stated, referencing a dispute between Marriott and its customers who said the hotel chain had blocked their personal hotspots to force them to pay for Marriott’s Wi-Fi services. “The Enforcement Bureau has seen a disturbing trend in which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using their own personal Wi-Fi hot spots on the commercial establishment’s premises,” the FCC wrote. “As a result, the Bureau is protecting consumers by aggressively investigating and acting against such unlawful intentional interference.” Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Zoe Keating reported the awful contract terms Google is trying to impose on its musicians; Google says her claims are ‘patently false’ . Read the rest

YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default

Posted by kenmay on January - 28 - 2015

An anonymous reader writes: YouTube today announced it has finally stopped using Adobe Flash by default. The site now uses its HTML5 video player by default in Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s IE11, Apple’s Safari 8, and in beta versions of Mozilla’s Firefox browser. At the same time, YouTube is now also defaulting to its HTML5 player on the web. In fact, the company is deprecating the “old style” Flash object embeds and its Flash API, pointing users to the iFrame API instead, since the latter can adapt depending on the device and browser you’re using. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

 The Prynt case, which lets you print photos directly from your phone, is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter. Read More