mattydread23 writes "The new Office 365 app for Android, launched a week ago, has a super nice UI, but lacks a bunch of basic features and has some really weird oversights — including a classic Microsoft dialog box that offers a choice that makes no sense. 'Overall, it still feels like Microsoft is still trying to funnel people toward its own Windows Phone if they want a better experience. In fact, in a question on an FAQ about how the Android Office app compares to the Windows Phone Office app, Microsoft says this: “Office Mobile on Windows Phone 8 provides a richer, more integrated experience,” and goes on to specify how. That’s a losing strategy when so many other apps — many of them free — offer a richer experience on Android and iOS.' "
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iwritethings writes "The Sol, a rugged-looking laptop with built-in foldable solar panels is designed for use in the military, education and developing countries where electricity is scarce. The Canada-based makers behind the Sol claim that the device can run directly off solar energy or can harness the sun's rays to charge the laptop's battery in under two hours. Once fully charged, the battery is expected to last between eight and 10 hours. While the concept of solar charging gadgets isn't new, this type of battery life is unprecedented. There's no word on when Sol will launch, but its headed to Ghana first, and it will run Ubuntu Linux."
gregor-e writes "Comcast is said to be preparing to snoop on your internet browsing to detect when you attempt to download a copyright-protected item. On detection, Comcast will pop up a helpful window that contains information about where you can obtain a legal version of whatever you're downloading. 'While sources familiar with the new initiative emphasized that it is being seen as a complement to CAS [a.k.a. six strikes] and not a replacement, the very emergence of an alternative raises questions as to the viability of CAS, which has been criticized for myriad reasons ranging from the questionable strategic rationale of punishing subscribers to an implementation that has been characterized as scattershot. How the two systems would coexist is unclear.'" Comcast will be inviting other ISPs to join its new system as well.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "South Korea continues to pull out all the stops on the long road to a high-tech utopia. Last year, the city Yeosu hosted the Expo 2012, an international exhibition that highlighted emerging technology and design that attracted 8 million visitors over three months. Today, the nation has finally unveiled the world's first road-powered electric vehicle network for regular use. Here's how it works: the network runs on newly-built roads that have electric cables and wires embedded below the surface. This allows for the magnetic-resonance transfer of energy to the network's vehicles, which not only already run on small batteries (about a third of the size of a typical electric vehicle) but also do not require the plug-in-and-recharge process common to other electric cars."
EliSowash writes "In response to recent reports of safety concerns around third-party chargers for iDevices, Apple announced today that beginning August 16, 2013, you can trade in your third-party adapter and purchase an official Apple charger at a 'special price' — $10 USD. From their website: 'To qualify, you must turn in at least one USB power adapter and bring your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to an Apple Retail Store or participating Apple Authorized Service Provider for serial number validation. The special pricing on Apple USB power adapters is limited to one adapter for each iPhone, iPad, and iPod you own and is valid until October 18, 2013.'"
miller60 writes "On July 1, 2012 the leap second time-handling bug caused many Linux servers to get stuck in a loop. Large data centers saw power usage spike, sometimes by megawatts. The resulting "server storm" prompted Facebook to develop new software for data center infrastructure management (DCIM) to manage its infrastructure, providing real-time data on everything from the servers to the generators. The incident also offered insights into the value of flexible power design in its server farmss, which kept the status updates flowing as the company nearly maxed out its power capacity."
coolnumbr12 writes "The world's first 3D-printed rifle, named 'The Grizzly' after Canadian-built tanks used in World War II, was fired in June, but the first shot fractured the barrel receiver. The creator, a Canadian man who simply goes by 'Matthew,' refined his design and posted a video Friday on YouTube of Grizzly 2.0 successfully firing 3 rounds of Winchester bullets. The video description says the Grizzly 2.0 fired 14 rounds before it cracked. The new rifle was also safe enough for Matthew to fire it by hand rather than the string system used in the first test."
holy_calamity writes "The two encryption systems used to secure the most important connections and digital files could become useless within years, reports MIT Technology Review, due to progress towards solving the discrete logarithm problem. Both RSA and Diffie-Hellman encryption rely on there being no efficient algorithm for that problem, but French math professor Antoine Joux has published two papers in the last six months that suggest one could soon be found. Security researchers that noticed Joux's work recommend companies large and small begin planning to move to elliptic curve cryptography, something the NSA has said is best practice for years. Unfortunately, key patents for implementing elliptic curve cryptography are controlled by BlackBerry."
kdryer39 writes "Like to tempt fate? Then you might want to check out Send Me To Heaven, the Android app that uses your phone's accelerometers to track how high it travels when thrown upward. Assuming you don't fumble your handset on its return trip, its distance will join that of other daredevils on the game's leaderboards. That's all there is to it. Really." I can't wait for the desktop version.
Nerval's Lobster writes "In a new Gizmodo column, Andreas Goeldi calls it the 'frosted glass' effect: when a prominent tech company's latest upgrade to its flagship operating system features frosted-glass highlights as its primary innovation, you know that company is facing a period of severe stagnation. That's what happened to Microsoft around the time of Windows Vista, Goeldi wrote, and Apple's going down the same road with iOS 7. In light of what he views as Apple's sclerosis, it wasn't difficult for him to abandon his iPhone in favor of a Google Android ecosystem. But is Apple really becoming the next Microsoft? In short: no. Apple seems to recognize everything that seemed to elude Microsoft's corporate thinking six years ago: namely, that even the most successful companies need to keep breaking into new categories, and keep innovating, if they want to stay ahead of hungry rivals. Rumors have persisted for quite some time that Apple is prepping big pushes into wearable electronics and televisions, both of which could prove lucrative strategies if executed correctly. Goeldi faults iOS 7 for its frosted-glass effects, which he compares to those of Vista; but similar graphical elements aside, it's unlikely that iOS 7 will run into the same complaints over hardware requirements, compatibility, security, and so much more that greeted Vista upon its release. In fact, iOS 7 isn't even finished."
mask.of.sanity writes "A backdoor has existed for at least seven months in a platform sold by OpenX, the self-described global leader of digital advertising which counts the New York Post, Coca Cola, Bloomberg and EA among its customers. The backdoor was contained within the official OpenX package and recently removed. Security researchers say it meant those who downloaded the compromised software could have provided attackers full access to their web sites."
You may have read about this on Slashdot: Three researchers were going to present a paper next week at the USENIX Security '13 conference about security holes they found in one of Volkswagen's anti-theft systems, but a British court said they couldn't. One of the presenters works at a British university, and the court may have jurisdiction over him. The other two are not U.K. residents, and the Usenix conference is being held in Washington D.C., so jurisdiction questions are flying thick and fast. Amusingly, whether the paper is published and presented or not, the security holes and crack codes it is supposed to contain have been available on the Internet for quite a while, so bad guys who want to learn about them most likely have done so already. Then, last week, we heard that one of the presenters was going to show up at the conference and possibly ignore the injunction. Meanwhile, USENIX co-executive director Casey Henderson and EFF intellectual property director Corynne McSherry talked with Slashdot's Timothy Lord via Zoom and discussed this situation, and how this sort of problem might be prevented in the future.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today officially launched Firefox 23 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Improvements include the addition of a share button, mixed content blocker, and network monitor on the desktop side (release notes). The new desktop version was available on the organization's FTP servers last night, but that was just the initial release of the installers. Firefox 23 has now officially been released over on Firefox.com and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play."
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Premier hacker conference Def Con, which just wrapped up its 21st year, played host to security professionals who all had very different opinions on what the NSA is up to. In fact, the only thing everyone could agree on is that the PRISM revelations came as no surprise. Even if it isn't news to this crowd, it is still a significant development in the general climate of government surveillance and national security. And at Def Con, where government recruitment was hampered this year by conference founder Jeff Moss's requesting that feds stay away, it seemed like a good idea to walk around asking people if they would still want to work for the NSA."
ideonexus writes "The National Rifle Association has launched a website defending the use of lead ammunition against scientists and environmental organizations who argue that lead bullets are poisoning the environment and tainting game meat with a known neurotoxin. The rise and fall of lead levels from gasoline and lead-based paint are strongly correlated to the rise and fall of crime rates in communities around the world."