Toshiba Recalls Batteries Amongst Fears of Melting

Toshiba is a company known for their laptops and SSD’s, offering hardware to hundreds of people. If you are one of those people it may be best to double-check your laptop as Toshiba recalls batteries amongst fears of the batteries overheating and melting.

That’s right, the batteries can actually melt. Affecting nearly 40 different including popular Satellite models, the recall is expected to affect over 100,000 devices in the US and Canada alone.

In order to check if your battery, be it an original or one you’ve ordered as a replacement, you can go to Toshiba’s website and download a utility that will check if your battery is one of those affected by the recall. You can check the battery manually by comparing its battery part and accessory party number to the list provided here. As part of the recall, anyone who is found to have an affected battery will receive a replacement battery, with reassurances it won’t be one known for overheating and melt.

With large companies like Microsoft and Amazon having recalled equipment, all amongst heating and safety risks, the risk that a bad battery or charger is far too great to ignore. People have reported mobile phones exploding due to charging and most recently a mobile phones was found to have burst into flames on a plane, both examples of why we as purchasers and users of technology should be careful and check their devices when recalls such as these are announced.

Gmail Says Use of Encrypted Emails Has Risen 25%

We use email every day, be it sending them for work or personal reasons or getting a thousand and one emails advertising everything from something you are interested in helping a foreign prince distribute their wealth. One way that you can be protected when sending emails is to send encrypted emails, something which has risen in use by 25% for Gmail users.

What caused this spur of encrypted emails? Google stated last year that they would start flagging up emails which were unencrypted, warning users which providers and emails were being sent from services that supported TLS encryption. This change came into effect in February this year, the end result of which was the 25% increase in encrypted emails that Gmail has reported in the last month.

Google isn’t acting alone on this, with Comcast, Microsoft, Yahoo and other companies in the industry looking to create SMTP, a new standard that could be used to help protect emails from man-in-the-middle attacks.

Combining all these with their recent push on security updates in Chrome and Android, including their use of two-factor authentication encryption and warning people about state-sponsored attacks on accounts, it’s becoming more and more clear that even in the digital world, companies want your private information to remain private.

Amazon Recalls Fire 7 Inch UK Power Adapters

When purchasing any electronic device, it’s imperative to use official AC adapters which meet the necessary safety standards and ensures your device is protected against surges. It can be really tempting to acquire a third-party charger from eBay due to the enticing price, and you can convince yourself that they are of a similar quality. However, in many circumstances, these chargers do not meet safety standards and have fake markings. As a result, they can be dangerous to both the end-user and the device in question. Usually, the quality of construction is abysmal, and known to become a fire hazard. To be clear, this isn’t every third-party charger from eBay I’ve tested, but it’s accurate for the overwhelming majority.

Every so often, even official chargers can experience problems due to an error in the production line. It’s incredible difficult to keep a close eye on the supply line, and one mistake can lead to catastrophic consequences. Today, Amazon sent an email to customers informing them of a product recall on the official charger for the Fire 7″ tablet, and Fire Kids Edition 7″ model. Here is the e-mail in full courtesy of HotUKDeals:

Thankfully, Amazon has adopted a transparent approach and taken the correct steps to put customer safety first. This is a fairly worrying development, but it’s important to remember that the cases will be rare. Despite this, if you have one of these chargers, please go through Amazon’s procedure to acquire a replacement.  This is happening more frequently and there’s been quite a lot of product recalls in the past 12 months. This ranges from food to consumer electronics. Perhaps, there’s a few teething issues in the production line which explains why some chargers could create an electrical shock! I applaud Amazon for sorting this out quickly and giving two options in case their official charger goes out of stock.

Youtuber Uses Minecraft to Prey on Underage Fans

The internet is a wide and wonderful place, being able to play games with people all over the world and listen to music at the press of a button the ability to communicate and share your experience with the world is just a moment away. Sadly though, some people seek to use this ability for less than honourable reasons, as shown by a recent Youtuber who tweeted out inappropriate images of a fan.

The act of streaming of your gaming experience and sharing it, sometimes even in the game, with fans from around the world, is not rare these days with many people making a life out of the activity. Marcus Wilton, who went by LionMaker, is a streamer based in Belgium who often streamed he popular block-based game, Minecraft. He has made up an audience of over 600,000 subscribers, many of whom are young teens or even pre-teen in age.

It now appears that he used that position to have inappropriate conversations and obtain indecent images of people, including trying to obtain an image of a 12-year-old via Skype and a 16-year-old girl and that’s believed to be the tip of the iceberg.

In defence of himself, Wilton claims that he was hacked on several occasions including on the 21st December when pictures of the 16-year-old girl in question were posted via his twitter feed. This has yet to be independently confirmed, but a third girl has come forward stating that she was offered $500 for images of herself, with the money being transferred through PayPal even when the offer was refused.

We at eTeknix would like to remind everyone to be safe online, be mindful of the images and details you share with people online and if you ever suspect something or receive messages that upset you, then contact a family member and report the messages, be they received by Skype, Facebook or any other method for that matter. If you receive the messages by text or a phone call then contact your service provider and report the offending number immediately.

Volvo Pledges Their Cars Will be Deathproof by 2020

Safety in a car is important, as is made clear when you see new cars marketed with their safety ratings proudly on show. Volvo has now gone one step bolder than their rivals, with their North American CEO, Lex Kerssemakers, telling CNN that their complete lineup of cars and SUVs will be entirely deathproof by 2020.

Volvo’s plan to achieve the deathproof car involves the incorporation of a number of technologies we have already seen in the development of autonomous cars, including adaptive cruise control, auto lane keeping assists and collision avoidance. This isn’t to say that Volvo’s fully safe car is fully autonomous, instead, the safety assists will run regardless of autonomous or manual control. This results in a reverse of current self-driving cars, where instead of the manual driver taking over in an emergency, the safety systems will kick and override the driver when needed. Most of the technologies Volvo plans to put to work here also already exist in autonomous vehicles, which may explain their confidence in the timeframe.

Volvo also already tracking the number of deaths that occur in their vehicles worldwide. This may seem morbid, but in fact, it helps the engineers at Volvo see the impact of new safety measures in each generation of car and predict how much safer the car can be made. Fatality-free cars are not a new thing either, with the Volvo XC90 (and eight other non-Volvo vehicles) having no recorded fatalities in the US between 2009 and 2012, which is the most recently available data on the subject.

It is unlikely that even the safest car can save those going out of their way to put themselves at risk or ignore the rules of the road, but for the sane majority of drivers, this is a great move. It is nice to think that by the start of the next decade driving could be no less hazardous that walking around your own home, for both those behind the wheel and pedestrians.

The Wonders of Technology – Anti Earthquake Beds!

Natural disasters. We can be warned about some of them, such as Storms and Volcano’s erupting but sometimes that just isn’t enough. Earthquakes strike fast, and even with preparation, they can be deadly. Not to fear, a clever designer has created a range of beds designed to keep you safe should an earthquake ever happen while you are in bed.

In case you were wondering these are miracle saviours, the beds are designed as metal bunkers that would protect you while your building collapses, giving the rescue services enough time to find you while avoiding any harm from the fall or debris. If that wasn’t enough you even have a choice of how you want to spend those dark days, and how you even get out of bed and into the metal casket.

With several different ways to protect yourself, from magician like falling bottoms to a four-poster bed with a collapsing roof. Some designs even look a little less safe, such as the design where the roof is held up in the middle and drops down on either side, potentially cutting your limbs off before burying you in safety.

https://youtu.be/RI3pz5p6l24

While all these designs are nifty, the water, emergency rations, medical kit, fire extinguisher and gas masks go a long way to making these beds a mini-bunker for a short-term stay.

15,000 Hoverboards Confiscated After Safety Scares

Hoverboards, the new cool thing to have, have already been deemed illegal by the British government. But in the newest step on what some would consider the government’s war on fun, after testing many of the hoverboards being imported into the UK, have deemed the popular vehicles to be unsafe and potential hazards to their owners. As a consequence, 15,000 (or 88% of) hoverboards , most of which are manufactured in China, have been seized at UK ports by inspectors.

Since October, the importing of hoverboards has been under strict scrutiny by UK inspectors, following the National Trading Standards reported that: “Many of the items detained and sent for testing have been found to have noncompliant plugs without fuses, which increases the risk of the device overheating, exploding or catching fire.” Scary stuff for an item many would consider a fun gift for their children.

“Our teams at sea ports, postal hubs, and airports have seen a significant spike in the number of unsafe ‘hoverboards’ arriving at national entry points in recent weeks and are working around-the-clock to prevent dangerous items from entering the supply chain,” said Lord Toby Harris, chair of the National Trading Standards, in a statement. “Protecting consumers from harm is our top priority and our Safety at Ports and Borders teams are preventing thousands of these unsafe items from being released onto the market every day.” – Lord Toby Harris, chair of the National Trading Standards

And while hoverboards have skyrocketed in popularity thanks to celebrities being seen riding the device and it even being included in one of Justin Bieber’s music videos. Hoverboards have also gained somewhat of a rap sheet recently, with one being cited as the cause for a house fire in Louisiana, one exploding under its rider’s feet in Alabama and the New York Police Department declaring them illegal, under threat of a $200 fine.

The fact is, with no main company producing hoverboards and stiff competition between Chinese manufacturers trying to secure western market share, the ideas of quality control and safety are ignored, as even if there are problems, they are unlikely to reflect back to the manufacturer.

If you’re someone hoping for a hoverboard this Christmas, or looking to get one for a family member or friend, does the safety risk and legality of hoverboards put you off, or are you glad that now at least new hoverboards entering the UK are subject to safety standards?

What Happens to an iPhone in a Car Accident?

At some point, we can all probably admit picking up our phones while behind the wheel of the car, even if it’s just to get it out of your pocket because the vibration is annoying. Even worse than that, a small percentage of drivers go further and actually use the phone while driving. We all know the legal and most safety consequences of doing this, but what about the airbags in the event of a crash?

The people over at EverythingApplePro has gone and tested this for us in a very Mythbusters style by pitting multiple iPhone 6S phones against airbags in different scenarios.

For those that do not have a stable internet connection, the testing pretty much shows multiple iPhones getting destroyed.

I can safely say that it is scary what happened to the device. I know that in most cases there are never two airbags directed at each other, but in some newer cars there are airbags very close to each other to protect front and side impacts. Imagine if they caught your hand while holding the device?

This channel previously tested whether an iPhone would be a viable alternative to conventional brake pads, I can tell you that they’re not.

Image Courtesy of TechTimes

Anti-Drone Rifle Disables UAVs Up to 400 Metres Away

Drones are one of the latest areas of technology that the public has widely accepted. Ranging from their use at filming sports events from different angles to being used for racing, weapons and more, they are certainly adaptable and dangerous. Two months ago it was revealed that most drones could be disabled with the right sound waves. Now it would seem that a company has taken this idea and created a public sector, anti-drone weapon.

Meet the DroneDefender. Created by Battelle and weighing approximately ten pounds the device is designed to help disable UAV’s and other remote controlled aerial craft from up to 400 metres away. While the military has been keen to develop anti-drone defences, this is the first time that a company has created something for use by the general public for drone defence.

By firing an array of radio waves, specifically tuned to GPS and ISM frequencies the drone is not only disabled but it can’t receive any future commands from its operator. With the possibilities being endless for its deployment, from sports events and public gatherings to buildings like the White house or Parliment.

With drones becoming an everyday purchase, with you being able to walk down to your local shop and grab one or order several different models straight from the web. Being able to stop them when they are clearly being misused is an idea many are welcoming.

https://youtu.be/zX4XXLb_Vuw

Thank you Engadget for the information and image.

Companion: Walk Your Friend Home Through Their Phone

It’s late, it’s already dark and you’ve still got a little while to walk home from the bus stop. Your mind’s imaging everything from the safe walk home to a full night Halloween special. With a flick of your finger suddenly your best friend’s next to you, walking you home and keeping you company every step of the way to your bedroom door. That’s the concept behind the popular App coming out from University of Michigan students titled Companion.

The concept is to solve a problem as old as parents have had children when your alone and scared you want to know that someone’s watching out for you. Companion aims to solve that by allowing you to send web links to several contacts, all or any of whom, can then view the web page with a map detailing the user’s current location and their destination and path they wish to take. Now say you have a fall from your path, or even have your headphones yanked out because they got caught on someone’s bag as they passed by, the app will detect these and ask the user if they are okay. If the user’s okay they press the button within 15 seconds, however if they can’t press it because they’ve fallen and is injured or had their phone stolen the phone will turn into a personal alarm. The alarm mode sets off a loud noise that aims to alert nearby people that something has/is happening and has a link to instantly call the emergency services, enabling you to quickly report when your injured or something has happened.

Originally designed to work with American Universities the app creators are hoping to bring in universities and countries around the world to the personal safety app. Available for both iOS and Android for free, Companion could soon see you and your friends enjoying those late night walks with a little more peace of mind.

Thank you International Buisness Times for the information and image.

LIVALL Bling Is the First Smart Cycling Helmet

It is almost weird that this hasn’t been done before. While there have been attempts, no one has come close to what the new LIVALL Bling smart cycling helmet can do. It is the first smart helmet, but it is also a lot more. When you look at what you get, you’ll quickly notice why it already has been funded close to six times.

The campaign is running on Indiegogo where the goal was set to $20,000. At the time of writing, the campaign already raised $115.672 by 788 people, nearly six times the asked amount. Not only is it a great product with a very fair pricing, it’s also a product that is ready, all the way through. All that is needed now is the start-up money to get a mass production running.

So what is it that makes the LIVALL Bling helmet so smart. It comes with bright LEDs all over the top that make you stand out in traffic, both at day and night. You are the weak contender on the road and need the best safety. It has turn-signals, a 3-axis G-sensor, and Bluetooth connection for speakers and smartphone connection as well as a windbreak microphone. You can answer your phone or listen to music over this feature, and you can also use the built-in walkie-talkie function for a direct communication with your fellow riders that also use the helmet. The 3-axis G-sensor can detect when you’ve crashed and don’t get up again. It will start to flash the LEDs to signal passing folks of your presence as well as notify a previous set contact about your crash.

There are two more items, possibly three, that you’ll want to go along with your new smart cycling helmet. The first is the Bling Jet, a small controller meant to be mounted on the handlebar for easy finger control of everything.

The second is the LIVALL Nano Cadence Sensor, the smallest cadence sensor in the world. When coupled with the LIVALL Riding App on your smartphone, it can show speed, traveled distance and burned calories as well as slope rate, altitude, and heart rate when you connect designated extension devices to your phone. The third item you might want is the phone holder. It mounts easily on your handlebar just as the Jet does and can securely hold your phone while you ride. It also comes with a convenient 5000mAh battery pack for on-the-go charging or longer rides.

The LIVALL Riding App is where it all connects and allows you to control and manage everything. It looks like an awesome product that I have no doubt will get just as popular once launched to the masses as it was in the Indiegogo campaign. There are still 32 days to go, so time left to get your own LIVALL Bling helmet. All available packs, including the $100 early bird, are still available.

This Is Why Strapping a Wi-Fi Connection to a Sniper Rifle Is a Bad Idea

We have come to a point where we embed a lot of technology to weapons, sometimes even too much technology. This is the case of TrackingPoint, a company that makes such smart weapons. One sniper rifle the company produces is so advanced that it would make anyone a pro-marksman when fired. But, as expected for something this advanced, the gun can be hacked.

A group of hackers found a way to hack the sniper rifle via Wi-Fi. Yes, the gun actually has a Wi-Fi antenna that lets you connect and stream its view to other devices. However, the Wi-Fi is off by default. Turning it on, the hackers proved that adjusting some variables can alter the target, so you might be aiming for something, but eventually hitting an entirely different target in the end.

The hack is also very advanced in a way, being able to tap into the ‘root’ permissions of the gun. This means that a hacker can be granted full access to the gun and even lock the user out of it. However, one truly relieving thing is that the gun cannot be fired remotely, requiring manual trigger fire at all times. Hackers can still remove the safety mechanism, so this is still a bit worrying.

From the looks of it, hacking the gun proves to be a challenge. First of all, the Wi-Fi needs to be on, but since most people use sniper rifles in the wilderness and not in their back yard, the likeliness of it being on is next to zero. Even so, the hacker needs to be next to the gun, so as previously mentioned, hiding in a bush with a laptop is also not practical. It might sound next to impossible to hack it, but the hackers tell that malware can be installed on it, so an attacker can somehow hack it at some point and have it targeting or altering stuff at a certain time and place.

All this makes you wonder, doesn’t it? We previously mentioned about machine guns that can target and decide when to shoot and those most likely have Wi-Fi connectivity as well. Once we get to that point where autonomous guns and military machines become more popular, what would happen if someone were to ‘accidentally’ place a malware on one of their networks? Scary, isn’t it? What are your thoughts? Let us know!

Thank you WIRED for providing us with this information

New Car Hopes To Stop Drink Driving

It’s the weekend and you’ve gone for a small drink with your friends. Suddenly one turns into two, and two into three. You go to start your car, put the key in the ignition and then suddenly from nowhere, “I’m sorry, I can’t do that”. No your not losing your mind or experiencing the start of a robotic revolution,  instead a new system that could be in your cars soon has detected your blood alcohol level and refuses to start for you. Taxi tonight it is.

DADSS (Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety) is a new system that could potentially be installed in cars in the near future. At the moment, two prototypes are in testing, first up is the good old fashion breathalyser method, with a sensor in the steering wheel or driver side door. The alternative is a touch sensor on the gear shift or ignition button, that would ‘scan’ your blood alcohol level. If either of these pickups read higher than the legal limit and your car won’t start.

While not designed as a required feature for new cars, the makers, the national highway traffic safety agency (NHTSA) means parents could pay that little extra to ensure that no one makes a decision to just pop down the shops for a little extra drink after a few during a party. A demonstration of the system can be seen in the video below.

https://youtu.be/yykyT4YRw4A

While it’s getting safer to drive, anyone who has been impacted by drunk driving can tell you that figures don’t matter. One mistake is all it takes, and with systems like DADSS being created to help curve away those single mistakes the roads can only get safer.

Thank you Ars Technica for the information.

Image courtesy of Love cars.

Google Launches Family Friendly Store

Worried about your child getting a copy of Call Of Duty: Black Ops Zombies for their Android device? Our Advice, don’t be.

The reason we say this is because Google are launching their family friendly version of the Play Store in a few weeks. To fill the freshly available section, Google are inviting current application developers to join the program and create apps to meet Google’s idea of Child safe experiences.

Google have released a list of requirements and advert policies that you need to comply to as a developer before they will allow you to publish the app in the new store.

These rules include:

  • Apps must be rated ESRB for everyone over 10 years of age
  • Apps must comply with laws concerning advertising to children
  • No violent content for children under 13

Sounds like Google are getting pretty serious about making the Play store and phones a safe place for children. You can see all their rules and guidelines here

The launch of the new store will go well with the new user profiles feature in Android Lollipop. You’ll be able to create a profile for your child so you can stop them seeing your information, yet allow them to have a child safe experience with Apps and adverts whilst using the device.

Thanks to Engadget for this information

Images Courtesy of whereverwriter

Teen Driver Technology Aims to Keep Teenagers and Parents’ Worries at Bay

Parents are always worried to give the keys of their first car to teenagers, given all the accidents teens are involved nowadays. But a new technology aims to help keep parents’ worries at bay when teenagers are out cruising in their new car.

General Motors seems to have introduced a new system dubbed ‘Teen Driver’ at the New York auto show, having it been added in the new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. It is said that the system aims in encouraging safe driving habits for kids. The company states that their system is aimed at helping parents teach their teens the valuable rules of driving safely in their new car.

“It’s a programmable feature that encourages safe driving habits in a number of ways,” GM safety engineer MaryAnn Beebe.

The technology is said to include trip monitoring that parents can review, giving information about the maximum speeds, distance driven and the number of times active safety features were enabled. The ‘Teen Driver’ is also said to allow parents to set a maximum speed anywhere between 72 to 120 KM/h, which in turn will set a visual and audio chime in the car if exceeded.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXsgcP2dexE

Other safety features includes the car radio being disabled until the seatbelts are buckled and smartphones connected to the car’s stereo system set on ‘do not disturb’ mode. The new technology could be a step forward in the right direction, but many seem to believe that the best safety precaution is just teaching proper driving skills.

“We do think we need to know the skills before you start relying a bit more on the technology,” says Ian Jack of the Canadian Automobile Association.

US statistics reveal that crash fatalities of 16 to 19 year-old is three times the rate compared to drivers of age 20 or over. The new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu model will debt at the New York Auto Show in April and is expected to hit the market by the end of this year.

Thank you CTV News for providing us with this information

Innovative New Folding Bike Helmet Set For Launch This Spring

Closca has announced its new Fuga helmet that folds down into a smaller size for easy storage. The helmet is made of three shell parts that can collapse down and still remain safe when worn as a helmet.

Closca has stated that the new Fuga helmet has already passed certification testing in Europe, Canada, and the US. The helmet is made up of polystyrene and polycarbonate which are common in bike helmets. The innovative new design of the Fuga has won the Red Dot Design Award 2015. Another feature that you don’t see every day in helmets is that this one is NFC connected, though it is not clear on the specifics of that. The helmet is available for pre-order for $75 and will ship later this spring.

Volvo Takes a Left for Bicycle Safety

Volvo, long known for being at the forefront of automotive safety has focused its attention on bicycle safety. The Swedish auto company teamed up with Albedo100 and UK design firm Grey London to create temporary spray paint that is only visible at night.

Managing director at Volvo Car UK, Nick Connor said “Every year more than 19,000 cyclists are injured on the UK’s roads. At Volvo, we believe that the best way to survive a crash is not to crash, and are committed to making the roads a safer place by reducing the number of accidents. Volvo is a world-leader in safety technology, and we are proud to be extending our reach beyond just those driving our cars. By making cyclists increasingly visible as well as increasing the safety capabilities of our cars, we are doing our utmost to protect everyone on the road.”

The water-based LifePaint reflective safety spray can be applied to clothes, helmets. shoes, backpacks, and other items like dog leashes.  The spray is a washable material that lasts about 10 days, so it is not technically a paint.  The safety spray is not visible in the daylight, but at night when it catches the glare of headlights it glows bright white. Unfortunately the spray is only available in six cycling shops in Kent and London, though if it does well, Volvo will sell the spray on a global scale.

Source: The Verge

CarVi to Bring Safety and Smart Features to Any Car

Car safety has come a very long way and modern cars provide all sorts of assistant features that help to keep us and everyone around us safe. As great as that is, older cars lack these features and getting a brand new car just isn’t an option for most people.

So what if you could add that feature to your old car? Or any car for that matter – and even take it with you when you replace the vehicle with a new one, wouldn’t that be great?

A new Indiegogo campaign has launched for just that, and it is called the CarVi. The CarVi has been in the process for quite some time and as such a working project. What’s missing is funding to get the production started and the product into the wild. And that’s what fundraising pages are made for,

The CarVi is very simple, you just mount the tiny device in your windshield and drive a little while to calibrate it. In itself it has a camera built in and then works in conjunction with your Android or iPhone smartphone – using features and sensors from both units to create the best experience.

The CarVi can help you stay in the lane, warn about other drivers switching lane unexpectedly to create possible dangerous situations, front collision danger from driving too close, and a lot more. It can also just be worked as an ordinary dash- cam.

The Indiegogo campaign is currently up to almost 50.000 of the $100.000 pledge goal. There are various levels of pledges available including some early bird offers where you can get the CarVi for $274 plus shipping. Once the early bird specials are gone, the pledge price will rise to $299.

Thanks to Indiegogo for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of CarVi

BMW Car Can’t Crash at Low Speeds

BMW has been showing off its latest and greatest tech at CES, including this – a car that cannot crash at low speeds. Now you might think that at low speeds what’s the point of a car not being able to crash – surely it’s more important at higher speeds? Well this is more about parking and preventing annoying dings and dents.

The car utilises a number of sensors to prevent any collisions around the entire circumference of the vehicle, stopping it just inches away from any obstacle. That thing about inches is good too, since you don’t exactly want to be stopping every 5 seconds when you’re trying to park.

But really it’s not just about dings and dents; this will prove very valuable in the safety of young children, who could be hard to spot when walking behind a moving a vehicle. The car can also park itself – something becoming increasingly common these days, but this one can do it via a smartwatch!

The Verge has produced this really great video showing some of the car’s features.

Source: The Verge

New Traffic Lights Let You Play Pong

Meet the ActiWait, the new product behind an Indiegogo campaign that promises to let you play Pong while waiting to cross the road.

The concept is the result of work by 3 German design students that replaces the usual buttons and ‘WAIT’ sign with a touchscreen display that lets you play a unique version of Pong, allowing you to compete with your fellow pedestrian on the opposite side of the street.

The idea may just seem like a fun time waster, but the designers believe it could bring some real benefits. They say it could increase safety by reducing the phenomena of jaywalking – getting people off their phones and concentrated on the road (the ActiWait ends the game and flashes green when it’s safe to cross). They also say that the screens could be used for other applications like public surveys, speed dating, navigation and road safety education for kids.

While one setup has been installed in Hildesheim, Germany since 2012, the designers say they need €35,000 to get the ActiWait into more towns and cities. You can contribute here.

Source: Gizmodo

New Patent Application Reveals Smoke Detectors Could be Included in Apple Devices

Patently Apple has drawn attention to an interesting new patent application from Apple that could see smoke detectors included in Apple devices.

The patent reveals that Apple’s Macs, iPhones iPads and even watches could detect smoke and send an alert to the emergency services, activate sprinklers or even locate the occupants of a burning building.

“Apple states that in the future, an electronic device such as an iPhone, iPad, Mac computer or other electronic equipment may include a smoke detector. The electronic device may use the smoke detector to monitor for the presence of smoke. In response to detecting smoke with the smoke detector, the electronic device may issue an alert or take other suitable action.”

It would certainly be interesting to see this concept become a reality – it could go some way to protect people from fires.

Source: Patently Apple

December Sees 4G Mobile Vehicle Networking Products Released

Finally, we are one step closer to Knightrider’s sidekick car ‘KITT‘ becoming a real-life thing! Shenzhen’s mobile 4G network construction has doubled in recent times and will be reportedly being utilized in motor vehicles as soon as December, 2014.

According to a report on November the 16th, Tencent Technology claim that later this month China Mobile will launch a 4G network based within motor vehicles (cars), allowing for advanced development of car networking and various other tasks. This technology will allow the car to place internet, entertainment, navigation, security, rescue, diagnostics and other functions all into one package. It will also provide users the ability to monitor fault checking and real-time remote viewing through their mobile devices – alongside applications for anti-theft and location methods.

Some other useful features on offer include mobile electronic central locking, cargo monitoring, route planning, yaw management and pet monitoring services.

The first 4G licenses were issued by the Ministry of Industry Operations to China Mobile earlier this year in April under the titles of “4G Utility Vehicle Machine”, “Travel Guardian” and “Bus Steward”. All of these were debut at the 2014 Bejing International Automotive Exhibition.

Shenzen Mobile has reportedly opened the first 10,000 4G base stations, citing Shenzhen as the forefront of China’s 4G technology. Shenzhen has now been provided with 4G coverage density as seen similarly in many major western nation cities. Why the upgrade from the commonly offered 3G? 4G technology offers up to 218 M/second transfer speeds, allowing for advanced applications such as what you’ve been reading above.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

Apple increasing iCloud Security in light of Celebrity Scandal

An ever-developing story, not long ago many celebrities have had nude photos and videos leaked all over the internet (see above), originating from popular image board website 4chan alongside self proclaimed “front page of the internet” Reddit. Since the release of this information, Apple has claimed there was no ‘leak’ in their service  and authorities were excited in the fact they thought they found the original crook.

In recent news, Apple has decided to up their iCloud security in light of recent problems as according to CEO Tim Cook and The Wall Street Journal. Cook confirmed in this article the fact of photos being leaked due to ‘social engineering’, meaning the stars usernames and passwords were directly targetted.

Cook directly commented:

“Apple will alert users via email and push notifications when someone tries to change an account password, restore iCloud data to a new device, or when a device logs into an account for the first time”. WSJ

The change is set for implementation in two weeks, alongside a broadening of their two-factor authentication -alongside encouraging people to actually use these measures.

Are your accounts safe? It never hurts to educate yourself or others on basic internet securities – especially with so much of our data being ‘online’ in this day and age.

Image courtesy of 4chan

PAPAGO! P2 Pro Dashcam Review

Introduction


The usage of dash cams hasn’t boomed yet. It’s still some what in its infancy. There are many different versions that can be found on retailers like Amazon or Ebay that are really cheap and don’t really provide the necessary quality and feature sets to really make them relevant. But that’s about to change. Let me introduce you to Papago!.

Papago! has been in the GPS industry for over a decade. With all of the experience they’ve gained they have built a very strong following in countries like Taiwan, China, Russia, South East Asia, Japan, and Australia. And with their recent expansion into the United States they’re not only looking to follow others to bring another novelty dash cam into the market, they’re looking to dominate it.

Pulled directly from their website, “PAPAGO! Inc. has devoted itself to offering better services and driving technology for every consumer”. So let’s see how well they live up to that devotion.

Papago! was gracious enough to send us their P2 Pro Dash Cam. As you can see from the images below, the packaging is very simple and clean. No fancy marketing graphics. Just straight to the point.

Once the box is ripped open you can see that it includes the user manual, adjustable windshield mount, screws to secure the dash cam, power cable, and of course the dash cam itself.

Netgear VueZone VZSX2800 Wireless Surveillance Camera Kit Review

Introduction


If I was to go out onto the street and ask people what they thought surveillance was, I’d imagine a high percentage of those asked would answer with CCTV or constant video recordings for security. Now for the most part, this is what surveillance is however there are other applications for remote cameras, where the surveillance is not necessarily for security. Take lorries and HGV’s for example, most of them today have a surveillance system built into the cab with a camera situated on the rear of the vehicle so that the driver can easily see what is behind him, whilst in other situations, cameras are used for monitoring wildlife and animals to save them from the disruption of a person being present in the area.

Another area of use for remote cameras could be for monitoring a baby or young child in their bedroom once they have gone up to bed. Baby monitors are a highly popular product with today’s generation of parents with new borns and infants, with the piece of mind factor there for users to see that their child is safe and well. Now whilst there are dozens of applications for cameras and monitoring applications, the biggest use for them is we all know in today’s world is security. With dozens of different types of cameras and numerous environments that they are built to work in, choosing a product that is suited for your needs and user level is a somewhat daunting task and consequently home security is a rather empty market in respect to commercial use.

Netgear’s VueZone camera system that I’m looking at today is designed specifically for the consumer market. With such a wide variety of situations where cameras could be of an assistance, the totally wire-free system and the ability to record in low light conditions makes this system ideal for the home user, where the speed of installation and simplicity to operate and maintain is far more important than what it is at the commercial level.

Packed into the box, Netgear have packed in a lot of kit and alongside the key components that the system needs to operate, the VZSX2800 bundle has two cameras, one of which is able to record video at night though the use if an infra-red light. Besides the cameras we get four semi-circular magnetic mounts for the two cameras (to allow quick and simple changes in areas covered), screws and rawlplugs for fitting the camera mounts and infra-red lamp where necessary and a quick setup guide to get you up and running in no time. Netgear quote that this system should take no time at all to get setup and running, so let’s have a look and see if things are just as simple as they say they are.

Sony Resets User Passwords Following Irregular Network Activity

A number of times in the news we have seen reports that Sony’s Playstation Network (PSN) security has been compromised and as a result the user names and passwords of many users, along with their personal information has been illegally accessed. Sadly it looks like the same thing may have happened yet again, but it seems that Sony may have shut the door on anything happening this time round.

Following Sony Europe’s move earlier this week to reset a large number of passwords as part of a ‘precautionary measure’, Sony’s America team has followed suit as they pick up activity on their network that doesn’t follow the usual pattern. Thankfully for the small number of users that have been affected, Sony may have got there just in time, but as always we will recommend that you keep your password safe, making sure that it is changed on a regular basis, but most of all – don’t make it easy to guess. Capitals and numbers mixed in will help to keep your account that bit more secure.

In order to keep a number of users from panicking that they cannot reset their password, a spokesperson for Sony stated:  “Note that if you have access to the email address and Date of Birth associated with the account, you will be able to reset it yourself. If you are missing one or both of those, then you will need to contact us for further assistance.”

Kotaku pushed Sony for a statement regarding the activity; Sony replied “We routinely monitor for irregular activity, and if such activity is detected, we may sometimes reset passwords of affected SEN accounts as a precautionary measure to protect consumers and their account information.”

Whilst Sony may have caught out any potential intruders, it looks like there are still a few creases within their security measures that need to be ironed out to yet again prevent anything like this happening again.

Source: Kotaku.com

Hövding AirBag Helmet, Stylish Yet Extremely Effective

It is always recommended that you wear a bicycle helmet, though many of us do not wear our helmets because they are uncomfortable, every time we go for a ride we put ourselves at risk that can have deadly consequences. It is important that we protect our head, Hövding knows this so they have tested and manufactured a new product that will protect our brain if we were to have an accident while riding a bicycle.

Hövding has been working since 2005 to set “a new standard in Swedish safety”, creating an “Airbag for cyclists”. The company name is also the name of this revolutionary airbag for your skull. At first glance, you wouldn’t notice that this device would be able to save someone’s brain, it is a simple collar that you fit around your neck, though they have come upwith some cool patterns, which are changeable to keep it looking bland.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GugsCdLHm-Q[/youtube]

Some facts, the Hövding are possibly the safest bicycle helmet that you could wear, and it is not even a helmet! This device complies with the requirements for a cycle helmet given by the EU Directive on Personal Protective Equipment. Providing more than three times better shock absorption of any other helmet they have tested.

The Hövding has censors that monitor the cyclists movements when it is turned on, and is able to tell if it needs to be inflated and inflate protecting the user in a tenth of a second, protecting the users skull and brain from a harmful impact.

Though I don’t feel that you can really put a price on safety, if you want to use the Hövding, you will be paying a pricetag of around 399 Euros! If you need to be stylish while you are riding your bicycle then maybe this is the device for you.

If you’re interested in learning more about Hövding, make sure you check out their website, Hovding.com