Monthly news review


This post reviews news in the month that has passed. Comment below to leave your opinion.

$150 Smartphone spectrometer can tell the number of calories in your food

Not a day goes by without a new accessory for Smartphone being unveiled. We now have accessories for everything from health to payments. A miniature spectrometer is however something unheard of, especially one backed by a cloud service that learns from every scan. One step closer to the tricorder. Awesome.

The perfect iOS email app finally exists

Accompli is being touted as a better (nay perfect) e-mail app. Like Outlook, it has mail, calendar and contacts, all working seamlessly. The attachments view is fantastic to quickly find and send attachments. There are a few rough edges, which is to be expected in a freshly baked app.

HTML5 apps can be just as speedy as native apps with the new Famo.us Javascript framework

The Famo.us open source framework is tackling performance of mobile browsers as a platform problem aka HTML5 head-on. Currently, their site is invite-only, which I received a couple of days back. I’ve been through their demos using Chrome for Desktop and iOS and they are stellar.

Car-hacking: A New Fear For Drivers of Tech-Loaded Vehicles

As our cars get more tech savvy and connected, they’ll be more prone to the same kinds of vulnerabilities that affect other computing devices. While you are still driving around in your old(ish) car you can still do some neat things this month: use CarPlay if you have the right system from Pioneer, control your Smartphone hands-free using Bluetooth LE, evaluate your driving performance, and get haptic feedback to avoid running into trouble. The latter is rather ambitious.

Massive Security Bug In OpenSSL Could Affect A Huge Chunk Of The Internet

I hope you have heard of this flaw already. Otherwise, stop whatever you’re doing, update your computer systems, review what your service providers have done about it, and change your passwords on compromised services. It is serious and needs immediate action. The sad thing is that the flaw has been known to some for a while.

Now, when did our governments decide they could spy on us without using the legal system? Brazil has taken the first steps to prevent that kind of thing from happening by passing an Internet Bill of Rights (text in Portuguese).

Amazon unveils Fire TV

Amazon has taken a leap over Apple’s hobby by creating a device for its Prime subscribers. It also looks like a nice low-end game console, no console (pun intended) there for Nintendo and others. If I were Nintendo, I would stop making consoles (sold at cost) and make money on mobile games. Amazon has also subtly changed their branding by not calling it Kindle Fire TV.

Microsoft Launches .NET Foundation

Microsoft is recognizing the fact that the .NET community is keen on using C# everywhere. A C# programmer can now target several platforms thanks to Xamarin. Reuse is the keyword that comes to mind when thinking of .NET these days. It used to be so with Java, and thanks to Google and Android it still is (somewhat). Oracle, though, wants to litigate instead of fanning the embers.

In related news, Microsoft has also announced that Windows for the internet of things will be free. That includes all devices with screen size under 9 inches. And, PC users can now update Windows 8.1. Slowly and steadily Microsoft has made Windows 8 more PC-user friendly.

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