Newsweek magazine makes a splashy return on paper with a cover story claiming to have found the father of Bitcoin. In his Tech Term of the Week, El Kaiser explains doxxing and why Internet denizens are so ticked off at the weekly news magazine. The computer mouse has been with us for half a century and J.D. explains why it may stick around for awhile longer. In the news Google dives into wearable computing; Apple releases an 8-gigabyte version of the iPhone 5C — but not in the United States; the Windows XP Death Watch continues; The Big Bang Theory may have been proven; and say hello to robot fish.
Your eyes are not enough for Google. This week, the Big G announced Android Wear, a version of the mobile operating system for smartwatches and other gadgets strapped to other parts of the body. The first Android Wear watches and monitors will arrive later this year but there’s a developer’s preview out now for anybody who want to sling some wearable code. (Speaking of potential gym gear, the 9to5Mac site has an update on what it says is Apple’s new Healthbook software for fitness tracking.) Oh, and Google and Viacom have finally settled a seven-year marathon of litigation.
Apple, perhaps in a move to get some of the international smartphone market back from Google and Android, released at 8-gigabyte version of its colorful iPhone 5C model this week in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and China. Oh, if anybody cares, Mac rumor sites are reporting that Microsoft is preparing the official Office for the iPad for its public debut next week at a media event on March 27th. And in other Apple news, the company has finally retired the iPad 2 from March 2011 as the entry-level option for its full-size iPad line; the iPad 2 is succeeded by the fourth-generation iPad with Retina display that was first released in October 2012.
Speaking of old things, the Windows XP Death Watch continues to spiral downward to the April 8th deadline, when Microsoft says it’s seriously, totes mcgoats for real pulling the support plug this time. The Washington Post reports that hundreds of thousands of US government computers are running behind on their upgrades from Windows XP to a safer, secure and actually still supported operating system. Also missing some upgrade deadlines? Banks around the world, many of which didn’t make their deadlines for upgrading their ATMs.
Way to go, banks!
Some people are cutting the cord and ditching those pricy cable packages. According to the Leichtman Research Group, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other providers lost 1.1 million customers in 2013. Broadband subscriptions, however, are up for many cable providers.
The Big Bang Theory (no, not the TV show), that the scientific notion about the expansion of the universe, may have been proven. New research suggests that astronomers have found the first direct evidence of the cosmic inflation. An experiment at the South Pole led by John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced it had detected ripples from gravitational waves created in a violent inflationary event at the dawn of time. And while we’re out in space, it you haven’t caught the first few episodes of Cosmos: A Spacetime Adventure hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, you can check ’em out online with the Fox Now app or Fox on Demand service. (Also in your favorite app store: the official NCAA Basketball Tournament app. Yes, it’s March Madness once again.
And finally: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced advances in soft robotics. The school has released a video and details on its new robot fish that’s capable of rapid body motion and can quickly change direction when needed, just like a real fish. And the Cubestormer 3, a Lego robot powered by a Samsung Galaxy S4, solved the Rubik’s Cube in 3.253 seconds, which scored it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. We look forward to the eventual Guinness record for fastest Rubik’s Cube solution by a robot fish. Any day now.
J.D. fills us in on apps to get you through the madness of March basketball and Pedro calls Shenanigans on on ICANN. In the news, cyber-attacks top the threat list in Washington; updates from SxSW; Marvel Comics expand their online and mobile offerings; and Tivo gets into the miniaturization game.
The month of March is halfway over, and for college basketball fans, the insanity really begins. Yes, we speak of March Madness, the NCAA college basketball tourney. Both women and men’s teams participate in a winner-take-all contest that starts with 64 or 68 schools and comes down to one national winner. Selection Sunday, when the teams are picked for the tournament, looms this weekend. And then, the games begin.
For those who can’t bear to miss a minute of the action of the men’s tournament (even when away from the actual television set), there’s the NCAA March Madness Live app for Android and iOS. The app, due out within the next week, features game live video and audio, real-time scoring updates, dynamic brackets, stats and social media for the serious fan. The NCAA also has Android and iOS apps in the wings for both the men’s and women’s Final Four, and a mobile site for people who want tournament news but don’t have an Android handset or iPhone.
If tracking your brackets brings you great joy, check out the ESPN Bracket Bound 2013 app for Android or iOS. Designed for the men’s tourney, you can create up to 10 brackets to compete against family and friends. The app also provides scores, news and highlights as the tournament progresses, and pulls in Twitter streams devoted to team discussions.
For more personalized news about your favorite team, check your app store for official (or unofficial) software from your alma mater or university of choice; several third-party bracket apps are also available for most platforms.
And if college basketball isn’t your thing, enjoy a geekier form of March madness: new episodes of Doctor Who start arriving on March 30.