Category: Technology

MondlyAR Brings Language Learning to Your Living Room

The new AR experience, which was launched in collaboration with Google, combines augmented reality, voice chatbot technology, and speech recognition to bring language instruction to you, wherever you are. [dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#1131d2″ ]A while ago…

7 reasons why a tablet beats a laptop | The Online Mom

If you are thinking about buying a tablet computer, then you should probably compare it to the productivity and convenience you get from a laptop. After all, your tablet is unlikely to replace your smartphone and it would be great if you could carry one less device, not one more. If people decide to stick with their laptops rather than take the tablet plunge, it’s usually because of the availability of more sophisticated office applications and a perception that laptops provide more processing power. However, newer tablets have made dramatic advances in both these areas, and many people are now choosing the more mobile devices for their everyday business needs. But there are several other reasons why it makes sense to choose a tablet over a laptop. Here are just a few that spring to mind: Take the weight off I have spent years carting around my six pound laptop and have the lower back pain to prove it. Even Ultrabooks weigh-in at an inconvenient 3.5 pounds or more. Most tablets come in under 1.5 pounds, with 7-inch tablets weighing half as much again. Once you own a tablet, you will take it everywhere – starting with the bedroom to read a book or watch a movie! No more burning I don’t know about you, but I am constantly worried about the heat that laptops give off, whether they are resting on my own lap or on my kids’. The different style processors and lower power requirements of tablets mean much less heat, and whatever heat that tablets do produce is easily dissipated through the screen and shell. And less heat means no fan. Cooler and quieter – I’ll take that! Longer battery life If you are taking your laptop anywhere for any length of time, then you will […]

Fingerprint Biometrics – Is It Really More Secure?

fingerprint-scanner Apple is clearly very pleased with the iPhone 5S and although its new biometric security system TouchID seems like a neat feature at first glance, the use of biometric data for security isn’t necessarily a good idea. The problem with fingerprint scanners is that they aren’t as secure as you might think, it raises some interesting privacy issues but worst of all once your biometric information has been compromised you can’t change it. In terms of security, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has already shown that Apple’s TouchID can be tricked using easy everyday means. Although we are only talking about a $600 smartphone and there are easier crimes to commit than trying to lift someone’s fingerprints just so you can access their phone, the weaknesses in fingerprint scanning are applicable to every situation where they are used including on identity documents (like passports) or scanners at supermarkets. In 2007 the CCC demonstrated how to  trick a fingerprint scanner at a supermarket resulting in a shopping bill being charged to someone else’s account. In 2008 the group included thin film copies of the fingerprints of the then German Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble in its club magazine. The CCC’s webpage on how to fake fingerprints was uploaded in 2004, nearly a decade ago and the techniques described remain valid today. You can easily be forced to unlock your phone against your will. Forcing you to give up your passcode is much harder under most jurisdictions than just casually swiping your phone over your handcuffed hands – the Chaos Computer Club. There are also serious privacy questions around the use of biometric data. A senior US senator has written to Apple asking the Cupertino tech giant how the fingerprint data is encrypted on an iPhone 5S, whether any diagnostic data is ever […]

Six Revisions: A Complete Guide to VPS Hosting

Tweet Mar 30 2010 by Blue Derkin | 73 Comments A Comprehensive Guide to VPS Hosting Web hosting is a tricky business – there are a wide variety of options out there designed to fit a wide range of needs, but like with most things, there are trade-offs. Shared hosting is usually cheap and easy, but the resources are limited. Dedicated servers are powerful and customizable, but a certain level of technical knowledge can be required to run them, depending on the hosting company you choose. What happens, then, when your site is too big and gets too much traffic for a shared hosting plan, but doesn’t require the resources (or expenditure) of a dedicated server? If you find yourself asking these questions, then you should look into VPS hosting. Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is a flexible, scalable, and economical hosting solution that can fit the needs of almost any kind of website. It’s a perfect solution for those who have outgrown their shared hosting plans but don’t really need to move to a dedicated server. One thing to note before we dive in to examining the features and benefits of a VPS –  the specs on a VPS vary widely from host to host. To see if a certain host offers a certain feature, make sure to ask the provider. So What IS VPS, Anyway? In answering this question, maybe it’s better to examine how VPS hosting fits in to the overall offerings of most hosting companies. Shared hosting is just that – your site is hosted on a machine with a bunch of other sites, and each of you share the same resources, including RAM, disk space, and CPU.  Your site uses what it needs if it’s available, and if it’s not – well, that’s the […]

Android Police: Galaxy Note 3 Deep-Dive Review

You’ve been warned: the Galaxy Note II was probably my favorite smartphone of 2012, and it looks like its successor, the Note 3, is stealing my heart all over again. With big hardware improvements across the board, as well as substantial additions to software, the Note 3 feels like a true next-generation sort of phone. Samsung has rather effectively ruined every other large-screen device for me, and frankly, probably every other phone released this year. The thing I’ve come to like about the Note phones is their no-compromise approach to the big phone concept. Some large devices will sacrifice on the camera, the quality of the display, the processor, or practical ergonomics (*cough* Z Ultra *cough*) in order to meet a price or size target. Samsung, however, seems dead set on making the Note 3 the very best phone it can possibly be, period. And it’s not just about specifications – anyone can have those. It’s about putting them to good use. While I will be among the first in line to call out some of Samsung’s superfluous software gimmicks, there’s little denying they’ve developed features that have legitimate uses, and that their phones have a degree of functional versatility that remains unmatched by any of their competitors. With the Note 3, Samsung does add a little to the pile of toggles and overflow menus, but it has also refined and honed many parts of TouchWiz NatureUX 2.0 (yep, that’s the name), including some Note-specific features that may be worth a second look. And while NUX still won’t be winning any beauty contests, it still does focus on providing in-built functionality stock Android lacks. wm_IMG_6894 The Note 3 is, to me, is Samsung’s way of saying “here’s what we can do.” It’s the phone that, in my opinion, every […]