‘Overclocking’ Solid State Drives & 3D Faxing

Intel is working on solid state drives you can, in effect, overclock. They will be user configurable as far as the amount of the drive used for data compression. This will appeal more to so-called ‘power users’ and gamers, but if you’ve ever been running short of space and needed more for something…and that’s a lot of us…you’ll appreciate this.

In a push to attract more people to its cloud service and cloud Office Suite, Microsoft is increasing the storage. Everyone using Exchange Online and Office 365 will now get double the storage at 50 gigs. MS has already expanded it’s storage allotments for others using their services.

With all the buzz about 3D printing, it was inevitable…a company called AIO Robotics is getting set to make a 3D printer AND fax machine. Yes, an all-in-one 3D machine…no office or home will want to be without one? Let’s just hope this doesn’t revive the faxing your anatomy craze! If you leave for a better job, I can about guarantee your old boss really isn’t going to want to receive a 3D impression of your rear end!


Amazon’s Plan to Get More Apps, & Apple Patents Smart Home Control

Amazon is really working to get developers to build apps for them. They are letting them build purchases into apps. A sports app might let users buy sports equipment with One Click right in the app…the developer gets a cut.

Apple has patented a ‘smart home’ remote control that runs on iPhones. It can connect to multiple A/V components, as well as “smart home” devices like lights and window shades, via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

We all get nagged constantly to make strong passwords, and change them, but here’s another reason: a version of Hashcat is out that can crack 55 character passwords. In some cases, it can break up to a 65 character string. When does that fingerprint reader come out?


Ads on Tablets Memorable & Google Will Sell Glass at Retail

To the delight of advertisers..but maybe not quite so thrilling to users…people recall ads better when they view them on tablets than other screens, including TVs. This from a study from IPG Media Lab.

Your next smartphone may be full of wax. Researchers at University of Michigan have found chips covered with a mesh of wax can run faster and longer. The wax absorbs heat from the chips, keeping them cooler. Your phone will be waxing, not waning!

Google may start selling GoogleGlass next year through normal retail channels, and not just on the web. One analyst says Google is leasing 6,000 square feet inside every Best Buy store. Apple has their Genius Bars, will Google have Maven Corners?


GM Wireless Phone Charging in Cars & Google Location Security

If you’ve hunted for that charging cord in your car, General Motors may be bringing out just what you need. GM is going to start offering wireless charging for smartphones in some cars next year. The real question is why didn’t someone do this a couple of years ago?

Apple has filed a patent for a system for you to check another user’s iPhone status….whether they’re available to talk or not before you try to call…it’s much like the “away” feature of IM clients. At least you’ll know that people aren’t going to answer before you go to the trouble of trying to call! Of course, there are those people we all know that NEVER answer a call or text anyway!

Google is working on location dependent security for your phone…it would relax security if you’re at home, and lock things down tighter in public…it works using the location services already in smartphones. You could also relax security for a second area…like work. It’s a simpler, and perhaps more elegant way to protect the security of your phone…Apple’s sapphire fingerprint reader button notwithstanding!


Google Glass Will sell What You Look At, and TiVo Launches New Boxes

You have to give Google credit for creativity…there’s an unique patent from Google…which has promised no ads with GoogleGlass. The WILL sell your pay per gaze…Google will sell how many times, and how long you look at branded content! Sneaky!

TiVo has a new set of boxes with the moniker Roamio that will record 6 shows at once and will have wifi (finally.) Amazingly, previous TiVo boxes didn’t have wifi…you had to drop an additional 90 bucks for an adapter for that. The two top models, the Plus and the Pro, will also send shows to your mobile devices that are on the same network. The prices range from $200-$600 depending on memory and features. The $600 Pro will hold 450 hours of HD content.

Apple has patented a way to control your devices with 3D gestures…by just moving your hand or fingers above the screen. This could be great for working with a CAD program where you need to design and tweak 3D objects. You will probably need to wear those horrible 3D glasses to use that feature, however.

With all the tablets and phablets going mini, Samsung is trying to expand the other way, too. They are planning to drop a massive 12 inch screen tablet in October as part of the Galaxy Note family. It will reportedly have an LCD display with better than HD resolution.


Samsung Watch Phone, & Google Encrypting Your Cloud Data

Samsung is reportedly going to introduce a smart watch called Galaxy Gear next month. It will make calls, handle email, and surf the web. It’s due to be unveiled September 4th, stealing some thunder from Apple’s iPhone 5S introduction on the 10th.

KGI securities…usually well connected and reliable on matters Apple…is saying the new iPhone 5S will not only offer a gold tone color in addition to black and white (really more of a silver), it will be available with a generous 128 gigs of memory and a better camera aperture.

If you use Google’s Cloud Storage, you should know that Google will encrypt its Cloud Storage by default. The user can choose to hold the keys or let Google do it. It’s free, uses the same level of security as Google itself uses, and old data will be encrypted in the next few months. For those feeling particularly insecure about having sensitive data stored online, this will offer a level of reassurance.


Smartphones Pass Dumbphones, a REALLY Dumb Phone, & More

Here in the US, and especially the Bay Area, it seems everyone has a smartphone. There’s a Gartner study showing that smartphones just passed up dumb phones in the second quarter of this year. 79% run Android.

Hard to believe, but bgr.com says Samsung is still working on a folding phone…remember those? Pictures have leaked out of the Galaxy Folder. It has duel LOW resolution displays. Really?

The Google Play Store is up 67% the last 6 months, compared to a 15% bump at Apple’s App Store. A lot of that growth is in Asia. Apple’s market is still much bigger, though.

If you like to shoot good pictures, be watching for an amazing add-on from Sony. It’s a 20 megapixel camera that attaches to your Android or iPhone, and is controlled by the phone over Bluetooth. It has a 10 power zoom, Carl Zeiss optics. It has an SD card slot, and wifi so you can export your pictures easily. They’re saying it will be out soon…no price range yet. No more schlepping the DSLR, but same picture quality? I’m in.


iPad Neck and Other Tech Stories You May Have Missed

This will come as no surprise, but all the cool mobile devices we now use bring their own set of ergonomic problems to the workplace…and office furnishings haven’t kept up. According to doctors at Cornell, there’s even a new syndrome…iPad Neck…from leaning over a flat iPad on your desktop…get a stand!

The founders of You Tube have rolled out a video app called Mix Bit with an unique feature you can mix a number of videos for up to 16 seconds. It’s free at the Apple App store. 16 seconds isn’t that long…most cartoons change music every 7 seconds, and they run about 7-8 minutes long! Short Attention Span Theatre is becoming more and more true every day!

Just as Microsoft is taking preorders for the X Box One, Amazon is working to launch its own Amazon branded, Android powered console by the end of the year. Games will be sold through the Amazon AppStore. Will hard core gamers go for it, if they can’t download and keep the games they buy? That may be the real question for both, and give Sony a leg up.

Another step towards going walletless…Paypal is running a trial in Britain using your profile picture and the Paypal app to shop at stores and cafes. You do have a PIN number for extra security. They hope to be in 2000 stores by the end of the year. No more hold on to your wallet, but whatever you do, hold the phone!


The Smartwatch Wars and An App for Those Embarrassing FB Pics

The smartwatch wars are apparently heating up…we’ve noted that Apple has trademarked iWatch in an number of countries, and now techcrunch.com has discovered that Samsung has filed for Galaxy Gear for watches, wristbands, and bangles. Will they be self-contained or talk to your smartphone…and what about battery life? Mashable.com has a story about an app called secret dot li, which could save your bacon if you’re looking for a job or to switch jobs. It scrambles pixels on the photos you upload to Facebook except to friends you choose. You can also set it to delete those pics after a period of time. 9to5mac.com points to emerging markets and not the US as the real reason behind a cheaper, plastic iPhone. Apple’s smartphone has dropped to 7th place in China.


Digital Dash & Mobile Job Applications

The digital dashboard in cars…it’s not just coming from tech companies like Apple. Ford has their Sync AppLink, but GM’s been quiet up to now. Gigaom.com reports that GM is planning to turn their cars into virtual smartphones on wheels, not only with the normal apps and music, but even the car’s systems will be available to developers… It’s exposing a second set of APIs that give devs access to its telematics features — basically all of the vehicle data and remote access services provided by OnStar today.

At techcrunch.com, some good news for job seekers. Linkedin.com is going to allow job seekers to apply for jobs directly through their mobile apps. Applicants can use their LinkedIn Profie as a proxy resume. This will expand their usefulness (and stickiness.) Monster and Careerbuilder have already had this function.

Those super secure electronic locks for your house? Uh, not so much. Wired.com has a story that reports there are millions of Kwikset electronic locks that are hackable. The locks had been certified Grade 1 secure by Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association and are advertised by Kwikset as being invulnerable to being hacked with wires, screwdrivers, or anything else inserted in the keyway. Two lock hackers at DefCon showed that this isn’t the case…and also hacked high security locks like the White House has. The good old key might be your best bet.