Beyond Fingerprint IDs & Crowdsourcing Earthquake Data

The new iPhone 5S is barely in the hands of users, and some are saying fingerprint tech is dead. While it’s been used for years for high security, a company called Eye Lock has developed a consumer version of iris recognition technology. 

We’re always looking for ways to recharge our mobile devices. Scientists at the University of Tokyo have developed a gadget to recycle the energy from your microwave to charge your phone! Since we don’t run microwaves all the time, they’re working on a way to store the juice to transfer to your phone.

Earthquakes are a fact of life in places like the Bay Area. Some scientists and engineers want to harness the accelerometers in smartphones to track seismic activity. Basically, they want to crowdsource quake data. They were inspired by Stanford’s Quake Catcher Network. The next step is writing software that enhances the sensitivity of the accelerometers.


Netflix Super HD & Ford CEO to Microsoft?

Watching Netflix is going to get even better…they are making their Super HD movies available to all members. Also, if you’re so inclined, 3D titles will be available. Have your headache-inducing glasses handy!

He left Boeing and turned around Ford, and word is buzzing around financial markets that Alan Mulally has the inside track to be the next CEO of Microsoft. Can he work magic again in Redmond?

Burner, the disposable phone number app that daters using craigslist and people sneaking around in down-low relationships, has raked in over 2 million in new backing. Look for new features and an all new iOS 7 app. The numbers cost a few bucks, but protecting yourself from potential stalkers….priceless!

Google Remote Lockdown & FDA Steers Clear of Most Apps

On the heels of Apple’s beefed up security, Google has added remote lockdown to join tracking and remote wipe in Android Device Manager. It runs on version 2.2 and above.

Fully 20% of Americans can’t access Facebook at work. Their employers block the popular social network. Only a small percentage of firms do this for actual security reasons. So much for marketing on the world’s largest social network!

The FDA has issued updated rules for medical devices, finding that MOST smartphone health monitoring apps don’t need government oversight. They will focus on apps and add-ons that present a clear risk to patients if they malfunction.

Self-Driving Teslas and Chips That Run On Light

Elon Musk is hard at work on a self driving Tesla electric car. They hope to have them rolling off the assembly line in Fremont by 2016!

Morgan Stanley is expecting iPhone sales to grow 28% year over year 4th quarter. That’s a pretty substantial bump considering that Wall Street doesn’t think the iPhone 5c is ‘cheap enough.’

Shades of Star Trek or Star Wars…engineers at MIT are working on a computer chip made of high tech graphene that will run on light, not electricity, and are faster and cheaper to make than silicon! Graphene Valley just doesn’t have the same ring to it, though…another name may be in order at some point.

Microsoft Siri Clone & Fingerprint Sensor Alternative

Microsoft is working on a personal assistant like Siri in the Windows Phone 8.1 update. It’s called Cortana after a Halo character. The update will also include a notification center like Android and iOS.

Samsung is saying their next generation smartphones will be 64 bit like the new Apple iPhones. If they follow previous releases, it will be the Galaxy S5. A key question…as yet, not answered…will Android go 64 bit like the new iOS 7 to support it?

Blackberry is lobbying the Canadian government over their foreign takeover rule. A couple funds looked into Blackberry, but no Canadian company has stepped forward to buy the ailing smartphone maker. Lenovo and Microsoft are allegedly interested if the Canadian government will allow a foreign buyer.

For those who aren’t getting iPhone 5, are creeped put by the fingerprint sensor, or prefer other smartphones, some scientists at Illinois Institute of Technology are working on a program that calculates your taps and swipes, and identifies that it’s you. So far, it’s 99% accurate after any combination of 10 taps and swipes. No release date is set.

Speaking of your (in)security… an unnerving report for Android users…Google has the wifi password for every wifi you’ve ever logged into. It’s handy if you have to replace your phone, but if you don’t like the privacy intrusion, you can opt out in settings, and probably should.

Moto X Phone Grows & Inside Mapping App

It’s not remotely in iPhone or Samsung Galaxy territory, but Motorola’s new Moto X phone is now shipping 100,000 units a month from their US factory. It’s nice to see ANYTHING built here in the good ol’ US of A…and actually selling, too!

An app is out out at Disrupt SF2013 here in the City…it’s a 3D mapping app from Inside Maps that lets you map your home, then place virtual furniture to see where things fit. Very handy when you’re furniture shopping. I wish I had this a couple of weeks ago!

We didn’t see it yesterday with the iPhone extravaganza as rumored several weeks ago, but Apple will roll out an updated Apple TV on the 18th…the same day they will release iOS 7.

Apple Tops in Mobile Ads…& What’s Average for Downloading Apps

A report from Millennial Media for 2nd quarter has changed format from Top 20 phones to Top 20 devices. With the new method, Apple takes 3 of the top 4 slots ranked by ad impressions.

In addition to the new Galaxy Gear smart watch, Samsung will release the new Galaxy Note 3 on October 1st & 2nd. The giant smartphone will be $299 with contract.

A chart from shows that the average smartphone user downloads 25 apps. How do you fit in? I’m over 100…and that’s after deleting a few! Now, excuse me…there’s another app I apparently can’t live without waiting to be downloaded! Where’s Appaholics Anon?

GoogleGlass Store & Apple Set Top Boxes

Google is getting set for a GoogleGlass App  store. A Google spokesperson confirmed an early 2014 launch, but not if it will be separate or combined with the Play Store.

Apple has gotten a number of shipments the last few weeks marked ‘set top boxes with communication function.’ Could a new Apple TV product be ‘one more thing’ at their event next week?

The update just out of Google Authenticator (the two-factor authentication companion app that makes your Google account and services where you use it to login more secure) for iOS will wipe out your existing accounts like Dropbox & Evernote. You may want to hold off until they sort things out!