The Latest and Greatest in Technology News

Amazon Dash Is a Magic Wand That Makes Sure You Never Run Out of Stuff

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Amazon just unveiled Dash, a handheld Wi-Fi magic wand thingy that helps you keep your AmazonFresh shopping list forever up to date. Never run out of toilet paper or oatmeal again!

The handheld Dash device, about the size of a Nintendo Wii remote, packs a barcode scanner and a microphone, allowing you to scan or say what you’re running low on without having to leave your kitchen. READ MORE

The Ring Input Device Puts Gesture Control And Home Automation On Your Finger

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There was once a rumor that Apple would actually use a ring device for input to an Apple television. Neither of those gadgets exist yet, of course, but Ring is a Kickstarter project trying to fund a finger-based wearable that could enable the kind of controls envisioned in that Apple flight of fancy.

The Ring is a hardware device that resembles an ordinary (if slightly chunky) ring, filled with sensors and electronics to give it the ability to control devices and render input. It can enable gesture controls, of the kind you’d get with a Wii remote, for instance, as well as text input by drawing letters in the air, gesture-based authorization for finalizing payments, and transmit alerts from connected devices via a built-in vibration motor and onboard LED. READ MORE

Disney Researchers Create Algorithm to Bring 3D Textures to Touchscreen

Researchers at Disney have developed a new algorithm, which is capable of simulating 3D geometric features on touch screen surfaces and allow people to ‘feel’ the texture of the objects viewed on a touchscreen.

According to researchers at Disney’s research lab in Pittsburgh, the latest technique involves transferring small vibrations via the display that offers users a feel of shallow bumps, ridges and edges of an object. READ MORE

Now that’s fresh – Amazon plans major move into grocery business

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc is planning a major roll-out of an online grocery business that it has been quietly developing for years, targeting one of the largest retail sectors yet to be upended by e-commerce, according to two people familiar with the situation.

The company has been testing AmazonFresh in its hometown of Seattle for at least five years, delivering fresh produce such as eggs, strawberries and meat with its own fleet of trucks.

Amazon is now planning to expand its grocery business outside Seattle for the first time, starting with Los Angeles as early as this week and the San Francisco Bay Area later this year, according to the two people who were not authorized to speak publicly.

If those new locations go well, the company may launch AmazonFresh in 20 other urban areas in 2014, including some outside the United States, said one of the people. READ MORE

She’s going for speed – Teen’s science project could charge phones in 20 seconds

My high school science project looked at how row covers could help plants grow in cold weather. Not a bad idea, but not nearly as cool as high school student Eesha Khare’s science project, the creation of a supercapacitor that could potentially be used to fully charge a cell phone within 20 to 30 seconds.

Khare, an 18-year-old from California, won the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and $50,000 for her participation in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair run by the Society for Science & the Public. Think of it as the world’s largest science fair. Khare took home one of the top prizes for “a tiny device that fits inside cell phone batteries, allowing them to fully charge within 20-30 seconds.” READ MORE

Anything is Possible, Never Say Never: The 18 Most Ridiculous Startup Ideas That Eventually Became Successful

Even the most well-known venture capitalists have startups they regret passing on.  For John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins, it was Twitter. For Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, it was Airbnb, the home-rental website that’s now worth an estimated $2.5 billion.

“We made the classic mistake that all investors make,” Wilson recalled in a blog post lamenting the blunder. “We focused too much on what they were doing at the time and not enough on what they could do, would do, and did do.”

It’s hard to blame him. After all, a lot of successful companies sounded stupid when they first launched — see: Rap Genius — and the vast majority of new businesses flop, sometimes leaving investors with heavy losses.

But before you write off a fledgling firm, always keep in mind that you never know. READ MORE

Tech Luminaries Dominate Time’s 100 Most Influential People

Each year, the publication releases its list of the most influential people in the world, and once again, technology bigwigs are among the pack leaders.

Technology luminaries have once again found a home in Time’s “100 Most Influential People In the World” series.

The list, which this year includes everyone from artist Jay-Z to Pope Francis, is filled with technology big shots including Jens Bergensten and Markus Persson, the creators of wildly popular PC title Minecraft; Perry Chen, CEO and co-founder of Kickstarter; and Google Ideas director Jared Cohen. READ MORE

Yahoo spends ‘millions’ on UK teen Nick D’Aloisio’s Summly app

An app created by a UK teenager has been acquired by web giant Yahoo in a deal the BBC understands to be worth “dozens of millions” of pounds.

Seventeen-year-old Nick D’Aloisio’s Summly app summarises news stories from popular media companies.

Neither company would disclose the terms of the deal publicly.

The app itself will now close, but its features will be used in mobile products at Yahoo, where Mr D’Aloisio has been given a job. … READ MORE

So You Think You Can Beat Samsung?

Meet the tiny, Florida-based phone maker that thinks it can beat Samsung
One cheap, high-end, unlocked smartphone at a time

Sammy Ohev-Zion starts our chat with an economics lesson. It costs every company about the same amount to manufacture a phone, he says — the price of an Nvidia processor and a Sharp display is consistent whether HTC, Nokia, or Motorola is signing the check. But those costs are only a small piece of the price you wind up paying when you walk into a Verizon store and buy that phone…READ MORE

China Military Hacker – Not like the movie Hackers…at all!

What It’s Like to Be a Chinese Military Hacker

All-black stealth suits, fingers flying across keyboards, screams of unintelligible jargon at Matrix-style lines of code. These are the things that generally come to mind when you hear the phrase “foreign military hacking unit”—or at least the mind of anyone who’s seen a movie in the past 10 years. But as the Los Angeles Times discovered when they stumbled across the blog of...READ MORE