Tag: Gear & Gadgets

Gadgets

Scroogled no more: Gmail won’t scan e-mails for ads personalization

Enlarge / Microsoft’s description of Gmail scanning from the “Scroogled” ad campaign. (credit: Microsoft) Google has announced it will no longer scan e-mail messages for ad personalization. Previously, in the consumer version of Gmail, Google’s computers would scan the contents of every e-mail message to determine a relevant ad to show. The scanning “feature” has been…

Gadgets

YouTube’s “VR180” format cuts down on VR video’s prohibitive requirements

Enlarge / Grab a phone, strap in, and start watching VR content. VidCon, the largest conference for online video creators, took place this week, and YouTube celebrated by announcing a new VR format. YouTube has supported VR and 360-degree video for some time, but the format is really hard to do right. The camera rigs are really expensive, and for…

Gadgets

The tragedy of FireWire: Collaborative tech torpedoed by corporations

Enlarge / In retrospect, perhaps our favorite port logo. (credit: Flickr user jeremybrooks ) The rise and fall of FireWire—IEEE 1394 , an interface standard boasting high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data transfer—is one of the most tragic tales in the history of computer technology. The standard was forged in the fires of collaboration. A joint…

Gadgets

Google Glass is apparently back from the dead, starts getting software updates

A man wearing Google Glass. (credit: Google) Remember Google Glass—Google’s ultra-dorky, poorly supported, $1,500 face computer? Conventional wisdom said that the product was dead: it’s not sold anymore, the website was more or less shut down in 2015, its Twitter and Facebook were deleted, and the OS stopped receiving updates. But someone at Google apparently still cares about this clunky…

Security

More Android apps from dangerous Ztorg family sneak into Google Play

Enlarge (credit: Kaspersky Lab ) For the second time this month, Google has removed Android apps from its Google Play marketplace. Google did so after a security researcher found the apps contained code that laid the groundwork for attackers to take administrative “root” control of infected devices. “Magic Browser,” as one app was called, was…

Gadgets

OnePlus 5 review—The best sub-$500 phone you can buy

Smartphone companies don’t seem to care about cultivating a true “lineup” of phones. If you aren’t spending at least $650, most companies will offer you anonymous, second-rate devices that seem like they’ve had no thought put into them. With the death of the Nexus line and with Lenovo’s continued bungling of Motorola, the “good but not $650” market…

Gadgets

macOS High Sierra tech preview: A quick look at the stuff you can’t see

Enlarge / High Sierra’s default desktop wallpaper. (credit: Apple) Even by the standards of recent macOS releases, this year’s High Sierra is shaping up to be a low-key release with few high-profile user-visible improvements. Apple’s highlight page covers quite a few things, but in most cases they’re iterative tweaks that would mostly belong in the…

Gadgets

The pitfalls and potential of inexpensive 3D scanning solutions

The odd documentary, feature article, or typical marketing hype may make you think that today’s 3D scanning can perfectly capture the real world, but that’s only true with expensive, professional equipment (not to mention considerable editing and post-processing). Generally, current consumer versions of 3D scanners produce decidedly modest results. Still, personal 3D scanning has made…

Gadgets

2017 Surface Pro least repairable ever; Surface Laptop is made of glue

Enlarge / The only way into the Surface Laptop is through the fabric. There’s no going back. (credit: iFixit ) While it’s not a big surprise given the size and general trends when building these things, Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop does not appear to be even remotely repairable , and the new Surface Pro isn’t…