Tag Archives: Gadget News

Tablet and e-reader deals of the week: 3.21.14

It’s now officially spring — that wonderful time of the year that leaves you feeling guilty for not going outside. Why not take a small, portable computing device with you? A selection of modestly discounted Android, iOS and Windows 8 slabs await your frugal whims after the break. Abhor reading LCDs in the great outdoors? No worries, we tossed in a more traditional e-reader for good measure.

If you still can’t find the sale of your dreams, you could always join us and add your favorite products to your “Want” list. Every time there’s a price cut in the future, you’ll get an email alert!

Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch

Price: $200
Regular Price: $230
Engadget Score: 85
Buy: Best Buy

When the Kindle Fire HDX landed last fall, it hit with a handful of new features, strong hardware upgrades and, unfortunately, a $20 price hike over the previous model. If you waited, your patience paid off: Best Buy is currently knocking $30 off the total, making up for the increased MSRP and then some. The 7-inch Fire has actually flirted with this price a few times this year, but if you’re money’s burning a hole in your pocket, it’s flaunting its steepest discount right now

Acer Iconia W4

Price: $250
Regular Price: $300
Buy: Amazon

Itching for a mobile device, but can’t bear to be away from the Windows desktop? Take a look at the Acer Iconia W4: a full Windows 8.1 tablet that’s small enough to fit in your jacket pocket. It might not have as many apps as Android or iOS slates, but for $50 off, it’s hard to go wrong.

Nook HD 7-inch tablet

Price: $107
Regular Price: $129
Engadget Global Score: 79
Buy: Amazon

The Nook HD may be getting a little long in the tooth, but at almost half off of its original ($199) purchase price, it’s a steal. It has a strong display, a good suite of reading apps and, thanks to an update last summer, access to Google Play. Don’t need a color screen? Well, maybe you should check out the…

Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight

Price: $80
Regular Price: $119
Engadget Global Score: 90
Buy: Amazon

There may be a new Nook color on the way, but the GlowLight might be the last of Barnes Noble’s e-paper line. Even so, it’s a solid reading device with a strong backlight and gleefully hackable software. Curious to see how it stacks up against Amazon’s glowing gear? You can see the full lineup for yourself right here.

iPad mini with Retina display

Price: $370
Regular Price: $400
Engadget Score: 92
Buy: Best Buy

If you’re still having trouble picking between the iPad mini with Retina display and the iPad Air, maybe this will sway you: Our price drop tool found a $30 price drop on the former. Not only is it a solid deal, but it’s also one of the lowest prices the device has seen since it launched last year. Check out the full run down — including specs, price history and device comparison — in our product database.



Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/21/tablet-and-e-reader-deals-of-the-week-3-21-14/?ncid=rss_truncated

‘Say hello to my e-go’: 10 funny first tweets we love

Twitter is the open mic at The Improv of the Internet, so unless you’re a funny person who wants to be heckled, you might want to make your first tweet chuckle-worthy. To celebrate turning 8, Twitter on Thursday opened its archive, making it easy to look up anyone’s first tweets. Yeah, we confess; we fell down the first-tweets rabbit hole fast. But at least you get to share in the adventure with a sample of our favorites funnies. See any we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/Dl8-931xg-0/

Leaked documents detail how and why NSA targets network admins

With the amount of NSA-related information that’s been leaked to the press, one may wonder if the feds will have anything new to share whenever the agency’s first transparency report releases. The latest info is that the NSA was targeting foreign network administrators to gain access to the networks they control, as late as 2012. Edward Snowden gave The Intercept a handful of screengrabs from an internal agency message board that, among other things, detail how the NSA can monitor calls and emails moving through a foreign telco’s network simply by having access to the system admin’s PC. The steps for that apparently include grabbing the admin’s IP address, and from there hacking the user’s Facebook or web-mail accounts to gain full access to their computer via surveillance malware.

The postings were supposedly written by the author of last October’s Tor network attack-report, and go on at length describing his or her dream to build a master list of system admins that would span the globe. What good would that do? Well, it’d enable the agency to launch an attack once an “extremist/terrorist or government official” uses the network an admin oversees. There are also step-by-step instructions for attacking an admin’s computer through its network router using Telnet, the agency’s SIGINT tools as well as the Quantum hacking-platform.

The posts say nothing about how the NSA would sidestep inadvertently hacking system admins in the US either, or even system admins working for foreign companies on domestic soil. Be sure to check the source links for the full story, but don’t the playful tone of the posts distract you from the real issue: the government was, and could possibly still be, persistently monitoring civilians who’ve done nothing wrong in the off-chance that an enemy of the state could log on to their network.



Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/21/nsa-system-admin-hacking/?ncid=rss_truncated

World’s largest TV, ‘Big Hoss,’ is as long as a jet

Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage looks on during a February tour of the giant TV’s construction.

Sarah Glenn/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and now they have the TV to prove it.

The “Big Hoss” TV was turned on for the first time in front of a live audience Wednesday night at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The screen, built by Panasonic, measures 218 feet wide by 94.6 feet tall. That means it’s longer than Boeing’s biggest 767 (the 400ER), and taller than a seven-story building. To put it in home electronics terms, it’s a 2,852-inch TV. The display features 20,633.64 square feet of HD LED lights that broadcast 4.8 million pixels and 281 trillion colors.

The TV has a 140-degree viewing angle so it can be seen by people in a large swath of seats at the Speedway, and it takes a crew of five people to operate it from within the attached control room. The screen is also allegedly able to handle wind speeds of up to 120 mph, as well as impacts from projectiles like hail, something that was confirmed by workers hitting golf balls at the LEDs, according to ESPN.

So what was all that tech used to show on its big night? An episode of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new “Cosmos” series, perhaps? An edition of the Science Channel’s “How It’s Made” maybe? Nope. This is Nascar country after all, so the first show to air on Big Hoss was an episode of “Duck Dynasty.” In fact, “Duck” Commander CEO Willie Robertson and his wife Korie were on hand for the “big” event.

To cement the screen’s rightful place among its teenier brethren, an adjudicator from the Guinness World Record association will be at the speedway to verify the TV as the world’s largest before the Duck Commander 500 race on Sunday, April 6.

The screen was powered on by Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage, who used a giant remote control prop to get the job done. About the addition of the screen to the speedway, Gossage said, “You are going to see the replays. You are going to see the up-close, tight shots. The fans won’t miss a thing. It is the ultimate fan amenity. To have the biggest one in the world, that’s just one of those ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas’ stories that we are really proud to be a part of.”

Now let’s just hope the drivers can keep their eyes on the road and not watch TV while they’re zipping around the track at over 200 mph.

What would be the first show you’d watch on your very own 2,852-inch TV?

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/RddEVBLTmgQ/

Google makes Gmail more secure in light of NSA snooping


Your Gmail inbox may well be full of chain letters and kitten photos, but Google just announced two security changes that’ll help keep prying eyes away from all your important messages. From now on, Google will always use a secure HTTPS connection when you’re checking or firing off emails. You may remember that Google made such secure browser connections the default back in early 2010, but you always had the option to disable HTTPS if you really believed in the security of your network. The second (and arguably juicier) change is that your messages will be encrypted as they get routed through the company’s many data centers. Google isn’t exactly being coy about why, either. It said in a blog post that internally encrypting those messages became a priority “after last summer’s revelations”… a not-so-subtle way of saying it doesn’t want organizations like the NSA poking around where users don’t want them.



Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/20/gmail-https-nsa-snooping/?ncid=rss_truncated

Not tonight, darling, I’m online shopping

“Not tonight, darling, I just don’t want to listen to you.”

Amazon/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

I know that Nancy Reagan always encouraged us to “just say no.”

But it’s not easy, is it? Some people can be terribly insistent, nagging even. Some can sulk or get aggressive.

Thankfully, it seems that Americans have found a new way to tell their significant others that they don’t have a significant mood for sex: they say they’re busy online shopping.

You might think I’m making it up. And I might think that people who create these surveys are making it up too.

All I can tell you is that the cashback rewards site EBates commissioned TNS to perform a study among 1,000 American adults that emitted fascinating conclusions.

Some 10 percent of women say they use their mobile devices — and the excuse of shopping on them — to deter their lovers from getting amorous.

But here’s the nugget that might astound even more: 13 percent of men admitted to doing the same thing.

I confess that I hadn’t considered online shopping as a means of expressing emotions toward another person. I certainly couldn’t imagine telling a lover that I wasn’t feeling carnal because I was trying to decide which pair of camel boots to buy.

And you’ll forgive me, I hope, if I mention that survey respondents often seem to have enjoyed a touch too much Bacardi.

But for some people mobile shopping has become the equivalent of the invented headache. It brings with it the luxury of not being forced to take a couple of Advil, in the hope that this will somehow lift your libido.

This splendidly twisted survey, performed between March 14 and 17, further offered that passive-aggressive shopping is also directed at annoying co-workers, annoying people on public transit and, of course, annoying in-laws.

The original purpose of this survey was merely to examine mobile shopping habits. It seems that 45 percent of Americans use their mobile devices to shop — and 10 percent claim they do it daily.

Perhaps these are the 10 percent who stand in front of me at Starbucks desperately waving their phones at the scanner, only to get more reaction out of the whipped cream on their frappuccino.

Tellingly, 49 percent of the respondents in this survey confessed that shopping on their mobile device cures boredom while they’re waiting in line. And 24 percent somehow couple mobile shopping with watching reality TV.

Perhaps Americans are just frightfully confused. (No “perhaps” about it)

In essence, though, what is the difference between sex and online shopping?

In the latter, it’s much harder to haggle.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/iTfjSBtETBk/