Your smartphone is more than a communication and entertainment device in your pocket. It's a powerful computer with tons of your personal and private data stored within, just like your home or work computer. Here are some essential tips that will help keep your smartphone and the data on it protected.
Across crowdfunding sites, we're seeing more and more smart doorbells and other devices designed to protect user's homes. A new one from Glate, called DefenDoor, aims to combine some of the best features from all of them, as it serves as a doorbell, camera, motion sensor, and more.
Carrying a bike lock while cycling can be a hassle, which is why some companies have started developing built-in locks
. One of the latest, the Frameblock, is actually part of the frame. That way, if a thief cuts through it, they're left with a damaged bike that they won't want ... a fact that they'll hopefully realize before cutting it.
Over the past couple of years, we've heard about two different bicycle U-locks – the Skylock
and the BitLock
– that can be unlocked via the user's smartphone. Both were the subject of successful crowd-funding campaigns, and both are now available for pre-order. When it comes to a product that's actually being shipped to buyers now
, however, the imaginatively-named Ulock has just beaten them both to it.
There are plenty of systems that use an app-running smartphone instead of a key to unlock doors, such as UniKey
. A new app not only wants to do that, but wants to give you a seamless journey through buildings. myPORT provides building access, calls elevators and sends intercom feeds to your phone.
Do you want a moderne-style grandfather clock and a high-tech watch display with built-in winder safe, but don't have room for both? Then consider the Grande Infinity from upmarket safe makers Buben & Zorweg. The German-designed and built Grande Infinity was created in cooperation with clock maker Erwin Sattler and watch mover manufacturer Elma and combines a precision pendulum-movement clock with a state-of-the-art display case and safe.
Security researcher GironSec
has pulled Uber's Android app apart and discovered that it's sending a huge amount of personal data back to base – including your call logs, what apps you've got installed, whether your phone is vulnerable to certain malware, whether your phone is rooted, and your SMS and MMS logs, which it explicitly doesn't have permission to do. It's the latest in a series of big-time missteps for a company whose core business model is, frankly, illegal in most of its markets as well.
Nuclear weapons are a paradox. No one in their right mind wants to use one, but if they're to act as a deterrent, they need to be accessible. The trick is to make sure that access is only available to those with the proper authority. To prevent a real life General Jack D Ripper from starting World War III, Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) Defense Technologies Division is developing a system that uses a nuclear weapon's own radiation to protect itself from tampering.
Whether they're on product packaging, promotional materials or in magazines, most QR codes do the same thing – when a smartphone scans them with its camera, they trigger that phone's web browser to navigate to a given website. In the near future, however, they may be used to securely display 3D images on the user's phone, without even involving the often-untrustworthy internet.
Along with flame-retardant clothing
, flexible supercapitors
and a stronger alternative to carbon fiber
, carbon nanotubes may soon have yet another application. Led by Prof. Ling Zang, a team of researchers at the University of Utah has integrated the tiny tubes of carbon atoms into a prototype explosives sensor. It can also detect illegal drugs and toxic chemicals such as nerve gas, reportedly doing so better than currently-used technologies.