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— Music

Tuna Knobs turns tablets into mobile DJ stations

With just about every aspect of music production going digital, one budding DJ is looking to march to the beat of his own drum. Samuel Verburg joined forces with Dutch design firm Tweetonig aiming to mix not just perfectly matched beats, but a bit of old with a little bit of new. The result is Tuna Knobs, physical controls that work on any capacitive touchscreen to bring tactile feedback to music making applications. Read More
— Science

Copper nanowire coating could lead to shatterproof smartphone screens

Chances are that the touchscreen on your smartphone or tablet incorporates a coating of indium tin oxide, also known as ITO or tin-doped indium oxide. Although it's electrically conductive and optically transparent, it's also brittle and thus easily-shattered. Scientists at Ohio's University of Akron, however, are developing something that could ultimately replace the material. They've created an electrode coating that's not only as transparent and more conductive than ITO, but is also far tougher. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Finger-drawn lines could replace PINs on mobile devices

Many of us now use our mobile devices for things like online banking, in crowded public places ... the sort of places where it would be easy for sometime to sneak a peek as we enter our passcodes. Researchers from New Jersey's Rutgers University, however, are working on a possible alternative to those typed codes. They've discovered that passwords consisting of hand gestures used to draw free-form lines on a smartphone or tablet screen are much more difficult for "shoulder surfers" to copy after seeing. Read More
— Laptops

Archos launches $170 ArcBook laptop

Archos has pulled back the curtain to reveal what's claimed to be the first touchscreen Android netbook, the ArcBook. Designed for students and mobile workers, the wallet-friendly portable workhorse features a 10-inch screen, a 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex processor and a battery that promises to keep going long after the school day or shift is over. Read More
— Computers

Microsoft Windows 8.1 update brings improved keyboard and mouse interface

Who would have thought that a button would have meant so much to so many people? On Wednesday at its developers conference, Microsoft announced that after bringing back the Start button, it’s now rolling out a package of new features for Windows 8.1 Update and Windows Phone 8.1. Based on customer feedback, it’s part of an effort to make 8.1 feel more like older versions of Windows by stepping away from the touchscreen, cloud-centric version of Windows 8 that proved less than a hit with consumers. Read More