Alan Buckingham

Kids and handheld tech -- to have and to 'PLEASE hold'

Cracked phone

Technology to previous generations involved radio, TV, record players and perhaps even 8-track tape players, but today's youth have smartphones and tablets and are connected all of the time. Messaging apps have replaced phone calls and social interaction takes place via the internet.

On the heels of the gift-giving season, which likely featured a few iPads and the like, Logitech has looked into the prospect of young children with these devices. The survey includes both US and UK parents.

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Ford set to announce new in-car technology at Mobile World Congress

ford sync

Another big show is looming on the horizon, though it seems the last big electronics expo just recently wrapped up. Mobile World Congress, which runs February 22-25 in Barcelona, Spain, is thought of as strictly a show for handsets. In fairness, that's what it mostly is, but other things tend to premier there also.

This year, for instance, Ford plans to be there again with CEO Mark Fields giving a keynote address featuring the unveiling of new in-car technology, something the company has become known for.

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Comcast partners with WeatherBug to help Xfinity customers with energy usage

Home automation 1

Given the rising costs and environmental dangers of energy consumption, people are becoming increasingly concerned. There are a number of options coming onto the market that allow customers to monitor energy usage, a market created by climate change and a desire for cost savings.

Comcast is also in this game with its Xfinity Home offering, a service which allows for monitoring home automation, energy usage and home security. Now the company is partnering with Earth Networks' WeatherBug Home to improve its overall service.

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Oracle issues an emergency patch to Java for Windows

Malware spy

Security problems are not new to Java, though it is, admittedly, not the only platform that suffers from these problems. Now Oracle has acknowledged a new hole and it is bad enough to issue an out of cycle emergency patch.

With the catchy name of CVE-2016-0603, the security flaw requires the user to access a malicious website and accept the download of Java version 6, 7 or 8 in order to become infected. However, for those who fall for it, the attack will allow for a total compromise of the system.

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Don't have TV service? You can watch the Super Bowl on Windows and other devices

football-field

We're now counting down the hours to the kickoff of Super Bowl 50, which begins at 6:30PM EST when the Denver Broncos meet with the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, California. The fact that the big game is carried by network TV was a problem a few years ago for anyone who had cut the cord, but those days are changing and doing so quickly.

These days you have options that weren't available in those earlier times. In fact, it's not even just the game, but the halftime show and even the commercials, which sometimes become the real star of the game.

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Firefox OS is leaving handsets but moving on to IoT

home automation

Have we heard enough about the Internet of Things yet, or is it only just the tip of the iceberg? There are more players in this game all the time, and the latest is Mozilla. Yes, the folks who produce the Firefox web browser, among other things.

The move isn't entirely new, the organization alluded to moving its operating system here already. To date Mozilla has been testing products to bring into the fold, and it is moving forward with its plans.

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Just in time for the big game, No Huddle brings your NFL news to TuneIn Radio

tunein-no-huddle

Sunday is it. The big day will be here as the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers. Peyton Manning squares off against the up and coming Cam Newton in a showdown for the coveted Lombardi Trophy, first hoisted into the air by the Green Bay Packers back in 1967, three years before the legendary namesake passed away.

Fast-forward 40-plus years and we've arrived at that day again, though this time the game will be held in a more temperate climate, as that is now the way the league wants it to be. No more frozen tundra, but weather more suitable to fans and media.

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Amazon updates Echo and Fire TV, brings the two closer together

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In the time since Amazon launched its Fire TV and Echo devices the two have continued to receive updates steadily. Both are popular products with a growing following of customers and remain near the top of Amazon sales rankings.

Now the Fire TV has graduated to generation two, and with that update came integration with Amazon Echo. The company, at the time, promised to bring this functionality to the first generation version of the set-top box and now it is doing just that.

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The first driverless cars may soon be unleashed on the roads of the Isle of Man

Google Car

You perhaps have not heard of the tiny island nestled between England and Ireland, but the Isle of Man has a long and rich history, including its now dying language of Manx. Its most prominent export these days is cyclist Mark Cavendish, a multi-stage winning sprinter in the Tour de France.

Now you just may be hearing much more about it as the island lobbies to be the test bed for driverless cars, a product that Google has made famous, but that many more manufacturers are attempting to produce as the future seems to dictate it.

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Amazon Kindle gets an update, brings improved home screen and more

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When it comes to reading books, things have changed quite a bit since school days, well, depending on your age. Now many people read books on electronic devices and, while tablets are fine, the Amazon Kindle leads the way.

Amazon is planning to roll out a big update to its handheld devices. You're likely wondering, correctly so, "how much can a book be improved?". Well, there are enhancements, but don't expect your trusty Kindle to change massively.

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The Internet of Things expected to roll out to law enforcement increasingly through 2025

Two London Police officers riding their BMW pursuit bikes/motorcycles

The Internet of Things (IoT) seems to be everywhere these days, proliferating our lives with more gadgets than anyone can possibly need. Just yesterday we saw smart refrigerators and washing machines announced by Samsung.

But what do all of these devices mean for law enforcement? No, the police won't be checking the food supply in the station's fridge, but getting technology that will better aid them while on the move.

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Samsung unveils 'smart living' products at its Southeast Asia Forum 2016

SEAForum_GearS2_Main706

Samsung has been in the Internet of Things market for some time now, with smart devices and a line of automation products aptly named SmartThings. Now the company is unveiling the latest in its line during a show in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The event, known as "Samsung Southeast Asia Forum 2016", was used to unveil all sorts of products for the new year, including TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, even new watch faces for the Gear S2.

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Adobe pushes out betas for version 21 of Flash and Air

Adobe Logo

Lots of things are said about Flash, and most of them aren't good. The Adobe app has proven to be a security nightmare and constant updates do little to alleviate the problems. Now a new version is on its way and hoping to fix things.

New versions of Flash 21 and Air 21 are in the works, currently these products are codenamed "Sutter". Don't expect any major changes, the company points out it's just incremental advances.

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'Alexa, turn on kitchen lights': Setting up Cree bulbs with Amazon Echo and Wink hub

cree bulbs

"Alexa, turn on the lights". This is a phrase echoed, apparently, by more people than I thought. Amazon's Echo is taking hold and seems especially popular with those interested in the home automation side of technology. Voice control can be both good and bad, though. It's great when it works, but embarrassing and frustrating when it doesn't.

Let's start with the bad, though really it's just the amusing. My Amazon Echo is in my living room, as is the TV. Words emitting from my surround sound system can sometimes have hilarious results -- music suddenly beginning to play, Alexa telling me she doesn't understand the question, and if an ad for Echo comes on then things go nuts.

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Xbox beta app for Windows 10 gets a fresh set of features

Avator-Store_Console_Xbox-app

Microsoft has been trying to beef up its store for Windows 10, and especially trying to integrate its new operating system across multiple devices from computers to phones to its gaming console.

Now the company is trying to enhance that even more with a new update to its Xbox beta app for Windows 10. This is intended to add features that users were looking for and it is asking for feedback on what the customers think and what they still would like to see added.

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