Posts Tagged With ‘tech&8217


Keurig-like Coffee Machine “Brews” Miso Soup

DesignTAXI posted about a new appliance by Japanese online retailer Marukome designed for easily brewing bowls of miso soup ala Keurig style:

Marukome has designed a machine that makes instant miso soup with a push of a button. Called the ‘One Shot’, it’s similar to a Keurig coffee machine.

According to RocketNews24, the machine is capable of making up to 75 bowls of soup, and users are able to choose how strong they want their soup to be. Users can even add a variety of dehydrated vegetables to their soup for added flavor.

The ‘One Shot’ is expected to go on sale at the end of January for 9,800 yen—a small price to pay for a bowl of delicious soup every morning.

Miso Soup Brewing

It was only a matter of time before the Keurig-craze hit miso soup lovers. This is the perfect gift for that one friend or family member who just cannot get enough miso soup. To be honest, I think it is pretty damn awesome and would love to grab one for myself.

Hat tip to Gaurav for the link!

This post is part of the thread: Japan – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


Using Tor to Remain Anonymous Online

Michael Hampton of Lifehacker on techniques for using Tor to keep your online activities anonymous:

Anonymity is hard. Technology alone, no matter how good it is, will never be enough. It requires a clear mind and careful attention to detail, as well as real-world actions to mitigate weaknesses that cannot be addressed through technology alone. As has been so frequently mentioned, the attackers can be bumbling fools who only have sheer luck to rely on, but you only have to make one mistake to be ruined. We call them “advanced persistent threats” because, in part, they are persistent. They won’t give up, and you must not.

Overall a solid list of suggestions and tactics. By far the most difficult piece of advice for people to follow is that anonymity is not achieved solely through the use of automated tools. It really is a mindset requiring dedication and focus, something the average person is unable to commit to daily.

Anonymity is a way of life, not something you periodically do to hide certain undesirable aspects of your character.

This post is part of the thread: Security – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


iPhone Helps DoCoMo Add More Subscribers Than Competition for the First Time in Two Years

Mariko Yasu and Takashi Amano of Business Week on the iPhone helping DoCoMo add more subscribers than KDDI and Softbank for the first time in two years:

Japan’s largest carrier added more subscribers than rivals for the first time since December 2011, gaining 279,100 net users last month for 62.2 million total customers. That compares with 222,600 more for KDDI Corp. (9433) and 224,300 additional users for SoftBank Corp. (9984), the companies reported yesterday.

It’s a sign Docomo can compete against carriers that have been swiping its customers since they started carrying Apple (AAPL:US) Inc.’s smartphone. Docomo started selling the iPhone 5s and 5c when they were released in September, ending a holdout that saw smaller competitors win market share and lure customers with Apple’s handsets.

This should not really be a surprise. General speaking, DoCoMo has the best mobile network with the widest range of coverage in Japan. Many people switched away from DoCoMo because of the iPhone, and were more than happy to return to the service upon it finally deciding to offer the best smartphone around.

SoftBank, which almost tripled in value last year, rose 1.1 percent in Tokyo trading yesterday. KDDI, whose market value more than doubled in 2013, dropped 0.6 percent yesterday.

Mobile carriers in Japan are doing exceptionally well, primarily thanks to the iPhone and other smartphones. It’s only going to get better because post-PC is where the money is at these days.


FBI Casually Approaches Secure Chat Software Developer to Install Backdoor

PC World on Wickr developer Nico Sell being casually approached by the FBI to install a backdoor after just announcing on-stage the intent to switch from RSA cryptography to elliptic-curve encryption:

At a recent RSA Security Conference, Nico Sell was on stage announcing that her company—Wickr—was making drastic changes to ensure its users’ security. She said that the company would switch from RSA encryption to elliptic curve encryption, and that the service wouldn’t have a backdoor for anyone.

As she left the stage, before she’d even had a chance to take her microphone off, a man approached her and introduced himself as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He then proceeded to “casually” ask if she’d be willing to install a backdoor into Wickr that would allow the FBI to retrieve information.

Apparently the FBI is completely tone deaf to the effect the Snowden disclosures are having on the country. Either that or developers historically have just went along with the FBI and willingly inserted backdoors into their applications because of the pressure.

Sell should be commended for how she handled the conversation, basically telling the FBI to go piss off.


Microsoft Is A Total Mess Because Of Steve Ballmer, And That’s Why No One Wants To Be Its New CEO

Jay Yarow of Business Insider on why nobody wants the top job at Microsoft:

Just before Ballmer announced his retirement, he created a sweeping re-organization of the company. This has led to a lot of talented engineers leaving Microsoft as they either lost battles for promotions, or found themselves in new, less-desirable roles.

A new CEO will be stuck with Ballmer’s re-org, which was done with the board’s support. Or the new CEO will have to tear it up, which means another period of awkward transition for Microsoft, and for the new CEO, an awkward board dynamic, since Ballmer is still on the board.

Then, after announcing his retirement, Ballmer spent $7.2 billion buying Nokia, a dying handset maker. This is a turnaround project within Microsoft the next chief executive will have to deal with.

Ballmer is expected to be on Microsoft’s board. And, as the WSJ notes, he’s not a quiet guy who will sit idly if a new CEO tries to rip up everything he’s done.

Is anyone really surprised? Turning Microsoft into a cool company, making products people actually enjoy using will require an act of a some form of a higher power; it means having to rewire the company’s DNA.

It will never happen. Not at Microsoft anyhow.


Two Words I Never Thought I’d Use Together: Connected Toothbrush

Dean Takahashi of Venture Beat reporting on nifty new gadgets being unveiled at from CES:

Kolibree is announcing what it calls the world’s first connected electric toothbrush today. It sounds pretty weird, but Kolibree says it can analyze your brushing habits and display them on a mobile dashboard that you can access from your phone. The idea is to motivate you, or shame you, into brushing better.

For $99, it better be good. The Paris-based company unveiled the electric toothbrush at the 2014 International CES, the huge tech trade show in Las Vegas this week. It sounds nuts, but no more so than the Hapifork connected fork that debuted at CES last year.

You download a free mobile app, connected your smartphone to the toothbrush via Bluetooth wireless. It records every brushing and syncs the information to your smartphone. Then you can use the app to see whether you brushed long enough and reached the hard-to-hit but important parts of your teeth and gums.

It seems at some point every device will be connected, collecting data on just about every aspect of our lives. This is the future, whether we choose to accept it or not.


BlackBerry Goes Patent Troll, Sues Typo for Infringement Against Their “Iconic Keyboard”

Stephen Shankland from CNET reporting on BlackBerry suing Typo for daring to make a hardware keyboard for the iPhone because, well, they cannot seem to make hardware people are interested in anymore so why not become a patent troll instead:

BlackBerry, which has steadily lost relevance and revenue with the rise of Android phones and iPhones, decided it was time to sue. Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s general counsel, had this statement in a Friday announcement:

“This is a blatant infringement against BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard, and we will vigorously protect our intellectual property against any company that attempts to copy our unique design. From the beginning, BlackBerry has always focused on offering an exceptional typing experience that combines a great design with ergonomic excellence. We are flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones, but we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation for using our intellectual property and our technological innovations.”

You can’t make this stuff up.


NSA and The Corrosion of Silicon Valley

Michael Dearing writing for AllThingsD on the NSA performing its duties in a manner not compatible with what the founders of the United States had in mind:

My concern is more personal and local: The NSA’s version of patriotism is corroding Silicon Valley. Integrity of our products, creative freedom of talented people, and trust with our users are the casualties. The dolphin in the tuna net is us — our industry, our work, and the social fabric of our community.

Product integrity is doomed when the NSA involves itself in the product development process. The scope of NSA’s activity here is unknowable. But what I hear from founders and other investors — never mind Reuters’ reporting about RSA Security, and Spiegel’s about backdoors in networking products — is beyond my worst expectations.

What the NSA has done, and apparently continues to do, should be beyond everyone’s worst expectations. It needs to stop. Now.

This post is part of the thread: Security – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


Digital Trends Best Mobile Product of 2013: Google Glass

Jeffrey Van Camp, Mobile Editor of Digital Trends, writes the best mobile product of 2013 is Google Glass:

Though it’s still $1,500 and only available as a developer unit, Google Glass is the only product that makes sense to pick as product of the year. Because, frankly, we can’t stop talking about it. Google announced Glass in 2012, but 2013 was the year when people started using them and things began to get crazy.

So let me get this straight: the best mobile product of 2013 is not even a publicly released consumer product people are purchasing, but a developer toy that only geeks are currently testing? Of the countless actual products released this year, one that is merely being talked about – not used – won this ostensibly coveted “award?”

Someone please tell me this article was syndicated from The Onion but Jeffrey failed to disclosure that simple fact.


Hidden iOS 7 Settings You Probably Do Not Know About

This is a good list of some new iOS 7 settings that you probably did not know about, or likely never would have accidentally run across.