The 10 Most Important Announcements from WWDC 2015

Apple has a bunch of little announcements this year at their WWDC and probably the 10 most important announcements are linked below. Of course they include iOS9, OSX El Capitan, Siri gets to really know you and more. There is nothing really all that groundbreaking at all, but instead it feels like they are adding a new decimal to their version numbers (eg. iOS9 should be iOS 8.2)

Flashy as the whole thing was, though, it followed two hours of low-key but fairly solid tweaks to Apple's software products, from new versions of OS X and iOS to updates of its car, home, and watch software. This fall, Apple product users of all stripes can look forward to a lot of refreshed apps and, if the company delivers on its promise, all sorts of Siri integration. They might not make headlines quite as well, but little changes like Maps public transit support can make a big difference in the long run, too.

Source: TheVerge

Martian Watches @ CES 2016

Martian was one of the companies that started the smart-watch thing - and they've done it with style from the get-go. Their watches have always focused on one thing first - the watch. They are great analog timepieces that also have a few smart features thrown in for good measure. They have a pretty wide distribution in the USA and have limited retail locations in Canada. It's too bad, because their current generation of "Active" watches - including the Envoy, Alpha and Electra have been doing very well.

As CES, Martian announced some new watches that are geared more toward female users. These do not have a notification display, but instead use different vibration pulses and a mutli-colored LED to indicate what app is sending a notification. It could be a text message, incoming call, Facebook post or pretty much anything that sends notifcations. You have the ability to specify a ton of options and notification settings via their handy app. 

CES Releases

The battery life on their devices is about two years for the actual watch, while the new watches should last about a week on a charge for the smart features. The new watches charge via pogo pins, while the current "Active" series charge by way of a microUSB port that gets covered up for water resistance.

There are a lot of very attractive products coming later this spring from Martian - and the best thing of all - they are watches, that just happen to be smart. Sometimes there is more beauty in less features than a watch that drains the battery by 2:00pm.

Please check out more images from our CES coverage here and be sure to check out all the current lineup of products from Martian here.

Virtual Approach to Security

One of the best ways to keep your main PC secure is to run your environment in a virtual machine. Servers do this all the time and in fact, that's how many web-servers run if you buy a virtual dedicated server. It works. Microsoft is transitioning this idea to their Edge web browser and it is supposed to be much more secure than the competition - as it basically runs in a virtual machine. This keeps it locked away from other Windows processes and is actually a rather good idea.

Microsoft says that while other browsers are "sandboxed" away from security-sensitive PC areas, they "still provide a pathway for malware and vulnerability exploits." By contrast, Application Guard uses a hardware container to completely isolate Edge from the rest of the PC.

Source: Engadget

Brain Training Games are Junk

For a while brain training games such as BrainAge and Luminosity made pretty incredible claims about how they made you "smarter" and helped you retain more information and recall said information easier. Study after study lately shows that is is not the case at all and all these games do is make your wallet slightly thinner. If you only like them for entertainment, then you won't be disappointed. If you hoped they'd help you memorize the constitution, you'll still have to work on that.

In 2014, two groups of scientists published open letters on the efficacy of brain-training interventions, or “brain games,” for improving cognition. The first letter, a consensus statement from an international group of more than 70 scientists, claimed that brain games do not provide a scientifically grounded way to improve cognitive functioning or to stave off cognitive decline.

Source: SagePub

Pixel Smartphone Dominates Camera Quality

Even though Google's Pixel smartphone is well over my budget, I can't help but long for a pocketable device with such high image quality. This smartphone scores an unbelievable 89 on the DxOMark Mobile benchmark and is the best smartphone camera made - ever. Of course, Apple products are quite high on the list, but this one takes the cake - for the moment.

The Pixel’s strong scores under a wide range of conditions make it an excellent choice for almost any kind of photography. As with any small-sensor device, results are excellent in conditions with good and uniform lighting. But in addition, images captured indoors and in low light are very good and provide a level of detail unexpected from a smartphone camera. With flash, its auto white balance and detail preservation are excellent, making it suitable for indoor portraits — and even for photographing indoor events as long as there is some additional ambient light to help even out the flash.


Source: DxOMark

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