• When it comes to technology, there’s no question that thin is in: we’re always on the lookout for a lighter smartphone, or a more svelte television set. But how about your keyboard? Once a soon-to-be-unveiled innovation at the IFA Berlin technology trade show is shown to the public for the first time next week, the super-thin keyboard you’ve been looking for may soon be a reality.

    The Cambridge-based CSR, who have developed technology that appear in everything from Beats headphones to Nike+ running gadgets, have shown their ultra-thin keyboard for the first time, a touch surface measuring only half a millimeter in thickness.

    Here’s a look at the tablet, as well as a behind-the-scenes making of it:

    As the video explains, the tablet is printed onto plastic, meaning it would be easy to customize in numerous input languages if that was something the company using the technology needed.

    [ Related: Cursive writing facing extinction in face of technology ]

    Paul Williamson, director of low power

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  • It’s no secret that many of us are turning to email and electronic communication and abandoning the time-honoured craft of writing letters. If you wish to make all of your communications digital, though, and are trying to figure out how to convert those last few letter-writers to email, there’s a U.S. company that is prepared to do it for you.

    Outbox mail delivery service proposes to take your physical mail and convert it to digital for you. They pick up your mail three times a week, scan it, and then send it to you digitally, so you can read it all from your iOS device, or your Android device thanks to the app released for the platform last week. It lets you sort the mail into folders, so you can collect up bills in one place and letters from loved ones in another (or whichever sorting method you so choose).

    Outbox has now made its beta version of the service available to all San Francisco residents, not just its small initial testing area. The service has launched in Austin, Texas,

    Read More »from How your snail mail could end up in your email inbox and why it’s a bad idea
  • Exterior view of Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in Toronto. While most students returning to class this fall will be told not to turn to Wikipedia for assignments, a group of feminist scholars across North America will be told to head to the website with guns blazing.

    Students at OCAD University, Canada’s oldest arts and design educational institution, will have the opportunity to take “Dialogues on Feminism and Technology,” which will take a new approach to engaging students in critical conversations about the marginalization of women in technology-related fields. It's one of 15 schools across Canada and the United States that will be offering a course with a focus on feminism and technology, each one able to create their own syllabus.

    The first group assignment is called “Storming Wikipedia,” for which students will create or edit an entry about a famous woman in science or technology. According to a Wikipedia Editor Survey conducted in 2011, 91 per cent of the editors of the popular digital encyclopaedia are men, mostly residing in North

    Read More »from OCAD U class set to ‘storm Wikipedia’ to fix gender imbalance
  • After a rough launch for SimCity on the PC back in March, you'd think Maxis and Electronic Arts (EA) would have learned a whole bunch of lessons on how not to launch a product.

    Well, it looks like those lessons didn't stick. CNET is reporting that the recent SimCity launch on the Mac is having its own disastrous roll out. The news site reports:

    SimCity for Mac requires OS X 10.7.5, meaning that those with 10.7.4 (and previous) will not be able to play. EA confused prospective users by originally saying the game required OS X 10.7.# -- an obvious misfire in wording. An EA rep noted in a SimCity Mac FAQ that this error would be clarified. Furthermore, Origin doesn't work with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, causing further consternation with those testing the operating system who want to play.

    A Maxis representative, however, told CNET that "there are a small number of players who have encountered issues with SimCity for Mac. Our live team is working individually with our players to resolve their

    Read More »from SimCity suffers through yet another disaster-prone launch
  • Anyone running iOS 6 on their iPhone may have to be extra cautious with their Twitter stream today, as a string of text has been found that can cause the mobile operating system to instantly crash.

    Tech Crunch reports that a bug is causing a particular string of Arabic characters to crash both iOS 6 as well as OS X 10.8, the most recent publicly-available operating system for Macs. It appears that the bug doesn’t happen in the upcoming iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 Mavericks, both to be released this fall.

    Here is a picture of the text, if you’re curious:

    This bug was discovered yesterday and posted to a Russian website, which claims that Apple has known about the problem for six months. While there is no proof that Apple has been negligent in fixing the situation, it’s at least encouraging to see that the new operating systems won’t be impacted by this bug.

    [ More Right Click: iOS 7 expected to hit September 10, leaked email shows ]

    As for how a single line of text can make your iPhone have a

    Read More »from The single line of text that can cause your iPhone to crash
  • 44% of users who were infected were using old versions of the Android OS , known as 'Gingerbread'.All phones, like all computers, are at risk of being infected with malicious software, if you’re not careful. But if you want a phone that is less likely to contract malware, newly published information from the Department of Homeland Security suggests you might want to think carefully about your Android device.

    According to the memo, 79% of malicious attacks on mobile phones in 2012 occurred on Google’s Android operating system. Nokia’s Symbian software had the second-most attacks, the BBC reports, while Apple’s iOS had only 0.7% of all attacks.

    But that information should be taken with a pretty big grain of salt. Before you stop yourself from buying a new Android device, consider this: 44% of users who were infected were using old versions of the operating system, specifically 2.3.3 to 2.3.7 (code named ‘Gingerbread’). This operating system is over two years old; Google has since released newer operating systems with safeguards against certain known malware.

    [ More Right Click: Sorry,

    Read More »from The mobile operating system most likely to get infected with malware

  • Nintendo 2DS handheld gaming systemIf you’ve been eyeing the Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming system, but aren’t interested in the higher price or its 3D functionality, Nintendo just announced a product for you… maybe.

    Today, Nintendo unveiled the Nintendo 2DS, a handheld gaming system that allows you to play all of the 3DS games on the market, but without the 3D viewing option. It will go on sale for $129.99 USD on October 12.

    All other functionality of the 3DS is kept in this new version; you’ll still be able to connect to the Internet via WiFi, play local multiplayer, and download games from the Nintendo eStore. It’s also backwards-compatible with Nintendo DS titles.

    [ Related: ‘Animal Crossing: New Leaf’ and the kind of people it teaches its players to be ]

    There is, um, one major difference. Unlike the Nintendo 3DS, or the previous generation’s Nintendo DS, there’s no clamshell design, allowing you to close the system and keep your screens protected. Like the Gameboys of yore, your screen will be exposed to the elements

    Read More »from Nintendo 2DS announced by Nintendo for entry-level gaming
  • If you’re not in the market for a new iPhone and just want to get your hands on the new mobile operating system, your wait may soon be over.

    According to an email sent from a developer, iOS 7 will be available to the public on September 10, the same day as Apple’s anticipated iPhone event.

    [ Related: New iPhone expected September 10: reports ]

    The Verge reports an email was sent by Nuance, the company who’s responsible for Siri, to developers yesterday, encouraging them to test the speech components of their software ahead of the September 10 iOS 7 launch to the general public:

    (Image from owened.co.nz)

    Owen Williams, the developer who received the email, says that this is “about as real as it gets outside of Apple itself inviting the media to the event,” in light of Nuance’s relationship with Apple in the past.

    It also means that the release of the new iPhone (or iPhones if the rumours of a mid-range model are true) will probably come shortly after September 10, too. There has never been a day-of release of the

    Read More »from iOS 7 expected to hit September 10, leaked email shows
  • The Parkinson Society Canada estimates that over 100,000 Canadians live with Parkison’s disease in the country. This incurable neurodegenerative disorder occurs when the cells that produce dopamine die. In the absence of this chemical, signals do not properly reach the nerves in the brain, resulting in tremors that impinge on the patients' ability to accomplish the most essential tasks, including eating.

    San Francisco-based Lift Labs is about to release the Liftware spoon, which would help stabilize the patients' tremors and enable them to eat with more dignity. The spoon has an embedded computer that analyzes the tremors and moves in the direction opposite to them.

    Dr. Anupam Pathak, founder and CEO of Linx Design behind the Lift Labs initiative, developed the concept while at the University of Michigan. In a news release about the spoon, he explains that his PhD work aimed at finding materials that would facilitate "active cancellation tremor" in the military.

    [ More Right Click: Steve

    Read More »from ‘Smart’ spoon may help control Parkinson’s tremors
  • Steve Ballmer speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 26, 2013.
    Steve Ballmer announced that he planned on retiring within the next twelve months, ending a 13-year career as Microsoft’s CEO.

    While Ballmer’s move was unexpected, it is worthwhile noting that Bill Gates’ Harvard classmate and Microsoft’s first business manager came under criticism over the years. He has often been depicted as a member of the old guard, having missed many crucial technological transitions in the past decade.

    "Since he took over in 2000, it is fair to say he missed a number of transitions: mobile, tablets, cloud," said analyst Zeus Kerravala at ZK Research to Reuters.

    "Microsoft continues to live off traditional PC computing. Ballmer's strength is traditional PC computing. He was a great guy for his era but times have changed and a new leadership is needed. It's hard to say his tenure has been a success," he added.

    [ Related: Who will be next to lead Microsoft? ]

    One thing is for sure, his eccentric public speaking appearances will long be remembered by both those who see

    Read More »from Steve Ballmer’s greatest hits and most outrageous performances


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