Apple develops biometric reader for their products

Information is king these days, and folks who control the most information in the world are often the ones sitting on top. After all, if you have knowledge of a company’s internal workings as well as where they’re headed, chances are you would make your next share purchase decision based on that in order to secure a generous windfall once the general populace knows about it, right? While data is becoming more available across all levels of society, it also pays to remember that we ought to take extra care in keeping our personal data secure, and this is what the latest patent filing from Apple is all about. The Cupertino-based organization is currently working on a new technique which helps hide a biometric reader within an iPhone or a Mac, allowing users to lock down their systems using fingerprints and perhaps even facial recognition software without having to break through their usual routine.

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Brain Training games no better than crosswords, experts say

Expensive electronic brain trainers like “Brain Age” are no better than keeping the mind young and sharp than the daily crossword puzzle, according to experts in the United Kingdom. Based on a study commissioned by the consumer group “Which?,” three experts were tasked to check claims made by Nintendo and other devices that brain games increase memory and are instrumental in staving off mental disorders like Dimentia.

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India announces the $10 laptop … for $20

NOT the computer, just an example
NOT the computer, just an example

With great fanfare, the Indian government announced their $10 laptop, now known as the “Sakshat” and stated that the laptop would sell for twice the planned cost … $20. Still, not to bad. And although there’s no picture of this price breaking design at the moment, here’s an overview of what’s under the hood:

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The Sony Mofiria

We all know that no two fingerprints are exactly alike, which is how biometric scanners can identify the correct user. However, did you know that people can be positively identified by their finger veins?

This is exactly what the mofiria is designed to indentify. It uses near infrared LEDs on the side of the user’s finger, and then CMOS sensors can capture the scattered light inside the finger veins.

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HP expands recycle program to include buy-back for cash or trade-in

HP has expanded it’s Planet Partners Recycling program and added a buyback element to it. The new program dubbed the HP Consumer Buyback and Planet Partners Recycling Program, will buy back any brand of PC, monitor, printer, digital camera, or which still has some sort of value, rather than simply recycle the e-waste it receives. And it’s a lot. To date, HP has recycled close to one billion pounds of computer waste and hopes that the new buy back program will double that figure by 2010. Here’s how it works.

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Steve Jobs explains his health, invents new diet plan

With rumors running rampant about Steve Jobs’ health over the last few months, including that he was either dead or at death’s door, and with the announcement that he was not going to be giving Apple’s last keynote address at MacWorld, the Cupertino Guru decided it was time to quell the scuttlebutt and explain his health condition which prompted his recent rapid weight loss. According to Jobs, a strange hormonal imbalance has cause his Holocaust survivor like appearance and his decision to pull out of the MacWorld keynote was more to spend the holidays with his family rather than preparing for the last great Apple Keynote (you may remember Apple announcing they will not longer participate in MacWorld Expo after 2009). Anyone buying it? I mean, seriously.

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Apple files for ‘swipe-gesture’ patent application

Apple is a company well known for rolling out firsts in the computing industry, and I must acknowledge that their phenomenal success with multi-touch gestures on their iPhone and iPod touch has won me over as a fan for life. Good thing this has upped the ante with Windows-based computers, as we now see some of the Windows-based notebooks coming with generous sized touchpads that feature more than just point-and-click functionality of yore, although they don’t really epitomize the ease-of-use associated with Apple’s multi-touch gestures. This time round, Apple boffins aren’t resting on their laurels as the company has had visions of improved touch screens floating around in their heads. On Christmas Day, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revealed an Apple patent application that consists of a swipe-gesture system to be used on touch screen keyboards. What does this all mean for the end user? Well, it basically entails the user to “perform certain functions using swipes across the key area rather than tapping particular keys.”

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DNA Mini Portraits

Have you run out of gift ideas for your loved ones this holiday season? Well, why not let DNA 11 help you out in this aspect? After all, we’re pretty sure that dad is sick and tired of receiving yet another belt-and-tie gift box, while mom might take offence at a new vacuum cleaner as if she doesn’t already have enough to do around the home already. DNA 11 has the perfect gift solution – something that will never cross the minds of most people – it has released its latest gift idea, the DNA Mini Portraits. This line of more affordable DNA art will bring together art, technology, beauty and pop culture in a single piece.

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Ditech improves Bluetooth Headsets with VQABlue Solution

I’m sure there are many Coolest Gadget readers who can’t live unless there is a Bluetooth headset attached to your ear. I’m sure that you have noticed a few problems that come attached to them, like mild discomfort and bad reception.

Fortunately, Ditech is on the job and worked to improve Bluetooth headsets with VQABlue solution. VQABlue is software available to headsets, and the user does not have to increase the memory of his or her headset for it.

VQABlue also improves the dual-microphone design, and now users can wear headsets in a way that is most comfortable to them. That means no more fiddling around with the headset until the caller actually has to be uncomfortable to hear his or her calls.

Ditech has also created “bi-directional algorithms” which can actually improve voice quality on both ends of the call. Many of the audio improvements on headsets today can improve the quality on the other end of the call, but not the sound for the caller.

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