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 October 24 2015

This week’s recap : the future has finally arrived, 4G LTE vulnerabilities, Boomerang, Run Keeper for Apple Watch, and Nook GlowLight Plus


The future has finally arrived!

Well, well, well, it's this week that Marty McFly arrived from 1985, and the (non-)event was impossible to miss on Planet Geek. It pains us to acknowledge that reality is really far from the movie though: flying cars are nowhere near. But! Marty still could have found a few familiar gadgets, if he looked hard enough. Like this new hoverboard prototype, launched on October 21 (of course) by Arx Pax. The Hendo Hover will not be marketed by the company, but rather sent to crowdunfers who pledged $10,000 or more (!!!) on their Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.  Nike also jumped in and announced the upcoming launch (2016) of its self-lacing shoes.


The 4G LTE not-so-cool vulnerabilities

A team from Carnegie Mellon University raised a big red flag about 4G LTE mobile networks, that presumably have no less that 4 flaws putting users at risk. These bugs could enable hackers to spoof phone numbers and make calls, establish direct sessions between phones, change call permissions, transfer data while letting legitimate users foot the bill, and establish multiple sessions within the same device. All these vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely. Apprently, only Android users are impacted by this. And there is no solution as of now.

Here is Boomerang

Instagram launched Boomerang, an app that lets users create videos that last... 1 second. The really easy-to-use app takes photo bursts, then assembles them to generate *short* videos that users can play forwards and backwards, and that automatically loops (hence the name). It can then be shared on Instagram and Facebook (which owns Insta, let's not forget). "Welcome to 1999," quipped a (sarcastic or jealous, your call) commentator on the app's overview video.


Jogging without your phone with the new RunKeeper for Apple Watch

Analysts pretty much all agree that the Apple Watch has become SO MUCH MORE useful since the launch of WatchOS 2.0, which, as we told you a couple of weeks back, enables developers to create apps that run on the watch itself -without the need for an iPhone. RunKeeper did not waste time and launched a new version of its app that make it possible for joggers to track and record their running data on its own. However, the app does not provide all the features users expect from the iOS or Android versions: while it can measure steps, distance and even cardiac frequency, it will not record a run's route or elevation, since the watch does not have a GPS.


Bathtub reading with the Nook GlowLight Plus

It might come as a surprise, but the American book store/company Barnes & Nobles still exists. And it might come as an even bigger surprise, but it continues to make e-readers! Their new Nook GlowLightPlus is even their best product to date: its back is in aluminium, lighter, sleeker and sturdier than the previous plastic version. It comes with a slick back lighting system that enables reading in the dark, and its resolution is great. But here is its truly distinctive feature: it is entirely waterproof, up to 3 feet and for 30 minutes (while also being rustproof). $130 US.

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