17 apr

Heartbleed Attack Leads to Arrest

***, Clusters, Companies, Electronics, News, Rants

This whole Heartbleed thing has me seriously wondering what is going on today with our Security and our understanding of Security. It is laughable!

First, if you are trusting OpenSSL, which is an OPEN SOURCE encryption SSL certificate generator, you need to be able to completely understand the source you are using before you implement it, because anyone else out there will be able to understand it too. That’s the down-side of open source, it’s all hanging out there. Go and spend the money for a real trusted certificate.

Second, not only does a website have to be running the exact version of an OpenSSL cert, but the hacker has to be inside the network to be able to ease-drop on the communications that are being relayed. Whether it’s an employee or a Starbucks or Airport WiFi.

So many people got their panties in a pinch when this came out. The news spread like a wildfire and in-effect, revealed IT departments poor decision making in selecting a good SSL Certificate. Also revealed some bad decision making on the part of hiring right people. The thing with Certificates and understaffed IT departments, there is no specialist who understands the full ramifications. It is just funny! Crazy media pot of stew, just climbing up the ranks, stirring unnecessary changing of passwords. Although passwords should always be on rotation.

Here’s to you Canada, congratulations.

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13 mar

Learning JavaScript? Here’s How

***, DIY, Internet, JavaScript

Learning JavaScript can be the gateway to much more serious, much more powerful programming languages out there. You can easily take the logic and syntax learned in JavaScript and take the next step to PHP pretty easily, although still very much different. You can apply the same syntax JavaScript has to C#, Java, PHP, and even CFScript. Lots of options. How do you get started?

Take a course:
https://www.learnstreet.com/ – A highly interactive course that allows you to learn and play at the same time.

Learn on your own:
http://jsfiddle.net/ – The best online interactive testing and collaboration tool.

I’m not going to list w3schools (unlinked) – w3schools is a definite resource, but only as a reference once you understand the concepts and basic syntax.

Also, jump into jQuery early! jQuery makes native JavaScript much easier, it handles cross browser compatibility much better, and will serve as a much needed crutch to climb the curve. Eventually, see how you can do without it, and you may have a couple nights that I was privy’d to having back when JavaScript was in it’s infancy.

Learn by example:

Native JavaScript:
http://jsfiddle.net/thomasf1/XNJxT/5/
http://jsfiddle.net/blazeeboy/fNPvf/

jQuery Examples:
http://jsfiddle.net/3E2Hg/1/
http://jsfiddle.net/dwahlin/DUU9p/2/light/
http://jsfiddle.net/dwahlin/bbwZr/3/light/
http://jsfiddle.net/dwahlin/nCLy6/4/light/
http://jsfiddle.net/BH8q9/ – Countdown
http://jsfiddle.net/8LV3p/ – Use Chrome / Firefox for this one!

jQuery Plugin Examples:
http://jsfiddle.net/db5SX/ – Dialog Boxes with jQuery
http://jsfiddle.net/davidpadbury/AUEQq/ – jQuery UI
http://jsfiddle.net/webdevem/p3sfy/ – jQuery UI

Enjoy!

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12 mar

Hydrogen Vehicles As Soon As Spring 2014!

***, Car Computing, Electronics, Government, News
fuel cell car

fuel cell car

Thinking about purchasing or leasing an all electric vehicle? Well, you may want to take note before you sign on the dotted line, because the next generation of EVs are just around the corner!

Hyundai is taking pre-orders for their first-ever, hydrogen-powered vehicle that emits zero-emissions and travels as far as  300 miles on a single tank up to speeds of 100 mph. Filling up a single tank of hydrogen takes anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes while a traditional electric vehicle such as a Nissan Leaf can take as long as 3 hours at a charging station. The initial model from Hyundai will be called the Tucson Fuel Cell and it’ll be available Spring 2014 at $499 a month for 3 years. There’s a $2,999 due at signing, but there’s also $2,500 government rebate to encourage this future technology and stimulate growth in this new market.

All maintenance, service and hydrogen fuel is included during Hyundai’s program plus many other free benefits. However, Hyundai plans to offer their leasing program in the Los Angeles and Orange County area in California where Governor Brown signed a bill to fund 20 million a year for 10 years for up to 100 stations to be built. In doing so, California has mandated at least 15% of new vehicles sold in the state are required to produce zero emissions by 2025, and its regulations require auto makers to sell electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles to meet the requirement. Note: At this time, there are fewer than 15 public hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S. today.

Here’s a rather detailed description of how a hydrogen car works I pulled from one of the videos below:

“Rather than purchase a conventional car with a gasoline tank, a fuel cell car has a tank that stores compressed hydrogen as a gas. Hydrogen is used as an energy carrier, so the fuel cell car can produce its own electricity on board rather than store it in batteries. This compressed hydrogen is expanded and then fed into the fuel cell stack. The fuel cell stack is like a tiny electric power station. Inside it the hydrogen combines with oxygen from the air to generate electricity as water as a by product. Water vapor is the fuel cell car’s only emission. The electricity created inside the fuel cell stack is used to power the electric motor which in turn is used to drive the car.”

Hyundai is not the only manufacture producing Fuel Cell vehicles, there’s also Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell, Honda FCX Clarity and Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell.

For more information, check out these few videos below that demonstrates how this technology is our future  not only our cars but also our homes.

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8 mar

Man versus machine: Table tennis champ to take on Ping-Pong-playing robot

News
The oh so beautiful Maggie Q playing in 1997's Balls of Fury

The amazing and oh so beautiful Maggie Q playing in 1997′s Balls of Fury

I love table tennis also known around the world as ping pong — I have an awesome game on my iPad I like to think I’m pretty good at however I haven’t played lately, so although it’s a synthetic experience I’ve probably lost all skill just the same.

Here’s an awesome video of how an engineer crafted his own robot to play opposite of him in a game of ping-pong. Will the future of robots be man’s new best friend? Probably not, but this is pretty cool.

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Now that you’ve enjoyed that short video be sure to check out this brief teaser trailer of man vs. machine table tennis match, who will be victorious? The battle begins on March 11, 2014 as ping-pong champion Timo Boll is facing KUKA’s KR AGILUS robot at the ping-pong table.

Will machine beat man in ping-pong just like IBM’s Deep Blue Supercomputer won a match against reigning World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov in 1997 or how IBM’s Watson defeated both reigning Jeopardy champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in 2011? My bet is on machine if you ask me!

Watch the video production on March 11th 2014 at www.kuka-timoboll.com to find out who is the winner. Check out the teaser below. Should be fun!

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5 mar

Super Super Busy!

News

I have been slacking on this blog as of late. As of the past 4 months actually. A good thing, been REALLY busy. Just moved even closer to DC. Sorry about that everyone.

On that note, just wanted to note that I love how when I go into my command prompt on Windows and type LS, it actually works because I have all the unix binaries properly pathed and my Linux behavior begins to act up anytime there is a prompt screen and the background isn’t blue. Lol!

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12 feb

Sharktank Cycloramic Panoramic App

**, Apple, Electronics, Entrepreneurship, iPhone

Some people tell me that this is the best Sharktank invention ever. I tend to agree. It uses already existing technology that can be transferred over a network that is highly difficult to calculate and makes a new practical use. I think Mark Cuban just bought a genius is what he did.

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3 feb

Investigating Yii – PHP MVC Framework

**, Entertainment, Internet, PHP

yii-logoThe web world is big. You hear me say it all the time. And just when you think you have a wrap on just how big the internet is, you get another Framework that has been around for nearly 5 years, that somehow skated right by you.

I’ve briefly heard of Yii Framework before, but did not realize how advantageous it really was to quick development using techniques I love like DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) and MVC (Model-View-Controller). What does Yii stand for? “Yes, it is!” Every single thing that you need for rapid website development, all influenced by Prado, Ruby on Rails, jQuery, Symfony, and Joomla. This little guy is light weight and offers quick and heavy integration with databases and user interface fun all out of the box.

If you are looking for another PHP Framework to give a try, take a look at this one.

http://www.yiiframework.com/

And if you have 5 minutes to play Hangman, here’s a Yii version:

http://www.yiiframework.com/demos/hangman/index.php/game/play

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27 jan

Guess Who Turned 30 Years Old? Macintosh

*, Apple, Companies, Electronics, History, Mac, News

A lot has changed in 30 years. Steve Jobs is no longer with us and the Macintosh revolutionized computers today.

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21 jan

20 Awesome iOS 7 Jailbreak Tweaks

News

imagesThe Jailbreak community is back in full swing now that the latest Unteathered Jailbreak debuted for iOS 7 late last year. If you’re not familiar with Jailbreaking, it’s defined simply by removing the restrictions Apple places on your iOS devices. When I bought my iPhone 5S a few months ago I didn’t think I wanted to jailbreak again, because I thought iOS 7 offered many of the reasons why I jailbroke my iPhone 4 in the first place. However, it’s hard to dismiss how creative and inventive developers are and as soon as I saw the next generation of tweaks for iOS 7 that were being developed I couldn’t help but jailbreak my new iPhone!

This article is not intended to educate how to jailbreak your iOS device. However, if you’re curious about why people jailbreak their iPhone, then take a look at some if not all these tweaks I mention below. These jailbreak “tweaks” as they are called are my absolute favorite so far and I recommend each one of them. There are however thousands of tweaks that exist in the Cydia App Store, which is the store that is installed on your iOS device when you jailbreak your device, therefore I’m very selective with my choices. Please take a look and share your opinions!

1) Tweak: CCToggles
Developer: deVbug
Purpose: Let me first preference that I love CCToggles. It’s my favorite tweak right now and deVbug, the developer of CCToggles, is really active within the jailbreak community with many practical tweaks as you’ll read below. CCToggles enables you to completely customize the Control Center with your own QuickLaunch apps and Toggles. Why is this important? When you swipe up from the bottom of your screen, you’re shown Apple’s standard Control Center, but unfortunately it’s limited to the few applications Apple feels are important such as: Calculator, Timer, Camera and Flashlight. With CCToggles you can now swap out these core apps with your favorite applications that you personally need most and the best part is you get pages of them! Another nice feature that’s worth noting is if you password protect your lock screen, your phone will prompt you to enter your password when you launch any of your Control Center apps. Let’s not forget the core toggles Apple features such as Wifi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, etc can now be swapped out with dozens of additional toggles thanks to deVbug’s tweak and you can have pages of toggles, too. There’s also a clever feature I’m sure everyone can appreciate once you’ve enabled CCToggles and that is the ability to quickly switch Wifi networks or Bluetooth devices from Control Center. This is achieved by simply holding down the toggles for a few seconds to reveal its settings menu so you can quickly switch to another network or device. This developer has really thought about everything when he designed this tweak. Apple’s new Control Center was one of the most requested features to finally make it to iOS, but once we got our hands on it every iPhone user knew it was extremely limited. Fortunately deVbug solved this problem to take back your Control Center!

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2) Tweak: AppSwitcher QLPanel
Developer: deVbug
Purpose: Developer deVbug is back taking his CCToggles even further by developing an Application Switcher into the Control Center just beneath the QuickLaunch apps and it’s pretty slick if you ask me. Why would you need a second Application Switcher when Apple built one into the core iOS? It’s not like Apple’s core application switcher isn’t very good, it’s actually really nice now that they’ve improved it with iOS 7, but now that I’ve been using deVbug’s new AppSwitcher QLPanel I personally find it faster to switch applications by swiping up to reveal the Control Center than double clicking my home button to reveal Apple’s core application switcher. What’s even better is deVbug built in many customizable features such as transparency, kill all open apps option and more. This tweak may not be for everyone, but I would recommend trying it out if you’re looking for a faster, subtle and more convenient application switcher.

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3) Tweak: HiddenSettings7
Developer
: deVbug
Purpose: If you’re a heavy folder user with your iOS device then this tweak will surely strike your fancy. I’m personally a huge advocate of managing my apps within folders, but Apple’s stock iOS 7.0.4 only supports one level of folder creation. For example, I have handful of games and I want to keep my favorite games separate from my kid’s games in their own folder. Instead of creating two separate folders separate from each other now with HiddenSettings7 you can enable Apple’s “Allow Nested Folders” option, and combine your folders within folders. There are many other settings now available once you’ve enabled Apple’s hidden settings, so  have fun exploring!

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4) Tweak: 7Folder Relayout
Developer
: deVbug
Purpose: You should only install this tweak if HiddenSettings7 installed since it’s designed to compliment deVbug’s “HiddenSettings7” tweak by adding custom options on top of Apple’s “Allow Nested Folders” options. You’ll now have 4×4 icon layout instead of Apple’s standard 3×3 icon layout, some additional blurring options and including a grid icon layout when the folders are collapsed. I personally love this tweak and in my opinion is critical if you use Apple’s “Allow Nested Folders” options.

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5) Tweak: CCClockOpenToAlarm
Developer: Jerry En
Purpose: If you use your iPhone as an alarm clock then this is the perfect tweak for you. There’s a clever secret that not everyone knows about. I say this because I’ve shared this secret with some colleagues of mine and nearly every time I’m thanked for showing it off. The secret is when you swipe up from the bottom of your screen to reveal the Control Center, Apple displays a few QuickLaunch short cuts and one of them defaults to the Timer setting within the Clock application. The Clock application as you may have just realized is where your Alarm Clock lives therefore simply clicking the Alarm button takes you to your precious Alarm Clock with just a few taps. Since I use the Timer setting very sparingly, I do however use the Alarm Clock every day and so this tweak simply defaults the Timer QuickLaunch short cut to launch the Alarm Clock when pressed. That’s all it does — it’s so perfect in its simplicity that I can’t recommend it enough!

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6) Tweak: DateCarrier
Developer
: Bradley Friedman (S1ReX)
Purpose: Apple believes it’s more important for you to know the time of day than today’s date. So this is why Apple displays the time in the status bar and you have to seek out what today’s date by swiping down from your Notification Center or checking your Lock Screen. Developer Bradley Friedman believes the date is just as important as the time and I happen to agree with him. So, he developed a tweak that enables you to replace your service provider label (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile) that’s in the upper left corner of your status bar with the option to display today’s date. There are handful of formatting options to play with, but I like the look of simplicity of just the Month and Day without the year.

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 7) Tweak: Apptray
Developer: DarkMalloc
Purpose: There’s only one place that Apple allows you to manage your apps within iOS and that’s on home screen also known as the SpringBoard. Sure, Apple gives you the ability to add apps to the dock and folders, but again the location of your app management is on the SpringBoard. The iOS springboard is the equivalent to the Mac/PC desktop. Do you keep every app within your computer on your desktop? I would imagine you probably have a few apps on your desktop, but not all 100+ apps you have installed on your computer is launched on your desktop, right? That would be insane! So why would you want all your apps on your iOS SpringBoard? That’s what developer DarkMalloc must have thought as well, because he developed the perfect location for all your precious apps and it’s called AppTray! Once you install AppTray, simply swipe down to reveal your Notification Center and you’ll have a brand new tab that can store limitless amounts of apps for you to switch into quickly and easily from within any app! No more closing an app just to open another app. Everyone should have this tweak installed and Apple should really be paying attention, because the SpringBoard is no place for applications.

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8) Tweak: TapTodaysCalendar
Developer: ianb821
Purpose: This tweak is an absolute standard for all jailbreakers out there. Let me ask you a couple of questions first. What happens when you reveal the Notification Center and you click today’s weather description? It will open the weather app of course! What happens when you click on your directions description within the Notification Center? It will launch your maps application, which is really convenient. So, now ask yourself what happens when you click on today’s date from the Notification Center? Go ahead and press it. Did you press it? Did you expect something to happen? You probably thought it was going to launch something date related perhaps a calendar, but it didn’t, right? That’s because it appears Apple forgot to make that the only thing you can’t press! Well, developer Ianb821 solved this obvious feature that Apple forgot by developing a little tweak that gives you the ability to launch you favorite calendar app when today’s date is pressed! There’s also an added bonus to swap out the weather description when pressed with your favorite weather app. This is a probably one of the most practical tweaks developed. Enjoy!

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9) Tweak: iForward
Developer: Ryan Conigliaro
Purpose: I can not believe this tweak exists! When I found it I said, thank you developer Ryan Conigliaro for saving me from my forgetfulness. This tweak solves the problem when I don’t have my phone available with me nd I’m constantly missing phone calls and text messages. I’ll be working from home on a project for hours at my computer and realize my concentration has been laser focused for a long time and I got a lot done! Why is that? That’s because I wasn’t interrupted with phone calls or text messages! “Oops,” I would say, “I left my phone somewhere in the house!” I miss so many important phone calls or text messages this way and it sucks sometimes. Fortunately, there’s iForward to the rescue! This wonderful tweak will do exactly what its name implies and forwards those missed calls, text messages and voice mails to your email of choice. So, when I’m at my computer working, I’ll always know if I missed a call, text or voice mail. Thank you, Ryan, for developing iForward.

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10) Tweak: TransparentVolume
Developer: bushe
Purpose: This tweak should be unnecessary. I mean really unnecessary. So, you know when you’re watching a video on your phone probably on youtube, vimeo, Facebook or the like and you increase/decrease the volume? You’re shown that large gray volume indicator that has a nasty 5 to 7 second lag after you stop pressing the volume rocker. This tweak makes the gray volume indicator transparent, so you’re not interrupted for 15 seconds and have to rewind the video every time just to see what you missed. Until Apple fixes what I think is a design flaw, do yourself a favor and install this tweak.

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11) Tweak: VideoPane
Developer
: Ryan Petrich
Purpose: This tweak is not for everyone, because only in rare moments will you probably want to take advantage of it. However, it’s probably one of the coolest tweaks that I like to share with folks. Developer Ryan Petrich developed a method to multitask any video playing on your iOS device while you’re in another app. So, if you’re watching a live broadcast on youtube, safari or another favorite video app of yours, you can pop the video into a modal window and watch your video while operating another app. It comes built with lots of features such as transparency, shrink/expand its size, it can be moved around the screen and more. As I said before, this tweak may not something that will probably use a lot but if its critical that you need to multitask a playing video then install VideoPane.

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12) Tweak: iTouchSecure
Developer: SpiritOfLogic
Purpose: So you bought one of those shiny new iPhone 5s models and you’re feeling really safe now having all your data locked away with your finger print sensor. Then you realize Apple only supports using your fingerprint for a very few purposes: unlocking your iPhone and making purchases within the App Store/iTunes Store. That’s nice, but why can’t I use my fingerprint sensor to enter my bank password or ebay password? Not yet says Apple. So, here comes SpiritOfLogic and they support this exact functionality you crave now and with a single touch of your finger all your your websites and password managed apps can be unlocked with the touch of your finger. It’s so convenient now, it’s the best tweak to install for all iPhone 5S users.

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13) Tweak: Action Menu
Developer
: Ryan Petrich
Purpose: This tweak is a time saver. I use it really for one purpose and that’s its copy/paste clipboard functonality. I place all my favorite pieces of text that I paste the most often in its clipboard. For example, I like to store my email, address, phone number and other personal information in my Action Menu ‘favorites’ clipboard so I no longer have to type it out. Saves me a lot of time and I recommend it. When I show off this tweak to friends everyone wants that same feature.

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14) Tweak: AddNote for ActionMenu
Developer: Davide Mainas
Purpose: If you liked the Action Menu ‘favorites’ feature I mentioned previously then this little tweak may spark your interest as well. Lets say you’re selecting some text on a website and you want to save this piece of text? Perhaps its a phone number, address, email or something else that’s important to you. With AddNote installed along with ActionMenu, when you highlight any piece of text you’ll be shown an option to save it as a Note. Press the AddNote icon and its immediately saved in the native Notes application and it works flawlessly!

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15) Tweak: BiteSMS
Purpose
: What can you say about this tweak? It’s the reason iOS users jailbreak their phones, because we want to reply to a text message without leaving any app you’re currently in. **Round of applause** Are you listening Apple? It’s 2014 and iOS is now 7 years old and we still can’t reply to a text message natively without leaving an application? This is where BiteSMS comes in and knocks a home run right out of the park! These guys are the best at text messaging and if you don’t have it installed on your jailbroken iPhone, you are truly missing out. Go get it now.

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16) Tweak: NoteCreator
Developer: JGTweaks
Purpose: Have you ever been on a phone call and you needed to take a quick note, but you’re in a rush and can’t find a pen, paper or even your favorite app to use? I know I have and it’s tough thinking quickly sometimes when you’re trying to write down that confirmation number. This tweak will provides you the ability to invoke a note taking modal window that floats onto of any app you’re currently in including your phone dialer. Once your note is saved, you can return to it later by visiting Apple’s stock Note application. Install this bad boy and save yourself the trouble of fumbling for a pen.

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17) Tweak: DockShift
Developer
: NG
Purpose: If you like simplicity then this little tweak may be for you. I love a good clean SpringBoard so I can view my beautiful background photo of my family without any clutter. I want the same clean look for my dock even though it sits at the very bottom of the screen. With DockShift installed, you can knock out the dock background so its transparent or switch it to a different style.

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18) Tweak: Activator
Developer
: Ryan Petrich
Purpose: You can’t jailbreak your phone and not have Activator installed. It’s a killer tweak that even Apple should build into iOS. It’s a shortcut/hotkey/macro creator. Let’s say you want a triple click on the home button to launch your phone book. Now you can with activator installed. Let’s say you want a double click of your home button to launch your camera app. Now you can with activator installed. There are dozens and dozens of possibilities with Activator.

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19) Tweak: Infidock
Developer: chpwn
Purpose: Apple limits the amount of icons/folders you can have on your dock to 4 apps/folders only. With Infidock installed, you can install an infinite amount, because it enables the ability to swipe to see multiple docks. It’s a great little tweak with lots of options and highly recommend it.

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20) Tweak: SwipeSelection Pro
Developer
: Kyle Howells
Purpose: Developer Kyle Howells thought out of the box with this tweak. Whenever you need to make an edit to a piece of text or select a piece of text that you want to copy, you would have to awkwardly place your finger on top of the piece of text and use a magnifying glass to inspect the text so you can highlight the text. The problem is your finger is usually fatter than 3 to 4 letters on the screen and you can’t usually see what you’re selecting even with the sorta helpful magnifiying glass. In comes the tweak SwipeSelection Pro, which allows you to place your slide your finger over any part of the keyboard and it will move the curser as you swipe. It’s actually really easy to select text with this tweak now, because your finger is no longer on the screen! I’d recommend this one for sure.

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17 jan

Google Eyes Diabetes Battle With High-Tech Contact Lenses

*, Electronics, Google, News

A pretty cool video on how this contact lens type device can measure glucose levels for those with diabetes. Take it a step further, it could be the next evolution of Google Glass.

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