Apple patent application hints at future health-related plans

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published a new patent application from Apple focused on fitness.

Dubbed "Wrist Pedometer Step Detection," the patent application describes "optimizations for detecting steps" for when a pedometer is worn on the wrist. AppleInsider earlier reported on the patent.

Although pedometers are nothing new, Apple's method for detecting steps is actually somewhat sophisticated. The technology analyzes "peak-to-peak threshold" to determine when a person takes a step. Based on the time elapsed between those thresholds, it can infer when another step was taken, according to the patent … Read more

Snap cholesterol selfies with new smartphone app, device

New tech being developed at Cornell University aims to bring cholesterol testing to smartphones to make the numbers both more specific and easier to track.

Home cholesterol test kits have been around since the early 1990s, catering to those with high cholesterol levels -- which puts them at a higher risk of developing heart disease -- who need to check their numbers more than once every few years.

But the majority of home tests take total cholesterol readings only, without separating out the "good," high-density lipoprotein (HDL, which helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the arteries) from … Read more

How to bypass damaged-application warnings in OS X

Apple's Gatekeeper security system in OS X allows you to limit running applications to those that are created by trusted developers. With this feature enabled, if you open an unsigned program directly instead of using the contextual menu, then you will get an error message and the program will not execute.

However, Gatekeeper also detects whether a program has potentially been altered, and will prevent such a program from running. This is an effort to prevent programs, signed or otherwise, from being tampered with by malware and hackers. When this happens, the system will issue a similar Gatekeeper warning … Read more

Dropbox spruces up its app for iOS 7

Dropbox has a new look and new feature-set on iOS 7.

The company on Thursday launched version 3.0 of its mobile application, complete with a new design that mimics the look and feel of Apple's iOS 7. In addition, the application has added iPad functionality that allows for tapping on files and photos to toggle to full-screen mode. Dropbox has also promised that its revamped application will be faster than previous iterations.

In addition to the standard bug fixes that come with new app updates, the redesigned Dropbox features support for Apple's AirDrop. That means users can … Read more

The private information Facebook now makes public

You may have been one of the many Facebook users contacted by the company last week about the demise of the "Who can look up your Timeline by name" search setting. The Facebook e-mail announcing the discontinuation of the feature goes on to explain how to limit what information you share on the service. Unfortunately, there's no longer a way to limit globally the personal information Facebook shares with everyone; you can do so only for each separate post using the audience selector.

The Facebook Help Center states the following:

"Your name, gender, username, user ID (… Read more

Nike+ Move app ready to put iPhone's M7 chip through the paces

Apple's M7 co-processor, which is designed with fitness apps in mind, can now be put to work via Nike+ Move.

The Nike+ Move application is the first to take advantage of the M7 chip in Apple's iPhone 5S. The co-processor records movement, while the Nike application analyzes the data, converts the data into readable form, and measures it in terms of NikeFuel. Throughout the day, people can use their phone to see how close they are to reaching their fitness goals.

Nike showed off the application in September at Apple's iPhone event. Apple indicated at that time … Read more

Apple looks to outfit devices with solar power converters

Apple is looking at eliminating the middleman in solar power charging by outfitting devices with their own converters.

Published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a patent application dubbed "Power management systems for accepting adapter and solar power in electronic devices," envisions a power management system that can direct solar power to a laptop or other device without the need for an external converter.

Using solar power to charge your portable devices is hardly a new concept. But Apple's invention would remove some of the hassle involving in current methods. Instead of relying on bulky … Read more

IE usage resurges in September, new stats report

It's comeback time for Internet Explorer, the browser that languished for years but now is showing renewed vigor in the market as Microsoft revamps it.

Months ago, Net Applications statistics showed IE gaining some ground as measured by daily use among individuals. Now, new data released from StatCounter, which uses a different methodology emphasizing page views, is confirming that rebound.

Net Applications measured IE usage on personal computers growing from 57.6 percent in August to 57.8 percent in September -- not a dramatic change for what it deems the most-used browser. StatCounter's methods put IE in … Read more

Review: Create and customize animated GIFs with Free GIF Effect Application

Viscomsoft's Free GIF Effect Application is the sort of descriptive name we like to see in this day and age where you can't tell your bank from your health insurer by name. This Web-based freeware applies effects to animated GIFs; everything from basic blurring, grayscale, and pixelating to special effects like Old Movies and Birthday. It also zooms, rotates, and resizes GIFs and makes it easy to post them online or share them through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Free GIF Effect Application supports a wide range of interface languages and Windows editions, too; from 98 to … Read more

Analytics firms agree on August resurgence for Microsoft IE

StatCounter and Net Applications disagree about the best way to measure browser usage, but for August, they agreed on one thing: Microsoft's Internet Explorer had something of a resurgence.

The two firms use different methodology to measure browser usage -- for example, StatCounter measures all page views to its network of Web sites while Net Applications only counts one per day to try to measure users more than usage. As a result, StatCounter names Google's 5-year-old Chrome as the top browser, but Net Applications gives the honor to IE.

For August, though, IE looked better off in both … Read more