connected

Hotspot Shield review

Hotspot Shield is a free tool and service that lets you connect to the Internet via Virtual Private Network (VPN). Hotspot Shield is mainly geared toward those who want a more secure connection when accessing the Internet from public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Pros

Value: Hotspot Shield is one of the largest free VPN services in the world. Though the free version is ad-supported, the paid Elite tier comes at an affordable price, with cross-platform support.

Customizable: Hotspot Shield allows you to connect from other countries. This not only helps to shield your connection origins, but it also potentially lets you access … Read more

Boeing to sell self-destructing smartphones

CNET Update is covering up:

In this episode of Update:

- Mess with Boeing's "Black" smartphone and it will erase all data. But you won't be able to buy this spy-worthy phone in stores.

- Time to cover those webcams. The Guardian reports government agencies tapped into 1.8 million Yahoo users' webcams to secretly snap photos.

- Say goodbye to some online gameplay features in Nintendo's Wii, DS and DSi.

- Get real-time coaching feedback from a new fitness tracker called the Moov. The company is raising money to launch it this summer.

CNET … Read more

How much is the Internet of everything worth? Cisco says $19 trillion

BARCELONA, Spain -- Are you curious why everyone is talking about the Internet of everything? Cisco CEO John Chambers gives 19 trillion really good reasons.

Chambers believes the Internet of everything, also known as the Internet of things, will create $19 trillion (yes, that's with a "t") in economic benefit and value over the next decade.

The Internet of things is the concept that any device that could use an Internet connection should get one, allowing it to talk with other devices on the network. It's widely believed to be the next catalyst for innovation in … Read more

AT&T's Drive Studio adds partners in connected car effort

BARCELONA, Spain -- AT&T's crew for its Drive Studio connected car facility is getting a little bigger.

The telecom company said Monday that it had signed up three new partners to help automakers ease their way into the world of wireless services.

First up is Qualcomm, which will debut its recently unveiled Snapdragon Automotive Solutions, which powers infotainment and telematics found at the Drive Studio. Qualcomm is making a big push into cars itself, following in the footsteps of Nvidia, which has long provided its Tegra processors to the automotive industry.

AT&T will also work … Read more

How Big Brother's going to peek into your connected home

For as long as people have envisioned the inevitable advent of smart home, critics and privacy advocates have warned how it might all go horribly wrong.

We're not just talking Orwellian paranoia or a dystopian future where our personal lives are intertwined with corporate identities constantly siphoning data from them. The security and privacy issues at play in haphazardly wiring up our personal spaces are becoming increasingly more substantive and -- with the proliferation of smart devices -- opening up our lives to more points of vulnerability, both from real-world threats and existential ones.

"There's been nearly … Read more

US to push for mandatory car-to-car wireless communications

The US government will work to enable wireless communication links between cars, technology it expects will reduce accidents and, eventually, decrease fuel consumption and speed travel.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said Monday it's finalizing a report on the subject based on a 3,000-vehicle study of vehicle-to-vehicle communications that began in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2012. That report should be released in the coming weeks -- and then the Department of Transportation's push for using V2V technology in cars and light trucks will get serious.

"NHTSA will then begin working on a regulatory proposal that … Read more

'Jurassic Park' velociraptor cage for sale on eBay

The velociraptors from "Jurassic Park" may not be entirely accurate, but they certainly made an impression. In fact, they are the single most terrifying reptile we've ever seen in a film (including Godzilla). Now you can buy your very own piece of velociraptor prehistory -- if you have around $100,000 to spare.

The original prop used in the opening scene of the 1993 film is apparently up for sale on eBay from a seller called Theme Park Connection, which specializes in purchasing and reselling original film props.

The crate itself comes with a full-size velociraptor prop, according to the item's condition report, which notes that the set is in a state of disrepair and would make for a great restoration project. … Read more

Can Staples Connect bring order to the smart-home universe?

There's little doubt that the popularity of "smart home" products is surging. Connected devices both large and small were everywhere at CES this year, and with Google buying Nest recently, it's clear that the titans of tech are paying attention.

But with all of these new devices comes a Babel-esque smattering of networking protocols -- the "languages" they use to receive and transmit data. Some speak to your router over Wi-Fi, others speak to your tablet over Bluetooth. Kwikset, Yale and Schlage make smart deadbolts that relay information using Z-Wave, while Philips Hue bulbsRead more

Top apps to boost your privacy

Internet privacy has become a hot issue: Governments are snooping, user data is being breached, shady apps have questionable permissions. Is it possible to be the least bit anonymous online? While no software can claim to be 100 percent PRISM-proof, the following apps significantly improve your chances of having a more private experience on the Web.

Do Not Track

Do Not Track lets you opt out of Web site tracking services, including social network services, analytics, and various ad networks. Many browsers already provide support for enabling Do Not Track within their respective native options. Supported browsers include:

Firefox for Windows/… Read more

Google's Nest buy could spur growth of 'Internet of things'

If you thought that the "Internet of things" was a geeky and niche industry aimed only at early adopters, Google's got 3.2 billion reasons you should see it as an industry primed for massive and widespread growth.

When the tech giant announced Monday that it plans to spend $3.2 billion in cash to purchase Nest -- makers of, to date, smart thermostats and smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors -- it put the brightest spotlight yet on the nascent industry.

"When we first showed up two years ago, people were like, 'thermostats, poo-poo,' and they didn'… Read more