Google paves the way for more wearable apps

CNET Update finds these drones stunning:

In this episode of Update:

- Get ready for more Android apps that work on smartwatches. Google is launching a software development kit for Android on wearable gadgets.

- Update to iOS 7.1, now that Apple added new features and bug fixes to its mobile operating system.

- Spoil the official reveal of HTC's new flagship phone with new leaked photos popping up online.

- Listen to what Edward Snowden said at SXSW. It was his first time speaking to a public audience since he left the country for exposing classified documents … Read more

Can smart guns slash gun violence? Silicon Valley says yes

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gun violence in the US is an all too common occurrence. Almost every day, there's a new school shooting or a report of someone's kid getting shot accidentally. Could technology come to the rescue?

A group spearheaded by angel investing kingpin Ron Conway thinks it can, and it has $4 million that says so.

A press conference downtown here on Tuesday, the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation launched the first of four $1 million challenges aimed at inspiring the kinds of innovation that could help lead to safer guns -- and a reduction in the number … Read more

Star Apps: Matt Sorum

When I told friends that I was interviewing in-demand drummer Matt Sorum, I kept getting the same response: "Find out what he's actually like." The stick master is best known for keeping the beat for the Cult, Guns N' Roses, and Velvet Revolver, but he shows his softer side on his second solo album, "Stratosphere," out February 25 under the moniker Matt Sorum's Fierce Joy. The follow-up to 2004's "Hollywood Zen" is a highly personal, orchestrated acoustic album. Sorum writes about the important things in life, like family and environmental and … Read more

Zap! Yellow Jacket stun-gun case powers up for iPhone 5

The Yellow Jacket stun-gun case first showed up as an Indiegogo fundraising project back in the middle of 2012. That original model reached the world in early 2013, but a major redesign geared for the iPhone 5 and 5S has now landed at CES.

The original Yellow Jacket was a bit chunky-looking. The new one is a little more streamlined, but best of all, it's also detachable. You can easily remove your phone to let the kids play with it without also allowing them access to a 650,000-volt stun gun. There's also a big difference in the terrifying sound the new case makes. The original had kind of a fizzy zap to it. The new one is throaty and intimidating.… Read more

Rubber Band Machine Gun holds 672 elastic shots

I had a rubber band gun when I was a kid. It was made from a scrap of wood and had all the shooting accuracy of a blueberry pancake. Nonetheless, it came in handy for the local kid-wars. If only I had access to the Rubber Band Machine Gun, I would have ruled the neighborhood.

The elastic-flinging device has already shot past its $5,000 funding goal on Kickstarter. Rubber-band Gatling guns have been created before, but the Kickstarter project creator has refined the concept and brought the price down to the $100 level.… Read more

Google Glass and guns: The movie

They're the perfect modern, renegade couple.

So many people want them banned that it's a wonder they haven't gotten together before now. Each, in its way, is said to be a vast threat to a civilized society.

But if they join forces, won't things just be unbearable?

An enterprising YouTuber with the handle "cheekflapperer" (you ask him why he's called that. I won't. He's got guns) decided to see what it would be like to shoot a variety of weapons with Google Glass perched on his nose.… Read more

Can Silicon Valley innovate its way to a gun violence solution?

On the evening of December 14, 2012, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jim Pitkow attended a holiday party hosted by influential angel investor Ron Conway. That morning, the horrific events that left 26 dead had unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn. And as it happened, Conway's guest of honor at the party was former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, herself a victim of a shooting in which she sustained serious injuries.

"When Gabby walked in, everyone was surprised and amazed, and a quietness descended on the room," recollected Pitkow, noting that Conway called for a moment of silence. &… Read more

Congress: Undetectable 3D-printed guns are still illegal

When Defense Distributed designed its 3D-printed handgun, it made sure to include a 6-ounce piece of steel within its entirely plastic firearm. This slice of steel was added to make sure metal detectors could identify the gun -- thereby ensuring it was in compliance with the US Undetectable Firearms Act.

It appears that all-plastic and 3D-printed gun makers will have to continue including metal in their firearms for at least the next 10 years. Congress voted Monday to renew a ban on completely plastic guns that aren't visible to metal detectors and X-ray machines, according to The Associated Press.… Read more

Uh-oh, this 3D-printed metal handgun actually works

While the first known 3D-printed gun has been more-or-less dismissed because it can't reliably shoot, a new 3D-printed firearm has now been invented -- and it has no problems firing a round. In fact, it appears this handgun can fire dozens of rounds without a hitch.

What's the difference between the two? Instead of plastic, the new gun is made of metal.

The 3D-printed metal gun is made by the Texas-based 3D-printing services company Solid Concepts. The company used a laser sintering process to create the gun and powdered metals for the firearm's material. The weapon's design is based on a classic 1911 handgun and is made up of 33 different stainless steel and Inconel components, along with a carbon fiber filled nylon handgrip.… Read more

Cell phone takes bullet for gas station clerk

Engineers delight in putting pens in their shirt pockets.

For gas station clerks, however, the location of your cell phone in your shirt pocket could save your life.

This seemed to be the case at a Winter Garden, Fla., Hess gas station, which was subject to a holdup.

As WFTV reports it, a man walked in, demanded the safe be opened, and brandished a gun. Two clerks tried to open the safe, but failed. The robber took off, but not before turning and firing at one of the clerks.

As WESH-TV reports, when the police arrived, one of the clerks … Read more