Star Apps: Michael Cuesta

When Michael Cuesta ("L.I.E.," "12 and Holding," "Homeland") signed on as director of "Kill the Messenger," starring Jeremy Renner as Pulitzer Prize-winning San Jose Mercury News journalist Gary Webb, he was already familiar with Webb's controversial story. What he didn't yet know was how much he had in common with the late investigative reporter, who exposed the CIA for engaging in cocaine smuggling to fund Nicaraguan Contra militias. "Gary Webb wasn't what people imagine journalists to be, like snobby intellectuals," he said. "He loved … Read more

Google gets romantic with photos, fireplaces

CNET Update shares the love:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn about the federal bill pushing for a smartphone kill switch, and why the wireless industry is against it.

- Get mushy on Google+ with animated hearts on lovey-dovey photos.

- Mourn the loss of Lovematically, which auto-liked all your friends photos on Instagram.

- Set the mood with Chromecast's new fireplace visualizer when streaming Google Play Music.

- Put an end to snoring by plugging in this high-tech nudging pillow.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon … Read more

Senators propose smartphone antitheft 'kill switch' bill

Lawmakers' bids to require a smartphone "kill switch" seem to be gaining momentum.

Following the proposal of a California bill, a handful of senators have now proposed federal legislation to require carriers to provide a security feature on all cell phones that would render the devices inoperable if stolen.

The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act is being led by Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), along with three other senators, Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). The idea is for users to be able to de-activate and remotely wipe their personal information from their phones if lost or … Read more

Geek's guide to subverting Valentine's Day

Mushy love e-mails. Giant boxes of chocolates. Teddy bears holding red satin hearts. Valentine's Day can be enough to make any self-respecting geek run screaming from society. The objections are many. Perhaps you're single. Maybe you disapprove of it as a "manufactured holiday." Maybe you don't think love can be expressed with the same greeting card that thousands of other people are giving to the objects of their affection.

It's OK to say "no." You don't have to participate in the schlocky madness. Take some suggestions from our handy guide to geeky ways to avoid dealing with the dreaded V-Day.… Read more

Calif., carriers headed for battle over 'kill switch' bill

SAN FRANCISCO -- California on Friday took another step in its efforts to curb smartphone theft, but the real test will come from a likely battle with the wireless industry.

At City Hall here, State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon introduced a bill that would mandate the inclusion of a "kill switch" in phones sold in the state. The security feature would render a phone inoperable if stolen. If passed, any phone sold after January 1, 2015 would require the feature. The bill will be heard in Senate policy committees later … Read more

Sonic the Hedgehog sports new look in spin-off

CNET Update would look cooler in a scarf:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn about the "kill switch" and why California wants to require all mobile devices to come with one.

- Go scan-happy in your home using Amazon's Flow shopping tool on the iPhone.

- Check out the new design for Sonic and his friends in the Sonic Boom game and cartoon.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the big stories, hot devices, new apps, and what's ahead. Subscribe … Read more

Calif. lawmaker to introduce smartphone 'kill switch' bill

A California senator plans to introduce a new bill that would require smartphones to enable a "kill switch," a security feature that would make a phone inoperable if it's stolen.

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) announced Thursday that he will introduce the bill at the start of the 2014 legislative session in January, with the support of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.

"One of the top catalysts for street crime in many California cities is smartphone theft, and these crimes are becoming increasingly violent," Leno said in a press release. "We … Read more

DA to Apple: Make iPhone's Activation Lock the rule

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón released survey results Wednesday that he says makes an argument for Apple to enable its Activation Lock security feature on every phone.

When enabled, Activation Lock -- which is available for iOS 7 users and requires them to activate the "Find my Phone" tracking feature -- prevents the unauthorized resetting of an iPhone or iPad. Gascon's survey indicated that 78 percent of respondents who owned an iPhone have enabled the security feature. According to him, it's an indication that Apple should enable this technology on all of its … Read more

New York AG to cellular carriers: Why was antitheft switch killed?

Way back when, street smarts meant keeping an eye out, being aware of your surroundings, and not walking on sketchy looking streets at night. While these safeguards still work, there's now a new precaution to add to the list: don't take out your cell phone in public, even during the day.

Smartphone robberies have sharply risen in the US over the last couple of years and crime reports show the statistics look to get even worse. That's why several lawmakers around the country have come together in the Secure Our Smartphone initiative to urge phone makers to … Read more

Review: Zombies: Run or Kill gives you a fun, addictive run and gunner

Zombies: Run or Kill is a fun, challenging run-and-gun game that will keep you coming back for more. It has plenty of cool weapons and a stylish look that is really fun to explore. Though some extra missions or modes would be welcome, this game sucks you in with addictive gameplay and the ability to compete with your friends.

This game turns you into a Steven Segal lookalike who has to defend himself from a never-ending hoard of zombies. Though you start with only a sword, the game sends various weapons like chainsaws, pistols, and laser beams your way as … Read more