6 security tips for using public Wi-Fi

Don't expose yourself in public. We all do it: switch on a phone, laptop, or tablet and hop on to a Wi-Fi hotspot in airports, coffee shops, trains, hotels, and other public places. The problem is, those networks are open -- even if they require a login and password, you may be sharing your files or leaving doors open to data thieves. You can't secure the network, but you can raise siege walls between your private information and the barbarians. Follow these six tips to network more safely.

1. Lock down your security settings.

Go to the security … Read more

Advocacy group files appeal against Facebook privacy settlement

In August, Facebook settled a highly publicized class action lawsuit that took issue with the social network's use of people's names and photos in advertisements.

A lot has happened since the suit was first filed in 2011: The company paid $20 million, and the ad units in question, Sponsored Stories, will be retired. But the practice of having users appear in ads because they "liked" or commented on a piece of content -- the act that was so controversial -- is still in place at Facebook.

And some critics still have issue with a specific point … Read more

How to filter Google image searches by usage rights

Looking for an image online that you can legally and safely use on your own Web site? Google now makes it easier to find one.

A new Usage Rights filter is now easily accessible on your search results page, as tweeted by Google software engineer Matt Cutts. Here's how you can tap into it:

Run your search at the Google Images page, or just use Google's default search page and then filter the results by image. Click on the Search tools menu and then select the dropdown menu for Usage Rights. That menu offers five choices: Not filtered … Read more

Cute Tokyo Metro posters remind commuters to behave

Many commuters loathe riding on public transportation because of the rude and rowdy behavior of other passengers who treat the confined spaces as their own private living rooms. Blaring music too loudly through headphones, talking loudly on cell phones, eating smelly foods, and falling asleep on the shoulders of strangers have become common occurrences on every train, bus, and subway in the United States.

Commuter etiquette is something of an art form in Japan, however, if anything can be deduced from these delightful posters designed for the Tokyo Metro. … Read more

Kinsa wants to take temperature of you and everyone you know

The creator of a smart and sleek thermometer has far more on his mind than whether your body temperature is above 98.6 degrees F. He wants to revolutionize the thermometer by enabling it to read the "health weather" of a community.

To accomplish that goal, though, you and everyone you know will have to use the device dubbed the Kinsa Smart Thermometer.

After a successful Indiegogo campaign in 2013, Kinsa last week earned FDA approval for its smart thermometer. It looks much like the thermometers of yore, but because it plugs directly into -- and is powered … Read more

Adidas pushes fitness bands to a new level

CNET Update keeps track of fitness trackers:

In this episode of Update:

- Get the overview of the feature-packed Adidas miCoach Smart Run Watch coming out in November, which competes with the Nike+ FuelBand SE fitness-tracking wristband.

- Find fitness motivation in lower-cost wristbands, including the Fitbit Force for $130, and the Fitbug Orb for $50.

- Check out the full review of the Windows 8.1 update, which is free to download for current Windows 8 users.

- Be aware that Facebook changed its privacy settings to give teenagers the power to share posts publicly.


iTunes (HD) | … Read more

When your watch is a camera: Samsung Galaxy Gear is like Glass on a wrist

"Excuse me. I just wanted to ask: did you know I was taking a picture of you with my watch?"

This is what I asked a barista at a coffee shop near work, because, moments before, that's exactly what I did. Wearing a black-and-steel Samsung Galaxy Gear on my wrist, I made a few swipes and taps on the screen that captured my subject as he was making me coffee.

"No, but I heard the sound of a camera phone snapping."

He was referring to the beep-and-snap sound effect that comes through quite loudly on … Read more

California regulators approve ride-sharing guidelines

A California regulatory agency has approved the first statewide guidelines in the US for ride-sharing services, setting up safety regulations for the tech companies disrupting the transportation industry.

Ride-sharing companies like Lyft, Sidecar, and UberX will have a year to bring their drivers up to the standards (PDF) set Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission, which include things like background checks on drivers, driver training, and minimum insurance coverage.

The companies see this as a win because it could allow them to expand to other cities in the state with fewer regulatory roadblocks.

Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New … Read more

The 404 1,326: Where we learn our manners (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Hacker community rallies to reward Facebook bug finder.

- New York Public Library sets up photobooths for library selfies.

- Eight tech etiquette tips to enforce in your office.… Read more

Student hub Chegg files for $150M IPO

Chegg, the 8-year-old California company that started as an educational textbook rental service but blossomed into an online learning hub, on Tuesday filed for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company managed to do it quietly, thanks to a 2012 U.S. law that allows companies with under $1 billion in annual revenue to work confidentially with regulatory agencies ahead of the announcement.

Chegg is seeking $150 million for its educational platform, which offers (digital and printed) textbook rentals and sales, homework assistance, online courses, and scholarship services. The Santa Clara-based company, which … Read more