'Smart tags' can sense when food or medicine go bad

What if you never had to do a smell test for spoiled milk again? Instead of having to take a whiff of the sour liquid, you could just check the color of a small tag placed on the container.

This is exactly what researchers at Peking University in Beijing, China, are working on: color-coded "smart tags."

These corn kernel-sized tags can be stuck to containers of food or medicine and have the capabilities of determining whether the food has gone bad or if the medications are still active. What's more, these tags will reportedly cost less than one penny each. … Read more

Goodbye Microsoft SkyDrive, hello OneDrive

CNET Update is golden:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn about the rebirth of Microsoft's cloud storage service, and compare the features of major cloud services.

- Build followers on LinkedIn with the new blog publishing tool.

- Check out the likely future of the HTC One: a gold triple-lens smartphone.

- Find your keys with Nokia's Treasure Tag, arriving in April.

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 to the … Read more

Nokia Treasure Tag tries to keep your valuables safe

Nokia on Wednesday unveiled a new mobile accessory designed to limit your chances of losing something valuable.

Dubbed the Nokia Treasure Tag, the match box-sized accessory connects to Lumia devices via near-field communication or Bluetooth low energy. You can attach the tag to anything of value -- keys or a wallet are the examples Nokia offered up.

Nokia explained, that as you leave the house your Lumia device, the Treasure Tag emits an alert to inform that you've left your keys or wallet (or whatever item you've tagged) behind. The tone will continue to sound until the Treasure … Read more

Real-world price tag tracks shifting Bitcoin exchange rate

You walk into a store, your virtual wallet full of bitcoins. You see a nice shirt and check the digital price tag dangling from the collar. You know exactly what fraction of a bitcoin it will cost you to buy it. That's the dream of the BitTag, a wireless, constantly self-updating price tag looking to bridge the gap between the virtual and real worlds.

The BitTag is the creation of designer Samuel Cox. He describes BitTag as "a physical price tag for digital currency." Each tag shows the name of the product, the price in local traditional currency, and the price in bitcoins on an OLED display.… Read more

Facial recognition app matches strangers to online profiles

Soon your face could be your calling card. An upcoming app for Android, iOS, and Google Glass called NameTag will allow you to photograph strangers and find out who they are -- complete with social networking and online dating profiles.

Spot someone out and about that you want to identify, and you can capture their face using your device's camera. The app will send the photo wirelessly to NameTag's server, where it will compare the photo to millions of online records and return with a name, more photos, and social-media profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where the person (or their friends) might have publicly posted photos of themselves.

And, if you're interested in that person in a more-than-passing fashion, the app's creator -- FacialNetwork -- is working on technology that will allow scanning of profile pictures on online dating sites, such as Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, and Match.com. … Read more

Apple's Siri could one day find your iPhone photos

"Siri, show me the photo of my wife and me taken at Rockefeller Center on December 20." That could eventually be a new way to locate a specific photo on your iOS device, at least according to Apple.

Published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, an Apple patent application called "Voice-based image tagging and searching" envisions a method of tapping into a voice assistant, such as Siri, to tag and find photos through various words and phrases.

iOS currently lets you sort and view the photos on your device by album, by date, and … Read more

Review: LightMan TagEditor helps organize files, if you don't mind nasty add-on programs

LightMan TagEditor lets you edit your music files' tags, but it makes you suffer through a bunch of add-on programs to do it. Worse still, the program doesn't do much of the work for you, making you manually edit your files instead of filling them in for you. All told, there isn't much that makes this program better than other options or even Windows' default file renaming tool.

LightMan TagEditor lets you fill in the gaps in your music files so you can have a more complete track listing. It doesn't tap into any database, though, forcing … Read more

Mac OS X Mavericks packs in features, but isn't a sea change

Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks is now available, bringing iOS features into the fold along with other additions, including iBooks, Apple Maps, Finder Tabs, and a number of other time-saving enhancements. As a free download from the Mac App Store, Mavericks gives you better security, new features for all the core apps, and tons of handy additions that make it a no-brainer to upgrade.

With Windows 8.1 hitting last week, Apple's Mavericks provides a stark contrast to the vision of Microsoft's operating system. Microsoft's stated intent was to break into the mobile space by creating … Read more

How to use Finder tags in OS X Mavericks

Apple has always supported a rudimentary file flagging system in OS X called Labels, in which you could apply a colored label to items to group them. For instance, important files could all be labeled with the color and the word "Green," so you could easily identify them when perusing your folder hierarchies.

In addition to the color label, you could customize the label name to something like "Important Files" instead of simply "Green," and then use the system's searching and scripting capabilities to distinguish these files from others.

In the latest version … Read more

Review: PicTag is a quick tagging tool for iOS but it suffers from a number of bugs

PicTag is a photo album organizational tool that lets you tag the photos on your iOS device for easier organization. While in theory this application could be useful, the interface of the app on the new iOS is riddled with bugs, which makes it difficult to enjoy the software.

After opening the PicTag app it will ask for access to your photos. Once you give it access you have to click out of a full-page advertisement, and then it immediately brings you to your photos without introducing the functions of the application. The application gives you the opportunity to tag … Read more