TIME Gadgets

Microsoft to Hold Tablet Event on May 20

Microsoft's 10.6-inch Surface tablet Nigel Treblin -- Getty Images

Microsoft has invited reporters to a Surface tablet event on May 20, referring to it as a “small gathering” — a play on words that seems to indicate a line of small-screen Microsoft-branded tablets will be unveiled.

The current crop of Surface tablets sport 10.6-inch touchscreens with wide, 16:9 aspect ratios; Microsoft is on its second-generation the devices. The Verge reports that a smaller version might sport a 7.5-inch screen with a more square 4:3 aspect ratio, but the latest round of such rumors last bubbled up back in September, so plans could have changed between then and now. We’ll know the full story in a couple weeks.

[The Verge]

TIME Shopping

The #AmazonCart Hashtag Lets You Shop Amazon Right from Twitter

Just in case you needed an excuse to a) never leave Twitter and b) buy more stuff from Amazon


Sensing that you might be interested in buying something that someone you know just bought, Twitter and Amazon have intermingled themselves to introduce the #AmazonCart hashtag.

If you see a tweet containing a product link to something on Amazon, all you’ll need to do is reply to that tweet with “#AmazonCart” and the same item will be added to your Amazon shopping cart.

The idea is that you can just keep adding products all day, swing by the bank for a second mortgage on your way home and then hit the checkout button later that night once you’ve moved some money around.

You’ll need to first connect your Amazon and Twitter accounts, and there are some failsafes – a tweet back from @MyAmazon and an email confirming you’ve added something to your cart – but this is another step toward a frictionless shopping experience.


TIME Innovation

These Sunglasses Connect to Your Phone So You Don’t Lose Them

The Tzukuri iPhone app connects via low-power Bluetooth to a pair of sunglasses, tracking their location so you don't lose them. Tzukuri

Finally, a worthwhile use for technology.

Everybody knows that the more you spend on a pair of sunglasses, the faster you lose them. Death, taxes and lost sunglasses: these three things are guaranteed.

I can say with 99% confidence that I’ll never spend $350 on a pair of sunglasses. One, because I’m cheap. Two, because the last pair of $100+ sunglasses I owned were swallowed whole by the Atlantic Ocean before I even got my credit card statement. The $30 pair I bought to replace them? They seem to follow me around like a doughy Twitter user chasing a roving food truck. I can’t shake ‘em.

But – BUT! — the idea of a $350 pair of sunglasses that connect to your iPhone and alert you if you lose them seems to be a better use of $350 than a $350 pair of sunglasses that don’t connect to anything.

These Tzukuri sunglasses will be available toward the end of the year for around $350 (the company seems to be hinting at some sort of crowdfunding campaign, promising early backers a $100 discount) and connect via low-energy Bluetooth to an iPhone app. An Android version will be in the works once BLE (the Bluetooth Low Energy standard) becomes more pervasive on Android handsets.

Should you wander off without your glasses, the app will alert you at 16 feet, 32 feet and 50 feet. The glasses have a range of 82 feet, and their last known location can be plotted on a map if you lose them. The technology to do all this stuff is crammed into a tiny three-millimeter chip hidden in the glasses, which is recharged via solar power.

tzukuri frames

As for the glasses themselves, they’re ridiculous. And I mean that as a compliment. They’re handcrafted in Japan, each taking up to three weeks to cobble together. There are six styles available, each paying homage to someone famous (whether real or fictional): Atticus Finch, JFK, Tom Ford, John Lennon, Grace Kelly and Truman Capote. As 9to5Mac.com reports, there are prescription glasses in the works as well.

I’ll bet you a buck that none of them would fit my gargantuan cranium. That’s probably best, though: These things may alert me if I walk away from them, but my jam seems to be losing expensive sunglasses in the ocean. And that ocean… she’s a fickle mistress. Once she takes your shades, there’s no getting them back.

Product Page [Tzukuri.com via Uncrate]


30-Second Tech Trick: Disable In-App Purchases on the iPhone or iPad

Has someone been racking up your iTunes bill with in-app purchases? Here's how to put a stop to it.

TIME Computers

Apple’s MacBook Air Line Gets Cheaper and Faster

MacBook Air
Apple's 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air laptops Apple

The updated lineup of ultraportable notebooks is outfitted with the latest 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processors and priced between $899 for the 11-inch, 128-gigabyte model and $1,199 for the 13-inch, 256-gigabyte version

Apple has updated its line of ultraportable MacBook Air notebooks, outfitting the machines with the latest-generation Intel processors and dropping the starting price by $100.

The 11-inch model with 128 gigabytes of storage now starts at $899. The entire line – two 11-inch models and two 13-inch models – starts with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processors and four gigabytes of RAM, with base prices topping out at $1,199 for the top-of-the-line 13-inch model, which starts at 256 gigabytes of storage. Processors, RAM and storage can be upgraded before checkout.

Apple is also promising better battery life when using the new models to watch iTunes movies, with the company claiming that the 13-inch versions are capable of up to 12 hours on a charge and the 11-inch versions are capable of up to nine hours on a charge.

MacBook Air [Apple Store via 9to5Mac]

TIME Security

Internet Explorer Security Flaw: 4 Ways to Protect Yourself

Alexander Hassenstein--Getty Images

This is why we can’t have nice things. A security flaw affecting most versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser is making the rounds. If you use IE, you’ll want to follow one or more of these four steps in order to keep yourself safe.

Use a Different Web Browser

This is the path of least resistance. Until Microsoft patches up this hole, using a browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox can keep you safe from this particular vulnerability.

Don’t Click On Suspicious Email or Chat Links

This is a rule for every day, not just today. This vulnerability only works if the bad guys can get you to click your way to a special infected page they’ve set up. These trick links might make their way to you via email messages or chat messages that seem legit. If someone forwards you an email or initiates a chat with a link in it, call them on the phone and ask them if they really sent it. This accomplishes two things: One, you can make sure you’re not being duped. Two, it’ll make that person think twice about forwarding you an email or trying to chat with you ever again. The less time you spend dealing with forwarded emails and mind-numbing chat conversations, the more time you’ll have to live your life as intended.

Download and Install This Microsoft Toolkit

I appreciate the irony of having just told you not to click on mysterious links, but click on this mysterious link and install this program. It’ll automatically protect Internet Explorer and “make the vulnerability harder to exploit,” according to Microsoft. Notice that Microsoft didn’t say it’d be impossible to exploit.

Ratchet Up Your Internet Explorer Security Settings

If you don’t want to use a different browser until this blows over, you can goose Internet Explorer’s security level instead. Take note that ramping up the security level could impact the performance on certain sites, especially those containing interactive elements. This should be a last resort, like if you’re using a work computer and your IT department won’t allow you to install a new browser. Seriously, try Chrome or Firefox first if you can. You might like them.

Here’s Microsoft’s how-to:

To raise the browsing security level in Internet Explorer, perform the following steps:

  1. On the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab, and then click Internet.
  3. Under Security level for this zone, move the slider to High. This sets the security level for all websites you visit to High.
  4. Click Local intranet.
  5. Under Security level for this zone, move the slider to High. This sets the security level for all websites you visit to High.
  6. Click OK to accept the changes and return to Internet Explorer.

Note If no slider is visible, click Default Level, and then move the slider to High.

One bonus tip: If you’re using Internet Explorer on Windows XP, the chances that this issue’s going to get fixed are pretty bleak. Microsoft finally dropped support for XP earlier this month, which means any security fix that’s issued for one of Microsoft’s newer operating systems won’t make its way to Windows XP. If you insist on using XP, your best bet would be to use a different browser like Chrome or Firefox for everything and cross your fingers that neither of those browsers suffers a serious setback such as this in the future. Microsoft details a few other tips here as well.


30-Second Tech Trick: Find Sites Similar to the Ones You Like

A simple Google trick is all it takes to find a list of sites similar to one you already like.

TIME video

30-Second Tech Trick: Delete Accounts You Don’t Use Anymore

Here's how to search your email to find a list of accounts you've opened so you can close the ones you don't use.


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