Game-changers: 8 innovations that have improved our everyday lives

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O modern technology, how we love thee! Sure, we may not have the hoverboards and self-tying shoelaces we imagined in the ’80s, but there are still plenty of innovations to be thankful for.

Now, what are these game-changing inventions and innovations we speak of?

Well, we’re big fans of products that #KeepReinventing, like the HP Spectre x2, so we think the following items deserve some real recognition for how far they’ve come. And thanks to them, our lives have been forever changed.

1. Selfie sticks

Whether you love or hate them, the selfie stick is here to stay. Sure, they’ve been banned at certain theme parks and tech conferences, but what may seem like a modern annoyance is actually a 30 year-old idea. That’s right, the ol’ telescopic-extender-for-handheld-cameras was first introduced back to 1983. These handy sticks were originally invented to prevent camera theft — meaning they’re a great investment for the distrusting traveller who’s also hell-bent on getting the perfect Instagram shot! So step aside tripods: The handheld monopod is the only camera accessory you need today. Read more…

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This magical cable charges both iPhones and Android phones

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For years, iPhones and Android phones have needed different cables to charge — Apple requires the Lightning cable and you’ll need a micro USB cable for an Android device. But now there’s a single cable that connects to both.

The LMcable, which is picking up significant traction on Kickstarter, works in Lightning and micro USB ports by having a reversible male end with two differently designed sides

One side connects with the Lightning port’s pins, while the opposite side connects with the micro USB port’s pins. At the other end of the cable is a standard USB male connector. Read more…

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FBI tells legislators a 'mistake' was made in handling of terrorist iPhone

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FBI Director James Comey is owning up to his agency’s mistake.

In testimony on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee discussing the FBI’s quest to force Apple to create software that will let the agency hack an iPhone 5C that was used by one of the terrorists responsible for last year’s deadly attack in San Bernardino, California, Comey admitted, “There was a mistake made in that 24 hours after the attack… the county at the FBI request made it harder to back up…”

Previously, the FBI had specifically said the reset was not a mistake. However, it had admitted that someone add the county had reset the Apple ID password tied to the iPhone 5C, making it impossible to access any data on the phone without the phone-specific PIN code. Now we know that the FBI made some request that the county, which actually owned the phone, may or may not have misinterpreted. Regardless, it resulted in a reset password and a locked device. Read more…

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Microsoft President: ‘The path to hell starts at the backdoor’

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SAN FRANCISCO — If there were any lingering doubts about Microsoft’s commitment to strong encryption, one of Microsoft’s top executives just put them to rest.

Company president and chief legal officer Brad Smith reiterated — in his strongest words yet — Microsoft’s support for Apple in its fight with FBI during a keynote at the RSA security conference Tuesday

Smith, who testified before Congress on the issue just last week, spoke at length about the need for strong encryption.

The path to hell starts at the backdoor, and we need to make sure that encryption technology remains strong,” he said. Read more…

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Microsoft President: ‘The path to hell starts at the backdoor’

Msft-brad-smith

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SAN FRANCISCO — If there were any lingering doubts about Microsoft’s commitment to strong encryption, one of Microsoft’s top executives just put them to rest.

Company president and chief legal officer Brad Smith reiterated — in his strongest words yet — Microsoft’s support for Apple in its fight with FBI during a keynote at the RSA security conference Tuesday

Smith, who testified before Congress on the issue just last week, spoke at length about the need for strong encryption.

The path to hell starts at the backdoor, and we need to make sure that encryption technology remains strong,” he said. Read more…

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How an iPod with a rotary dial eventually became the iPhone

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Tony Fadell, currently the CEO of Nest, has had a crucial role in the design of both the iPod and the iPhone, and boy has he got some stories to tell. 

In an interview at the SVForum in Palo Alto, California last week — fully transcribed by VentureBeat — Fadell shared a number of details on the early days of the iPod, the iPhone and Steve Jobs’ legendary, dogged persistence when it comes to creating seemingly impossible gadgets. 

Fadell remembers the birth of the iPhone as an especially laborious one. He noted it took a total of two and a half to three years of research, design and development to create the device — which was then viewed as the iPod with a phone — and, at times, it seemed like an impossible task.  Read more…

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