Editor's Picks: What We Like
Security: Now in Digital and Analog
Simple security measures can often be the most powerful deterrent. Just by locking your car door, you discourage all but the most persistent car thieves. Now, as more and more people join the notebook nation, those valuable laptops are increasingly a prime target for shady characters. Two products offer solutions — one decidedly retro and the other a little more progressive.
The Kensington MicroSaver Keyed Notebook Lock is an easy-to-use portable lock that secures your notebook to a table, desk or other relatively immovable object. Think a bike lock for your laptop. So now while you’re at the coffee shop, you can step away to get a refill of your double-no-whip mocha Frappuccino without having to worry about your laptop getting pinched. And even if someone did try to pull a snatch-and-run by cutting the cable or otherwise removing the device, they’d be subject to the sibilant tones of the MicroSaver’s alarm, which can be heard up to 50 feet away.
Meanwhile, the Silex USB fingerprint reader takes a cue from the Pentagon and uses biometric information to secure your computer’s sensitive data. Instead of preventing someone from physically taking your computer, it will prohibit that individual from using it and accessing your personal files. Just plug the fingerprint reader into a USB port and you won’t have to worry.
Monopoly Mania: Now Online
With the world as its stage and individuals of various races and tongues as its players, Monopoly, the 74-year-old board game by Hasbro, dared to venture online this fall.
While the basic tenets of the game remain unchanged for the most part — players strive to purchase “properties” and collect rent from their competitors — the most noticeable upgrade in the free online version is the incorporation of Google MapsStreet View technology. What this means is that a player can essentially “own” any street in any part of the globe — well, virtually, anyway. Players can also get creative when it comes to customizing their purchased properties, constructing anything from houses to castles on their lots. with
Let the games begin!
Facebook Gets Chatty
In a move that brings it one step closer to becoming the go-to source for all our online social needs, Facebook plans to unveil a new voice chat function sometime in the next few weeks, according to a CNN.com article. The service will allow anybody with a Facebook account to have high-quality, real-time audio conversations with friends around the world.
The capability is being developed by — and will be run by — a third party, so users first would be required to download a plug-in. But “once installed, the service works almost seamlessly with Facebook, and is intended for everything from one-to-one chat to large group discussions,” according to CNN.
The article pointed out that the functionality has the potential to revolutionize other Facebook applications, particularly games, by allowing for an audio component. Facebook already offers users a written chat function akin to instant messaging, as well as the standard posting option for friends’ personal pages and news feed status updates.