Alt-week 08.31.13: We're all Martians, Mega Drive music and reinventing the ruler

Alt-week takes a look at the best science and alternative tech stories from the last seven days. Some things become obsolete, some things rise to live again. Two of our stories over the fold demonstrate new tricks from old dogs. The third? Just, y’know, suggests that we’re all actually from Mars. No biggie. This is ...

What ShoeDazzle taught us about subscription commerce

ShoeDazzle may no longer be dazzling, but it’s delivering useful lessons in subscription commerce. I still remember the thrill of receiving my first ShoeDazzle delivery. The beautifully wrapped package, the perfect pair of shoes for me inside, the fun welcome letter, and the confidence I had that I could ship it back at no cost ...

ASUS teases new Transformer Pad coming September 4th, confirms it definitely has bezel

As IFA starts to slowly edge its way over the horizon, the product teasers start to rain. We’ve already seen hints from Sony, an outright admission from Samsung, and speculation from HTC. The latest tidbit, comes via ASUS’s Facebook, which suggests it plans to show a new tablet at the event. What can we say ...

With Facebook’s internet.org, the battle for the third world is on

When the internet.org news broke last week I realized that what was at stake here isn’t about social justice but was instead about global internet dominance. And it starts and ends in what we today perceive as the third world. Led by Facebook, a group of Samsung, Nokia and several other giant tech-companies launched the ...

Ex-NASA CTO on using cloud computing to discover galaxies, and seeing Glass-like tech in 2006

No offense to the others — they’ve been great — but this week’s Structure Show podcast might be favorite one yet. Barb Darrow and I spoke with computer wunderkind Chris Kemp, who’s currently co-founder and CEO of cloud computing startup Nebula, about his time as CIO and CTO at NASA, and the crazy things he ...

Alcatel quietly reveals One Touch Idol S, Idol Mini and Evo 8 HD tablet

Unlike babies that wail when they’re born, the three new members of Alcatel’s One Touch family have silently slipped into the company’s website. The two handsets, the Idol S and the Idol Mini, follow the original trio revealed at CES this year, sharing similar elements despite the difference in size. Both run Android 4.2, can ...

9 smart and useful features of Apple’s iPhone ecosystem that make it hard to switch

When shopping for a new smartphone, looking just at the features of one specific model compared to another, or even the capabilities of one release of Android to that of iOS doesn’t show the full picture. While the online reviews may indicate that the Samsung Galaxy S 4 has better hardware components than the iPhone, or ...

Why it is time to rethink Wi-Fi security

Can I have your Wi-Fi password? If you’re someone like me, you’ve asked this question many times. Not only in coffee shops, but also while visiting homes of friends and relatives. And if your friends and family are anything like mine, they probably started to hunt for that three-year-old Post-It note, or tried to spell ...

Nikkei: KDDI plans 220 Mbps cellular network upgrade for summer 2014

Think 150Mbps LTE-Advanced data is quick? KDDI could offer far more bandwidth next year. Nikkei claims that the Japanese carrier plans to upgrade its cellular network to 220 Mbps data as soon as summer 2014. Service would reportedly launch with an Android smartphone, and rely on new wireless technology; it’s not clear whether this entails ...

Android this week: $99 Moto X coming; Google bought WIMM; Nexus 4 price cut

The wooden backs for Motorola’s Moto X shown off at the handset’s launch event may be here soon. Noted tipster Evleaks tweeted out images and information on the price and availability. He expects them to add $50 to the cost of a Moto X handset when they arrive in the fourth quarter, which actually starts ...