Technology » Technology Review The latest Technology news and blog posts from ABC News contributors and bloggers. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:29:04 +0000 en hourly 1 ‘Red Alert Israel’ Will Send a ‘Yo’ for Every Predicted Rocket Attack Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:18:59 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb The “Yo” app is being used to alert followers of the user “RedAlertIsrael” every time a rocket attack is predicted within Israeli territory.

The app, which has raised millions of dollars of funding, has been called everything from pointless to amazing for its simple premise — allowing users to send a “yo” to friends with just one tap.

Photos: Israel Under Fire

The ‘Yo’ App Explained

While a simple “yo” provides virtually no context, the app has been harnessed as a way to provide interested people around the world an idea of what is happening on the ground in Israel.


The new use for the “Yo” app — which shows a barrage of reported rocket attacks — is meant to complement the existing Red Alert Israel app developed by Ari Sprung and Kobi Snir, according to the Times of Israel.

The “Red Alert Israel” app sounds an alarm on users’ smartphones every time rockets, mortars and missiles are fired into Israel. Each alert also specifies what area is believed to be at risk.

The English version of the app, which was released June 29, has a five-star rating in the App store, where users called it “annoying because it goes off so often” but praised it for providing a way people abroad “can better understand the horror of the situation.”


]]> 0
Don’t Ditch Your Broken Smartphone, Fix It: ‘Real Money’ Tells You How Mon, 07 Jul 2014 21:56:08 +0000 Gio Benitez

From spills to cracked screens, damage to a cellphone can be costly.

ABC News recently put a few popular cellphone cases to the test but what do you do when your cell phone case fails?

Related: How good is your cellphone case?

Related: How to dry out your smartphone and waterproof it.

Related: ‘Real Answers’ on how to protect your smartphone.

Americans have spent about $13 billion on damaged smartphones, according to Square Trade, a tech insurance company.

The company says that 30 percent of Americans will damage their iPhone in the next 12 months. And one in 10 are currently using phones with cracked screens.

It can cost $450 or more to replace a phone but before you throw your cellphone out, there are places that will repair it for about $100.

After cracking the screen on her smartphone again, Chandon Jones of New York teamed up with the “Real Money” team to drop her phone off at a Radio Shack.

This month, Radio Shack rolled out its new “Fix It Here” program, in which consumers can spend $40 to $200 to have their cellphone fixed in an hour.

And other companies are getting in on the craze as well. You can ship a phone to JCD Repair in Chicago and the company will fix it and send it back five days later for around $100. The company iCracked will even meet the cellphone owner wherever they are.

“You’re actually going to end up paying probably less to get an iPhone fixed by someone than you’ll pay for the deductible to the insurance company,” said Matt McCormick, CEO of JCD Repair.

All of these companies offer warranties and cost about $100 on average.

]]> 0
Vine Can Now Measure Your Addiction to Looping Video Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:53:09 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb ht vine loops kb 140701 16x9 608 Vine Can Now Measure Your Addiction to Looping Video

(Image Credit: Vine)

Vine, the six-second looping video platform owned by Twitter, has figured out a way to let you know if your videos are “popular and interesting.”

Or, conversely, if you have the (understandable) habit of being mesmerized by looping videos, like Norman, the dog that can ride a scooter like a human.

Starting today, a loop counter will be added to all Vines, allowing people to see how many times a video has been looped, no matter where it is embedded online.

Watch: Vine Star Hits No. 1 on iTunes Overnight

Loop counts won’t impact Vine’s “popular now” section, however users will be able to see  just how transfixing a Vine truly is by checking out the loop counts in the iOS and Android apps as well as an

Vine said in a blog post it has been tracking loop counts since April 3. However, with the metrics being introduced today, some popular videos may have a “+” symbol next to it, meaning that there are likely more loops than listed.

Now, if only there was a way we could find out how much time we’ve spent watching those crazy World Cup GIFS again and again.


]]> 0
WhatsApp’s Co-founder Is Upset About Apple’s New Messaging Features Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:47:12 +0000 Yazhou Sun GTY Craig Federighi TG 140602 16x9 608 WhatsApps Co founder Is Upset About Apples New Messaging Features

Apple Senior VP Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West center on June 2, 2014 in San Francisco.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In today’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple rolled out a few new features for its iMessage app, including audio and video messages, and group messaging capabilities.

Not all tech junkies were happy about Apple’s innovation.  Co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, tweeted out this message after Apple’s announcement:

For those of you who don’t use WhatsApp, Apple just added features that WhatsApp users have been able to use all along. WhatsApp users could always record audios and videos, and share location data easily through messages.

WhatsApp has more than 500 million users. Apple’s intention is clear–it wants all iPhone users to use its in-house app, instead of downloading and using other app, such as WhatsApp–which was purchased by Facebook for $19 billion, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.


]]> 0
Hackers Use ‘Find My iPhone’ App to Lock, Hold Devices for Ransom Tue, 27 May 2014 20:56:02 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb

Some iPhone and iPad users in Australia had a rude awakening this morning when they discovered their devices had been locked and held for ransom by a mysterious hacker going by the name “Oleg Pliss.”

The people impacted by the breach reported via tweets and the Apple forum that they received messages indicating their devices had been hacked and they needed to make a payment in order for them to be unlocked.

Read More: What’s Up Apple’s Sleeve for WWDC 2014?

HT applehack mar 140527 16x9 608 Hackers Use Find My iPhone App to Lock, Hold Devices for Ransom

(Image Credit:




“More than likely, in Australia, there is a breach that has nothing to do with Apple,” Robert Siciliano, an identity theft expert with McAfee, told ABC News.

Siciliano said the hack could have began in a single place, such as at an university or an online retailer, where people may log on using their icloud, mac or me domain email addresses and use the same password.

Even more alarming, Siciliano said hackers can use iCloud credentials to essentially “own that person” and create exact clones of their devices, including personal photos, videos, emails and any other information backed up to the cloud.

Siciliano recommends people immediately change their passwords and set up two-factor identification for their Apple accounts.

The bottom line, he said, is that “critical accounts should always have different passwords.”


GTY apple iphone mar 140527 16x9 608 Hackers Use Find My iPhone App to Lock, Hold Devices for Ransom

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

]]> 0
What’s Up Apple’s Sleeve? Live Stream Set for Next Week Tue, 27 May 2014 19:57:37 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb GTY apple logo mar 140527 16x9 608 Whats Up Apples Sleeve? Live Stream Set for Next Week

(Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images)

Let the guessing games begin.

Apple announced today it will live stream “exciting announcements” from the keynote address at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference on Monday, June 2, at 10 a.m. PT.

While Apple has selectively offered live streams in the past to reveal new technology and updates, what surprises the company has in store, including plans to unveil any new hardware, are anyone’s guess.

Check out more details on streaming here from Apple.

The five-day conference, held in San Francisco, brings together 1,000 Apple engineers and 5,000 developers, according to the company’s website.

Among the announcements from last year’s conference were the iOS 7, iTunes Radio and updates to Mac OS X.

In anticipation of next week’s conference, re-live the excitement of WWDC 2013 here.


]]> 0
Hilarious Video: Kids React to Old Computers Mon, 26 May 2014 17:58:13 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb HT kids react sk 140526 16x9 608 Hilarious Video: Kids React to Old Computers

(The Fine Bros.)

What happens when you take a group of tech savvy kids and let them play with a clunky old Apple II computer?

The “Kids React to Old Computers” video is the latest in a series posted to YouTube from Fine Brothers Entertainment.

The video was done in partnership with AMC’s “Halt & Catch Fire Show” and the result is downright hilarious.

Each kid is shown the old computer individually and asked to perform certain tasks, such as turning on the computer.

“If you don’t have a desk, where do you put this?” asks a girl named Jayka, who is clearly used to laptops.

“I don’t get it,” one child says of the command-driven system. “And I also don’t get the 1970s.”

And perhaps the most important question of all: How did kids do homework before the Internet?

Check out the full video below:

]]> 0
FYI Lazy Typers: Search Yelp Using Emoji Sat, 24 May 2014 10:20:09 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb HT yelp banner mar 140523 16x9 608 FYI Lazy Typers: Search Yelp Using Emoji

(Image Credit: Yelp)


Lazy typers and emoji enthusiasts can now take advantage of a cheat in the Yelp mobile app that allows users to search for local businesses using the icons.

While it’s not entirely perfect, a quick test using the shoe, sushi, police officer and tropical drink icons yielded accurate results.

The sad emoji, however, seemed to bring up a mix of nearby places. However, a check of a smiley emoji pulled up a list of nearby delis, proving that sometimes happiness is a pastrami sandwich.

So go ahead, and let your favorite emoji set the tone for your night.



]]> 0
Why Martha Stewart Owns A Drone Fri, 23 May 2014 14:16:04 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb GTY martha stewart sk 140523 16x9 608 Why Martha Stewart Owns A Drone

(Image Credit: Jenny Anderson/Getty Images)

Even the queen bee of domesticity owns a drone.

Martha Stewart loves flying her remote control drone over her farm and uses it to take photos of her (presumably) immaculate gardens and livestock.

The lifestyle guru revealed in Martha Stewart Living’s May issue that her drone of choice is the Parrot A.R. Drone 2.0 Power Edition, which retails for $369.99 on Amazon.

HT martha stewart drone sk 140523 16x9 608 Why Martha Stewart Owns A Drone

(Image Credit: Amazon)

Stewart elaborated on her love for the “very beautiful” gadget to Vanity Fair.

“It has a little camera. You connect it to your iPhone, and you can control it with your iPhone, and it flies all over my farm and takes pictures,” she said. “It takes wonderful aerial photographs.”

Stewart said she’s had a smooth ride with the drone thus far. She hasn’t broken anything and said she flies it at a high altitude so her animals aren’t bothered by it.

The model Stewart owns can record high definition video and also live stream footage while in flight. It boasts 36 minutes of flying time, according to Amazon.



]]> 0
Robot Bartender Dispenses Killer Cocktails, But Not Advice Tue, 20 May 2014 17:45:08 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb HT black monolith 6 mar 140520 16x9 608 Robot Bartender Dispenses Killer Cocktails, But Not Advice

(Image Credit: Barobot)

It’s like having your own live-in bartender and you don’t even have to tip.

The makers of Barobot, an open-source cocktail mixing robot, recently debuted their machine on Kickstarter, where they hope to raise £91,000 (about $153,300) to help bring it to the market.

The hackable machine can hold a dozen bottles of liquor and features more than 1,000 recipes that can be selected from Barobot’s “brain” on a 7-inch Android tablet.

For the even lazier, drinks can be ordered via a smartphone app, sending the order to Barobot without having to leave the comfort of the couch.

HT black monolith 2 mar 140520 16x9 608 Robot Bartender Dispenses Killer Cocktails, But Not Advice

(Image Credit: Barobot)

Konrad Klepacki, the co-founder of Barobot, told ABC News in an email from Poland that the machine can mix “perfect drinks.”

“You don’t need to be a professional bartender equipped with professional measuring stuff and a head full of drink recipes,” he said.

As an added party-boosting bonus, the machine lights up with 100 individually controlled LEDs that can be set to synchronized music.

However, unlike a real bartender, it doesn’t tell jokes.


]]> 0