TechBytes: Facebook Adds Secuirty

Hulu makes improvements, iPad as a TV remote, technology increases happiness.

May 14, 2010— -- Facebook is rolling out new security features. The site's more than 400 million members can now ask to be notified by e-mail or text message when their account is accessed from a computer they have never used before. Facebook may also require users to answer personal questions when it notices unusual activity, such as an account being simultaneously logged in from two different countries. Some of the changes are already available and others will launch in the next few weeks.

Hulu Improvements

Hulu has introduced a new version of its video player with several enhancements. The most noticeable change is the size of the player, which is now 25 percent larger. It also features thumbnail previews when you hover over the timeline, making it easier to jump forward or back to a specific scene. Other tweaks include a heat map that lets you see the most popular parts of a video and an option to change the color of the closed captioning.

iPad As TV Remote

Cable giant Comcast is showing off a new application that will turn Apple's iPad and other web-connected gadgets into a TV remote. The Xfinity Remote allows users to search for shows, movies and video-on-demand, change channels on a cable box and remotely program a DVR. The app also has some social features so users can chat with friends, share recommendations and invite them to watch what they're watching. Comcast says it is working hard to finish the program, but didn't say when it will launch.

Gadgets Make Us Happy

If you're feeling down, you might want to buy yourself a new smartphone. A new survey of people around the world finds gadgets make us happy. Access to communication devices has the most value. People with low incomes or poor education were most influenced by their access to technology. The researchers say the gadgets make us happy because they keep us connected to friends and family and they're also status symbols.

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