Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – April 16

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features Facebook making waves on Android, an “invisible” bike helmet, and a new app to help keep teen drivers safe behind the wheel. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

The Bicycle Helmet You Don’t Wear on Your Head

The Bicycle Helmet You Don't Wear on Your Head

A bike helmet called Hövding that has been developed by two Swedish industrial design students is turning some heads, says Jeremy Bogaisky of Forbes. The “helmet” is really an airbag in a collar worn around the neck. If there is an accident it deploys to envelop a bicyclist’s head. The product has been approved, but its inventors are facing some challenges because of the device’s high price ($515) and some reservations about it’s effectiveness. The invention does solve the problem of people not wanting to wear conventional helmets because they aren’t stylish or will mess up their hair. Also, an electronics redesign is in the works and could help lower the cost of the product. Whether this invisible helmet will become a trend among cyclists remains to be seen.

New App Aims to Keep Teen Drivers Safe on the Road

A new app designed for the iPhone (and coming soon to Android) is attempting to help teen drivers be more alert and experienced behind the wheel, according to USA Today. The app, Time to Drive, was developed by the University of North Carolina and is geared for both teen drivers and their parents. Some of the features in Time to Drive include the ability to record the amount of driving the teen does and what conditions they’re in, tracking of hard stops, tips for parents, and goals for teens and parents to work on together. The app comes at a time where it’s much needed; teen driving deaths increased last year after being on the decline for several years prior. Statistics show that new drivers are at the highest risk when first getting their driver’s licenses. The creators of the app are hoping that by making practice more fun and easy they can help cut down the number of fatalities.

Could You Do Without Your Cable TV? 30 Percent of Americans Say Yes

Could You Do Without Your Cable TV? 30 Percent of Americans Say Yes

The popularity of Internet television and streaming shows on tablets and devices is allowing many people to keep up with their favorite shows without having to pay for cable television. Alexis Kleinman of The Huffington Post reports that a recent survey by Belkin and Harris Interactive found that 30 percent of Internet users in the United States would consider ditching their cable plans and primarily watch content online. Does this mean the end of television? It’s highly doubtful that would happen anytime soon, but statistics show a large increase in online viewers. Currently, 106.2 million American watch TV shows online at least once a month. And the survey predicts that by 2014 more than 50 percent of Internet users in the United States (130.7 million people) will be watching television online.

Facebook’s “Home” is the Talk of the Tech World This Week

Facebook is making headlines yet again, this time for it’s new “Home” on Android. Home is a series of apps that attempts to always keep mobile users on the social media platform’s network, according to CNET’s Jennifer Van Grove.  When using Home on Android, the phone’s home screen becomes a Facebook cover feed, or a visually rich and swipe-able version of the news feed. Home also includes a more picture-perfect version of messaging, complete with a Facebook-invented feature called “Chat Heads,” with colorful notifications that include friends’ pictures.

 

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