Today in Tech News Digest, Google acquires SlickLogin, Dropbox gets unblocked in China, the creator of Rock Band makes a shooter, Spotify is rumored to be preparing an IPO, Back To The Future Power Laces may become real, Twitch Plays Pokemon is pure madness, and a reminder to return your VHS video rentals.
Google Buys SlickLogin
Google’s bought SlickLogin. It uses inaudible sounds instead of passwords, so maybe only your dog will know it. http://t.co/faTaXRChb0
— Matt Brian (@m4tt) February 16, 2014
Google has quietly acquired SlickLogin for an undisclosed sum of money. SlickLogin is an Israeli startup that uses sound waves as a means of identification for logging in to websites.
The startup’s technology sends a barely detectable sound wave through your computer speakers which is then picked up by the microphone on your smartphone. The SlickLogin app matches what is sent to what is received, thereby confirming the identity of the individual user.
The SlickLogin tech offers an alternative to two-step verification, and could be extremely useful for websites holding financial and/or sensitive information. The only problem is the need for everybody to own a smartphone, which, contrary to popular belief, isn’t yet the case.
Dropbox Unblocked In China
Dropbox Gets Unblocked in China http://t.co/pSyIUBOMse unblocked after 4 years. Why were they blocked in the first place?
— Jamison Ellis (@EllisJamison) February 17, 2014
Dropbox, which has been a victim of the Great Firewall since 2010, appears to now be accessible in China. Tech in Asia reports that Dropbox has been unblocked temporarily in the past, but this unblocking seems to be a more permanent state of affairs. Until the decision is inevitably reversed.
Harmonix Is Creating A Musical FPS
Harmonix, the developer behind the Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central games, is bringing its musical expertise to the FPS (first-person shooter) genre. The new game, titled Chroma, is a free-to play PC game due to launch on Steam sometime in 2014.
Chroma is currently at a very early stage in development, with the design likely to change significantly before release. What’s already clear, however, is that the soundtrack will change according to the gameplay, with weapons adding to the soundscape when they’re fired. Which should be a lot more satisfying than the standard Call of Duty effects.
Rumor: Spotify Eyeing IPO
Spotify you can stop with the ads telling me to listen to Spotify…
— Frosty (@frostyausty907)
Spotify is advertising for a financial guru, leading to speculation it’s paving the way for a future IPO (Initial Public Offering). As reported by Reuters, the music streaming service is hiring an “External Reporting Specialist” that would be required to “prepare the company for SEC filing standards [and] set up all reports necessary to be SEC compliant.”
Spotify issued a simple statement playing down the speculation, saying, “As Spotify grows and becomes a more mature company we are looking for people who can help us keep our financial reporting in order and up to global standards.” But there is rarely smoke without fire when money is involved.
Back To The Future Power Laces On The Way
Nike is rumored to be working on a new pair of sneakers based on the ones Marty McFly wore in Back To The Future II. And unlike the original Nike MAG released in 2011, these may feature the power laces which fasten themselves at the touch of a button.
The rumor comes via Sole Collector, which quotes Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s Vice President for Design and Special Projects, as saying, “Are we gonna see power laces in 2015? To that, I say YES!” Let’s just hope these aren’t all snapped up by the rich and famous, which is what happened with the limited edition originals.
Playing Co-op Pokemon On Twitch.tv
Mankind’s greatest achievements: 1. Moon landing 2. Sequencing human genome 3. Twitch beating Pokemon, if that happens
— Will Eisenberg (@Dark_aardvark) February 18, 2014
Pokemon Red is currently being played on Twitch.tv, which wouldn’t be news were it not for the fact that thousands of people are cooperatively controlling the action.
‘Twitch Plays Pokemon‘ works by having the button presses typed in the chatroom converted to commands used in the game, which, rather unsurprisingly, causes mayhem. The stream has been live for five days at the time of writing, and progress is slow. And yet it makes for utterly compelling viewing.
Return Your Rented VHS Videos!
And finally, a woman has been arrested for failing to return a VHS video she rented from a store in 2005. The store has since gone out of business, but the warrant for her arrest was still in the system, leading to a 24-hour stay behind bars in South Carolina.
The VHS in question was a copy of Monster-In-Law starring Jennifer Lopez. And honestly, if anyone should be arrested for anything to do with that film, it should be J-Lo herself. For crimes against acting.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Mark Jensen via Flickr