Monday, 12 August 2013

The week in Tech: 5 must-know things

The week in Tech: 5 must-know things


Out with the old, in with the new. Yahoo is changing its logo for the first time in its 18-year history next month. A company executive told USA TODAY's Jon Swartz that Yahoo may change its typeface, its trademark color (purple) and its exclamation point in the rebranding process. But Yahoo commercials will still have the company's distinctive yodel.
Yahoo will keep things interesting by unveiling a new logo every day, for 30 days, until the real logo is introduced on Sept. 4.
Last week we told you all about Motorola's new Moto X smartphone and its cool new features. But how does it stack up against its other smartphone competitors?
USA TODAY's Ed Baig took the Moto X out for a test run earlier this week and gave us a first look at the pros and cons of the new phone:
Good: Driving Mode for voice-controlled texts and calls is "maybe the coolest feature." Another "headline feature," Touchless Control, lets you use your voice to make calls, set alarms and more.
Not so good: The phone has "rather middling specs" and a 4.7-inch screen that's "not the sharpest screen out there."
Should you get it? Baig says the Moto X is "a solid phone that I can absolutely recommend."
Don't let your clumsy fingers drop another call. LG unveiled a new smartphone this week that changes the way you grab your phone to answer calls.
The G2 comes with volume and power controls on the back of the device, not on the side or the top where these smartphone buttons usually reside.
Another new feature on the G2 is somewhat of a throwback: Users can pick up the phone to answer incoming calls, much as they would on a corded landline telephone.
LG's new smartphone will be available sometime this fall, but the company has yet to release pricing or carrier information.
If you're the average person, you can't afford a movie theater in your home. But why not try to get theater-quality sound for your TV?
Sony gave Ed Baig a sneak peek of the new HT-ST7 sound bar earlier this week in New York. The bar delivers surround sound "far superior to the sound that typically emerges from HDTV speakers" in a compact unit that you can position in front of your flat-panel TV. The bar has nine independent speakers, seven amplifiers and seven inputs for connecting the device to your TV.
But theater-quality sound doesn't come cheap. Sony's starting price for the sound bar is $1,299.
Well-preserved ruins are a rare, but welcome, find for archaeologists. An international team announced earlier this week that they have discovered a "stunning" 30-foot-long stucco wall in Guatemala beneath a Maya pyramid.
The frieze depicts three men crowning a new ruler at the Maya site Holmul around the year 590. The sculpture is painted in bright colors of red, blue, yellow and green.
Make sure you check out the pictures at the National Geographic website.