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Forgemind ArchiMedia via Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Forgemind ArchiMedia via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The First Smartwatch Was Released in 1977 and Cost $695

Forgemind ArchiMedia via Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Forgemind ArchiMedia via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Once people finally get around to wearing smartwatches around their wrists without shame, we’ll know the future has arrived. But before that was the goal of every tech company out there, Hewlett-Packard released their own piece of wearable tech in the 1970s. 

The HP-01 debuted in 1977 as what was arguably the first “true” smartwatch ever sold. Of course, it didn’t come with such fancy features as a color screen or 4G connectivity, but at the time it was considered a technical marvel. Hewlett-Packard advertised the product as "a digital electronic wristwatch, a personal calculator, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a timer, a 200 year calendar ... and yet it is more than all of these.” The watch's most impressive feature was its ability to store and recall information, allowing it to function like an agenda. One ad mentioned an “arranged call to your wife” with the phone number displayed on the LCD interface. Even with no cell phones around for the watch to connect to, the foreshadowing was uncanny.

Instead of a touch screen, the wearers had to type out their calculations on a 28 button keyboard, with some keys so small that they required the use of a stylus tucked away inside the band. As you may have guessed, the HP-01 never ended up leading the wearable tech revolution. It was discontinued in 1979, perhaps due in part to its $695 price tag. Old school tech geeks can keep an eye out for original models on eBay, though sadly it doesn't look like they've gotten any cheaper.

[h/t: Hodinkee]

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How to Spot the Convincing New Phishing Scam Targeting Netflix Users
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iStock

Netflix may send customers the occasional email, but these messages will never ask you to provide them with personal or payment info. You'll want to keep this in mind if you encounter a new phishing scam that The Daily Dot reports is targeting the video streaming service's subscribers in Australia and the UK.

MailGuard, an Australian email security company, was the first to take notice of the fraudulent emails. While similar scams have targeted Netflix users in the past, this current iteration appears to be more convincing than most. At first (and perhaps even second) glance, the messages appear to be legitimate messages from Netflix, with an authentic-looking sender email and the company’s signature red-and-white branding. The fake emails don’t contain telltale signs of a phishing attempt like misspelled words, irregular spacing, or urgent phrasing.

The subject line of the email informs recipients that their credit card info has been declined, and the body requests that customers click on a link to update their card's expiration date and CVV. Clicking leads to a portal where, in addition to the aforementioned details, individuals are prompted to provide their email address and full credit card number. After submitting this valuable info, they’re redirected to Netflix’s homepage.

So far, it’s unclear whether this phishing scheme has widely affected Netflix customers in the U.S., but thousands of people in both Australia and the U.K. have reportedly fallen prey to the effort.

To stay safe from phishing scams—Netflix-related or otherwise—remember to never, ever click on an email link unless you’re 100 percent sure it’s valid. And if you do end up getting duped, use this checklist as a guide to safeguard your compromised data.

[h/t The Daily Dot]

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Weather Watch
Heated Mats Keep Steps Ice-Free in the Winter
Amazon
Amazon

The first snow of the season is always exciting, but the magic can quickly run out when you remember all the hazards that come with icy conditions. Along with heating bills, frosted cars, and other pains, the ground develops a coat of ice that can be dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike. Outdoor steps become particularly treacherous and many people find themselves clutching their railings for fear of making it to the bottom headfirst. Instead of putting salt down the next time it snows, consider a less messy approach: heated mats that quickly melt the ice away.

The handy devices are made with a thermoplastic material and can melt two inches of snow per hour. They're designed to be left outside, so you can keep them ready to go for the whole winter. The 10-by-30-inch mats fit on most standard steps and come with grips to help prevent slipping. A waterproof connector cable connects to additional mats so up to 15 steps can be covered.

Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a price: You need to buy a 120-volt power unit for them to work, and each mat is sold separately. Running at $60 a mat, the price can add up pretty quickly. Still, if you live in a colder place where it's pretty much always snowing, it might be worth it.

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