Digital may soon help you ‘feel’ the world around you. Sam Justin reported for digitfreak.com that a few companies want to replace the crude vibration motors in today’s phones and tablets with something that provides a much wider range of sensations, allowing you to feel the rumble of a Harley or the reverberation of a shotgun blast. The new technology can even let you feel the outlines of a button on the screen.
The technology can make mobile devices shake and rattle with great realism, employing a technology that uses plastics that function like muscles.
Very cool!

What to know what the hottest technologies for the near future will be? This post by Jason Hiner, posted on techrepublic.com explores some of the geeky possibilities.
The two highlights are:
1. HTML5 to make the web an app: this promises to take the training wheels off the web and unleash it to compete with traditional software. It will eliminate the need for most of the plugins that slow down browsers and introduce extra security risks.
2. Flexible OLED displays: These ultra-low-power displays will be able to be almost as thin as plastic wrap and will be completely flexible (even when in use). You’ll be able to fold smart-phones in half, or roll them into a bracelet. Instead of unfolding a newspaper you’ll unfold an OLED display that is tied to a subscription to The New York Times, for example (here’s an example of how the Times is already envisioning this

Ever been at the movies and wished you could have your popcorn delivered to your seat? Now you can. In a world-first, Hoyts Sydney will pilot a mobile payment app developed by MasterCard called QkR, which will allow patrons to order food and drink without leaving their seats.
Techworld.com.au said customers who own an iPhone or Android handset will be able to use the service by downloading the QkR app to their phone and make purchases by either scanning the QR code or tapping a near field communications (NFC) device. There are no plans to widen the trial to BlackBerry or Windows Mobile users.

Ever wanted to talk to the most powerful man in the world? Well now you can – with President Obama scheduled for a Google+ Hangout on January 30.
ZDnet.com reports that the President of the United States will be using Google+ as of next week when he responds to “a selection of top-voted questions you’ve submitted in a live-streamed interview” on January 30.
You can watch the event next Monday on the White House’s YouTube station, and interested participants have until midnight on January 28 to submit questions.

This free webinar from Gartner explores the three major themes that will affect enterprise mobile strategies in 2012: mobile governance, user-centric mobile service delivery and mobile endpoint independence.
Gartner argues it is often impossible for an enterprise to make thoughtful decisions in one area (e.g., mobile application development) without thoroughly considering another area (e.g., security and risk management).
There is also good advice on what enterprises should focus on in the next 12 months.

Want to make sure you never miss an opportunity to say hello to a friend? Well now you can, with a new iOS app called Highlight, which alerts you when a friend is in close proximity.
It works by connecting users Facebook profiles and pushing their basic information to other people who use the app. Users can choose to make their information accessible to either everyone or just select friends. Either way, the app only makes the connection if the two parties have something in common.
It’s expected to be one of the most popular apps of 2012.

Digital Guru Dave Winer, pioneer of the development of weblogs, (RSS), and much more, explores how users are caught between tech and media.
Winer says, “I’ve been warning the news publishers to be careful about viewing Twitter and Facebook as if they were equivalent to the web. This would be like Kodak trusting Apple to handle its digital photography strategy. We know now how that turned out.”
“Twitter and Facebook are rich and getting richer. Either of them could easily buy a struggling but independent news organization. Then where would you be if you were dependent on them to distribute news? At some point they will come to see themselves as a media company, if they don’t already.”
The full article is worth a read.

There is no doubt that people are consuming more books on tablets than ever before, so it was exciting that at the Cyberlearning summit, Apple finally announced that it went live with iBooks2 – it’s launch into the textbook game.
Naked Communications very own digital and education guru Brett Rolfe says, “delivering existing textbooks on tablets isn’t a step change, but it opens the door for a new generation of content for students. Tomorrow’s texts can be richer, more interactive, more social. We can build formative assessment and multimedia content right into the text. And all of that means better learning experiences for kids.”
For children, perhaps the most exciting part is not having to carry around heavy textbooks.

Superheroes are working harder than ever before, not just fighting fictional villains, but fighting famine.
Cnet.com reports that a new campaign is using crowd-sourcing to battle hunger in the horn of Africa. DC Entertainment – home to Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman is matching donations to Mercy Corps, Save the Children and the International Relief Project for their efforts providing relief in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. It’s the worst drought in the area in the past 60 years, and is affecting 13 million people, with 250,000 threatened by possible starvation.
DC Entertainment says it will match up to a million dollars in donations made through joinwecanbeheroes.org as well as 50% of any merchandise sold.