Today's Tech: Microsoft's Start button on the Threshold, Nokia's cooler Google Glass alternative and a curvier Apple iPhone

A sexier iPhone?

Earlier this year, reports of a curved iPhone made the rounds, but while Samsung and LG have both unveiled curved smartphones, the Cupertino firm has yet to embrace the form factor. That might change in the near future, since Apple was recently awarded a patent that covers "a method of forming a curved touch surface." The patent focuses on the process of creating a curved display, which can be difficult, in part, because touch sensor panels are very thin and easily damaged. Apple's process would deposit and pattern a conductive thin film "on a flexible substrate to form a touch sensor pattern, while the flexible substrate is in a flat state."

Kerching Ke3chang

A group of Chinese hackers reportedly infiltrated the computers of five European foreign ministries earlier this year. According to security firm FireEye, a total of nine machines were hacked by a collective dubbed Ke3chang, which distributed emails with infected attachments to snare its targets. This malware, which disguised itself as files detailing a possible intervention in Syria, was intended to attack figures that were to be involved in G20 discussions held in St Petersburg in September. The Syrian civil war was central to these talks.

Wearable tech you might wear?

Nokia and Vuzix have announced a potential breakthrough in smart eyewear at the Wearable Technology Expo in Los Angeles as murmurs of a new Google Glass rival begin to stir. Developed in partnership with Nokia, the Vuzix Waveguide optics engine could be the first technology that will allow smart lenses to be integrated in standard spectacle frames. The first product to feature Waveguide technology is set to be the M2000AR for Enterprise, a monocular augmented reality solution that will feature a 720p display and 1080p camera, as well as being ruggedised for use in industrial environments.

Start button on the Threshold

Microsoft's follow-up to Windows 8, the operating system revamp code named Threshold, could reintroduce the Start menu ditched in the original Windows 8 release and further chip away at differences between the Redmond firm's flagship PC platform and the software running the Xbox One and Windows phones. At least that's the skinny being delivered by Windows SuperSite's Paul Thurrott and veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, who this week wrote that Threshold is being developed as part of Microsoft's "One Windows" strategy and is being slated for release in the first half of 2015. Threshold, according to Foley's unnamed inside sources, is set to come out in three distinct SKUs, all based on the same Windows kernel. There will supposedly be a "modern (i.e., Metro-Style/Windows Store) consumer SKU," she wrote, evolved from the platform-homogeneous Windows Runtime application architecture beneath the beleaguered Windows RT OS.