Living in Tech

The latest gadgets, games and toys, not to mention the generally cool stuff we do outside of work.

Forget Smartphones: Meet the Smart Pocket-Watch

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
Runcible
The word “smart” gets attached to a lot of devices these days: smartwatch, smartphone, smart gun, smart home, and much more. Now say “hello” to the smart pocket-watch. Monohm’s Runcible, currently attracting buzz at this week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, looks like a Victorian-era pocket watch with a digital screen for a face. It features a camera aperture, support for LTE and Wi-Fi, swappable back covers, an operating system based on Mozilla’s open-source Firefox OS, and a reversible… continue…

The Indie Game at the Heart of ‘House of Cards’

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
House of Cards Monument Valley
In the new season of the Netflix series House of Cards, President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) takes a break from his Machiavellian machinations to… play an indie game on his iPad? The game in question—glimpsed midway through the season—is Monument Valley, a puzzler in which the player guides a princess character through structures reminiscent of an M.C. Escher design. The game’s slow pace and gentle aesthetic seem like an odd choice for an aggressive (and murderous) character like Underwood, but… continue…

R.I.P. Google+?

Posted In Cloud, Living in Tech
Google Plus
Google’s Google+ social network, touted by some as a potential “Facebook killer” upon its 2011 release, could end up split into multiple parts. “Just wanted to confirm that the rumors are true—I’m excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products!” Google Vice President Bradley Horowitz wrote on his Google+ page. “It’s important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users.” Check out the latest social networking… continue…

Welcome to the Jungle, Google Street View

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
Google Street Jungle View
Google’s Street View started out as a road-mapping system, with imagery provided by cameras attached to cars. Then the search-engine giant decided to record walk-throughs of some of the planet’s most iconic (and car-inaccessible) spots, so it began strapping cameras to hikers’ backpacks. Now comes the next step: taking Street View into the trees. In order to capture the teeming, thick canopy of the Amazon rainforest, Google dangled its sophisticated, bulbous Trekker cameras from zip lines dozens of feet above… continue…

What Android Pay Could Mean for Developers

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
shutterstock_LDProp
Apple has enjoyed some success with its Apple Pay platform, although some retailers have balked at the idea of allowing consumers to buy things using their iPhones. Given that success, it’s perhaps inevitable that Google would launch a new, competitive e-payments platform, one reportedly built from the ground-up for developers. Check out the latest Android jobs. According to Ars Technica, which drew its information from an anonymous source “close to the matter,” Google plans on introducing a new e-payments API… continue…

Amazon’s Lunatic Idea for 3-D Printing’s Future

Amazon 3D Printing USPTO
While 3-D printers haven’t yet hit the mainstream, innovators and entrepreneurs are busy experimenting with potential uses for the technology, from building airline engines to creating food. But few of those concepts are as weird—or potentially as brilliant, depending on your point of view—as the one proposed by Amazon in a recent series of patent applications. According to the Wall Street Journal, which dug those patents up, the company is thinking about placing 3-D printers inside trucks. When a customer… continue…

For Women in Tech, DC Might Be Best City

shutterstock_EastVillage Images
What’s the best U.S. city for women in tech? According to personal-finance site SmartAsset, which pulled the data from the U.S. Census, the answer is… Washington D.C., thanks to a combination of relatively high salaries, healthy job growth, and large number of women already involved in the tech community. “Women in Washington make up over 37 [percent] of the tech workforce, higher than in any other city we examined,” SmartAsset wrote in its blog. “This is probably due in part… continue…

Guess What Apple’s Unveiling March 9

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
Apple Invite
Apple has sent out invites for a March 9 event at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center. The invite, with minimalism typical of the company, says only: “Spring forward.” Considering that the Apple Watch is slated to start shipping in April, and the time-related quip on the invitation, it’s a near certainty that Apple will use the event to unveil more about its upcoming timepiece. The bigger question: What new features and apps—if any—will Apple choose to unveil? Check out the… continue…

Google’s New AI Will Beat You at Video Games

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 9.18.54 AM
Google has created artificial intelligence software that can play video games better than you. The project originated in DeepMind Technologies, a machine-learning startup that Google acquired in 2014 for $500 million. Of course, Google didn’t blow a cool half-billion on a company whose sole goal is building software capable of playing retro Atari games with the speed and skill of an over-caffeinated 15-year-old; in theory, a system capable of mastering a game like Pong on its own can also learn… continue…

Valve’s VR Plans Could Prove Good for Devs

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
Valve Half Life
If virtual reality is going to become the Next Big Thing, Valve wants a piece of the action. Valve is famous in gaming circles for its Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead games. It also runs the Steam network, a growing channel for distributing games, and maintains SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system for the upcoming Steam Machine game consoles. Given that increasingly pervasive reach, it’s perhaps no surprise that the company would extend its ambitions to virtual reality. Check out… continue…