Living in Tech

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

Amazon’s Echo Enters Digital-Assistant Fight

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Amazon Echo
Imagine a device in your home that passively listens to everything you say. In past decades, you might have called such a device a “bug,” and it was probably installed without your knowledge. But in the brave new world of 2014, this device is called Amazon Echo, and it’s apparently here to help. Click here to find mobile-development jobs. Echo is a black cylinder that can go pretty much anywhere in a house or apartment, and responds to a variety… continue…

Yep, Amazon Goofed on the Fire Phone

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Amazon Fire Phone
Amazon’s vice president of devices in Europe just admitted that the first generation of the company’s Fire Phone hasn’t performed well on the open market. “In an honest assessment of the Fire Phone, we’ve learned a lot on this one,” Jorrit Van der Meulen told the Guardian. “We’re undeterred, but we’re not immune to the criticism either.” Click here to find mobile-related jobs. In October, the online retailer announced a $170 million write-off stemming largely from the Fire Phone, which… continue…

You Can Bid for Atari’s Long-Lost ‘E.T.’ Game

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Atari ET Game
In the early 1980s, Atari made what seemed like a slam-dunk bet: a game based on E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, one of the most beloved (and highest-grossing) films of all time. The company was so sure it had a hit in the making, in fact, that it manufactured millions of E.T. game cartridges, which flooded store shelves just in time for holiday shopping in December 1982. Click here to find game-development jobs. The game sold well at the outset, but it… continue…

SourceForge Q&A: YouTube Subtitle Conversion

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Google2SRT
SourceForge’s “Staff Pick” Project of the Month for November is Google2SRT, a conversion tool that allows you to download, save, and convert subtitles from YouTube and Google Video to SubRip (.srt) format. Google2SRT administrator kom shared his thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction. Click here to find video-related jobs. Tell me about the Google2SRT project, please. Google2SRT is a tool that downloads XML CC (Closed Captions/ subtitles) from a former Google Video or YouTube and converts them to SubRip (SRT),… continue…

Rare Images of Steve Jobs at NeXT

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steve jobs Next
Documentary filmmaker and photographer Doug Menuez had the opportunity to hang out with Steve Jobs after the latter was forced out of Apple Computer in 1985. That gave him the chance to document the rise of Jobs’ next startup, NeXT, an effort to create ultra-powerful workstations for the education market. Click here to find iOS-related jobs. “While building the NeXT computer, Steve wanted to meet the challenge that Nobel laureate Paul Berg had set to build an affordable workstation for… continue…

Play 900 Vintage Arcade Games in Your Browser

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Internet Archive
The Internet Archive, a nonprofit that means to build a comprehensive “Internet library,” hosts a variety of data, from texts and audio to software and archived Web pages. Just as a brick-and-mortar library serves as a depository for rare books deserving of preservation, the Internet Archive wants to keep a record of the Internet that will educate students and historians. Click here to find game-development jobs. If any of those students and historians enjoy playing old-school arcade games from thirty… continue…

Should Google Change Its ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Motto?

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shutterstock Twin Design
For many years, Google has touted an upbeat and idealistic motto: “Don’t be evil.” It came with an equally utopian mission statement about organizing all the world’s information and making it accessible to everyone. When the Financial Times asked Google CEO Larry Page if his company would need to change that statement in coming years, he responded in the affirmative. “I think we do, probably,” he said. “We’re still trying to work that out.” For search-related jobs, click here. Page… continue…

Where Are All the Women Execs?

shutterstock max sattana
How many U.S. companies have at least one female executive on staff? According to a new report from marketing-data company Infogroup Targeting Solutions, a mere 27 percent fit that description. The one region bucking that trend is the San Francisco Bay Area, where Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Emeryville all boast higher percentages of women executives. “Silicon Valley is actually faring really well [in] comparison to the balance of the U.S.,” Andrea Haldeman, Infogroup’s senior vice president of sales, told Fortune… continue…

How Apple Watch Is Like an Ancient Timepiece

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Apple Watch Charger
Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted during a Q&A at the WSJD Live Conference that the upcoming Apple Watch would need to be charged once a day. Apple had spent the past month playing coy about the Apple Watch’s battery life, which led some pundits and bloggers to hope that the company had figured out a way to make the device’s battery last at least a few days between charges. Given the sophisticated hardware (the small form-factor packs in a heart-rate… continue…

Leaked Screenshots Hint at Next Office for Mac

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Office for Mac 2015
It’s been four years since Microsoft refreshed Office for Mac OS X, and it looks like a new version of the productivity software is in the pipeline for release next year. Leaked screenshots of an internal Microsoft PowerPoint presentation posted on Chinese website CnBeta (and reposted on The Verge) suggest that Office for Mac 2015—or whatever its official name—will closely align with the most current version of Office for Windows. It will feature a retooled ribbon and support for Retina… continue…