Living in Tech

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

Google Wants to Nuke CAPTCHA for Good

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Google recaptcha API
We’ve all filled out those CAPTCHA tests that websites place at the end of online forms to determine whether we’re human or a bot. Pretty much everyone can agree those tests are annoying—who wants to spend even a few seconds peering at a mush of distorted letters, trying to figure out whether a particularly troublesome one is an “a” or an “o”? Click here to find bot-related jobs. Google’s reCAPTCHA project wants to save the Web from CAPTCHA. The underlying… continue…

Daily Tip: Never Use These Passwords

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shutterstock Ditty_about_summer
Sony suffered a massive hack late last month, which resulted in a hacker collective not only dumping five of the company’s unreleased films online, but also leaking internal documents. Those documents contained salary data and other employee information. According to Mashable, the hacked files included a folder marked “Passwords,” containing employee usernames and passwords in plain text. Some of the passwords in that folder are truly awful: “Password,” “s0ny123,” and so on. (It’s unclear whether the hackers used that information… continue…

Check Out Sony’s New E-Paper Watch

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Sony epaper watch
Sony is testing out a timepiece made entirely from e-paper, the same material used in e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle. Click here to find wearable electronics jobs. According to The Verge and the Wall Street Journal, Sony already has a working version of the device, developed through a startup subsidiary called Fashion Entertainments. The watch began life as a Japanese crowdsourcing project, almost certainly so that Sony could see whether an e-paper timepiece would prove attractive to a mass audience.… continue…

What if George Lucas Had Directed the New ‘Star Wars’?

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Star Wars parody
Late last week, Disney released a ninety-second trailer for the latest Star Wars movie, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters by the end of 2015. While the trailer itself didn’t reveal very much about the plot or characters of the space epic, it’s already providing seemingly endless material for fan art, homages, and even parodies. One of the most popular parodies circulating online, created by Michael Shanks, re-edits the trailer in a way that suggests what might have happened… continue…

Microsoft Planning Windows 10 Consumer Reveal

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Windows 10
Although Microsoft won’t actually release Windows 10 until late 2015, it reportedly plans to give a demonstration of the operating system’s consumer features next month. According to The Verge, which drew from unnamed sources for the information, the Windows 10 event will include a demo of “Continuum,” which adjusts the operating system’s interface to suit the type of device it’s running on; unplug the physical keyboard from a hybrid, touch-enabled laptop such as the Surface 3 or Lenovo Yoga, for… continue…

What Your Car Could Look Like in 2030

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IDEO future car
What will cars look like in a few decades? That’s anyone’s guess—if old science-fiction movies have proven anything, it’s that visions of automobile design thirty or fifty years down the road (pun intended) tend to be far, far different than the eventual reality. (Blade Runner, for example, posited that the skies above Los Angeles would swarm with flying cars by 2019.) By taking current ideas about self-driving cars, and combining them with the very human need to get as much… continue…

Why Apple Made That Weird App Store Change

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Apple App Store
If you visit Apple’s App Store, you’ll notice a small but significant change: The “Free” label beside free-to-download apps has been changed to “Get.” Click here to find mobile-development jobs. Why did Apple make such a move? It could have a lot to do with the European Commission (EC), the European Union’s antitrust body, which has pressured tech companies to do more about in-app purchases; the commission views the term “free” as misleading if an iPhone or iPad owner (or… continue…

Google Maps Offers Up Tasty Thanksgiving Data

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Google Maps Thanksgiving
Whatever your plans for Thanksgiving, Google can offer some advice: Try to avoid driving anywhere the day before. Analysts from the search-engine giant’s Google Maps division crunched traffic data from 21 U.S. cities over the past two years and found that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is by far the worst traffic day that week, with some notable exceptions. (In Honolulu, Providence, and San Francisco, the worst traffic is always on Saturday; in Boston, it’s Tuesday.) Click here to find data-science… continue…

Does a Startup Need a Moral Compass?

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Twitter Travis Kalanick
Ride-sharing service Uber found itself in a lot of trouble this week after BuzzFeed quoted one of its top executives as saying the company should fund opposition research into journalists. The executive, Emil Michael, suggested spending a million dollars to hire a team of opposition researchers and journalists, who would then dig into the personal lives and families of those critical of Uber. While Michael didn’t suggest any such plan was in effect, and apologized for his remarks soon afterwards,… continue…

Amazon Hiring Drone Pilots

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Amazon Drones
If you’re an aerospace engineer with experience in drones, Amazon might have a job for you. According to a handful of recent job postings, the company’s Amazon Prime Air Team wants “flight operations and certification personnel for flight testing our UAS technologies,” including flight operations engineers and senior technical program managers. Click here to find drone-related jobs. For flight operations engineers, desired qualifications include more than five years of lead flight experience, a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering or a… continue…