Living in Tech

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

When Your Shopping Bot Becomes a Lawbreaker

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!mediengruppebitnik/!mediengruppebitnik
Who’s responsible when a bot breaks the law? A collective of Swiss artists faced that very question when they coded the Random Darknet Shopper, an online shopping bot, to purchase random items from a marketplace located on the Deep Web, an area of the World Wide Web not indexed by search engines. While many of the 16,000 items for sale on this marketplace are legal, quite a few are not; and when the bot purchased a handful of illegal pills… continue…

Can Google Glass Survive 2015?

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Google Glass
Google Glass was supposed to be the Next Big Thing, redefining wearable electronics as an era in which people walked around with computers strapped to their faces. Instead, there’s a growing sense that Google Glass is in serious danger of irrelevancy. In November, Reuters reported that Glass developers and users were “losing interest” in the product, and that a handful of the former had dropped plans to develop apps for the device. “If there was 200 million Google Glasses sold, it would… continue…

Daily Tip: Reduce Social Media

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shutterstock_Twin Design
A recent survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project found that only 4 percent of Americans think that social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook are “very important” tools for their jobs. Indeed, for all their real or imagined benefits, social networks are bona fide productivity killers. (There’s a reason why many places of employment block access to them during the workday.) For those software pros whose jobs involve social networking in a significant way (such as building… continue…

Daily Tip: Set Some New Year’s Resolutions

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shutterstock_grafvision
Lots of people make personal resolutions on New Year’s Eve: exercise more, lose weight, spend more time with family, and so on. But how about making some work-related resolutions? You could vow to expand your professional network, or polish that resume, or finally get a new job. Making a resolution, however, is a very different thing than sticking with it. Here are some quick tips for not abandoning your newfound goals by January 5. Do Something Challenging: Easy is boring.… continue…

Did Apple Just Murder the Tablet Market?

Apple iPads
Did Apple just murder the tablet market? That’s the conclusion reached by Boy Genius Report, based on data assembled by analytics firm Flurry. That data suggests that, among the top five mobile-device manufacturers, Apple “won” the holiday season, with the company’s hardware accounting for 51.3 percent of device activations worldwide (followed by Samsung with 17.7 percent, Nokia with 5.8 percent, and Sony with 1.6 percent). Click here to find mobile-developer jobs. Much of those activations came from oversized phones. “As… continue…

‘Wolf’ Topped 2014′s List of Most-Pirated Movies

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Wolf of Wall Street Paramount Pictures
It’s easier than ever to pirate online content, a fact that’s compelled millions of people to download movies illegally. Piracy-tracking firm Excipio recently put together a list of the most-pirated movies of 2014—think of it as yet another year-end “best of” list, albeit one guaranteed to drive Hollywood executives into a rage—and the rankings contain few surprises: What triumphed at the box office also tended to do well on websites devoted to pirated content. The following list contains Excipio’s estimates… continue…

Tour ‘Minecraft’ Creator’s Mansion… In ‘Minecraft’

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YouTube / Dan Bovey
Markus “Notch” Persson released the Minecraft beta in 2010. Although he intended the world-building game as a fun side project, it quickly grew into an international phenomenon, enriching him to the tune of millions of dollars even before he sold the rights to Microsoft for more than $2.5 billion earlier this year. Although a 2013 biography of Persson portrayed him as highly ambivalent about fame and wealth, he recently overcame that quandary long enough to purchase the most expensive house… continue…

Daily Tip: Getting to Inbox Zero

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shutterstock_kpatyhka
For people who receive hundreds of emails per day, having a totally empty inbox seems like an impossible goal. Follow a subset of developers and startup mavens on Twitter, and sooner or later you’ll see a gleeful Tweet from one of them about approaching the semi-mythical “Inbox Zero.” While there’s no way to stop the flood of email into your inbox—at least, short of leaving the grid entirely and living in the woods like a hermit—there are ways to eliminate… continue…

Sorry, Your Online Privacy Is Doomed: Report

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shutterstock_Mopic
What’s the future of privacy? The Pew Research Center (a nonpartisan think tank) recently asked 2,511 privacy experts and “Internet builders” to offer their predictions on how security and privacy online will evolve over the next several years. To those experts, Pew posed three questions: Security, liberty, privacy online—Will policy makers and technology innovators create a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025 that allows for business innovation and monetization while also offering individuals choices for protecting their… continue…

Watch This Dog Run Thanks to 3-D Printing

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3D Systems dog prosthetics
Ever since 3-D printing began to enter the mainstream, people have discussed the technology’s potential for building prosthetic arms and legs for human beings. But what about doing the same for dogs? Click here to find jobs related to printing. In a heartwarming video that’s gone viral on the Internet, a dog named Derby, born with a congenital deformity that deprived him of front paws, is outfitted with a pair of 3-D-printed prosthetics. Both the prosthetics and the video were… continue…