Living in Tech

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

Coding Challenge Wrap-Up: Who Won the Map

Roman Trade Network
Compared to our previous coding challenges, May’s was a modest affair, with just three entries coming in from Rick Matter, Jon Pattinson and Jay Nagel. And, despite opening the entries to include Delphi, Go and Python as well as C/C++, Java and C#, all three were written in Java! (You can find all the competition files here.) In this challenge, you were given a 20×20 map that contained 20 trading islands, each occupying a square. Each island was a trading… continue…

New Programming Language Uses Schwarzenegger’s One-Liners

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There are lots of programming languages out there. But how many of them let you code using Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic one-liners? The answer is one: ArnoldC, available on GitHub. If you ever wanted to type “I NEED YOUR CLOTHES YOUR BOOTS AND YOUR MOTORCYCLE” in place of “MethodArguments” or “YOU HAVE BEEN TERMINATED” instead of “EndMain,” this is the imperative programming language for you. (And yes, those all-caps are a necessity.) The language currently features 33 keywords, each coded to… continue…

Why Amazon’s Fire Phone Is Dead on Arrival

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ascended a Seattle stage yesterday to unveil the Fire Phone, his company’s first smartphone. The 4.7-inch device includes a variety of next-generation features, from streamlined integration with Amazon’s various cloud services to live tech support via the “Mayday” button. It runs Fire OS 3.5.0, Amazon’s mobile operating system based on Google Android, and can access the thousands of apps available via Amazon’s App Store. But make no mistake: Amazon didn’t set out to make a vanilla… continue…

How Wearable Electronics Could Change Your Life

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Wearable Technology
With Google, Apple and other hardware companies reportedly gearing up to release a bevy of “smartwatches,” augmented-reality headsets and other wearable electronics over the next few years, it’s likely that you or someone you know could soon sport an ultra-connected device on their wrist, head or finger. But how will these devices actually affect how you work, live and play? Read on.  Related Articles Is Your Business Ready for Wearable Tech? Google Wants to Conquer the Wearable-Electronics Market The Sucess… continue…

Move Over, Smartphones: Now There’s a ‘Smart Cup’

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You’ve heard of smartphones, smart bombs, smartwatches, smart bracelets and smart people. Now prepare yourself for the “smart cup:” If you ever wanted a drinking container that will provide you with real-time nutritional data about whatever tasty beverage you pour into it, Mark One’s Vessyl is the 13-ounce receptacle (with accompanying iOS app) of your hopes and dreams. See iOS jobs here. Like many other hyper-intelligent devices hitting the market these days, the $99 Vessyl boasts an ultra-chic, minimalist shell.… continue…

Google, Apple Want to Take Healthcare IT Mainstream

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At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook and other executives unveiled HealthKit, an app designed to consolidate health and fitness data within an iOS dashboard. HealthKit can list everything from cholesterol levels to calories burned, with an “emergency card” of contacts and pertinent data (blood type, etc.) accessible via the iOS lock screen. In theory, HealthKit will also have the ability to interact with apps from third-party developers, such as Nike’s FuelBand platform. Click here… continue…

The Best of E3

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This week’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) saw the major game studios and console builders unveil their upcoming titles. None of the presentations were subtle, to put it mildly: Mainstream developers seem more determined than ever to pour years of work and tens of millions of dollars into games in which things explode, explode, and, just for variety, explode some more. If you squinted against the glare of all those pyrotechnics, however, you could see a few games attempting innovative stuff—whether… continue…

The Next Silicon Valley Is…

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The next Silicon Valley will rise in a city, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. While Silicon Valley is viewed as synonymous with innovation, Brookings believes that a “new complementary urban model” will emerge, complete with infrastructure that gives it an advantage over what the think tank refers to as “spatially isolated corporate campuses, accessible only by car, with little emphasis on the quality of life or on integrating work, housing and recreation.” (Er, take that, Northern… continue…

The Epic Silliness of ‘Minecraft’ Creator’s New Game

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Imagine, for a moment, that you’re Markus “Notch” Persson, creator of Minecraft, one of the most popular video games of the decade. Within three years of entering Beta in late 2010, Minecraft had sold 35 million copies, transforming Persson into a multimillionaire in the process. The game has won tons of awards, sparked the annual MineCon conference and inspired—inevitably—lots of merchandise. Click here for game-development jobs. So after that blockbuster success, what do you do for an encore? If you’re… continue…

Bloomberg Testing Real-World App for Oculus Rift

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So far, the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset has found its most widespread use in gaming. But as the device rises in prominence, more companies are testing its capabilities as a work tool. Bloomberg is one of those companies, having designed software that allows Oculus-equipped traders and financial pros to view dozens of virtual “screens,” each one packed with data. The platform is clearly aimed at those Masters of the Universe who stack their real-world desks with four, six or eight… continue…