Living in Tech

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

Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB

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For the past ten years, developers and tech pros have made a game of comparing MySQL and PostgreSQL, with the latter seen by many as technically superior. Those who support PostgreSQL argue that its standards support and ACID compliance outweighs MySQL’s speed. MySQL remains popular thanks to its inclusion in every Linux Web hosting package, meaning that many Web developers have used it; but ever since Oracle bought Sun, which owned the MySQL copyright and trademark, there have been widespread… continue…

Ding-Dong, Internet Explorer is Dead

Posted In Living in Tech
Spartan Browser
Internet Explorer, the browser that many a techie loved to hate for nearly two decades, is about to experience the most existential 404 of all. According to The Verge, Microsoft marketing executive Chris Capossela told an audience at the Microsoft Convergence conference that the company’s next browser, codenamed Project Spartan, will represent a clean break with Internet Explorer. Microsoft has yet to give a formal name to the new browser, which will appear with Windows 10 and (per the screen-shot… continue…

Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren’t the Future

Posted In Cloud, Living in Tech
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Google, Tesla, Mercedes and others are working hard to build the best self-driving car. But will anyone actually buy them? In a Q&A session at this year’s South by Southwest, Lyft CEO Logan Green insisted the answer is “No.” Green still thinks the transportation world will undergo a massive shift over the next few years, with more and more people opting to hail a car rather than own one. Eliminating vehicle ownership has apparently been Lyft’s mission all along, even… continue…

SXSW Session Shows Diversity Issues in Tech

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Improving the male-to-female ratio in the technology industry emerged as a big theme at South by Southwest this year—especially after a panel in which a prominent female executive, United States CTO Megan Smith, found herself repeatedly interrupted by Google executive chairman (and former CEO) Eric Schmidt. The session, titled “How Innovation Happens,” also included Aspen Institute CEO and author Walter Isaacson, perhaps most famous for his controversial biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The event was advertised as a “conversation”… continue…

Post-Snowden, Americans Leery on Web Privacy

Posted In Data, Living in Tech
Pew Research Center Survey
The Edward Snowden revelations about the extent of the U.S. government’s electronic surveillance are no longer breaking news, which means it’s time to see whether those disclosures had a long-term effect on how Americans perceive their privacy, and how they protect their data online. Fortunately, some new survey data from the Pew Research Center provides insight into those very questions. While a majority of Americans (9 in 10) have heard about the U.S. government’s extensive surveillance programs, only a third… continue…

Meet BlackBerry’s $2,360 Tablet

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
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BlackBerry is getting back into the tablet game with a $2,360 device that— Wait, what? That price wasn’t a typo: Even as the tablet market stagnates, and brands rush to price smartphones and tablets as low as possible, BlackBerry has decided to go ultra-ultra-ultra premium with its latest device. Why? Because the so-called SecuTablet is (supposedly) secure enough for a broad range of government and enterprise work. In terms of hardware, the SecuTablet is a modified Samsung Galaxy Tab S… continue…

SXSW: Do Androids Dream of Being You?

Bina48 Facebook
Digital-assistant software such as Siri and Google Now has become progressively more mainstream over the past few years, showcasing some significant gains in the field of artificial intelligence. But as with any industry, there exists a substantial gap between the mass-produced products already on the market, and what’s theoretically possible with bleeding-edge technology. Within the artificial-intelligence community, a prime example of the latter is Bina48. (Who, as the above image demonstrates, comes with pretty realistic eyes for an automation.) In… continue…

Microsoft’s Cortana Coming to iOS, Android

Microsoft Cortana
Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant is headed to iOS and Google Android devices, according to a new report by Reuters. The launch of Cortana as a standalone app is yet another example of how Microsoft’s strategic priorities have shifted since Satya Nadella took the CEO reins in early 2014. Under the reign of his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft always seemed reluctant to port its key software products onto platforms beyond the Windows and Xbox ecosystem. (Perhaps the biggest exception: Office for… continue…

Behind the Scenes with Apple’s New MacBook

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
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The reaction to Apple’s new MacBook has been… mixed, to say the least. Critics complain about the device’s lack of ports, its relatively weak processor, even the minimal feedback from tapping the keyboard. Fortunately, the Internet found an Apple engineer who’s more than happy to explain the thinking and effort that went into the company’s latest creation. (Yes, it’s a joke. Hat tip to Daring Fireball for the link.) Related Articles What Interviewing at Apple Is Like Apple Pledging $50… continue…

Google’s Latest Shot in the Online Storage Wars

Posted In Data, Living in Tech
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Google believes that no company can afford to destroy any of its data. And while the price of storage has crumbled in recent years, companies can still find it expensive to retain massive amounts of data over the long term, especially when you throw in the costs and infrastructure associated with analyzing it. In its bid to compete with Amazon, which offers archival storage in the cloud via its “Glacier” service, Google has introduced Cloud Storage Nearline, a long-term storage… continue…