Living in Tech

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

Yes, You Can Build VR Goggles Out of Cardboard

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Maybe you’ve heard of virtual reality. Maybe the concept intrigues you to such a degree, you checked out how much it would cost to buy one of those nifty Oculus Rift headsets. Maybe you saw the note on the Oculus Rift website that the device isn’t yet available for consumer use, and the news crushed your soul to a fine pulp. But never fear, Google has a solution for you: a step-by-step guide to building your own virtual-reality goggles out… continue…

Uber Protests Highlight ‘Disruption’ Concerns

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This week, Washington, D.C., became the latest city to experience taxi drivers striking over Uber, Lyft, and other next-generation car services. As with similar protests in London and other cities around the world, taxi drivers parked their vehicles in the middle of major thoroughfares, snarling traffic and drawing social-media ire. Click here to see jobs at tech startups. “Traditional” cabbies have long argued that Uber and similar apps, because they don’t need to pass through a gauntlet of regulatory hurdles… continue…

Google Glass Tweaks Could Irritate Some Early Adopters

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Just in time for its I/O conference kicking off this week, Google has announced some updates to Google Glass. The first software tweak, Viewfinder, superimposes a frame on the Google Glass lens whenever the wearer says, “OK, Glass, show the viewfinder.” In theory, that will make it easier to shoot a perfectly framed photo. Click here for Google Glass-related jobs. Google Glass will also ship with two new Google Now cards: one that reminds the wearer where they parked their… continue…

Apple’s iWatch Coming This Fall: Report

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Apple will release its much-anticipated “iWatch” near the end of 2014, according to anonymous sources “familiar with the matter” speaking to The Wall Street Journal. Those sources suggested that the device could come in multiple versions and sizes, and feature “more than 10 sensors including ones to track health and fitness.” Apple has already unveiled HealthKit, which monitors the user’s health and fitness data via an iOS app; it isn’t a stretch to presume that an “iWatch” would sync in… continue…

Coding Challenge Wrap-Up: Who Won the Map

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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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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…