Living in Tech

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

Stream Netflix on an 8-Bit Nintendo? Why Not.

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
Every year, Netflix hosts an internal “hack day” for its developers, during which the latter come up with some crazy stuff using the company’s software tools and infrastructure. These projects, which will never see wide release, are an interesting (and often funny) showcase of Netflix’s collective engineering skills. This year’s special projects included BEEP, which, well, beeps (loudly) every time the user looks away from the screen; in the “Actually Something That Someone Might Use” category, another team built an… continue…

Apple Pledging $50 Million Toward Diversity

shutterstock_Konstantin Chagin
In 2014, Apple unveiled a diversity report that sent CEO Tim Cook into a very public display of angst. “I’m not satisfied with the numbers,” he said, after Apple’s own internal data revealed that the company was 80 percent male and 54 percent white. Now Apple will partner with a handful of nonprofits to increase diversity in the tech industry as a whole. Under the terms of the new agreements, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, the Thurgood… continue…

Would You Spend $10,000 on a Smartwatch?

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
Apple Watch
Everybody expected the Apple Watch to cost a premium over the smartwatches already on the market, but some people probably still gasped aloud when the company revealed that the 18-karat gold “Apple Watch Edition” will retail for $10,000 and up. People will pay five figures for something of necessary utility, such as a car or medical care; if they have the money, they’ll even spend that amount on something they expect to last decades, if not generations, such as a… continue…

Apple Watch Launch: What to Expect

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
Apple Watch
Apple plans on revealing more details about its long-anticipated Apple Watch at a high-profile event in San Francisco on March 9. When Apple unveiled the Watch at its most recent iPhone launch in September 2014, it offered precious few details about apps, hardware, and pricing. Although analysts expect the Apple Watch to handily dominate the still-nascent wearable-electronics segment, it’s anyone’s guess as to how well the device will actually sell once it arrives on store-shelves: Some analysts are predicting sales… continue…

Google Will Now Make You a Drink

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
In its quest to make all the world’s information accessible and useful, Google has added a feature sure to appeal to anyone who ever had to host a party: Type in a cocktail-related query such as “How do I make a screwdriver?” and the search engine’s Knowledge Graph will spit back a recipe. Given the number of people Googling the recipes of obscure drinks, such an addition seems logical. Google’s Knowledge Graph already offers up information on everything from famous… continue…

‘Chappie’: What It Takes to Render a Robot

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
Chappie Sony
In the new film Chappie, set a few years from now, a police robot is stolen and reprogrammed in a way that renders it capable of learning. The Powers That Be, viewing a sentient robot as an existential threat to the human race, devote a lot of firepower to wiping said robot off the face of the planet. The robot—named Chappie by its adoptive family—decides to fight back, and hijinks ensue. Influences-wise, Chappie recalls ‘80s sci-fi films such as Robocop… continue…

Would You Use a Supersized iPad?

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
Apple iPad
Apple is reportedly gearing up to produce a 12.9-inch iPad, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal. In keeping with its long tradition of secrecy, Apple isn’t commenting about its future product lines. However, enough reports have leaked over the past few months about an extra-large iPad to suggest that something is indeed in the works. The Journal’s unnamed sources suggest that Apple could add USB 3.0 ports to the device, along with ports for a keyboard… continue…

Is Your Next Job Building VR Apps?

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
HTC Vive
For the past several years, some of the world’s largest tech companies have used the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona to show off their latest smartphones and tablets, and this year’s edition is no exception: Samsung, HTC, Microsoft, Sony, and others have all unveiled devices they hope will resonate with consumers and businesses. But this year, the MWC is a little different. In addition to smartphones and tablets, a handful of companies are pushing smartwatches. From the WebOS-powered… continue…

Forget Smartphones: Meet the Smart Pocket-Watch

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
The word “smart” gets attached to a lot of devices these days: smartwatch, smartphone, smart gun, smart home, and much more. Now say “hello” to the smart pocket-watch. Monohm’s Runcible, currently attracting buzz at this week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, looks like a Victorian-era pocket watch with a digital screen for a face. It features a camera aperture, support for LTE and Wi-Fi, swappable back covers, an operating system based on Mozilla’s open-source Firefox OS, and a reversible… continue…

The Indie Game at the Heart of ‘House of Cards’

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
House of Cards Monument Valley
In the new season of the Netflix series House of Cards, President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) takes a break from his Machiavellian machinations to… play an indie game on his iPad? The game in question—glimpsed midway through the season—is Monument Valley, a puzzler in which the player guides a princess character through structures reminiscent of an M.C. Escher design. The game’s slow pace and gentle aesthetic seem like an odd choice for an aggressive (and murderous) character like Underwood, but… continue…