Living in Tech

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

Why One Venture Capitalist Went Big on Bitcoin

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Late last week, the U.S. Marshals Service auctioned off 30,000 bitcoins seized from Silk Road, an online drug emporium shut down by the FBI in late 2013. Venture capitalist Tim Draper—with whom some readers may be familiar—made the winning bid for that treasure trove of crypto-currency, which he’ll use to boost bitcoin liquidity in emerging markets. “Bitcoin frees people from trying to operate in a modern market economy with weak currencies,” he wrote in a statement posted to Medium by… continue…

Americans Would Give Up Chocolate, Alcohol, TV for Smartphones

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A new report suggests that Americans love their smartphones so much, they’d sooner give up alcohol, chocolate, television, shopping and even their car than part with their iPhone or Android device. The report (PDF), commissioned by Bank of America, surveyed 1,000 adults in the United States. Roughly 85 percent of those surveyed checked their smartphone “at least a few times a day,” while 35 admitted that they did so constantly; only 13 percent said they “hardly ever” consulted their device.… continue…

Facebook’s New Privacy Issue Highlights Need for Transparency

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Anyone signing up for Facebook must agree to the social network’s Terms of Use, which opens user-generated data to everything from data analytics to product testing. The majority of the time, Facebook keeps its capitalization (some might call it exploitation) of user data firmly in the background; your postings might end up used in a system-wide test, but you’ll never know about it. So it was surprising when, over the weekend, news leaked that Facebook had manipulated the news feeds… continue…

Take a Look at This Job Resume on a Beer Carton

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Canadian graphic designer Brennan Gleason wanted to attract more work, so he came up with a novel concept: custom-printing his resume on boxes of the beer he brews as a sideline. “I brewed up a nice blonde ale, so I figured it would awesome to use it to promote myself and my work,” Gleason wrote in a post on Dribbble. “Box contains the resume and the bottles each contain a piece of my work.” In addition to some bits about… continue…

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…