Living in Tech

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

Apple’s iPod Classic Refuses to Die

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iPod Classic
A funny thing happened to the iPod Classic on its way to the dustbin of history: people seemed unwilling to actually give it up. Apple quietly removed the iPod Classic from its online storefront in early September, on the same day CEO Tim Cook revealed the latest iPhones and the upcoming Apple Watch. At 12 years old, the device was ancient by technology-industry standards, but its design was iconic, and a subset of diehard music fans seemed to appreciate its… continue…

Future Tech: A Drone Built From Fungus

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Bio-Drone
When you think “drone,” the first image that pops to mind is probably a metal-and-polymer aircraft, like the ones Amazon plans on using to deliver packages to people. But what if manufacturers could build drones out of something other than metal? What if you could construct an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) out of biological material, specifically a lightweight-but-strong one known as mycelium? The vegetative part of a fungus, mycelium is already under consideration as a building material; the MoMA PS1… continue…

R.I.P. Ralph Baer, Creator of the Gaming Console

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The "Brown Box" prototype at display at the Smithsonian Institution
Should you find yourself buying a new Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, or other game console during this holiday season, take a moment to remember the late Ralph Baer, who recently passed away at the age of 92. Click here to find game-related jobs. In the late 1960s, Baer developed the first video-game console. The television had become a mainstream item, affordable for an increasing number of people, and Baer thought that its screen could just as easily serve purposes… continue…

Our 2014 Gift Guide Is the Geekiest

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Han Solo in Carbonite Business Card Case
Happy Chrismakwanzikkah, a very irritating Festivas and a good winter solstice to you! To help you people of Earth celebrate the season, we’ve yet again put together a random guide to the kinds of gifts you want (but might be too afraid to ask for). Humans at Work Han Solo Carbonite Business Card Case $19.99 How can you garner the respect of your peers without proof of your nefarious, dark gifts? This solid block of “carbonite” that holds a miniaturized Han… continue…

Google Building Kid-Friendly YouTube, Chrome

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shutterstock_michaeljung
Google wants to make a selection of its products more kid-friendly. In an interview with USA Today, Google Vice President of Engineering Pavni Diwanji suggested that versions of Google search, Chrome, and YouTube designed for the 12-and-younger set could appear within the next year. “We want to be thoughtful about what we do, giving parents the right tools to oversee their kids’ use of our products,” she told the newspaper. “We want kids to be safe, but ultimately it’s about… continue…

Google Wants to Nuke CAPTCHA for Good

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Google recaptcha API
We’ve all filled out those CAPTCHA tests that websites place at the end of online forms to determine whether we’re human or a bot. Pretty much everyone can agree those tests are annoying—who wants to spend even a few seconds peering at a mush of distorted letters, trying to figure out whether a particularly troublesome one is an “a” or an “o”? Click here to find bot-related jobs. Google’s reCAPTCHA project wants to save the Web from CAPTCHA. The underlying… continue…

Daily Tip: Never Use These Passwords

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shutterstock Ditty_about_summer
Sony suffered a massive hack late last month, which resulted in a hacker collective not only dumping five of the company’s unreleased films online, but also leaking internal documents. Those documents contained salary data and other employee information. According to Mashable, the hacked files included a folder marked “Passwords,” containing employee usernames and passwords in plain text. Some of the passwords in that folder are truly awful: “Password,” “s0ny123,” and so on. (It’s unclear whether the hackers used that information… continue…

Check Out Sony’s New E-Paper Watch

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Sony epaper watch
Sony is testing out a timepiece made entirely from e-paper, the same material used in e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle. Click here to find wearable electronics jobs. According to The Verge and the Wall Street Journal, Sony already has a working version of the device, developed through a startup subsidiary called Fashion Entertainments. The watch began life as a Japanese crowdsourcing project, almost certainly so that Sony could see whether an e-paper timepiece would prove attractive to a mass audience.… continue…

What if George Lucas Had Directed the New ‘Star Wars’?

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Star Wars parody
Late last week, Disney released a ninety-second trailer for the latest Star Wars movie, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters by the end of 2015. While the trailer itself didn’t reveal very much about the plot or characters of the space epic, it’s already providing seemingly endless material for fan art, homages, and even parodies. One of the most popular parodies circulating online, created by Michael Shanks, re-edits the trailer in a way that suggests what might have happened… continue…

Microsoft Planning Windows 10 Consumer Reveal

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Windows 10
Although Microsoft won’t actually release Windows 10 until late 2015, it reportedly plans to give a demonstration of the operating system’s consumer features next month. According to The Verge, which drew from unnamed sources for the information, the Windows 10 event will include a demo of “Continuum,” which adjusts the operating system’s interface to suit the type of device it’s running on; unplug the physical keyboard from a hybrid, touch-enabled laptop such as the Surface 3 or Lenovo Yoga, for… continue…