Amazon’s Fire Phone Is a Cautionary Tale for Devs

Posted In Working in Tech
Amazon Fire Phone
Earlier this week, Fast Company’s Austin Carr published an exhaustive look at the implosion of Amazon’s Fire Phone, the online retailer’s attempt at entering the high-end smartphone market. According to Carr, blame for the debacle lies firmly at the feet of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who micromanaged the device’s development. From the very beginning, he wanted the Fire Phone to “wow” customers with “something big and distinctive.” There was just one problem: Amazon, unlike Apple or other smartphone makers, isn’t… continue…

CES 2015: Virtual Reality Tries for Buzz

Posted In Living in Tech
Oculus Rift CES Booth
Many of the tech companies present at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas are pushing devices meant to take advantage of the nascent Internet of Things. But connected appliances and wearable electronics aren’t the only story at the show: A handful of firms are also showing off virtual-reality gear they hope will seize the popular imagination over the next few years. Take Oculus VR, the virtual-reality firm, which is using its massive booth at CES to show… continue…

Internet Archive Revives Classic MS-DOS Games

Posted In Living in Tech
Dune II Westwood Studios
Thanks to the Internet Archive, a nonprofit tasked with archiving the Web’s history, you can now play 2,306 classic games originally released for MS-DOS. That means anyone who grew up on “Dune 2” (seen in the screenshot above), the original “Wolfenstein 3D,” “Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego” and other PC hits of yesteryear can take a very long trip down memory lane. The EM-DOSBOX emulator that allows these games to run in your browser is still in beta,… continue…

CES 2015: Intel Wants the Wearable-Tech Crown

Intel Curie
For years, Microsoft dominated the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It hosted a booth the size and brightness of a sci-fi spaceship on the conference floor; its successive CEOs (Bill Gates and, later, Steve Ballmer) gave the opening keynote; its hardware partners devoted the majority of their respective booths to pushing Windows-loaded laptops. But Microsoft pulled out of CES in 2012, and now it seems that Intel—which also hosts a massive booth at the show—is rushing to… continue…

Apple’s Next MacBook Air: How Slim Is Too Slim?

Posted In Living in Tech
Apple MacBook Air
Apple’s known for its minimalism, but the company’s next MacBook might take that to a new extreme. According to Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac, the next MacBook Air will strip out all ports except for a headphone jack and a small USB Type-C port. That’s right: no standard USB port or SD card slot, no MagSafe charger slot. The device will reportedly boast a 12-inch screen, a redesigned keyboard that squeezes the keys even more tightly together, and speaker-holes that double as… continue…

SourceForge Q&A: Reviving Point-and-Click Games

Posted In Working in Tech
Indiana Jones Point and Click
SourceForge’s January “Community Choice” Project is ScummVM, a cross-platform interpreter for many point-and-click adventure games. The ScummVM team shared their thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction. Tell me about the ScummVM project, please. ScummVM is a program that allows you to run many classic graphical point-and-click adventure games, provided you already have their data files. The clever part about this is that ScummVM just replaces executables shipped with the games, allowing you to play them on systems for which they… continue…

The Ideal Job Outline for Business Analysts

Posted In Working in Tech
shutterstock_Dragon Images
In broadest strokes, a business analyst (or BA) acts as a liaison between businesspeople and a company’s Information Technology staff. It is generally the analyst’s responsibility to interpret and define the information requirements of the business, and devise a suitable system to solve those needs, be it packaged solutions or in-house development (or a hybrid of both). Years ago, the BA’s role was spread across multiple jobs and titles, from System Analyst and Architect to even Programmer. For that reason,… continue…

2014 Was a Very Good Year for Crowdfunding

Posted In Living in Tech
Kickstarter Graph
Got a project to fund? If year-end data from Kickstarter is any indication, crowdfunding remains a solid—although not always surefire—way of ensuring you meet those funding goals. According to Kickstarter, 773,824 individuals poured nearly $500 million (that’s roughly $1,000 per minute) into 22,252 successfully-funded projects on the Website. Music dominated the categories, with 4,009 projects funded; running a close second was film & video, with 3,846 projects funded; journalism came in fourth with 2,064 projects funded, and games just behind… continue…

See Bill Gates Drink Water Made From Sewer Sludge

Bill Gates poop water
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is evidently ready to place his mouth where his (Foundation’s) money is—by drinking a glass of water filtered from raw sewage. The Gates Foundation funded development of the Janicki Omniprocessor, which (as the above video demonstrates) takes in sewage and converts it into ash (good for fertilizer), electricity, and clean drinking water. Via a conveyor belt, the sewage enters the Omniprocessor, where it’s boiled dry. The dry sewage enters a furnace, which produces steam, which… continue…

SourceForge Q&A: DVDStyler

Posted In Living in Tech
DVDStyler
For SourceForge’s January “Staff Pick” Project of the Month, the Website selected DVDStyler, a cross-platform DVD authoring application that helps users create professional-looking DVDs. The DVDStyler admin, Alex, shared his thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction. Tell me about the DVDStyler project please. DVDStyler is a cross-platform free DVD authoring application that makes [it] possible for video enthusiasts to create professional-looking DVDs. It provides over 20 DVD menu templates and allows you to create your own menu designs and photo… continue…