The Internet of Things Just Found Your Wallet

Posted In Fun, Mobile
Woolet
Ever forgotten your wallet in a coffee shop or restaurant? Now there’s a way to ensure it’ll never happen again: Woolet, which its creators bill as a “smart wallet.” (Thanks to TechCrunch for the original link.) What exactly does a “smart wallet” feature, aside from handcrafted leather, a slim profile, and hidden pockets for cards and keys? A rechargeable battery, Bluetooth support, and the ability to synchronize with a smartphone app; if you walk 20-85 feet away from your wallet,… continue…

Microsoft’s Cortana Coming to iOS, Android

Microsoft Cortana
Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant is headed to iOS and Google Android devices, according to a new report by Reuters. The launch of Cortana as a standalone app is yet another example of how Microsoft’s strategic priorities have shifted since Satya Nadella took the CEO reins in early 2014. Under the reign of his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft always seemed reluctant to port its key software products onto platforms beyond the Windows and Xbox ecosystem. (Perhaps the biggest exception: Office for… continue…

Asking for a Raise to Match Your Responsibilities

Posted In Working in Tech
shutterstock_Syda Productions
It seems like software teams are working harder than ever these days—but the pay doesn’t always match the scope of the job. Loading more pressure and responsibilities on employees without adequate compensation is a perfect recipe for disgruntlement, yet it seems as if more and more companies these days are doing exactly that. So how do you successfully ask for a pay raise as your responsibilities increase? The trick is timing, and a little bit of finesse. Polish Your Soft… continue…

Six Tips for Acing Your Panel Interview

shutterstock_Andrey_Popov
The panel interview, at some companies, is the last stop in a multi-step search process. Other firms see it in a more informal light, as a way for people within a division to learn a bit more about a candidate. Whatever the approach, a panel is often an intimidating experience for job seekers—but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s important to remember that the panel is not an interrogation chamber: You wouldn’t be in the seat if you… continue…

Behind the Scenes with Apple’s New MacBook

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 10.51.10 AM
The reaction to Apple’s new MacBook has been… mixed, to say the least. Critics complain about the device’s lack of ports, its relatively weak processor, even the minimal feedback from tapping the keyboard. Fortunately, the Internet found an Apple engineer who’s more than happy to explain the thinking and effort that went into the company’s latest creation. (Yes, it’s a joke. Hat tip to Daring Fireball for the link.) Related Articles What Interviewing at Apple Is Like Apple Pledging $50… continue…

Google’s Latest Shot in the Online Storage Wars

Posted In Data, Living in Tech
shutterstock_Natig Aghayev
Google believes that no company can afford to destroy any of its data. And while the price of storage has crumbled in recent years, companies can still find it expensive to retain massive amounts of data over the long term, especially when you throw in the costs and infrastructure associated with analyzing it. In its bid to compete with Amazon, which offers archival storage in the cloud via its “Glacier” service, Google has introduced Cloud Storage Nearline, a long-term storage… continue…

Is There Room for Generalists in Tech?

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It’s an old adage that, in an industry as competitive and crowded as tech, only the specialists survive. Startups with a laser focus on a particular product need developers and engineers with deep knowledge of a narrow skill set; tech giants such as Apple and Google want those same masters to build out new lines of business, such as self-driving automobiles. There’s comparatively little room in such a world, some would argue, for generalists: It’s simply not worth knowing a… continue…

5 Signs Your IT Project is Failing

Posted In Working in Tech
shutterstock_Ron Frank
If you’re a software architect or developer, one of your projects will fail at some point. And often, it’s the overlooked problems that end up derailing months (or years) of effort. Before your team starts missing deadlines and blowing budgets, here are the top signs your project could fail: Stakeholder Apathy If your team members are increasingly pulled away to other projects, it’s time to worry: that’s a clear sign that your project isn’t a priority. “Stakeholder apathy strikes when… continue…

‘So, Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?’

shutterstock_Tom Wang
The job interviewer leans forward and asks, “So, where do you see yourself in five years?” If the interviewer has even a hint of self-awareness, he or she will probably deliver that question with a self-aware smile, fully cognizant of the impossibility of knowing where any of us will be five years from now, much less tomorrow. Nonetheless, it’s a question that pops up quite a bit in interviews, and (for many job candidates) it’s an equally reliable stumper. Inappropriate… continue…

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

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
Netflix
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…