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Why Apple Made That Weird App Store Change

Posted In Living in Tech
Apple App Store
If you visit Apple’s App Store, you’ll notice a small but significant change: The “Free” label beside free-to-download apps has been changed to “Get.” Click here to find mobile-development jobs. Why did Apple make such a move? It could have a lot to do with the European Commission (EC), the European Union’s antitrust body, which has pressured tech companies to do more about in-app purchases; the commission views the term “free” as misleading if an iPhone or iPad owner (or… continue…

Google Maps Offers Up Tasty Thanksgiving Data

Posted In Living in Tech
Google Maps Thanksgiving
Whatever your plans for Thanksgiving, Google can offer some advice: Try to avoid driving anywhere the day before. Analysts from the search-engine giant’s Google Maps division crunched traffic data from 21 U.S. cities over the past two years and found that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is by far the worst traffic day that week, with some notable exceptions. (In Honolulu, Providence, and San Francisco, the worst traffic is always on Saturday; in Boston, it’s Tuesday.) Click here to find data-science… continue…

Is ‘Facebook for Work’ in Development?

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Having built the world’s latest social network, Facebook has focused in recent months on other technology segments. It bought Oculus VR, builder of the eponymous virtual-reality headset, as well as popular messaging platform WhatsApp. Now it’s reportedly deciding whether to enter the enterprise market. According to the Financial Times, which drew its information from anonymous sources, Facebook is developing a social network for businesses that will allow people to connect with colleagues and share documents. This “Facebook at Work” will… continue…

Seattle Offers Options to Microsoft’s Laid-Off Legions

Posted In Looking in Tech
shutterstock Edmund Lowe Photography
When Microsoft announced layoffs of up to 18,000 worldwide employees on July 17—with 1,300 cuts coming to its Seattle headquarters—you could almost see the shock waves, given most analysts had predicted a number closer to 6,000. The cuts will be completed by next July. With new-ish CEO Satya Nadella preaching a philosophy of “agility,” the company is pinning its hopes not only on the next version of Windows (which may erase the generally negative view of Windows 8) but also… continue…

Google Android ‘Lollipop’ vs. iOS 8: Battle Royale

Posted In Living in Tech
Google Android Lollipop
With the debut of Android 5.0 (also known as Lollipop, in keeping with Google’s habit of naming each major OS upgrade after a dessert), it’s worth taking a moment to break down how the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system matches up against Apple’s iOS 8. After years of battle, the two are… remarkably similar. Aesthetics This year, Google is pushing a visual language it calls “Material Design,” which it claims “synthesizes the classic principles of good design with… continue…

Watch This Robot Kick Like the ‘Karate Kid’

Posted In Living in Tech
Google Boston Dynamics
Robots: They roll, crawl, walk, and even gallop. But now a Google-built machine has taken the evolution of mechanical movement to the next glorious stage. In the above video, the humanoid Atlas robot (created by Google subsidiary Boston Dynamics) not only balances one-legged on a short pillar of cinder blocks, it also imitates Ralph Macchio’s iconic “crane” pose from the 1984 hit The Karate Kid. Humanity, rejoice! Our robots can now perform selected bits from 80’s movies, for our amusement,… continue…

Black IT Pros on Diversity in Tech

Posted In Working in Tech
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While pundits and analysts debate about diversity in Silicon Valley, one thing is very clear: Black Americans make up a very small percentage of tech workers. At Facebook, Google, and Yahoo, that number is a bit less than 2 percent of their respective U.S. workforces; at Apple, it’s closer to 7 percent. According to the National Black Information Technology Leadership Organization (NBITLO) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, blacks hold less than 8 percent of all information technology jobs… continue…

Can Microsoft Survive on a Freemium Model?

Posted In Living in Tech
Microsoft Productivity
When Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer ran Microsoft, profit was king. As far back as 1976, with Gates’ “Open Letter to Hobbyists” memo, the company focused on getting as many dollars as possible in exchange for its software and hardware. Under new-ish Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the focus is still on making money; the company’s shareholders and board wouldn’t tolerate anything different. Nonetheless, Microsoft’s recent decision to allow iPad and Android tablet users to create and edit Office content without… continue…

Amazon’s Echo Enters Digital-Assistant Fight

Posted In Living in Tech
Amazon Echo
Imagine a device in your home that passively listens to everything you say. In past decades, you might have called such a device a “bug,” and it was probably installed without your knowledge. But in the brave new world of 2014, this device is called Amazon Echo, and it’s apparently here to help. Click here to find mobile-development jobs. Echo is a black cylinder that can go pretty much anywhere in a house or apartment, and responds to a variety… continue…

Google’s New Employee Perk: DNA Tests

Posted In Looking in Tech
shutterstock Shebeko
Google’s known for offering great perks to employees, from dry cleaning and free food to gym facilities. The perks are so great, in fact, that some employees do their best to never leave. But now the company’s offering something a little more unconventional: DNA tests from Foundation Medicine for any employees (and employees’ relatives) suffering from cancer. To find healthcare IT jobs, click here. According to Reuters, Google will begin offering the benefit at the beginning of next year. Foundation… continue…