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Twitch, Slingshot Suggest Big Companies’ Future Is Small Apps

Posted In Looking in Tech
Twitch
Facebook may have missed out on buying Snapchat, but that hasn’t cooled the company’s ardor for disappearing-messages apps—or the audiences that come with them: The Financial Times reports that Facebook’s engineers are hard at work on an “ephemeral messaging” platform that would vaporize videos and photos after a single view. Facebook recently discontinued Poke, its two-year-old app that replicated much of Snapchat’s functionality, after it failed to gain much of an audience. This new attempt, reportedly named “Slingshot,” will likely… continue…

Google Glass Finally on Sale in the U.S.

Posted In Living in Tech
Google Glass Sunglasses Thumbnail
Have $1,500 handy? Interested in strapping a computer to your face? The Google Glass Explorer program is now open to the public. Google unveiled the Explorer program last year, but actually obtaining a Google Glass unit required an invite (as well as that $1,500). This April, Google opened up the program a little more with a one-day sale, and customers quickly snatched up the limited number of units available. While Google added new features to Glass—including the ability to snap… continue…

Gmail Due for Radical Overhaul, Hint New Reports

Posted In Living in Tech
New Gmail Screenshot
Gmail’s look hasn’t changed much over the past ten years: Even its 2011 update, billed as a major overhaul, focused more on streamlining the interface than altering its features. But if the current flurry of rumors proves true, the desktop version of Gmail could soon look very different. Click here for email design and management jobs. According to screenshots posted on Geek (and later reprinted by Mashable and other outlets), the Gmail version currently under development bears a strong resemblance… continue…

An ‘Arms Race’ Is Building Over Artificial Intelligence

Posted In Looking in Tech
Artificial Intelligence
There’s an arms race of sorts under way among tech companies as they apply artificial intelligence to an array of problems and potential markets. Advanced computer processing capacity has cleared the way to teach machines capabilities previously held only by human experts, things like diagnosing diseases and translating languages. Meantime, computer scientists are exploring a host of new capabilities. Among them: knowing what customers want, even before they know they want it, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Click… continue…

Google’s Self-Driving Cars Have Gotten Really Smart

Posted In Looking in Tech
Google's Self-Driving Cars
On paper, Google’s plan for self-driving cars reads something like this: Step One: Build cars that can navigate flawlessly without a human at the wheel. Step Two: ????? Step Three: Profit According to Google, Step One is proceeding rather well. “A mile of city driving is much more complex than a mile of freeway driving, with hundreds of different objects moving according to different rules of the road in a small area,” read an April 28 posting on Google’s official… continue…

The End of Google+?

Posted In Looking in Tech
Google+
Google executive Vic Gundotra is leaving the company, sparking speculation that the Google+ social network he headed will soon undergo major changes. Anonymous sources speaking to TechCrunch suggested that “Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform—essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.” Google has reportedly begun shuffling around employees assigned to Google+, sending many of them to mobile-centric teams. For its part, Google has (perhaps predictably) denied that the state of… continue…

Will Your Next Job Involve Drones?

Posted In Looking in Tech
Drones
The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the first of six testing sites for commercial drones. Testing of the Draganflyer X4ES small UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) will begin the week of May 5 at the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site in North Dakota. That testing will focus, in part, on the collection of safety-related operational data. “The information will help the FAA analyze current processes for establishing small UAS airworthiness and system maturity,” read the FAA’s release on the… continue…

How Google Fiber Fighting AT&T Could Boost Your Business

Posted In Looking in Tech
Map of Google Fiber April 2014
AT&T plans on introducing high-speed fiber Internet to 100 cities in 21 metropolitan regions across the United States, although those regions have yet to be decided. “We’re delivering advanced services that offer consumers and small businesses the ability to do more, faster, help communities create a new wave of innovation, and encourage economic development,” Lori Lee, senior executive vice president of AT&T Home Solutions, wrote in a statement. “We’re interested in working with communities that appreciate the value of the… continue…

Are Modular Smartphones the Next Big Thing?

Project Ara
Google’s Project Ara wants to take the smartphone back to basics—literally. With Project Ara, the smartphone is modular: The owner can swap out everything from the battery and screen to the speakers and cameras. The device’s endoskeleton holds those modules in place with magnets, meaning those swaps can take place without the need for a mini-screwdriver or other tools. In theory, you could duck into a store, purchase a replacement module for a camera or battery, and pop it into… continue…

Getting a Job at Google

Posted In Looking in Tech
Google NY Office
Earlier this month, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman switched from writing about globalization and international politics to a topic much closer to many a reader’s heart: how to get a job. Friedman’s interview subject for his column was Laszlo Bock, who serves as SVP of “people operations” at Google—he’s the one ultimately in charge of hiring. And according to Bock, snagging a job at the search-engine giant involves a combination of grit, cognitive ability, adaptability, and creativity. From… continue…