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Google Exerting More Control Over Android Ecosystem

Posted In Working in Tech
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One of the reasons that Google’s Android operating system became so popular over the past few years is that third-party manufacturers can modify it to their heart’s content. Samsung, Amazon and others have all used the software as a foundation for creating their own mobile ecosystems, each with a unique look and feel. However much that openness benefited Google, there are signs that the party might be at an end, at least with regard to the next-generation devices running Android:… continue…

Yes, You Can Build VR Goggles Out of Cardboard

Posted In Living in Tech
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Maybe you’ve heard of virtual reality. Maybe the concept intrigues you to such a degree, you checked out how much it would cost to buy one of those nifty Oculus Rift headsets. Maybe you saw the note on the Oculus Rift website that the device isn’t yet available for consumer use, and the news crushed your soul to a fine pulp. But never fear, Google has a solution for you: a step-by-step guide to building your own virtual-reality goggles out… continue…

Google I/O: Android ‘L’ Makes Its Debut

Posted In Working in Tech
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Google kicked off its I/O conference this week with a preview of Android “L,” the next version of its popular operating system. Android “L” will presumably follow in the footsteps of previous Android versions and adopt a dessert-oriented nomenclature as it approaches release later this year—the tech press seems to assume it’ll be “Lollipop.” But “L” is also a radical departure from its predecessors, especially from a design standpoint: The new interface incorporates Google’s new design language, known as “Material… continue…

Google Glass Tweaks Could Irritate Some Early Adopters

Posted In Living in Tech
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Just in time for its I/O conference kicking off this week, Google has announced some updates to Google Glass. The first software tweak, Viewfinder, superimposes a frame on the Google Glass lens whenever the wearer says, “OK, Glass, show the viewfinder.” In theory, that will make it easier to shoot a perfectly framed photo. Click here for Google Glass-related jobs. Google Glass will also ship with two new Google Now cards: one that reminds the wearer where they parked their… continue…

Google Wants You to Build a Watch App

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Google will kick off this week’s I/O conference in San Francisco with a lengthy keynote, and it’s likely that the executives onstage will devote a considerable amount of time to wearable electronics. In previous years, Google used I/O to show off Google Glass, the company’s augmented reality headset. While Glass will surely make an appearance at this year’s show, the new Android Wear might seize much of the proverbial spotlight. After all, so-called “smartwatches” are supposed to become the Next… continue…

Java/JavaScript, PHP, Python Top RedMonk List of Language Rankings

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RedMonk, a tech-industry analyst firm, has issued its latest programming-language rankings, and the list should come with no surprises to seasoned programmers and developers: Java/JavaScript, PHP, Python, C#, C++/Ruby, and CSS all top the list of most-used languages. Any language “observable within both GitHub and Stack Overflow” can end up in RedMonk’s rankings, according to the firm’s blog posting. “No claims are made here that these rankings are representative of general usage more broadly. They are nothing more or less… continue…

Which Cloud-Storage Option Is Cheapest?

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Over at Technologizer, Harry McCracken has assembled a chart comparing the major cloud-storage services by price, mobile support and other metrics. For anyone debating whether to put massive amounts of data in the cloud, it’s a potentially useful breakdown of the options out there. On a price-per-gigabyte basis, purchasing the Personal version Office 365 (Microsoft’s cloud-based version of Office) is the best option, as it comes with a terabyte of OneDrive storage for $6.99 per month; the Home version of… continue…

Apple’s iWatch Coming This Fall: Report

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Apple will release its much-anticipated “iWatch” near the end of 2014, according to anonymous sources “familiar with the matter” speaking to The Wall Street Journal. Those sources suggested that the device could come in multiple versions and sizes, and feature “more than 10 sensors including ones to track health and fitness.” Apple has already unveiled HealthKit, which monitors the user’s health and fitness data via an iOS app; it isn’t a stretch to presume that an “iWatch” would sync in… continue…

Yahoo’s Diversity Report Shows Lack of Women in Tech, Leader Roles

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Women are a significant minority at Yahoo, according to its newly released diversity report. Women make up 37 percent of Yahoo’s global workforce, while men compose 62 percent (roughly 1 percent of employees either said “Other” or didn’t disclose their gender). Women only occupy 15 percent of Yahoo’s technical jobs, and 23 percent of its leadership positions; they’re better represented in non-tech roles, where they make up 57 percent of headcount. Yahoo declined to break out its gender percentages by… continue…

Google, Apple Want to Take Healthcare IT Mainstream

Posted In Living in Tech
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At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook and other executives unveiled HealthKit, an app designed to consolidate health and fitness data within an iOS dashboard. HealthKit can list everything from cholesterol levels to calories burned, with an “emergency card” of contacts and pertinent data (blood type, etc.) accessible via the iOS lock screen. In theory, HealthKit will also have the ability to interact with apps from third-party developers, such as Nike’s FuelBand platform. Click here… continue…