New Technology

Google’s Self-Driving Cars: Perfect Safety Record?

Posted In Living in Tech
Google Self-Driving Car
Google’s self-driving cars have spent the past year cruising the roads of Mountain View, California. Google engineers use the data from those drives to make the cars’ onboard computers more sophisticated. But how good are the cars’ driving records? Pretty flawless, according to the local cops. “We have not cited any Google self-driving cars,” Sergeant Saul Jaeger, the press information officer at the Mountain View Police Department, told The Atlantic. He also claimed that no special understanding about the cars… continue…

Google: Ads Coming to the Internet of Things

Posted In Living in Tech
Google’s bottom line depends on advertisements, and its all-consuming quest for revenue might one day drive it to serve up ads on everything from car dashboards to thermostats, according to a letter the company submitted last year to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “We expect the definition of ‘mobile’ to continue to evolve as more and more ‘smart’ devices gain traction in the market,” reads an excerpt from the letter, which was originally submitted to the SEC in December… 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…

Will Your Next Job Involve Drones?

Posted In Looking in Tech
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…

Americans Upbeat on Future Tech, But Still Dislike Drones

Posted In Living in Tech
Future Tech 50 Year Predictions
Americans are optimistic about future technology, according to new data from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, even if some of that technology freaks them out. Some 66 percent of those surveyed by the Pew Research Center believed that altering their children’s DNA “to produce smarter, healthier, or more athletic offspring” would represent a change for the worse. Majorities seemed similarly reluctant to embrace lifelike robots taking care of their aging parents, personal and commercial drones running… continue…

Should Silicon Valley Secede, Or Just Leave?

Secession is a popular topic in Texas, parts of Colorado and a rural area of northern California and Oregon that calls itself the “State of Jefferson.” But now the idea of breaking away has come up in an unlikely place: Silicon Valley. Yes, we’re talking about seceding from the U.S. Some call it “the ultimate exit strategy.” Such a move – support for which seems somewhere between “serious but not really” and pure fantasy – could separate technologists from their… continue…

New Browser Plugin Blocks Ad Targeting

Posted In Living in Tech
Each and every thing we look up online leaves a cookie trail — which advertisers then use to target us with relevant ads. But thanks to a new browser plugin and game by a Parsons grad student, advertisers may not have it so easy anymore. Here’s Cat with the details.  

Is Nuclear Power the Fix to Global Warming?

Posted In Living in Tech
Old Windmill and Nuclear Plant - Thumbnail
While President Obama has put climate change back on the national agenda, the likelihood of significant action is low. Earth continues its resolute march toward global warming, the results of which continue to be born out in every storm, drought and species die-off. A chorus of experts has offered up everything from energy credits, carbon caps, taxes and social engineering to address the crisis, but so far we’ve only continued to shove our heads further into the increasingly hot sand.… continue…

How a Small Computer Brings Down Big Game

gunman aiming rifle
Everybody remembers the ubiquitous TiVo set-top DVR boxes. They stored your favorite shows for future viewing — and were prime targets for exploration and hacking. Still, they were cool and interesting. They’re also an example of small-footprint computers, many of which are Linux-based, that continue to march into our everyday lives. Developers: You’d better get ready for the next wave. These devices are showing up in devices that do way more than sit on top of your entertainment center. For… continue…

Microsoft’s Xbox Studios: Old School or New?

Microsoft Xbox Metro Dashboard
As Microsoft ramps up its Los Angeles-based Xbox Entertainment Studios, you have to wonder whether its goal is to bring innovative platforms to old-school media, or old-school media to innovative platforms. If the top-down hiring is any indication, it may be the latter. Yusuf Mehdl, senior vice president of Redmond’s interactive entertainment business, says that Xbox users are more interested in videos and music than those who play with other Internet-related consoles. In that context, hiring Nancy Tellem last September as… continue…