The Latest and Greatest in Technology News
Silicon Beach emerges as, what else?, a tech-heavy stretch on the West Side
Snapchat. Tinder. SpaceX. Riot Games, creator of League of Legends.
These companies are part of the reason Southern California’s tech ecosystem is drawing some attention away from Silicon Valley. Much of that attention is concentrated on a stretch from Venice up to Santa Monica known colloquially as Silicon Beach, where Google and Twitter have set down L.A. roots.
“The tech scene seemed to explode during the last three years with the rapid emergence of accelerators, incubators and co-working environments on the West Side,” said Scott MacKinnon, vice president of operations at Technical Connections, an L.A.-based IT staffing firm founded in 1984, long before the Internet took off. “Suddenly you had scores of companies springing up every 90 days, looking for tech talent. Some have made it big, and some are gone, but the entrepreneurial bug had bit.” READ MORE
Having High-Tech Gadgets Is a Career-Booster, Says Study
Always using the latest high-tech gadget is one way to boost your image at work, new research suggests.
Indeed, business professionals who want to be perceived as leaders should be investing in the latest technology breakthroughs, according to a study published recently in The Journal of Product Innovation Management.
“Familiarity with and usage of new high-tech products appears to be a common manifestation of innovative behavior,” the study’s authors wrote. “Those who are tech-savvy are also perceived as authoritative on other subjects and as leaders.” READ MORE
Amazon Dash Is a Magic Wand That Makes Sure You Never Run Out of Stuff
Amazon just unveiled Dash, a handheld Wi-Fi magic wand thingy that helps you keep your AmazonFresh shopping list forever up to date. Never run out of toilet paper or oatmeal again!
The handheld Dash device, about the size of a Nintendo Wii remote, packs a barcode scanner and a microphone, allowing you to scan or say what you’re running low on without having to leave your kitchen. READ MORE
The Ring Input Device Puts Gesture Control And Home Automation On Your Finger
There was once a rumor that Apple would actually use a ring device for input to an Apple television. Neither of those gadgets exist yet, of course, but Ring is a Kickstarter project trying to fund a finger-based wearable that could enable the kind of controls envisioned in that Apple flight of fancy.
The Ring is a hardware device that resembles an ordinary (if slightly chunky) ring, filled with sensors and electronics to give it the ability to control devices and render input. It can enable gesture controls, of the kind you’d get with a Wii remote, for instance, as well as text input by drawing letters in the air, gesture-based authorization for finalizing payments, and transmit alerts from connected devices via a built-in vibration motor and onboard LED. READ MORE
Disney Researchers Create Algorithm to Bring 3D Textures to Touchscreen
Researchers at Disney have developed a new algorithm, which is capable of simulating 3D geometric features on touch screen surfaces and allow people to ‘feel’ the texture of the objects viewed on a touchscreen.
According to researchers at Disney’s research lab in Pittsburgh, the latest technique involves transferring small vibrations via the display that offers users a feel of shallow bumps, ridges and edges of an object. READ MORE
She’s going for speed – Teen’s science project could charge phones in 20 seconds
My high school science project looked at how row covers could help plants grow in cold weather. Not a bad idea, but not nearly as cool as high school student Eesha Khare’s science project, the creation of a supercapacitor that could potentially be used to fully charge a cell phone within 20 to 30 seconds.
Khare, an 18-year-old from California, won the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and $50,000 for her participation in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair run by the Society for Science & the Public. Think of it as the world’s largest science fair. Khare took home one of the top prizes for “a tiny device that fits inside cell phone batteries, allowing them to fully charge within 20-30 seconds.” READ MORE
Anything is Possible, Never Say Never: The 18 Most Ridiculous Startup Ideas That Eventually Became Successful
Even the most well-known venture capitalists have startups they regret passing on. For John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins, it was Twitter. For Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, it was Airbnb, the home-rental website that’s now worth an estimated $2.5 billion.
“We made the classic mistake that all investors make,” Wilson recalled in a blog post lamenting the blunder. “We focused too much on what they were doing at the time and not enough on what they could do, would do, and did do.”
It’s hard to blame him. After all, a lot of successful companies sounded stupid when they first launched — see: Rap Genius — and the vast majority of new businesses flop, sometimes leaving investors with heavy losses.
But before you write off a fledgling firm, always keep in mind that you never know. READ MORE
Tech Luminaries Dominate Time’s 100 Most Influential People
On in Industry News.
Each year, the publication releases its list of the most influential people in the world, and once again, technology bigwigs are among the pack leaders.
Technology luminaries have once again found a home in Time’s “100 Most Influential People In the World” series.
The list, which this year includes everyone from artist Jay-Z to Pope Francis, is filled with technology big shots including Jens Bergensten and Markus Persson, the creators of wildly popular PC title Minecraft; Perry Chen, CEO and co-founder of Kickstarter; and Google Ideas director Jared Cohen. READ MORE
Yahoo spends ‘millions’ on UK teen Nick D’Aloisio’s Summly app
An app created by a UK teenager has been acquired by web giant Yahoo in a deal the BBC understands to be worth “dozens of millions” of pounds.
Seventeen-year-old Nick D’Aloisio’s Summly app summarises news stories from popular media companies.
Neither company would disclose the terms of the deal publicly.
The app itself will now close, but its features will be used in mobile products at Yahoo, where Mr D’Aloisio has been given a job. … READ MORE
So You Think You Can Beat Samsung?
Meet the tiny, Florida-based phone maker that thinks it can beat Samsung
One cheap, high-end, unlocked smartphone at a time
Sammy Ohev-Zion starts our chat with an economics lesson. It costs every company about the same amount to manufacture a phone, he says — the price of an Nvidia processor and a Sharp display is consistent whether HTC, Nokia, or Motorola is signing the check. But those costs are only a small piece of the price you wind up paying when you walk into a Verizon store and buy that phone…READ MORE