Tech

You’re Missing Out On Something. How Does That Make You Feel?

You’re Missing Out On Something. How Does That Make You Feel?

Tech
View this image › Via meanspirited.net Last year, I was thinking of leaving my job at the New York Times. I eventually did, but before I left, a friend told me about a job opening at a small startup in San Francisco. The company had six people at the time, and was looking for someone to work on their iPhone app. I was a couple of degrees of separation from the founders, and good iOS developers were (and still are) difficult to come by. I decided that there were plenty of startups out there looking for good people, and that I’d bide my time and decide on something
The TaskRabbits Of Burning Man

The TaskRabbits Of Burning Man

Tech
View this image › JIM URQUHART / Reuters Burning Man officially starts this weekend in the Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. It’s a weeklong annual experimental community event, where for the week, nearly 50,000 come together to camp out, build massive sculptures and themed camps, dance, do drugs, play music, and yes, burn things. The tenets of Burning Man are community, participation, self-expression, and self-reliance. It is anti-capitalism: At “La Playa” you can only barter; no cash allowed. Dedicated Burners spend all year building their
How Internet Famous Do You Have To Be To Get Free Stuff?

How Internet Famous Do You Have To Be To Get Free Stuff?

Tech
View this image › klout.com Absentmindedly (sorry, obsessively) checking my Klout score this morning, I stumbled upon a perk — a shiny ad for some kind of new Starbucks drink offered to the uber-influencers of the influence-counting service. A perk! I love perks. Klout perks have been around for a couple years, and they’re no joke, even if you think the service is: upgrades to a first class lounge at SFO, VIP access at a Hollywood nightclub, deeper discounts on Gilt and more. One guy, as of May, had collected 63 perks, including a phone and an invitation to a V
Sequels Can’t Be Scary

Sequels Can’t Be Scary

Tech
View this image › Via soluce.jeuxactu.com It’s hard to make a scary video game. There are a lot of reasons for this, starting with the fact that most modern games don’t punish death — just respawn! — and the idea that a truly scary game requires messing with many of the features that make modern games feel modern, like smooth controls and smart cameras. You can’t really be afraid when you’re in total control and you can see everything easily. So there are only a handful of mainstream horror titles that most gamers agree are truly frightening — the first two Sile
Twitter Is Trying To Reverse Engineer The Perfect Social Media Editor

Twitter Is Trying To Reverse Engineer The Perfect Social Media Editor

Tech
View this image › Magic Recs — Twitter’s instant and personalized direct message recommendations product — started out as most of Twitter’s experiments do, as a small, quiet test pushed out to the service’s most devoted/powerful/obsessive users. It clearly struck a chord among news Twitter types, and weeks later it was incorporated into Twitter’s mobile apps as a recommendation service. In many respects, Magic Recs fills a number of roles specific to what’s come to be known as the social media editor — the employee in a newsroom who runs the Tw
An Intervention For Tech Addicts

An Intervention For Tech Addicts

Tech
View this image › If you’re a human lucky enough to have access to smartphones and laptops, you may have a problem. Maybe it’s a fear of being without your phone. Or a dopamine “addiction.” Not to mention that the average American child spends more time with screens than any activity besides sleeping. Not surprisingly, a nation of tech addicts has created a niche market: digital vacations. Luxury hotels in the Cayman Islands, British Columbia and Hawaii offer fancy packages for those looking to unplug. Even urban hotels will take your smart phone awa
The Most Persistent People On OkCupid

The Most Persistent People On OkCupid

Tech
View this image › Persistence, they say, pays off. And in certain areas of life, “they” are right — persistence is helpful when you’re trying to get your cell company to drop those extra charges or if you’re a dogged cub reporter chasing your first big story. But when it comes to dating, persistence is mostly annoying. You ask someone out and they say no? Move on! It’s a good general rule to go on dates with people who actually want to go on dates with you, instead of people you have to badger into giving you an hour of their time. Online, that dynamic is only
8 Awesome Forgotten Video Games Of My ’80s Childhood

8 Awesome Forgotten Video Games Of My ’80s Childhood

Tech
View this image › classiccmp.org As a little kid in the mid- to late ’80s, my world revolved around Cabbage Patch Kids, Cyndi Lauper, Family Ties and sticker albums. (So many unicorns!) But it was also the dawn of the post-Atari video game age, cemented by the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Here are some of my favorite overlooked games of that era. Add your own! 2. Below The Root (Commodore 64)
Here’s How Facebook Gives You Up To The Police

Here’s How Facebook Gives You Up To The Police

Tech
The Boston Phoenix has a fascinating story up about the unusually tech-centric hunt for Craigslist Killer. In the course of reporting, the paper’s reporters came across something they, and the general public, had never seen before: The full results of a Facebook subpoena. This is what Facebook sends to the police when they (or rather, a judge) asks nicely enough (view the entire file here): 2. A lot of paper View this image › Three months of Facebook data, in this case, adds up to 71 printed pages
Dispatches From The Coming Console War (2013-2020)

Dispatches From The Coming Console War (2013-2020)

Tech
View this image › With the release of the PlayStation 4, next Friday marks the beginning of hostilities in the return of that ancient conflict, the Console Wars. Like all the worst wars, Console Wars are long, brutal, and senseless, and yet we humans, partisan beasts by nature, cannot seem to avoid them. This one, in which a resurgent and wrathful Sony will match its gleaming new black machine against its old foe, Microsoft and its…gleaming new black machine, promises to be the most destructive yet. We have stared into the flames, and seen one version of th
How To Crack The Teen Texting Code Once And For All

How To Crack The Teen Texting Code Once And For All

Tech
View this image › wordpress.com Today’s teens are up to something sinister. Every year or two marks the arrival of another book purporting to clarify the unintelligible glyphs parents spot on their teens’ cell phone screens. In between, at least a dozen articles on the same topic are written. Are we getting closer to the truth? Will parents ever crack the code? And, while we’re asking questions, how many of these things are really being said? Almost none. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be extremely worried. Here are nine of the bes
Community Post: Where Did All The Search Traffic Go?

Community Post: Where Did All The Search Traffic Go?

Tech
View this image › buzzfeed.com Referrals from Facebook and Google to publishers on the BuzzFeed Network Search traffic to publishers has taken a dive in the last eight months, with traffic from Google dropping more than 30% from August 2012 through March 2013, according to research done by BuzzFeed. While Google makes up the bulk of search traffic to publishers, traffic from all search engines has dropped by 20% in the same period. BuzzFeed tracked traffic referrals to over 200 publishers in the BuzzFeed Network, a group of
The Man Behind The World’s Largest Light Sculpture

The Man Behind The World’s Largest Light Sculpture

Tech
View this image › thebaylights.org Leo Villareal is sitting outside in the dark, hunched over his laptop. He’ll be sitting this way every night for the next three weeks. But he’s not terribly focused on the glow in front of him. He’s concentrating on the 25,000 individually programmed LED lights across the water, which make up the largest light sculpture in the world. The LED artist and his team finished installing lights along the suspension cables spanning a 1.8-mile section of the Bay Bridge, which connects San Francisco and the East Bay, almost a month ago.
Scenes From The (Virtual) Zombie Apocalypse

Scenes From The (Virtual) Zombie Apocalypse

Tech
View this image › “A customer arrives to make a trade.” dayzpvp.com This picture comes from DayZ, a brutally realistic zombie game built on top of ArmA II, a popular combat simulator. The bulk of the game is simple kill-or-be-killed combat, but because of its loose structure and large player base (over a million), DayZ has fostered a lot of surprising talents along the way. There are doctors, wandering merchants and, most recently, at least one photojournalist. His name is Joss Widdowson, a former arts student from York, England who cut his teeth photographing i
17 Gadgets That Are Treating Us Like Dumb Babies

17 Gadgets That Are Treating Us Like Dumb Babies

Tech
1. Smart Shopper Electronic Grocery List View this image › delish.com This voice recorder-based shopping list printer (I’m sure it has PERFECT hearing) feels like something Disney would have put in a Zenon movie to seem futuristic, and everyone watching would have been like, “I really doubt we’ll ever use something like that stupid.” 2. Toothpaste Squeezing Devices View this image ›
How Not to Announce Your Tech Product

How Not to Announce Your Tech Product

Tech
Verizon, an Apple partner, would not like you to know that it has “recently activated new 4G LTE service in Harvard, Massachusetts.” View this image › Dell would not like you to know how it “helped Insteel Industries, Inc. improve IT Efficiency.” SceneTap, which makes an iOS app, would not like you to know about its finalist nomination in the Social Media Category at SXSW. Penguin Computer definitely would not like you to know about the “immediate availability of the company’s new Intel-based
A Lost Masterpiece Of Gaming Is Found

A Lost Masterpiece Of Gaming Is Found

Tech
View this image › The idea of hunting around for a beloved used game seems quaint today. Digital distribution has closed the nostalgia cycle, enabling gamers to instantly play even the most obscure old titles on their consoles and computers. And yet, hunting around is exactly what people hoping to buy the legendary System Shock 2 have had to do for years. New copies of the game, which go for hundreds of dollars on eBay, weren’t printed after its financially disappointing 1999 release (even after the game became a cult object) because of an endless rights quagmir
One Out Of Every Five Spotify Tracks Has Never Been Played

One Out Of Every Five Spotify Tracks Has Never Been Played

Tech
View this image › Spotify celebrated its fifth anniversary this week and, to celebrate, released an infographic highlighting some of the finer moments of the streaming music services career. But for all the impressive facts, one tidbit, buried in the post and confirmed by the Radio and Internet Newsletter, stands out among the rest: roughly 20 percent of Spotify’s song catalog — four million songs — haven’t been played a single time. Now, that may sound high but if you’ve ever been hunting through the backwaters of Spotify’s music catalog, this
How Facebook Hashtags Change The Meaning Of “Public”

How Facebook Hashtags Change The Meaning Of “Public”

Tech
View this image › Updated: June 12, 2013 at 2 p.m. Hashtags are coming to Facebook. They’ll be clickable, just like on Twitter, and will show you posts from your friends (and others) about a given topic. The play here is obvious: Twitter dominates conversations around news and live events, helped in part by hashtags, which give users a place to congregate (and in turn gives advertisers a captive audience of very eager users). Facebook, despite its larger user base, isn’t a great destination for breaking news — fast-moving stories on Facebook tend to lag behind
How To Fix Phone Calls

How To Fix Phone Calls

Tech
View this image › The basic promise of the smartphone is this: It’s a phone, so it can call people; it’s a cell phone, so it can send them texts; it’s got a data connection, so it can send and receive pretty much anything you can transfer over the internet; it’s got a camera, so you can chat via video, too. In theory, all these things should form a single, total communications channel: a two-way, voice, video, text and data stream between you and the person you’re talking with. In practice, we have separate channels for each: a phone app, a texting app, a conta
Birdwatching’s Digital Crisis

Birdwatching’s Digital Crisis

Tech
View this image › The first and only time I’ve seen an owl in the wild was a northern saw-whet owl in a tall bush right next to the path by the lake in Central Park. As soon as I got home, I submitted my sighting and where to find the owl to a message board for New York City birdwatchers. Immediately I started getting angry responses telling me to remove my post. Apparently, I had unknowingly violated a cardinal rule of birding: Never report the exact location of owls. While birders post exact location details to message boards for all sorts of species (especially for unusual or
How Internet Chain Letters Took Over The Media

How Internet Chain Letters Took Over The Media

Tech
View this image › On Nov. 3, 2013, a little-known website called ViralNova posted a story under the headline, “This Recently Married Man Just Realized Marriage Is Not For Him. You Have To Read What He Wrote.” As of today, it has been liked 973,000 times on Facebook. An unrelated BuzzFeed post published on the same day has racked up 286,000 likes, which correlated with about 3,700,000 total views. This would suggest that the ViralNova post has been viewed over 12,000,000 times. It was a monster hit. The story is both jarringly new and eerily f
The Smartest Smarties On Internet Dating Sites

The Smartest Smarties On Internet Dating Sites

Tech
View this image › There are a few characteristics almost everyone would fill in when answering the question, “I want a partner who is ____.” Kind. Attractive. Funny. Thoughtful. And, hopefully, intelligent. Whether you’re dating online or off, someone hot and smart is a pretty common desire. But when you’re online and you’re trying to sell yourself to potential mates, “show, don’t tell” is really the best tactic. And what will show the internet hordes that “I’m smart”? Proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. A few decent books. And the good sense not to write l
How Autocorrect Could Kill The Space Bar

How Autocorrect Could Kill The Space Bar

Tech
View this image › The first time I used the iPhone’s soft keyboard, I laughed at it. Hunting and pecking like an old man and still getting things wrong, I felt ridiculous using it. Then, the person whose iPhone I was using gave me a tip. Just go for it. Throw your thumbs around. See what happens. Smoothly scrolling across a fully rendered website had convinced me that I wanted a good touchscreen phone; discovering the power of autocorrect convinced me that such a phone could exist. Quirky as it is, autocorrect has changed the way people produce text
The Hologram Invasion

The Hologram Invasion

Tech
View this image › Music critics would later agree that July 8, 2130, was the climax of Hologramania. The concert, produced by record label ExxonGoogle, featured Elton John and Beethoven on dueling pianos, Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman on guitar, Yo-Yo Ma on cello, Louis Armstrong on trumpet, John Coltrane on sax, John Bonham and Ringo Starr headlining a slew of drummers. Lead singers James Brown, Freddy Mercury, K.J. Yesudas, Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra were backed up on vocals by a chorus including Michael Jackson, Luciano Pavarotti, Ella Fitzgerald, Whitn
The Cutest Facebook Like Button

The Cutest Facebook Like Button

Tech
View this image › Outdoor ad company JC Decaux and ad agency Y&R Israel combined to create this cute-as-a-button bus stop poster to encourage pet adoption. I like it, Stevens (Bewitched reference for you youngsters). Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/copyranter/the-cutest-facebook-like-button-ever
The Surprising, Ingenious Amish Gadget Culture

The Surprising, Ingenious Amish Gadget Culture

Tech
Amish tradition disallows electricity, cars, and television. It shuns modern lifestyle, culture, and values. But they aren’t total Luddites — in fact, the Amish community has developed a tech gadget culture all its own. “In the Amish mind, technology itself is not considered sinful or immoral,” writes Donald Kraybill in his new addendum to his book The Amish. “Like a knife which can cut bread or kill someone, tools can be used to help or to harm, to build up or tear down communities.” So, instead of flat-out rejecting all technology, modern Amish just hack it to fit their needs.
How To Catch A Ghost With Your iPhone

How To Catch A Ghost With Your iPhone

Tech
View this image › There is, or was, a ghost in my apartment. I don’t think it was ever out to get my roommate or me, but while it was here — if it remains, it has gone inactive, for which we are both grateful — it played a pretty good trick on us: it left an unknown, unidentifiable object in the middle of our kitchen floor. View this image ›
Ask a Human: How to Behave on Facebook

Ask a Human: How to Behave on Facebook

Tech
This hasn’t happened (yet), but it’s something I worry about allllll the time. If I’m on a date with someone I’m Facebook friends with, and he brings up something about a trip he went on or something and I already know about it because I’ve…seen the pictures…is it okay to be like, “oh yeah, I saw that!” or is it better to pretend I know nothing? Oh, I’ve taken both of these routes so many times. Well, not on “dates,” really. What are those? Haha. Um, no, but with friends or acquaintances or classmates, I have definitely pretended, at times, to not know about places they’ve been or particular outfits they wore out the past weekend, even though I’ve seen the proof (What? I have a really specific talent for remembering people’s clothing.). I actually
Games Don’t Need Trailers, They Need Infomercials

Games Don’t Need Trailers, They Need Infomercials

Tech
Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=N-xHcvug3WI. The first thing my deskmate did when he sat down this morning and saw the new Grand Theft Auto V trailer I had posted to our section was exclaim “Jesus Christ! Five minutes long?” Yes, at four minutes and fifty-one seconds, the video is more than twice as long as the average theatrical movie trailer. And given what we know both about Rockstar’s meticulous planning and media savvy, and about attention spans for internet video, it’s worth asking: why? This was certainly a deliberate move—but for what reason? One place to start thinking about this is a
Knives Out! The Best Knives In America

Knives Out! The Best Knives In America

Tech
View this image › By Matthew Rudofker At the end of the day, the things that make cooking meaningful to me are taking the time to understand my craft and taking pride in what I do. When I was seventeen and working at Striped Bass in Philadelphia, for instance, I told the chef I wanted to learn how to butcher fish; he spent five hours talking fish with me. It’s something I’ll never forget. I wanted to learn everything I could about what I worked with back then, and I turned my attention to the most bas
Match.com For Animals

Match.com For Animals

Tech
View this image › Via Facebook: OakZoo Imagine that you’re a river otter at the Oakland Zoo. Until recently, the chances that you would have babies was very slim. While a female otter, Ginger, came to the zoo in 2009, it took two years for her first set of pups to be born: before then, the Oakland Zoo had not seen a newborn river otter in its tanks in over a decade. This isn’t rare in the captive-river-otter world: according to a San Francisco Chronicle story, only a handful were born in North America this past year. Also, otters don’t give birth nearly as many t
The Absolute Strangest Clint Eastwood Movie On Netflix

The Absolute Strangest Clint Eastwood Movie On Netflix

Tech
View this image › fridaymoviez.com If you’re in the mood for a jaw-dropper of a ’70s action cinema specimen featuring men climbing a mountain: The Eiger Sanction (1975, Clint Eastwood) Climb that high up and it does funny things to your brain. Clint Eastwood’s espionage-on-a-mountain thriller The Eiger Sanction is, among other things, a daunting feat of old-school technical bravado. Eastwood stars as an art professor who used to moonlight for the government as an assassin who’s been called back for one last job. Said job involves climbing a large mountain in Swi
What If Raymond Carver Designed The Sims?

What If Raymond Carver Designed The Sims?

Tech
View this image › In 1995, an American college student named Kaitlin Greenbriar returns late one night from a trip to Europe to her family’s new home, only to find that her mother, father, and younger sister have all left. She spends the next few hours exploring every last gable of the unfamiliar mansion, learning through tossed-away notes and thrown-open drawers about the personal struggles of her father (a frustrated writer), her mother (a frustrated wife), and sister (a frustrated teenager). There are no great surprises here, just the pointillist depiction of
11 Classic Video Games That PETA Should Protest

11 Classic Video Games That PETA Should Protest

Tech
View this image › Today, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals decried the possible inclusion of whale hunting in the new Assassin’s Creed game: Whaling—that is, shooting whales with harpoons and leaving them to struggle for an hour or more before they die or are hacked apart while they are still alive—may seem like something out of the history books, but this bloody industry still goes on today in the face of international condemnation, and it’s disgraceful for any game to glorify it. PETA encourages video game companies to create games th
37 Saddest Failed Kickstarters

37 Saddest Failed Kickstarters

Tech
1. $0 of $6,000 View this image › kickstarter.com “I had audiences laughing till they cried (one of them said she wished she had brought a change of underwear:)” 2. $0 of $120 View this image › kickstarter.com “Mothers Day is coming, and what better way to tell her you love her than this heart-warming shirt.” 3. $2
The Weirdest Battles Over New Domain Names

The Weirdest Battles Over New Domain Names

Tech
View this image › This past spring, ICANN, the international group that oversees all domain names, announced applicants for a whole raft of new .coms. Unlike previous top-level domains, like .com and .org, these would be privately owned and controlled — which proved to be a huge incentive for big brands to pay the $300,000 application fee to lock up their desired domains. However, it’s more than just “.kleenex” that is up for grabs; as MIT’s Technology Review put it, the whole thing reeks of “boondoggle.” With things like .sex, .art., .music, .porn and more on th
The Best Movie On Netflix With Jeff Bridges In A Bowler Hat

The Best Movie On Netflix With Jeff Bridges In A Bowler Hat

Tech
View this image › The mega-movie The Avengers hits megaplexes today. Since superheroes never die — at least not forever — the theme this week is the antithesis of that, in a way: men dying. So we’ve got Jeff Bridges in a raw anti-Western, a documentary about the death penalty, and mobsters blown up with a grenade launcher. View this image › Via xyface.com
The Most Awesome Asian Action Flicks On Netflix

The Most Awesome Asian Action Flicks On Netflix

Tech
View this image › If you’re in the mood for a wild and woolly back-and-forth duel: Let the Bullets Fly (2010, Jiang Wen) The title of Let the Bullets Fly promises non-stop whiz-bang action, but the true meaning is revealed right in the first scene – it’s a statement of serene confidence, of biding one’s time until desired results are achieved. A double meaning presented at the outset sets the stage nicely for Jiang Wen’s period-piece war of wills, where everyone has hidden intentions and dual identities. The meat of the film is the battle for the small hamlet of
How To Turn A European Video Game American

How To Turn A European Video Game American

Tech
View this image › Last December, the game publishing giant THQ went bankrupt. The handful of THQ games that were still in development went up for auction, including the nearly complete Metro: Last Light, the anticipated sequel to 2010s Metro: 2033, by the Ukrainian development studio 4A Games. Last Light, a first person shooter that tells the story of the various factions fighting for control of the Moscow Metro system, now home to the survivors of a nuclear apocalypse, was purchased at auction by Koch Media in January and released this week to outstanding review
Everything You Need To Know About Nintendo’s Wii U

Everything You Need To Know About Nintendo’s Wii U

Tech
View this image › s.pro-gmedia.com The new Wii is coming out on November 18th! It’s a tablet! It’s a console! It’s a media center with a built-in accelerometer attached! It’s the last stand of a once-proud gaming giant! Here’s what you need to know: Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=mZvlpA7knsQ. What’s this Gamepad thing? It’s Nintendo’s Big Idea th
The “Diablo” Of Not Starving To Death

The “Diablo” Of Not Starving To Death

Tech
View this image › When you first start Don’t Starve — and I hope you do, because it’s the cleverest game I’ve played in ages — you’ll be tempted to treat it like Diablo. Klei Entertainment’s new delight, now out on Steam, bears so many superficial similarities to Blizzard’s murder-death-kill click orgy: It’s a randomly generated outdoor setting filled with monsters and collectibles, viewed from a three-quarters top-down perspective. And if you do treat Don’t Starve like Diablo — that is, click on the nearest thing to try to make it die — you’ll lose almost immed