Brendan Slack

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Homebrew Kinect app steers Chromecast streams through gestures (update: source code)

Chromecast may deliver on promises of sending wire-free video to TVs, but it's not hands-free -- or at least, it wasn't. Leon Nicholls has unveiled a homemade Kinect app for the desktop that gives him gesture-based control of videos playing through Google's streaming stick. While there's just two …

Google is preparing for screenless computers

The spread of computing to every corner of our physical world doesn’t just mean a proliferation of screens large and small—it also means we’ll soon come to rely on mobile computers with no screens at all. “It’s now so inexpensive to have a powerful computing device in my car or lapel, that if you …

Tom Cruise

EA's Humble Bundle Helps Charity, Pushes Origin

The Humble Bundle has become a gaming tradition where publishers sell their games for cheap, and lots and lots of money goes to charity. Fans get games, publishers rack up sales and charities get money, everybody wins.<p>Over time, it’s become more and more well known games that have appeared in the …

No, Craigslist is not responsible for the death of newspapers

Maybe it’s the rash of newspaper sales recently — including the acquisition of the <i>Washington Post</i> by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the sale of the Boston</i> …

Voices in Your Head: How Google Glass Lets a Half-Deaf Person Hear

The device’s bone-conduction audio brings new sounds to a hearing impaired person.<p>The technologists, early adopters, and so-called “explorers” who got their hands on the first pairs of Google Glass have been describing the moment they slide on the odd-looking headset for the first time with a kind …

3 takes on why bookstores are dead (and why that might not be such a bad thing)

Bookstores had a really bad week — at least in the world of blog punditry, where three industry figures I admire posted their takes on why bookstores …

Roku, Apple and Google should brace for streaming video boom

Satellite companies might not be in a mood to celebrate, but things are looking positively rosy for companies selling video streaming devices, who …

Aereo CEO says it can reach profitability with under 1M subscribers

Aereo, the TV-anywhere startup that has major broadcast television stations up in arms, doesn’t need a massive subscriber base to become profitable, says CEO Chet Kanojia.<p>Aereo lets you watch and record free over-the-air local television content (from broadcasters like ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, CW, and …

Redox Power Plans To Roll Out Dishwasher-Sized Fuel Cells That Cost 90% Less Than Currently Available Fuel Cells

Redox Power Systems, a Fulton, MD-based start-up company founded last year, sealed the deal on a partnership with researchers at the University of Maryland to commercialize a potentially game-changing distributed generation technology.<p>Redox says that it plans to bring to market a fuel cell that is …

Americans are starting to cut the cable TV cord, and here’s what it looks like

Americans are starting to ditch pay television.<p>It’s been suspected for several years that more Americans were cutting the cord—that is, going without cable—than were signing up for new pay TV subscriptions. But solid evidence of the trend had been difficult to find. Though subscriptions to pay TV …

Pay-TV

YC startup Swiftype raises $1.7M seed round from Andreessen; NEA; Kleiner

Swiftype has raised $1.7 million from venture capital bigwigs for its search engine software.<p>The Y Combinator company provides solutions that help companies integrate search engines into their websites, no coding required. You enter a URL and Swiftype’s technology will crawl the site and quickly …

App Discovery: Why Can't Anyone Figure This Out Yet?

Good news! Now that both Google and Apple have passed 50 billion app downloads (each of course) we can all sit back and relax. The system is working, the world is downloading, the developers are making money, and the users are happy.<p><i>Au contraire, mon frère.</i><p>With each one of these giants approaching …

Microsoft Confirms Skype Will Come Installed With Windows 8.1, So It’s Time To Play Anti-Trust Bingo

Today Microsoft announced that Skype will come installed in Windows 8.1, likely helping the communications service that was purchased for $8.5 billion grow more quickly. The move immediately causes something of a gut reaction that this will be challenged in court, probably in Europe.<p>Microsoft has a …

The Shocking Stats About Who’s Really Starting Companies In America

Fully a third of venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder at the helm. Arianna Huffington and other prominent entrepreneurs on why the U.S. needs to get creative about immigration policy.<p>What do Google’s Sergey Brin, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, …

Two new experiments help blaze the trail toward quantum computing with teleportation

Scientists are a little bit closer to faster computing and better encryption after two experiments discovered the first ways to reliably use quantum …

Apple bought Matcha because it “found the answer” with its recommendation algorithm

Following reports earlier this week that Apple had acquired video aggregation and discovery service Matcha, TechCrunch claims today that its sources have provided a bit more info on the motivation behind the acquisition. While noting that the purchase price was actually closer to $10-$15 million …

After Initially Locking Down Funds, PayPal Relents And Gives GlassUp Access To Indiegogo Cash

The GlassUp, an ambitious Indiegogo project that wanted to take the concept of Glass and make it more about passive consumption of content than about privacy-treading recording, video and photography, was in danger of losing a full third of its funding earlier today due to a PayPal rule, but is now …

Google Reveals Fiber Plans for Provo, $30 Construction Fee

Google today confirmed it plans to sign up its first Google Fiber customers in Provo before the end of the year. Between now and October, the company is working to upgrade the existing fiber network in Provo to be Gigabit-ready and talking to property managers and owners of large apartment building …

Carbyne could upset graphene as the strongest material in existence

Graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms, has been the recent wunderkind of the material science world. It is the strongest material in …

What happens to your Macbook Air battery in a year

I love my 2010 Macbook, but lately she’s become less of a workhorse and more of a gentle farm pony you feed carrots to at the barn. She tires easily …

Designers make great entrepreneurs, they just don't know it yet

We're supposedly in the midst of a design renaissance, where beyond the cliché Steve Jobs and Apple ecosystem example, we see a design-centric focus …

Google will automatically encrypt cloud data in response to NSA anxiety

Google Cloud Storage — a non-consumer service used by companies like Ubisoft, Rovio, Best Buy, and others for storing content— will for the first time automatically encrypt its users' data. The move is intended to protect, companies developers, and ultimately your data from prying eyes, utilizing …

Microsoft vs.Google: When tech firms fight, you lose either way

If there's a technology out there that users love, there's probably a company that doesn't want it integrated with their own services.<p>This week, Google admitted that it had deliberately blocked some of the functionality of Microsoft's latest attempt at a native YouTube app for Windows Phone. Google …

British canal boaters, welcome to Google Street View

In the same way that you can't really call <i>The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy</i> a trilogy any more, Google's once again stretching the definition of a street. The company has loaned out one of its backpack-worn trekker units to the UK's Canal and River trust, which will document 100 miles of the …

What Does It Really Matter If Companies Are Tracking Us Online?

A scholar argues that the core issue is protecting consumers from corporations that are developing ever more sophisticated techniques for getting people to part with their money.<p>Say you, like me, went to bed a little early last night. And when you woke up this morning, you decided to catch the …

Apple Ramping Up China Operations With LinkedIn Job Push, Which Could Help It In More Ways Than One

Apple is apparently stepping up its China operations, according to a number of new job postings found on LInkedIn by the Wall Street Journal today. The company has listed nearly 300 openings on the professional social networking site, which include key senior positions related to environmental …

Apple App Store Monopoly Suit Undermined by Pesky “Detail”

Apple has won a dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that it maintains a monopoly over iOS applications — albeit on a technicality.<p>In a Thursday order, …

Apps

FWIW, the Ubuntu Edge has become a crowdfunding record-breaker

Canonical, the U.K.-based Linux company, has set itself a crazy goal: it wants to raise $32 million for a concept device called the Ubuntu Edge — a …

Why Every Organization Needs A Standard Response Time Policy

How quickly do you respond to incoming customer questions? As fast as you should? What about social media responses? Or online customer complaints?<p>When it comes to answering complaints on social media, I spoke last week about the wisdom of setting a standard window of time for response, such as …