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13 Incredible Tech Inventions You Won't Believe You Missed In 2013

The tech world gave us plenty talk about in 2013. We can build smarter robots. We can 3D-print pretty much anything. Tablet wars are still going strong, Snapchat is still a thing, and now we can binge-watch our favorite TV shows in more ways than ever before.<p>Yes, 2013 brought us many amazing …

Android's permissions gap: why has it fallen so far behind Apple's iOS?

No piece of technology knows as much about you as your smartphone. It goes where you do, so knows your movements, holds your contacts, your mesages, emails, web browsing records - and all the apps you use, perhaps including credit card details (suitably obfuscated to prevent casual theft). Given …

How the “internet of things” will replace the web

<i>The second in a series.</i><p>We’ve already written about why 2014 is really, finally the year that the “internet of things”—that effort to remotely control every object on earth—becomes visible in our everyday lives.<p>But most of us don’t recognize just how far the internet of things will go, from …

Internet of Things

Give Voice to Apps: Why Speech Will Replace Touch as Primary Input

<i>Rajat Harlalka is a Product Manager with over eight years of experience in the mobile industry primarily in technology, product management and marketing role.</i><p>We often see sci-fi movies portray smart devices which can interact with human characters as if they were their companion. With increasing …

An NSA Coworker Remembers The Real Edward Snowden: 'A Genius Among Geniuses'

Perhaps Edward Snowden’s hoodie should have raised suspicions.<p>The black sweatshirt sold by the civil libertarian Electronic Frontier Foundation featured a parody of the National Security Agency’s logo, with the traditional key in an eagle’s claws replaced by a collection of AT&T cables, and …

Steve Wozniak just backed a DIY computer on Kickstarter—and so have 12,000 others

The creators of Kano, a kit to assemble your own mini-computer, asked for $100,000 on Kickstarter. One day short of the end of the company’s campaign, they’ve raised $1.35 million from nearly 12,000 backers including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler. Alex …

These Inspiring Designs Show Our Future Cities Built From Silk And Sand

Architect Magnus Larsson thinks we’re stuck in the concrete age, so he’s showing how we could turn to entirely new materials instead. Is this the future of green building?<p>Every day, architect Magnus Larsson sits down and thinks about what future cities might be made of–synthetic spider silk, …

Silicon Valley Is Living Inside A Bubble Of Tone-Deaf Arrogance

The difference is in other cosmopolitan cities, the lower part of society keep to themselves. They sell small trinkets, beg coyly, stay quiet, and generally stay out of your way. They realize it's a privilege to be in the civilized part of town and view themselves as guests. And that's okay.<p>It's …

Marketing has turned ADHD into a $9 billion industry, reports NYT

Over the past twenty-five years, diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have skyrocketed to the point where America is medicating five percent of high school-age children — some 3.5 million kids, up from 600,000 in 1990. The <i>New York Times</i> takes an in-depth look at the industry …

The New Armor That Lets You Sense Surveillance Cameras

Like a creepy digital tap on the shoulder<p>We pass under surveillance cameras every day, appearing on perhaps hundreds of minutes of film. We rarely notice them. London-based artist James Bridle would like to remind us.<p>Bridle has created a wearable device he calls the “surveillance spaulder.” …

What The Heck Will Google Do With These Scary Military Robots?

Let’s see, we have a company that already knows everything about us, has possibly the world’s largest computer network, has recently built one of the biggest artificial-intelligence teams in the world–a company so powerful that it feels the need to soften its dominance with the informal motto, …

Google buys Boston Dynamics, maker of spectacular and terrifying robots

Google has acquired robotics engineering company Boston Dynamics, best known for its line of quadrupeds with funny gaits and often mind-blowing capabilities. Products that the firm has demonstrated in recent years include BigDog, a motorized robot that can handle ice and snow, the 29 mile-per-hour …

Google Kills A Cool Privacy Feature In Android That It Didn't Intend To Release

Google has just removed a new privacy feature in the latest update to Android KitKat that briefly let users control exactly how individual apps access their information and various phone functions. Google apparently hadn’t intended to release the feature in the first place, and now it’s gone. …

How Technology Is Warping Your Memory

Take a moment to think about the last time you memorized someone's phone number. Was it way back when, perhaps circa 2001? And when was the last time you were at a dinner party or having a conversation with friends, when you whipped out your smartphone to Google the answer to someone's question? …

Norway is digitizing all its books and making them free to read online

The National Library of Norway is digitizing all the books in its collection, processing the text to make it searchable, and making them available to read online.<p>It's similar to the mass digitization efforts in the UK and Finland, but Norway has taken the extra step of making agreements with many …

The Brilliant Hack That Brought Foursquare Back From the Dead

Dennis Crowley thought his 13-year dream might never come true.<p>Crowley is the founder of Foursquare, the seminal social networking service that …

Google's Open Gallery lets others create online exhibitions, but is it art?

When Google's not busy fulfilling GIF requests, it also enjoys cataloging arguably more important things for us to vicariously see, read or visit. With so much still so inaccessible, though, today the firm's launched Open Gallery, which allows "anyone with cultural content" to build online …

First Smartphones and Tablets with Leap Motion Gesture Control Due as Early as Q3 2014

Leap Motion, the smart 3D gesture control hardware and software company, has said that the first tablets or smartphones to use its touchless technology could arrive as early as Q3 next year.<p>Company CEO Michael Buckwald told TNW at a briefing in London today that the technical and hardware …

Inside India’s Aadhar, The World’s Biggest Biometrics Database

India’s Unique Identification project, also known as Aadhar, earlier this week finished capturing demographic and biometric data of over half a billion residents–the largest biometric project of its kind currently in the world.<p>It’s been a multi-year effort not without its critics among privacy and …

Uncovering a More Useful Android Lock Screen

Nowadays, there’s a smartphone app for just about everything. Need to hail a ride? There’s an app for that. Need a game for your cat? There’s an app …

Homejoy Raises $38M As It Looks To Expand Beyond Home Cleaning

Homejoy, a startup that makes it easy and relatively affordable ($20 an hour) to sign up for a home cleaning, is announcing that it has raised $38 million in new funding.<p>The money was actually raised across two rounds — a Series A led by Google Ventures and a Series B led by Redpoint Ventures. The …

Google gets into the robot game, with former Android chief Rubin leading the effort

Advertisement<p>3 Comments<p>What’s the hidden link between SCHAFT, a Japanese maker of muscular robots, Holomni, a Mountain View, Calif.-based smart wheel …

David Lowery: Silicon Valley must be stopped, or creativity will be destroyed

Silicon Valley’s making money off the work of others. David Lowery is on a crusade for copyright, fairness and art<p>David Lowery, the frontman for the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, has become perhaps the most assertive and polarizing figure in the movement for musicians’ rights in the …

Here's how you make the world's most expensive phone

Vertu started life in the late 1990s as an indulgence for Nokia's designers. Led by Frank Nuovo, the group set out to explore what a phone could look and feel like if its design was unconstrained by budgetary concerns. What if you could use all the best materials and most expensive manufacturing …

Chrome apps could start coming to Android and iOS as early as next month

In September, Google told us that Chrome Apps would come to mobile operating systems as well — that packaged versions of web apps could even be sold in Google Play and the iOS App Store, once the company had worked the kinks out. At the time, the company cautioned that such an idea was a ways away, …