The Lunch Journals

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If You Think Big Data’s Big Now, Just Wait

We’ve been hearing a great deal about the power of Big Data over the last couple of years. The hype says that as we gather more data, we will be able to get better answers to business problems, but the data levels we have seen so far could pale in comparison to what happens when we start adding …

MSI (almost) has the thinnest pro laptop ever

Bragging rights are a tricky thing. It's easy to <i>say</i> that you're the first or best, but backing up that claim is another matter. Take MSI's brand new WS60, for example. The company bills the 15-inch laptop as the "world's thinnest and lightest mobile workstation," and it's definitely on the …

Cramming 101: How to avoid hidden charges on your cellphone bill

Your cellphone bill may be stuffed with hidden charges you’ve never authorized or noticed.<p>The practice, called “cramming,” is so rampant that a Senate committee report argued earlier this week that it is costing consumers some serious money.<p>“Wireless cramming has been widespread and has likely cost …

Google's Chrome Web Browser Is Killing Your Laptop Battery

There is a problem with Google Chrome on Microsoft Windows that is potentially very bad news for laptop users. It can drastically affect battery life, and even slow down your computer.<p>So, why is Chrome eating through your battery quicker than other internet browsers? The problem is down to …

Why Amazon's New Phone Will Probably Succeed

In the noisy world of media, journalists often resort to shouting in order to be heard. Sometimes that expresses itself in hasty and hyper-critical judgments. A recent example: the reaction to yesterday’s announcement of Amazon’s new Fire Phone. Check out reviews from the leading digeratti, and …

A Closer Look at 'Handoff' and Other New iOS 8/Yosemite 'Continuity' Features

During yesterday's WWDC keynote, Apple launched several new "Continuity" features to improve the cross-platform integration of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. One of the new abilities designed to allow better transitions from iOS devices to Macs is Handoff, which allows users to start a task on one device …

Why You Should Be Excited For Extensions In iOS 8

Apple is routinely criticized for its closed operating systems — particularly iOS, hence all the jailbreaking— but at its WWDC keynote Monday, Apple began liberating iOS with a new mobile model that borrows the best of open ecosystems with Apple's notoriously tight security.<p>Call it a war on …

MIT demos shoulder-mounted Doc Ock robot arms

Wouldn't it be nice to have an extra set of arms, literally? When your hands are full, you could still open your door, pet the dog, or pick up a glass. A similar thought must have crossed the mind of a group of MIT researchers, because they have built an extra set of robot arms.<p>The Supernumerary …

Robotics

Apple Introduces iOS 8 And Texting Will Never Be The Same

Apple introduced its latest update to the iPhone operating system, iOS 8, at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday. If you're a big texter, some of the changes should make your life a lot easier. iOS 8 will be available for the iPhone 4S and above this fall.<p>If …

Detroit's Downturn Visualized in Google Street View Images

Detroit declared bankruptcy last year and parts of the city are suffering severely from its economic decline. These changes are clearly illustrated by GooBing Detroit, a Tumblr blog that compares images from Google’s Street View Time Machine feature to show how houses and neighborhoods have …

What do Intel Z97-based motherboards mean for PCs now, and in the future?

Unless you’re an avid desktop enthusiast, you may have missed the recent announcement about Intel’s latest 9 Series chipsets. After all, most …

Computer Hardware

Mozilla’s crazy plan to fix net neutrality and turn broadband into a utility – and why it could work

Advertisement<p>39 Comments<p>Credit: Gigaom illustration<p>Well here’s an interesting twist on the net neutrality debate. Mozilla, the open source foundation …

Games/Apps: Watch Dogs pre-order w/ $15 GC, Star Wars Mac/iOS games sale from $4, 50% off Modern Combat 4, iOS freebies, more

This offer has expired!<p>Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest deals and more. Sign-up for our newsletters and have our best offers delivered to your inbox daily.<p>In today’s best game/app deals, Microsoft Store is offering Watch Dogs pre-orders on 360, Xbox One and PC for $60 with a free $15 …

Amazon quietly adds Metacritic review scores to video game listings

Amazon's own product rating system is fine and all, but subjective reviews aren't always as relevant as we might like, even when there's an overwhelming consensus. Whether browsing for games online, or scanning shelves in a second-hand store, this editor <i>always</i> has Metacritic handy on one device or …

EA apologises for 'unnecessary' and 'stupid' April Fool

EA has apologised for April Fool's tweets that came from the Frostbite game engine's Twitter account.<p>You might know Frostbite from the games which …

Mike Judge thinks we're doomed

The creator of 'Beavis and Butt-Head' takes on the tech world<p>Mike Judge has been taking shots at pop culture — and making people laugh in the process — ever since <i>Beavis and Butt-head</i> took MTV by storm. From <i>Office Space</i> to <i>King of the Hill</i>, the writer–director's satirical gaze has spared almost no …

This Is Why It Feels Like Apple Stopped Innovating Three Years Ago

He'd say that once, when he was a kid, he was reading a science magazine and he found an article ranking animals by the efficiency of their movements.<p>At the top of the list, there were cheetahs and hawks. Way down at the bottom, there were humans — relatively slow on their two legs.<p>But then Jobs …

Oculus Rift And Thalmic’s Myo Armband Are A Match Made In Heaven, Say Founders And Investors

Total video game immersion might not be as far away as you think: The Oculus Rift is a huge step in the right direction, and it may have an optimal bedfellow in Thalmic’s Myo armband, the gesture control wearable that picks up on electrical impulses from your arm to deliver fine-tuned control over …

Android Root Apps May Soon Be More Difficult To Write, For Security's Sake

If you use a rooted Android device or develop root applications for Android, your life might be getting a little harder in the near future.<p>According to XDA developer Chainfire on his Google+ page, changes are being made in the recent code commit of the Android Open Source Project master tree (where …

What you need to know about the court decision that just struck down net neutrality

Advertisement<p>37 Comments<p>The principle behind the phrase “net neutrality” is that internet service providers of all kinds should treat data flowing …

Robinhood’s pitch to millennials: free stock trading

Robinhood.io isn’t your parents’ stock broker.<p>The startup has raised $3 million in seed funding for its mobile stock brokerage app that will offer stock, options, and corporate bonds trading to its members, and will do so without a commission.<p>This is a pivot for Robinhood, which initially launched …

Cloud Services Aggregator Jolicloud 2 Arrives with Combined Drive and Home, Feedly Integration

Jolicloud 2 is now available in open beta and introduces a number of new features to the cloud service aggregator, such as a unified approach to accessing different storage and content services.<p>If you’re unfamiliar with Jolicloud 2, you can think of it as a bit like an iGoogle replacement – but …

Aereo chief: We're fighting for consumers' rights to watch TV with an antenna and DVR

Big media may have thought its deep pockets and love of ceaseless litigation would break Aereo's bank and spirit, but the cloud-based DVR company is sticking to its guns. In a statement released just today, Aereo head Chet Kanojia said that his company wouldn't oppose a petition brought against the …

Google Launches Android Device Manager App

Google today launched a standalone app for its Android Device Manager service. You can download the new Android tool now directly from Google Play.<p>The Android app works just like the Web version of Android Device Manager. It shows you any device associated with your Google Account, lets you ring to …

NSA Needs a Zoloft After Obama No-Show, but Here Comes Internet’s “Wrecking Ball” Letter

In a fascinating, only-in-the-Beltway story, the Washington Post is reporting that morale at the National Security Agency is in the doldrums over the …

The Best Android Launchers You Can Download Today

We love Android devices as much as the next person, but sometimes the vanilla Android experience leaves us wanting a little more. Thankfully, it’s possible to change the whole look and feel of your Android device with only the minimum of effort – and no need to root.<p>Android launchers, or home …

A Surgeon’s Review Of Google Glass In The Operating Room

Dr. Pierre Theodore of UC San Francisco has completed a three-month trial of using Google Glass during surgery.<p>For a little over three months now, Dr. Pierre Theodore, a cardiothoracic surgeon, has been using Google Glass in the operating room. Although he’s tapped the functionality during …