Miscellaneous

Google: No, no. You've got Glass all wrong

Something I've learned over the last few years is that Google is always right.

It criticizes the NSA for snooping, when it quite happily crawls all over your e-mails. But it's right, because it's for your own good.

It pumps ads at you even when you're writing e-mails, but it's right to do so. Because these ads are far better than all the other ads you'll see on the Web.

And then there's Google Glass, which Google insists isn't a creepy, awkward intrusion into public and private life. So Google must be right.

Well, except that those who have so far resisted a Google chip being implanted into their brains still feel that Glass might be for the self-righteous, rather than the normal human being.

Of late, Google seems to have adopted a crouching posture, as the criticisms and humor have rained its way. … Read more

Ex Microsoft staffer arrested for allegedly stealing Win 8 trade secrets

Alex Kibkalo, a former senior architect at Microsoft who most recently served as a director of product management in 5nine Software (according to his LinkedIn profile), has been arrested for allegedly stealing Windows-related trade secrets while working for Microsoft.

Kibkalo was arrested on Wednesday, according to a report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

According to a complaint filed on March 17 in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, Kibkalo -- a Russian national and former Microsoft employee based in Lebanon -- passed on trade secrets involving Windows 8 to an unnamed technology blogger in France.

Microsoft's … Read more

Custom 3D-printed kayak is a homemade work of art

Jim Smith is an ambitious man. He not only built himself a large 3D printer, he also decided to have it make him a kayak. It appears to be the world's first 3D-printed kayak, and it's a stunner.

The kayak's multi-colored patchwork design looks like it would appeal to Colin Baker's version of "Doctor Who." The boat consists of 28 parts printed using ABS plastic. The materials to produce the nearly 17-foot-long kayak with a 6mm-thick hull cost around $500, according to Smith. The whole contraption weighs nearly 65 pounds, which is pretty much in line with the weight of a regular kayak.… Read more

How to issue your own emotional Bitcoin

Traditional forms of currency just aren't current any more.

They're made of stupid, old-fashioned things like paper and metal.

Everyone knows that real value can only be online, virtual and, at best, semi-sincere.

So along comes the iOS app called GoodFor, which allows you to create your own personalized, meaningful and even entirely insincere IOUs, good for as long as you decide they're good.

This emotional Bitcoin is the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto, who, I understand, worked on some very secret and emotional projects at many institutions such as the US Postal Service and Starbucks.… Read more

To thwart counterfeiting, UK mint proposes new pound coin

Electronic transactions with credit and debit cards are commonplace, Square and others offer payments by e-mail, and Bitcoin fans are pushing even more radical changes to money. But the UK's Royal Mint believes there's still a place for innovation in that lowliest of financial instruments, the coin.

On Wednesday, the mint proposed a new 12-sided one-pound coin that it said would be "the most secure circulating coin in the world to date." The coin "utilizes multiple layers of cutting edge technology and would allow the United Kingdom to rapidly reduce the rate of counterfeit coins … Read more

How Android Wear dodges the 'Glasshole' bullet

We're still in the infancy of the age of smartwatches, but give Google credit for nudging the concept forward with its long-anticipated announcement of Android Wear.

With a little luck -- and a clever hardware design or two from Google's partners -- maybe we're about to bear witness to one of those Very Big Things that cross the tech horizon occasionally.

Maybe.

For now, all we have is a glitzy promotional video filled with a variety of bouncy, well-scrubbed -- and obviously well-heeled - folks living the bright future envisioned by Larry Page and Sergey Brin (particularly). … Read more

Your new disease, America: Compulsive gadget-hoarding

If we can't unearth a new illness, syndrome, or phobia at least once a month, we are not America.

I am delighted, therefore, that by merely keeping my eyes open I can bring news of the latest.

Americans are suffering in hordes from compulsive gadget-hoarding.

I hope that, by merely writing that sentence, I can confront you with something that you know is true.

I hope that you can look your friends in the eye at your next social event and declare: "Hullo, I'm Claudia. And I'm a compulsive gadget-hoarder."… Read more

LG to launch G Watch with Android Wear

LG is getting in on the Android Wear game.

The company has built a smartwatch in partnership with Google that it will call the G Watch, LG confirmed on Tuesday. The G Watch runs Google's modified wearables platform, Android Wear.

Engadget earlier reported the news.

LG didn't provide any details on the device, but an image in the Engadget report shows the device with flight times. The G Watch will work with voice commands and will come to market sometime in the second quarter, LG said.

Google on Tuesday announced Android Wear. The platform is a modified version … Read more

Giant 3D printer starts spitting out a house

Till now, 3D printing has been used to create relatively small items -- everything from iPhone cases to prosthetic fingers to aircraft parts and alien shoes. But none of those projects are a match for the full-size house Dutch architects have begun building in Amsterdam using a 20-foot-tall 3D printer.

The project, known simply as the "3D Print Canal House," uses a super-sized version of the popular in-home 3D printer made by Ultimaker. Dutch architectural firm Dus commissioned the machine when it decided to take the scale-model rooms it was already 3D-printing and turn them into the real thing.… Read more

DreamPad pillow plays music only you can hear

Falling asleep to the sound of music or podcasts can be such an individual thing. Your partner might not want to listen to Yanni or Dan Patrick. Wearing earphones while you sleep can be very uncomfortable, or require you to try to sleep on your back, whether you want to or not. There is a new way to get your music and your zzzs without bugging anyone else. It's the DreamPad, a pillow that whispers sweet music for your ears only.

The DreamPad hooks up to your smartphone or MP3 player via a cable. It uses conductive technology to pass the sound into your head. It's a similar approach to headphones that use bone conduction.… Read more