The Esoteric Techie

Open Nest – Unlocking the Internet of Things

Posted by in Technology

Google has positioned Nest to be the central platform in the Internet of Things. Google announced recently that it will open it’s ever popular smart thermostat up to third-party developers. To try to put this in perspective, remember the iphone before Apple created the App store? No? That’s probably because the app store is what launched Apple’s iconic handheld into the stratosphere. Before the app store and the accompanying SDK (Software Development Kit), the iphone was cool, but not nearly the tool that has since revolutionized wireless technology. You may…read more

Aereo Has Its Day In Court

Posted by in Technology

Aereo pled its case on Tuesday to the Supreme Court. And the judgment could have far reaching impact on the millions of cord cutters looking to free themselves from the monthly cable bill. If you have never heard of Aereo, It’s not surprising. They are a small company and the service they offer is currently only available in 11 cities around the U.S. For $8 – $12 a month, Aereo provides you with a your own remote TV antenna and DVR. What makes this service special is that you can…read more

Yahoo! Announces Reimagined flickr

Posted by in Technology

flickr has been allowing users to upload and share their photos since 2004. That was the year that Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake decided to help blaze the trail for what would become one of the most recognizable properties of the early Web 2.o. That may not sound like a long time, but in internet years, it’s a lifetime. In March 2005 Yahoo! purchased flickr for $35 Million and proceeded to let it wither on the vine. For 8 years flickr has remained relatively unchanged while the visual web caught…read more

Waze – Social Mapping

Posted by in Technology

Smartphone mapping applications had been pretty well dominated by Google Maps until Apple cut ties with the Mountain View based web giant. But Apple stumbled mightily with the introduction of it’s own Maps application. The term debacle comes to mind when describing the failure that was Apple Maps. To open the door even further Google took it’s sweet time releasing a custom built application for iOS. The quibbling of the two tech behemoths created a virtual land grab for users. A myriad of mapping applications made their case for home…read more

The Importance of A/B Testing

Posted by in Project Management

Dan Siroker presenting at The Next Web Conference Europe 2013, discusses the value of A/B testing. “A/B testing — running simultaneous tests of different versions of a website or app on random sections of an audience to see which performs the best — is one of the most important processes that developers can go through. It challenges your assumptions and can have a major impact on your bottom line. Dan Siroker is an ex-Googler who went on to oversee A/B testing on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign website. Through testing different…read more

2012 Tech News in Review

Posted by in Technology

2012 was a busy year in the world of technology. New gadgets, legal battles and corporate shake ups kept geek’s attention occupied all year long. Just how influential was 2012? It may be years before we can know for sure, but I think it’s safe to say that there was more than a few truly disruptive events that will shape the landscape of technology for the coming years. 2012 introduced the world to the ongoing problems of technology patent wars, we discovered how truly dependent we are on Google for our…read more

The Optimism Bias

Posted by in Project Management

Optimism can often be the worst enemy of a project. Many times, even when faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, project stakeholders will swear to a pre-set date or deliverable. The history of digital development is fraught with examples of optimism leading to catastrophic failure. I like to always remember one of my favorite sayings when embarking on a new project: “I hope for the best, but I’ll plan for the worst.” See, there’s nothing inherently wrong with an optimistic SOW or timeline, as long as everyone understands what…read more

Voice Recognition: A Dream As Yet Unrealized

Posted by in Technology

“Is that rain?” “Yes, it appears to be raining,” replies the pleasant electronic voice. Ten minutes later I’m watching as Samuel L. Jackson has an entire conversation about risotto with his phone, concluding with him telling Siri to “take the night off.” It all looks so easy, so fluid, so magical. Unfortunately this is not how it works in a little place I like to call the “real world.” I think John Roy sums it up nicely in his article entitled Do Android Users Dream of Electric Sheep: “Imagine my…read more

Introducing the Knowledge Graph

Posted by in Technology

Get an under the hood look at the next frontier in Search, from the team at Google behind the technology. The Knowledge Graph is a huge collection of the people, places and things in the world and how they’re connected to one another. With this technology, Google can get you the best possible answers and help jump start your discovery.

Reading the Tea Leaves: Can Amazon’s Android Tablet Compete with iPad?

Posted by in Technology

The Web is abuzz about Amazon’s new Android-based tablet set to launch this fall. Their current Kindle-branded e-reader continues to sell to book enthusiasts and e-books remain a strong category for Amazon. In fact, earlier this year e-books passed sales of printed books for the first time ever. But a fully functional Android tablet marks a departure for the online retailer. While e-readers were a logical step for Amazon that has its roots as an online book seller, tablets are a different beast altogether. It’s not as much of a stretch as…read more

Hack Your Nintendo Wii In 5 Minutes

Posted by in Technology

Lifehacker’s Adam Dachis posted this great article on how to hack your Nintendo Wii. “Hacking your Wii hasn’t been difficult, but it has required a somewhat detailed process. Now we have LetterBomb, which is an incredibly simple way to hack your Wii. It only takes about five minutes to accomplish. Here’s how to do it.” Hack Your Wii

Apple OS X Lion

Posted by in Technology

Apple’s OS X Lion is the newest iteration of what many consider the best operation system on the market today. Borrowing heavily from iOS, the system behind Apple’s iPhone and iPad products, Lion brings gestures, launchpad and many other innovations to the desktop experience. Apple leadership seem to think Lion is a major advance in desktop computing. “Lion is the best version of OS X yet, and we’re thrilled that users around the world can download it starting today,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing….read more

New Media Rock Stars

Posted by in Technology

Attention! The Internet is no longer just a supplement for old media. In the past few years, we have witnessed the rise of the first generation of legitimate Internet superstars. These are not old media icons that translated their fame into digital success. Rather, they utilize technology as their primary medium because they were raised with it. They are as comfortable with digital distribution as the average Boomer is watching television or reading a book. Stars like Jonathan Coulton, The Gregory Brothers, Rhett and Link and The Lonely Island have…read more

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Goodbye Google Wave

Posted by in Project Management, Technology

On August 4th Google announced that it would be discontinuing support for the Google Wave web service at the end of 2010. This decision was due largely to the fact that the once lauded web tool failed to gain traction and increasingly frustrated users trying to discover a workable use case. Wave was a light that burned out quickly in the tech community, hardly even reaching it’s first birthday before Google pulled the plug. There are those that will mourn it’s demise, but for most it will pass unnoticed as…read more

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