The Esoteric Techie

Tech Can Turn Your Black Thumb Green

Posted by in Technology

I love plants, but I’m terrible at caring for them how I should. I’m not positive how many Japanese Peace Lilies I’ve killed, but I’m pretty sure that it would classify me as a serial killer by most definitions. Fortunately, technology may be able to put to an end my murderous rampage. The guys over at French company Parrot have created a little gizmo that could turn even that blackest thumb a stunning shade of emerald. The Parrot Power Flower retails at $59.99 and is availabe online through Apple, Amazon and several…read more

Open Nest – Unlocking the Internet of Things

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

New Media Rock Stars

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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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Hunch, The Taste Graph

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Hunch.com is a recommendation engine based on user provided input. After signing up for Hunch users are asked to answer multiple questions to train Hunch about themselves. Surprisingly, the questions that provide Hunch with its data may be the most interesting part of the site. Hunch makes these questions fun and I easily found myself looking up from the monitor 30 minutes later not having realized how much time I spent teaching the app all about my likes and dislikes. Caterina Fake, the co-founder of Hunch, calls her service a…read more

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Facebook Is Lexington, Twitter Is Concord

Posted by in Technology

Social Networking has changed everything. Anyone who is still not convinced of this truth either has been hiding under a very large rock for the last 5 years…or they’re disagreeing with you just to be contrary. People communicate today in ways like never before. If the internet was the most important shift in communication since the printing press then social networking is the digital age’s equivalent of the first newspaper. It is difficult to understand exactly what the communication landscape is going to look like once all of the dust…read more

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FarmVille Madness – The Curse of Facebook Games

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Lately my Facebook news feed seems to be choked with status updates. Most of the time I use these updates to keep up with my friends and what’s going on in their lives. But that has become increasingly difficult because of a plague that is ravaging the social media community. Yes, I’m talking about Facebook games. First it was just the occasional Mafia Wars update that I would casually ignore, but now I’m inundated with updates from Restaurant City, Know-It-All Trivia, Zynga Poker, Bejeweled Blitz, YoVille, Fish World and the…read more

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Google Sidewiki – Control is Illusion

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On September 23rd, 2009 Google released an update to Google toolbar, which can be installed as a plug-in for you browser. Part of that update was a new feature called Sidewiki, which allows users to post comments and feedback on a small tab that is attached to individual websites. It displays as a small arrow tab on the left side of the browser and once clicked expands to reveal comments left by other users of the Google Toolbar and presents the user with a form field to enter comments of…read more

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What Can We Expect From Google Chrome OS?

Posted by in Technology

Google has taken us one step closer toward independence from native applications. Chrome OS will be a browser based operating system that circumvents the need for most locally installed software. Unlike Windows or even OS X, Chrome will not come bundled with bulky software packages. Instead it links to online versions of almost anything you could possibly need. In fact 90% of all applications the average user will ever need has a web-based equivalent. Google Docs makes it possible to open, edit and publish any office document online. The days…read more

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Amazon Should Stick With Content

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With the release of the Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX more people than ever are making the switch to a digital reading device. eBooks have been around for a long time, but what the market lacked was a delivery system. Amazon has endeavored to fill that void. The Kindle’s price point still remains too high for anyone but technophiles to justify the purchase. While I have no doubt that Amazon is committed to bringing the highest quality product to market, it’s not a hardware shop. Jeff Bezos has turned…read more

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