The Week: Most Recent Tech Posts recent posts.en-usFri, 11 Apr 2014 10:30:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Tech Posts from THE WEEKFri, 11 Apr 2014 10:30:00 -0400Innovation of the week: Cloudwash<img src="" /></P><p>British startup Berg just released Cloudwash, an internet-connected washing machine. Berg's device focuses on simple interfaces that give users one-touch access to frequently used wash cycles, said Kyle VanHemert at <em>Wired</em>. The machine also syncs with an iPhone app, which allows washers to start a load remotely and provides notifications when the cycle is finished. And if you forget to pick up detergent, don't worry: The Cloudwash allows users to purchase soap and other supplies from Amazon.</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 11 Apr 2014 10:30:00 -0400Meet the company that wants to be the Netflix for blind people<img src="" /></P><p>We've all been there: you're hanging out with friends when the conversation suddenly turns to the latest episode of <em>House of Cards</em> or the recent Jennifer Lawrence blockbuster. You haven't seen this particular television show or film, so for the next fifteen minutes, while your friends dissect the plot and recount <em>that</em> hilarious moment, you're left finding creative ways to stir your coffee.</p><p>Television shows and movies constitute an enormous part of our culture, and not being in on the story can feel isolating. This is especially true for people with visual impairments. Sure, the blind and visually...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Kaitlin RobertsTue, 08 Apr 2014 06:07:00 -0400Innovation of the week: The Prep Pad<img src="" /></P><p><span class="s1">The startup Orange Chef has developed the Prep Pad, a "smart food scale"</span><span class="s2"> that pairs with an iPad app to help you learn more about the nutritional content of food. You place your ingredients on the scale and type a description on the iPad and the tablet then "mines a database of 250,000 foods to provide details of its nutrients and calories," said Laura Baverman at <em>USA Today</em>. Prep Pad also syncs with another Orange Chef offering, called Countertop, to make sense of all the data and allow users to track and improve their eating habits.</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 04 Apr 2014 10:50:00 -0400The Pentagon's new cyber-expert hiring spree<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p><em>Help Wanted: Cyber geeks who want an "opportunity to do some really cool stuff" (if they follow the dress code).</em></p><p>Human resource managers in Silicon Valley may want to rethink their benefits programs knowing that the Pentagon plans on heavily ramping up staff for the U.S. military's Cyber Command over the next two years.</p><p>Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said recently that by 2016, the Pentagon expects to have more than 6,000 workers in the cyber realm. That compares with less than 1,000 early last year.</p><p>"To accomplish this goal, we are recruiting talent from everywhere," Hagel said. "But we're...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Timothy R. HomanThu, 03 Apr 2014 07:30:00 -0400The internet scam that hijacks your hard drive<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Viruses used to be so simple.</p><p>You'd go online with your dial-up modem, take 25 minutes to naively download an appealing-sounding .exe file, and suddenly a sheep would walk across the screen or an embarrassing e-mail would be sent to your entire address book. Some would even wish you a <span >Happy New Year</span>.</p><p>Annoying, maybe, but they had their own '90s cyber-kiddie sense of charm.</p><p>Some viruses, of course, were incredibly disruptive. Now, though, viruses and malware have become even more malicious. They're out for more than just hacker cred &mdash; they're out for your money.</p><p>For a long time, malware...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Andrew LumbyWed, 02 Apr 2014 16:43:00 -0400Yes, you are under surveillance<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong><span class="s1">SHARON </span><span class="s1">AND </span><span class="s1">BILAL </span></strong>couldn't be more different. Sharon Gill is a 42-year-old single mother who lives in a small town in southern Arkansas. She ekes out a living trolling for treasures at yard sales and selling them at a flea market. Bilal Ahmed, 36, is a single, Rutgers-educated man who lives in a penthouse in Sydney, Australia. He runs a chain of convenience stores.</p><p class="p2"><span class="s1">Although they have never met in person, they became close friends on a password-protected online forum for patients struggling with mental health issues. Sharon was trying to wean herself from anti-depressant medications. Bilal had just...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By Julia AngwinSat, 29 Mar 2014 09:00:00 -0400Meet the Halfbike<img src="" /></P><p>Kolelinia's Halfbike "looks like somebody stripped away all the comfy bits from a real bike," said Andrew Liszewski at <em>Gizmodo. </em>There's no seat, no conventional handlebars, and only one wheel that resembles anything you'd see on a conventional bicycle. The rider pedals from a standing position and holds on to a vertical shaft that allows the Halfbike to be steered &mdash; and yes, it features a handbrake as well. The Halfbike is small enough to fit easily into an elevator and light enough to carry up the stairs. Kolelinia is trying to raise $80,000 via Kickstarter to put its invention into production...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 21 Mar 2014 11:20:00 -0400When a bot takes your job<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">A bot did not write this editor's letter, but it probably could have. And will someday. When a modest earthquake rattled Los Angeles this week, an automated program created by a journalist took the seismic data from the U.S. Geological Survey, and generated a story that the </span><span class="s2"><em>Los Angeles Times</em></span><span class="s1"> posted on its website three minutes after the quake hit. The bare-bones report &mdash; "A shallow magnitude 4.7 earthquake was reported Monday morning...." &mdash; sufficed until human reporters could flesh out the story. As this type of algorithm becomes more sophisticated, most routine news stories could...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/william-falk" ><span class="byline">William Falk</span></a>Fri, 21 Mar 2014 09:50:00 -0400The problem with that speed reading app everyone is talking about<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>It should take you three minutes to read this 900-word piece. Wouldn't you rather finish it in just 60 seconds?</p><p>The possibility that our fond wish to read faster could actually be granted by technology is what's driving the buzz about Spritz, a new speed-reading app that debuted at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month and will soon come loaded on new Samsung devices. (For now, you can try out Spritz on this demonstration page). Its makers claim that Spritz allows users to read at staggeringly high rates of speed: 600 or even 1,000 words per minute. (The average college graduate...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Annie Murphy PaulWed, 19 Mar 2014 15:51:00 -0400What a new policy on dead users says about Facebook<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Facebook's Community Operations team has announced it is changing the privacy settings on accounts for deceased users to reflect the settings they chose in life.</p><p>Before the new policy, Facebook automatically set accounts to "friends only" after a user died, meaning that only those directly connected to them in life could see their profile. Under the "memorialization" policy introduced in 2009, these friends could continue to post messages on a friend's profile after they had died but these would not be public.</p><p>Now Facebook will automatically use the setting you used in life after you die. If...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Wendy MoncurMon, 17 Mar 2014 09:24:00 -0400