Smart homes are seriously taking over the world. Remember when Disney Channel's Smart House premiered in 1999 and we all thought that having a smart home assistant that could talk seemed like the distant future? Yeah, not so far-fetched anymore. No, our smart home assistants don't appear as holograms of 1950s moms (yet). Instead, they come in the form of compact devices and respond to names like Alexa, Google, and Siri — which, honestly, is a lot less creepy than the movie. The smart home market gets a bit more saturated every day, with new devices popping up all the time. Perhaps the thing stopping you from jumping into the connected tech deep is not knowing which device is right for you. Or maybe you're shopping around for a gift. SEE ALSO: Which robot vacuum should you get? This guide can help you figure it out. With six devices in the Amazon Echo family, three in the Google Home family, and now with the newly debuted Apple HomePod family, trying to figure out which device … [Read more...] about Best smart home hubs: The differences between the Echo and other Amazon devices, Google Home, and Apple HomePod
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The best iPad games No-one predicted the meteoric rise of gaming on iOS, and we're not sure anyone knew what the iPad was for at all when it first appeared.However, Apple's tablet has become a very able gaming platform. With more screen space than the iPhone, games have the means to be more immersive. The iPad's therefore a perfect platform for adventure games, strategy titles and puzzlers. Not sure which iPad is best? We've got them listed on our best iPad ranking - or you can check out the best tablets list to see the full range available now.But, just like the iPhone, there are so many iPad games that it's tough to unearth the gems and avoid the dross. That's our mission here - to bring you the very best iPad games, mixing traditional fare with titles that could only have appeared on a capable and modern multi-touch device.New: Adventures of Poco Eco – Lost Sounds ($3.99/£3.99/AU$5.99)Adventures of Poco Eco – Lost Sounds is as much an exploratory experience as a … [Read more...] about Best iPad games: the top free and paid-for titles around
Australian Taxation Office (ATO) officials have opted for home-grown software development to keep the Change Program on track, and have all but ruled out offshore labour. The ATO has handed its vendor partner for the Change Program, Accenture, a AU$224 million contract to handle changes to superannuation introduced in last year's federal budget. The ATO has been forced to implement the changes concurrently with its Change Program, which was already running on a tight schedule. ATO staff are currently working to replace legacy mainframes -- its integrated core processing (ICP) system -- as part of the Change Program. ATO second commissioner Greg Farr had previously refused to rule out using offshore labour in the Change Program, but a Wollongong-based Accenture software development centre has just about cancelled that possibility. "[That] will be devoted to the Change Program, at least initially," Farr told ZDNet Australia. The centre will comprise 70 to 100 people, including some … [Read more...] about ATO gongs offshore development
WIRED Logo Click to share this story on Facebook Click to share this story on Twitter Click to email this story SCROLL DOWN SCROLL DOWN That statement probablyrequires some explanation. Two researchers named Adam Hammond and Julian Brooke have spent the past few years developing software that analyzes literary databases. Their program can identify dozens of structural and stylistic details in huge chunks of text, and if you give them a collection of great stories—stories that maybe you wished you had written—they are able to identify all the details that those great stories have in common. That’s where I come in: I write stories for a living. (My last one was about werewolf billionaires. It was fiction.) And I’ve watched technology infiltrate countless trades and crafts, oftentimes improving how people do their jobs, all while passing storytellers by. Where’s the technology that can make me better at my job? … [Read more...] about What Happens When an Algorithm Helps Write Science Fiction
With The Leftovers complete, we’ve decided to republish this story from earlier in the season. The finale, one of the show’s best episodes, is small, quiet, and — for a show about grief, death, and existential ambiguity — daringly optimistic about the beauty of life. Yes, if you hated the Lost finale, you should watch. But really, the show’s recommendation extends to everybody who enjoys art that pushes them to ask questions and, when they don’t find perfect answers, to embrace mystery. This piece was originally published on May 1st, 2017. For three years following the 2010 finale of Lost — the network drama about a plane crash on a tropical island, metaphysics, and a statue with only four toes — co-creator Damon Lindelof fielded questions from fans and critics who were unsatisfied with how the show did or didn’t explain its biggest mysteries. The Verge itself may have provided one the most confrontational interviews, a whopping … [Read more...] about You hated Lost’s ending? It’s time to watch The Leftovers
How do you make a great camera even better? By Dan Seifert on December 15, 2014 10:30 am @dcseifert 104 I love my Fujifilm X100S. It’s the best camera I’ve ever owned. I actually sold my Canon DSLR rig and Sony mirrorless system to fund its purchase earlier this year, making it the only camera currently in my arsenal. I’m not alone, either: there are countless fans of Fujifilm’s X100 series across the world, including here at The Verge, where a number of my colleagues have also purchased the X100S for personal and professional use. So I’m wondering, how do you make a great thing even better? That’s the question I’m asking as I pick up the X100T, the X100S’ successor and the third camera in the series. The prior two generations earned countless accolades and passionate fans because they wonderfully blend beautiful retro design, hands-on manual controls, compact size, and stellar image quality. Fujifilm knows that it has a good … [Read more...] about Fujifilm’s X100T is even better camera than its predecessor without changing our favorite features.
If you’re developing a hugely successful independent messaging app, you need to stay on your toes while the big names try and cash in on your idea. For Snapchat, that means adding extra features and functions to its app: the recent launch of Stories (longer, more permanent snaps) has proved a hit with users, and the next upgrade in the pipeline is called Our Story.As reported by Josh Constine at TechCrunch, who had an early preview of the way Our Story works, the feature pulls together photos and videos from any user based around a single event. You can think of it as the equivalent of a Twitter hashtag in the way it gives users the opportunity to check out snaps being posted by other people whether or not they are connected as friends.There are some crucial differences, however: firstly, Our Story is geo-fenced, so only users who are actually at an event can contribute. Secondly, Snapchat curates the feed, so low-quality or irrelevant content is removed. In theory that should … [Read more...] about Snapchat takes on the hashtag with Our Story
When Oracle released version 6 of its database, Jay Hemmady, then CIO of an information services provider in the trucking sector, decided it was time to take a calculated risk. Knowing Oracle was in a tough financial position, "we took the opportunity to negotiate incredible pricing," Hemmady says. But Hemmady and his team didn't stop there. They locked in provisions for future licensing as well. "Even five years after signing up with them, our licensing and support costs were unbelievably low," he adds.Hemmady's triumph provides a fourfold lesson for IT buyers in search of a great deal: Arm yourself with the right information; know when you have leverage and use it; negotiate for the future as well as the present; and take a calculated risk once in a while -- as long as you know that's what you're doing.If you don't, you may not sense when a deal is too good to be true, such as one cut by the CTO of a well-known nonprofit organization. "We got a great deal on some vertical, … [Read more...] about Seven strategies for highly effective buyers
When Microsoft announced on Thursday that it was changing its business practices to be more open — specifically to release documentation on its APIs and protocols — many people reacted with disbelief. The European Commission, which has battled Microsoft for a decade over anticompetitiveness, said in very blunt terms that it didn’t believe Microsoft was sincere. After all, Microsoft has made the “open” promise before but never delivered.Yet in this case Microsoft’s commitment may be genuine. For many years, developers have asked Microsoft to open up and enable them make to modifications to applications. By all appearances, that's exactly what the company is doing.[ Read more about Microsoft's new policy and the reaction to it in InfoWorld's special report. ]What Microsoft really did In a show of good faith, Microsoft published about 30,000 pages of documents on the APIs and communications protocols for the latest versions of key products: Windows … [Read more...] about Is Microsoft turning over a new leaf?
This is the third year in a row that I’ve asked friends and colleagues of mine to make predictions for the coming year. Get the Free Tracker App to find a Luvabella in Stock In the past, when I’ve done these predictions, I’ve turned to mostly traders who follow public stocks. The predictions have been about the best long ideas, the best short ideas, and the estimated return of the S&P 500 in the coming year.Rather than continue with that format, I decided to change it this year.Instead of market predictions, I asked people for their best “sleeper ideas” for 2014. A sleeper idea is something that few people see coming. It’s a little followed idea that suddenly goes mainstream.In 2013, few people were talking about 3D printing and Bitcoin in January. Yet everyone was at the end of the year.So when I approached people for this year’s list, I simply said, “give me your top 3 “sleeper ideas”… they … [Read more...] about The Best “Sleeper Ideas” For Trends, Stocks, And Private Companies To Watch In 2014