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  1. Imagine playing Fruit Ninja by waving your finger in the air or playing a first person shooter game without the use of a controller. Leap Motion can give you all that for $79.99. You can manipulate images, zoom into maps, and play games with a flick of your wrist. It may seem like a little bit of a first-world-problem-targeting invention, but think of the possibilities! 

    This is going on my things-to-buy list.

     

  2. El Sajjadah, an illuminating prayer mat that lights up when facing Mecca, combines User Experience and Religion in a most unique way. For all Muslims in North America, you’re probably aware of the many apps that allow you to find the direction of Qibla. El Sajjadah takes that to the next level and incorporates it into a prayer mat.

    They’re in the middle of their Kickstarter campaign and are far from reaching their goal. Please take a minute to contribute whatever you can to this really cool project!

     


  3. The Future of Responsiveness

    Now that everything’s going mobile, we’re more connected to the web than ever before.

    If you’re anything like me, you have a Twitter app as well as a desktop client that you use to tweet. When someone mentions you on Twitter, your phone gives you a notification. This is great if you’re out and about and would like to stay in touch. But it’s redundant if you’re sitting in front of a computer and noticed the tweet come in as soon as your phone pinged you.

    This is where the future of responsiveness comes in. Usually referred to as the layout of sites and the presentability of media in different forms of computers and screens, I think the future of technology will soon live and breathe responsiveness. That’s how we’re going to mesh together with machines and almost… become them. Scary thought. More on that later.

    I would love for my devices to communicate with each other in a way that they work together to bring me the best combined experience I could ever ask for. If I’m home and in front of my computer, I want my phone to know to not ping me. As soon as I step outside the house or am in commute, I want my phone or tablet to realize this and start notifying me of the happenings in the social media world.

    Wouldn’t that be lovely? I think so!

     


  4. Techonomy 2011 

    Techonomy is an invite-only conference that is in session from November 13-15 in Tucson for 2011. As the name suggests, it’s a conference that looks into how Technology affects our (the US’s) economy.

    I was live streaming the event and didn’t catch most of it because I have a day job that requires my attention, but I did listen to a very interesting panel on Jobs in the Digital Age. Panel members included Steve Forbes (CEO of Forbes) and Steve Case (Revolution LLC) Here are my notes from it:

    • Immigration is insane in the United States. Universities in the US attract the brightest minds from around the globe bar. Once these people have received the best education, our immigration system forces them to leave the country.
    • There are less start-ups today. There are 23% less start-ups today than the 70’s. If we had maintained the number of start-ups, we would have 2 million more jobs today.
    • The system for investing in new businesses is flawed. You don’t have to be an accredited gambler to invest $10M in Vegas, but you need to be one to invest $10M in a small business.
    • The key lies in the dollar being stabilized.
    • Tuition is increasing too much for people who want to receive an education to do so. This is important to note because the job market for people without a university education is the worst. The market for grads has barely changed.
    • Health care should become a free market. Do you realize how ridiculous it is to not know how much any health care service costs? If you walk in to hospital in the US right now and ask them how much a service costs, they will look at you like you’re either very poor or a foreigner. Swap “medical service” with a bottle of wine and you realize it’s absurd. You’d never order a bottle of wine without looking at the price and letting BlueShield take care of it.
    • If trashing money was the way to go, Zimbabwe and Argentina would be ruling the world.
    • In 5 years, the dollar should be pegged to the gold.
    • Apple, Microsoft, HP were all start-ups once upon a time.
     

  5. Gone are the days when companies used separate phones for office numbers. Now, everything can be connected to one device. Your device! Recently, Wattpad HQ got a company phone line complete with employee extensions and everything. But instead of having to set up bulky handsets on our individual desks, we got a nifty little email that instructed us on how to set up our extensions to forward to our cell phones.

    Neat!

    I use an iPhone 4. Luckily, there are plenty of “softphone” apps on iTunes. I was recommended “Zioper” by Securax Ltd. 

    Basically, all I have to do is input my credentials onto the simple account settings page and I’m done! The interface looks very similar to the native phone on the iPhone for familiarity purposes, but still different enough for you to be able to differentiate it.

    And get this: you can call yourself! It doesn’t offer a lot of use unless you want to get out of a painful conversation/encounter, but it’s fun!

    It’s worked fine for me so far. Any other VoIP apps I should check out?

     

  6. Have you ever had to really get in touch with a real, live person and instead had to navigate through several layers of pages bombarding you with “Did you check our FAQ section?” over and over again? Has it made you feel a little helpless?

    Tumblr is simple. It makes blogging easy enough for your grandma to grasp. Another thing it does is well is accessibility. Unlike every other major social/tech platform out there.

    Instead of linking users through a series of forums trying to figure out if their question is stupid or not - it allows you access to a real, live, talking person to direct questions you couldn’t find the answers to in the help centre.