Weekly tech news roundup for Friday, October 2

Peeple-Banner-Facebook.jm.093015Peeple: a Yelp-style app for rating people
It might be one of the most controversial apps that will ever be launched. The app is called Peeple, and it will let you rate other people…and there’s no way to opt out once someone has reviewed you (and they can do so with only a phone number…even if they make it up). The Washington Post story sent the web (especially the Twittersphere) into a tizz on Thursday and for good reason—the idea that anyone, armed with only your cell phone number, can review you sounds a little bit too much like the Mean Girls “burn book,” does it not? In an ironic twist, the founders of the app got frustrated with all the negativity aimed their direction after the announcement. The app is supposed to arrive in November…assuming it’s not a hoax, which some are speculating.

Kickstarter: Unique, a “smart band” to make your dumb watch, smart
Now THIS seems like a fantastic idea—take a watch you love, and turn it into a smart watch by using a smart watch band.  The band is called Unique, and it’s basically a smartwatch hidden in a band. It has an LED, an activity sensor, a Bluetooth chip and can vibrate with alerts. Okay, so you don’t get a screen, but you can receive notifications, reject calls, monitor your fitness, be reminded if you’re about to leave your phone behind, etc. And, the best part? It’s “only” $169 if you get the early bird special….and you can keep your favorite watch.

Google announces new hardware
The company says it wants to help us stay connected, entertained, and informed on all our streens. So, they unveiled two new Nexus phones, a new tablet, two new Chromecast devices, and updated Google Play Music and Google Photo apps. Google’s blog has the overview of all the goodies.  Gizmodo got to try the Chromecasts and has a review of those.

Apple breaks sales record with iPhone 6S
In the spirit of equal time, it’s worth mentioning that Apple was in the headlines this week for its iPhone 6S sales numbers. They’re reporting they sold 13 million phones in the three days since it launched…beating the sales of any of their previous models by about 3 million.

section-heroThe Tesla X is the SUV everyone wants
Well, maybe not everyone, but a lot of us would love the P90D version that’ll go 0-60 in 3.8 screaming seconds in Ludicrous mode. And, even the non-enhanced version isn’t shabby—the 90D will hit 60 in a whole second more. Both can go 250 miles on a single charge…a charge that only takes 30 minutes. And, come on. Admit it. The auto-sensing Falcon Wing rear doors are just plain cool. Wired is right: Tesla’s Model X is here and it’s as awesome as we hoped. All I need to do is win the lottery to pay for its $142K price tag, and I’m getting one.

Amazon won’t sell Apple TV or Chromecast devices
More accurately, they’re going to stop selling these brands of video streaming devices. Their reasoning is that neither Apple’s nor Google’s “interact well” with its Prime Video service. The move is widely being viewed as Amazon flexing its muscles to boost its own service. Any existing inventory out there on Amazon will be pulled October 29th. Note: Roku devices and Sony’s Xbox and PlayStation won’t be affected since they do work with Prime Video.

OS X El Capitan is here
If you’re a Mac user, be sure to look for updates on your machine (or don’t ignore that reminder next time it pops up). Apple’s newest OS is free so there’s no reason not to update your machine. Not a bad idea to back up your computer before you do it—it’s a classic “better safe than sorry” move for a reason.

Thirsty, high-tech concrete sucks up water like magic
Called Topmix Permeable, this mega-porous concrete from Tarmac can suck up 1,000 gallons of water in one minute. It was designed to be part of a “sustainable urban drainage system”—the water moves through the top layer of concrete, then through pebbles underneath to become groundwater. So, pretty much perfect for anywhere that sees routine flooding. The only bummer? It won’t work in cold climates where the water freezes (unless the company can figure out how to make it work below freezing).

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About Missy Kellor

Missy works on the Corporate Communications team and reports stories to TDS employees and customers. This is right up her alley because she’s an extrovert and also a big fan of research (really, she’ll look up just about anything that strikes her interest). Missy is a native of Madison, Wis. with an undergraduate in Anthropology and a master’s degree in Life Sciences Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her interest in the Internet as a mass media shaped her work towards a PhD in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s also worked as an editorial assistant, copywriter, and production artist. In her off hours, Missy is a crafter, Pinterest addict, reader, wife, and mom of two kids. You can find Missy on G+ and on Twitter.

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