Tech news for this week: delete old online accounts in one place, get in line for the Yahoo username you’ve always wanted, learn about what might be the ultimate keyboard, find out what new words made the Oxford Online Dictionary this year, meet Daryl Oster—Elon Musk’s biggest Hyperloop completion, and science fiction becomes reality with real mind control.
How many old online accounts do you have floating around?
If you’re like me, quite a few. Enter what NPR aptly calls, “a lovely, simple site” called JustDelete.Me. On the surface it’s a simple list of websites, color coded to reflect how difficult it is to delete your account (from easy to impossible). But, there’s also information detailing how to delete accounts on each site listed. Having so much information in one spot is pretty handy. NPR had the story, and in related news…
Get in line for a recycled Yahoo username
If there’s a username you’ve wanted but it’s already taken, you might just get a crack at it. This week Yahoo announced that they are distributing recycled usernames. Folks who put their names on a wish list before the August 7th deadline are now getting invitations. When a name become available, the recipient has 14 days to claim it before it goes to the next person in line. You can get your top five username choices added to the watch list for $1.99 (for the next three years).
Best keyboard ever?
If you’re looking to replace your keyboard, ask someone who spends most of their life on one…like Jeff Atwood. He’s a professional programmer and coding expert and he’s developed what just might be the ultimate keyboard. His CODE keyboard is mechanical so it has a nice touch, but is also backlit (unusual for a mechanical board), you can swap the keys around for different typing configurations (so if you’re a Dvorak user, you’re in luck), it also has navigation buttons, and more. As a writer who also spends a ton of time on a keyboard, it looks pretty sexy to me! TechCrunch and Engadget have more details about this $150 piece of tech.
Selfie, Bitcoin, squee and others added to the Oxford Online Dictionary
You probably know the definitions of these three, but there are plenty of others added that you might not know (or at least I didn’t). Words such as “dappy,” “FOMO,” and “MOOC” were completely new in my world. I always find it interesting and not “derp” (speech regarded as meaningless or stupid or to comment on a foolish or stupid action) that our language continues to change and grow. TechCrunch lists all the new additions.
Bigger than the Hyperloop?
I found myself getting sucked into this article about Daryl Oster and his Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies concept. Mashable had the story. It ends up that Oster and Musk (I told you about the Hyperloop a few weeks ago) are monkeying around with the same concept, but each with their own “flavor.” Musk’s concept doesn’t use air-less tubes or magnetic levitation for his transport tubes. Oster envisions vacuum tubes combined with mag-lev which would eliminate resistance entirely (and make a trip from New York to LA possible in 21 minutes (!!). If you’ve got a few minutes this pre-Labor Day afternoon, I highly recommend reading the article.
Control someone’s brain remotely
Sure, it sounds like science fiction, but two researchers at the University of Washington have done it. If both people are wearing something called transcranial magnetic stimulation coils, a signal can be sent to the other person’s brain. The researchers have been able to control simple hand movements so far. Let’s hope their technology doesn’t fall into the hands of a pair of young siblings or it’ll put a whole new spin on the “Stop hitting yourself!” game. TechCrunch has a nice summary and video of the breakthrough.