Friday tech news roundup for July 26, 2013

This week: two examples of high-tech melding with low tech, Google’s instant translator aims to make a sci-fi fiction a reality, new Facebook features lets you say why you hate stuff in your News Feed, plus get the low down on the new Furbies and see some straight-cutting scissors.

PostifierIs the walk to your snail mailbox long?
Then don’t go out unless you have to! There’s a new gadget on Indiegogo.com called the Postifier, “the only Bluetooth device to notify your smartphone if post [mail] arrived.” It’s a small device with a battery life of between 6-9 months you leave in your mailbox. If mail has been left in your box, you’ll get a notification on your smartphone. I kind of love the meshing of old technology and new, don’t you?

Buying digital currency…in person?
Speaking of melding old technology with the new, I think this story is fascinating: Wired magazine had a report this week about folks who gather in person to trade Bitcoins (remember that Barclay told you about them a bit ago). Here’s a currency that was designed to be virtual, and yet people are humanizing the process. Even in a digital world, there’s a desire for (and advantages to) face-to-face interactions.

Sci-fi fans rejoice! Google is developing a universal translator
It seems like on any sci-fi show or movie there’s a device, telepathic field, implant—something—that automatically, and instantly, translates what anyone says or reads. According to The Times, Google is working on just such a device. Seriously, now how cool would that be?

Tell Facebook why you hid that last News Feed post
Facebook plans on finding out why you don’t like something on your News Feed. ABC News got the story. Right now, you can hide it, but Facebook has no idea why. They’d like to find out. Facebook is not sharing details as to what the new functionality might look like, but plans to roll something out to users “soon” with some tweaks over the next three to four months.

furby boomWarning: new Furbies ahead
Engadget reported this week that there is yet another generation of coming to store shelves before the holidays. The latest version will be even more interactive (and likely even more annoying) due to a new Furby Boom app. With the app, your child can name their Furby (and it will learn its new name), and it becomes a bit Tamagotchi-like by showing how hungry, healthy and clean it is. It apparently will even need bathroom breaks. Oh joy. Engadget has photos and a video.

But you can wrap that Furby with new straight-cutting scissors
If it comes to market, that is. Wired got the story about an industrial design student who set out to create a better pair of scissors. Frustrated with imperfect cuts, he found a way to use the surface of the table you cut on to make the scissors stable. They sure look cool. I’d buy a pair!

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.
No comments yet.

Leave a Comment