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There is no sadder moment than the one where you realize it's time to upgrade your computer. The load times are too slow, the battery no longer holds a charge, and it's just too damn heavy. Now, imagine a school with dozens of outdated computers, and think just how bad that moment of realization can really be. Neverware, a company based out of NY, is aiming to change all that with a turnkey solution that automatically boosts performance of old computers for a low monthly fee. Obviously, demand for this type of service is high, especially in the education industry, which is why Neverware has just closed a $1 million round from investors that include Thrive Capital, Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Collaborative Fund, and Nihal Mehta.
Jolla has finally taken the wraps off the smartphone hardware that will be paired with its "unlike" Sailfish UI. Being a startup is challenging enough in any business sector but Jolla is seeking to compete in the fiercely competitive smartphone space against Samsung and Apple. So it's hard not to dismiss their efforts as too late. But it's a lot harder to accuse them of doing too little.
It’s been a little over a year since Google started teasing something it called “Project Glass.” The futuristic, wearable computer that would change the way that you interact with the world was nothing more than a series of rumors for months before it was “formally introduced” in April 2012. Not known for hardware and not having a current bonafide physical device that was popular among consumers, many opined that this was Google’s way of begging for attention. It might have been, and it definitely worked. In 13 months, Glass has gone from Star Trek fantasy to reality. It’s been quite the whirlwind of activity. The “wearable computing” age is upon us, and it’s been widely reported that Apple was working on a watch, therefore many assumed that Google was working on a similar device to keep up. This was not the case and Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin took special interest in the Glass project and has been leading the charge going back to when the prototype weighed about eight pounds in August 2011. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, because a lot has happened over the past year in Glassland. It’s real(ish) The video from Google itself got sent people’s imaginations into overdrive. It was called “One day…” and gave us a glimpse into the life of a daily user of what Google had up its sleeve. We now know that the “One day…” reference had more to do with what the product could become, not what it would be in its first iteration: The user experience in this video is aspirational at best, as the current iteration of Glass is more of a complement and utility to your day, rather than the augmented reality “enhancer” as this video demonstrates. Still, the elements that make Glass handy are all there, taking calls, getting directions and taking pictures from a new point of view. Immediately after the video, and public admonishment that the project was real, the press wondered out loud if Apple should compete and that other companies should stand up and take notice. We also now know that the rumored final name for the device, Google Eye, isn’t likely. Good thing, because it sounds way creepier than Glass. We’ll get to more “creepiness” later. It was clear that Glass was getting a lot of attention, both positive and negative, from the start. Even Jon Stewart did a parody
Joshua Pearce, PhD, is a researcher at Michigan Tech who rearches open source and low-impact solutions to engineering problems. He is also the founder of the Printers For Peace contest, an effort to bring together clever 3D-printed ideas that have loftier aims. You can win one of two 3D printers if you submit the winning project.
There's plenty of buzz about the concept of making our cities "smarter" -- that is, loading them up with sensors and data-driven services to improve efficiency and quality of life. Hell, even Google has taken to loading up its event venues with scores of sensors. Most of the discussion out there deals with how local governments are working toward this lofty, nebulous goal, but a team called Acrobotics Industries is trying to put with onus on the citizens themselves. To that end the team has kicked off a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign for a small sensor array called the Smart Citizen kit in hopes that people will start collecting and sharing their environmental data with the world.