Ideas, Intelligence, Events and Promotions from WIRED

Gesture-Controlled Armband Controller

Image via ThalmicLabs

We’ve had a glimpse of the future with various gesture-controlled devices, but this one is different. It’s for much more than gaming.

Myo (pronounced “me-oh”) is an armband that detects movements in your forearm muscles. What does that mean for you? It’s a motion-controlled wristband that can interact with just about any device. Your pointer finger can act as a gun in a point-and-shoot game. A twist of your wrist mimics a steering wheel for your quadrocopter. And a snap of your fingers can turn your music on. (Watch it in action here.) Hey, if I get to feel like Tom Cruise in Minority Report, then I’m sold.

Preorder Myo for $149 here

IT Girl

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|  April 9th, 2014

Ello: The Ad-Free Social Network

Image via Ello

The people behind Ello have lofty ambitions: to create an ad-free social network that will never sell its user’s data or monetize in any way. Right now, all the people behind the project are donating their time to make this dream a reality.

Beyond lofty ambitions, Ello also has lofty accusations. But let’s be honest – they are true. On a site like Facebook, the user is the product. Every move he makes is tracked and converted into data that translates into ads and sales. Ello’s manifesto reads a little something like this: “We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate – but a place to connect, create and celebrate life.”

Read more about the invite-only Ello and its chance for success at the DailyDot

IT Girl

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|  April 2nd, 2014

Turn Your Paper Notebooks Digital

Image via Mod Notebooks

Two roads diverged in a wood. One was paper. One was digital. Which road do you take? I tend to stand in the middle and not know where to go. I still have a paper assignment notebook, but I did buy a cool LUNATIK TouchPen for my iPad’s Paper app that allows me to digitally doodle any ideas that pop into my head. I may have found my happy medium though.

Mod Notebook is a hardcover notebook with a pre-paid envelope in back. When you’re done filling all of the pages with your thoughts and doodles, send the notebook back. Mod will scan and digitize it for free within 5 days. Your digitized pages are then accessible from the Mod app. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s a bit of both worlds, and that might be just what this girl needs. 

IT Girl

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|  April 2nd, 2014

Do You Nuzzel?

Image via Nuzzel

Now that Nuzzel is open to everyone, I’ve fully jumped on board. Sure, there are a million ways to get your news and to stay in touch with friends online, but I think Nuzzel is on to something…

It’s a social news service that keeps track of what your Facebook and Twitter friends are reading and sharing. It’s like Facebook but without all of the baby pictures and stupid status updates. Your newsfeed – which can be public or private – is just a culmination of what stories your friends care about and their comments. Their tweets and status updates appear below each link in easy-to-read and nicely organized format. See an example of a newsfeed here.

Will you sign up? Tweet us @WIREDInsider.

IT Girl

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|  March 26th, 2014

Wearable Tech for Daters

Image via Flickr

It’s almost impossible to keep up with the latest online dating trends, but these concepts are quite unique from the apps and sites already out there. They’re bringing online dating back into the real world.

One is a wearable pendant that alerts you when a single prospect with similar interests is nearby. The other is a glowing charm bracelet that lets you broadcast your interests – and availability – to the world around you. Awesome, right? But I’ve heard enough stories about friends getting “matched” with an off-limits person (say, a friend’s sister or a coworker they’re not interested in). Imagine sitting in on a meeting with your boss, and both your pendants start buzzing. Awkward…

Learn more about these concepts at WIRED

IT Girl

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|  March 26th, 2014

Put Some Wood On It

Image via TOAST

You can never go wrong with a wood finish. Just take a look at the time old Woodie wagon. There’s something about sleek technology covered in a sleek hardwood polish that screams “class.”

TOAST makes affordable laser-cut wood smartphone covers that feel like a piece of art – or an investment piece of furniture. Hey, the designer was a furniture maker. Choose from multiple finishes and multiple designs – one of which is a bird on a branch, of course, because these bad boys are made in Portland. (“Put a bird on it!”) There’s even an option to add custom text.

The best part is that nobody feels left out. TOAST makes covers for almost every smartphone and tablet under the sun – this isn’t just an Apple thing. Find them here

IT Girl

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|  March 19th, 2014

Post-It Flash Drives

Image via dataSTICKIES

This is just a concept so don’t get too excited. But imagine if transferring a file from one computer to another was as easy as sticking a Post-it flag on the surface of one computer, peeling it off, and then sticking it to another.

The dataSTICKIES concept is just that. The technology behind it is way more confusing than what I just explained – you can read a more detailed explanation at PSFK. Basically, each device would need to have an Optical Data Transfer Surface. That’s how the magic happens and how the files transfer.

If I could carry photos or today’s work presentation on a disposable Post-it note flash drive that stuck easily to the inside of my tablet cover or phone wallet, I would do it in a second. I’ll be waiting, dataSTICKIES…

IT Girl

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|  March 19th, 2014

Why Don’t Teens Like Facebook?

Image via WIRED

It seems like not too long ago, teens spent too much time on Facebook. These days there’s been a lot of chatter about the teeny bopper set’s obsession with Snapchat – and their lack of enthusiasm for Facebook. (There’s one reason why Facebook wanted to buy Snapchat – and why Snapchat didn’t want to sell.) But what exactly is it that kicked Facebook out of the popular crowd? Parents and permanence.

Teens don’t want to attend the same parties their parents do. And they sure as heck don’t want to be held responsible for every thing they do and say. (Although sometimes they don’t have a choice.) Facebook is a permanent record of their negligent acts and mom and dad are sitting front row. I’m very, very happy that Facebook didn’t exist until the end of my college career. I don’t blame teens for giving Facebook the cold shoulder and finding a trustworthy friend in Snapchat. Do you?

Read more about what Facebook has to do to win back teens at WIRED.

IT Girl

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|  March 12th, 2014

Pay It Forward

Image via Giving Keys

I love when technology can jump off the screen and into the real world. When two old friends can rediscover each other thanks to the Internet. When one fantastic product idea can crowd source enough funds to become a reality. When a nobody can become a pop star thanks to YouTube.

The Giving Keys is a small but powerful project. The Never Ending Necklace or Never Ending Bracelet is a repurposed key pendant stamped with a message like “Courage,” “Do Good,” or “Fearless.” The owner embraces the message with each wear until it’s time to pass it along to someone who needs the message more. Then the former owner shares the story of why they gave it away. It’s simple. It’s heartwarming. It’s real. And thanks to technology, we all get to enjoy the benefits of paying it forward. 

IT Girl

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|  March 12th, 2014

What Happens to Your Facebook After You Die?

Image via Flickr

Think of your digital footprint. Online profiles. Photos. Updates. Where does it go when you’re not around anymore?

Facebook allows profiles of the recently deceased to be “memorialized” by their loved ones. You can read more about the process here. Once Facebook receives legitimate proof, Facebook will change the account to a memorialized status without sharing the log-in information with anyone. And that’s probably why they’ve recently decided to keep the privacy settings exactly as they were before the person passed away – no more, no less. There’s no way for a loved one to alter that unless a legitimate family member requests the removal of the account.

What do you think about the process? What would you want done with your account?

IT Girl

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|  March 5th, 2014