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How LinkedIn Taught Itself to Hire the Best People

July 14, 2014 Back in 2009, few engineers wanted to work for LinkedIn. It was a relative minnow as big Silicon Valley firms go, and not a particularly sexy one either. Compared to the glamorous lifestyle on offer at Google (free food! 20% time!) or Facebook (moving fast! breaking things!), LinkedIn seemed staid. ...

The 'Internet of Things' May Not Always Need an Internet Connection

July 1, 2014 The “internet of things” is one of those odd phrases that can mean many things and nothing at the same time. On one hand, it describes a future that is rapidly becoming the present, with all sorts of objects—from televisions and watches to cups and streetlights—able to connect to the ...

Inside the Hidden World of Offline Auctions for Online Property

June 30, 2014 The man with paddle number 68 wasn’t shy about it. He wanted an adult website, and he wasn’t going to let a few hundred dollars stand in his way. The bids inched ever higher: $3,000, three-one, three-two. The underbidder, an anonymous online account, stopped at three-four. The hammer went down ...

Google’s Latest Empire-Building Tactic: Cheap Phones

June 27, 2014 Here’s the thing about those cheap sub-$100 smartphones that nobody tells you: They’re awful. Many of them use aging hardware to run old versions of Android. People tend to use them like regular phones—except to surf Facebook when they’ve got a Wi-Fi connection. Google knows this. That’s why the first ...

London’s Pervasive Surveillance Can Now Help You Find a Bus Seat

June 23, 2014 There are some great things about London’s iconic double-decker buses, including the view, the sense of space, and the ability (if you nab the front row) to pretend you’re the one driving a giant hulk of metal through the streets. Less great is climbing up the stairs on a busy ...

An Innocent Bot May Have Unwittingly Spread a Virus Around Twitter

June 11, 2014 Less than an hour after it was posted, this tweet had been retweeted by over 36,000 people. The tweet contains a malicious piece of code that affects users of Tweetdeck, a service available in an app or browser that provides an interface with Twitter that juxtaposes multiple streams at the ...

A Tiny Technical Change in iOS 8 Could Stop Marketers Spying on You

June 9, 2014 Whenever you walk around a major Western city with your phone’s Wi-Fi turned on, you are broadcasting your location to government agencies, marketing companies and location analytics firms. In shopping malls, for instance, a firm called Euclid Analytics collects, in its own words, “the presence of the device, its signal ...

The Future of Mobile Phones Doesn’t Include Phone Calls

June 4, 2014 The idea of using a mobile phone to actually talk to people already seems quaint to many young people. According to data presented in Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report (pdf), a biannual study of how the world uses phones, mobile phones will be used less and less for calls, and more ...

What Exactly Those Data Brokers Know About You

May 27, 2014 You probably assume Google and Facebook know everything about you. You may not have heard of a group of companies who possibly know even more. They’re called data brokers, and their business is collecting and selling personal data—typically without your knowledge or consent—that are used to verify identity, help marketers, ...

Connected Cars Face One Big Problem: Staying Connected

May 21, 2014 Connected cars promise to make driving easier, safer, and more fun. In the future, say proponents, drivers will be able to navigate with heads-up displays on their windshields, interact with their automobiles without having to mess about with knobs or touchpads, and stream music and download apps directly to the ...