Staff picks for the week of Nov. 16, 2015

Staff Picks GeneralWe often don’t think about the technology that impacts our everyday lives, or how it originates. From where the Internet lives to the Hollywood star who helped invent Wi-Fi, there are several behind-the-scenes technology stories worth telling. Read on for your weekly dose of tech news.

Few options for veterans looking to enter tech (Read by Camillia S.)

Coding is a buzzword of the past few years that’s brought attention to a skill in use for decades. It’s a valuable skill, and it’s a lot of hard work. Which is what attracts everyone to it, including our veterans. We often don’t think about the restrictions veterans encounter in the job market because many of us probably aren’t aware. I know I wasn’t, but I was glad to hear that certain nonprofits are aiming to get veterans into the tech industry, a difficult mission when their G.I. Bill doesn’t cover certain training, like coding bootcamps. The more doors we can open for our troops the better, so send this to the techie veteran in your life.

The Internet lives in a huge hotel in Manhattan (Read by Rich A.)

We don’t give it much thought, but, we’re all connected to the Internet in some way, shape, or form for much of the day, whether through a mobile device, smart TV, or everyday PC. Chances are, though, we give even less thought to how the Internet actually arrives on those devices. Enter New York’s carrier hotels – home to the Internet. Complete with 24/7 personnel, enormous power supplies, and numerous security checkpoints, these “armed fortresses” host hundreds of domestic and international networks that provide a direct connection to the websites we all know and love, like this one. So the next time you stream a video or laugh at a meme, take a second to think about what it takes for you to get your daily fix.

Coming to a grocery store aisle near you: Robots (Read by Heidi B.)

Your local supermarket could soon get a futuristic twist thanks to Tally, a new inventory management robot. While cruising down each aisle, Tally takes pictures of shelves and uploads them to the cloud where they’re compared to an “ideal store” that shows where products should be and what they should be priced. A report is then sent to the store manager revealing what is misplaced, mispriced, and out of stock. Tally is speedy, too; it can scan a small grocery store in 30 or 40 minutes (a lot faster than a human). This proves robots belong in more places than just sci-fi movies.

Google Doodle honors Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood star and Wi-Fi inventor (Read by Ed M.)

Thirty years ago, Bruce Springsteen claimed he “learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school.” Writing it today, he could have swapped “record” with “Google doodle.” Google’s Doodle on Nov. 9, honoring what would have been the 101st birthday of Hedy Lamarr, taught us that, in addition to being voted “the most beautiful woman in the world” and sharing countless movie marquees with nearly all of Hollywood’s leading men, Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a technology designed to help Allied torpedoes overcome the jamming techniques of the Axis powers. Although the Navy did not implement their patented technology until the 1960s (during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis), the principles of their work have been incorporated into modern WiFi, CDMA, and Bluetooth technology. Lamarr was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.

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