Staff picks for the week of Oct. 10, 2016

Staff Picks GeneralHappy Friday! Here are the most interesting tech stories our staff read this week.

How people actually get on board with new technologies (Read by Camillia S.)

You may or may not remember when, in 1995, scientist Clifford Stoll brushed the internet off as nothing more than a fad. It seems ridiculous now, but his reaction wasn’t out of the ordinary. As a study about drone deliveries by the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General indicates, humans aren’t exactly 100 percent open to new technology. I can believe it; after all, I still hand wash dishes. It may be harder, but that’s the way I was taught. So how do we eventually adopt and embrace the new technology we once shunned? Read the article to find out!

The bathroom mirror gets smart (Read by Camillia S.)

If you’re like me, problematic skin didn’t fade away after high school. Pimples, uneven skin, dry patches, and other skin ailments still wreak havoc in the lives of millions, keeping dermatologists and the makers of Proactiv in business. And now tech companies are hopping on the bandwagon. The HiMirror by New Kinpo Group is an internet-connected camera that assesses your complexion and provides suggestions to get the clear skin of your dreams. You can even scan in the barcodes of your current beauty products, check the weather, and play your favorite tunes on Spotify. I wouldn’t ditch my dermatologist for the HiMirror, but getting a quick skin checkup in the comfort of your own home might be worth the $189 price tag!

 This startup has a cure for the worst part of your day (Read by Alexandria H.)

With the average commute time in the U.S. now at 45 minutes, it’s safe to say that getting to and from work is probably one of the most dreaded parts of the day. Ride-sharing apps have alleviated some of the burden, but they haven’t quite mastered the art of carpooling, which is where startup Scoop comes in. Knowing people’s work schedule changes, often without much notice, Scoop offers flexibility. Users can schedule their morning and evening rides separately and even get reimbursed in the event they can’t get a ride. So far the company has helped eliminate 1.3 million pounds of CO2 emissions in the Bay Area. Read on to learn more about what this ridesharing app is doing for the carpooling community.

An iPhone-friendly doorbell ensures you’ll never miss UPS again (Read by Alexandria H.)

If you’ve ever missed a package because you weren’t home to receive it from the delivery man, or you just hate rushing to answer the door, you’ll want to keep reading. A Kickstarting company has a solution — the Ding Smart Doorbell. This high-tech doorbell uses WiFi to connect to your mobile phone, and calls you when someone’s at the door. The doorbell then doubles as an intercom, letting you speak to the person as if you were home, just unable to make it to the door. While this gadget might not be useful if you have to actually sign for your delivery, I do think it’s a nifty idea.

The biggest news at Microsoft Ignite was all about Azure

microsoftMicrosoft’s flagship Ignite conference just wrapped up, and I still have Azure on my mind. The cloud computing platform received considerable attention at the conference, and for good reason: Connectivity and security improvements, as well as new partnerships, set the roadmap for its future.

Microsoft presented dozens of advancements, innovations, and upgrades at Ignite, from nifty upgrades (improvements to the Surface Pen allow it to cross out and delete text) to functional enhancements to core products (Exchange 2016 has better interoperability with SharePoint 2016). Other big stories included Docker’s inclusion in Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft’s push to “democratize AI.” (more…)

The 3 biggest takeaways from VMworld 2016

technologiesThe cloud is here, but it’s complicating life for IT managers. VMware is attempting to cut the complexity out of the equation.

That was a theme of this year’s VMworld, as the company shared its vision of delivering any application, on any device, by leveraging any cloud. Many of the innovations debuted at VMworld can be categorized as stripping away the complexities and silos that arise through the use of different types of clouds.

Here are three major takeaways I learned from the 2016 VMworld. (more…)