Google's offices offer up a lot of free stuff. Including M&Ms. which until recently were placed in giant bowls across the tech company's offices -- until the company figured out that there was too much candy being consumed, a direct obstacle to the firm's efforts to keep workers healthy. Instead of just taking the candy away, however, Google approached the problem with a special force, one made up of behavioral scientists that studied snacking patterns of psychology to solve the problem.
From their distinctive ringtones to their super-strong hardware, Nokia phones hold a special place in many people's hearts. For many, they were the first mobile phones they ever owned. Now that Microsoft has bought the company's devices and services division, The Verge pays tribute to the most iconic phones created by the Finnish retailer. If you want more, The Atlantic presents a phone tour of the late '90s, and the Times revisits a 1999 profile on Nokia chief designer Frank Nuovo.
While the tech world buzzes about Samsung's smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, Businessweek points to a smartwatch that seems to be much more innovative than that one, or the scores of Pebbles and iWatches dotting the wearable tech market. A Canadian startup, Bionym, has been demoing a device that tracks your heartbeat to determine your identity -- bypassing the traditional password in favor of a function that will unlock your phone or computer once brought near your wrist.
This week, marketing tech company Acxiom opened up the kimono with AbouttheData.com, a new website that lets customers take a look at the data the company has on them -- such as the pets they own and the hobbies they have. It's an attempt to assuage consumer paranoia about Big Brother, but critics say the move isn't enough. [pictured, Scott Howe, CEO]
It seems like an idea conceived while under the influence -- building a tether that extends about 25% of the way to the moon. Once up, step off and get flung into space. It's cheap, but seemingly impossible. However, attendees at a recent conference organized by the International Space Elevator Consortium in Seattle think it's a possibility -- the problem is finding the "unobtainium" that will make the structure buildable.
Your Favorite Sites, Anime-Style
Firefox is, well, foxy, Chrome is a slick hipster and Instagram is a friendly bow-tie wearing dandy in the eyes of artist Jon-Lock, who has tranformed some of the web's most valuable properties into anime characters. Hat tip to Kotaku. We can't wait to see what he'll do with Yahoo!, but it looks like somebody's already been arting all over that.