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IT Innovation

Mash Up

News, views, trends, and tools

May/June 2015

Apps: Great Getaways
Planning your summer vacation? These helpful travel apps will make it even more enticing.

GateGuru

 
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Turn the journey into a jaunt. GateGuru gives you up-to-date information on in-airport food, shops, and services, keeps you on top of gate changes, and even gives you estimated security wait times to help you make your flight. Free (Android, iOS, Windows Phone).
gateguru.com

Citymapper
Billing itself as “the ultimate urban transport app,” Citymapper does the work of navigating 14 major cities for you. Choose the subway, bus, train, car, bike, or walking. Citymapper plans routes, then gives you information about distance, times, and prices. Free (Android, iOS).
citymapper.com

Time Out City Guides
Insider information takes on a new meaning with Time Out city guides covering more than 50 cities worldwide. Get highlights for history, food, art, entertainment, nightlife, and more, all informed by local expertise. Free (Android, iOS).
timeout.com/city-guides

Image It
When your high school language skills desert you, Image It comes to the rescue by helping you communicate with pictograms. Combine a series of more than 400 images to free yourself from language barriers. US$.99 (Android, iOS).
twitter.com/image_it


Instant Inspection

Been longing for your very own tricorder? SCiO, a molecular sensor that fits in the palm of your hand, is for anyone who wants instant information about the things they’re interacting with or consuming. This tiny device reads the chemical makeup of materials such as food, plants, medication, plastics, and oils using a non-intrusive, no-touch optical sensor—and with every scan, the device gets smarter. Discover how much fat is in any salad dressing, how much sugar is in a particular piece of fruit, how pure an oil is, and more. US$249.
consumerphysics.com/myscio/scio

 
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IT Security First Line of Defense: Employees

More than 85 percent of CIOs in a recent survey say they’re currently taking steps or are planning to take steps in 2015 to improve IT security. Topping the list? Enhancing employee training on IT security issues. Responses came from 2,400 CIOs at US companies with 100 or more employees, and multiple responses were allowed.

 
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Source:
Robert Half Technology
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Do you speak tech? Quiz yourself!
  1. In the term exabyte, the prefix exa- stands for _________
    a. A unit of measurement
    b. Multiplication by the sixth power of 1,000
    c. One quintillion
    d. A group of digits operated on as a unit
  2. The movement behind the field of inquiry that gave rise to devices such as wearable fitness trackers is referred to as _________.
    a. Quantified self
    b. Fitness surveillance
    c. Wearable computing
    c. Humanism
  3. In user interface design, a term associated with user-friendliness is _________.
    a. Xerosere
    b. Xanthic
    c. Xeographic
    d. Xenodochial

Answers
  1. (b) The prefix exa- indicates multiplication by the sixth power of 1,000.
  2. (a) The history of quantimetric self-tracking using wearable computer devices is said to have begun in the 1970s, and the term quantified self is commonly attributed to Wired editors Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly.
  3. (d) Xenodochial describes something that is friendly to strangers and has become synonymous with accessible user interface design elements such as icons and universal symbols.

Power to Go

Hit the road this summer with the world’s smallest battery pack with a standard wall outlet. Power your laptop, tablet, phone, speakers, radio, television, lights, and more—anything, in fact, that can charge by USB or by a standard wall plug. The ChargeAll Portable Power Outlet comes in two sizes and uses AC power for household appliances and DC power for 12V electronics. Starting at US$269.95.
chargetech.com

 

Photography byScott Webb,Unsplash