Omar Gallaga: Digital Savant

Open Source

Tech Crawl: The weekend when global cyberattacks were a ransomware wake-up call 

Happy Monday, everyone who managed to get on a computer or phone this morning without being hacked. You’re among the lucky ones! Here’s the tech news we’re following today: Cyberattacks: the next wave The weekend was very bad for those who were hit...

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How the Nintendo Switch defied skeptics (including this one) to become the most-wanted console

I was wrong. I can admit that now with the comfort of knowing that I don’t have to be wrong any longer and with a Nintendo Switch gripped tightly in my hands. Back on March 3, gaming titan Nintendo released Switch, a frankly weird video-game device...

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Open Source

Talking with Texas Standard about devices that listen and watch you all the time

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio program, we’re talking about all the technology devices that are continually listening to you (usually waiting for a command) and whether you should be worried about where that audio is going and how it’s being...

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Reality: Austin’s VR game maker Owlchemy Labs snapped up by Google

Austin’s Owlchemy Labs, which has been a bright spot in Austin’s burgeoning virtual-reality gaming and filmmaking scene, has been acquired by Google. Owlchemy is responsible for one of the few hits among VR games so far, “Job Simulator,” which was...

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Open Source

Did Austin tech doom Austin’s music scene in 1984? Not so much, it turns out

If you’ve got a few minutes, you should read this delightful “Wayback Wednesday” post from Austin360’s Peter Blackstock about a 1984 UPI story that proves the more things change, the more they stay the same. The story’s headline is “Austin’s high-tech...

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Open Source

Got a billion-dollar startup? Put on this horn, you’re a ‘Unicorn’

It’s become a word that draws envy, admiration and, more recently derision and skepticism, but if you’re not wrapped up in Silicon Valley tech culture, you may not be familiar with the term “Unicorn.” At its most basic, a unicorn in the tech world...

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Austin-based Umbel spinoff Pilosa is pushing its big-data indexing at this week’s OSCON

The law of “Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” states that the bigger things get, the slower they typically are. Bloated summer movie sequels. Dinosaurs. A two-hour sermon.  The same is true of so-called “Big Data,” enormous sets of information increasingly...

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Austin's Tiny Hands Mail uses tech to send old-school postcards to your elected representatives

Despite a desire to engage politically spurred by the most recent presidential election and protests that followed, the postcards lay on a table, unsent. “We got actual postcards,” said Mercedes Cooper, a former speech pathologist who’s now a part-time...

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Open Source

Retro shooter ‘Strafe’ brings back 1996 while ‘Minecraft’ comes to Nintendo Switch

New video games out this week: “Strafe.” Studio Pixel Titans and publisher Devolver Digital are unleashing a blast from the past: a new 3-D shooter modeled after the cutting edge technology of 1996. Bloody (by 1996 standards) and over the top, “Strafe”...

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Open Source

Tech Crawl: Amazon may give Alexa a screen and face calls, Uber probe extends to Austin and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is coming

Happy Tuesday, Austin! Here’s some tech new we’re following today: Alexa, but with faces calling you Just two weeks after Amazon debuted a device for closet fashion selfies powered by its Echo/Alexa voice technology called Look, reports are circulating...

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