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iDiots: short film highlights our over-reliance on technology

A visual effects studio has taken a thoughtful look into our culture’s reliance on our smartphones, as represented by adorable robot iDiots.

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A thoughtful look at our reliance on devices

Big Lazy Robot is a visual effects studio based in Barcelona, Spain, and is grabbing attention with a newly created video that illustrates our addiction to technology, particularly our devices.

The “i-Diots” short film is four quick minutes that pokes fun at some of the useless apps we pay money for, how reliant we are on our smartphones, and makes us reflect on the fact that in some ways, while technology makes us smarter, it also dumbs us down as we sit in line every year to spend hundreds of dollars on iterations of products we already own.

What is most striking is that the film highlights the robots failing to communicate unless they do so with their smartphones, a sad state of affairs that the video forces us to take a look at.

This holiday season, stop to consider if you are using your technologies to improve your life, or like the adorable robots, are you so reliant upon it that you cannot exist without it?

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The American Genius (AG) is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dan Perez

    November 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Ha! Couldn’t agree more 🙂

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Tech News

Vaulteq: A modern safe deposit box for your digital info

(TECH NEWS) Vaulteq will soon launch to protect all of your passwords, digital information, and you can’t break into it, even if you set it on fire.

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Curing password amnesia

Remembering the passwords to the millions of different online accounts you have, can be impossible; and the “remember password” option, isn’t really secure, shared computer or not.

I know I personally use the “forgot password” option to alleviate my password amnesia; but it takes up a lot of unnecessary time and effort. That ultimately leaves us with very few password protection options, until Vaulteq came along to revolutionize the way we manage our passwords.

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Vaulteq is an easy-to-use, extremely reliable, physical vault that is capable of protecting most of your valuable digital assets.

Plug it in and go

To get started, all you have to do is plug the Vaulteq into your home network, and download the app. Once you’re logged in, you choose one strong password, and Vaulteq will automatically fill it in to your apps and webpages. The use of one password, makes it easy to remember, and more secure, since there aren’t a bunch of different passwords floating around.

But the protection doesn’t stop there. Along with protecting your password, Vaulteq protects your digital wallet too. No matter where you go, you will have secure and constant access to your credit and debit cards, receipts, Bitcoin wallet, and PayPal.

What about your digital records on your laptop?

Like your driver’s licenses, bills, and bank statements; they need protection too. Vaulteq understands that, and allows users to store, organize and browse all of your important documents!

What’s even better is its compatibility and military strength memory. iPhones, Androids, and Windows phones are included, along with extensions for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

The memory is waterproof, temperature-proof, shock proof, and x-ray proof, and comes encrypted with AES-256 and two factor authentication.

A modern safe deposit box for your digital info

Essentially, Vaulteq is a more secure, digitized, and modernized safe deposit box for your digital information.

Safer than relying on your computer to remember your passwords, and a lot more convenient than using “forgot password”, Vaulteq has hit the nail on the head with meeting our password management needs.

The price for this handy, military grade device, is tbd, but if you go to their site and drop your email info, you can be one of the first to find out!

#vaulteq

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Daily Coding Problem keeps you sharp for coding interviews

(CAREER) Coding interviews can be pretty intimidating, no matter your skill level, so stay sharp with daily practice leading up to your big day.

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Whether you’re in the market for a new coding job or just want to stay sharp in the one you have, it’s always important to do a skills check-up on the proficiencies you need for your job. Enter Daily Coding Problem, a mailing list service that sends you one coding problem per day (hence the name) to keep your analytical skills in top form.

One of the founders of the service, Lawrence Wu, stated that the email list service started “as a simple mailing list between me and my friends while we were prepping for coding interviews [because] just doing a couple problems every day was the best way to practice.”

Now the service offers this help for others who are practicing for interviews or for individuals needing to just stay fresh in what they do. The problems are written by individuals who are not just experts, but also who aced their interviews with giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.

So how much would a service like this cost you? Free, but with further tiers of features for additional money. Like with all tech startups, the first level offers the basic features such as a single problem every day with some tricks and hints, as well as a public blog with additional support for interviewees. However, if you want the actual answer to the problem, and not just the announcement that you incorrectly answered it, you’ll need to pony up $15 per month.

The $15 level also comes with some neat features such as mock interview opportunities, no ads, and a 30 day money back guarantee. For those who may be on the job market longer, or who just want the practice for their current job, the $250 level offers unlimited mock interviews, as well as personal guidance by the founders of the company themselves.

Daily Coding Problem enters a field with some big players with a firm grasp on the market. Other services, like InterviewCake, LeetCode, and InterviewBit, offer similar opportunities to practice mock interview questions. InterviewCake offers the ability to sort questions by the company who typically asks them for that individual with their sights targeted on a specific company. InterviewBit offers referrals and mentorship opportunities, while LeetCode allows users to submit their own questions to the question pool.

If you’ve really got your eye on the prize of receiving that coveted job opportunity, Daily Coding Problem is a great way to add another tool in your tool box to ace that interview.

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Practice for coding interviews, live with another human

(CAREER) Looking to practice coding interviews with a real human? Earn yourself a sweet win-win situation with this online solution to acing technical interviews.

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Practicing for interviews with a friend helps prepare you for the real thing. When the time comes, unless y’all seriously slacked off or you got the company totally wrong, you should at least feel comfortable interviewing since you practiced with a pal.

Just about anyone can help you prep for standard interview questions like listing your strengths, weaknesses, and talking about a five-year plan. But when it comes to coding interviews, your friends may not be able to offer as much help if they’re not in the field.

Technical interviews typically include demonstrating not only solid communication, but also CS knowledge, coding, and demonstrable problem solving.

Well, count your blessings and say hello to Pramp, an online platform that helps you practice technical interviews for software engineering roles. Named for the acronym version of “practice makes perfect,” Pramp pairs you with a peer for a live HD video interview practice session.

Personal matching considers experience, education, target companies, practice topics you’d like to cover, preferred programming language, and availability.

You and your peer take turns being the interviewer and interviewee for 30 minutes each. Pramp provides the questions to ask 24 hours prior to the interview, and gives answers as well. There’s even a collaborative real-time code editor to share your work.

Pramp supports twelve programming languages, including C++, Java, and Python. You select multiple programming languages for your interviews.

Once the interviews are over, you provide feedback and rate each other’s performance.

There’s no limit to how many interviews you can participate in, and you can choose your level of anonymity. Pramp will only share what you allow, but if you go the public route, they’ve got a pretty sweet perk…

After a few coding interviews, Pramp assesses your strengths to match you with relevant opportunities. From there, you can schedule a phone screen directly on Pramp with a hiring manager. You don’t even need a resume.

Passing the phone screen gets you an onsite interview with the hiring manager. All that practice sure paid off, huh? You don’t need to install anything to start using Pramp, and mega bonus: it’s is free to use. Check them out now if you’re a prospective employee or employer to get connected with talent.

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