The greatest hits of SXSW 2013

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We came, we saw, and the Oculus Rift conquered. Here's what we found this year in Austin, Texas at SXSW 2013.

15 updates and 1577 comments below.

Mar 12 4:13p

Death by notification: will Google Glass drown us in data?

Let's face it: we're all pretty horrible at turning off push notifications on our smartphones. You install an app, give it permission to notify you with updates, and before you know it, your phone's buzzing like a beehive with status updates, tagged photos, and friends checking in nearby. The definition of "urgent" is becoming harder and harder to define. According to Google's Timothy Jordan, Google Glass is all about "getting technology out of the way," but if his keynote yesterday was...

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We are all routers: a new empathetic internet and the orgasmic mediation that fuels it

Being on the ground in Austin doesn’t feel like a launchpad for great ideas anymore Continue reading »


Don't ask me anything: Reddit-critical panel provokes contentious Q&A

Friday afternoon, SXSWi hosted a panel called, “It’s Reddit’s Web. We Just Live in It.” The room was packed. And sadly, as though to prove the title’s point, what might have been a reflective, thoughtful discussion about the massive site’s power and influence – its achievements as well as its flaws and foibles – instead became a contentious Q&A session dominated by apparent Redditors who felt misrepresented.

The three panelists, Slate’s Farhad Manjoo, Gawker writer Adrian Chen, and S...

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Mar 11 6:35p

Google reveals Glass apps: New York Times, Evernote, Gmail, and Path

We're watching Google's Project Glass developer panel live at SXSW Interactive, and the company's showing off some of the first third-party software integrated into Glass — all using a unified "Timeline cards" interface to position short bursts of useful information in your peripheral vision, and Google's Mirror API to pull down that data. Google's developer advocate Timothy Jordan demonstrated that software on stage, starting with The New York Times. Breaking news can be delivered...

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Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley: your phone knows if you're a local or a tourist

Dennis Crowley is the man behind Foursquare, the check-in and food recommendations machine challenging Yelp as the de facto place to answer "what should I grab to eat?" Foursquare emerged at SXSW four years ago, and has since grown to 30 million users who have checked in over three billion times. What was once a cool way to see where your friends are evolved into one of the most important sources of data on where urbanites like to eat and drink. Crowley took some time to talk to The...

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Mar 10 3:30p

Samsung designer Golden Krishna: 'Our love for the digital interface is out of control'

Golden Krishna, Senior Designer at Samsung Design America, wants to upend the way we think about user interfaces. "Our love for the digital interface is out of control," he says. "It has become our answer to everything." If he has his way, the future of Samsung consumer electronics might work more like the Nest thermostat, which learns about your favorite temperature, or a Mercedes-Benz automobile, which automatically unlocks when it detects the keys in your pocket.

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Banned from the internet for three hours in the middle of SXSW

It was just after 6:30PM on Friday and still light outside when Jeremy Hollander, a Belgian entrepreneur who lives in San Francisco, strolled into one of the high-ceilinged, gold-hued ballrooms at the Hilton Austin wearing a suit and a dark blue yarmulke.

The room was in disarray as hotel employees shook tablecloths over five rows of long tables, placed napkins, and hauled an offending electric-powered water cooler out of the room. They were setting up for the third annual #openShabbat...

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Mar 09 6:17p

Of course Google made a talking shoe for SXSW 2013 (video)

Google has a knack for going big at SXSW. Last year, the company created an entire village near the Convention Center. This year, just outside the convention center, Google has opened a "playground." And what better way to experience the playground than with a shoe that taunts you with a male, British voice.

It's not intended to be a consumer product — the project comes out of Google's Art, Copy, & Code initiative, whose tagline is "Advertising Re-imagined." With an Arduino board,...

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Small gestures, big impact: hands-on with Leap Motion's latest games and apps

The last time we checked out the Leap Motion Controller (then known as "The Leap") we referred to it as "a Kinect on steroids." Since then, Leap has attracted an impressive amount of developer support and has announced a full retail launch on May 13th for $79.99 through major channels like Best Buy. We just had a chance to use the final hardware and some of the early third-party apps and games, and frankly, we're still very impressed — but it's still in its infancy.

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Oculus Rift at SXSW: is virtual reality the Holy Grail of gaming?

Cliff Bleszinski, Chris Roberts, Paul Bettner, and Palmer Luckey share their vision for the future of gaming Continue reading »

Mar 08 6:03p

Watch this: Oculus Rift inventor and Cliff Bleszinski talk virtual reality at SXSWi

We've called the Oculus Rift head-mounted display "the future of virtual reality." But what does that really mean? Perhaps you'd like to hear the answer, live on the air, from a panel of gaming luminaries. At 4PM PT today, you can join renowned game developers Chris Roberts (Wing Commander), Cliff Bleszinski (Gears of War), Paul Bettner (Words with Friends), and the inventor of the Oculus Rift himself, for a live conversation streaming to you direct from the SXSW Interactive festival in...

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MakerBot announces 3D 'Digitizer' prototype to scan your world, then print it out

MakerBot founder Bre Pettis today announced the Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner prototype it intends to sell alongside its Replicator 3D printers. The scanner uses a combination of cameras and lasers to scan an object and create a digital file that can then be printed using one of MakerBot's replicators. The company says you won't need any experience with design or 3D modeling software to make use of the scanner, and wants to see it used by businesses, educational facilities, and in the...

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At SXSW, the stunts get wilder every year — and more disappointing

At the end of February, a small number of people registered to attend the South By Southwest Interactive tradeshow received a white box stuffed with orange tissue paper and a mysterious object.

"I am intrigued by this thing. I don't know if it’s good or bad," Brooke Hammerling, the founder of the boutique tech marketing agency Brew PR, told The Verge. "I got a mini yam." She paused and called to one of her employees. "What was the company called?"


"YamTrader.com sent...

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