The future of video chat is totally touchy-feely

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Haptic feedback is a major component in this new technology invented at the University of Tokyo.
Photo: Shinoda Lab

HaptoClone is a new creation from researchers in the Shinoda Lab at the University of Tokyo that can let you practically feel what isn’t actually in front of you. It at least gives you the illusion that you’re feeling it. The technology is trippy in theory, but in practice it very well may lead to a more personal level of communication through our smartphones and computers – or dare I say more intimate.

Black Eyed Peas rapper apl.de.ap on Apple and the blessing of challenges

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The Black Eyed Peas co-founder apl.de.ap relies heavily on Apple gear. Photo: Sebastien Camelot/Flickr CC
The Black Eyed Peas co-founder apl.de.ap relies heavily on Apple gear. Photo: Sebastien Camelot/Flickr CC

The Black Eyed Peas’ co-founder apl.de.ap is at the top of his game in the music industry and a total Apple fan. He’s also just beginning to speak out about his journey from a young boy with a visual impairment to his current status as a star vocal coach on The Voice of The Philippines.

“I was born with my eye condition,” apl.de.ap, aka Allan Pineda, told Cult of Mac. “Today, I feel much less handicapped by my legal blindness as technology has helped me a lot…. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t extremely tough at times, and occasionally I still feel challenged by it.”

He lives and breathes by his MacBook Pro, thinks Siri is amazing and messes about with music apps on his phone. He shared with Cult of Mac the story of his early life, the visual problem known as nystagmus, and his reliance on and use of technology and Apple products, which he says have helped him get through “a lot of things that would otherwise leave me helpless.”

Kids’ coding academies aim to bridge ‘skills gap’

The Flatiron School in New York is expanding its kids coding academies to six U.S. cities this summer. Photo: Flatiron School
The Flatiron School in New York is expanding its coding academies for high school student sto six U.S. cities this summer. Photo: Flatiron School

There are plenty of schools with computers. But find a teacher with tech industry experience and you’ve found a “unicorn,” says a school director who wants to introduce kids to the language of coding.

Lyel Resner, director of K-12 curriculum at New York’s Flatiron School, is promoting a series of summer workshops across six U.S. cities to teach high school students programming fundamentals, app development, front-end web design and how to get a startup off the ground.

12 juicy info nuggets plucked straight from Tim Cook’s brain

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Life is good for Tim Cook in 2015. Photo: Apple
Life is good for Tim Cook in 2015. Photo: Apple

Life at Apple has been phenomenal ever since Tim Cook took over as CEO. AAPL shares are up 120 percent. 750 million iOS devices have been sold. $100 billion was returned to shareholders. And Apple just became the first $700 billion company in history.

To celebrate a successful 2014 campaign, Cook sat down with Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn today to talk about how Apple achieved its unbelievable results, as well as what other tricks the company has up its sleeves.

Here are the 12 biggest revelations from Cook’s Goldman Sachs tech conference appearance:

These Man-Bags Will Bring Out Your Inner Technosexual

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You know how it is; as a brimming young tech-savvy hipster, you need to carry a lot of gear with you as you cycle from the coffee house to the park bench, writing your magnum opus and staying in touch with your iPad, Macbook Air, and iPhone.

The thing is, that gear usually comes with a ton of support gear, with all sorts of plugs, wires, battery packs, extra mice, point-and-shoot camera and the like. You’ll be awash with the detritus of your modern monadic life in no time without some sort of organizational system that you can strap to your back while on the go.

Kastel thinks it has the answer with a Kickstarter project to fund a new line of functional, good looking bags for your gear, soon to be available in three savvy material choices, including leather and blue and grey linen.