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Friday fun for the IT crowd

August 21, 2014

Like so many fitness trends …

It’s New Year’s Day, and you’re motivated. You’re going to join a gym and work out every single day (starting tomorrow because you drank too much bubbly last night).

Fast forward to March. You’ve gone to the gym exactly twice. With your $70 monthly fee, that works out to $55 per visit. But it’s a hassle, parking is expensive and you hate getting up that early.

Turns out fitness wearables are a lot like gym memberships purchased on January 2. They seem like a great idea when you start, but they don’t always deliver the value you were expecting.

The wearable followed the same trajectory for many early adopters. HuffPost Tech reports that 34 percent of wearables owners abandoned them in just six to 12 months (that’s actually better than last year, when 44 percent gave up the devices in that timeframe).

However, some major developers are looking to add more interesting functionality to include blood pressure and stress monitoring, which may help pique consumer interest.

While smartphones landed on the scene with a bang (I can still remember how fast my heart beat the first time I saw a commercial for the iPhone), wearables are taking longer to catch on, but the rising Internet of Things infrastructure all but guarantees they’ll be a permanent fixture in our lives—at some point. 

Which big tech company gets the best grade for diversity? 

A hot-button topic in the tech world right now, diversity is a complicated issue. You can’t compare companies on a 1:1 basis, because diversity means different things to different people.

The three indicators most people agree matter as indicators of diversity:

  • Minorities as part of the overall company
  • Women in technical positions
  • Minorities/women in leadership positions

Not one of the major companies to have released data comes out looking anything like the U.S. workforce, but Pinterest fared better than its competitors. However, this is partly beside the point, because those companies aren’t entirely to blame for tech’s diversity problem, whose roots go as far back as high school education. But releasing the diversity data publicly puts companies on notice that they’d better be part of the solution. It also holds them accountable for making progress.

Rumor: Microsoft to release Windows 9 in September

Microsoft will release the next version of Windows (probably named Windows 9) on September 30, and it will include Cortana, a Siri-like assistant, according the The Verge. Thankfully, the software maker plans to kill its Charms bar, the scourge of mouse users trying to navigate Windows 8.

Interested in reading more? Read last week's Friday fun for the IT crowd

Lisa Dare is a marketing writer for TEKsystems who enjoys learning about IT from some of the smartest folks in tech (seriously, these folks are scary-smart). Lisa frequently blogs about IT career advice and the lighter side of tech.


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