Google’s secret perk? A private hackerspace

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Working for Google has always had many perks, and most of them are pretty well known. Google employees enjoy free food, on-site workout facilities, and one free day a week to work on whatever they like – but you knew that already. One Google perk however, has been kept pretty quiet until just recently.

Google has provided a hackerspace on their campus for about four years now, which is open to any employee that meets some pretty strict requirements. A written test is given before an employee can access the facilities, and even then they must be deemed worthy of working on particular pieces of equipment.

The idea behind the hackerspace was to help Google stay rooted in the philosophy that, “all good things start in the garage”. While a lot of the employees embark on fun personal projects, several pieces of familiar Google technology were born in the workshop. For instance, the Google Streetview “trikes” were created there, along with a few smartphone prototypes, autonomous car components, and even some secret projects Google declines to speak about at the moment.

It’s an unbelievably cool job perk, and we would be lying if we said we weren’t jealous. For now, we will just have to be happy with stale coffee from the break room.

[via the Adafruit Blog]

[Image via AP]

Watch hacking, one day at a time

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If there is one thing hackers return to time and time again, it is clock/watch hacking. There are always creative ways to tell time, and with several “hackable” wristwatches on the market, there is bound to be no shortage of neat timepiece hacks.

[hudson] from NYC Resistor has decided to take on a fun challenge for the next month revolving around his programmable inPulse watch. Over the upcoming 30 27 days, he will design, program, and publish a watch face for the timepiece. He already has 3 days behind him, and the results are pretty interesting. The concepts are creative and functional, though due to time constraints they sometimes end up a little less polished than he would like.

All of the code is available on his Bitbucket page if you have an inPulse watch and would like to play along or improve on his work.

We think it’s a pretty cool project, and we are eager to see what he produces each day. Stick around to see a quick video showing off one of his 3D watch faces.

[Read more...]

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