Inside the #SXSWTechCab, where I traded my digital sins for a free ride

confession cab “SXSW is easy to get around!” said no one ever. The streets are jam packed, the music clashes, and everywhere you turn is yet another line that will make you want to tear your hair out. 

With this in mind, I knew I had to hop on a free ride any chance I could. Kendo UI is hosting a TechCab – a play on HBO’s “Taxicab Confessions.” Instead of the 10 uncomfortable minutes you sit in a quiet cab, host Irina Slutsky will ask you to confess a technological sin for a free ride. It was raining on our first day in Austin, and our team really needed to get away from the downtown madness, so we gave Irina a tweet and a few minutes later, there she was there in an orange car.

When you first hop in the cab, you are greeted to signs alerting that you are being recorded. Get out now while you can if you’re camera shy! Her fifth year running the SXSW TechCab, Irina’s heard it all from her passengers: Drunk confessions, guilty admissions … a guy who had just gotten on the cab before us had just admitted to hacking a website, she says. 

“For many people, the TechCab is a nice place to sit down and have a chat,” she says. Especially from the noise, entering the cab felt like a peaceful getaway from the outside world. There, you felt like you had to release some pressure and unload a confession onto Irina. Well, you had to, technically. What do you think paid for the cab?

“I used to go into my parents’ cameras and delete photos of me and my sisters,” Social Media editor Molly McHugh says. Gulp. “No one needs to see pictures of me dressed as Annie!”

Nonjudgmental, Irina nods and says it’s a fine confession. She feels bad for Molly’s parents and their memory keepsake, but no penance here. “What about you, Natt?”

This is being recorded. This is probably going to be published. People who knew me will hate me for this, but here goes.

“When I want to flake out of meeting up with people, I lie and say I have other plans and fake Foursquare check into places to make it seem like I was elsewhere,” I confess. I’m sorry guys, sometimes a girl just needs a night in with herself! Even Molly seemed like she was judging me, but Irina seemed excited. “Oh, that’s a good one!” she says as I wonder if she’ll share this story anonymously with her next passengers.

At last we arrive at our destination and Irina lets us off easy. After all, she’ll be running all day and night until Sunday night (March 10), so she’ll have plenty more riders who are sure to have made worst ways with technology.

As for me, the confession felt good. But friends who’ve made it to this last line of the article will definitely delete me off Foursquare.

Music

From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.
Digital Trends Live

Actress Holly Fields reveals the secret world of video game voice acting

Voice actress Holly Fields has led an interesting career, from growing up with Molly Ringwald to working on Star Wars: The Old Republic. Fields appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about her career.
Digital Trends Live

Twitch streamer Fuslie gives a glimpse of her life and future plans

Today, we welcomed Twitch streamer Fuslie to talk about how her career goals shifted from becoming a veterinarian to a full-time streamer. Also, she shared what her future plans are for streaming and created content.
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Smart Home

Dog or cat shedding? These vacuums do a great job of sucking up pet hair

Got a pet hair problem? Fortunately, there's help for you and your furry friend. We tested out a bunch of vacuums that promise to remove pet hair. Here are a few of the best you can buy.
Product Review

Hue who? Nanoleaf Canvas brings a riot of color and vibrancy to the smart home

Fun and festive, Nanoleaf Canvas feature lighting adds personality and vibrancy to any room. Nanoleaf Canvas features squares that you can connect in any configuration you’d like. Sync to music, play games, or relax in soothing light.
Smart Home

Rocco wants to rock out. Parrot learns to use owner’s Amazon Alexa

Rocco, an African gray parrot, fell in love with his owner's Alexa unit and ordered himself treats and other goodies, but mostly uses the smart assistant to rock out to his favorite music.
Smart Home

The Echo Wall Clock can help you keep track of multiple Alexa timers

Amazon just released the Echo Wall Clock that was announced at its September new hardware device event in Seattle. The Echo Wall Clock is an analog clock that also indicates the minutes remaining on one or more Alexa timers.
Product Review

Ring Alarm makes DIY home security simple and affordable enough for everyone

Ring first made waves with its video doorbell, and now the Amazon-owned company is moving on to home security with the Ring Alarm. You can install the sensors and keypads yourself, then have Ring professionally monitor your home.
Smart Home

Espresso On Demand: The five best Nespresso machines

Most people still trek down to their local coffee shop to get an espresso or a cappuccino, but you don't have to. A Nespresso machine can put coffee shop quality espresso on your kitchen counter.
Smart Home

This device detects when your pet is at the door and opens it for them

Tired of waiting for your dog to come inside, or running home in the middle of the day to let your four-legged friend out? Wayzn automatically opens sliding doors for your dog and gives you remote control.
Deals

Get electronics gifts for high-tech homes for under $100 with these deals

The holiday season is in full swing with Christmas just around the corner. New deals on interesting, fun, and practical electronic gifts under $100 from major online retailers can convert last-minute shoppers to savvy bargain hunters.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!