December 14, 2013

China lands rover on the Moon

China has landed its first robotic lander on the moon, a historic lunar arrival that makes the country only the third nation to make a soft-landing on Earth’s celestial neighbor.

The “Jade Rabbit” is a very luckily named rover. It’s exciting because it’s the first time in my life time that humans landed something on the surface of the moon. Hopefully a new manned mission isn’t too far behind.

Tesla Motors plans to debut cheaper car in early 2015

Tesla Motors plans to unveil an electric car in early 2015 that could sell in the $40,000 range, a mainstream offering that could be key to the automaker’s future growth.

This is fantastic news. While many still think the $40,000 USD mark is still high, I agree with their long-term business strategy. The innovation and technological development needs to be funded from the top-end first. And from there it can be trickled down to the mass produced vehicles. Hopefully a $25,000 USD ranged model is in the not so distant roadmap.

Google adds to its menagerie or robots

It is the eighth robotics company that Google has acquired in the last half-year. Executives at the Internet giant are circumspect about what exactly they plan to do with their robot collection.

The acquisition of Boston Dynamics is intriguing. They make high end research robots for the Pentagon to mechanical dinosaurs for theme parks. Who knows what they are planning.


December 6, 2013

Google why so evil?

What I do have issue with is that Google has been hiding behind the “Do No Evil” moniker for most of its life and really with what has been transpiring in the last few years, Google really needs to come clean and drop that part of its mission statement.

Daniel goes on to list a number of valid points where Google is up to no good with your personal data. I highly recommend this article, so bookmark it.

Microsoft ends Windows 8 retail sales

But officially, the major PC vendors — like Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo — will discontinue most Windows 7 PC sales in October 2014, making Windows 8 and its follow-ups, including Windows 8.1, the default.

This makes me vomit. I work in health care and very few things make me sick, so this means something. I feel so sorry for every future PC owner who is now going to be forced to use Windows 8.

74% of Apple devices running iOS 7

Android, on the other hand, suffers from much worse device fragmentation. Just 1.1% of Android devices are currently running Kit Kat, the latest operating system.

Any OS developer would kill to have this kind of adoption rate.


November 11, 2013

Mobile is Eating the World

This is one of the best overviews on the “station of mobile computing” by Benedict Evans. The data and presentation slides are brilliant.
The final, big reason why young people are gravitating towards messaging apps is that many of these apps no longer do just messaging. They are social networks.
The trend for Facebook’s downward usage like every social platform before it begins.

Simplify, simplify. My online life is already cluttered enough, and I never did like Google+, so I deleted it, and perhaps you should, too. Now there’s one less egg in my Google basket, and I never have to pay attention to anything that has the word “Google+” in it again — just like I did with LinkedIn (stop inviting me, everyone in the world), Pinterest, and a number of other things I had no use for.

Agreed. I’m starting to see what platforms I can cut the fat from.

How a Blacksmith Learned to Code 

Everyone everywhere is pushing this whole “Learn To Code” movement, but is it actually possible? This former Blacksmith/Farrier says a resounding: “YES!”

Very inspiring. I have made a goal to learn as much as I can about iOS and/or OSX development throughout the next year or two.


November 4, 2013

BlackBerry CEO steps down as company secures $1 billion funding from investors

Chen, BlackBerry’s new interim leader, comes with strong credentials. He most recently played an instrumental role in turning around the fortunes of Sybase, a company that was once in a similarly distressed state to BlackBerry’s current plight. His experience in the mobile enterprise business will be an asset and could potentially point to the future direction of the company. John Chen is also taking up the role of Executive Chair of BlackBerry’s board, immediately taking on a great deal of both power and responsibility.

Mr. Chen seems like a fantastic choice for the company. He definitely has the leadership background that Thorsten Heins lacked. Hopefully, this new CEO can turn the company around ASAP.

Google Employees Confess The Worst Things About Working At Google

Google may understand engineering, but not design.

“There is not enough focus on product and visual design.  This has led to many aborted/semi-successful products, like Wave, Google Video, Buzz, Dodgeball, Orkut, Knol, and Friend Connect.  There is probably too much focus on pure engineering.”

Now it all makes sense. Kind of.

Western Digital enlists helium for 6TB energy-efficient drives

The lower turbulence also increases the drive’s capacity because more platters can be squeezed into the 3.5-inch housing. Today’s 4-terabyte models use five platters and top out at 4TB, but the Ultrastar He6 has seven platters and reaches 6TB of capacity. That’s also useful for data centers where space is at a premium.

These would be amazing in my 5-bay RAID 5 array.

Usain Bolt Ate 100 Chicken McNuggets a Day in Beijing and Somehow Won Three Gold Medals

In the ten days Bolt spent in Beijing, he downed approximately 1,000 nuggets, averaging 100 a day. At 940 calories per 20-piece box, that means that Usain ate about 4,700 calories worth of Chicken McNuggets a day and 47,000 calories over the course of his stay in China. (And that’s without Sweet ‘N Sour Sauce, which, let’s face it, only a fool would pass up.)

There must be something in the nuggets. Or he just didn’t want to eat anything else China cuisine had to offer.