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September 2015 archive

Weekly#133

  • Internet from Space
    • Elon Musk
      Each of Musk’s satellites weighs around 113kg, less than half the mass of standard satellites, which orbit at a 35,000km height. The new satellites will be launched into low Earth orbit, which is only 750km from the surface of the earth. That will improve latency, a major challenge with existing satellite internet: from low Earth orbit, latency is predicted to be around 30ms, compared to the typical 500ms latency experienced by existing satellite internet customers…
      …Micro-satellites also cost less: $350,000 to build and launch, as opposed to the tens of millions of dollars of larger ones (link)
    • Virgin
      The broadband space race has received a $500m boost after Airbus, Coca-Cola and Virgin Group joined other funders in backing a venture to bring the internet to the most remote corners of the planet.OneWeb, based in the channel island of Jersey but with offices in California and Washington DC, plans to send 648 micro-satellites into space by 2019. These will do away with the expense of installing mobile phone masts or laying miles of cables, instead beaming a broadband signal direct to small, solar-powered user terminals on the ground. (link)
    • Samsung
      A paper published by Farooq Khan, president of Samsung Research America in Dallas, details an interconnected net of 4,600 low-orbit satellites that could bring each of the world’s 5 billion people 200 gigabytes of internet per month. Samsung expects global internet traffic to reach one zettabyte per month by 2028. (link)
  • Google’s search business might not be as water-tight as people think it is
    (Business Insider)
    gwi search data
  • Apple’s Car: If True, ‘One of the Most Important Moments in Transportation,’ Says Morgan Stanley (Barrons)…The addressable market for mobility is on the order of $10 trillion (10 trillion vehicle miles x $1/mile), more than 13% of global GDP. This figure ignores the value of the time of the driver, infrastructure, social and environmental costs……Apple might have ideas on the “non-productive” time that you spend behind the wheel — a collective 400 billion hours annually by all drivers: “What is the value of 400 billion hours a year? How much value could Apple create from this time or said another way how much are consumers willing to pay to recoup this time? It’s time to start thinking about… time.”
  • The Entrant’s Guide to The Automobile Industry (asymco)
  • The steady forward march of Facebook Inc.’s many messaging apps continues. Instagram now has 400 million monthly active users (WSJ)

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

 

Weekly#132

  • Why WhatsApp Only Needs 50 Engineers for Its 900M Users.
    Part of the trick is that the company builds its service using a programming language called Erlang. Though not all that popular across the wider coding community, Erlang is particularly well suited to juggling communications from a huge number of users, and it lets engineers deploy new code on the fly. But Mahdavi says that the trick is as much about attitude as technology..
    But that’s the point. “The number-one lesson is just be very focused on what you need to do,” he said. “Doing spend time getting distracted by other activities, other technologies, even things in the office, like meetings.”At WhatsApp, employees almost never attend a meeting. Yes, there are only a few dozen of them. But that too is the point.(Wired)
  • Google’s Rachel Potvin came pretty close to an answer Monday at an engineering conference in Silicon Valley. She estimates that the software needed to run all of Google’s Internet services—from Google Search to Gmail to Google Maps—spans some 2 billion lines of code. By comparison, Microsoft’s Windows operating system—one of the most complex software tools ever built for a single computer, a project under development since the 1980s—is likely in the realm of 50 million lines…
    The flip side is that building and running a 2-billion-line monolith is no simple task.(Wired) (Tweet source)
  • German Car-Parts Makers See Bigger Role in Technology
    Bosch GmbH, Continental AG and ZF Friedrichshafen AG, which are expanding into mega-suppliers able to leverage new technologies for all parts of a vehicle, have started working closely with the U.S. technology giants. (WSJ)
  • Google has hired Detroit veteran John Krafcik to run its self-driving car division, sending a message that it is serious about the commercial viability of the autonomous vehicles business. (WSJ)
  • The iPhone 6S could set a sales record for Apple — in large part because it was made available in China from Day One.The company announced Monday that online orders of the iPhone 6S, including the bigger-screened Plus variety, are on pace to exceed 10 million over the new two weeks, set to surpass the record first-few-weeks sales mark the iPhone 6 hit a year ago. The iPhone 6 wasn’t available in China for about the first month. (LA Times)
  • Clone wars: First Lenovo, now Dell is working on a Surface competitor (ZDNET)
  • Developer Daniel Pasco explained in a blog post that Apple’s upcoming tvOS — which will power the new Apple TV — doesn’t support webviews, which means apps for the device won’t be able to display Web content.This makes it a lot harder for developers to build in features like browsing websites, opening links from apps like Twitter or RSS readers, or displaying frequently updated information, such as sports scores. (the next web)
  • Paralyzed man becomes first person to “feel” sensations through a prosthetic hand connected to his brain (Boing Boing) (Image Source : http://www.darpa.mil/program/revolutionizing-prosthetics)
    Revolutionizing-Prosthetics-Modular-Prosthetic-Limb-619-3164

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly#131

  • Hitachi Ltd. is looking to promote artificial intelligence to management.The Japanese electronics maker said it has developed a new artificial intelligence program that will enable robots to deliver instructions to employees based on analyses of big data and the workers’ routines.Work efficiency improved by 8% in warehouses (WSJ)

  • iPhones, Apple TV, and a Huge iPad: Everything You Need to Know About the Apple Event (Bloomberg)
  • Japan’s All Nippon Airways unveils ‘Star Wars’-themed planes and entertainment
    SW-01-2-1170x429
  • If you think you aren’t dreaming at night, you’re probably wrong (QZ)
  • End of the road for journalists? Robot reporter Dreamwriter from China’s Tencent churns out perfect 1,000-word news story – in 60 seconds (South China Morning Post)
  • These are the the most crystal-clear images of Pluto yet (QZ / Nasa)
    pluto1
  • Why Facebook’s $2 Billion Bet on Oculus Rift Might One Day Connect Everyone on Earth (Vanity Fair)
  • Live Coding now lets you hire a developer and watch them work in real-time (The Next Web)
  • Google Fiber said Thursday that it’s considering expanding service to three new cities: San Diego, Louisville, Ky.; and Irvine, Calif. (WSJ)
  • Tencent Holdings Ltd. plans to add a personal loan feature to its popular WeChat smartphone messaging application later this month, in the latest step in the Chinese Internet giant’s expansion in online financial services, according to people familiar with the matter. (WSJ)
  • no company has done more than Apple to change the dynamic and balance of power in the mobile industry…
    Apple’s latest move is called the iPhone Upgrade Program. Following the lead of US mobile operators, Apple will sell its new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus on a monthly installment plan, starting at $32 per month, with annual upgrades to the latest model.
    …it does something more important: It converts its users from “carrier customers” to “Apple customers.” (QZ)
  • Robots Lay Three Times as Many Bricks as Construction Workers (QZ)
  • Japan’s population of centenarians (100 years old) now exceeds 61,000, the nation’s health ministry announced Sept. 11. (QZ)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly#130