in weekly



  • Google delays its modular smartphone until 2016
    Ara, an Android-based smartphone platform where nearly every piece of hardware, including the battery, processor and camera, is a separate piece of the handset that can be replaced or customized without upgrading to a completely new device.Google said the latest plan is to bring its modular smartphones to a “few locations” in the mainland United States for the initial rollout, but did not elaborate on the cause of the delay or the change of location.
  •  The “drinkable book” combines treated paper with printed information on how and why water should be filtered. Its pages contain nanoparticles of silver or copper, which kill bacteria in the water as it passes through. In trials at 25 contaminated water sources in South Africa, Ghana and Bangladesh, the paper successfully removed more than 99% of bacteria. (BBC) 
  • Google Won the Internet. Now It Wants to Cure Diseases
    Under Alphabet, life sciences will become its own independent division, though it doesn’t have an official name just yet. (The company says to expect more news soon.) But a few hints suggest the life sciences group had been operating fairly independently already. Last month, CFO Ruth Porat singled out life sciences during a quarterly earnings call as one of the areas Google sees as “longer-term sources of revenue.” To get there, the company has been quietly recruiting top scientific talent, from immunologists to neurologists to nanoparticle engineers. (Wired)
  • Rejoice: Google Just Created a Stupidly Simple Wi-Fi Router
    The most striking thing about the OnHub is the way it looks. It’s not your average router, with wires and antennas poking out from every side; it’s a large cylindrical device with a blinking light on the top, shades of the Amazon Echo or Apple’s Airport Extreme router. ..This is intentional: Google doesn’t want you to crawl behind your desk every time you need to get at your router. It wants the OnHub right in the center of everything. This itself is a boon to your connection; hiding your router behind closed doors or underneath your TV is horrible for your signal. (Yes, people do that.)…“We discovered that when you put a router on the floor,” Wuellner says, “versus on the shelf, the one on the shelf performs twice as well as the one on the floor.” Wuellner’s team also discovered that making it a tall cylinder made users less likely to stack things on top of it, which also destroys signal. (Wired)
  • Is The Bitcoin Community Facing an Existential Split?
    The debate revolves around a seemingly small point: whether or not to allow bitcoin’s open ledger, the blockchain, to accept block sizes greater than 1 megabyte. The blocks comprise individual bitcoin transactions; the transactions are packaged into blocks, confirmed, and added to the ledger. The ledger is maintained by the decentralized, independent consortium of miners. Today the size limit is being pressed as the system grows. The problem is that changing the limit at this point will alter the economics of bitcoin mining. Any change to the software requires agreement among the miners, and many have been vocal in their opposition. (WSJ)
  • What Boston Dynamics Is Working on Next (IEEE)
  • Today, 12% of organizations surveyed run 100% of their IT in the cloud; in five years almost 50% of our respondents said they will be moving their IT entirely to the cloud; in 10 years, that number will climb to nearly 70%. (Better Cloud)
  • Google says that its data center networks are some of the largest in the world. With its current network, called Jupiter, Google has succeeded in operating a network running on off-the-shelf switching components that has scaled to more than 1 petabit per second of total bisection bandwidth. Translated, that means each of the 100,000 servers in a warehouse-size data center can communicate with each other in an arbitrary pattern at 10 gigabits per second, according to a Google blog post, published Tuesday (WSJ)