Monday: November 14, 2011
- Everything you never knew about Google's top secret lab where they pursue future ideas.
According to the article, this magical place (dubbed 'Google X') is where Google may or may not be working on the following futuristic concepts: 1) an internet fridge that orders food when it's low, 2) driver-less cars, 3) space elevators, 4) personal assistant robots for your home, 5) networked coffee pots and gardening tools and finally 6) training monkeys to fly airplanes for special covert operations.
- Five future technologies for passenger air travel presented by National Geographic.
What does the future hold for passenger air travel? National Geographic takes a look at some future technologies being developed right now. You just might be commuting at twice the speed of sound in a dart-like airplane and then arriving at the airport of the future. Do all airplanes of the future all have free in-flight wi-fi? That would be totally cool.
- Apple pulls the curtain back on iTunes 10.5.1 with iTunes Match.
Unlike competing cloud storage music services from Amazon and Google, iTunes Match saves a lot of bandwidth and time in your initial synchronization, because Apple can identify which songs in your iTunes library are already available in the iTunes Store. If Apple can positively match a song in your library with any of the 20 million tracks for sale in the iTunes Store, it won’t bother uploading that song; only unmatched songs get uploaded to the cloud.
- Best Buy has the current generation Apple TV for $89 with free shipping.
Posting this here because I've grown to love this product in the few short weeks I've had it. It's a great implementation for getting your Internet media as close to your television as you would need it. My kids love watching clips on YouTube and Vimeo so having that readily available in the living room is a big plus. Also, having the entire media contents of your Mac is just great as well. Bonus: using the Apple Remote app for any of the iDevices may make you want to chuck the included remote.
- Wired would like you to know Amazon's Jeff Bezos owns more of the web than you think.
An interesting read for those of you who want to have a little more insight as to just what Amazon does these days on the Interwebs besides selling everything under the sun. There's an interesting chart about half-way down he page that discusses how some important companies rely on Amazon's web services to power their products. If AWS shut off today, well - it's best not to think about it.
- Engadget's thorough review of the brand new Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon.
Engadget covers everything here from the packaging to the performance of Amazon's first real entry into the tablet field. Engadget hails the device as quite an achievement at it's current price point ($200) but they do knock the device some by saying that it can't compete with 'normal' tablets that are currently on the market in some key factors.
Wednesday: November 9, 2011
- Bret Victor's not-so-brief rant on the future of interaction design.
If you haven't seen Microsoft's video entailing what they think the future of technology holds, you should watch it (readily available on source URL as an embedded clip). So watch that video and then read Victor's thoughts on the matter. That being said, I do have a minor point of contention. I did get some hands-on time with a Kinect-enabled Xbox 360 this past weekend and it was a fun, dare I say, semi-magical experience. I highly reccomend Double Fine's Once Upon a Monster (even the demo is fun).
- Nintendo hard at work to find way to use more than one tablet for their next console.
It seems that Nintendo had originally planned to have only one controller / tablet accessible to the Wii U at launch time (the other controller would have been your standard Wii-mote variety). Someone at Nintendo must have realized that this would probably be a bad idea so they have been hard at work at trying to make two tablets work for the console. The console's processor and RAM constraints may have played a part in pairing a singular tablet. However, Nintendo may have solved this so multi-tablet gaming may be coming to a living room near you.
- Adobe gives up on trying to get Flash to work on mobile devices.
Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations.
- You won't be seeing Siri on older iDevices anytime in the near future.
That's a shame but it makes sense given Apple's strategy and history of making certain features exclusive to particular iPhone models. Not clear on why devices other than iPhones have to miss out on this. The iPad 2 should have enough horsepower to run Siri without an issue (same for their notebook line as well).
Tuesday: November 8, 2011
- Base64 images... An alternative to sprites?
While I don't fully agree with the drawbacks that were mentioned for using sprites (most of my disagreement comes from how organized I keep my image files) I do think this article raises some very awesome points about what base64 can do. I would like to build a test to see how a sprite would compare in the charts presented so I am going to try to take that on this week. Either way its alwasy good to learn a new frontend approach from time to time - especially if it relates to performance
Monday: August 15, 2011
- Ten games that take minutes to learn and a lifetime to master.
While chess is often thought of as a mathematical game, experts say the real contest is often a psychological one, in which players scrutinize one another for subtle cues and tendencies that predict behavior and reveal weaknesses. As Soviet chess trainer Mark Dvoretsky once noted: 'The opponent makes an apparently innocent move, but for some reason or another, he rouses our vigilance and promptly we discover the cunning that is concealed.'
- Mozilla to do away with version numbers in Firefox with new non-numbered version update.
Google has taught us all that people are too busy to remember version numbers these days. It's better just to keep updating software and have to worry about pesky version number conventions. Mozilla thinks this is a good idea and has decided to adopt this release schedule for future non-version-numbered releases of Firefox. Good for them.
- MTA releases renderings of the new Apple Store coming to Grand Central Station.
The title of this article is a little misleading as there is really only one rendering to look at over on The Real Deal's website. AppleInsider has some of the other renderings, albiet in a less vibrant (and boring) form. Aside from the new Apple Store, Grand Central will also be home to a brand new Shake Shack.
Thursday: August 11, 2011
- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy app coming soon to an iPad near you.
Canadian indie developer Hothead Games is producing a Hitchhikers Guide app, aiming to replicate the titular guide itself (rather than the novels). When it arrives this fall, we can expect beautifully animated sequences describing the Babel Fish and Vogon Poetry -- but just a single word about planet Earth (the addition of the word 'Mostly' should come in a second, more sinister update).