One-year later – Apple has a new look and it’s all Tim Cook

Reuters has put up an interesting piece – calling the iPhone 5 the product of Tim Cook. Citing the Apple Maps rollout and possible blunder. “The speed of the global launch that astounded” analysts by getting millions of phones into stores with supply chain perfection. And most importantly for fanboys, his role in the Keynotes where he appears at the end and beginning with brief messages.

It’s the new Apple under Tim Cook and he is molding the company that Steve built – into his own image – again from Reuters:

He has introduced a dividend to pay out part of the more than $100 billion cash stockpile, raised salaries for a rabidly loyal but low-paid workforce in the Apple stories, and sped up product rollouts.

Not to mention opening up Apple to charities – by offering a matching gift program. These are things Steve never would have done, but the world seems okay with that. Shoppers are eagerly buying the iPhone 5, traders are buying Apple stock – it’s still going up – and  the company is still growing.

The only remaining question is can Tim Cook come out with a new product. So far he has only improved and continued the existing line. And that is always a company’s biggest challenge.

Continue reading One-year later – Apple has a new look and it’s all Tim Cook

Internet connected cars is the 3rd fastest growing technology (after smartphones, tablets)

The real question is who will pay for internet access in our cars. Will this be another charge on our cell phone or cable bill, like getting 3G on an iPad is?

 

“Intel claims that the connected car is the third-fastest growing technological device, following smartphones and tablets. For a car maker that offers huge potential.”

Audi has developed a built-in 3G wireless in its A7 and will extend it to other new models.

“The connected car concept is well and truly here,” added John Leech.

In-vehicle internet access is close to becoming reality, according to the world’s top car bosses.

The survey by KPMG looking at future trends shows speech recognition and internet connection with wi-fi and 3G will become the norm.

More than a third (37%) of the 200 car executives believe “infotainment” in cars is nearly as important as car safety.

 

Source: BBC – In-car internet ‘to become norm’ in survey about future

 

 

Continue reading Internet connected cars is the 3rd fastest growing technology (after smartphones, tablets)

Universal Music Catalog – just a few years away

With the announcement of Amazon’s new Cloud Player iPhone app, the Universal Music Catalog is one step closer. For years I have dreamed of this Star Trek-like device, where I can find any song I want and listen to it, from anywhere. Preferably this will be an app on a device I already own (smartphone), rather than a new iPod or something.

Though, I would buy an iPod that had the Universal Music Catalog on it.

You may be skeptical but let’s work through this.

First, all three major online music retailers, Apple/Amazon/Google, give you the ability to upload thousands of songs to their cloud for free or at nominal costs. Which means that each of them has the most massive music catalog you can possibly imagine. They also highly promote the “matching” ability of these mega-drives, which means that they probably already have the song you’re uploading so don’t worry, you can just use their copy.

But, if they don’t have your song then they will store a copy on their drive, a brilliant way to continue growing their catalog.

Second, the details here are awesome. Amazon just announced that if you pay $20/year you have unlimited storage space for music. Google offers space for 20,000 songs for free and Apple is charging $25/year for storage of 25,000 songs. This even includes those mixtapes you’ve been carrying around, rare CD’s, and even live recordings.

Yeah, the piracy debate is dead in the water here. Theoretically, one person could pirate 20,000 songs and then upload them to Google for free, with forever storage.

Continue reading Universal Music Catalog – just a few years away

For delivery only – photos/video of Space Shuttle being attached to Boeing 747

At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, initial mating of space shuttle Discovery and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft is complete in the mate-demate device. The device, known as the MDD, is a large gantry-like steel structure used to hoist a shuttle off the ground and position it onto the back of the aircraft, or SCA.

Initial mating of space shuttle Discovery and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
Space shuttle Discovery is lowered onto the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft in the mate-demate device during mating operations.

The SCA is a Boeing 747 jet, originally manufactured for commercial use, which was modified by NASA to transport the shuttles between destinations on Earth. This SCA, designated NASA 905, is assigned to the remaining ferry missions, delivering the shuttles to their permanent public display sites.

NASA 905 is scheduled to ferry Discovery to the Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia on April 17, after which the shuttle will be placed on display in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Mating device (front) attaching the ships together.
Mating device (dual rear) attaching the ships together.

Following delivery of Discovery, NASA 905 will ferry Enterprise from Udvar-Hazy to the Intrepid Museum in New York City. Endeavour is scheduled to be similarly moved to the California Science Center in Los Angeles later this year.

Learn more on the video from This Week in NASA:

A ton more picture are available at NASA Media Gallery

Why Facebook bought Instagram – from Om Malik and Robert Scoble

Both Om Malik and Robert Scoble make interesting points, Facebook paid double for what many considered Instagram to be worth and Facebook desperately needs help with mobile devices.

From Om Malik:

A few days ago Instagram was rumored to be valued at $500 million. A few months ago it was $300 million. Its last round — just a year ago – valued the company at $100 million.

The rising valuation of the company was reflective of the growing audience it has been garnering, despite being just on the iPhone. It had reached nearly 30 million registered users before it launched an Android app.

So the question is:  Why did Mark Zuckerberg buy Instagram at twice the valuation that professional venture investors were putting on it?

From Zuckerberg’s post on Facebook:

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

My translation: Facebook was scared shitless and knew that for first time in its life it arguably had a competitor that could not only eat its lunch, but also destroy its future prospects. Why? Because Facebook is essentially about photos, and Instagram had found and attacked Facebook’s achilles heel — mobile photo sharing.

 

From Robert Scoble:

Facebook has a problem. After its IPO completes it needs many quarters of strong revenue and profit growth to report to convince investors to stay put and convince new ones to buy the stock.

Zuckerberg is aiming at turning the $80 to $100 billion valuation that will happen at IPO into a $500 billion to $1 trillion company. How will he do that?

Look at mobile.

Today Facebook has NO revenues from mobile. None. That’s amazing, since so many people, hundreds of millions of us, use Facebook on mobile clients.

That will change very quickly after the IPO. Instagram will play a huge role here, plus Facebook gets a very talented mobile development team that has built world-leading mobile apps on iOS and Android (which got a million users in its first day).

Man flies like a bird for 100 meters – using “selfbuilt wings”

Subtitles from Dutch

  • I was running…and…(breathing heavy)
  • At one moment you see the ground moving away, and then suddenly you’re free, a really intense feeling of freedom.
  • The true feeling of flying. A **cking magical moment!
  • The best feeling I have felt in my life.

 

From the project website, humanbirdwings.net –

Right here, on this blog I share everything about my crazy plan to build my own wings. My goal? To fly with it! Something Leonardo DaVinci, my grandfather and I dreamed of for a long time. But this summer I decided to really start building it.

 

There was some discussion about the authenticity of this video, but the MythBusters team tackled that:

The video of Jarno Smeets’ flight is cool, and I don’t see evidence that it was faked. It seems reasonable to accomplish, and is something I have wanted to try for a long time.

The still photos of the parts on a table are helpful and the components are appropriate to what the item does in the air. The motors are rare earth magnet low RPM, high torque, outrunners that look in the neighborhood of 3000 watts or so each. So you could have an output of just under 10hp there. The speed controllers look to be appropriate to those motors, and the batteries are lithium ion. This is all appropriate…

via Tested

 

Thx to Don Burke

How many people in United States own a TV, DVR, Video Game Console, DVD player?

Of an estimated 312,000,000 in the United States in 2011:

  • 290 million have at least one TV
  • 253 million – DVD player
  • 162 million – video game console
  • 145 million – cable
  • 129 million – DVR
  • 95 million – Satellite TV

By percentage:

  • 93% – have at least one TV
  • 81% – DVD player
  • 52% – video game console
  • 46% – cable
  • 41% – DVR
  • 30% – Satellite TV

Continue reading How many people in United States own a TV, DVR, Video Game Console, DVD player?