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Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

Android this week: Nexus 7 tablet arrives; Jelly Bean is sweet; Apple fights back

In Uncategorized on 30/06/2012 at 23:13

Gigaom

For the Android crowd, this was an eventful week, thanks to the many announcements and developments at the Google I/O(s goog) event. Our full recap is here, but a few bits stood out from the crowd in terms of both hardware and software. The Nexus 7 tablet went from rumor to reality, with Google debuting the Asus-built 7-inch slate at a low price of $199. My initial impressions of the review unit I received? This will attract potential Kindle Fire(s amzn) purchasers and Android tablet fans alike.

Few, if any, of the hardware components will surprise those that follow Android as the leaked specifications proved true. The 7-inch slate is built on Nvidia’s low cost Kai platform, using the Tegra 3(s nvda) system on a chip: a quad-core processor with a low powered fifth core and 12 graphics cores. The 1280 x 800 resolution screen looks good…

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Cloud computing for the people? It’s called SaaS.

In Uncategorized on 30/06/2012 at 23:12

Gigaom

Cloud-based servers simple enough to be at the beck and call of every Joe Schmo off the street are a compelling vision, but presently not a realistic one. At this point, in fact, one could argue that the holy grail of the consumer cloud has already been realized. In the business world, it’s called software as a service, but the rest of the world just knows it as “the cloud.”

In a blog post on Thursday, Anil Dash laid out a vision that pretty much boils down to this quote: “[W]e need a consumer cloud offering. An app store for EC2 or a marketplace for Rackspace (s rax). The same one-click stores that offer us easy apps on our own local devices should let us purchase consumer-friendly apps that run on our own individual cloud servers.” It reads well, but until cloud computing prices drop far enough that individual servers cost next…

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The Top 10 Technology Game Changers for the Next Decade

In Business, Science, Tech and Social Media on 30/06/2012 at 20:09

This content was produced by GOOD with the support of Intel

How close to reality are some of our most futuristic fantasies? Consider that going to the moon was once a giant step for mankind, but in the near future you’ll be able to purchase a two week vacation to the International Space Station (if you’ve got a few million bucks to spare, of course). Here’s our list of ten incredible technological innovations that are poised to change our lives within the next decade.
Nanotechnology
Microscopic nanorobots placed inside the human body to fight disease from within will make enormous strides in the next ten years. Eventually, we’ll eliminate the need for invasive surgery and chemotherapy. The cancer cure we’re seeking might not come as a magic pill, but rather a technological advancement enabling us to repair from within using microchips one-billionth of a meter in size. The future is now at Cyberdyne, a Japanese electronics firm manufacturing Hybrid Assisted Limbs for Parkinson’s patients and miniaturizing from there.

Computer Eyewear
In the next decade, the simple act of pulling out a smartphone to take photos and record videos will seem clunky and outmoded. What if you could simply touch a button on your sunglasses and instantly record your surroundings exactly as you see them? The design team behindYouGen.tv is hoping to do just that. Their Epiphany Eyewear glasses will incorporate “magic glass”—chromatic shifting conductive glass—to power their instant on-off recording feature. The data captured from a first person’s perspective can be streamed to social networks, and has untold implications for learning, as you’ll literally be able to see through someone else’s eyes. “We believe this will raise the overall level of human empathy across the world,” said Erick Miller, founder of YouGen.tv.

Genome Sequencing
The building blocks of the human body may contain clues to unlock underlying causes of diseases. Life Technologies is producing a genome sequencing map to explore an individual’s DNA within 24 hours, potentially preventing future diseases. Cost is expected to plummet to $1,000 by the end of the year. Expect a more targeted treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases based on a unique genetic blueprint. (cont … GOOD)

Meet The League Of Extraordinary Women: 60 Influencers Who Are Changing The World

In Business, Science, Tech and Social Media, the World on 30/06/2012 at 19:33

ALL PHOTOS BY MIKE MCGREGOR

The previously untold story of how an unprecedented network of high-achieving women from the world’s largest companies, innovative startups, philanthropic organizations, government, and the arts combined forces to change the lives of girls and women everywhere.

Act One

IGNITION

They needed the cows.

Maria Eitel, CEO of the Nike Foundation, is starting her tale at the beginning of her eight-year journey to save the world’s girls. She is telling me about one 13-year-old in particular, the very one who inspired her to invent the Girl Effect, a global initiative that in less than a decade has created or supported groundbreaking programming and research that has put the often-terrifying needs of indigent girls in the toughest parts of the world on the global agenda. “I was in this ridiculously poor part of Ethiopia,” says Eitel, whose title at the time was vice president of corporate responsibility at Nike. The founder and CEO, Phil Knight (along with future CEO Mark Parker), had tapped her to create a not-for-profit arm–but had not dictated a mission. Eitel was in the midst of a yearlong exploration to determine how to make the biggest impact.

In Ethiopia, she followed this girl, named Kidan, through her entire day, watching her strap a filthy jerrycan to her back and haul water, then grind grain as she sat in the dirt. “She was amazingly smart,” recalls Eitel, who likes to talk about creating “that moment of inspiration when you know that a girl believes in herself.” She calls it “ignition,” and Kidan had it–she wanted to be a doctor. “She was such a bright light,” says Eitel. “But we learned that it’s not enough.”

When Eitel spoke to Kidan’s mother about her dreams for her daughter, she found out that the child had already been committed to be married, in exchange for cattle. The mother did not share Eitel’s dismay. “Once I was a girl,” she told Eitel. “One day, there was this commotion and they picked me up and put me on a donkey and that was my wedding. I never saw my family again. So Kidan will just have to be strong.” Kidan’s hope for a career–for anything like the self-directed life that Eitel, and probably any reader of this magazine, believes to be a human right–was effectively over, just as her mother’s had been not so long ago. And her survival? Well, her marriage commitment placed that in greater doubt: In sub-Saharan Africa, says Eitel, more than 90% of deaths related to pregnancy are among adolescents. They needed the cows. (cont … Fast Company)

FOR THE BOOKSHELF: SPOILED ROTTEN: Why do kids rule the roost?

In Authors, Culture, Parenting on 30/06/2012 at 18:55

It almost seems as if we’re trying to raise a nation of “adultescents.”

In 2004, Carolina Izquierdo, an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, spent several months with the Matsigenka, a tribe of about twelve thousand people who live in the Peruvian Amazon. The Matsigenka hunt for monkeys and parrots, grow yucca and bananas, and build houses that they roof with the leaves of a particular kind of palm tree, known as a kapashi. At one point, Izquierdo decided to accompany a local family on a leaf-gathering expedition down the Urubamba River.

A member of another family, Yanira, asked if she could come along. Izquierdo and the others spent five days on the river. Although Yanira had no clear role in the group, she quickly found ways to make herself useful. Twice a day, she swept the sand off the sleeping mats, and she helped stack the kapashi leaves for transport back to the village. In the evening, she fished for crustaceans, which she cleaned, boiled, and served to the others. Calm and self-possessed, Yanira “asked for nothing,” Izquierdo later recalled. The girl’s behavior made a strong impression on the anthropologist because at the time of the trip Yanira was just six years old.

While Izquierdo was doing field work among the Matsigenka, she was also involved in an anthropological study closer to home. A colleague of hers, Elinor Ochs, had recruited thirty-two middle-class families for a study of life in twenty-first-century Los Angeles. Ochs had arranged to have the families filmed as they ate, fought, made up, and did the dishes.

Izquierdo and Ochs shared an interest in many ethnographic issues, including child rearing. How did parents in different cultures train young people to assume adult responsibilities? In the case of the Angelenos, they mostly didn’t. In the L.A. families observed, no child routinely performed household chores without being instructed to. Often, the kids had to be begged to attempt the simplest tasks; often, they still refused. In one fairly typical encounter, a father asked his eight-year-old son five times to please go take a bath or a shower. After the fifth plea went unheeded, the father picked the boy up and carried him into the bathroom. A few minutes later, the kid, still unwashed, wandered into another room to play a video game.

In another representative encounter, an eight-year-old girl sat down at the dining table. Finding that no silverware had been laid out for her, she demanded, “How am I supposed to eat?” Although the girl clearly knew where the silverware was kept, her father got up to get it for her. (cont … New Yorker)

Why I Believe That This Will Be The Most Innovative Decade In History

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 30/06/2012 at 18:31

Many people believe that we’ve run out of ideas and that the future will be one of bleak shortages of food, energy, and water. Billionaire Peter Thiel, for example, argues that despite spectacular advances in computer-related fields, technological progress has actually stalled because the internal combustion engine still rules our highways, the cancer death rate has barely changed since 1971, and the top speed at which people can travel has ceased to improve.

Thiel is right about engines, speed, and cancer death rates. But he and the pessimists are completely wrong about what lies ahead. I don’t believe that the future holds shortages and stagnation; it is more likely to be one in which we debate how we can distribute the abundance and prosperity that we’ve created.

Why am I so optimistic? Because of the wide assortment of technologies that are advancing at exponential rates and converging. They are enabling small teams to do what was once only possible for governments and large corporations. These exponential technologies will help us solve many of humanity’s grand challenges, including energy, education, water, food, and health.

Let me give you a taste of what lies ahead.

Vivek Wadhwa – Vice President of Academics and Innovation at Singularity University

Most people in the world have been affected by the advances in computing and mobile technologies. In a short 15 years, the Internet has changed the way we work, shop, communicate, and think. Knowledge, which used to be available only to the elite classes through books such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, is today abundant and free. All of this happened because computing power is growing exponentially. The technology industry knows this growth as Moore’s Law.

The advances are happening not only in computing but also in fields such as genetics, AI, robotics, and medicine. For example, in 2000, scientists at a private company called Celera announced that it had raced ahead of the U.S. government–led international effort decoding the DNA of a human being. Using the latest sequencing technology as well as the data available from the Human Genome Project, Celera scientists had created a working draft of the genome. It took decades and cost billions to reach this milestone.

The price of genome sequencing is dropping at double the rate of Moore’s Law. Today, it is possible to decode your DNA for a few thousand dollars. With the price falling at this rate, a full genome sequence will cost less than $100 within five years. Genome data will readily be available for millions, perhaps billions, of people. We will be able to discover the correlations between disease and DNA and to prescribe personalized medications—tailored to an individual’s DNA. This will create a revolution in medicine. (cont … Forbes)

AMERICAN CIVICS 101: What does American Socialism look like?

In Culture, History, Politics on 30/06/2012 at 18:10

Image

AMERICAN CIVICS 101: Any questions?

So·cial·ism

noun
1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.

3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

FYI… #OBAMA2012

Another View on Microsoft’s Surface Tablet and its associated technologies

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 27/06/2012 at 11:01

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The following blog was written by one of my Google+ and Facebook friends Shawn P. Scott.  He has offered up an interesting industry perspective on Microsoft’s new tablet platform.  Check it out and feel free to share your thoughts.

Everyone keeps talking about how the new Microsoft Surface tablet will not stand up against the iPad and is doomed to fail unless it comes in at a super cheap price point. Personally I don’t think anything could be further from the truth. First of all I don’t think the 1st gen Surface is even looking to compete with the iPad but rather target people in the market for a new laptop.

Windows 8 is a bold move on the part of Microsoft, one that will ultimately decide the fate of the company going forward. With the RTM release expected in late July or early August, time is running out for getting devices into the marketplace that truly harness it’s power. I believe Surface is just an example of how much Microsoft believes in Windows 8 and is banking on its success.

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One of the most different aspect of Windows 8 is the all new touch interface for navigating around. Yes you can still use a mouse, but it’s clear that the future of Windows lies in your fingertips. This is evident with just a few minutes use of the new operating system and the only way to maximize the efficiency the new interface brings is with a touch display. I’m sure Microsoft realized this early in the development process and started thinking of ways they could promote this new change.

That is where the Surface was born. Traditional laptops are simply not the most effective way to run Windows 8, and to keep the OS from being a dud like Windows ME and Vista Microsoft needed to release a device on day 1 that could run the OS like it was designed.

Some OEM partners like Acer were upset at the move but Microsoft had no choice in the matter. They couldn’t leave the future of their company up to PC manufacturers who are struggling to make quality hardware that meets the needs of the general public. If you were to walk into the computer section Best Buy right now, you would see a sea of laptops many with the exact same specs. Most of them won’t have battery life of more than 3-4 hours. Most of them will have the barest specs necessary to keep their price down.

The 3 most popular brands at Best Buy are HP, Sony and Dell. As far as I know, none of these companies have a touchscreen device ready to be launched alongside Windows 8. HP has worked with Microsoft in the past on tablet devices and each one has been a miserable failure. Given the bad track record of Windows powered tablets, Microsoft simply could not afford to leave its fate up to ill conceived devices.

The iPad is a great device for internet consumption, but thats where it ends. College students don’t write 20 page essays on their iPads, photographers don’t edit professional level pictures on their iPads, developers don’t build sites and apps on their iPads. All of these tasks are performed on a traditional computer with the power and functionality to handle them.

This is where Windows 8 and Surface stand to shine because together they alleviate the need of owning a second device for actual work. While the RT version will only run Metro apps, the Pro version is where the sweet spot for Microsoft is. Companies may be buying iPad in large numbers, but when real work needs to be done they also have secondary devices.

In 2011 nearly 17 million laptops were shipped in the US and over 85 million worldwide. The top worldwide producers were HP (14.8 million), Dell (10.6 million) and Lenovo (10.2 million). The Surface doesn’t have to outsell the iPad to be successful, it simply needs to get Microsoft onto this list. Toshiba comes in on the lower end of this list with 4.4 million units shipped and is a prime target for Microsoft.

The reason Toshiba ranks so low on the worldwide scale is they make low quality products that don’t perform very well. If they can manage to sell 4.4 million of them, I’m quite sure Microsoft can manage to ship 5 million Surface devices that showcase the best features of Windows 8.

Right now is a horrible time to buy a new Windows PC, every single device on the market will be rendered obsolete as soon as Windows 8 hits the shelves. No one knows this better than Microsoft and they are hedging their bets on themselves.”

In Uncategorized on 27/06/2012 at 10:00

COMMUNITY PSA: I receive a LOT of requests from people to write/blog about or post various things on my facebook page. Some times I do it but most times I don’t. This particular situation was brought to my attention last week. I think it’s more than worthy of my wall and your time to read and discuss.

The BIG take away from the blog is, “Don’t patronize Downtown Sports Bar and Grill in Raleigh, NC.” It seems that they had a brain fart and imagined that it was 1960’s America again. You know that wonderfully nostalgic time in American history when Negro’s and Blanco’s couldn’t “legally” occupy the same space and time.

Now mind you the author of this blog is Blanco and the person affected most by the incident was Negro and a Morehouse man.

That said, read the blog and tell me what you think. What say YE?!!!

Philip Christman

Just received the following email from a dear friend and coworker. He sent it to a local TV news channel, and I am posting it here in case they don’t do anything with it.

The takeaway: Don’t patronize Downtown Sports Bar and Grill in Raleigh, NC. Also, if you’re white and you’re the only person in the restaurant, you might want to ask around to make sure your favorite establishments aren’t pulling this kind of shit.

As for Jonathan, he’s a former student of mine. I call him “Mr. President” because he’s one of the most intimidatingly accomplished and polished undergrads I’ve ever met. He’s also one of the nicest people I know. He wouldn’t lie about something like this.

My name is Jonathan Wall, and I am a 21 year old black male from Raleigh, NC. I was born and raised here, and just a few weeks ago I…

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Nigerian president says Boko Haram wants to destabilise govt.

In Uncategorized on 26/06/2012 at 00:37

Rivers of Hope

Related Content

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday said Islamist group Boko Haram was seeking to incite a religious crisis by attacking churches in an attempt to destabilise the government.

“Terrorists all over the world have one common agenda: destabilising government,” he said during a question-and-answer session on national television.

Jonathan, who has come under heavy criticism in recent days over spiralling violence in the country’s north, described how the group had moved from targeting local rivals to government institutions and now churches.

He said earlier waves of attacks had not brought down the government, leading the group to target churches in Africa’s most populous nation, roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.

“Attacking churches is to instigate religious crisis,” Jonathan said. “They believe that when they attack a church, Christian youths will revolt against Muslim youths. They don’t care about…

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