The Sad Truth About the Facebook Movie

The Valley used to be a place run by scientists and engineers, people like Robert Noyce, the Ph.D. physicist who helped invent the integrated circuit and cofounded Intel. The Valley, in those days, was focused on hard science and making things. At first there were semiconductors, which is how Silicon Valley got its name; then came computers and software. But now the Valley has become a casino, a place where smart kids arrive hoping to make an easy fortune building companies that seem, if not pointless, at least not as serious as, say, old-guard companies like HP, Intel, Cisco, and Apple.

Read the article: The Sad Truth About the Facebook Movie – Newsweek

Memristors > Transistors

The fundamental building blocks of all computing devices could be about to undergo a dramatic change that would allow faster, more efficient machines. Researchers at computer firm Hewlett Packard have shown off working devices built using memristors – often described as electronics’ missing link. These tiny devices were proposed 40 years ago but only fabricated in 2008. HP says it has now shown that they can be used to crunch data, meaning they could be used to build advanced chips. That means they could begin to replace transistors – the tiny switches used to build today’s chips. And, crucially, the unique properties of memristors would allow future chips to both store and process data in the same device.

Read the article: Hewlett Packard outlines computer memory of the future

Is the Bloom Box energy nirvana?

A Silicon Valley inventor claims that a new technology called the Bloom Box will revolutionize how households use the electrical grid. The Bloom Box is a fuel cell that converts oxygen and an energy source – natural gas, biofuels, or even solar – into electricity. K.R. Sridhar, former NASA scientist and founder of Bloom Energy, revealed the technology Sunday night on “60 Minutes,” and plans to hold a news conference Wednesday in San Jose. He envisions every house having a Bloom Box power plant installed in the back yard.

Google, eBay, and FedEx are currently testing the Bloom Box. The prototype devices are the size of refrigerators and cost around $700,000. eBay claims the Bloom Box saved the company $100,000 in annual energy costs. Details on operating and maintenance costs, however, are sketchy. Fuel cell technology has been around for a long time. It normally requires precious metals such as platinum, making it too expensive for widespread applications. Bloom Box fuel cells are constructed instead with ceramic wafers coated with a special ink.

If Sridhar has truly discovered a way to make fuel cells affordable, it will transform the electrical grid. If not, the Bloom Box could be a bust.

Read the article: Bloom Box: Segway or savior?

Symbian Operating System now open source

The source code for the ten-year old Symbian platform will be completely open source and available for free starting Thursday. The transition from proprietary code to open source is the largest in software history, claims the Symbian Foundation. Symbian, which powers most of Nokia’s phones, has been shipped in more than 330 million devices worldwide. But in the last few years, Symbian has seen more than its fair share of changes. In 2008, Nokia, one of Symbian’s largest customers, acquired a major share in the company. Nokia then created the Symbian Foundation to distribute the platform as an open source project, and began the process of opening up the source code that year.

Symbian OS being open source could very well adversely impact the Android platform.

Read the article: Symbian Operating System, Now Open Source and Free

The New Untouchables

In our subprime era, we thought we could have the American dream — a house and yard — with nothing down. This version of the American dream was delivered not by improving education, productivity and savings, but by Wall Street alchemy and borrowed money from Asia. A year ago, it all exploded. Now that we are picking up the pieces, we need to understand that it is not only our financial system that needs a reboot and an upgrade, but also our public school system. Otherwise, the jobless recovery won’t be just a passing phase, but our future.

Read the article: The New Untouchables

Android to grab No. 2 spot by 2012

Android to grab No. 2 spot by 2012, says Gartner; global forecast puts Android ahead of iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile. The complete Gartner forecast for smartphone OSes by the end of 2012 puts Symbian on top with 203 million devices sold, and 39% of the market. Android will be second with nearly 76 million units sold, and 14.5% of the market. Coming in a close third, the iPhone will ship on 71.5 million devices in 2012, giving a 13.7% market share. Windows Mobile will finish fourth, with 66.8 million units sold, or 12.8% of the market. Very close behind Windows Mobile, the BlackBerry OS will sell on 65.25 million devices in 2012, Gartner forecasts, making it fifth with 12.5% market share. Various Linux devices will sell 28 million units, at 5.4% market share, in sixth place. Palm Inc.’s webOS will sell on 11 million units in 2012, about 2.1% of the market, in seventh place, Gartner says. Android will have moved up the most from 2009 to 2012, from sixth place to second. BlackBerry will have moved down the most, from second to fifth, while iPhone will remain in third position and Windows Mobile will remain in fourth position, Gartner says.

Read the article: Android to grab No. 2 spot by 2012

The Cone of Learning

Something very interesting, slightly questionable, but beautifully summarises how different ways of learning can affect retention of information. Taken from Robert Kiyosaki‘s book ‘Financial IQ’, the diagram is inspired by but a highly convoluted version of the second graph below known as the ‘Cone of Experience’ originally conceived by Edgar Dale in 1969 (notice that it did not have any numbers).

The Cone Of Learning by Edgar Dale

The Cone Of Learning (source Financial IQ by Robert Kiyosaki)

‘Cone of Experience’ originally conceived by Edgar Dale:

Original Cone of Experience Edgar Dale

Original Cone of Experience Edgar Dale

Verbal Symbols < Visual Symbols < Recordings Radio Still Pictures < Motion Pictures < Educational Television < Exhibits < Study Trips < Demonstrations < Dramatized Experiences < Contrived Experiences < Direct Purposeful Experiences.

Proprietary software vs. Open-source software vs. Cloud + SaaS

Open-source software has won the argument. Now a new threat to openness looms with the advent of “Cloud computing” — the delivery of software as a service (SaaS). Moving from one service provider to another could be even more difficult than switching between software packages in the old days. For a foretaste of this problem, try moving your Orkut profile to Facebook without manually retyping everything. The obvious answer is to establish agreed standards for moving data between clouds.

Read the article: Unlocking the cloud