Do Believe the Hype

Having traveled to both China and India in the last few weeks, here’s a
scary thought I have: What if — for all the hype about China, India and
globalization — they’re actually underhyped? What if these sleeping
giants are just finishing a 20-year process of getting the basic
technological and educational infrastructure in place to become
innovation hubs and that we haven’t seen anything yet?

Read the article: Do Believe the Hype

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

Google on its transparency and not-so-secret formula

Recently the European Commission opened a preliminary inquiry into competition complaints. Part of the complaint alleges that Google operates without sufficient transparency into how and why web sites rank in our search results. The notion that Google isn’t transparent is tough for me to swallow. Google has set the standard in how we communicate with web site publishers. Let me tell you about some of the ways we explain to sites how we rank them and why.

One of the most widely-discussed parts of Google’s scoring has always been PageRank. That “secret ingredient” is hardly a secret. Here it is. That early paper not only gave the formula for PageRank, but mentioned many of the other signals in Google’s ranking, including anchor text, the location of words within documents, the relative proximity of query words in a document, the size and type of fonts used, the raw HTML of each page, and capitalization of words. Google has continued to publish literally hundreds of research papers over the years. Those papers reveal many of the “secret formulas” for how Google works and document essential infrastructure that Google uses. Some of these papers have spurred not only open-source projects but entire in their own right.


Read the article: European Public Policy Blog: Google, transparency and our not-so-secret formula

The Millenials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change.

Generations, like people, have personalities, and Millennials – the American teens and twenty-somethings currently making the passage into adulthood – have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living. [pewsocialtrends.org]

Comment: Personally, I think being around 75% Millenial is good any above that may actually be deteriorating, but that’s just a perspective, take the quiz yourself to know how ‘Millenial’ you are.

Read the article:
Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next – Pew Research Center

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?

Intel and Nokia merge mobile operating systems

The world’s largest chip maker and the world’s largest mobile phone maker have merged operating systems to create a single platform for mobiles. The new MeeGo platform, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will be used to power phones, netbooks, TVs and in-car entertainment systems. The open-source software has been created by merging elements of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo software.

Read the article: Intel and Nokia merge software to create MeeGo

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

A Deeper Look Into Google’s 800-Pound Panda Problem

Now, to the heart of the issue: China. You can think of China as a foxy young girl who knows she’s smokin’ hot. She’s happy to hang out at the club and lure people over to buy her drinks, and even though she’d chat and humor him a bit just to keep him talking and buying drinks, she’d never dream of putting out. Instead, once her suitor had fulfilled his usefulness or she became bored, she’d feign indignation, throw a fit, and then freeze him out. Yes, in spite of her charm and confidence in her looks, there’s something bothering her on the inside: even though others compliment her beauty and tell her she’s special, she looks over to the VIP table and her gut sinks. Why don’t those other people accept her? That’s all she wants!

Read the article: Censor? I barely know her!