Today's big news wasn't last nights #SOTU talk, no, it was today's announcements by Microsoft, about Windows 10 and some new augmented reality software called Windows Holographic. (Where is it written that everything Microsoft do has to be called "Windows X". Anyway.) It looks pretty amazing. Of course this tech will be used for gaming, but who knows what else, too? I'm starting to think shopping - in virtual stores - might be a big application. Coupled with visual search, of course!
And so, what will Google Glass 2.0 need to succeed? The commenters on Slashdot have focused on hardware and software answers, as is their wont, but to me the answer needs to take the form of a market opportunity, an unmet need that smart glasses can fulfill. And one beyond gaming.
Little commented on among the #SOTU discussioned, President Obama mentioned the U.S.' "re-engergized space program", and astronaut Scott Kelly, who's about to leave Earth for a one year tour abord the ISS. Of course, he's going to get there in a Russian spaceship, despite the SpaceX resupply missions. "Good Luck captain, and make sure to Instagram it!"
This is one awesome lightsaber battle. May the Farce be with you. Absolutely no movies have spawned as many fan-created sequels, parodies, and tributes as Star Wars. Can't wait for the next one!
Here we have Exploding Kittens, a new Kickstarted card game from (among others) Matthew Inman of the Oatmeal. The game has raised over $1M from their target of $10K. Wow.
I'm trying to figure out, did the thousands of backers want the game, or the perceived coolness of being part of the Kickstarter?
[Update on 1/25: 97,000 backers and $3.8M raised. Wow.]
On the eve of the State of the Union address (#SOTU), Richard Epstein notes ObamaCare's Slow Death. "The results are now clear, the Affordable Care Act has done nothing to unravel the past mistakes that in large measure were attributable to excessive regulation and transfer payments."
This cartoon illustrates the mechanism perfectly :)
Did you watch the conference championship games today? They were both played in 50o weather with intermittent rain, and both featured two solid teams with strong quarterbacks and defenses. But the similarity ends there.
The NFC game, in which Seattle barely edged Green Bay 28-22 in overtime after coming back from being down 16 points at halftime was a game for the ages, featuring a fake field goal for a touchdown, great field goal kicking, five turnovers by the winning team, a successful onside kick, a wild two-point conversion, and two late drives for touchdowns by the winning team. Whew. If you didn't watch that one look for it, you should.
The AFC game was an old-fashioned stomping, New England thrashed Indianapolis 45-7 in a game which wasn't even *that* close. Andrew Luck and his dynamic offense could only manage one TD against the Pats, in the first quarter, and the Colts defense couldn't do anything against Tom Brady and company. Wow. If you didn't watch that one you probably don't have to.
On the Super Bowl, one more game* to be played this season. It should be pretty interesting, matching the two best teams in football at a point where they are both playing well and relatively healthy. I'll be rooting for Seattle but honestly this one will be too close to call. Pass the nachos!
This is a perfect example; just when you think you've seen it all, you realize "it all" is so much more than you thought :)
The other day I noted "close but no cigar", SpaceX's successful launch combined with their unsuccessful attempt to land a booster on a barge in the ocean. So now they've released video of the crash. You can clearly see they got the booster to the barge, which was pretty amazing, and failed to land cleanly. Onward!
The ASO have revealed the list of teams invited to participate in this years' Tour de France. Director Christian Prudhomme gives a great overview of who was invited and why. Can't wait ... as every year, but especially this year, should be great!
Frequent visitors will know, one of my favorite sites is Inhabitat, a green-focused blog with a lot of interesting stories and pictures. They also run "green news stories", and this one caught my eye: Obama's veto on Keystone pipeline will likely hold. I was moved to comment:
"Hi could you please explain to your readers why opposing the Keystone Pipeline is good for the environment?
I’m a serious environmentalist but I’m puzzled by other environmentalists' opposition to this project.
In my view, the pipeline is more environmentally friendly than the alternative means of transporting oil from Alberta to Texas. Perhaps not transporting the oil at all would be preferred, but that’s not on the table. We might as well pick the best way to move the oil.
This seems similar to the equally puzzling opposition that some environmentalists have to nuclear power generation. Perhaps not generating power at all would be preferred, but that’s not going to happen, so if power is going to be generated at all let’s pick the cleanest way to do it.
So what's the answer? Is this another case, like nuclear power, where environmentalists are on the wrong side of a trade-off, or is there another point of view?
Hmmm... to fall in love with anyone, do this. Where "this" is, answer a series of increasingly personal questions for each other, and then stare into each other's eyes for four minutes. I guess if you're already predisposed that way - and you'd have to be, in order to try - then maybe this could work.
The shift online continues: Macy's announces massive restructuring. They're putting a brave face on it - consolidating functions in an effort to streamline operations and provide better service - but they're also closing 14 stores and eliminating 2,200 jobs.
I find it fascinating to ponder where this trend is going to end? What will Macy's, Nordstrom, etc look like in 10 years? In 20? Will we even still have real stores in the future, or will we all shop virtually with an Oculus headset?
Great news: DTS is making movie and TV dialog easier to hear. "The neat trick with DTS:X, however, is that it separates dialogue into its own thing that you control the volume of independently from everything else." Well that would be great! How often do you listen to a movie at home, and find the volume of sound effects and music to be way louder than the dialog?
Parenthetically, I have a fifteen-year-old Yamaha receiver; in addition to Dolby and all kinds of surround sound effects, it supports DTS. I have never used this and had no idea what or who they were. So be it.
From CNN (of all media): Quran has enough justification for militants. "The fact that the Paris attacks have something to do with Islamic beliefs cannot be wished away either by claims that Islam is simply a religion of peace, or by political correctness, or because we live in an increasingly secularized modern era that often doesn't take deeply held religious beliefs sufficiently seriously." So given that, what is to be done? Honest appraisal is helpful, and articles like this are a good start.
Close but no cigar ... the spaceship that almost landed, from Rand Simberg. "Most reports of Saturday morning’s flight by SpaceX to the International Space Station note that the primary mission was successful, but that the company “failed” to stick the landing... But to focus on what went wrong is to ignore the many other things that went astonishingly right, and just how close the company came this time to achieving their long-time goal of recovering the first stage of the Falcon rocket." Missed it by -> that <- much.
Apple eyes big improvements for iPhone 6s camera. This is why stand-alone camera manufacturers are doomed. The volume of smartphones is so high that companies like Apple and Samsung can afford to invest huge sums in incremental improvements. Smartphones are already the most popular cameras, and more than good enough for most of us. And they keep climbing up the market, a classic attack from below.