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Archive: November 1, 2014

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rainy day

Saturday,  11/01/14  11:06 PM

rain!Yep, it's raining.  You wouldn't think that would call for much comment, but here in Southern California, it's an event.  Let's hope it keeps pouring for a while.  Yay!

bronzeFill - 3D print with actual metal!This is exciting: BronzeFill PLA.  This combination of actual bronze with plastic allows my 3D MakerBot printer to print metal objects!  Yippee.

I have been working out ... in the morning.  By going to a gym.  And this means instead of watching sports I have been watching "morning news".  Do not in any way confuse this with actual news.  Morning news is a trivial sequence of celebrity stories, reality show tidbits, and current event chitchat.  It probably says more about the intended audience than it does about the broadcasters.  Blech.

Begin Again - worth the watchMove recommendation of the day: Begin Again.  Featuring Mark Ruffalo (who I generally like) and Keira Knightley (in the first role where I really liked her character).  If you can look past the inevitable moralizing about the music industry, it's a good tale.  Best of all it shows a man and a woman who are friends without any romantic entanglements.  Yeah, it can happen :)

Can I just say, we *love* AppleTV.  It might be a mere hobby to the company, but it sure is nice for its users.  Exactly how movies on demand should work.

Russell Beattie: How I learned to write.  "I'll warn you though, if what I say really resonates with you, it'll be like taking the red pill."  Yeah I took it a long time ago :)

Jim Clark's ComancheExcellent: the billionaire and the super yacht with sights on the record books.  How cool would it be to sail on such a boat?  Or better yet, to own it?  Almost makes me want to be a billionaire :)  Almost.

Amazon are sitting on $83M of unsold Fire Phones.  Wow.  Yes, I have one - purely for Visual Search research, on behalf of eyesFinder - and no, I didn't expect it to be such a flop.  I guess the consumer decision on whether to get one was vs Samsung phones, and the Fire did not stand out (or wasn't inexpensive enough).  The latter point being mitigated by the fact that Amazon bundled their Prime service and ultimately dropped the price to $0.  I don't expect this will be Amazon's last phone; their first Kindle wasn't a huge success either (and yes, I have one of those too).

Meanwhile, Apple Pay activated over 1M cards in the first 72 hours.  Yep.  The combination of Apple, many large retailers, and most large banks makes this effort unstoppable.  Can't wait to get an Apple Watch so I can try it.  (I have an iPhone 5S, which doesn't natively implement NFC, but which will be able to use an Apple Watch to do so ...)

Don't bet on it: Why CurrentC will beat out Apple Pay in the end.  "What it boils down to is the fact that one technology is designed for the users (Apple) and the other is designed for the merchants (CurrentC)."  Yeah, but Apple Pay is good for merchants too (lower rates due to lower fraud).

Retailers are disabling NFC to block Apple Pay.  This seems like a lose-lose proposition, and I look for it to be a temporary trend, like refusing to accept credit cards.

Horace Dediu: Measuring the Apple Watch opportunity.  Punch line: it's Vast.  If you've spent any time at all looking at fancy watches, you know this is a huge market with plenty of room for new entrants.  I think wearable computers are best understood as jewelry first, and functional devices second.

Buttercup the duck with new 3D-printed footAwesome: Buttercup the Duck receives new 3D-printed foot.  Technology in action :)

Huh: Pope: Evolution, Big Bang do not contradict belief in God.  I agree.  And would add, Evolution, Big Bang mean God is not needed to explain the universe.

John Battelle: My NewCo Los Angeles picks.  Does not [yet] include eyesFinder :)

Todo list: Five steps to colonizing Mars.  It will not be easy, but it will happen.  The economic case has to be made, but as time passes and the Earth becomes more crowded, colonizing another planet will become compelling.  I find the part about establishing a new government out of a new culture to be most interesting.  The types of people who are attracted to this type of venture will drive a lot of change.  Look what happened when Europeans colonized North America!


Ice Age (vertical bar 3D effect)Good to know: adding vertical lines to GIFs makes them look 3D.  Cool!

 

planetary packing

Saturday,  11/01/14  11:24 PM

Did you know?  You can fit every planet in the solar system between Earth and the Moon.  What's more, the fit is surprisingly good.  Maybe add a few exo-planets like Quaoar and it would be perfect.  There's no evidence at all that this is anything other than an amazing coincidence.

Looking at this diagram, I am struck by two things.  First, wow, the Moon is a *long* way from Earth.  Doesn't seem like it.  And second, wow, Jupiter and Saturn are *huge*.  (If it comes to that, so are Uranus and Neptune.)  Awesome!

(I always try to relay these useful facts as a public service :)

 
 

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