When we think about human robots, the Terminator comes to mind, but then we think that human robots are a ways off from reality. Well here’s a company that proves that a military Terminator isn’t too far away. Boston Dynamics have been building robots for a little while now and their latest incarnation is the Petman. Built for the US Army as a suit wearing robot for chemical protection testing conditions, this robot with a torso and legs that can even withstand a knock from the side and it remains upright and walking. Keep in mind that this is an early prototype and it can walk nearly like a human…a drunk human…but getting there! SCARY!!!
Here is a cool animation of the story of Google. It’s amazing how the web applications have grown through the last decade!
Bill Keller discussed last week to the New York Times Digital Group the different platforms they are working on to distribute the Times content. He pointed out “the Times Reader, iPhone apps, WAP or the impending Apple Slate…”. Is this a true acknowledgment that the Apple Tablet does exist? Maybe, or is he just assuming that it will be coming out and trying to be technologically hip?
For all of you iPhone users out there that wish that they could have the same swipe, scrolling and pinching functionality on a mouse, Apple has answered your wishes. Today Apple released their latest incarnation the “Magic Mouse”! With the ability to use all the multi-touch functions you get on your iPhone but in a mouse. If you think that’s cool, check out the ginormous 27″ iMac.
Verizon has started their massive “iDon’t” ad campaign to point out the flaws of the iPhone while they prep users for the upcoming Motorola Droid smartphone. There are a multitude of problems with this ad campaign. First, by starting off with the “i”-thing, that’s lame, it’s been used before by SanDisk a few years back when they ran their “iSheep” campaign to promote their Sansa MP3 player to compete with the iPod. That campaign sucked and SanDisk pulled the ads pretty quickly and to prove it, do you see any Sansa MP3 players around? Secondly, Verizon is choosing to point out flaws on the iPhone rather then pointing out the flaws of their actually competitor, AT&T. Now lets breakdown their ad here, the iDon’t flaws pointed out aren’t really deal breakers
- – “iDon’t have a real keyboard” – When it comes to touchpad keyboards, the iPhone is supreme. Ask Blackberry Storm users. More, users either like touchscreen keyboards or they don’t, this isn’t a flaw.
- – “iDon’t run simultaneous apps”- Isn’t playing music while surfing the web, send/receiving emails, text messaging and looking at pics running simultaneous apps? Most iPhone users do these things and that’s about it. I’ve never noticed that I wasn’t running simultaneous apps.
- – “iDon’t take 5-mp pictures or take pictures in the dark”. It’s a phone not a camera, and eventually like all technologies, all smartphones including the iPhone will take 12MP pictures and higher, see the Samsung W880 post.
- – “iDon’t Customize and iDon’t run widgets”- Customize? Other than changing the background image and reorganizing the apps, what more is there to customize? Widgets? What’s a widget, is it something like an App, cause there’s about 85,000 of those.
- – “iDon’t allow open development”, yeah, like we all are mobile software developers and it looks like the iPhone developers and the latest Flash CS5 Pro software will allow Flash developers to output native iPhone app, which is gonna make a pretty dominate developers pool.
- – “iDon’t have interchangeable batteries”- does everyone carry a bunch of extra phone batteries? Does everyone use interchangeable batteries? Is this a flaw or a marketing ploy to buy another battery?
Now I’m not saying that the iPhone is the end-all, be-all of smartphones, because I think the Blackberry is probably the best business smartphone out there, and the flaws on the iPhone are something that needs to be address, but Verizon really needs to step up their marketing. Show off the much anticipated Motorola Druid and let users decide if it’s as easy to use as an iPhone or a Blackberry, that’s what will sell users on your phone and network.
If you’ve ever wondered what type of computing power it takes to run a website like Facebook, the answer is 30,000 servers. Jeff Rothschild, Facebook VP of technology spoke in San Diego last week discussed the tech numbers that support 300 million users. Within the last 18 months Facebook has added 20,000 servers, which can explain the $100 million dollar loan they got back in May 2008 and stores 80 billion images. He also said that it servers up 600,000 photos every second!
With the upcoming release of Adobe’s Flash Professional CS5, Adobe has worked diligently to allow Flash developers the ability to output a native running iPhone version of their Flash content. This is a huge step in getting nearly 1million Flash developers a foot in the door to build flash games and sell them on Apple’s hugely successful App Store. Expected to release in early 2010, Flash Professional CS5 may just help the starving Flash community earn some money because as of right now, Flash developers are barely making enough to buy a cup of coffee.
Hopefully soon, Apple will work something out with Adobe to allow Flash to play within the phone’s browser. Although this is more of a power consumption issue and as well as stealing the thunder from Apple’s App Store then it is about technology.
Samsung has upped the ante regarding the MP capture capacity on cell phones with their latest Samsung W880. This digital point and shoot can capture 12MP images with a 3x optical zoom. Some other high-end specs include tracking touch autofocus, 720p video at 30fps and 3.3″ AMOLED touchscreen withWVGA resolution, but what about the cell phone you say? Well, how Samsung figures it, they took a great digital point and shoot camera and crammed some phone parts into whatever space they have left. So I’ll assume that this is probably a crappy phone, although it only will be released in Korea for testing, but this may be what’s in store for the new Samsung M8920 which should hit our shores next year and hopefully with additional Wi-Fi and GPS functionality.
Apple has announced that over 2 billion apps have been downloaded from their revolutionary App Store. With over 85,000 available to over 50 million iPhones and iPod Touches the amount of apps being downloaded by users can accelerate with time. Keep in mind that “nearly half-billion apps have been downloaded in this quarter alone” states Steve Jobs.
Hey Steve, that’s a whole lotta apps man!