Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Is the world ready for self-driving cars?

AUGUST 26, 2014
12:48 AM



Google's automatic, self-driving carCalifornia DMV implements steering wheel and break pedal requirements

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is now requiring car manufacturers to fit manual control devices in all automatic cars, even test ones, before driving them on public roads. These devices include a steering wheel and a brake pedal to allow drivers to take control of the car in case of unforeseen but inevitable circumstances.

This new road-safety regulation by the DMV in Google's home state has parked the company's one hundred test cars until they can be properly fitted with the necessary parts. The future weeps for progress lost thanks to a little knee-jerk rule-making.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I am Iron Man (or, the Stupidest Possible Way to Watch Fireworks)

AUGUST 25, 2014
2:33 AM

Welcome to yet another installment of the crazy Colin Furze, mad scientist extraordinaire. Today, we bring you perhaps the deadliest of all the Furze-meister's stunts: building a massive metal suit from which to directly observe a fireworks display; and when I say directly observe, I mean stand right in the freaking center of. Because, you know... MANLINESS!

Not that I'm complaining. It certainly sounds awesome, and you can get a glimpse of what it was like to perform this daredevil act by watching the video Furze uploaded. Of course, it will never be anything close to actually standing at the epicenter of explosion, but for now I think living vicariously through his videos will have to do:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Contrary to popular belief, the tablet is not the death of the PC

AUGUST 23, 2014
11:57 PM

Tablets like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Nexus 7 haven't killed the PC yet.
Tablets like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Nexus 7
haven't killed the PC yet.
You may find it hard to believe, but the PC has not been dethroned by the tablet, despite all of the hype they generated. For a while there, many of us were so sure that the tablet was the end of the personal computer era, because why would anyone want a bulky computer that may not even be feasible to move when you could have pretty much everything on the go with a tablet? Seemed like a done deal.

As it turns out though, the old maxim holds true: the devil's in the details. Sure, tablets are mobile computers, with minimum sacrifice -- but its those few things that must be sacrificed for mobility which make the PC stronger, like full keyboards and large screens. The Windows Surface is a step in the right direction, but at this point aren't we just mimicking notebooks? The line between smart phone and personal computer becomes increasingly blurred with every generation of tablet.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Amazon Prime Air drone delivery service is really going to happen!

AUGUST 21, 2014
11:16 AM

To the moon, Amazon! -- or, at least, to the skies.

Amazon Prime Air, straight to your house
That seems to the be the motto at the e-retail behemoth Amazon lately (alongside, "We can make a phone too!") as they shape up to become the first large-scale drone delivery service. Amazon Prime Air, as they call it, hasn't actually seen the approval of those FAA nazis yet, but it has brought on board some pretty serious names.

Even with the regulatory setbacks, it's tough not to get excited about the future of Amazon Prime Air. The project has already hired engineers/researchers from Microsoft and Bing, an early developer for Google Earth, and some aerospace engineers. Heck, they even picked up a NASA astronaut to make sure they had all their bases covered.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Microsoft may be readying CDN service called 'Sway'

AUGUST 14, 2014
5:20 PM

Whois, Sway.com; Courtesy: DotWeekly
Whois, Sway.com; Courtesy: DotWeekly
Look out, Tim Cook! Nothing is set in stone yet, but it seems like Microsoft is readying up its own content delivery network (CDN) -- just like the Mac-makers at Apple released recently. Of course, creating an entire CDN is serious work, so it will take some serious time. If it's anything like the process over at Apple, it could take well over a year for any of us to actually see the supposed CDN in use.

Tech behemoth Microsoft is being appropriately vague when questioned on the matter. Says the mystical PR guru and leader of Microsoft's corporate communications, Frank X. Shaw: "[It] is August. Chill. :) soak up some rays. Read a book. Play titanfall." (Twitter, @fxshaw). Nuts. The media hasn't missed a beat, though. Kudos to Jamie Zoch for uncovering the Sway trademark and Sway.com buy-up over at DotWeekly.

I guess we'll all just have to be patient with this one...

Video after the jump: Introduction to CDN Content Delivery Networks -- Eli the Computer Guy

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Etsy's online craft shops making five figures a month

EDM Designs, mentioned below
Selling home-made arts and crafts doesn't really sound like the kind of full-time job your parents would be too particularly proud of, but as it turns out there are ways to earn good income doing just that. Using your creative side, you too could be raking in the dough like some of these top earners from the home-made arts & crafts e-bazaar known as Etsy:


Overlaying images on pages of yellowed college level dictionary print is not a particularly novel idea (see what I did there?) but it is a best-seller. People eat this stuff up, and so as long as there is a demand I suspect the supply end will continue making a whopping number sales.


Berkeley Illustration

This artist hand-draws various realistic portrait prints of animals in human clothing. If this sounds a bit peculiar, you are not alone -- but make no mistake, the work is quality art. Someone must really like them, to be raking in the big five figures.

This list reaches up to $65,000/mo.!