aetles + technology   22

The secret world of microwave networks | Ars Technica UK
Stretching between London and Frankfurt, there is a private, mysterious network that is twice as fast as the normal Internet. The connection, provided by a series of microwave dishes on masts, was once completely secret: only one very rich company was allowed to use it, and no one else knew about it.

A couple of years later though, a competitor completed its own microwave link between the two cities—and thus the first company, not wanting to lose out on potential business, revealed that it too had a link between the cities. If a competitor had never emerged, that first link would probably still be shrouded in secrecy today.

Similar stories can be found all over the world, but because these networks are privately owned, and because they're often used by financial groups trying to find an edge on the stock market and eke out a few extra billions, you have to dig deep to find them.
technology  stockmarket  highfrequencytrading  network 
november 2016 by Aetles
Hardworking, ticked off, ‘driven by rage and anxiety’: The Oatmeal isn’t who you think he is | The Seattle Times
INMAN CAME OF AGE as an internet celebrity in his 20s, and has since been surprising people — and himself — with a string of successes as improbable as they are incredible.

The Oatmeal, the website that Inman launched in 2009, draws as many as 7 million unique monthly visitors. He has published five books, three of them New York Times best-sellers. He started a dating website, Mingle2, which racked up a million profiles before Inman sold it. He helped save Nikola Tesla’s laboratory on Long Island, raising $1.37 million for its preservation via crowdfunding. He also raised more than $220,000 for charity in an act of revenge against an aggressive attorney that became the stuff of internet legend. He co-created the popular card game “Exploding Kittens” last year, and started a race series where people run through the woods dressed as junk food. And those people running in Christmas lights around Green Lake in December? Yep. Inman started that race, too.
comics  technology  culture 
august 2016 by Aetles
I know it’s trendy to fight the system and cry that we are all becoming slaves of technology, but this attitude overlooks that computers and phones are tools for communicating. When someone thinks I’m an idiot smiling at a machine, I’m actually smiling at my girlfriend who is 10000 miles away and whom I would have never met if not for these newfangled electronics. As they say: when the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger.
comics  technology 
november 2015 by Aetles
Ways to think about cars — Benedict Evans
Cars are going to change a lot in the next few decades. Electricity on one hand and software on the other change what a car is, how it gets made and who might own one. They might also change the key players. As is often the case when an industry is going to be turned upside-down, there are actually a number of separate things happening, which feed into each other and accelerate the pace of change. 
cars  future  apple  tesla  technology 
august 2015 by Aetles
Making Pinterest — Learn to stop using shiny new things and love...
If you’re starting or growing a company, and your scale is smaller than huge, consider maturity to be your most important factor aside from basic requirements. Ask yourself — does MySQL sufficiently meet my needs? If so, use it. If you’re wondering if MySQL will be fast enough, the answer is YES. Even better than fast, MySQL’s performance will be consistent.

Last Remarks
So I’ve wailed away on a bunch of technologies, but I seem to have a near-romantic thing for MySQL. I’d like to take a moment to mention that MySQL, while mature, does not solve all your problems. Sometimes you’ll have to venture away from the comforting warming glow of maturity.
database  mysql  technology 
april 2015 by Aetles
A comforting lie
This problem will abate in the future, when we're all jacked into the dataspace and cyber-chatting subvocally while we navigate an Internet that's for some reason turned into brightly-coloured geometric shapes. For the time being, though, the silence-equals-a-lost-connection problem is unavoidable, and can only be fixed by a lovely little skeuomorph that's only made better by its name:

"Comfort noise".

Comfort noise is a fake hiss that your mobile phone, your VoIP phone, your corporate digital phone system, whatever, creates to mask the silences between talkspurts. That hiss isn't actually coming down the line, from some analogue amplifier and hundreds of kilometres of copper; it's created independently at each end by kindly computers.
interesting  technology  facts 
december 2014 by Aetles
How The Meritocracy Myth Affects Women In Technology : All Tech Considered : NPR
Meritocracy Vs. Privilege

One of the most prevalent defenses against claims of gender bias and sexism in the tech industry is that Silicon Valley is a meritocracy, where the smartest, most skilled engineers and the best ideas rise to the top. Following this logic, the people with the most merit just happen to be almost all white men.

The reality is far more complex. Reuters recently analyzed the venture capital funding of startups in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and found they had one thing in common: a privileged pedigree. Reuters reports that the startup founders generally came from the traditional Silicon Valley "cohort":

"That means the founders had held a senior position at a big technology firm, worked at a well-connected smaller one, started a successful company already, or attended one of just three universities — Stanford, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"The analysis ... generally supports academic research showing that tech entrepreneurs are substantially wealthier and better educated than the population at large."
The data also supported other claims of race, gender and class bias. But the myth of meritocracy prevails. "This mythology ... denies the role of personal connections, wealth, background, gender, race, or education in an individual's success," writes Alice Marwick, a professor at Fordham University. "If, for example, women (or people of color, or gay people) are not getting venture-capital funding at the same rate as men, the myth maintains, it is due to their lack of ability rather than institutional sexism. It also justifies immense wealth as the worthy spoils of the smartest and best."
technology  gender  genderissues  opensource 
november 2014 by Aetles
Hypercritical: Technological Conservatism
Every great scientific and engineering triumph in human history has been a slap in the face of technological conservatism—the little ones, perhaps even more so. And yet each new step forward, no matter what the size, is inevitably met with a fresh crop of familiar objections. “Just look at what you have already, and it’s still not enough for you. Where does it end?”

It doesn’t. It never ends. Keep moving or get out of the way.
technology  mac  osx 
april 2013 by Aetles
ExtremeFliers Releases A Teeny-Tiny Quadcopter That Can Flip In Mid-Air | TechCrunch
We were lucky enough to meet with Vernon Kerswell at ExtremeFliers, a 20-something inventor with a passion for little flying things. His latest creation, the Microdrone 2.0, puts a surprisingly powerful brain inside a drone that is about as big as a baseball.

The Microdrone has built-in IR sensors as well as a six-axis gyroscope that stabilizes the copter immediately. Vernon was an effusive and effective presenter, running the drone through its paces as he described his trip to China to find the parts he needed to mass produce these little things.

Kerswell is the epitome of the start-up salesman and his excitement about his new product is palpable. I’m looking forward to trying it out in the harsh environment that is my home when it is launched in May for about $100.
quadcopter  drones  technology 
april 2013 by Aetles
​What is LumiLor ?

The LumiLor TM electroluminescent coating system is a patent-pending, practical, durable and affordable technology that can be illuminated with a simple electrical current. 

Used in conjunction with simple driver electronics,
LumiLor will illuminate any surface brightly, and is capable of being custom-animated to flash in sequenced, strobed, and sound activated modes.

The potential for customization is practically limitless!
elpaint  light  technology  electroluminescent 
march 2013 by Aetles
The Technium: Pain of the New
This pattern of initial irritation followed by embrace has been found in other media introductions. When the realism of photography first appeared, artists favored soft lenses to keep the photos "painterly." Drastic sharpness was startling, "unnatural" to art, and looked odd. Over time of course, the sharp details became the main point of photography.

Color TV, technicolor, and Kodakchrome all had its detractors who found a purity and monumentalism in black and white. Color was all too gaudy, distracting and touristy, not unlike the criticism of HFR now.

I predict that on each step towards increased realism new media take, there will be those who find the step physically painful. It will hurt their eyes, ears, nose, touch,and peace of mind. It will seem unnecessarily raw, ruining the art behind the work. This disturbance is not entirely in our heads, because we train our bodies to react to media, and when it changes, it FEELS different. There may be moments of uncomfort.

But in the end we tend to crave the realism -- when it has been mastered -- and will make our home in it.

The scratchy sound of vinyl, the soft focus of a Kodak Brownie, and the flickers of a 24 frame per second movie will all be used to time-stamp a work of nostalgia.
video  technology  movies  framerate  hfr 
january 2013 by Aetles » Moose vs. quadcopter
The video was shot just outside of Oslo. We have a lot of moose roaming around the woods here in Norway. And some of them very close to the city. They’re shy of people, dogs and other living creatures, but are pretty used to the sound of cars, trains, helicopters, planes etc. To see a moose is not very uncommon in Norway.
This moose is probably a 1,5 year old female. She seems more curious than afraid. And we spotted her again from far up in the sky later. Still calmly walking around eating in the same wood.
One of my hobbies for the last year have been to build and fly multirotor helicopters. When I fly them I do it either by flying Line-Of-Sight (LOS) or First Person View (FPV). When flying LOS you simply take off and fly the thing around while watching it from the ground. For quadcopters this limit the range because the copter is symmetric and you loose the orientation pretty fast. However, as I’ve gained experience you start to feel the direction based on speed and the way you control the copter, making it possible to fly further away. I fly LOS when I want to do acrobatics and train accuracy and pilot skills. Here is an example of some acro flying with a very small quadcopter:

KK2 Acro FLights from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.
But for the video with the moose I fly FPV. Meaning that I have a dedicated camera connected to a video transmitter on board the copter. I feed the video signal into a pair of video goggles and navigate the copter like I was sitting inside it. Based on the video signal. When flying this way I always have spotters beside me that keep an eye on the copter and what is happening on the ground.
quadcopter  filming  video  norway  fun  camera  technology 
january 2013 by Aetles
Steve Jobs: The Next Insanely Great Thing
Is there anything well designed today that inspires you?

Design is not limited to fancy new gadgets. Our family just bought a new washing machine and dryer. We didn't have a very good one so we spent a little time looking at them. It turns out that the Americans make washers and dryers all wrong. The Europeans make them much better - but they take twice as long to do clothes! It turns out that they wash them with about a quarter as much water and your clothes end up with a lot less detergent on them. Most important, they don't trash your clothes. They use a lot less soap, a lot less water, but they come out much cleaner, much softer, and they last a lot longer.

We spent some time in our family talking about what's the trade-off we want to make. We ended up talking a lot about design, but also about the values of our family. Did we care most about getting our wash done in an hour versus an hour and a half? Or did we care most about our clothes feeling really soft and lasting longer? Did we care about using a quarter of the water? We spent about two weeks talking about this every night at the dinner table. We'd get around to that old washer-dryer discussion. And the talk was about design.

We ended up opting for these Miele appliances, made in Germany. They're too expensive, but that's just because nobody buys them in this country. They are really wonderfully made and one of the few products we've bought over the last few years that we're all really happy about. These guys really thought the process through. They did such a great job designing these washers and dryers. I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years.
apple  design  stevejobs  technology  washingmachines  miele 
october 2012 by Aetles
How Steve Jobs picks a washer/dryer | 9to5Mac
Two weeks of discussions to choose a washing machine? That’s life in the Jobs household. (He opted for Miele in the end, adding, “I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years.”)
stevejobs  miele  washingmachines  technology 
october 2012 by Aetles
Rapture of the nerds: will the Singularity turn us into gods or end the human race? | The Verge
Hundreds of the world’s brightest minds — engineers from Google and IBM, hedge funds quants, and Defense Department contractors building artificial intelligence — were gathered in rapt attention inside the auditorium of the San Francisco Masonic Temple atop Nob Hill. It was the first day of the seventh annual Singularity Summit, and Julia Galef, the President of the Center for Applied Rationality, was speaking onstage. On the screen behind her, Galef projected a giant image from the film Blade Runner: the replicant Roy, naked, his face stained with blood, cradling a white dove in his arms.

At this point in the movie, Roy is reaching the end of his short, pre-programmed life, “The poignancy of his death scene comes from the contrast between that bitter truth and the fact that he still feels his life has meaning, and for lack of a better word, he has a soul,” said Galef. “To me this is the situation we as humans have found ourselves in over the last century. Turns out we are survival machines created by ancient replicators, DNA, to produce as many copies of them as possible. This is the bitter pill that science has offered us in response to our questions about where we came from and what it all means.”

The Singularity Summit bills itself as the world’s premier event on robotics, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies. The attendees, who shelled out $795 for a two-day pass, are people whose careers depend on data, on empirical proof. Peter Norvig, Google’s Director of Research, discussed advances in probabilistic first-order logic. The Nobel prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman lectured on the finer points of heuristics and biases in human psychology. The Power Point presentations were full of math equations and complex charts. Yet time and again the conversation drifted towards the existential: the larger, unanswerable questions of life.
technology  evolution  humans  singularity  progress  science 
october 2012 by Aetles
In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword -
In the smartphone industry alone, according to a Stanford University analysis, as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions.
copyright  patents  apple  samsung  technology 
october 2012 by Aetles
An Unexpected Ass Kicking | Blog Of Impossible Things
I invented the first computer.
Um, Excuse me?
I created the world’s first internally programmable computer. It used to take up a space about as big as this whole room and my wife and I used to walk into it to program it.
What’s your name?”. I asked, thinking that this guy is either another crazy homeless person in Portland or legitimately who he said he was.
“Russell Kirsch”
Sure enough, after .29 seconds, I found out he wasn’t lying to my face. Russel Kirsch indeed invented the world’s first internally programmable computer and as well as a bunch of other things and definitely lives in Portland.
history  life  technology  computers 
august 2012 by Aetles
Henry Ford, Innovation, and That "Faster Horse" Quote - Patrick Vlaskovits - Harvard Business Review
An innovator should have understanding of one's customers and their problems via empirical, observational, anecdotal methods or even intuition. They should also feel free to ignore customers' inputs. Because by now it should be clear that Ford's adherence to his vision of the mass-market car and how to materialize that vision was instrumental in both his early success in growing Ford Motor Company as well as his later failure to respond in a timely and effective manner to rapid innovation in the marketplace.

The real lesson learned was not that that Ford's failure was one of not listening to his customers, but of his refusal to continuously test his vision against reality, which led to the Ford Motor Company's failure of continuous innovation, resulting in a catastrophic loss of market share from which it never recovered.
quotes  technology  productdevelopement 
july 2012 by Aetles
A Thousand Dildos For The Military Wives | News & Opinion |
Let me start with the technology. RealTouch is a slightly terrifying, synthetic orifice that lives in a plastic tube and connects to a computer. Based on data from an Internet connection, the unit warms up, lubes up, pulses and grips any item stuck into it. On the other end of a connection, a "performer"—who could be a paid "cam girl," or the aforementioned military wife—hand-operates a sensor-covered rod to run the motors in the RealTouch.
I really hope I didn't just freak out anyone reading this story.
teledildonics  sex  technology 
march 2012 by Aetles
Why 4K TVs are stupid | TV and Home Theater - CNET Reviews
The latest TV technology buzzword is "4K." This magical alphanumeric represents a quadrupling of the now-standard 1080p resolution found on Blu-ray and most HDTVs.
Have no doubt, manufacturers are going to start pushing 4K (some already are).
The thing is, though, you don't need 4K, because in the home, 4K is stupid.
Check out Ty Pendlebury's 4K primer for more details about what 4K actually is, because I'm going to spend the bulk of this article describing why you don't need it.
tv  homeelectronics  technology 
january 2012 by Aetles
The Sketchbook of Susan Kare, the Artist Who Gave Computing a Human Face | NeuroTribes
The genius of Steve Jobs, Jef Raskin, and the rest of the Mac team was recognizing a huge untapped market for home computing among artists, musicians, writers, and other creative weirdos who might never have cared enough to master the arcane complexities of a command-line UI or blow a fortune on hulking digital workstations.

The challenge of designing a personal computer that “the rest of us” would not only buy, but fall crazy in love with, however, required input from the kind of people who might some day be convinced to try using a Mac. Fittingly, one of the team’s most auspicious early hires was a young artist herself: Susan Kare.
apple  art  design  history  technology 
november 2011 by Aetles
Philips unveils revolutionary water disinfection solution
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Philips Lighting has today announced the launch of a new, complete and innovative water disinfection solution, Philips InstantTrust. This solution is based on cutting-edge disinfection technology optimized for point-of-use applications. For the first time water can be disinfected instantly, efficiently and independent of water temperature.
technology  water  disinfection 
november 2011 by Aetles

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