Category Archives: Tech

The Atlantic Launches Three New Video Series

Produced for their younger audience, two titles of three will be called “The User’s Guide to Energy,” and the  “Economics in Plain English.” Maybe Schoolhouse Rock was ahead of its time?


New Apps Show Videos Are A Hot Commodity, And Just Getting Hotter


Not to be out done by Vine or Instagram, YouTube’s co-founders have created MixBit, a new video editing app that literally does it all (shoot-edit-publish) for videos. And the co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen have even done one better, since the app allows for videos to be edited together as a string of clips–up to 256 actually. Nice.

You can get the app on iPhone, and as a web app, with a version for Android slated for next week.

NASA Poses Question To The Public: What Should We Do About That Pesky Asteroid Problem?

So, you know budget cuts have forced some serious belt tightening everywhere…..but as if all of us aren’t working hard enough, the smarty pants at NASA finally decided to “crowd source” their knowledge and have asked for the public’s help regarding this whole asteroid thing. In particular, the scientists would like help keeping an eye on the sky to 1) spot asteroids and 2) and how to corral an asteroid (mainly, so NASA can put it in an orbit around the moon to study it. 

All joking aside, posing the question to the public can exponentially advance (or rule out ideas) faster than the scientists sitting by themselves looking at data. In particular, having additional eyes on the sky is very advantageous–both for quickly recognizing threats, and thinking about how best study it.

Want to help out humankind on a historic mission? Watch above….

Internet Week In NYC And The Future Of Media Discussion


This week is Internet Week New York (which kicked off on this past Monday, the 20th, so my apologies for the late post, but don’t fret if you’d still like to attend, events are scheduled to run until the 27th). You can find a full run down of the schedule here.

Last night Patrick Phillips, founder/editor of I Want Media, hosted the sixth annual The Future of Media panel discussion, and this year’s attendees consisted of Editor/CEO of Business Insider, Henry Blodget; CEO/CTO Salon Media Group Cindy Jeffers; Founder/CEO of Buzzfeed, Jonah Peretti; President/Co-Creator of HuffPost Live, Roy Sekoff; and CEO of the New York Times Company, Mark Thompson.

If you weren’t able to attend, a video has been posted on the I Want Media site.  Hot on the table for discussion were the topics of the value of video (how much is too much, BI’s Blodget thought HuffPo’s 12 hr. live feed is too much, and I agree), Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr, and a consensus regarding the new way people get their news (i.e. breaking news always through Twitter, and longer form–verified news–through other news sources). The good news is that there is still a place, and a need, for quality journalism in the digital age.

I thought Mark Thompson’s plans to engage subscribers of the NYTimes with various live events was very smart–both for further branding the NYT, and for recognizing the value of subscribers to further grow content (via new platforms). I believe in the digital age subscribers want to be recognized as valuable, and should be viewed as a brand’s “community,” capable of producing its own content (an idea your seeing more online news sites try to do such as Gawker and, of course, BuzzFeed).

Hey Grads–If You Haven’t Learned Code, Now Might Be A Good Time


If you’re graduating this May and haven’t learned some basics regarding computer coding, this summer might be a good time to brush up.

Of course, this isn’t about becoming as proficient as someone who “codes” for a living, but knowing your way around a couple of coding languages could quickly mean the difference between employed and still looking. After all, as digital workflows and projects become all consuming in the work place, understanding how they operate (at their core) is quickly becoming the norm, and not just for the “tech” guys anymore. If we live in a digital world, at some point you need to learn they language, or risk being illiterate.

Kirk McDonald, who currently is the President of PubMatic, an ad tech company in Manhattan, recently said in an article he won’t even hire grads who aren’t familiar with basic coding principles, and he gives a solid reason why:

Consider this example: Suppose you’re sitting in a meeting with clients, and someone asks you how long a certain digital project is slated to take.

Unless you understand the fundamentals of what engineers and programmers do, unless you’re familiar enough with the principles and machinations of coding to know how the back end of the business works, any answer you give is a guess and therefore probably wrong. Even if your dream job is in marketing or sales or another department seemingly unrelated to programming, I’m not going to hire you unless you can at least understand the basic way my company works. And I’m not alone.

If you want a job in media, technology or a related field, make learning basic computer language your goal this summer. There are plenty of services—some free and others affordable—that will set you on your way.

I believe McDonald is on to something, and I it seems a lot of people are seeing the need for earlier, and much more hands on, learning of code in the U.S.

Google Stores Could Be On The Way


If Google has it their way (and when will they not have it their way), the retail space could soon see the addition of Google stores selling, of course, Google Glass. Already, we’ve seen Apple and Microsoft venture into this area, so it only makes sense Google would have retail plans too.

Part of the initiative could come from Google’s desire to educate consumers on how the heck to use Google Glass. Perhaps their stores will feature experts much like Apple’s “Geniuses.”

Google might want to keep researching because from what I can tell, nobody even likes Google Glass that much.

Amazing Bug-Eyed Camera Could Revolutionize Hi-Def Devices


Scientists have developed a “bug’s eye” digital camera, and they developed it from a model readily available–the compound eye of bugs. Via TechNewsDaily:

The compound eyes found in most insects consist of long, cylindrical units called omatidia: a cornea connected to a photosensitive organ and surrounded with a dark pigment to prevent light from one lens leaking into neighboring lenses. These omatidia are clustered together in a dome shape with the lenses facing outward, and collectively, they form the compound eye of the insect.

To duplicate nature’s technology, tiny microlens were connected to a photoreceptive computer chip, and embedded in a sheet of flexible rubber. One item to note, scientists were only able to use 200-500 of their artifical omatidia, as opposed to the 10,000 to 20,000 omatidia found in some bugs. Talk about high resolution.

The camera’s advantages are significant. With a flexible, curved lens, multiple subjects can be photographed simultaneously. The camera also handles 160 degree views, without suffering any distortion in peripheral distance or light distortion.

Sounds like the future of hi-def is here.

Toyota’s Concept Car, ME.WE


Huh. So Toyota has a new concept car in the works called ME.WE, and pretty much everybody thinks its….well, ugly. The four door all-utility-vehicle was designed by French architect Jean-Mare Massaud, and boasts some pretty series claims–mainly, that the car will solve our ecological and social crises. The jury is out on that one for now, but the car does have some interesting features. The motors are actually located in the wheels, which is different, and the batteries are in the floor, so you could pack a lot of people into this little car. One feature which seems to fall in the “did we really need that” column is a windsheild that rolls down.

You know what though, there’s a french word which comes to mind right now, and it’s pronounced déjà vu, because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this “environmentally friendly” car before. For your consideration:

Looks like a certain group of engineers in Aichi, Japan need to have an emergency meeting.