Why Some Start-Ups Are Called Tech Companies and Others Are NotA new generation of so-called tech companies that deliver food to your door or help you get a ride in a car — but don’t look much like an operation that makes computers or phones or software — might be putting a modern spin on that old story. No doubt, they use technology in their businesses. And many of them wouldn’t exist without the development of smartphone apps and ubiquitous Internet access. But these days, every company is at least a little bit of a tech company. Some Wall Street banks employ more tech workers than all but the biggest Silicon Valley companies. And large manufacturers like General Electric are leading the way in efforts to put Internet-connected sensors on things as varied as streets and turbines.
How we discovered the dark side of wearable fitness trackersWe also found that the Fitbit was an active participant in the construction of everyday life. It had a profound impact on the women’s decision-making in terms of their diet, exercise and how they travelled from one place to another. Almost every participant took a longer route to increase the number of steps they took (91%) and amount of weekly exercise (95%) they did. Most increased their walking speed to reach their Fitbit targets faster (56%). We also saw a change in eating habits to more healthy food, smaller portion sizes and fewer takeaways (76%).
evanescence of electronicaIn 1973, a Sony ad announced, “This could be the tape deck you’ll leave your great-grandson.” That line, similar to the theme of Patek Philippe ads, may have been wishful, but it was not yet an absurd way to talk about consumer electronics. Today, Apple’s designers, like their competitors, make machines that are almost disposable: the screens crack; the processors become outmoded.
Flying helicopter drone waiters deployed to deliver food and drink to customersAnti-collision algorithms have been programmed into the system to enable operators to control a whole swarm of helicopter drones flying in formation in a constrained environment."We want to fly the drones high enough above head room. Eventually when we deploy them permanently, we're going to set flight paths that are not above the customers, but following the natural paths that the waiters take to see to customers," Chia explained."It can't just be safe, it has to look safe. So the drones are not going to fly over the customers' heads. We're going to run a couple of focus groups before we launch, using some of our loyal customers, and there will be many more test flights. We don't want to rush it, the R&D has to be done properly."
Returning to his biz, Bloomberg gets into the nitty grittyHe had struggled to find the paper towel dispensers, artfully hidden behind the mirrors in the company bathrooms, so he had them labeled with arrows. Emails between staff members are marked with the time the employee entered the office, a measure that has been reinstated since Mr. Bloomberg returned and that some suspect is intended to encourage employees to arrive earlier (or to shame them for arriving late). In a memo, he asked his staff members to make sure their security cards do not cover their name badges so that he can identify them more easily.
Google ignores the northeast and midwest?
The Conventional Wisdom On Oil Is Always WrongWhen it comes to energy, and especially shale, the conventional wisdom is almost always wrong. It isn’t just that experts didn’t see the shale boom coming. It’s that they underestimated its impact at virtually every turn. First, they didn’t think natural gas could be produced from shale (it could). Then they thought production would fall quickly if natural gas prices dropped (they did, and it didn’t). They thought the techniques that worked for gas couldn’t be applied to oil (they could). They thought shale couldn’t reverse the overall decline in U.S. oil production (it did). And they thought rising U.S. oil production wouldn’t be enough to affect global oil prices (it was).
Tech gods are all men, say menAnd that’s tech punditry for you: simplification with an undercurrent of sexism. There are plenty of woman academics and researchers who study technology and social change, but we are a long way from the forefront of stage-managed gobbledygook. Instead of getting regaled with nods and winks for “inventing the Internet,” women in the tech world typically have to overcome the bigoted suspicions of an intensively male geek culture—when, that is, they don’t face outright harassment in the course of pursuing industry careers.
We want XOXO to represent the broad spectrum of amazing and interesting people across art and tech, but we haven’t done enough to let everyone who cares about these ideas feel welcome. More than 80% of the people who’ve wanted to attend XOXO in the past are white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied dudes, and we want everyone who’s not in that category to know XOXO is for you too.
The report calls for increased communication and cooperation between the sections of the company they call “Reader Experience” and the newsroom. In the report, Reader Experience refers to R&D, product, technology, analytics and design. (p. 63) Those departments are not tiny: roughly 30 people in analytics, 30 in digital design, 120 in product, and a whopping 445 in technology, with around two dozen teams of engineers. (p. 63)
So from 1900 to 1930, the golden age of piano making, American factories churned out millions of them. Nearly 365,000 were sold at the peak, in 1910, according to the National Piano Manufacturers Association. (In 2011, 41,000 were sold, along with 120,000 digital pianos and 1.1 million keyboards, according to Music Trades magazine.) The average life span rarely exceeds 80 years, piano technicians say. That’s a lot of pianos now reaching the end of the line.