Friday, January 27, 2012

More quick links

More of what has caught my attention lately:
  • Laptops with Kinect sensors are coming. Worth paying attention to, gesturing in air to issue commands, a very different UX could be built on top of this ([1] [2])

  • "Each streaming subscriber is worth only $2.40 in profit each quarter to Netflix, compared to $17.32 for each DVD subscriber. The old business was very lucrative. The new business kind of sucks." ([1])

  • "You're not going to get content owners to license ... for less than what they get from the cable companies ... [if you will] use that cheap content to destroy the cable companies' business model." ([1])

  • "Federal officials approached Google with evidence of its employees' wrongdoing ... Google agreed to pay $500 million to ... ward off criminal charges against the company." ([1])

  • Google is spending nearly $1B every quarter buying new servers and data centers. That buys a lot of machines. ([1] [2])

  • Education startups are suddenly very, very hot. ([1] [2] [3] [4])

  • "Tiny directional antennas at the top of each rack ... send and receive data. A central controller monitors traffic patterns, finds network bottlenecks, configures the antennas and turns on the wireless links when more bandwidth is required ... The design sped up traffic by at least 45 percent." ([1])

  • "Wimpy cores are fine, but if you go down to the wimpiest range, your gains really have to be enormous if you want to consider all the aggravation -- and the hit to their productivity -- that your software engineers face." ([1])

  • A Facebook engineer explains why is actually the right thing for Facebook to produce buggy code ([1])

  • "How sex, bombs, and burgers shaped our world" ([1])

  • "There is a monolithic view that this generation of technology I.P.O.'s is completely broken." ([1])

  • Just three engineers built and run Instagram, which has 14 million users, 150 million photos, several terabytes of data, and hundreds of machines. ([1] [2])

  • Startup founders "say that if they'd known when they were starting their company about the obstacles they'd have to overcome, they might never have started it." ([1])

  • Two 17-year-olds used a weather balloon to send a little Lego astronaut and a video camera 15 miles into the stratosphere. Very fun. ([1])