Can we imagine for a second the sheer magnitude of the number 300,000,000,000? If we do this in terms of what’s tangible, we’d be looking at roughly 73x the population of the top 10 most populated countries on earth. If we just considered China even, that would mean every single one of China’s over 1.34 billion citizens would have 233 files backed-up on their computer. Now, if you’re more of the intangible/imagination type, then let’s put it this way; According to legend, Thor’s hammer is made of neutron-star matter, which means it weighs approximately as much as a herd of 300-billion elephants. Just saying, 300 billion is a huge number and to fathom this many files backed-up, indefinitely – especially for a company that’s only eight-years-old? It’s pretty miraculous.
With concerns about limited energy sources, solar power is becoming one of the hottest trends in tech development. Still, the fact that the first solar-powered plane has started a cross-country journey in the U.S. is incredible to most. The ultra-lightweight solar-powered plane, named Solar Impulse, is powered by the sun’s rays along with on-board batteries for reserve power. During it’s cross-country flight, not a drop of fuel will be utilized, making it the first flight of its kind.
The flight, which took off from San Francisco, California for the first of five segments of the trip, will reach an altitude of round 21,000 feet. A live feed on the plane’s website will broadcast the aircraft’s altitude, speed and location along with interior and exterior camera views. Two pilots, the founders of the plane, will take turns navigating.
That first leg of the trip concluded 18 hours after takeoff in Phoenix, Arizona. Although the plane travels much slower than traditional airlines (the average speed is about 43 miles per hour or 69 km per hour), the technology is still in development and further advances will likely lead to faster planes. Also, the plane’s costs are significantly diminished thanks to the use of solar power and battery power as opposed to fuel.
High fuel prices have caused air travel to become more expensive in more recent years. However, travelers have found great alternatives in terms of deals on accommodations and transportation which have allowed them to make up for that extra cost. New technologies like solar-powered flight may one day contribute to the growing means of transportation both in and around the U.S.
A few hurdles continue to stand in the way of solar power as a practical energy source for air flight. First, the plane’s lightweight design means that it cannot stand up to strong winds. Rain and clouds are also adverse conditions that which produce only minor setbacks for regular passenger planes while delaying a solar-powered flight for hours or even days.
Naturally, the inventors of this solar-powered airplane and the proponents of solar energy continue to work hard to improve the plane’s design and usability. For the time being, however, these achievements prove that we live in an exciting time where major advances in technology and green energy are being made each and every day.
Around The Web
As the second quarter of 2013 comes to a close, techies are on the edge of their seats wondering which smartphone is ahead of them all. LG and Samsung both upped market shares in the first quarter and are seriously taking off in Asia, particularly in South Korea. According to Juniper, a UK research firm, Samsung has twice as many smartphone sales as Apple, putting the iPhone solidly on the backburner.
Those same researchers claim that in order for Apple to give Samsung serious competition, innovation is key. Innovation is what Apple’s known for, but it’s been lagging behind in recent years. While iPhones can still cause a line to form, it doesn’t have that same obsessive fan base it used to according to some critics. Here’s a closer look at 2013′s Q2 facts.
The Reality of Second Place
While Samsung is leaving Apple in the dust, it’s important to note that Apple is still the runner up. Samsung had 70.1 million sales in quarter one of 2013, and Apple was trailing behind at 37.4 million. However, considering that third place went to LG with 10.3 million followed by Huawei at 9.9 million and ZTE at 9.1 million, second place doesn’t look too shabby. It’s going to take a lot for anyone to come close to touching Samsung or Apple, pitting these two giants into more battles.
Even in such a competitive market, that doesn’t stop others from trying. Amazon is introducing its own 3D phone soon, even though other glassless 3D devices have failed miserably in the US. Thus far, 2013 has turned out to be a record-breaking year for smartphone sales. In the first quarter, sales of smartphones surpassed that of feature phones for the first time in history. There’s no telling what records might be broken at the culmination of Q2.
The Return of LG
Even though LG is in third place, this is the first time in two quarters that it made the top 5 list. According to experts, the LG’s Nexus 4 for Android was the reason for the sudden spike, and LG is committed to keeping on the top list. Both Huawei and LTE are Chinese manufacturers and they’re already planning their next move, such as with ZTE’s 2013 Firefox Linux phone. The influx of winning Chinese phones is another trend to watch in 2013.
Since nothing incredible seems to be coming from Apple, Samsung is expected to keep in the lead–although Apple is also known for surprising consumers with sudden releases. The Chinese manufacturers are working diligently to rise to the top, and it’s possible they might surpass LG by the end of 2013. However, if LG can stay on top of innovative designs, the company has a fighting chance to stay in the bronze place.
Everybody wishes they were more organized. You hear it every New Year’s Eve – people’s resolutions are to lose weight, give up a vice, travel the world, and get more organized. But then real life takes over, you put on weight, don’t quit your voice, browse YouTube videos instead of maps, and let your workdesk look like the aftermath of a hurricane. Fortunately, the man who lets chaos has options to put things back in order. Here are five gifts that help keep a man’s desk organized.
1. Desk Caddy
Pens, paperclips and other paraphernalia are useful, but they’re always so small and easily scattered or lost. Help your man consolidate all his writing and filing implements with a revolving desk caddy. It’s small, so it won’t take up much room on his desk; and it revolves, so he won’t have to constantly shift it to get access to the rear compartments.
2. Overlap Tray
Balancing comfort and organization can be tricky, but with an overlap try, it might become a lot easier. If his desk is getting just a bit too cluttered, the overlap tray will give him enough room to lean back and get work done without feeling claustrophobic. The recessed arms allowing for storage of pens, accessories and even a coffee cup will make a man feel organized – even if he really isn’t. This may be one of the more odd graduation gifts to purchase, but the luxury it offers is unparalleled.
3. File Box
Papers make the world go around, and files help us keep those papers together. What keeps the files together? That’s where a file box comes in handy. Get that stack of files off the desk and into a box, where they can be neatly arranged and pulled out only when needed, not unnecessarily take up space long after they’ve been used. A file cabinet is a similarly great idea, but a file box might be a preferred option if space is at a premium.
4. Post-It Holder
Post-Its are great, aren’t they? Scribble a note, stick the paper somewhere, and you’ve got a reminder. But what do you do when you can’t find a pad of Post-Its? Or a pen? Imagine if you always knew where you could easily, and simply, just pull off a piece of Post-It paper, and a pen was always there. That’s why a Post-It Holder makes for a great gift. Your man can download all the organization apps his smartphone can handle, but Post-Its will never go out of style, and the holder will always keep them there.
5. Stacking Organizer Trays
On a busy desk, preserving space is paramount, so anything that can stack is very welcome. Anything that provides some form of organization and stacks is a winner. With a set of stacking organizer trays, a man can have all his documents, stationery and accessories neatly arranged when needed, and easily put away when not.
Big data is aptly named – the volume, speed, and variety of data that can be mined is astronomical in today’s digital and heavily web-based environment. While analyzing data from areas such as social media, consumer habits, and patterns of behavior can yield potentially advantageous insights for business strategies and decision making, big data can just as potentially bury a company under its avalanche of information. Here are three ways to stay on top of data collection and ensure investments in data analysis produce useful results.
Start Small, Integrate Slowly
Collecting and analyzing data can become a monumental task that may end up quickly eating through resources without producing a matching ROI. If a business is just beginning its use of data analytics, it is important to make a commitment but to start small and to limit the use and exposure of mined data and their analyses. Finding a flexible business intelligence (BI) software that can be integrated into the operational framework of the company is a valuable tool for making big data work for the company and not the other way around.
Identify Specific Goals
When deciding to use data analytics, it is helpful to identify a specific area or aspect in the business that will directly benefit. BI reporting software can help track customer spending and buying habits as well as various external business trends and internal company processes. This can then shed light on a business’s strengths and weaknesses and point out where added insight from big data may be useful. Keeping a clear goal in mind with a measurable outcome is important for not getting lost in a sea of data or even worse, potentially being led astray by irrelevant or overwhelming data analyses.
Choosing an Analytics Platform
Once a clear plan and goal for data collection and analysis are in place, the next step is choosing which BI reporting software or analytical platform will be the best suited to the particular idiosyncrasies of a company. While Hadoop has heavy hitting name recognition and is open source, there is a growing selection of companies that offer data collection and analysis services.
Big Data, when utilized judiciously and when vigorously analyzed, can help companies identify patterns where business strategies may be or need to be improved upon. With the right software or service and a firm roadmap to implementation, a company can begin to harness the vast knowledge base provided by data analytics.
As Internet connection speeds have steadily improved, and as Internet video has emerged as a viable entertainment medium, technology and entertainment observers have written thousands of pages about the impending death of the Cable Television industry. What is the industry itself doing to prepare for that change? Surprisingly little, and here’s why.
Ah, memes. They can be funny, sometimes ridiculous, informative–but oftentimes downright terrible. There are a lot of bad memes out there. A lot. However, even when something is so bad it’s sometimes good, there has to be a worst of the worst. Sometimes the meme should have never existed. Sometimes it just gets out of control. No matter how they came to be, they’re here and this is the 5 worst memes to ever grace the internet.
1. The Hamster Dance
Everyone knows the hamster dance, and just the name brings back horrible memories from the late 90′s. By the time 1999 rolled around, this obnoxious and totally useless meme was getting one quarter of a million of hits per day–every single day. The music started leaking into mainstream pop music (at least in Cuba). There was no escaping it and it’s traumatized millions of people.
2. Chuck Norris “Facts”
Who knows how this got started, but an influx of Chuck Norris “fact” memes were everywhere in the early aughts. The facts were obviously ridiculous, and somehow Chuck Norris moved into cult icon status. Supposedly, it all began with an innocent thread in the Something Awful forums and led to hundreds of roundhouse kick memes taking over the internet. Some people are still recovering.
3. I Can Has Cheezburger?
The I Can Has Cheezburger? cat is still around, albeit now it’s more a vintage goodie than anything else. There’s no telling where this monster originated from. It was never funny, it was never smart and yet it took over the internet just like trolls can. Of course, everyone loves animals and cheeseburgers, so putting them together makes sense. It wasn’t until the Hoff became famous for his own cheeseburger indiscretions that attention was shifted from cat to man.
4. Star Wars Kid
Ghyslain Raza, a 14-year-old kid from Canada, became famous in 2002 when he videotaped himself madly using a golf club as a light saber. He was clearly a Big Bang Theory kid in training, and his friends helped him become internet viral fodder. The video was shared on Kazaa and had millions of hits within a couple of weeks. He’s since become famous and references to the “Star Ward kid” can be caught on numerous well-known sitcoms.
Back in the day, a duckroll was when someone posted a link in a forum and it led to something completely different. It evolved into the Rickroll, where the link was to a video of “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. It quickly got out of hand.
Narrowing down the worst memes ever is tough, and there are plenty of honorable mentions out there. Of course, it’s also possible (and unfortunate) that the worst are yet to come.