Google Music Is A Flop

GOOG MUSIC

I didn’t even know Google had a music service, but apparently it’s a flop, it’s not living up to expectations and losing users weekly. Wow, there’s a ton of negative buzz about this service, I feel bad for the engineers dedicated to this area.

Things sound so bad that Google execs may pull the plug soon. If you keep your music in their store, hopefully you can migrate it in time.

I’m a big fan of Amazon’s MP3 Store and Cloud Player. No DRM, all MP3s, I can play on my WP7 Samsung Focus, on my laptop, on my Home Theater PC, my iPod Touch. And it’s simple to purchase.

Double J- An ode to WWF (WWE tribute)

If you were, or are, into wrestling, then this video is for you. It comes from justJesman’s Youtube channel. There’s a tribute here to many of the old-school wrestlers from the 70’s and 80’s around the time I was really into the sport. Seeing some of these guys again brings back fond memories, like rowdy Roddy Piper, The British Bulldog, Ted Dibiase, and many more.

But where’s Sgt. Slaughter and the Iron Sheik? Smile

 

The Earth is Full

Sick Earth

My friend Emily pointed out a recent TEDTalk on her twitter feed.

Check out TEDTalks: Paul Gilding: The Earth Is Full on @hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/334860/tedtalks-paul-gilding-the-earth-is-full –Awesome but scary video. So true, we are running out.

The presenter makes the case that “the earth is full” is not a philosophical statement but based on science. Basically our consumption of resources is outweighing the Earth’s ability to sustain it too far into the future.

My recommendation besides reduce your consumption and waste is to learn to survive so when your neighbors are freaking out, you’re thriving. Also helps in the Zombie Apocalypse.

Ford Launches an Open-Source Platform for In-Car Connectivity and Apps

FORD Gadgets

Cars and the Internet are slowly getting closer, but it’s still hard for developers to get their apps into cars without being invited by the automobile industry. Given the security and especially safety concerns involved here, things will likely remain this way for a while, but a new project from Ford aims to accelerate in-car app development.

Last week the company today announced that it is now shipping a beta version of its OpenXC hardware and software platform to a group of handpicked universities, including the University of Michigan, MIT and Stanford, as well as app developers like the Weather Underground in the U.S. and HCL Technologies in India.

Read the analysis and possible impact of this announcement at siliconfilter.com.

Project Cellhelmet on Kickstarter

 

If you have an iPhone check out project "cellhelmet," which was just funded on Kickstarter.com.

It is the first and only case to guarantee the iPhone 4/4S inside, for US & Canadian residents. If your iPhone should ever break inside of a cellhelmet, we’ll repair or replace it – guaranteed. It’s also made in the USA. Please read on via the following link and get in touch with us. We’d love to get your support and give you all the details!

Young Innovators: Detecting Land Mines

Landmine

This afternoon, NPR spoke with Marian Bechtel, the 17-year-old inventor of a device that can detect land mines using sound waves. Earlier this year, Bechtel was awarded a fellowship from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. Her science fair project -"A Stand-off Seismo-Acoustic Method for Humanitarian Demining" – has won her recognition for her innovation from science contests and from the US Army.

Listen to the interview as Marian describes how she discovered this innovative capability to help detect landmines.

The Crow Vending Machine

American Crow

I’m a big fan of crows, they’re all around me in the Pacific Northwest, they’re intelligent and I love seeing them solve puzzles. Most geeks are probably already aware that crows are pretty unique in the animal kingdom known to create tools and use them (if you’re not aware of this, you can see a short snippet of this tool creation in the following video).

Hacker and writer Joshua Klein is fascinated by crows. (Notice the gleam of intelligence in their little black eyes?) After a long amateur study of corvid behavior, he’s come up with an elegant machine that may form a new bond between animal and human.

After watching the video, check out these links if you want more on this vending machine:
Gizmodo did a review of the device
A paper written about the concept
Josh is also seeking support to make this device more readily available, he needs electrical and mechanical engineers to join him and needs a little funding to support it.

Another New Military Aircraft Mistaken for UFO

From Wired’s Danger Room:

Note to the Navy: When trucking a giant flying robot with a rounded fuselage across the country, people are going to think they’re looking at an artifact from Area 51.

As the local news coverage above shows, residents of Cowley County, Kansas, were freaked out to see a truck rumbling down U.S. 77 towing what looks a whole lot like a 32-foot spaceship. “People were calling in saying, ‘Oh they think they found a flying saucer,’” Donetta Godsey of the Winfield Daily Courier told the ABC News affiliate

If I saw this I wouldn’t think it was a UFO because surely the gov’t has been doing an outstanding job keeping their alien discoveries suppressed from the public view and they wouldn’t have been stupid enough to truck it through a town in broad daylight….or would they?

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Top 10 Reasons Why Darth Vader Was an Amazing Project Manager

I’m a few months late in recognizing this good article from Geek Wire, it takes a look at the Project Manager skills that Darth Vader exhibited. Since I’m currently training my team to prepare for a transition to Agile software development model, I got a particular kick from thinking of Vader as the Product Owner in a SCRUM project. Smile 

Number 8: Vader made commitments, and worked hard to keep them. If you think of the Galactic Empire as something of a SCRUM project, the Emperor would have to be playing the Product Owner role. Of course, in SCRUM/Agile, the team makes commitments to achieve predefined goals over the course of any given sprint or iteration. Darth did this with the Emperor many times, and he worked REAL hard to make sure those commitments were met. I mean, how did he manage to get that second Death Star operational so quickly anyway? Hard work, that’s how. Vader understood the importance of commitments, and more importantly, the significance of fulfilling them. Trust in teams is built on commitments.

How To Ripen A Banana

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Here’s an interesting article taking us behind the scenes of a large banana distributor in New York. It also touches on the history of banana transportation and how refrigeration transformed this snack.

During our visit, Paul Rosenblatt told us that he aims to ripen fruit in five days at 62 degrees, but, to schedule fruit readiness in accordance with supply and demand, he can push a room in four days at 64 degrees, or extend the process to seven days at 58 degrees.

“The energy coming off a box of ripening bananas could heat a small apartment,” Rosenblatt explains, which means that heavy-duty refrigeration is required to keep each room temperature-controlled to within a half a degree. In the past, Banana Distributors of New York has even experimented with heating parts of the building on captured heat from the ripening process.

To add to the complexity, customers can choose from different degrees of ripeness, ranging from 1 (all green) to 7 (all yellow with brown sugar spots). Banana Distributors of New York proudly promise that they have “Every Color, Every Day,” although Rosenblatt gets nervous if he has more than 2000 boxes of any particular shade.

Got a desire for banana now? Here’s 100 things to do with the banana (a carefully curated list), with lots of photos.

A Twitter Adventure

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Phil Menard (aka “The Chatty DM”) posted his twitter exchange with a fellow that turned into a very cool RPG-type adventure via twitter posts. I love this as an idea, why aren’t more of us doing this? This is more like the old school text based adventure games, with the difference being you are communicating with people or someone like a DM.

Dang, now I have a hankering to go play Zork again…

Here’s a snippet from Phil’s exchange:

FDL: Ok. you see a grue. What do you do?

Chatty: Wave torch

FDL: As you wave your torch, you set your furniture delivery guys on fire. Game over. Restart? [y/n]

(I fell down my flimsy beach chair onto my hardwood floor laughing. This could become fun.)

Chatty: LOL yes. Talk Grue.

FDL: The grue says she’s your upstairs neighbor and she hopes her noisy Angry Birds parties won’t bother you too much. What next?

Chatty: examine exits

FDL: There is only one exit, a hangar bay door.

Chatty: kick door

FDL: Door says “Ow!” and kicks back. Grue looks at you in disgust.

Chatty: Apologize door.

(I was still playing it old school with 2 words)

Chatty: Inventory

Anyone know of Twitter adventures or TwitRPGs going on?