Google Fiber continues expansion in Kansas

roeland parkColor me jealous.

Posted on the official Google Fiber blog, the Roeland Park City Council has voted to approve a measure which will allow Google to provide internet and TV services to their residents. Great news for folks living in Roeland Park, as they’re going to get a little more competition for digital connectivity, and 1Gbps broadband sounds like it’ll be just the ticket.

No ETA on the rollout, but Google is encouraging residents to sign up for email alerts for when more info is available.

Second successful flight for Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo!

SpaceShipTwo_technical_diagramVirgin Galactic looks to be on track to deliver commercial space flight next year!

SpaceShipTwo completed its second test flight today at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The little spaceship which could was ferried up to 40,000 feet where it’s boosters took over and it climbed to 69,000 feet and hit a top speed of Mach 1.4. Seriously impressive numbers for a commercial craft.

Hit the video below for some “science fiction becoming reality”.

Are 2011 MacBook Pro GPU’s failing?

Macbook proThe cool thing about Apple is how hard they work at software+hardware integration. The bummer is you can only buy an Apple from Apple, so if there’s a problem with a certain batch of Apple products, you’re kinda stuck.

Currently on the Apple message boards, a post has racked up over 136 pages of replies from folks having, and trying to fix, issues with older MacBook Pros using discrete graphics chips. Computers freezing, information getting corrupted, locking up, even some stories of blue screens of death. With a thread this long, it’s difficult to establish a clear pattern of what might be failing, but enough people are pointing to logic board and GPU issues that it might just be a theme.

No official word from Apple regarding any potential issues with this line of MacBooks. Do yo own a MacBook Pro from 2011? Are you/ were you having problems?

MacBook Pro 2011 17″ hard freeze (136 pages)

Former Nokia CEO to build Newkia Android handsets, restore Nokia’s “glory days”.

nokia running android newkia somegadgetguy lumia 1020Here’s the deal. It doesn’t matter how good a phone is. A single handset, or a couple of phones, the mobile phone market is viscerally competitive. Without an ecosystem surrounding your products, and an established reputation in the market, consumers will be wary. We’ve been burned too many times before. I still mourn HP/Palm for example. Poor webOS…

Anywho, Thomas Zilliacus speaks openly and candidly about his plans to form a new company to utilize Nokia talent to build Android handsets. Following a failed Nokia takeover, Mr. Zilliacus  is forming Newkia with plans to marry Finnish hardware design with Google’s operating system.

I welcome more competition, but pairing good or great hardware, even while piggybacking on Nokia’s build reputation, isn’t a sure-fire recipe for success. Any company walking into the smartphone arena has to demonstrate their ability to compete over time as well. That said, I’m tentatively very excited to play with a Newkia if and when they actually arrive.

Thomas Zilliacus on Channel News Asia, to form Newkia (video interview)

American Society of Media Photographers warns of Facebook’s new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

facebook camera iconWe keep dancing around this issue. Facebook needs to monetize somehow, and one avenue to explore is using the media being uploaded to Facebook and pairing it with advertisers. As of September 5th, Facebook’s new ToS has added the following passage:

You give us permission to use your name, and profile picture,content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us, subject to the limits you place. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you. If you have selected a specific audience for your content or information, we will respect your choice when we use it.

The strike-through is language being cut from the new ToS.

Which looks pretty damning. See those ads on the right hand side of the screen? See those sponsored posts? If you’ve got photos uploaded to Facebook, they can attach those pics to ads. You receive zero compensation for this ad enhancement. Regardless if Facebook actively pursues this kind of monetization or not, the fact that these ToS changes are always snuck in under our radars just makes the whole affair feel slimy and invasive.

And the bummer is FB is missing out on an opportunity to go semi-pro. If they were upfront with their users, and even offered some kind of partner or affiliate program, they’d probably have scores of people sign up. Facebook could single-handedly shut down all other stock photo and video sites on the web with the amount of photo and video traffic they receive.

Instead, now they look greedy and sneaky. A bad combo for the internet.

The ASMP site has an FAQ you can read if you’re concerned about Facebook’s new policy.

MyGlass updated to control Google Glass from Android phones and tablets.

myglass google glass app update somegadgetguyPretty straight forward folks. If you’re lucky enough to be rocking Glass, then you’ll want to update the MyGlass app. The update allows you to control Glass using your phone.

Apparently, controlling Glass through taps and head tilts isn’t always ideal, and now utilizing Glass’ screencast capabilities, you can spread out the Glass UI on an Android handset instead.

Plus there are “Bug Fixes”. So. You’ll probably want those too.

MyGlass on Google Play

Oyster aims to be the Netflix of books.

oyster monthly subscription ebook all you can eat service somegadgetguyAll you can eat subscription model services have proven very popular with consumers. Personally I’m on the hook monthly for Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Google Play Music. I also happen to read a lot…

Oyster is a new start-up which is trying to shake up the way we monetize reading books, namely by applying the same model which already works for movies to the printed (or digitally inked) page. The execution is simple enough. Customers spend $9.95 a month, and they get access to over 100,000 launch titles from major publishers. Read as much or as little of any book in the catalog.

It’s first launching on the iPhone with an iPad version in the works. No word on Android or Windows Phone versions of the service. If the service proves popular at all however, it would be an easy retrofit for the Google Play store. Google recently released a subscription service for music.

The idea of an unlimited monthly book subscription service is interesting. I like having a library of books both dead-tree and digital to look at. These things that I own and can page through any time I like. Oyster could combine my desire for immediacy, while overcoming my fear of buying books I might not like.  I got over the notion of owning a DVD library when Netflix introduced streaming. Maybe this could work for books too?

What also remains to be seen is how subscription services might impact libraries in the future, as many are now offering ebooks.

Currently Oyster is invite only. More info at

See Elon Musk’s Iron Man style 3D modeling and printing lab.

SpaceX-LogoWhen Robert Downey Jr. retires from playing Tony Stark they should just follow Elon Musk around with cameras. A normal day for him is science fiction for the rest of us plebs.

Anywho, wouldn’t it be great if Iron Man’s garage were an actual real life thing. You move designs around by waving your hands through the air. You interact with models using advanced 3D optics, then have the ability to render and construct that design right there. Yeah. That’d be cool.

Well Musk and his engineers at SpaceX went and pretty much made it. Using tech like LEAP motion controllers and Oculus Rift goggles, designers are able to interact and manipulate models via gestures. Plus they can then build those models using 3D printers in the lab. It’s incredible stuff, and Elon “Man of the Future” Musk himself spends a couple minutes walking us through their advances.

All of these separate technologies are starting to come together, and it’s starting to look really cool.

(via TechCrunch)