Month: May 2010

Great post: Apple’s secret weapon: consumer education | Tablets | MacUser | Macworld

Apple???s sales record here is even more impressive if you factor in that iPad is a new class of device, somewhere between the phones and computers that most consumers understand. It???s also a category of device that???s vexed every vendor who???s tried to enter this space over the last decade.

So how did Apple do it? Why did Apple succeed where no one else has and how did they do it so quickly?

The answer is, it took a decade of education and teaching. The key to Apple???s success is that the company often takes the time to explain things to the consumer that no other vendor bothers to do. By keeping a laser focus on key features and introducing them one at a time over a period of years, Apple taught and evangelized everything the consumer needed to know to understand the iPad from day one. Without that foundation, it???s not likely the product would have been nearly the success it has been.

Full post http://www.macworld.com/article/151606/2010/05/gartenberg_ipad.html

Excellent description of the magic of creating new consumer markets through gradual familiarity.

Everyone is on the tablet bandwagon: OLPC is now a $75 Android Tablet

Negroponte: One Laptop Per Child is now a $75 Android??Tablet

Posted by Seth Weintraub

The former head of MIT’s Media Lab said the next OLPC device, the XO-3, would be a 9-inch tablet made by Marvell and running Google’s Android OS.

The first OLPC was an underpowered, ‘designed-by-committee’ laptop that cost at least double of what it was supposed to. ??Most importantly, didn’t adapt to the needs of the children who used it. ??For instance, it didn’t have a method for non-Latin characters to be input. ??It was also made of plastic and had moving parts that would often break in rugged environments.

At CES in January this year, that will change, according to Nicolas Negroponte.

The new OLPC devices will take the lead from Apple’s iPad but use Google’s (GOOG) Android OS, at least initially. ?? The keyboard will be virtual and be able to adapt to different languages.

While this smacks of me-too-ism, it makes a lot of sense.

  1. No moving parts and solves language-specific keyboard issues by using a soft keyboard.
  2. Allows for external keyboard and mouse — decent sized soft keyboards are fantastic, at least compared to small soft keyboards, but they just don’t cut it in comparison to the physical for touch typists.
  3. It leverages from the new commodity components.

(Finally, I suspect that by the time this comes to market, a low end data connection will become standard.)

Check out the original article for more. http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/05/27/negreponte-one-laptop-per-child-is-now…

TEDxSydney at Carriageworks May 22nd 2010

The crowd was cool, the coffee was hot. It rained so hard we had to swim the last block to Carriageworks for TEDxSydney but that sure beats swimming across the ocean to be part of the TED crowd in California or at TED Global in the UK later this year. (Michael???s going. Andra???s not.) 😦

Some TEDxiles even sat all day on the concrete in the frigid foyer in front of a giant TED screen just to be part of the event. Although there were plenty of activities that only happened in the ???forum??? including speaker Q&As chaired by?? Craig Reucassel, Red Room poetry, videos and music.

Some highlights of the event for Michael were:

Michael Cathcart – ???The Water Dreamers??? which described our transition from a nation of water hugging, bush fearing aliens in Australia who thought Lake Eyre was the heart of the land, to a more reconciled nation who recognize Uluru as our spiritual centre.

Andrew Kuper ??? ???Leapfrog??? the microinsurance business which aims to end world poverty. Andrew is a governance and globalization expert who is putting microfinance to work in a novel and profitable fashion.

Mr Percival ??? extraordinary vocal artist who lights up the stage with his love of performing.

Some highlights of the event for Andra were:

Greig Pickhaver (aka H.G. Nelson) ??? was very funny and very persuasive. HG for President! I would like to see all sporting spectators put on exercise bikes to power the grid. In fact, it doesn???t seem funny at all now.

Rob Adams ??? concrete visions for transforming cities into sustainable enjoyable places to live with twice the number of people. Melbourne is leading the way.

Fourplay ??? fab string quartet who ranged from modern classic to a kind of world metal in the final number with Bobby Singh.

Tedxsydney_delegatepicslogomosaic

END: Those who???ve been to a TED reckon that this was a TEDxtra good. And those who want a repeat will find the videos on TEDxSydney website soon. And so everyone left happy.

Nanobots — Simple but impressive DNA Robots

Its precise structure and ability to bind with other molecules makes DNA an attractive scaffolding material for nanotech researchers. Scientists have already used DNA to construct two-dimensional patterns, three-dimensional objects, and simple shape-changing devices. Now two teams of researchers have separately made complex programmable machines using DNA molecules.

DNA assembly line: An atomic force microscope image shows gold nanoparticles on a DNA track.

Credit: Courtesy of Ned Seeman

Researchers from Columbia University, Arizona State University, and Caltech have made a device that follows a programmable path on a surface patterned with DNA. Meanwhile, researchers from New York University, led by DNA nanoarchitecture pioneer Ned Seeman, have combined multiple DNA devices to make an assembly line. The nano contraption picks up gold nanoparticles as it tumbles along a DNA-patterned surface.

The two machines, described in today’s Nature journal, are a possible step forward in making DNA nanobots that could assemble tiny electrical and mechanical devices. DNA robots could also put together molecules in new ways to make new materials, says Lloyd Smith, a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Robots might have the ability to position one molecule in a particular way so that a reaction happens with another molecule which might not happen if they randomly collide in solution,” he says.

Miniature DNA Robots (autonomous agents) — is this the nanorobot future?

Check the article for more info: http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/25287/?nlid=2983&a=f