May 26 2014

Kindle Advertisement

Category: Hardware,Mobile ComputingTeknovis @ 8:01 am

I was browsing the Amazon site recently, and I came across the following advertisement:

Kindle Fire HDX Advertisement

Kindle Fire HDX Advertisement

I am extremely sceptical about the claim that it is “Lighter than Air“! Is this false advertising?

However, if it is true then I think it must be very inconvenient!

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May 22 2014

SamKnows in Ireland

Category: Hardware,Internet,TelecomsTeknovis @ 11:26 pm

I recently heard about SamKnows in the context of it being available in Ireland! In summary, it is a free to participate in scheme which involves plugging a box into your ISP’s internet connection in order to measure actual speeds! You can then compare these actual speeds to the advertised speeds in order to determine the difference.

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May 17 2014

How Angry Birds Started

Category: Entrepreneurship,Games,InfographicTeknovis @ 9:34 am

I received this image over the weekend (I assume that it came from How Angry Birds Started):

How Angry Birds Started (Copyright Funders and Founders)

How Angry Birds Started (Copyright Funders and Founders)

I must confess that I have never played Angry Birds, but I still like the story of continuously trying!

There are lots of other nice infographics on Funders and Founders.

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May 13 2014

Crowdsourced Unreal Tournament

Category: Games,Software DevelopmentTeknovis @ 8:33 pm

Apparently the next version of Unreal Tournament is going to be crowdsourced according to Epic announces crowdsourced dev model for next Unreal Tournament.

I have fond memories of playing the multiplayer version of this game :) Actually, I do not think that I have played a single game of anything else since then!


May 08 2014

Seagull Robot

Category: RoboticsTeknovis @ 5:50 pm

It is an old(ish) video, but it is still really impressive!

I can imagine some of the covert military operations that such a robot could be used for in the future!


May 05 2014

Outliers

Category: Aviation,Entrepreneurship,ReviewsTeknovis @ 10:20 pm

I finished reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell this weekend. For more information about it see Outliers or Outliers (book), and you can buy it at Outliers: The Story of Success.

I enjoyed reading it. It was fairly easy going, and it was always interesting.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

There are plenty of reviews online already, so I am not going to add another. However, there was one very interesting piece of information that surprised me, so I will describe it here.

Chapter seven discusses plane crashes, and it describes a concept called the Power Distance Index (PDI). I will summarise this index by stating that a high DPI basically means that a subordinate is unlikely to be confident enough to contradict a superior, whereas a low DPI means that a subordinate sees himself/herself as an equal to his/her superior.

In the context of flying a plane, it is more desirable to have a pilot and co-pilot who come from a low DPI culture so that they can work well as a team of equals. In other words, if the pilot is doing something incorrect, then you want to co-pilot to be comfortable enough to clearly point-out the problem.

The book lists the five countries in the world where the PDI is highest between the pilot and the co-pilot. They are (in descending order):

  • Brazil
  • South Korea
  • Morocco
  • Mexico
  • Philippines

It is an interesting mix covering south and central America, Africa, and Asia. I am not able to see any pattern there.

However, the book also lists the five countries in the world where the PDI is lowest between the pilot and the co-pilot. They are (in descending order again):

  • United States
  • Ireland
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

The thing that strikes me here is that they are all English speaking countries, and all former colonies of the UK. (This makes me wonder why the UK is not in the mix!)

I do not find this in any way surprising, because in a general sense these are all countries that share a language (English) that does not support formalities, and they provide relaxed workplace environments where subordinates and superiors are all friends!

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May 03 2014

Firefox 29.0

Category: Internet,SoftwareTeknovis @ 4:11 pm

I just updated my Firefox to version 29.0.

The things I like are:

  • The user interface seems cleaner, and more polished!

The things I do not like are:

  • The “Firefox” or “Application” button is missing from the top left! I do not see any reason why the “Hamburger” button on the right is better! It is more difficult to see, and it is less convent!
  • My favourite theme Silvermel no longer works. Instead I am using Dark Fox.

However, I think that a lot of the changes will be very positive for less experienced users!

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