Microsoft Device Attempt To Bolster App Line-up?

Microsoft is exploring potential new avenues to remedy its issues with a lack of applications in the context of its rumored dual-screen mobile Surface device – which will allegedly utilize a custom version of Windows 10, referred to as Andromeda – beyond initial app expansion plans driven by Progressive Web Apps.

via Microsoft is exploring new ways to seriously bolster its app line-up ahead of Surface Phone | TechRadar

I had this in my mind when I heard about this rumoured device. They need developers to think about and build for smaller device form factors before they could think about launching a Surface Phone. Currently they have a hole in the form factors Windows runs on.

They seem happy being apps on other platforms right now but,  the phone is the gateway for future Microsoft customers. Its the most used device for many users. What is installed by default can lock customers in to non-Microsoft services. So I think they have to try and crack this market again with their own phone.

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How your home could generate, store and sell energy – BBC News

More energy storage providers – such as Ovo Energy, Powervault and Moixa are entering the market – particularly as electric vehicles (EVs) promise to become a useful addition to the domestic energy mix. BMW i3 batteries are already being used to store windfarm energy in Wales, so it makes sense to integrate such car battery tech into homes.

via How your home could generate, store and sell energy – BBC News

Amazon Working On First Robot

There are no firm details on what Amazon’s robot looks like or what purpose it will serve, but Bloomberg suggests it could be a sort of “mobile Alexa” — following users around their house to places where they can’t speak directly to an Echo speaker. Prototype robots built by Amazon reportedly have computer vision software and cameras for navigation, and the company is said to be planning to seed devices in employees’ homes by the end of the year.

via Amazon is reportedly working on its first home robot – The Verge

Yep, I see this as a mobile Alexa or a robot vacuum cleaner. Nothing too big or scary, to ease people into having robots in their home.

OLPC was going to give every child a laptop — then it all went wrong – The Verge

…instead of “the $100 laptop,” Bender wanted to call it “the Children’s Machine,” he says. “I think we got more mileage out of ‘The $100 Laptop’ at the time, because typical laptops cost over $1,000, so it was a very bold statement. But we got burned by that — because we set an expectation around price, rather than an expectation around what this machine was really for.”

via OLPC was going to give every child a laptop — then it all went wrong – The Verge

It’s not the fairytale ending the project was aiming for but it is helpful to get the OLPC story in full.

Formula-E ‘Gen2’ Car Revealed

Formula-E ‘Gen2’ Car Revealed

Designed to be used for the next three seasons, the car will make its competitive debut in the 2018/19 season of the series. With almost double the energy storage capacity and double the range of the current car, the Gen2 will enable the teams and drivers to complete a full race at higher speeds, without making a mid-race car swap. With all that, the Gen2 car is clear proof of the advancements in battery and electric motor technology achieved in the space of only four years, which will eventually make its way into everyday electric road cars.

I’ve spoken about the Formula-E cars design before, particularly the distinctive top front wing. The top wing is gone but I like the split rear wing(winglets?). The corners of the car look a little more substantial to enable more wheel to wheel racing.

Looks like a futuristic electric sled. I love it!

via Introducing: the Gen2 Formula E car – Formula E

Web development explained to a time traveler from ten years ago

I’m glad that you’re still interested in computers! Today we have many more of them than we did 10 years ago, and that comes with new challenges. We wear computers on our wrists and faces, keep them in our pockets, and have them in our fridges and kettles. The cars are driving themselves pretty well, and we’ve taught programs to be better than humans at pretty much every game out there — except maybe drinking.

Crazy what can happen in 10 years.

via Web development explained to a time traveler from ten years ago

iPhone Next?

With the iPhone 8 and X now out. I have to say I’m not blown away by either design. I’m really not sure about the black screen border of the X. Regarding the notch, I don’t think you will notice it in use – web designers will mind that yet again there is Apple specific meta tags and code to include in web pages again.

What can Apple do next year?

The inspiration for this post, apart from those quick thoughts. What happens to the iPhone next?

  • An iPhone 9 and an X-S?. A ‘tock’ year? Likely.
  • A single iPhone 9 – OR call it 11 – that embodies the X design and drop the X? I like this idea. I cant see how you could skip back from X(10) to 9.
  • Skip a year completely and concentrate on other hardware? I feel like this would help focus things at Apple but there is too much money at stake to consider this.

I think they have made it tricky for themselves going forwards. The X might continue as showcase but if that accelerates away from the regular iPhone you risk overshadowing it. Its going to be tricky to keep two distinct designs and specs that are different enough and don’t disrupt each other. Mr Cook keeping logistics interesting at Apple.