In August 2013, Mark Zuckerberg tapped out a 10-page white paper on his iPhone and shared it on Facebook. It was intended as a call to action for the tech industry: Facebook was going to help get people online. Everyone should be entitled to free basic internet service, Zuckerberg argued. Data was, like food or water, a human right. Universal basic internet service is possible, he wrote, but “it isn’t going to happen by itself.” Wiring the world required powerful players—institutions like Facebook. For this plan to be feasible, getting data to people had to become a hundred times cheaper. Zuckerberg said this should be possible within five to 10 years. It was an audacious proposal for the founder of a social software company to make. But the Zuckerberg of 2013 had not yet been humbled by any significant failure. In a few months, the service he’d launched between classes at Harvard would turn 10. A few months after that, he would be turning 30. It was a … [Read more...] about What Happened to Facebook’s Grand Plan to Wire the World?
Connect the world
Viz recently announced a partnership with Rose City Games as its first foray into game publishing with an indie developer on its first project. It’s called The World Next Door, and it looks like a satisfying amalgam of some of the coolest parts of anime and gaming in both subcultures. We had a brief Q&A session with Viz’s Eric Eberhardt, Director of Business Development, about the new venture and what we can expect to see come out of it. If you’re interested in seeing what happens next for the indie gaming scene and the popular anime publisher, then you’ll definitely want to pay attention. The gaming market is extremely competitive. What prompted the decision to enter the game publishing arena at this time? The market is extremely competitive, but we feel that Viz is uniquely positioned to introduce new games to a proven & enthusiastic audience. And partnering with Rose City Games helps us to identify up-and-coming indie devs who are often already … [Read more...] about Viz’s Eric Eberhardt Dishes on ‘The World Next Door’ With Us
Elon Musk looks to have delivered on his promise to build the biggest lithium ion battery in the world in an effort to help South Australia with its crippling energy problems. “100 days from contract signature or it’s free,” Musk tweeted at the time, in a deal initially negotiated over Twitter. Musk is well ahead of schedule (a rarity for Tesla!), with the 100MW battery set to be energised and tested in the coming days, according to a press release from the local state government. Tesla Powerpacks have been installed and connected at Neoen's Hornsdale windfarm, north of Adelaide, and battery tests will be run to ensure local regulatory requirements are met before it begins operating on December 1st. South Australia suffered a state wide blackout last September, which sparked a highly politicized national debate about energy security. The Australian Government blamed the failure of renewable energy to cover usage. Musk's battery farm stores huge amounts of energy from … [Read more...] about Elon Musk has finished building the world’s biggest battery in less than 100 days
In May 2015, researchers in central Kazakhstan witnessed something really strange: thousands of saiga antelopes began acting a bit weird, becoming unbalanced, and then just plopping on the ground within a few hours — dead. Over the course of just three weeks, more than 200,000 saigas died, or about 60 percent of the global population. “I had never seen anything like it,” says Richard Kock, a wildlife veterinarian and professor at the Royal Veterinary College in the UK. “It was very concerning because it was so unnatural, outside of the realm of my experience.” The saiga antelopes were later found to be infected with a bacterium that causes blood poisoning and internal bleeding, or hemorrhagic septicemia. Now, a new study shows that unusually wet and hot weather played a key role in causing the outbreak. How exactly that happened, though, remains a bit of a mystery. Researchers analyzed historical data related to other mass die-offs of saigas from the … [Read more...] about Here’s why 60 percent of the world’s saiga antelopes were wiped out in 2015
Back in the '90s, when Webcams were hot and we used the World-Wide Web Worm as our preferred search engine, I worked for a tiny online village of Apple Mac users called eWorld. Apple dabbled in this easy-to use community between June 1994 and March 1996, and eWorld became my first full-time job in college. From 1995 to 1996, I worked as a Web editor for eWorld in an R&D division of Apple's Electronic Media Lab in Boulder, Colorado. I wrote reviews of websites for the InGuide section of eWorld, which covered topics such as entertainment, education, technology, news, sports, kids' content, lifestyle and gaming. I made sure users could find the best sites, which everyone would share with each other over email, and I did it all on a Power Macintosh 8100, a major improvement from the ancient IBM DOS-only computers I'd written on during my internship at the local paper. Back then, the Internet was just starting to pick up steam, and I couldn't wait to get into the eWorld office every … [Read more...] about My Apple gig: Helping ‘ePeople’ untangle the World Wide Web