Tech Talk 2/11

Rocket launches, legos, and net neutrality… sounds like an exciting time for the digital world. Here is a quick overview of what went down this week:

Falcon 9 — Rocket Launch

SpaceX_SLC-40_Falcon_9_Dragon_LiftoffYesterday, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 landed “nicely vertical” within 10 meters of its intended target in the ocean. After the landing, Musk tweeted, “High probability of good droneship landing in non-stormy weather.”  Launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida yesterday afternoon, the rocket was ferrying a DSCOVR satellite to the Deep Space Climate Observatory for the National and Atmospheric Administration. The satellite is intended to retrieve climate-related information including data on the Earth’s atmosphere. Much of the excitement surrounding thisspace launch was particularly due to the fact that SpaceX was attempting to land the Falcon 9 on a sea-based platform. Here is a fascinating video of the launch.

Legos for Adults

Imagine using legos as an adult to architect real life buildings. That is what Lego X aims to achieve. Lego X is an application that uses networked plastic bricks “legos” to build 3-D files. The bottom of each brick has a sensor and a gyroscope, which allow the toys to communicate wirelessly with each other and the software. As each brick is stacked atop another, a rendering appears on your computer in real time which you can manipulate to make the image look more like what you envisioned. Lego X is bringing us one step closer to bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds by making the design process more tangible.

What is all this talk on net neutrality?

topic_net-neutralityNet neutrality is the concept that all websites on the Internet should be treated equally. Meaning, sites cannot expect Internet providers to speed up their access if these sites pay for a faster connection. Likewise, Internet providers can’t slow down or block others that cannot pay. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in full support of net neutrality. Currently, the Internet is not ‘net neutral’… which is an issue. For example, companies like Netflix can pay Internet providers like Comcast to receive faster connections which gives them a leg up on startups and small blogs. The FCC recently announced that they want to make the Internet a public utility, like water and electricity, so that they can prevent internet providers from slowing and speeding up specific sites. Why should you care? If these rules stick, you should be able to stream reruns of Friends on Netflix as fast as scrolling through your friend’s blog.

TuneGo

TuneGo is a startup that is a music discovery service for independent musicians. Recently, the company raised $1.2 million and is planning on officially launching the platform sometime soon. Essentially, TuneGo aims to provide an area for independent musicians to display their work in front of an audience that can be potential fans while connecting them to executives from the record industry. Each of the musicians will eventually have a “TuneGo score” that is based on an algorithm that analyzes social network activity, crowdsourced feedback, live event activity, published reviews, and more. Through analyzing that data, the company claims that it can predict an artist’s likelihood of success.

Contributor: Ricky Rajani

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