Posts Tagged ‘slow.’
This is a video from National Geographic of a lightning strike filmed at 11,000-frames / second so 1-second of real-time footage takes 3-minutes to enjoy. Outstanding, however you know exactly what would have been even cooler? If they filmed it so 1-second took 5 YEARS to enjoy. I do not desire to miss anything.
Hit the jump for the video featuring 2 dudes made stoked about slow-motion lightning.
This is a video of a group of Shaolin Warriors doing all sorts of kicks and punches and flips, all filmed in slow motion. Plus one of them breaks a metal bar over his head at the end. I’d hate to pull the short straw for that stunt. Honestly, I’d hate to pull the short straw on any stunt that involves my head. You only get one, and I’m already disappointed with the shape of it when I shave my hair short. You know how some people say ‘God broke the mold when he made you’? Well my mom says he was probably just low on clay when he made me.
Hit the jump for the video.
Microsoft’s Corporate VP for Windows Julie Larson-Green was at WIRED’s Business Conference today, and she was put on the spot when asked by interviewer and WIRED Senior Editor Michael V. Copeland about the apparently sluggish start for Windows RT. RT’s failure is a consumer education problem, according to Larson-Green, since it’s very different from what’s come before.
Windows RT, for those unfamiliar or confused by the new familial breakdown of Windows following the introduction of version 8, is a lightweight version designed for ARM-powered devices (vs. x86, the architecture which full Windows OS runs on), which doesn’t offer access to the full suite of Windows software. According to our own Matt Burns, that has resulted in a big app gap, and made the Surface RT essentially a glorified web browsing tablet, which sounds like something different from a simple matter of properly framing the product.
“I think we have some work to do on explaining it to people because it’s different,” Larson-Green said. “They’re just so used to Windows meaning backward compatibility in all the programs that you use today. I use Surface RT as my main computing device, I connect to a corporate network using my virtual smart card and VPN when I need to, Office is already on there [...] it’s just a simpler experience and then the Surface Pro has the flexibility if you want to work on the details.”
“I love my Surface RT,” was a common refrain from Larson-Green even into the Q&A, who later characterized it as a device for casual consumption mostly, especially filling a niche for “weekend” use. Even the dual nature of her defense of the Microsoft tablet shows that it still needs work at Microsoft itself in terms of fleshing out its role in the consumer ecosystem, which probably isn’t helping the company properly explain its purpose to the buying public.
The Surface RT is estimated to have sold only around 1 million units total since its launch late in 2012, far under its reported initial estimates of 3 million or so. Other OEMs have balked at the RT line in the meantime, with Acer waiting on launching its RT slate until at least Q2 of this year.
In all the discussions I’ve had with hardware makers about their products, one thing is becoming clear: in the end, the cheap part is never cheap. Take a look at this post about a Kickstarter project for example. A maker, Michael Ciuffo, had recently funded a very cool QR code clock that used a simple array of LEDs to display the time in QR code.
He ordered the parts from an online supplier – 500 in total – and begin testing them. In all he saw 38 of the 500 fail in basic tests. In short, his “quick and easy” shipment of components from an inexpensive vendor resulted in a 7.6% failure rate.
“I found out this week that sometimes goods and services purchased in China can be of low quality,” he wrote.
In a similar vein, I once spoke to a hardware broker in Shenzhen who sold bargain-basement phones to the developing world. While his products were far from amazing, he did find similar failure rates in all of the phones he sold, resulting in the need to hire a separate QA tester who powered on and tried all the phones before he shipped them, thereby reducing his profit.
I want to make it clear that this is no jingoistic rant, but this is, in short, the biggest problem with off-shoring hardware manufacturing. However, because the perception is that local – and by local I mean a general U.S. or European audience – is expensive, this quality problem is endlessly repeated.
“When you off-shore hardware, every mistake, and there will be mistakes, causes a delay chain that multiplies by physically shipping prototypes, samples, tester units and more half-way around the world,” said Limor Fried of Adafruit Industries. “One of the best things you can do is keep your supply chain as close as possible.”
It is telling, however, that the company just invested in a $ 175,000 pick and place machine for their SoHo office.
“This is why we like to manufacture here in SoHo, have our injecting molding in North America, PCBs made in the USA and services like large volume laser cutting here in NYC,” she said.
The proximity of a vendor to your assembly point allows you to, in a pinch, drive to complain. As it stands, Ciuffo’s vendor was kind enough to respond and resend extra pieces but after a 35 day wait on the original LEDs he had already added a month to his build time. While the price of the pieces was obviously low enough for him to consider the opportunity, the cost in time and potentially QA headaches becomes an intangible.
But therein lies the problem: you can’t always source, say, an array of LEDs locally. Chances are the pieces are pulled from the same factory you’d be going to in Shenzhen and, barring a bit of QA on arrival, you might be running into the same problems. However, as companies like Adafruit begin catering to the hobbyist and local manufacturers begin catering to smaller batch hardware creators, I could definitely see it becoming easier to become a true hardware locovore.
We, as consumers, should also require that the things we buy be locally sourced. While I am well aware that manufacturing is not all puppy dogs and rainbows, there is something to be said for a sourcing infrastructure that allows a Kickstarter project lead to make a few calls and flow a bit of money back into the community, state, or country. You either pay for cheap hardware up front or later on, in support costs. An active slow hardware movement would allow far more control over the process of making cool things and would, in the end, benefit us all by raising quality across the board.
Apple’s trajectory in the U.S. smartphone market over the past little while has been an upwards one, with the company gaining more and more iPhone subscribers every month. During the three-month period covering November 2012 to February 2013, Apple added 8.9 million new iPhone subscribers according to comScore, while Android as a platform in total added only 2.9 million. That means Apple’s share of the total smartphone subscriber base in the U.S. grew to 38.9 percent from 35 percent, while Android’s dropped from 53.7 to 51.7 percent.
ComScore’s figures also show that in terms of smartphone manufacturers, Apple also continues to lead the pack. Its share among OEMs rose 3.9 percentage points during the three month period, while Samsung gained only 1 percent percentage point, rising from 20.3 percent of the U.S. market to 21.3 percent. That means Apple and the iPhone continue to enjoy almost double the smartphone manufacturer share of its next closest rival.
The loser in this case wasn’t either Apple or Samsung, however, both of whom gained subscribers and share, but BlackBerry, which as a platform shed 1.7 million subscribers in the U.S. between November and February. These numbers predate the launch of BB10, however, so we’ll have to watch to see if that helps BlackBerry stem the tide of users leaving.
Of course, both Google and Samsung stand to reap the benefits of upcoming device launches, which could help swing the pendulum back in their favor over the coming months. Samsung is on the verge of debuting its next-generation flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, with pre-orders beginning in just a couple of weeks. The HTC One is also coming to the U.S. market in mid-April, which could give Android as a platform additional firepower in terms of competing with iOS and the iPhone.
Apple’s success to date has been based on the strong performance of the iPhone 5 since launch, and that device seems to continue to be an attractive choice for U.S. subscribers. There still doesn’t appear to be much in the way of a true race for a third platform, however, with Microsoft and BlackBerry either actively losing share or seeing only insignificant gains. The market is now at a crucial juncture in terms of product releases, but the fight looks likely to continue to remain a two-party affair for the foreseeable future.
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Thunderbolt is a little more than a month from its two-year anniversary, and it’s hard to say that the connector is anything more than an expensive, niche product. Things have picked up a bit, but there’s clearly something holding back manufacturers. Intel may be the culprit: according to Ars Technica, the chipmaker’s director of Thunderbolt Marketing & Planning, Jason Ziller, said Intel “‘worked closely’ with vendors it felt could ‘offer the best products’ and could meet its stringent ‘certification requirements.’” We’ve heard rumblings before that Intel’s licensing process was part of the holdup behind getting more (and cheaper) Thunderbolt products out there, but this is the first time we’ve heard Intel suggest it is cherry-picking…
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Microsoft would have you believe that the launch of Windows 8 has been nothing short of a major success, revealing yesterday that over 40 million licenses have been sold since the OS went on sale last month. But new figures from NPD tell a slightly different tale, highlighting a sagging PC market and offering confirmation that consumers are showing some hesitance in adopting Windows 8. “The consumer Windows PC and tablet market didn’t get the boost it needed from the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 in the U.S.,” NPD’s release states flatly. Following the official launch, Windows hardware sales have fallen 21 percent compared to the same period last year. Notebooks bore the brunt of the decline, down 24 percent while desktops fell by…
German artist Lorenz Potthast has actually established an experimental helmet that enables users to view their environments in slow-moving motion. Understood as the Decelerator Helmet, Potthast’s device is a reflective aluminum realm that completely covers an individual’s head. The outside globe is viewable just with an interior head-mounted display placed straight in front of an individual’s eyes, which beams video clip captured by a camera attached to the front of the helmet. Individuals can control the performance of this video using a portable, semi-spherical remote, permitting them to decrease the world as they choose.
Come to be mindful of your own time
Specifically, the remote offers 3 different viewing modes– auto, press, and scroll. In vehicle mode, the video clip is …
Todd Bradley, HP’s head of PC, has spoken frankly about Microsoft’s Windows RT and Surface launches. In an interview with IDG Enterprise, Bradley reiterated comments HP made earlier this year, saying he’d “hardly call Surface competition,” before making some rather damning comments about Microsoft’s first ever tablet. “It tends to be slow and a little kludgey as you use it,” says Bradley, adding that “it’s expensive… the press has made a bigger deal out of Surface than what the world has chosen to believe.” Back in August, another HP exec said that Surface was Microsoft’s way of “making a leadership statement and showing what’s possible in the tablet space.”
Bradley cites the small retail launch — Surface is only available directly…
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