Reality sets in at Facebook: Low entry barrier, low CPM. Even Fake Steve has noticed that most Facebook apps are fluff. More pointedly, developers are seeing very low effective CPM rates. CPM being a rather obsolete concept, I'd prefer to see data presented in revenue-per-user terms, as here. But it's clear that the open, easy, widely adopted Facebook is struggling to monetize, while the smaller, focused, and closed LinkedIn is claiming much higher effective rates (see interesting discussion here.) I'm still picking Facebook to be the Pointcast story of this decade.
Winning the War with Rhino Snot. Letting the troops (as versus the Pentagon) name your products can have interesting results. This company looks like it's self-supporting, but it would be fun to see its CEO try to get through a VC pitch without cracking a grin. It would definitely earn a place on the 'best name' honor roll.
Better see what's hiding in the closet. Following the precedent of DARPA's robotic Grand Challenge, Great Britain's Ministry of Defense (MoD) is mounting its own competition for automatons, with a twist. This time the robots are for surveillance purposes, meant to spy out snipers, IEDs and armed vehicles and soldiers in a village sized trial area. The task specific element of the challenge ups the ante from DARPA's trials, which were mostly about success in navigation. The MoD's competition also allows cooperating teams of bots, which could be of different types. One team anticipates coordinating a team of flying and earthborne bots. The MoD trial will take place in August.
The best things IBM ever made... were those clicky, battleship-weight PC keyboards. Dan's Data sings the praises of the 'buckling spring' design. (Via Derek Miller). Having spent many hours banging on an awesome converted Selectric used as the console on a IBM 1800 way back when, the PC keyboard was a welcome relief from the mushy action of the VT series and other 'glass TTYs' of the time. Almost worth having to put up with segment registers. The economics of the PC industry and weight requirements for portability put these things into the museum, but I still miss 'em.
What happened to 'Know Thyself'? Our self-appointed guardians in New York and California are on watch, making sure you can't get your genome analyzed at your own expense. Because it raises big concerns: 'What will patients do with this information? " Gee, would you suppose that might be their own business? if you wanted to freeze private investment into this area, you couldn't have picked a better way than this kind of statist fear-mongering. And maybe that's the point.