Tech News Roundups

Survival Instinct and The Success of a Startup

Every Monday we’ll be giving you our take on some of the tech news from last week you may have missed. Whether it was the hottest thing or the least discussed, we’ll break down some of the stories we found most interesting.

We call it: Last Week’s Tech News Roundup Today!

#1 – Instant Film and Record Players Top Holiday Sellers on Amazon

redding record

While 2015 was a massive year for virtual reality, futuristic tech, drones and self-driving cars, it was also a huge year for instant film à la Polaroid and vinyl records and record players.

Amazon reported that its top-selling item in home audio was a $50, entry level record player by Jensen. The player features built-in speakers, a head phone jack, USB port and software for turning vinyl records into MP3s, making it easy for anyone getting started on vinyl collecting.

hey ya gif
Andre 3000 of Outkast in the “Hey Ya!” music video. “Shake it like a Polaroid picture!”

In addition to these throwback sales, the online music marketplace and recorded music database, Discogs, reports it has sold 2.8 million records in 2015 compared to just 628,000 CDs.

Bonus Music Trivia: The version of Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine” that we’re all so familiar with was a first-take, chance recording of the song. What’s amazing is that Redding was only 21 years old and only happened to be accompanying friends to the recording studio on that day.

#2 – Qualcomm, Snapdragon to Reduce Cost of Drones and Improve Efficiency

The wireless tech company Qualcomm has announced its plans to make drones much more efficient, smarter and more affordable in 2016. The maker of the Snapdragon processor which is found in many smart phones, tablets and cameras previews some of the capabilities its microchip will bring to drones this year in the above video. As the video demonstrates, the drone is able to map out 3D spaces and autonomously dodge obstacles.

In an interview with The Verge, Qualcomm’s Raj Talluri said, “We believe that, with this chip, we can cut the price of the average 4K camera drone from $1,200 down to $300 or $400.”

#3 – Samsung Offers New Bio-Processor for Tracking All Attributes of Your Body

Really exciting news for manufacturers of fitness tracking software and wearables is Samsung’s Bio-Processor chip which may even be able to monitor a user’s stress levels. Samsung is offering reference designs to companies designing new wearables in order to “allow accelerated development” of new products.

Speaking of fitness and health tracking, Right Brain Media recently developed the popular water tracker hydration reminder app iHydrate for use on iOS, iPad and iPod. Swing by the App Store and download the app for free.

iHydrate by CloforceFitness

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 12.44.04 PM

#4 – The Guardian Takes an Interactive Look at Google’s New Project Tango

Google thinks they’ve developed a new technology which may be able to allow computers to understand the physical world in the same way humans do. Using infrared cameras, Project Tango‘s device is able to observe its surroundings and create a 3D visualization of the space. If Google breaks through with this new technology, we can expect to see some truly exciting developments in VR gaming and maybe even more exciting developments in our daily lives.

#5 – The Survival Instinct: Privilege is Not the Only Determining Factor in the Success of a Startup

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Cover art of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”, Dover Thrift edition.

While this article published by Quartz is nothing new from last week, it did get me thinking. The author may be right that the mythical “creativity gene” or “entrepreneurship gene” is just that, a myth. But the idea that the success of a startup or even the chance of someone embodying the entrepreneurial spirit hinges mostly on a person’s privileges of “family money, an inheritance, or a pedigree and connections that allow for access to financial stability,” is false.

The author is right to assert that when you know you have a safety net and your basic needs are met, you may have more time to spend on being creative and may be more willing to take risks. But there’s one key factor missing from this argument I hope we don’t forget. And that is our basic instinct for survival. The fear of death is perhaps the single greatest source of inspiration.

Charles Dickens was born of a poor Navy Pay Office clerk and worked in a shoe-blacking factory. Fyodor Dostoevsky was exiled and narrowly escaped being executed by a firing squad. These men wrote some of the greatest literary works in human history out of the sheer need to make ends meet and support their families. And forget not J.K Rowling, a struggling, single mother, and Jim Carrey who lived out of a VW camper with his entire family. And, of course, there’s Steve Jobs who dropped out of college because his family couldn’t afford it.

Money isn’t everything.

Check back each week and leave your comments below, please and thank you!

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