Little Known Secrets of the Internet
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 – Little Known Secrets of the Internet
New York Public Library’s Digital Database: Last week the New York Public Library opened up its digital database of thousands of public domain pictures, videos, books, paintings, newspaper clippings and more to just about anyone who wants to use them.
Unlock Netflix’s Seemingly-Limitless Subgenres: If you’re interested in “Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life,” or “Dramas Based on Books” you can now access these not-so-easy-to-find genres EASILY from within your Netflix account. Once you’ve logged into your account enter: http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/XXXX. Simply replace the “XXXX” with the string of numbers corresponding to the subgenre of your choice from this handy list of subgenres that emerged on the web last week.
Archive.org: Take a trip back in time via the “Wayback Machine” at Archive.org. Visit any website from any time! It’s pretty freaking cool. Oh, not to mention, Archive.org is a place, much like the New York Public Library’s digital database to find newspapers, books, music, videos — literally ANYTHING that rests in the public domain and enjoy it for FREE!
#2 – Are Your Text Messages Really Increasing Climate Change?
NPR’s All Tech Considered recently spoke with greenhouse gas footprinting expert Mike Berners-Lee to determine to what degree text messaging contributes to greenhouse gas build up and its effects on climate change.
What is a greenhouse gas footprint? Footprint is determined by the amount of resources required to carry out a specific action. The size of an individual’s footprint after composing and delivering a text message is determined based on the resources that went into manufacturing and transporting the smartphone or tablet used, the electricity to charge the device, the resources used by the utility company to deliver the message, etc. Every step of the way a number of resources are used up. And for a text message, the footprint is pretty negligible. According to Berners-Lee’s calculations, one handwritten prepared and delivered letter is the equivalent to 10,000 text messages.
Berners-Lee doesn’t think we should turn extremist in the way we monitor our use of technology in this way. Of course a video call requires much more in the way of resources than a simple text message, but Berners-Lee says, “It goes back to, how much is it bringing into your life, how much is it helping you to live well and what’s it replacing?” It goes without saying that the footprint of a video call is far less intense than say getting on a plane to meet somebody.
“It’s not about nagging yourself about everything you do,” says Berners-Lee. “It’s about finding two or three important things that will make a significant difference that you’re able to change and ideally, in a way that would make your life better, not worse.”
#3 – Once We Begin, We Will Never Give Up
Super-confident drone-makers EHang unveiled their highly ambitious new autonomous aerial vehicle, the EHang 184 (one passenger, eight propellers, four arms) at this year’s year’s Consumer Electronics Show 2016. Passengers do not need to pilot the craft. By simply supplying the on board flight app with the destination users need only issue two commands: “take off,” and “land.” The cockpit even features air conditioning and a reading light!
The engineers over at EHang are furiously working on a major break through and it looks like they’re going to seriously disrupt the market with their highly futuristic craft.
Watch the above video from EHang at the Telegraph website. The narration audio quality isn’t superb and the narrator’s English isn’t perfect, but the dedication and confidence delivered through his words are assurance enough that EHang is going to turn out something HUGE: “Once we begin, we will never give up.”
#4 – Facebook Has Big Plans for Its Facebook M Platform
We’ve been talking recently about the exciting new features Facebook is bringing to the messaging capabilities of your smartphone and their push to introduce a wider audience to the capabilities of the virtual assistant with Facebook M. And it looks like the social network isn’t stopping there.
TechCrunch reports that Facebook is developing an app for Mac.
And The Verge reports that Facebook may have even bigger plans for its Facebook M platform by turning it into a platform for other brands and businesses by helping other companies build their own messaging bots.
Check back each week and leave your comments below, please and thank you!