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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn’t

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carpetbomberz:

Flipped Classrooms and MOOCs still are hot topics and popular in the higher education and technology websites. Certainly in the time since the big entrepreneurial opportunities like Udacity and EdX sprang up something should have been learned. What have we learned in the 3 years since Sebastian Thrun put his AI course online for all to register for and take for a semester? Are we closer to understanding the cost and return of adopting this format for online education? The jury is still out but the doubts are there.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note: Dan Friedman is the co-founder of Thinkful.

Three years ago this week, Sebastian Thrun recorded his Stanford class on Artificial Intelligence, released it online to a staggering 180,000 students, and started a “revolution in higher education.” Soon after, Coursera, Udacity and others promised free access to valuable content, supposedly delivering a disruptive solution that would solve massive student debt and a struggling economy. Since then, over 8 million students have enrolled in their courses.

This year, that revolution fizzled. Only half of those who signed up watched even one lecture, and only 4 percent stayed long enough to complete a course. Further, the audience for MOOCs already had college degrees so the promise of disrupting higher education failed to materialize. The MOOC providers argue that completion of free courses is the wrong measure of success, but even a controlled experiment run by…

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Written by Eric Likness

September 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Posted in technology

Apple’s CDN Now Live: Has Paid Deals With ISPs, Massive Capacity In Place – Dan Rayburn – StreamingMediaBlog.com

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A sample apple grown around Shenandoah Valley, Va.

A sample apple grown around Shenandoah Valley, Va. (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

Since last year, Apple’s been hard at work building out their own CDN and now those efforts are paying off. Recently, Apple’s CDN has gone live in the U.S. and Europe and the company is now delivering some of their own content, directly to consumers. In addition, Apple has interconnect deals in place with multiple ISPs, including Comcast and others, and has paid to get direct access to their networks.

via Apple’s CDN Now Live: Has Paid Deals With ISPs, Massive Capacity In Place – Dan Rayburn – StreamingMediaBlog.com.

Given some of my experiences attempting to watch the Live Stream from Apple’s combined iPhone, Watch event, I wanted to address CDN. Content Distribution Networks are designed to speed the flow of many types of files from Data Centers or Video head ends for Live Events. So I note, I started this article back on August 1st when this original announcement went out. And now it’s doubly poignant as the video stream difficulties at the start of the show (1PM EDT) kind of ruined it for me and for a few others. They lost me in that scant few first 10 minutes and they never recovered. I did connect later but that was after the Apple Watch presentation was half done. Oh well, you get what you pay for. I paid nothing for the Live Event stream from Apple and got nothing in return.

Back during the Steve Jobs era, one of the biggest supporters of Akamais and its content delivery network was Apple Inc. And this was not just for streaming of the Keynote Speeches and MacWorld (before they withdrew from that event) but also the World Developers Conference (WWDC). At the time enjoyed great access to free streams and great performance levels for free. But Apple cut way back on that simulcasts and rivals like Eventbrite began to eat in to Akamai’s lower end. Since then the huge data center providers began to build out their own data centers worldwide. And in so doing, a kind of internal monopoly of content distribution went into effect. Google was first to really scale up in a massive way then scale out, to make sure all those GMail accounts ran faster and better in spite of the huge mail spools on each account member. Eventually the second wave of social media outlets joined in (with Facebook leading a revolution in Open Stack and Open Hardware specs) and created their own version of content delivery as well.

Now Apple has attempted to scale up and scale out to keep people tightly bound to brand. iCloud really is a thing, but more than that now the real heavy lifting is going on once and for all time. Peering arrangements (anathema to the open Internet) would be signed and deals made to scratch each other’s backs by sharing the load/burden of carrying not just your own internal traffic, but those of others too. And depending on the ISP you could really get gouged by those negotiations. But no matter Apple soldiered on and now they’re ready to really let all the prep work be put to good use. Hopefully the marketing will be sufficient to express the satisfaction and end user experience at all levels, iTunes, iApps, iCloud data storage and everything else would experience the boosts in speed. If Apple can hold its own against both Facebook and Gmail in this regard, they future’s so bright they’re gonna need shades.

Written by Eric Likness

September 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Posted in cloud, data center, google, macintosh

Tagged with , ,

An Obsessively Thorough Battery (and more) Showdown

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carpetbomberz:

Really good linkage to a review site for batteries, chargers, and led flashlights. Well worth the data and comparisons. And a great example of how to go about doing a review site.

Originally posted on Hackaday:

Lots of battery reviews and more!

There are a number of resources scattered across the Internet that provide detailed breakdowns of common products, such as batteries, but we haven’t seen anything quite as impressive as this site. It’s an overwhelming presentation of data that addresses batteries of all types, including 18650’s (and others close in size)26650’s, and more chargers than you can shake a LiPo at. It’s an amazing site with pictures of the product both assembled and disassembled, graphs for charge and discharge rates, comparisons for different chemistries, and even some thermal images to illustrate how the chargers deal with heat dissipation.

Check out the review for the SysMax Intellicharger i4 to see a typical example. If you make it to the bottom of that novel-length repository of information, you’ll see that each entry includes a link to the methodology used for testing these chargers.

But wait, there’s more! You can also find equally…

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Written by Eric Likness

September 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Posted in technology

AnandTech Founder Anand Shimpi Is Heading To Apple

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carpetbomberz:

I didn’t know Anand Shimpi was going to Apple. I did know he was turning his website AnandTech over to a co-writer. This is interesting news.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

A day after announcing his retirement from writing, it’s come to light that veteran journalist Anand Shimpi will soon be joining Apple. The move, which was first reported by Re/code earlier today, was confirmed by the company.

Shimpi spent 17 years building the site AnandTech, focusing mostly on reviews of hardware and along the way providing detailed info on products from Apple and other consumer electronics manufacturers. But after so many years covering those products, he’ll now be going inside Apple to work for the company.

We’re not sure what Shimpi will be doing for Apple, but based on his deep knowledge of its products he’ll probably be working in some sort of strategy role. While he moves on, AnandTech will continue to publish, with the site being run by new editor-in-chief Ryan Smith.

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Written by Eric Likness

August 31, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Posted in technology

Anandtech.com changing hands, long live Anandtech

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To the millions of readers who have visited and supported me and the site over the past 17+ years, I owe you my deepest gratitude. You all enabled me to spend over half of my life learning more than I ever could have in any other position. The education I’ve received doing this job and the ability to serve you all with it is the most amazing gift anyone could ever ask for. You enabled me to get the education of a lifetime and I will never be able to repay you for that. Thank you. http://www.anandtech.com/show/8456/the-road-ahead

 

Dear Anand,

It was a sad day for me to see both the published print version of Byte magazine and subsequent to that Byte.com slowly disappear. I turned to other news sites over time Tom’s Hardware being one example and Anandtech being a another. Over time you guys filled that gap left behind by the likes of Jerry Pournelle, Tom Halfhill and Jon Udell. Kudos to you and the team doing real writing about not just consumer tech, data center stuff and cutting edge tech like UltraDIMMs and converged DIMM/Flash technologies like that. You guys rock and will keep rocking. It’s been a great ride and you all are doing good work. Good Luck and have fun, no matter what you do.

Sincerely,

Carpetbomberz.com

Written by Eric Likness

August 30, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Posted in uncategorized

Resistance is not futile: Here’s a cookie sheet of luke-warm RRAM that proves it • The Register

Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA - Statue ...

Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA – Statue of founder William Marsh Rice with Lovett Hall in background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tour said: “Our technology is the only one that satisfies every market requirement, both from a production and a performance standpoint, for nonvolatile memory. It can be manufactured at room temperature, has an extremely low forming voltage, high on-off ratio, low power consumption, nine-bit capacity per cell, exceptional switching speeds and excellent cycling endurance.”

via Resistance is not futile: Here’s a cookie sheet of luke-warm RRAM that proves it • The Register (Chris Mellor).

Rice University is continuing research on it’s ReRAM (resistive RAM) and has come up with some new ways to manufacture it. That’s the key to adopting any new discovery first done in a lab environment. You have to keep tweaking it to find out the best way to manufacture it at scale and at a reduced cost. So in the four years since the original announcement was made, now it’s possible to manufacture the Rice U ReRAM. And at the end of the article there’s a note that some people are already buying up licenses for the technology. Hopefully that’s not just for patent trolling protection insurance, no. Instead, I’m  hoping some small Fabless chip design house takes this up and tries out some batches of this and qualifies it for manufacture at a large scale contract manufacturer of silicon chips. When that happens, then we’ll have the kind of momentum required to make ReRAM a real shipping product. And with any like Rice U. will continue work on improving the basic science behind the product so it more companies will find it attractive and lucrative. Keep your eye on ReRAM.

 

Written by Eric Likness

August 9, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Posted in flash memory

Tagged with , ,

Batteries take the lithium for charge boost • The Register

To do that, the researchers coated a lithium anode with a layer of hollow carbon nanospheres, to prevent the growth of the dendrites.

via Batteries take the lithium for charge boost • The Register.

As research is being done on incremental improvements in Lithium Ion batteries, some occasional discoveries are being made. In this instance, the anode is being switched to pure lithium with a coating to protect the very reactive metal surface. The problem with using pure lithium is the growth of micro crystalline “dendrites”, kind of like stalagmites/stalactites in caves, along the whole surface. As the the dendrites build up, the anode loses it’s efficiency and that battery slowly loses it’s ability to charge all the way. This research has shown how to coat a pure lithium anode with a later of carbon nanotubes to help act as a permeable layer between the the electrolytic liquid in the battery and the pure lithium anode.

In past articles on Carpetbomberz.com we’ve seen announcements of other possible battery technologies like Zinc-Air, Lithium-Air and possible use of carbon nanotubes as a anode material. This announcement is promising in that it’s added costs might be somewhat smaller versus a wholesale change in battery chemistry. Similarly the article points out how much lighter elemental Lithium is versus the current anode materials (Carbon and Silicon). If the process of coating the anode is sufficiently inexpensive and can be done on a industrial production line, you will see this get adopted. But with most experiments like these, scaling up and lowering costs is the hardest thing to do. Hopefully this is one that will make it into shipping products and see the light of day.

 

Written by Eric Likness

August 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm