Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Amazon did a lot of funky stuff this year and it’s paying off

 Holy hell, it’s been a year for Amazon. Jeff Bezos’ former-online-bookstore dumped $13.7 billion to buy a bunch of grocery stores, that speaker you talk to in your living room that Amazon makes is really popular and a bunch of server farms Amazon runs generate more than $10 billion in revenue annually. Read More
Microsoft Office 2010
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The legendary creator of 'Super Mario' explains why he tries not to hire gamers to work at Nintendo

Shigeru Miyamoto

  • Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto, best known as the creator of “Super Mario,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and other hit franchises, is trying to make room for the next generation of leaders at the company.
  • Miyamoto actually prefers not to hire gamers; instead, he looks for candidates with other skills and interests. 
  • Gamers want to perfect what already exists, while Nintendo is about experimentation and finding new ways to have fun, Miyamoto says.

You might think that being a gamer would give you a leg up for a job at Nintendo, one of the world’s leading video game companies.

But it actually could hurt your chances.

As part of his plan to take a step back from the company, Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s legendary game designer, is trying to encourage the next wave of talent to take his place, he told The New York Times in a new interview. But Miyamoto is looking for candidates who come in with no preconceived notions about the industry. That means being a gamer is actually a minus. 

“I always look for designers who aren’t super-passionate game fans,” Miyamoto told the Times.

The reason, he said, is people who play a lot of video games are less willing to try new ideas. 

“I make it a point to ensure they’re not a gamer, but that they have a lot of different interests and skill sets,” he said.

Miyamoto himself didn’t initially have plans to make video games. Instead, he wanted to be an artist. He landed his first gig at Nintendo after showing then-CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi some of his homemade toys. 

Relatedly, some of Miyamoto’s greatest video game successes have famously been inspired by aspects of his real life. In many interviews, Miyamoto has noted that 1986’s “The Legend of Zelda” was inspired by his memories of exploring the Kyoto countryside as a kid. And 2001’s strategy game “Pikmin” stemmed from him spending time in his garden.

Super Mario Odyssey

The Times profile makes clear Miyamoto and Nintendo see this non-traditional approach as a key element in the company’s success, and experimentation as an important part of what’s kept Nintendo relevant for 30-plus years. Even recent Nintendo bestsellers such as “Super Mario Odyssey” and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” have been lauded for being examples of the company’s willingness to take risks with even its most important franchises. 

It’s hard to argue with success. A decade ago, Nintendo took a big risk with its Wii game console, which emphasized easy-to-play, fun games rather than fancy graphics, and it paid off. Nintendo sold 101 million Wiis.

While the Wii’s follow-up, the Wii U, was a notorious flop, Nintendo’s new Switch console, which also offers a different take on a game machine, has been a hot item. Nintendo sold 10 million Switches in the device’s first nine months on the market, and the company recently raised its forecast of first-year sales of the gadget from 10 million to 16 million, according to The Times.

Read the full New York Times report here.

SEE ALSO: There might not be as many great-looking Nintendo Switch games next year

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NOW WATCH: Nintendo’s ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ is amazing — here’s what it’s like

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78 years ago, the B-24 Liberator took its first flight — here's how it helped bring down the Nazis

B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft World War II

As the US military was looking to expand production of Boeing’s B-17 bomber in the late 1930s, Washington asked Consolidated Aircraft to start producing the plane.

But after a visit to Boeing’s factory in Seattle, Consolidated proposed a totally new aircraft.

Consolidated was granted a design study for a new bomber with specifications exceeding those of B-17. The company quickly turned out a new bomber design, and it received a contract for a flyable prototype, the XB-24, in March 1939.

On December 29, 1939, the XB-24 took its first flight — just a few months after Nazi Germany’s Blitzkrieg swept over Poland in September. By spring 1940, Adolf Hitler’s forces were marching through Western Europe and Consolidated’s new bomber was sent to the British.

B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft World War II

1940 came to a close with Nazi Germany ascendant.

US had not yet entered the war, but President Franklin Roosevelt exhorted American industry to shift from peacetime production and start churning out the materials needed to bolster Allied forces teetering on the brink of defeat.

“Guns, planes, ships, and many other things have to be built in the factories and the arsenals of America. They have to be produced by workers and managers and engineers with the aid of machines which in turn have to be built by hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the land,” Roosevelt said on December 29, 1940. “We must be the arsenal of democracy.”

The B-24 bomber, dubbed the Liberator, would become a mainstay of that arsenal. The hearty bomber saw service in all theaters of the war but played an essential role in the effort to pummel German forces in Europe.

“The B-24 has guts,” the Army Air Force’s pilot-instruction manual said. “It can take it and dish it out. It can carry a bigger bomb load farther and faster, day in and day out, than any airplane that has passed the flaming test of combat.”

Below, you can see how the vaunted B-24 went from prototype to the most mass-produced aircraft in history — helping carry Allied forces to victory along the way:

SEE ALSO: 73 years ago, the Nazis launched their last great western offensive of World War II — here are 13 photos of the Battle of the Bulge

By the beginning of 1941, other manufacturers had joined the effort to build B-24s. The Ford Motor Company made the audacious promise to build one bomber every hour — a claim that drew derision from the aircraft industry, which doubted an automobile company was capable of such a feat.

Source: “The Arsenal of Democracy

In January 1942, when Edsel Ford, then the president of the company named after his father, first saw the B-24 at the Consolidated Aircraft factory in San Diego, he said, “It appeared a monstrosity.” A prototype had been completed a year earlier, and the finished product was 66 feet 4 inches long and 17 feet 11 inches tall, with a wingspan of 110 feet — the longest of any aircraft of any kind in the US.

The wings were “exceptionally long and unusually narrow, with a high-aspect ratio that provided extraordinary lift,” A.J. Baime writes in “The Arsenal of Democracy.” The wing “was mounted shoulder-level on the fuselage so that it looked like arms outstretched, and the four engines hung down.”

The Ford team found it would need 5 miles of wire, cut into almost 3,000 pieces ranging in length from 8 inches to 32 feet, for a B-24. The plane’s components were 85% aluminum alloy and 13% steel. The rest was a mix of magnesium, brass, plastic, rubber, and other materials.

Each bomber also required 360,000 rivets — some one-sixteenth of an inch long and weighing .00005 pounds; others 50 times as long and weighing 0.05 pounds.

Ford and his top engineer, Charles Sorensen, believed Consolidated Aircraft had “created a hell of a weapon,” but they criticized the company’s production method, which was time-consuming and done in the open air, exposing the plane to the heat and cold. The Ford team knew how to build a lot of B-24s quickly: mass production on an assembly line.

Depending on the model, the B-24 was manned by a crew of between seven and 10 men stationed around the plane’s cramped confines. The bombardier, stationed in the belly, controlled the payload doors. The flight crew, including the navigator and flight engineer, also manned the bomber’s machine-gun turrets, which were set in the nose, tail, spine, and belly.

Twenty seven gauges and 12 levers spread across the instrument panel in the cockpit, used to control the bomber’s speed and fuel. The four engines could put out a total of 4,800 horsepower, then the equivalent of 56 Ford V8s.

Source: Military Factory, “The Arsenal of Democracy


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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iFixit drops its iPhone battery replacement to $29, matching Apple’s apology price

 iFixit has never been particularly fond of Apple’s repair policies. The company’s gadgets regularly rack up poor repairability scores on the site. The site’s taking another jab at the tech giant today, dropping the price of its battery replacement kits to $29 — matching the cost of out-of-warranty battery replacements being offered up as consolation for its iPhone… Read More

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OKCupid’s rating sinks as users rebel over new ‘real name’ policy

 OKCupid’s users are angry – very, very angry. Just ahead of the new year, the company made a radical change to its policies, and now requires people to use real names instead of an OKCupid username, as before. The change eliminates one of the biggest differentiators between the dating app and rivals like Tinder and Bumble, which have users log in via Facebook in order to use their… Read More

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A hidden message about Obama golfing was deleted from Trump's website after people noticed

Trump golfing

  • President Donald Trump’s campaign website had an Easter egg message hidden in its source code.
  • It was a joke about Obama golfing. The code containing the message was deleted shortly after it was discovered. 
  • Trump has spent 71 of his 346 days in office playing golf.

There has never been a president with the same passion for golf as Donald Trump. 

Since he became president, he’s golfed on 71 separate days, according to a count by The Washington Post

That’s why a lot of people found it funny when a snarky error message was found hidden in the Trump website’s Javascript code on Thursday. 

It said: 

“Oops! Something went wrong. Unlike Obama, we are working to fix the problem… and not on the golf course.”  

As The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham wrote on Twitter, it’s unclear whether the error message was ever shown. The quip was intended to replace a basic “page not found” message, but there seemed to be errors in the code.

Regardless, the snippet of code has been removed from the website, only a few hours after it was first discovered. But you can still see the joke in the source code if you access an cache of the site. 

Trump has spent 71 of his 346 days in office playing golf, according to The Washington Post, or a round every 4.9 days. Over President Obama’s eight years in office, he played 333 games of golf, or once every 8.8 days. 


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NOW WATCH: Thursday’s big net neutrality vote could drastically change the internet — here’s what it means for you

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A high-school student won $250,000 for explaining relativity using a pick-up truck and Usain Bolt

hillary diane andales

  • 18-year-old Hillary Diane Andales won the 2017 Breakthrough Junior Challenge for her video explaining the theory of relativity.
  • Andales took home $250,000 in scholarship money for her win.

The German physicist Albert Einstein needed complex equations to describe his theory of relativity, but 18-year-old Hillary Diane Andales of the Philippines does just fine with a pick-up truck, a few cell phones, and Usain Bolt.

Andales is the winner of the 2017 Breakthrough Junior Challenge, an annual competition that calls on teenagers across the world to submit videos no longer than three minutes that simplify big ideas in science or math. For her win, Andales took home the grand prize of $250,000 in scholarship money.

Her winning video was entitled “Relativity & The Equivalence of Reference Frames.” It began by displaying a sideways number, which you could interpret as either a “6” or a “9” depending on which way you turned your head. The perspective you take, Andales noted, determines your reference frame.

Reference frames are fundamental to relativity because observers perceive things differently if they’re in different locations, she explained.

Andales demonstrated this by recruiting three of her friends to record the sound a pickup truck made as it drove down a road and honked the horn. Each person stood in a different spot — one in front of the car, one behind the car, and one inside the car — and recorded the sound.

Each reference frame yielded a different sound, since the sound waves coming from the horn were either bunched up (producing a higher pitch) or spread out (a lower pitch) relative to where they got recorded.

The same test can be done with velocity and time, Andales explained. If Usain Bolt ran the 100-meter dash at 98% the speed of light, a 10-second finish from his perspective would read 40 seconds on the judge’s clock.

The reason is that faster clocks seem to move slower relative to a stationary observer. It’s the same principle that explains why clocks on the International Space Station, which orbits the Earth at 17,000 mph, lag behind terrestrial clocks by about 0.007 seconds every six months.

Thus, as Andales points out, Bolt is the Olympics’ best time traveler.

You can watch her entire submission video below:

SEE ALSO: An 11-year-old has become ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ for her sensor detecting lead in water

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NOW WATCH: Einstein’s biggest blunder turned out to explain one of the greatest scientific revelations of the 20th century

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A family is suing Alaska Airlines after an elderly woman fatally fell down an escalator

alaska airlines wheelchair lawsuit

  • A family is suing Alaska Airlines and a contractor after an elderly woman died following a fall down an escalator in a wheelchair at Portland International Airport.
  • The family indicated that she needed assistance traveling between gates to a connecting flight when they bought her ticket, but a surveillance video shows the woman navigating the airport alone and eventually falling down an escalator.
  • The woman had her right leg amputated below the knee as a result and died the day after the surgery.


A family is suing Alaska Airlines and a contractor after 75-year-old Bernice Kekona died following a fall down an escalator while in a wheelchair at Portland International Airport, according to CBS News.

Kekona’s family indicated that she needed assistance traveling between gates to a connecting flight when they bought her ticket, but the family alleges the contractor, Huntleigh, that Alaska Airlines hired to perform the service did not fulfill its duties.

A surveillance video shows that after exiting her initial flight, Kekona navigated the airport alone before falling down an escalator headfirst and suffering multiple injuries. She eventually had to have her right leg amputated below the knee and died the day following the surgery.

Though it doesn’t cite any specific monetary damages, the lawsuit says that Kekona’s medical bills were almost $300,000.

“We don’t have all the facts, but after conducting a preliminary investigation, it appears that Ms. Kekona declined ongoing assistance in the terminal and decided to proceed on her own to her connecting flight,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement to Business Insider. 

The airline said that Kekona “went off on her own” after being helped into her wheelchair.

Huntleigh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SEE ALSO: American Airlines apologizes for accusing pro basketball players of theft and forcing them off the plane

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NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund reveals why you should be cautious of the ICO bubble

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Consumers dropped $200 million on apps on Christmas, up 12 percent from last year

 Consumers spent $196 million on apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions on Christmas Day 2017 across the App Store and Google Play, according to new data from Sensor Tower. The report, while excluding Android revenue in China, represents a 12.3 percent increase over last year’s spending of approximately $174 million. That speaks to a still-growing market for apps and games as well as… Read More

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The new 'Star Wars' movies have already made more than the $4 billion Disney paid for the franchise in 2012 (DIS)

Last Jedi 2 Disney

  • With “The Last Jedi” making over $900 million worldwide at the box office, Disney-owned “Star Wars” movies have combined to earn over $4.5 billion.
  • That’s how much Disney paid for Lucasfilm, the company that makes the “Star Wars” movies, in 2012.

In 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4.06 billion and took full control of the “Star Wars” empire. 

Five years later, the studio has made that amount back from just the ticket sales from the new “Star Wars” films.

With the saga’s lastest movie, “The Last Jedi,” passing $900 million worldwide at the box office on Thursday, the Disney-owned releases of “Star Wars” (“The Force Awakens,” “Rouge One,” “The Last Jedi”) have combined to surpass the $4.06 billion pricetag Disney spent on San Francisco-based company, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Though this doesn’t count the millions spent to make and market the movies, this figure also doesn’t count the money Disney has already made from “Star Wars” merchandising and attractions at its theme parks (both of which are more lucrative than what the studio gets from ticket sales). 

indiana jonesAny way you cut it, there can be no argument about the amount Disney paid for Lucasfilm (which means it now owns the “Indiana Jones” franchise; a new movie with Harrison Ford once again in the title role is in development). And you can only imagine what can be accomplished with the company’s recent acquisition of the movie studio and TV properties of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion.

The news comes as “The Last Jedi” performs strong in theaters, but not to the level of 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” which broke numerous box office records.

The mixed reaction by fans, its two-and-a-half hour running time, and the fact that Christmas Eve landed on a Sunday this year are all factors for the historic $151 million drop at the domestic box office for “The Last Jedi” in its second weekend in theaters. But some things are too big to fail, and a “Star Wars” movie is one of them.

“The Last Jedi” is currently the second-highest domestic grossing movie of 2017 with over $445 million (it’s only been in theaters for two weeks!) and has its sights on being the top-grossing domestic movie of the year by December 31.

SEE ALSO: All 36 characters in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” ranked from worst to best

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NOW WATCH: Meet Scott Rogowsky — the host of the hot new mobile game show HQ Trivia

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