Curiosity. For those of us who grew up with the space race – and saw the benefits of NASA research, from personal computers to microwave ovens – the nation’s decision to abandon space to other countries was nothing short of tragic. Now a small Mars rover has again fired up our imagination, and may lead us back into the exploration of our own final frontier.
HDMI Connections. Turns out that the reason so many of the big screen television sets carry such a low price tag is that they use generic, low-quality sub-systems. Like the circuit boards that control the sound. Or, more commonly, the ones that control the HDMI connections for better pictures and sound. Companies are now low-balling these simple components, so that the least little power surge fried the board and turns your television into 60 inches of useless junk. Caveat emptor.
The User Interface Formerly Known As Metro. Yep, Microsoft is already distancing itself…well, fleeing, actually, from the “Metro” name. Is it really that bad? No, it is mostly just new and unfamiliar. But corporate IT managers are already flinching at what it will cost to train business users on how to work without a “Start” button…
Facebook. Its value is now less than half of what it was when the company went public, and there are calls for Mark Zuckerberg to step down as chairman. Can things get any worse? After all, the company still doesn’t have much of a business model beyond stealing your personal data to sell to advertisers. Can’t wait to see what it looks like a year after its IPO.
National Weather Service. I’ve used one weather site after another in the endless quest to learn about tornadoes sometime before 30 minutes after they pass. Same with snowstorms. Until now, getting up to the minute weather information (especially on weekends, when no one seems to be working) has been impossible. Now the US Weather Service has put its own site online at www.weather.gov. It’s an excellent site, and one I recommend. Hands down.
Mr. McClure is a consultant and widely published writer on technology issues. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org