August 7, 2015 by Tris Hussey

This week in Tech August 7th edition - So much coolness

This week in Tech August 7th edition - So much coolness

or I saw enough on Friday alone to make a great post

It was a short week here in Microserve land and for some reason the daily grind of writing posts, creating white papers, and doing all the other marketing things caught up with me and…

I didn’t get to read news until today.

Mea culpa.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t find a bunch of really cool things this week. Like frogs that shoot poisoned spines from their faces to MS Outlook on the Apple watch to Lexus creating an actual, working hoverboard! So let’s get down to it.

Yeah, MS Outlook has come to the Apple Watch! Now I don’t have an Apple Watch, but I have really gotten into Outlook for iOS (which is what Outlook for the Apple Watch presumedly pairs with). I have to say that both Outlook for Mac and Outlook for iOS are spiffy email clients. From everything I’ve read, the boys and girls in Redmond did a smashing job at bringing email to a wearable. But…to put things into perspective, wearables have a long way to go. ReadWrite has the 3 Barriers to Success for Wearables which include battery life and true usability, but still makes predictions for the future of wearables. While I don’t think I’d like to sit in a meeting and have emails coming up in front of my eyes. The scientist in me would love to “look” through a microscope via a camera and a pair of glasses. Are we getting close to Minority Report? Yeah, we are.

Related to wearables (in my mind) is IoT (Internet of Things). I tried a Nest for a while (great device, not so good for my furnace though) and we’re seeing more and more devices connecting things like doors to watches, thermostats to big data, and whole neighborhoods into smart grids. But…IoT devices have been flying out the doors of companies that little things like security have taken a back seat to being first (and cool). ZigBee is the latest devices to be bitten by the security bug and I’m not going to go all curmudgeon on them and say the end is nigh or that IoT is a bad idea. What’s important here is that we absolutely figure this stuff out. It’s important that we realize when we connect everything in our homes and offices to the Internet…there are risks. And we really need to fix it before a Bond villain blows up MI6.

I love my MacBook Air, but turns out that the same tech that makes my Air so awesome is helping crank out more and more powerful big, clunky laptops. What we’re talking about are people who need more oomph out of their portable than say, a writer (moi). Folks who do video editing, Photoshop, and design work. These laptops with oomph aren’t quite desktop workstation-class devices but they’re close. What does this have to do with thin and light laptops? Well the same stuff like smaller processors with more power, better batteries, and SSDs if you give them more space you can create really powerful laptops (lugtops?). Without the need to be thin and light, you can put in bigger batteries, fans, and more RAM. Cool. Ironic. But still cool.

Also in the cool department is that you can call the ISS! Yeah a guy in the UK did it and granted you have to know when ISS will be overhead and be a ham radio operator, but the amateur radio frequencies to reach the ISS are published and freely available. According to my star gazing app (yeah I’ve got a few of them) it will be passing overhead here in North America tonight. Nice.

Now I love gadgets, especially mini tools. I have…a lot. Enough that I pretty much always have the ability to fix things. This little zipper pull (titanium zipper pull) opens bottles, works as a pry bar, and can hold a hex bit! Dude!

Oh please in my stocking!
You all know by now that I can’t wait for self-driving cars. Sure, we’ll have to pay attention to the road too (at least for a while), but soon it will be hop in and just ride. XKCD reminds us…don’t leave your keys in your self driving car.

Until next week!

By the way if you're into geek stuff you might want to check our Nerd Block. Great Canadian folks who send you cool geek stuff every month. My first box is coming this week!

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