Owened

Perpetually in search of what’s next. Marketing Manager at Hoist Apps and Weekend Editor @ The Next Web

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Chromebook Pixel: Pixel density matters and Microsoft should pay attention

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Today Google announced the Chromebook Pixel, the first Google-branded laptop to feature a massively pixel-dense display. There has been much backlash to the launch, mostly around the price and design that is somewhat reminiscent of the HP Elitebook.

The device is very expensive, I won’t disagree, but that’s because parts like this are not mainstream or even used much outside of Apple’s hardware. Despite the price, the Chromebook Pixel is important because it shows that Google understands the direction that things should be going in.

It amazes me that we’re now in 2013, Microsoft has recently released a new version of Windows and we still don’t have high pixel density hardware hitting the market for PC’s, nor does Windows 8 even support it properly.

Yes, Windows 8 “supports” these kinds of screens, but no, it doesn’t do it very...

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Wearable technology: the next big thing

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, wearable technology like this is going to be the next thing to take the world by storm. This video is evidence enough that if the actual “technology” layer of the device doesn’t get in the way of living life, and is actually natural enough to integrate into every day movements then it is killer.

It may take half a decade for it to catch on, but I expect this kind of innovation to become both socially acceptable and the norm within the next decade. Sure, it might look goofy to have us all talking to ourselves, but it’s also incredibly useful and transparent to the user.

We’re also not specifically talking about Google Glass here. I expect a wave of innovations from smart watches to electronic clothing to become “mainstream” at some point in the foreseeable future.

As with self-driving...

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New Zealand to finally get another submarine internet cable

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Telecom, Vodafone and Telstra have signed a “non-binding” memorandum of understanding to invest in a new submarine cable between Auckland and Sydney.

Telecom chief executive Simon Moutter and Vodafone New Zealand CEO Russell Stanners jointly said:

“The Tasman Global Access cable will also enable New Zealand to better leverage the four additional international cable systems currently serving Australia (with several more proposed or in development), providing important redundancy for New Zealand. Australia also enjoys good connectivity with Asia, which is achieving strong internet traffic growth in line with global economic shifts.”

According to the release, the tentatively named “Tasman Global Access” (TGA) cable will cost less than $60 million and will have a design capacity of 30 terabits/second when completed. This is around 300 times “current”...

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The Surface Pro is an answer to a question asked two years ago, not today

This week, the Surface Pro has hit the street and promptly ‘sold out’. It’s an impressive device, one that I’m very excited about. Not only does it have the best screen on a PC to date (it’s hard to believe we still don’t have anything retina quality), it’s also got the best industrial design we’ve seen to date in the PC market.

Despite this, the Surface Pro shows a lack of understanding from Microsoft of the market as it currently stands. They’ve figured out that industrial design is important, but have forgotten that the software is just as important.

Two years ago, when the iPad was new, people cried out for a tablet from Microsoft. People wanted to work and play on the go with a full Windows PC, and the Surface now ‘answers’ that need, but it doesn’t address (or even try to address) the world as it is now.

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RIM rebrands as BlackBerry

As of today, RIM is being rebranded as BlackBerry. “We have reinvented the company, and we want to represent this in our brand,” Heins said.

This move is a bit confusing for a few reasons. First, it seems like a desperate grasp at using the power behind their branding to keep them afloat and well known. Second, I don’t really understand why they didn’t do this already. RIM was a terrible name for a company that exists in 2013, but I guess they figured that part out on their own.

Strangely enough, they decided to chose Alicia Keys as their ‘creative director’ on the product (a title that likely means nothing) despite the fact that she seems to love her iPhone.

So… I guess the company name is the product now. At least BlackBerry can unveil BlackBerries at their BlackBerry events from now on. Meta.

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China now burning as much coal as the rest of the world combined

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There’s a reason why coal is so popular in China and in much of the rest of the world: it’s very, very cheap. And that’s why, despite the danger coal poses to health and the environment, neither China nor many other rapidly growing developing nations are likely to turn away from it.

Well, that’s scary.

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The List: Fostering great content

We may not need another Reddit clone, but we do need something that fixes the Reddit methodology. The site has become so inundated with spam and “hilarious” memes that it’s hard to surface real, quality content anymore. One of the biggest problems with these sorts of sites is the question of how to surface quality content without needing to screen out all of the poor quality content.

It looks like The List, a new service may have found a way to solve that. Their methodology is very similar to Reddit, but it forces users to “pay” karma to submit content. To make a post to The List, a user pays 2% of the karma that they currently have, thus stopping them from submitting an overflow of content. This also allows users over time as they gain karma to front-page a link easier at the cost of more karma.

There’s definitely an interesting model there -...

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Your credentials mean nothing

American companies are obsessed with hiring Harvard grads and Wharton MBAs. This is true of the tech industry, even extending into startups, driving entry-level top school CS bachelor’s degree grad salaries into the six figures in the Bay Area. Everyone agrees that better talent leads to better outcomes. But are the most highly academically-credentialed among us the most talented?

I’ve found this to be very true in my life so far - it doesn’t matter where you come from, if you do a killer job, you’re likely to be worth much more than someone with a college degree from the “right” place. I love this next part.

Your passion for learning and gaining more and more experience are what make you great. The nights you stayed up until 5am coding make you great. Your love of building things makes you great.

Be passionate about what you love doing. Be the best at...

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Wellington, New Zealand is underrated. Do this cool stuff.

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A reader of my blog recently wrote to me and asked what there is to do in Wellington (the city I live in), and I had this sort of realization that people must have a hard time finding all the cool stuff that I’ve found in my city. So, I’ve decided I’ll share that list I wrote with you all. Perhaps, if you Google “activities in Wellington” or “things to do in Wellington” one day, I’ll be famous.

This list is my no means exhaustive, but documents some of the cool stuff I’ve found around here. It’s a great city, but I think a lot of information about it is hard to find or doesn’t surface very well online. I hope you enjoy my list!

  • Old abandoned Army Bunkers/Base at Wrights Hill. If you’re lucky enough to be here at the right time of the year, you can go underground!
  • Windmill + Awesome view + Old Army Bunkers at...

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Ridiculous: 64GB Surface Pro to only include 23GB of usable space

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Microsoft says users will be able to free up additional storage space by “creating a backup bootable USB and deleting the recovery partition,” but out of the box they’ll be left with as little as 36 percent of the advertized storage available.

It’s unbelievable how ignorant Microsoft is being here. Consumers are going to be disappointed when they go out and buy a Surface Pro, come home, unbox it and find that it can actually only hold a measly 23GB of their stuff. And that’s before Windows Updates are run.

There was an easy solution to this that’s staring them in the face, and that’s to include a USB recovery key in the box with the Surface Pro. It would cost them essentially nothing and would probably increase their consumers' satisfaction. Instead, they took the route of assuming everyone that uses Windows wants to mess around (and...

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