Todd’s Tech Report: July 31, 2014


Dropbox and Microsoft Make Out

What’s going on?
There’s a gunfight going on for who can provide the most storage for the least $$$. Dropbox doesn’t care and wants to provide the best services to make those stored files the most useful to you.

Why does it matter?
It seems completely counterintuitive for Dropbox to hinge its future on a legacy product suite that’s less than cutting edge. But perhaps it’s brilliant to get out of the storage wars and start making those 20+ years of MS documents truly useful in the cloud. Or maybe it’s a bid for them to join the Illuminati.


Google’s Moonshot Project


What’s going on?
It is being called the Baseline Study. The project will collect anonymous genetic and molecular information from 175 people—and later thousands more—to create what the company hopes will be the fullest picture of what a healthy human being should be.

Why does it matter?
The long term goal is to proactively address problems in the human body as opposed to being reactive. In short, creating a database large enough to determine what biomarkers equate a “healthy” human. As biometric devices become more a part of us this could become the foundation or “Baseline” that that collected data is matched up against in a variety applications and products. There are also insurance provider fears/concerns wrapped up in this too. #obvi


Net Neutrality Shot Dead Outside a Bar

What’s going on?
You know the drill. Corporate America wants their fast lanes on the internet. This will undo innovation on the web. USA Inc. don’t care. The FCC can’t do much to quash this. It’s too bad because it’s better when we all are winners. #millenialaffirmations

Why does it matter?
The FCC put out a draft ruling for a public comment period that closed on July 15. Nearly a million passionate pro-neutrality submissions were made. Passionate arguments and spitting vitriol to keep the web fair. ISP’s countered with a “small number” of 100+ page lawyered up, logical arguments to gut Net Neutrality. The suits won. Think less yelling and ranting and more formed arguments in favor of stifling innovation. Get ready for tiered pricing.


Man Made Leaf Creates Oxygen From Carbon Dioxide


What’s going on?
RCA graduate Julian Melchiorri says the synthetic biological leaf he developed, which absorbs water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen just like a plant, could enable long-distance space travel.

Why does it matter?
The artificial leaves feature chloroplasts extracted from actual plant cells that are suspended in a material made from silk protein. So when given access to light and water they still produce oxygen, but they’re better suited to surviving off our planet. So instead of carrying all that air to space or using bulky equipment to produce it we can just put up some hanging gardens on Mars.


Facebook Continues To Print Money: Zucks Rumored to Be Buying Jupiter


What’s going on?
Facebook’s product and platform continue to take over the planet and its advertising business is, “fucking killing it bro”. The average Facebook user generated $2.24 in revenue last quarter, up from $1.60 a year ago (high-five followed by shots). Mobile advertising revenue represented about 62% of ad sales during the quarter, up from 41% of ad sales a year ago.

Why does it matter?
Facebook has 399 million mobile-only users or users who never use Facebook on a desktop. That was up 180 million from the prior year. Mobile-only users represented 30% of Facebook’s total users, up from 19% of its users a year ago. That’s insane and the main reason they’re unbundling their mobile app. Facebook is the internet.


Shane Smith Turns Vice Into An ATM


What’s going on?
Like it or not Vice is worth a ton of money and pumping out lucrative video content faster than any other media company. Shane Smith has made a empire and rumor is he wants to take it public while still paying employees a poverty wage. Good for him….’MURICA!

Why does it matter?
They broke the code man. With the demand for original television content rising and production budgets on the decline, Vice has been able to dramatically increase its profit margins by licensing content it has already created to the highest bidders around the world — be they state television stations in China, cable networks in Europe, or film distributors in the U.S. #contentfarm #moneymoney


Airware Aims to Be “The” Platform For Drones

What’s going on?
Airware has raised a couple impressive rounds of funding from top knotch VC’s. They have an extremely talented engineering core and leadership team. They want to pounce on the commercial drone market when the FCC announces it’s regulations.

Why does it matter?
It’s a bit of a Makerbot move. Take an open source community. Build your own company on top of it. Raise a ton of money and become the standard both in software and hardware that commercial drone operators (think agriculture, ranching, urban planning, crowd control…) use down the road. It’s an infrastructure move and one that’s happening very fast.


Sharknado + Phillips Hue = Aquatic Aneurism


What’s going on?
The latest Syfy Sync app enables full control of a Phillips Hue bridge (and connected lights) on the same network. The movie, app and lights work together, in theory, to bring you a more immersive entertainment experience.

Why does it matter?
First off it’s simple and cool. Second it’s a solid attempt at second screen syncing to create an immersive environment. Initial reviews are that it’s a little janky but it’s a first step in the direction of this kind of experience happening more routinely and, “taking over our living rooms”.


That’s a Billion Dollars…Yo.


What’s going on?
Yo. It’s an app. You install it. You send a “Yo” to a friend. They get a notification saying “Yo” from: You. Whoop. Done and done. It can mean so many things man. Just think about it. It’s everything distilled down to nothing. It’s just a notification and that’s what might be worth a billzo.

Why does it matter?
Yo’s potential to be much more than an app is in its ability to potentially be a platform and standard for the “notification layer”. No one’s particularly excited about interruptive alerts jumping up on the phone screen. But if the history of standards is anything to go by, standards do not have to be technologically intense, they just need to get adopted fast enough. And Yo seems to be ticking that box for now. Yes it’s weird and makes no sense.


http://vimeo.com/101718999

GIF Street Art


What’s going on?
Just watch the video.

Why does it matter?
It’s not massively profound but cool none the less.


Linear Note: I help the SXSW Interactive Festival curate content and jump the shark.