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“The New Cool” – All About Setting Up a US FIRST Robotics Team

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The astonishing story of a team of high school seniors and their remarkable mentor, who come together—not to play a sport or exercise their athletic prowess—but rather to build a machine that will battle in the most heated, sophisticated robotics contest in the world. The FIRST competition, sponsored by genius inventor Dean Kamen, is jumpstarting American innovation for the next generation—and beyond.

You can find the book’s web site here.

“Gripping…An inspiring homage to the spirit of invention and a geniune sports epic, to boot.” —Publishers Weekly

“Fast-paced, absorbing, and suspenseful. It is heartening to know that there are still dedicated teachers like my Miss Riley who take up the challenge of science beneath the American sky.” —Homer Hickam, author of #1 NYT Bestseller Rocket Boys

“Outstanding…Neal Bascomb has penned an indelible portrait of a team on a mission that may ultimately be reckoned one of the defining books of the decade.”
—Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST

“Gripping. The New Cool is a tale of triumph both in and outside the classroom. It gives me hope for the future of education.” —Erin Gruwell, author of #1 NYT Bestseller Freedom Writer’s Diary

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WikiLeaks Contributing to Cloud Computing Downfall, New Director at Intel

The Great Cloud Crash of 2011 has sent Amazon Customers Scrambling!  What’s the tie into WikiLeaks?  Too much of a co-incidence?  We discuss the issue this Sunday, 2011-05-01 on Tech Talk With Craig Peterson.

Learning From Amazon’s Cloud Collapse

Call it Cloudgate, Cloudpocalyse or whatever you’d like, but the extended collapse of Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) is both a setback for cloud computing and an opportunity for us to figure out how to stop it from happening again.

Amazon may be best-known for its online shopping site, but it also has a substantial cloud computing business. It provides a scalable, flexible and particularly efficient solution for companies to store and deliver massive amounts of content.

Its model of only paying for what you consume was a radical innovation when it launched in 2006.

WikiLeaks Releases Guantánamo Bay Prisoner Reports

WikiLeaks on Sunday began publishing from a collection of 779 classified reports on current and former prisoners of America’s military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The documents date from 2002 to 2008, and take the form of Secret-level memoranda sent from JTF-GTMO, the Joint Task Force at Guantánamo, to the U.S. Southern Command in Florida.

Sony rebuilding PlayStation Network amid massive outage

The “external intrusion” that was powerful enough to knock out Sony’s PlayStation Network is now forcing the company to rebuild the system, according to a fresh update from the official PlayStation blog.

Police tap technology to compensate for fewer officers

Police agencies increasingly rely on controversial technology and social media to make up for the loss of thousands of officers and other resources to deep budget cuts, law enforcement officials and criminal justice analysts say.

Celebrity Executives

Call me crazy, but this trend seems insane.  Celebrity performers leading direction at companies like Intel?  Looks like Steven Levy agrees with me.

The first months of 2011 haven’t been the greatest for Intel. The semiconductor giant began the year with the discovery that a new chip installed in thousands of ready-to-ship computers had a serious flaw. Estimates for the fix hover around $1 billion. Then Nokia decided to scuttle its plan to implement an Intel-based system called MeeGo in favor of a new line of phones built around Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

But don’t cry for Intel. On January 25, the company announced that it had retained the services of a new “director of creative innovation”— Deborah Conrad, Intel VP and chief marketing officer, handed the Black Eyed Pea his employee badge at an internal sales and marketing convention. “It’s imperative that Intel and our innovations are kept in front of the global youth culture that embraces new devices and new forms of communication and entertainment,” she said in a press release. On a company blog, one employee speculated that Intel would benefit from’s belief that “when you are truly inspired / magic happens / incredible things happen / love happens.” So that’s why Intel screwed up the Cougar Point chipsets—not enough love!

When is SmartPhone Tracking Too Much?

If you’re worried about privacy, you can turn off the function on your smartphone that tracks where you go. But that means giving up the services that probably made you want a smartphone in the first place. After all, how smart is an iPhone or an Android if you can’t use it to map your car trip or scan reviews of nearby restaurants?

Mac vs. PC: The stereotypes may be true

Remember those Apple ads that cast the Mac as a 20-something, self-satisfied hipster while the PC was portrayed by an older, square-looking guy in a brown suit?

Well, those characterizations, unfair as they may be, appear to have some truth to them.

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