Tech Review • June 14-18 2012

Microsoft Surface Roundup • Facebook gets Face • Facebook Stock Recovers • Facebook’s Social Science • Windows Phone Accelerates • Sonos gets $$$ • Remembering Alan Turing • Why Apple Stores Rock • eBooks surpass hardcovers • Hot Hot Pinterest • Workday Enterprise Software • Game Developers: Bye bye Google+ • Just One More: 3D print an edible burrito

Microsoft Surface Tablets News Roundup

Hands-on impressions and video.

The Verge

Best early analysis of the new tablets and their impact on the marketplace.


Best comparison of Surface to iPad.

New York Times Bits Blog

Microsoft probably spent more time talking about the Touch Cover than they should have, but they have reason to be proud of the technology. They use an accelerometer to distinguish between resting and typing fingers, allowing for a faster and more natural typing feel on a flat keyboard.

The Verge

Comparison for the RT (ARM) and Pro (Intel) models. The RT model will be cheaper, thinner and lighter and come with Office while the Pro version will have a higher resolution 1080p (1920 × 1080) display, USB 3.0 and a stylus. The key differentiators of price and battery life have yet to be announced.


Facebook acquires facial recognition company

The acquisition makes sense from a strategic and technical standpoint, but perhaps Facebook liked the name too?


Facebook Stock Recovers

From $25 at its nadir to $31.41 at close today. This article speculates at some of the reasons why. Anything could happen to the stock but I wouldn’t rule it out. Facebook has hired some very good people in the past few years and it has a culture that encourages innovation.

Business Insider

Facebook’s Social Science

Technology Review has an interesting write-up on Facebook’s “Data Science” team, which uses math and social science to gain insights into the firm’s 900 million users. The team’s access to detailed, low-noise data about such a large population is helping the team develop new insights into human behavior. The team recently began using controlled experiments to manipulate Facebook features and observe how users responded. In one sense, this is nothing new—I was the engineering manager of a team that developed one of the first online experimentation platforms in 2000. What’s different now is the sheer scale of the enterprise and the focus on social research rather than just ecommerce.

Technology Review

Mobile Development Accelerating Fastest for Windows Phone

Interesting report from Flurry. 70,000+ mobile developers across several platforms use Flurry for analytics. Flurry reports that for Q2 2012 versus Q2 2011, iOS development grew 66%, Android 82%, Windows Phone 521% and BlackBerry 13%. And it appears that Windows Phone development is continuing to accelerate.


Sonos raises $135M

In the ten years Sonos has been selling wireless multiroom music systems, it has garnered a reputation for being the best in the business. (It also has a reputation for being very pricey.) Judging by how much money they were willing to put up, the VC community thinks they sound pretty sweet.


Remembering Alan Turing on the 100th Anniversary of his Birth

Vint Cerf, one of the original architects of the internet, writes on Turing’s seminal contributions to computing and artificial intelligence. Oh, and by the way, his code breaking genius played a key part in the allied victory in World War II.


Why Apple Stores rock and Best Buy doesn’t

This article describes the attention to detail and consumer psychology that have helped make Apple Stores so successful.


eBook sales surpass Hardcover

Revenue for eBook sales exceeded that for hardcovers for the first quarter of 2012


Pinterest Just Keeps Getting Hotter

AllThingsD reports that Pinterest is set to become the most significant driver of social traffic to e-commerce sites this year.


Workday May Be the Next Big Enterprise Software Play

Founder David Duffield went on to start Workday after Oracle’s hostile takeover of PeopleSoft. Workday, which is described as being as easy to use as Facebook, is used to manage corporate finances, HR, payroll, expenses and procurement. The article includes a humorous-only-in hindsight glimpse of Larry Ellison’s personality. During the takeover battle Ellison “…insulted [CEO] Craig Conway…and threatened to shoot Craig’s dog…”

Says Duffield: “It’s normal for Larry to do that kind of thing.”

Oracle launched its competitor to Workday, Oracle Cloud, on June 6.

Business Week

Game Developers Abandoning Google+

Game Developers, faced with disappointingly few users on Google+, are abandoning the social network. Maybe that’s a sign I should start hanging out there more.


Just One More: 3D Printing meets Gastronomy in the BurritoBot

NYU grad student  Marko Manriquez is a fan of food and technology. Naturally he’s building a BurritoBot for his thesis. From his FAQ: “Burritos are a natural choice because most of their ingredients are easily extrudable.” Read about it here:



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