Expedia a Major Ad Buyer • 3D Printing a Disruptive Meta-Trend • Surface Tablet Secrecy • New Internet Domain Land Rush • Another MacBook Pro Review • Apple Drops “Do Nothing” Security Advice • Appleserfs • Online Maps Market • SSD Prices Down • Quadrotors Steal the Show at Cannes
Google, Amazon, EBay and Expedia the Biggest Internet Sector Ad Buyers
This is a good reminder to Expedia’s hotel and other inventory suppliers that they are getting more than sell-through for the commissions they pay. Among many other services, including world-wide exposure and foreign currency transactions, they’re getting promotional exposure through Expedia’s extensive ad buys.
Cheap 3D Printing: A Disruptive Meta-Trend
Cheap 3D printing is a significant disruption in technology. Small-office/personal laser printers disrupted the printing industry and office work. 3D printing is changing the nature of innovation and invention at a more fundamental level. For example, independent inventors can build and test complex new designs without access to an expensive multi-axis milling machine. The small team that created this homebuilt wire bending machine used 3D printed parts. Large development teams, like the MS Surface team featured in the next item, can afford to build and try many more prototypes and thus create more refined products.
This Article links to some useful resources for getting started in 3D printing. Watch as a 3D printer prints a Yoda bust.
Keeping the Surface Tablet Secret
In my five+ years of working at Microsoft, I only had to pass through serious physical security on a few occasions, such as when visiting datacenters and the building that houses the prototype Microsoft retail Store. However, for the development of the Surface tablet, Microsoft went all stealth, using access controls such as airlock-type doors to keep out non-badge-swiping tailgaters. The article details some other cool aspects of Surface development, including how the team used 3D printers to create numerous prototypes of the tablets to get the shape “just right.”
New Internet Top Level Domain Names Coming
Until now, only a limited number of internet Top Level Domains (.com, .org, .uk, etc.) has been granted. That’s about to change. Earlier this year ICANN authorized applicants to apply for any TLD they want to name. We’ll soon be seeing .fun, .book, .you and more. The new opportunity has led several speculators to form ventures to buy up new domains with the hope of reselling them at a profit. Google was the largest applicant for new names, submitting applications for 101 of them.
Amazon was also a big applicant for the new names, having applied for 76 of them, and it apparently wants to keep them for its own exclusive use.
AnandTech Reviews the new MacBook Pro
Anand Lal Shimpi started his eponymous website when he was a teenager in high school. Within a few years it grew to become one of the most respected computer review sites. Anand likes the new MacBook Pros a lot and tells us why in one of his typically detailed (18 pages!) reviews.
Apple Drops “Do Nothing” Security Advice
Apple has modified the wording on an OS X marketing page that previously implied that Macs are immune to malware and that explicitly said OS X users need “Do Nothing” about security.
Apple stores generate substantially more revenue per square foot than any other retailer, including Tiffany. Apple Store employees make less money than Tiffany or CostCo employees but as fans and true believers they are initially thrilled to be hired by the company of their dreams. They stay in the job an average of 2.5 years despite Apple’s target of 6 years. Many who leave cite the hectic and stressful environment and lack of upward mobility. [Bonus points for readers who recognize the literary allusion in the heading for this item.]
The New York Times article was somewhat critical in tone. In a response worthy of religious apologists, The Next Web defends the faith.
The Market for Online Maps APIs Works
Not all markets are as broken as that for airline flights. After Google imposed charges for big users of its Maps API, developers like Foursquare switched to other platforms such as the Microsoft-backed OpenStreetMap. Google has been forced to significantly reduce the charges for users of its Maps API, from $4 per 1000 map loads above its free threshold down to $0.50.
Solid State Drive Prices drop by Half
SSD prices are down 48% year over year. This is great news for people who need maximum performance out of their computers.
Just One More: Quadrotors Steal the Show at Cannes
In a venue better known for film, a swarm of 16 Quadrotor robots performed a stunning light show that drew shouts of acclaim from the audience at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The robot copters were developed by KMel Robotics.