This is pucking brilliant
Google’s brilliant minds are at it again bringing the latest and greatest wifi hardware to our inadequately covered homes. Never again will you have to get out of bed when your Netflix show stops and bring your iPad closer to the door to regain wifi signal. Never again will your backyard party go silent when Spotify loses connection. We will look back on this day and tell our children we remember when wifi wasn’t a guarantee, we remember a day before Google Wifi. That day, my friends is today.
But not for long. Google’s new wifi puck (what is it with cool tech hidden inside pucks these days?) will start shipping December 6th, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Here’s the deal:
GoogleWifi is a router that supports an expandable mesh wireless network, which basically means you can add additional nodes (or routers) to the same network to increase wifi coverage.
Mesh networks are normally used to cast wifi across large campuses, connecting colleges, sports stadiums, or corporate buildings.
This is not like a wifi extender that repeats a weaker version of a router’s signal on a different network. Mesh systems create comprehensive coverage of the same wifi network throughout a home without weakening the signal at all. And no, I know what you’re thinking: they don’t all have to be plugged into ethernet (though your internet will be stronger if they are).
Every Google Wifi router casts the same wifi network seamlessly across a home. It automatically connects you to the strongest signal so you’ll never have low bars, and it manages device traffic so no one drops a Facetime call just because somebody was playing Call of Duty downstairs. If you have a small home (under 1500 square feet) you probably only need one router. Larger homes (3000-4500 square feet) could use the bundle of three routers.
Features and price point
Google Wifi’s mesh technology in itself not new. What is new is the price point, and some additional features. Google Wifi is off the shelf at $129 for a single package and $299 for the bundle of three. This is well below the price point for other popular mesh networks on offer — Eeros ($499 bundle of 3), the Netgear Orbi ($399 bundle of 3), and the Luma ($325 bundle of 3).
This is great news for people with smaller apartments and homes who still have wifi issues, but may not need three routers. This is especially great for anyone who occasionally needs internet on the back porch, near their smart fridge, or by that new wifi bird feeder camera.
Google Wifi also offers parental controls, like some other mesh networks, which allows owners of the network to refuse wifi to certain devices.
Through the Google Wifi App, users can easily share wifi passwords, and prioritize important devices on their home network.
Google Wifi is an enticing option at an even more enticing price point. Though they didn’t revolutionize home wifi mesh networks, they’re making them more accessible to everyone and they’re raising the bar. While Google Wifi is not yet available for immediate purchase, Google Store, Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy are offering pre-order waitlists. Wifi frustrations, I’m hoping, will be a thing of the past before we know it.
Microsoft’s latest HUGE investment: Self-driving car technologies
(TECH NEWS) Microsoft invests in self-driving car technology by joining other investors in a combined equity investment of $2 billion.
Microsoft has put its money into self-driving car technology. The tech giant has partnered with General Motors and Cruise, GM’s majority-owned driverless car startup, to “accelerate the
commercialization of self-driving vehicles.”
“Our mission to bring safer, better, and more affordable transportation to everyone isn’t just a tech race – it’s also a trust race,” said Cruise CEO Dan Ammann in a press release. “Microsoft, as the gold standard in the trustworthy democratization of technology, will be a force multiplier for us as we commercialize our fleet of self-driving, all-electric, shared vehicles.”
Along with Honda and other institutional investors, the companies are investing a combined $2 billion into the autonomous car company. This new funding round brings Cruise to a post-money valuation of $30 billion.
The long-term strategic partnership between the companies will be a collaborative one and beneficial for both. To roll out its fleet of self-driving vehicles, Cruise will leverage Microsoft’s cloud and edge computing platform, Azure.
In turn, as GM’s and Cruise’s preferred cloud provider, Microsoft will use the car company’s “industry expertise to enhance its customer-driven product innovation and serve transportation companies across the globe through continued investment in Azure.”
Besides helping bring the self-driving technology out to the market quicker, the companies will also work together on other digitization initiatives. For instance, they will collaborate on artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. And, explore opportunities to streamline operations and increase productivity.
“Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “As Cruise and GM’s preferred
cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”
“Microsoft is a great addition to the team as we drive toward a future world of zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Microsoft will help us accelerate the commercialization of Cruise’s all-electric, self-driving vehicles and help GM realize even more benefits from cloud computing as we launch 30 new electric vehicles globally by 2025 and create new businesses and services to drive growth.”
Wow! This synthetic cornea gave a legally blind man his vision back!
(TECH NEWS) Another instance of “technology is amazing:” this minimally invasive eye implant has opened new doors for sight restoration surgeries for the legally blind.
After being the first patient to receive a cutting-edge cornea implant, a legally blind 78-year-old man can see again. Directly after his surgery, the patient was able to recognize his family members and read an eye chart. The KPro implant comes from the company CorNeat.
KPro is the first implant that can be directly integrated into the eye wall, replacing damaged or deformed corneas with no donor tissue. The clear layer that protects the front portion of the eye is called the corona. The corona is susceptible to degeneration or scarring, as well as a number of diseases such as keratopathy, keratoconus and pseudophakia bullous.
While artificial cornea implants already exist, the surgeries are complex and typically only used as a last resort when transplants or cornea ring implants don’t work. That is perhaps what makes the CorNeat transplants so remarkable – it’s a simple procedure that’s minimally invasive.
Additionally, KPro uses a biomimetic material that “stimulates cellular proliferation, leading to progressive tissue integration”. Not only can these implants give you your sight back instantly, but they also can help the natural tissue in your eyes to grow back and integrate. Now, THIS is cool stuff.
CorNeat said that ten more patients in Israel are approved for trials, as well as two in Canada. Six others are in the approval process in France, U.S., and the Netherlands. Professor Irit Bahar of CorNeat stated that he believes this project will ultimately impact millions of people’s lives. Only time will tell.
This advancement in biotech comes at a time where many Americans are uninsured and at a higher risk for health ailments due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent effects. At its best, CorNeat’s KPro offers some hope – while COVID has brought many industries to their knees, advancements in medical technology seem to persist.
If the results of the implants continue to stay as promising as they are now, who knows – maybe we’ll all be receiving cornea implants as a normal part of health upkeep in the not-so-distant future. I know I’ll be first in line.
The top 10 languages you can know as a programmer
(TECH NEWS) Considering a career as a developer or programmer? You’re not alone. Here’s top 10 programming languages to enhance or start your career.
The COVID economy has thousands of Americans reconsidering their career paths – with so many jobs dissolving due to various reasons (i.e., automation, a decrease in full-time creative positions), it’s no wonder why scores of professionals are seeking to reskill ASAP.
If this sounds like you, look no further; have you ever considered the lucrative career of computer programming?
Programmers on average make a salary of $89,590 a year. And better yet, coding jobs might never become obsolete. The trick is to know exactly what you want to do – different coding languages best serve specific purposes. So, which one should you learn first?
Top ten languages for new developers:
- Python – Learn Python if you’re interested in data analysis, machine learning, scripting, web development and Internet of Things (it’s the future!). Python is also the easiest language to learn, so give it a go!
- The Go Programming Language – You can learn to build simple, reliable, and efficient software.
- Java – Want to work on computer programs, games, apps and web applications? What about Internet of Things and robots? Learn Java to tap into these fields. Keep in mind, Java is considered difficult for novice programmers.
- C# – C# is great for websites, web applications, games, and apps – especially Windows apps. It’s also perfect for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
- PHP – Want to get your hands dirty doing back-end website programming? PHP is the language for you.
- C++ – For programming apps, games and web browsers, C++ is the language you’ll need to learn. Though it’s notoriously tough to grasp, knowing this language could be the competitive edge you need to set you apart from the pool of programmers.
- C – C will prepare you for operating systems, compilers and databases.
- R – The world is always in need of those who conduct data and statistical analyses – check out R to dive in.
- Swift – For apps and software for Apple devices, check out Swift.
My advice? Figure out exactly it is you want to do in your new career as a programmer. Set your goal. Then, after you’re sure what direction you want to go in, see which programming language best suits your needs.
Get proficient at one language to start and become top-notch at it. Then, you can expand your rolodex to include multiple languages and grow your abilities as a programmer.
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