What a week! We started our week off this past weekend on the East Coast for the national kickoff of the FIRST Robotics Competition. Good times! We got to spend it touring the home of a famous inventor and got all jazzed up seeing how excited everyone was about the whole thing. We'll post links and photos of our visit here, just in case you missed all the buzz over the weekend. Next time, be sure to follow the excitement as it unfolds in our Twitter timeline @BWCnews. Happy tweeting!
1. Mobile Apps Break Into Manufacturing on the Bishop-Wisecarver Daily: While more of the consumer market uses mobile apps for games and other entertainment, the manufacturing world has started adopting them for more practical uses. This Industry Week article says sales reps for various manufacturing companies have started to use them more as research tools and to have product databases at their fingertips. Pretty cool — and definitely more useful than a game of Angry Birds!
2. Where Will Falling Spacecraft Land? on BBC News: After a half-century of flinging satellite, rockets and other man-made gadgets into space, there's a lot of junk orbiting our planet. Recently, Russia launched a spacecraft of their own, but a malfunction sent it hurtling back. It's expected to land in the Indian Ocean, but we can't be sure where it'll end up. Oh the suspense ... heads up everyone!
3. The Past and Future of American Manufacturing on NPR: Is American manufacturing dead? This podcast takes a look at the issue and concludes that it's far from kicking the bucket. In fact, the value of U.S.-made goods continues to rise. But that increase of value comes at a price, the article says. Though the manufacturing sector is growing, the number of jobs to go with it hasn't kept pace. Interesting podcast, whether or not you agree with its conclusions.
4. The Nine Eyes of Google Street View: It's eerie to think about — that Google's street team has toured the world with its nine-eyed camera and captured billions of images of candid, uncensored if unfocused reality. This photo essay pieces together some of the more human snapshots these indiscriminate shutterbug robots have captured. Thought-provoking and voyeuristic, but a fascinating photo essay nevertheless.
5. The Father of the Internet Talk String Theory, the Physics of Angry Birds and More on VentureBeat.com: Vint Cerf talks about a bunch of different topics in this quick Q&A, including Google's upcoming online science fair, which encourages youngsters to submit their innovative idea to the world — and get rewarded for it. Cerf, who works for Google, says he expects great things from today's young minds, not just elementary science fair-type model volcanoes, but real game-changers in the world of technology.
6. Wrap-Up of Our Visit to the FIRST Kickoff on YouTube: One half of our marketing department jetted off to New Hampshire over the weekend to take a tour of inventor Dean Kamen's house and celebrate the kickoff festivities of the FIRST Robotics Competition season. Since we're sponsors of FIRST, including both FTC and FRC high school team sponsorships, we're super excited to see this play out. Especially since it gets kids excited about science, math, engineering and technology. Woohoo!
7. Timeline of BWC's FIRST Kickoff Visit on Storify.com: OK, another FIRST post! But seriously, it was kind of a big deal, you know? And this links you to a nice Twitter timeline of our visit there, from the tour of Dean Kamen's fabulous museum-like house to the ceremony where Stephen Colbert and Will.i.am spoke via satellite to a group of super-excited science supporters. We feel so so honored to have been a part!
8. Chinese Build a 30-Story Hotel in 15 Days on YouTube: We did a double-take at this one — little more than two weeks to finish a skyscraper? Uh, we'd have to see it to believe it. Well, this video let's you see just that: The Chinese seriously did build a big hotel in a day over a fortnight. Really cool timelapse video — definitely worth checking out.
9. Keep it Simple, Stupid "KISS" Among Engineers' Top 2012 Concerns on DesignNews.com: Some engineers are talking about how over-complicated standards "are the root of all design evils." An excerpt: "Rich Merritt, a public relations professional who works with automation vendors, agrees that we've forgotten the KISS principle. 'We've made everything so complicated, complex, and convoluted that we've entered the age of 'transoptimal engineering,' he says. 'That is, things are so advanced and have so many features, they don't work anymore.'"
10. Private Companies Hoarding Data on U.S. Drivers on California Watch: Yipes! Regardless what your political views are, it's kind of unsettling to think that all our data can be collected in one place, especially by a private company. This article details how collecting car license plate info makes it easier on law enforcement, but what protections are in place to protect our privacy? Some are calling it an example of how technology may be outpacing our own ability to regulate it. Your thoughts?