Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Time for the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch becomes available Friday, and The Motley Fool is already wondering how many units will sell.  Good news for those who’ve waited in interminable lines at Apple stores in the past: the watch will be available at 12:01 AM tonight by web apt only. As the first big launch of a post-Jobs product, all eyes are on Apple to see if they still have their finger on the pulse of the American consumer.  If that finger is tapping, the watch, with it’s tapping mechanism, just may succeed.  Early reviews from Yahoo and NYT are positive, though The Times laments the steep learning curve and Yahoo notes it is “above all, a satisfying indulgence.” How many people will pay the hefty price tag for that indulgence?  Time will tell…

‘That’s Entertainment’, 1895

Celebrations are underway for the 120th anniversary of  the first movie shown to a paying audience — essentially the first movie theater. The Lumiere Brothers in 1895 exhibited the nascent motion picture in France and founded an industry. It is true that others preceded them in the development of film. For example, a short clip  made in 1888 by Louis Le Prince in England is generally considered the earliest surviving motion picture. But the Lumieres combined existing technologies and the first paying audience to give birth to the flick, as we know it. Legend has it that when an early Lumiere film of an oncoming train was first shown, people jumped out of their seats in terror. Ahh, the magic of cinema. An exhibition in the Grand Palais of Paris is marking the event.

Entrepreneur Info Workshop – Wed. Feb 18th

The GSB Library and the Terman Engineering Library are teaming up to hold another Entrepreneur Information Workshop for the Stanford Venture Studio!

The popular, interactive workshop covers entrepreneurial topics such as:
Industry Trends
SWOT Analysis
Business Landscape
Technical Development
Industry Standards

Join us on Wednesday, Feb 18th from 12-1pm in B312 RAIL Lab in the GSB Library (Bass Center).

Open to all students & Stanford community members.

*Learn more about the Venture Studio, an application-based collaboration space within the GSB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.


Living in Limbic Limbo

Did you know that just being aware that you have an unread e-mail  message can reduce your IQ by up to 10 points?  That texting can be addictive?  That we store information in a different, less permanent part of our brains when we divide our attention?  A thought-provoking article in The Guardian sheds new light on the allure of multitasking: The part of our brain we need to stay on task is itself easily distracted, and actually rewards us for getting sidetracked.  But there is a price to pay for trading “the big rewards that come from sustained, focused effort” for such frequent empty rewards: not only are we not getting as much done, we are compromising our own well-being with metabolic costs, anxiety, and diminished decision skills.  I’d tell you more, but I just got a text…

Perks Pack a Punch

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an update on a Silicon Valley touchstone: lavish employee perks.  Now that the tech job market is so tight, perks have moved from from niceties to musts. They now account for “easily” 15% of salaries, and many companies have staff devoted to providing them.  Are they worth it?  This article questions the ROI and traces the practice back to SV’s earliest roots: Hewlett-Packard, which in the 1950s provided then-radical perks like flex hours and stock options.  Makes you wonder whether mediation, meals, and massages will be de rigueur a few decades from now.  

Looking for a quick hit of news?  The landing page for Factiva (select it from our list of databases here) includes top stories at a glance for WSJ, NYT, Washington Post, The Times, Barron’s, Forbes, and more.

Your Brain on the Internet

When’s the last time you sat down to immerse yourself a nice long novel?  If you are regular internet user, it may have been a while.  Cognitive studies show that what many have long suspected is true: the way we surf the net is rewiring our brains.  This was reported in the Washington Post last April, and I was reminded again yesterday in this article in the San Jose Mercury News.  Reports on the shortening of the national attention span are nothing new; we’ve all read about how children of the computer age have brains that have been wired differently from the get go.  These two articles, however, focus on the changes in adults that used to enjoy a good long read but no longer do.  Even when we do force ourselves to sit down to read, we don’t read the same way: our brains are skimming, processing, and retaining information in a different way.  Food for thought — if you have time for that.

Numbers, numbers

How many Google searches are performed every minute?  2,000,000. That and other interesting statistics from the sublime to the ridiculous were listed in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of  Information Today magazine. Other tidbits? 34% of college students report downloading course materials from “unauthorized” Web sites, while  $110 is the typical price for a print textbook ($58 for a digital one). The number of open access journals that accepted a ‘spoof paper’ from a journalist working for Science was 157. Warren Buffett has forked out $344 million the past several years to acquire 28 newspapers, while print newspaper advertising revenue declined by $1.8 billion in 2012. 84% of Pinterest users are female, 70% of Google+ users are male. 100 minutes is the average number of minutes per day spent online by people who report spending “leisure time” on the Net.  28% of Facebook’s 128 million daily users access it via mobile devices, while 190 is the average number of ‘friends’ among Facebook users. There are 231.7 million “monthly active” users of Twitter; the number of hard-boiled eggs consumed weekly at Twitter headquarters is 1,440. And finally, in a survey 90% of Americans 16 and older said that closing of their public library would have “an impact on their community”. That is one statistic worth remembering.


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