Fun Friday Links: Happy Birthday Macintosh, the Thingernet, and Why You Need to Get Some Sleep
Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Happy 30th Birthday, Macintosh
As we wander around staring at our respective smartphones, most of us aren’t thinking about the truly incredible trajectory of technology that brought 240,000 times the computing power of Voyager 1 into the palms of our hands. In just three decades, no less. But that is the case, and today is Mac’s 30th birthday. Bonne anniversaire to the invention that made it possible for us to get breaking news as its happening, collapse pounds of equipment into a single, handheld rectangle, and pretend that celebrities are our friends. From Gizmodo:
“As the Mac puts its tumultuous twenties behind it, now is a good time to reflect on its not-so-humble and actually somewhat controversial beginnings. I’m not talking about 1984, the year of that historic Super Bowl commercial and the Mac’s formal launch. To trace the history of the Macintosh to its very conception, you have to look back to another very special day in late 1979. That’s the day that Steve Jobs made a visit to Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, the day the veil was lifted.
At this point in Apple’s history, the company was finishing up a successor to the very successful Apple II: the ill-fated Lisa. But Jobs was already eager to find the next great thing. That’s when he saw Xerox’s Alto computer in action… It’s not exactly compact like the Macintosh, but it packed a brand of processing power the world had never seen.”
Speaking of unbelievable technology: in just a few, very short years, we’ve gone from being impressed by smartphones to seeing how many other things we can make smart. Refrigerators that tweet, game consoles that recognize your face, and alarm clocks that run away from you are just a few examples of the rapidly expanding Internet of Things. From Inc:
“Until now, the conversation around the Internet of Things, a neologism that imagines a future dominated by machine-to-machine communications, has been a low murmur — at least outside of tech circles. But with Google’s acquisition of Nest (and its $13 billion buyout of Motorola before that), that buzzing has been amplified into a full-blown chorus. We’re no longer talking about automatic syncing between a smartphone and a computer or the on/off switch on a Bluetooth device. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Internet of Things (or, “Thingernet,” as The Economist calls it) is rapidly changing the way we, as humans, interact. Just as important, the Internet of Things is fundamentally reshaping how we work.”
And from The Economist:
“‘HOLY cripes, Google just broke into my home’, was a typical reaction on Twitter to news on January 13th that the internet giant had splashed out $3.2 billion of its cash pile on Nest, a startup that makes smart thermostats and smoke-alarm systems for houses and apartments. The deal is striking not just because it represents a massive pay day for a hardware company that is only a few years old. It is also a landmark deal that signals the coming of age of the internet of things, or “Thingternet”—a world in which everything from household gadgets to cars, clothes and pets are connected wirelessly to the web.”
Get Your Zzzzs (Or Else)
As it turns out, not getting a proper amount of sleep has more dire consequences than the resulting snarky mood and extraneous caffeine intake. This infographic from Health Central details the unfortunate truth.