6 Fitness Bands to Consider

exercise

There are so many options now for choosing a personal fitness band. These bands are great for those starting out. Remember small changes can turn into big results. Some people may base their decision purely on looks but I would recommend taking a look at functionality as well.

Spider robots find and repair holes in airship

robot

The Skunk Works division of Lockheed Martin created a self-propelled spider robot that moves over an airship to scan for holes and repair them. It has an inside part and outside part that are held together by magnets. When it finds a hole using light sensors and repairs it, it takes before and after photos so they can be manually verified by an operator. Many spider robots can operate simultaneously which reduces the time considerably.

Imagine applying similar technology to other aircraft, vehicles, vessels, or even pipelines. We could avoid very unfortunate leaks having serious environmental impact and safety concerns.

Windows 10 celebrates one-year

windows

Today July 29th marks the one-year anniversary of Windows 10 and the last day to get the free Windows 10 upgrade. They indicate there are over 350 million devices worldwide now running this latest Microsoft operating system.

Ensure you have upgraded all your device drivers as well after updating, even if it says it is compatible. Devices such as printers will work much better with the latest drivers.

Overall people are very happy with their upgrades and the feedback is very positive. There will be a big anniversary update occurring on August 2nd bringing new features to Microsoft Edge, Cortana, Windows Hello, Windows Ink, and more.

Calendar issues since 45 BC

time

Around 45 BC, much of the world was using the Julian calendar to record time. Interestingly, the first day of the year was March 25. And as we know because of our current leap years where we add an extra day every 4 years, that is because each year is 365 days and 6 hours long. Due to this issue, Pope Gregory XIII decided in 1582 that the Julian calendar wasn’t accurate enough. The days were just a bit too long and they were noticing the seasons were arriving a bit earlier each year. The solution was to create the Gregorian calendar. This is the calendar officially used by most of the world today. Included with this new calendar is starting the year on January 1st instead of March 25th. He also had everyone jump 10 ahead in the calendar to make-up for all the days “lost” on the prior Julian calendar.

NVMe, super-fast data storage

storage

One of the main bottlenecks in a computer is the speed of your storage device (hard drive). The main defacto technology is SATA (Serial ATA) however SSD (Solid State Drive) are becoming the norm for many computing device. However there was a ceiling reached which was an impasse. SATAs hit 600 Gbps and the 12 Gbps SAS SSDs seem to max around 1.5 Gbps. SSDs have the capability of behaving more like extremely fast computer member than the relatively slow storage drives.

Video cards took advantage early on of a faster bus technology called PCIe (PCI Express). Manufacturers took advantage of this to have enough pipe for today’s fastest SSD drives. We are now seeing NVMe (NVM Express – Non-Volatile Memory) as an emerging new standard for accessing PCIe-based SSD storage drives. This outperforms SATA SSDs by 4.5 times in reads and about 2.5 times in writes. For comparison, an NVMe PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 drive is rated at roughly 32 Gbps.

Either you have an intense workload running CAD, engineering simulations, huge video files or heavy data analysis, or maybe you’re a gamer or someone who gets impatient waiting the extra (milli)seconds it takes to load something. You can even find NVMe drives in consumer laptops such as the latest MacBook Pros. Prices for NVMe drives are getting reasonable, something for your wishlist.

World’s first consumer deca-core processor – Intel i7-6950X

Processor

This is huge! Desktops are getting the next big leap in processing power with Intel’s Core i7-6950X Broadwell-E processor which has 10 3.5 GHz cores (20 with HyperThreading). It’s been a couple years since we’ve had such a breakthrough. This was accomplished by shrinking the transistors again, now only a tiny 14 nm. Human hair is 0.017 to 0.18 mm thick… there are 1 million nanometers (nm) in a millimeter (mm). Unfortunately new emerging technology has a price, this processor is coming in around $1,500. Ouch. But wait a year and it should be affordable for people interested in beefing up their HEDTs (high-end desktops).

Google Website Testing

SEO

Everyone wants their website to be on the first page of Google search results. It’s a very difficult thing to achieve and search engine optimization (SEO) has become an important online science, though unfortunately many employ smoke and mirror tactics as they don’t understand it.

Google has daily minor updates to its search algorithm with major updates occurring several times a year. One of the latest major factors announced was regarding how mobile-friendly your website is.

There are many testing tools out there. A recent new one added to the mix is (which is free):

https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/