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My morning chuckle came from this irritated post over at BusinessWeek, where Drake Bennett complains that everything automated isn’t a robot. His attempt to get to the bottom of the robot-labeling craze lays the blame on the internet of things, the human tendency to anthropomorphize things and a lack of a clear definition for robots. Basically robots can sense their environment and then affect that environment, but as humans we tend to see any automated thing rolling around and declare it a robot. This irks Bennet. Maybe he’ll write a diatribe against the misuse of the word hacker next.

In Brief

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We all should probably drink more water. I know that when I track my consumption, I’m barely getting 32 ounces, nowhere near the recommended amount. Sure there are bottles like this one, where you can just flick a counter mechanism to track consumption, or you can log it via an app, but I always forget. That’s why this Kickstarter for connected water bottle with an accelerometer and weight sensor caught my eye. At $70 this is pricey, but I love the automated water tracking. And hopefully over time, that price goes down.

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In Brief

Most hard drives store data using magnetic properties, but unfortunately those are only good for about 10 years. This might be great for your status updates, but if you’re storing photos or government documents, your best bet for a long-term future might be archival paper (or stone and a chisel). But MIT Tech Review reports that scientists have figured a way to etch data onto sheets of tungsten and silicon nitride in the form of QR codes to store data for the theoretical long term — like a million years. Whether or not we’ll have software to decode it then is another problem altogether.

In Brief

Underdog chip company AMD reported a profit during its third quarter financial results in part because the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One consoles carrying its chips are getting ready to hit shelves. The highly-anticipated consoles contain custom-built AMD chips from a new group inside AMD, the Embedded and Custom Semi group. AMD estimates that group will generate a fifth of its sales this year, and apparently is already improving the bottom line.

In Brief

Intel joins other major companies such as GE and Qualcomm in promoting a platform for the internet of things. The chip giant says that it will offer a Wind River-based IoT platform and detailed several ways that its own use of sensors and data analytics have saved it money on the manufacturing floor. It plans on pushing both Atom and Quark processors for this platform and offered details on the upcoming Quark family of processors as well as a new Atom SoC. The first Quark processor core is a 32-bit, single core, single-thread, Pentium-compatible CPU operating at speeds up to 400MHz.

In Brief

With the looming threat of not-one, but two, gigabit networks planned for Austin, Texas, Time Warner Cable has announced that it has blanketed the city in Wi-Fi with 900 hot spots. The plan is to grow that number to 1,350 hotspots and offer the network free to subscribers. This could be savvy marketing because it’s likely that Google and AT&T will deploy their networks in limited areas, which means that those without a gigabit option choose Time Warner over the existing AT&T service. Of course, it’s possible that Google or At&T could sweeten the pot with Wi-Fi access too.

In Brief

Revolution, the investment firm behind the $450 million Revolution Growth Fund which has made investments in LivingSocial and Revolution Money, now has raised $200 million for an early stage venture fund. Revolution Ventures will be headquartered in Washington DC and the press release makes a huge deal about it investing outside Silicon Valley. However, its only other office is in San Francisco. Revolution’s previous early stage investments, RunKeeper, BenchPrep, HomeSnap and Booker Software will be rolled into this fund.

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