The Weekly Hash - November 2, 2012
Making fun of Halloween week’s top tech stories, from Starbucks to Star Wars
It was a scary Halloween week here on the east coast, mostly thanks to Hurricane - sorry, Superstorm - Sandy. Another scary event this week (mainly for nerds): Disney buying Star Wars. Boo!
Let’s try to lighten things up with some comedy...
PayPal announced this week that they’re laying off 325 people as part of a reorganization. All 325 people will be getting a generous severance package - minus PayPal’s 2.9% transaction fee.
Two Dutch banks announced this week that next year they’ll be offering debit cards that will allow users to make a payment by just tapping the card on a terminal. Based on early tests in Amsterdam, the new cards will make it much easier to buy stuff when you’re stoned.
17 Boston-area Starbucks are offering wireless smartphone charging as part of a pilot program. Starbucks says if the pilot is a success they’ll offer the service at all of their stores under a really pretentious name.
China is building a 10-petaflop supercomputer, that will be five times as fast as the U.S.’s new Titan supercomputer. It won’t be done until 2015, but you can preorder one now from Amazon.
Disney this week agreed to purchase Lucasfilm from George Lucas for $4 billion. To close the deal, Lucas agreed to throw in his remaining supply of Purina Wookie Chow.
Apple announced on Monday that Scott Forstall, who oversaw the rollout of Apple Maps, will be leaving Apple. He’s staying around until next year because it’ll take that long to find his way out of the building using Apple Maps.
Today in Florida the retired space shuttle Atlantis will be moved to its final home at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The 10 mile trip is expected to take 12 hours which should make it the fastest vehicle on a Florida highway.
On Monday Microsoft officially launched Windows Phone 8. To build excitement, Microsoft will soon be opening a number of popup stores near long lines of people.
This week the U.S. Department of Energy completed deployment of the world’s fastest supercomputer, Titan, at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Here’s how fast it is: it’s capable of tracking Apple’s profits in real time.
Google cancelled an Android event in New York City on Monday due to Hurricane Sandy. On the plus side, AT&T, Verizon and Samsung each offered slightly different versions of the event.