It’s that time of year again, the time for those highly subjective, grossly non-exhaustive, yet inevitable and invariably fun best-of reading lists. To kick off the season, here are my thirteen favorite biographies, memoirs, and history books of 2013. (Catch up on last year’s best history books.)
The danger of the U.S. being drawn into lethal conflict with China over the Japan-China Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute has just risen. That the Obama administration has not done more to push the disputants—and particularly Japan—to de-escalate the crisis and to begin negotiating a resolution, is egregious negligence and incompetence in foreign policy that is already damaging and could be disastrous.
Flexible solar-powered battery can be woven into clothing to power wearable electronics
Amazon opens its Android Appstore in Australia and Brazil, includes New Zealand for good measure
The Smithsonian Institution is leading the way for major museums going digital with the 3D archive of historic artifacts available for viewing and printing it launched on Nov. 13. From supernovas to a sculpture of President Lincoln’s head, a variety of historic objects are available for download in theSmithsonian’s X 3D Explorer web portal— currently in the beta version.
Smithsonian Brings Historic Artifacts to Life Through 3D Printing
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — In the temple of technology, Intel has confessed to straying from the true path. That may prove to be the start of salvation for the company, the world’s largest maker of semiconductors, but at a price that is yet to be known.
Thursday’s annual meeting for Wall Street analysts at Intel’s headquarters here didn’t take long to get to the mea culpa. “A year ago, I was personally embarrassed that we seemed to have lost our way,” Andy Bryant, Intel’s chairman, said in his opening remarks. “We’re paying a price for that.”
The problem, Mr. Bryant and others said, was that they had lost sight of a key point of a “law” named after Intel’s co-founder, Gordon Moore, that calculates semiconductor density will double every 18-24 months, with no added cost.
Put another way, Moore’s Law suggests that just as computing moved from big mainframes to smaller computer servers and on to PCs, the evolution would continue on to smartphones and tablets, and then to even smaller devices. Moreover, the growing power of semiconductors makes the computers inside giant data centers ever more powerful.
“The future is simple, computing devices are going to be smaller,” Mr. Bryant said. “We were in denial of tablets, that put us in a hole, and we’re paying the price for that.” Because it fixated on its highly profitable personal computer business, Intel missed something bigger.
Brian Krzanich, Intel’s chief executive, told the room that Intel was working hard to rectify the situation, with different chips for robots and sensors, tablets and lightweight computers, mobile devices, and big data center computers.
Intel’s Recovery Realization