After a long night of filling up trick or treat bags amidst crowds of zombies and other Halloween mayhem, it seemed only natural to start the day off with another edition of This Week in Technology for November 4th, 2013. After all, the weekly tech news seemed to focus on the strange and supernatural all week with headlines ranging from futuristic tech toys to soaring stock prices. Of course, Halloween also marks the official start of the winter holiday season as well so we had to dig a little deeper than usual to find a few juicy tidbits for our loyal readers. Nevertheless, our staff came through in a big way so let’s get This Week in Technology officially underway!
Google Unveils their VIP Showroom
Our lead tech story of the day brings us to that mysterious barge floating off the shores of Maine and San Francisco which is somehow linked to Google. Well, the secret is now officially out, and it appears that the building that’s been kept under wraps is none other than an innovative Google X showroom that will be used to entertain high profile VIP’s and investors. The next-generation structure is four stories tall and it is being built to be a movable building that can be disassembled and moved to a number of locations for promotional events. The first three floors will serve as showrooms for Google Glass and other next generation tech, while the top floor is being described as a party deck.
It is important to point out, however, that Google is still remaining very secretive about this project and reports have only been confirmed by one San Francisco news station. We will certainly update this story as new details emerge.
Google & Red Hat Rescue Obamacare
Speaking of Google, the tech giant has officially teamed up with Red Hat, Oracle and a number of other leading technology experts to assist the Obama administration in ironing out the problems with the Affordable Care Act website. Professionals like Michael Dickerson, a site reliability engineer from Google, and Greg Gershman, the innovation director at Mobomo, have been placed on loan to the Federal government to figure out the various latency issues and clearing up all of the bugs. There is no word quite yet on how long the improvements will take, but the White House has moved the mandatory deadline to acquire insurance forward to March 31st, 2014.
Regardless of where you stand on the Affordable Care Act, this move by Google is a brilliant strategy that simply cannot backfire. If they do manage to fix healthcare.gov, then they’re national heroes with the most powerful man in the world personally indebted to them. The PR frenzy that follows is an added bonus as well; recent estimates put the publicity alone in the 8 figure range.
Hyperloop Project Gains Identity
Our final tech story of the day takes a look at a future tech called the Hyperloop, which could eventually become a nationwide transportation system on steroids if innovator Elon Musk has anything to say about it. According to his crowdsourcing proposal on JumpStartFund.com, this technology could propel small tubes around the nation at speeds in excess of 700 MPH for an affordable price. Never mind that the theory itself has numerous problems, because Musk has assembled a team of engineers to take this idea into production sometime in 2014.
So will we actually see the Hyperloop on a national scale? Probably not, but that’s also a privilege that the mega-wealthy like Musk have going for them; they do not accept the answer “no” very often. The technology itself is possible though so with enough talented people on board, we will likely get to see a few test runs anyway.
Well, that’s all we have for you in This Week in Technology for November 4th, 2013. Be sure to stop by again next week as we peer into our Google-powered crystal balls to foresee where the world of tech will bring us next.