It has been about twelve-and-a-half years since one of the worst days in American history — a tragedy that many of us will remember forever. Now, One World Trade Center is ready to reclaim its unofficial title as “The Top of America.” And in the turbulent times we face, it is gratifying to see an important symbol back in the sky, although we will still miss the “Twin Towers.”
In recognition of the rebirth of 1 WTC, Time magazine has produced a great multimedia tribute. Click here to access it. As Richard Licayo writes:
“For years after the 9/11 attacks, nearly all the activity at Ground Zero was downward—digging through the piles of debris, excavating a vast pit to restore the ruined transit lines, preparing the foundations for the new buildings that would emerge there. Even the memorial that opened in 2011 was an exercise in the poetics of descent — two vast cubic voids, each with water cascading down all four sides, carrying grief to some underground resting place.”
“The memorial has turned out to be a lovely thing, but what the site still needed was something that climbed, something that spoke to the idea that emotional burdens might not only be lowered into the ground but also released into the air. Now we have it: One World Trade Center, the glass-and-steel exclamation point, all 1,776 feet of it, is nearing completion close to where the Twin Towers once stood. No doubt the new building’s official dedication will open the way to a necessary debate over its merits as architecture and urbanism, its turbulent design history, and the compromises made over the long years it took to get the thing built. But in one important respect, One World Trade Center has already succeeded. It has reclaimed the sky. And this is the view from there.”
Click the image to see an aerial video of 1 WTC.
Ray Kurzweil is widely acknowledged as a true technology guru. As Wikipedia notes: “Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first commercial text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer Kurzweil K250 capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.”
Recently, the Wall Street Journal‘s Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker sat down with Kurzweil for an in-depth interview: “Machines will soon be as smart as we are, says Ray Kurzweil. But not to worry. The engineering director of Google Inc. and founder and CEO of Kurzweil Technologies Inc. argues that as computers get smaller and more powerful, we won’t face a sci-fi nightmare. Instead, these machines will help us expand our capabilities.”
For print excerpts from the interview, click here.
Click the image for a video clip of the interview.
As smartphone technology evolves and competition becomes more intense in that market space, innovations are not only focusing on features but also on phone size. Thus, we now have still another new marketing term — phablet. [Yes, just what we need another new term. ] A phablet is a combination of a phone and tablet, a full-featured smartphone with a much bigger screen.
Will this trend continue? Will it be successful? Will it slow the growth of tablets?
As Brian X. Chen reports for the New York Times:
“Smartphones are going against one of the long-held rules in portable electronics, that smaller is better. Year by year, computers, storage devices, and music players have shed size and weight. And for decades, it has been happening with cellphones, too. But now cellphones, and smartphones in particular, are going the way of the television: They just keep getting bigger and bigger. And people keep buying them.”
“The trend became even more apparent this week, as handset makers introduced a number of big-screen smartphones — from five diagonal inches to more than seven inches — at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. Samsung Electronics, Sony, and the Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE, among others, are all betting that consumers find images and video to be more vivid and engaging on a bigger screen, and that they may prefer to carry a larger phone instead of both a smartphone and a tablet.”
Click on the image to see a video on the phablet.