Harper’s Bazaar lists its top eateries with a great view to go along including 360 Bar & Dining “with sweeping views of the Sydney skyline, at the top of the Sydney Tower is a 'rooftop' you won't want to miss. With dark wood finishes and soft light sculptures, the mood sets itself as you dine on a 2-3 course meal of everything from oysters to handmade tagliatelle.”
The security at NY4 bears this out. To get from the parking lot to a spot where you could touch one of the servers you’d have to go through five checkpoints. One of them is a so-called man trap with two automatic steel doors that never open at the same time. Your palm print is required twice in addition to your PIN code. A wall of video monitors captures every nook and cranny of the 338,000-square-foot building.
Once you’re in, the space is enveloped by a rush of white noise from the thousands of computer fans whirring away to keep the servers cool. To help maintain the temperature, the ceiling is 45 feet high, roughly four stories up. It’s barely visible—not just because of its height, but also thanks to all of the suspended trays of cables and cooling ducts running overhead. All this goes toward one statistic: Equinix says in its annual filing that it kept its facilities up and running 99.9999 percent of the time in 2015.
That is why, after spending nearly 60 years building the Standard Model, particle physicists are now terribly excited at the prospect of finally breaking it. The flaws of the model were well known, but no one knows what the right model might be. Theorists have been stuck for decades, exploring a vast array of ideas but lacking the data to tell them if they were on the right path. Only an experimental breakthrough can help them move forward, and the LHC (Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the powerful accelerator at CERN (the European Laboratory for Particle Physics) near Geneva) might have already made it.
Rwanda’s minister of youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana recently signed a new agreement with the San Francisco-based company Zipline, whose aerial vehicles — aka vampire drones — will be able to deliver blood to more than 22 transfusion facilities throughout the country. The life-saving potential of this technology has been tested by Doctors Without Borders, which used drones to fight tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea. And if the Rwandan experiment works, it won’t be long before other countries in the region decide to follow suit. For Rutayisire, the prospect of aerially connecting hospitals, tech hubs and markets across the continent is simply too exciting not to try. “With so much potential,” he says, “it’s hard to not be optimistic.”
There’s a modest body of literature on the psychology of vacations, and one of its findings is that much of the pleasure comes from anticipation—a 1997 study found that people are happier thinking about a trip beforehand than when they’re actually taking it. The goal of Expedia’s usability researchers is not only to make Expedia’s various sites and mobile apps more efficient but also to make them an extension of the vacation fantasies that are always running in the back of our heads.
I had two moments of self-doubt this week in Detroit where I attended Plex’s user conference. Was I safe walking down the riverfront from the Marriott at Renaissance Center (or the more contemporary name, RenCen) to the Cobo Center, which buzzes with visitors from around the world at the annual North American International Auto Show? And was I out of mind waiting all alone in deathly quiet for several minutes at the platform for the People Mover?
As I recounted both moments to locals and they laughed at me, I felt guilty. Like so many others I have this negative stereotype of an unsafe, decaying city, and my time this week went far to dispel the image.
The Renaissance Center, after all was the world’s largest private development in the early 70s. The John Portman designed Marriott is the tallest hotel skyscraper in the Western world. I took several walks down the riverfront which overlooks Canada and is host to a tall ship, an Appledore and a riverboat, the Detroit Princess – reminders of centuries of history this city has witnessed and contributed to.
The People Mover in a driverless, 3 mile loop glides by GM’s spectacular world headquarters, and is being enhanced with a 70-foot-by-80-foot LED screen to cover the light train stop. Once on the train, I felt completely safe as it took us past downtown attractions like Ford Field, home of the 2006 Super Bowl (and where Plex offered tours at its PartyPlex), Comerica Park, home of the 2005 Baseball All- Star Game, Joe Louis hockey arena and several museums which celebrate the city’s ethnic diversity – African-American, Arab-American among them and pay tribute to Motown, auto history and much more.
The Plex conference was an optimistic mix of over 1,200 manufacturing executives, as I describe here. I had a chance to have lunch in Birmingham, one of Detroit’s best preserved suburbs.
And I took the opportunity to revisit the Light Tunnel at Detroit Airport. Some of the Phillips LED lights have survived since their installation in 2001. It is a good reminder this is a city which is easy to write off but keeps bouncing back.
Haier is now the fastest-growing provider of appliances in the world. Since 2011, it has held the largest worldwide market share in white goods. With its upscale brands in China, such as Casarte, and its growing presence in the United States, Europe, and Japan, this US$38 billion company has moved out of the value-priced and niche appliance domain to compete directly with top-of-the-line appliances from more established companies. It has accomplished this by being a consistently coherent and capable company: staying true to its core identity as a company dedicated to solving problems for consumers, while continually reinventing itself with imagination and verve.
Presenting scientific research and his own observations in highly anthropomorphic terms, the matter-of-fact Mr. Wohlleben has delighted readers and talk-show audiences alike with the news — long known to biologists — that trees in the forest are social beings. They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.
In 1816, the artist Rembrandt Peale gathered an audience at his museum in Baltimore, and wowed them by illuminating the room with gas lamps, instead of candles. Soon the city became the first in the US to light its streets with such lamps.
Two centuries later, the city is celebrating its pioneering work with light with a festival this week. The vid below talks about the artists and shows which reflect a much more contemporary view of light.
As part of the Infor Analyst summit this week, dinner was at the top of the spectacular One World Observatory in New York. The sun set over the Statue of Liberty and the full moon later made for a memorable evening.
As the Telegraph said of the tower which opened last year
“What they have ended up with is a building that screams defiance and strength. It is 400 feet higher than the original Twin Towers; the walls and floors contain 14,000lbs of concrete per square inch, compared with 900lbs that is standard for skyscrapers; there is a waterproof fire lift, and the elevators and stairways are housed in a reinforced column "like a bunker".”
To me, one of the highlights was the technology. The Global Welcome lobby has a large video board which shows off a dynamically generated world map highlights the hometowns of visitors (they key in their zip codes).
The ThyssenKrupp “skypods” zip up 102 floors in 47 seconds – at nearly 25mph. In that ride, you have little time to scream, and even if you wanted to, you are in awe of the walls which show a time lapse of the Manhattan skyline from the 1500s to today.
The See Forever Theater at the top projects more images of New York in a multi-dimension setting and at the end the screens open up to the live view of the city today. You can then walk around and get a 360 degree view of the city, its famous rivers, bridges and other icons.
The video below gives some of the experience but well worth a visit next time you are in New York city. And yes, you can quietly scream your defiance also while you are there.