Do Mac sales spike with the release of a new Windows OS?...Texas Instruments continues war against calculator modders...Vespa rocking horse is totally adorable...Hydrogen-powered UAV stays aloft for more than 23 hours straight...
Business Insider posted an interesting chart of Apple Mac sales with an eye on Windows releases. BI's quoted analysts claim that Mac sales shoot up with the introduction of each new version of Windows — which would be an interesting statistic, if it were at all true. We're not sure which chart they're looking at, but to us, there's absolutely no such trend. In fact, the reverse might even be true: Apple's sales have generally been increasing since a low point in mid-2000, but Apple sales have actually decreased in the quarter immediately following the release of Windows 2000, XP and Vista.
Braodpoint analyst Brian Marshall sees that as a "delayed accelerant". How do I see it? I think Marshall is looking for a specific conclusion which the data doesn't bear out, even a little. Mac sales have just been increasing in general since mid-2000, and there's absolutely no indication that Windows releases have had any positive effect on those numbers. [Business Insider]
Texas Instruments' graphing calculators are the standard in high schools and colleges, and enthusiastic users have long been writing alternate firmware to unlock the potential of the calculator's hardware. For some reason, TI sees that as some kind of war gesture, and is seeking to stamp out the alternate firmware and those who make and use it. They even went so far as to ask MAKE to take down a post on the subject, and now the Electronic Frontier Foundation is hitting back at TI. The EFF is warning TI that they will not take TI's "baseless legal threats" lying down, and intends to fight them wholeheartedly. The (super nerdy) game is on, people. [MAKE]
The Naval Research Laboratory's Ion Tiger, a 37-pound (16.8kg), hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered UAV, managed to stay aloft for a whopping 23 hours and 17 minutes, unofficially a world record. It's powered by a 550-watt, 0.75hp fuel cell, which apparently provides seven times the power of an equivalent-sized battery and four times that of a combustion engine. See, even tiny battle robots can be environmentally conscious! [Science Daily via Pop Sci]