On Episode 316 of The Waves of Tech, we come with a grab bag of tech topics. SiFive, a startup in the Silicon Valley, is bringing open source to the chip market with the help of RISC-V Foundation. STEM jobs are the hot topic and there are 10 companies looking to hire nearly 20,000 STEM openings. We recap some of the biggest tech flops from the mid-2000s, including products from BlackBerry and Apple. Apple is set to create their own reality TV show, pitting app developers against each other for a chance to earn $10 million in investments. And finally, we touch on the Pokemon GO craze and the injuries surfacing as a result of the popular game. Enjoy the show, thanks for tuning in, and continue to ride…the waves of tech.
The chip industry historically has been a very closed, entrenched, and stagnant industry. Three major companies run and profit off chip manufacturing – ARM, Apple, Intel. SiFive, a new Silicon Valley startup, is teaming up with RISC-V Foundation and the infrastructure set to develop open source chip products. Two chips are in development – Freedom Unleashed (designed for machine learning, storage and networking) and Freedom Everywhere (designed for low-power devices in the “Internet of Things” market). SiFive is trying to drive down the cost of chip manufacturing, open the industry up to designers and engineers, and squeeze into an industry that has several barriers of entry. The RISC-V Foundation is hosting its fourth workshop, where a host of academics and companies come together to talk about the architecture.
STEM-focused jobs now account for 8.6 million positions in the domestic workforce, translating into 6.9% overall employment. Amazon only is looking to hire over 6,000 STEM jobs at this moment, with other firms like CACI International, Raytheon, Oracle, Lockheed Martin, Leidos, General Dynamics, and many more. There is estimated to be over 20,000 STEM jobs availbale at this moment. If you have your degree in science, technology, engineering, or math-related fields, there are plenty of job openings. It’s important to look beyond only traditional technology companies, such as aerospace, defense, security, healthcare, and state and local government.
The biggest flops to ever hit the market
Every so often we like to take a look back at what products hit the market and then completely tanked after release. Some of you may remember these products. Some of you may not simply because they were gone before we knew they were available. Do you remember BlackBerry’s PlayBook? Yes, BlackBerry attempted to squeeze into the tablet market but the product had a terrible user experience and miserable battery life. How about wearable DVD players from 2004? Sounds awkward right…it was. Apple flopped with their iPod HiFi which was bulky and out of touch with design and sleekness. And finally, did you have The Gizmondo? It was touted as the successor to Gameboy yet offered little design functionality, limited game release, and short battery life.
We are stoked on the idea of Apple making a reality TV show!! Apple is creating “Planet of The Apps”, a reality show that will showcase app competing against one another for a chance to be mentored and funded by experts and featured in the App store. One hundred app developers will be chosen with the win earning roughly $10 million in investments and the opportunity to showcase their talent across the world. Apple’s dive into original programming has been expected for a while as Netflix and Hulu continue to see success in the industry. This will definitely assist Apple in developing its own paid-TV like platform through Apple TV.
Well, we thought we would escape the episode without a discussion on Pokemon GO but it was inevitable. The mega-popular app, drawing millions and millions of use to the streets across the nation, has its pros and its cons. Pros – drawing like-minded fanatics together, getting people outside to walk around, hanging out with friends, and bringing back the 90s nostalgia. Cons – injuries, accidents, car crashed, heightened police surveillance, pedestrian congestion. We have read reports on individuals driving into a lake, drivers causing 15 car pile ups on freeways, people being hit by cars, and groups falling off cliffs or down stairs. Yes, it’s all true! Ok Pokemon GO players, time to be aware of your surroundings and use common sense.