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24/7 Software Blog

“Thirty-five years ago in Moscow, working on what he says was "an ugly Russian" computer that was frankensteined together with spare parts, Alexey Pajitnov started a side project that has become the second-best-selling video game of all time: Tetris,” writes Vanessa Romo in their recent NPR article entitled “Happy Birthday, Tetris. 35 Years Later You're As Addictive And Tetromino-y As Ever.”

“At the time, Pajitnov was a young developer and programmer whose other interests included a popular puzzle game consisting of twelve shapes that were made up of five square pieces. The object was to create pictures and images using the pentominoes, he explained. His fascination with it was obvious but inspiration for Pajitnov's own game came when he'd finished playing one day and returned the pieces to their box,” Romo explains.

"When you try to put [them] back in the box you're in trouble because it's really hard to do that.’ And thus, the idea for Tetris was born,” the article continues.

According to Romo’s piece, “It is simple and yet has proved to be indomitably addictive. Seven brightly colored four-block pieces, tetrominoes, fall from the top of screen. Slowly at first and then faster and faster, as the player rotates the pieces so they create complete lines. When they do, the line vanishes. When they don't, the blocks begin to stack on top of one another until they fill the screen and the game is over.”

“As soon as Pajitnov had finished the prototype, he knew he had a commercial hit on his hands,” shares Romo.

"I couldn't stop playing it,’ he said, confessing that at work he'd pretend to be busy but really he was in a Tetris trance. ‘Magic is in it,’ he said proudly,” according to Romo.

Now, we want to know:

How addicting is your property? Do your customers want to keep coming back?

Do you want your property to be as addictive as Tetris 35 years later?

Keep reading; we’re going to show you what you need.

“After 18 years, Apple is killing iTunes — well, sort of. The media management software for most Mac users (and many Windows users) is being broken into separate pieces for separate uses: Music, podcasts and television will soon have their own apps on the new Catalina Mac operating system,” writes Andrew Flanagan and Jasmine Garsd in their recent NPR article entitled, “iTunes' Death Is All About How We Listen To Music Today.”

According to the article, “Apple announced the move on Monday along with new hardware, including a new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, and entertainment and lifestyle features.”

“Apple laid to rest a misapprehension that the iTunes Store (where users purchase songs and albums for download) would be going away in favor of Apple Music (the company's streaming service). The iTunes Store will remain, as will the music that people bought from it. But Apple did address a long-running complaint from users of the iTunes desktop app: mainly, that it's trying to be too many things at once,” Flanagan and Garsd explain.

The NPR piece continues “At Monday's conference, Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, joked about this. ‘Customers love iTunes and everything it can do,’ he said, before sarcastically asking: ‘But if there's one thing we hear over and over, it's 'Can iTunes do even more?' "

“Apple announced it will be launching a new stand-alone music app for Mac, as well as a new and improved TV app and a podcast app. And it said device syncing will now be handled in the Finder, the macOS file manager. Apple did not say how syncing iPhones or iPads would be handled on Windows machines,” share the NPR authors.

“iTunes will continue as a music store, but the new music app will be more closely aligned with Apple's music-streaming service,” the article explains.

“Drones have become an increasingly popular tool for industry and government,” writes Brian Naylor in their recent NPR article entitled “We're Not Being Paranoid': U.S. Warns Of Spy Dangers Of Chinese-Made Drones.”

“Electric utilities use them to inspect transmission lines. Oil companies fly them over pipelines. The Interior Department even deployed them to track lava flows at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano,” Naylor explains.

“But the Department of Homeland Security is warning that drones manufactured by Chinese companies could pose security risks, including that the data they gather could be stolen,” the article continues.

According to Naylor’s piece, “The department sent out an alert on the subject on May 20, and a video on its website notes that drones, in general, pose multiple threats, including ‘their potential use for terrorism, mass casualty incidents, interference with air traffic, as well as corporate espionage and invasions of privacy."

"We're not being paranoid,” the video's narrator adds.

“Most drones bought in the U.S. are manufactured in China, with most of those drones made by one company, DJI Technology. Lanier Watkins, a cyber-research scientist at Johns Hopkins University's Information Security Institute, said his team discovered vulnerabilities in DJI's drones,” Naylor shares.

"We could pull information down and upload information on a flying drone. You could also hijack the drone," Watkins explains in the NPR piece.

Watkins notes in Naylor’s article, “The vulnerabilities meant that ‘someone who was interested in, you know, where a certain pipeline network was or maybe the vulnerabilities in a power utilities' wiring might be able to access that information."

According to Naylor, “DJI offered a bounty for researchers to uncover bugs in its drones, although Watkins said Johns Hopkins didn't accept any money.”

“Imagine spending 40 years and more than a billion dollars on a gamble,” writes Nell Greenfieldboyce in their recent NPR article entitled, “Billion-Dollar Gamble: How A 'Singular Hero' Helped Start A New Field In Physics.”

According to Greenfieldboyce, “That's what one U.S. government science agency did. It's now paying off big time, with new discoveries about black holes and exotic neutron stars coming almost every week.”

“And while three physicists shared the Nobel Prize for the work that made this possible, one of them says the real hero is a former National Science Foundation staffer named Rich Isaacson, who saw a chance to cultivate some stunning research and grabbed it.”

"The thing that Rich Isaacson did was such a miracle. I think he's the hero. He's a singular hero. We just don't have a good way of recognizing people like that. Rich was in a singular place fighting a singular war that nobody else could have fought," says Rainer Weiss, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the 2017 Nobel laureates, in the NPR piece.

Weiss continues in the article, “Without him, we would've been killed dead on virtually every topic."

And it’s a good thing Isaacson saw the chance and grabbed it.

It’s a great lesson for proactive leaders too.

See an opportunity for your property operation?

Go for it.

But you’ve got an advantage Isaacson did not.

Your success should take less time and less money.

Especially you’ll have a proven methodology already in place.

You do not need a billion-dollar gamble.

Agree?

“Electric scooters have invaded the world's cities. They whiz down streets and lie abandoned in the middle of sidewalks, bringing both convenience and annoyance to city-dwellers. There are now dozens of scooter-sharing companies, and the two biggest, Bird and Lime, are the fastest startups to reach a valuation of $1 billion in U.S. history. Each company is now valued at over $2 billion. Scooteristas claim it's a sign that they're revolutionizing transportation, but... really,” asks Greg Rosalsky in their recent NPR article entitled “Will Scootermania End With A Crash?

According to Rosalsky’s article, “Big Scooter argues that technology — electric motors, better batteries, GPS, and smartphones — has produced a system of shareable scooters that can solve infrastructure problems, decongest commutes, limit climate change, and make investors buckets of money. They're calling it the ‘micro mobility revolution.’ Last year, there were 38.5 million trips on shareable e-scooters in the U.S., which is more than double the year before.”

“The business model of these companies is pretty simple: flood a city with hundreds of scooters for passersby to rent. You can locate and pay for them using your smartphone, and they typically cost $1 plus 15 cents per minute. Then leave them wherever you want,” the NPR piece explains.

Later in the article, Rosalsky shares, “Scootermania isn't just about scooters. It's about this entire bubbly era of tech. Tech watchers have come to call startups worth over a billion a ‘unicorn.’ At first, it was because they were hard to find. Today, there are four times more unicorns than there were in 2013. Last year, VC funding for private companies hit a high of $131 billion, which is past the heights of the 1990s that ended in a crash in nominal terms and close to it in real ones. The percentage of companies going public — despite being unprofitable — has hit a similar peak. Uber, which remains unprofitable, became one of those companies last week.”

Rosalsky’s article left us with a burning question.

“Nuclear power plants are so big, complicated and expensive to build that more are shutting down than opening up. An Oregon company, NuScale Power, wants to change that trend by building nuclear plants that are the opposite of existing ones: smaller, simpler and cheaper,” writes Jeff Brady in their recent NPR article entitled “This Company Says The Future Of Nuclear Energy Is Smaller, Cheaper And Safer.”

According to the article, “The company says its plant design using small modular reactors also could work well with renewable energy, such as wind and solar, by providing backup electricity when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining.”

“The 98 nuclear reactors operating in the country now are large because they were designed to take advantage of economies of scale. Many are at risk of closing in the next decade, largely because they can't compete with less expensive natural gas and renewable energy,” Brady continues.

“To respond to this dilemma, ‘we've developed economies of small,” says Jose Reyes, chief technology officer and co-founder of NuScale, in the NPR piece.

“Instead of one big nuclear reactor, Reyes says his company will string together a series of up to 12 much smaller reactors. They would be built in a factory and transported by truck to a site that would be being prepared at the same time,” writes Brady.

"You're making your [reactor] pool and all that stuff on-site. In parallel, you're manufacturing the modules, and then that cuts the construction schedule to about half,” Reyes explains in Brady’s article.

Brady shares that “NuScale says it also has simplified how the plants are operated in ways that make them safer.”

Now, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with property operations.

The progressive approach is where we're going with this.

NuScale is looking at an existing industry and turning it on its head, shaking it up quite a bit, and working to innovate exponentially.

We like this mindset.

It’s what we practice here at 24/7 Software.

What do we say we apply this smart, efficient, and safe strategy to your operation?