Towletech v. 114: Aquaman, Harry Potter, Net Neutrality, Betamax vs VHS, Manned Mission to Mars

  Jason momoa


A weekly round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.

Road (1) Reuters reports Apple to begin production of smartwatch in July – with an expected October launch date.  

Road (1) Jason Momoa of Game of Thrones fame has reportedly been cast as Aquaman in 2016's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor, meanwhile, will reportedly sport a lustrous head of hair for his role. 

Road (1) The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando is about to become even more magical: 


Road (1) A Dallas, Texas science museum is under fire for removing an exhibit on climate change – an omission that's not exactly surprising considering the museum's benefactors include ExxonMobile and Chief Oil & Gas.

Road (1)  EnquirerHow magazines would look if superheroes were real. 

Road (1) The Supreme Court to decide whether threats made over social media websites cross the line into criminal activity. 

Road (1) 90s kids rejoice! The Powerpuff Girls are returning to the Cartoon Network in 2016. 

Road (1) A laser breathalyzer that law enforcement can use to detect drunk drivers from afar. 

Road (1) Congressional Democrats introduce bill that would effectively enshrine net neutrality into law

Road (1) A fascinating look back at how JVC beat Sony in the original home video format war: Betamax vs. VHS


Road (1) The government's "shadow internet" is 100 times faster than Google Fiber.   

Road (1)  Elon muskCEO of SpaceX Elon Musk is confident humans will land on Mars by 2026. "I'm hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years, I think it's certainly possible for that to occur," he said. "But the thing that matters long term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars, to make life multiplanetary."

Road (1) Three non porn-related reasons to consider using private web browsing

Road (1) Get $400 worth of Mac apps for name your own price. And you get to help charity to boot! 

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  1. bkmn says

    The Sony Betamax vs. JVC VHS story left out one important detail – the porn industry’s role. The porn industry was an early adopter of VHS which set the trend for the rest of the film and rental industry.

  2. Hansel Currywurst says

    “Engineer Guy” is a doofus. ALL videotape machines use(d) rotating heads — except for some experimental prototypes from the early 1950’s that used 3-foot diameter reels with a linear tape speed of 30+ inches per second. His “7-inch reel” illustration is of a Super-8 movie projector which has nothing whatsoever to do with videotape.

  3. Tatts says

    Thanks, Hansel. You’re right. All Sony and JVC did was to shrink an existing technology so that it could use 1/2″ tape at slow speed.
    The U-Matic cassette, which was already in use at that time by broadcasters and semi-pro production facilities, used 3/4″ cassettes at faster speed and gave better quality. 1″ reel-to-reel video tape with similar helical scan heads was the broadcast standard by that time, edging out 2″ quad-format reel-to-reel tape.
    So helical scan was nothing new, it’s just the 1/2″ tape format.
    And the weight of the players was immaterial. The recorders quickly shrank to a more manageable size long before they became mass-market items. That’s just a non-issue.
    What really killed Betamax in the mass market was that all the other Japanese manufacturers aligned with JVC’s VHS system–Panasonic, Hitachi, Toshiba, Sharp, etc.

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