World

  • November 5, 2020

    Emojis for Life😀

    With Apple, Inc. adding 117 new emojis for iOS 14.2 update, I thought it might be interesting to look at some cool emoji facts for a change:🎉 Fact 1: World Emoji Day is Saturday July 17, 2021🌎 Fact 2: Emojis were created in 1998👍🏻 Fact 3: Emojis originated in Japan🇯🇵 Fact 4: Over 48% of adults use emojis👫 Fact 5: Most tweeted emoji is Tears of Joy (14.5 billion mentions)😂 Fact 6: Number of emojis sent by brands – 145 million messages📱 Fact 7: Number of people/smiley emojis – >2000😎 Fact 8: Number of animals & nature emojis – 212🐕 Fact 9: Average number of emojis sent on Facebook each day – >60 million🦄 Fact 10: Amount of money earned at the box office for The Emoji Movie ‐ $217 million😐 Fact 11: Apple’s iOS 14.2 update now supports 3,292 emojis, including one with a medical mask (appropriate in this time of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic)😷 Fact 12: Emoji 13.0 is the set of emojis approved for release in 2020 (3,304 emojis supported all or in part on iOS 14.2, Android 11, Samsung, and soon Windows)👏 Fact 13: There is an entire website dedicated to tracking and cataloguing everything there is to know about emojis: The Emojipedia📔 Now we just need an emoji of 2020 and Satan, that’d be great way to convey via text how everyone feels right now!😱
  • Recently, Jim Heppelmann (President and CEO of PTC, the company I currently work for) was featured in an article in the Boston Globe talking about PTC’s exciting move to the Boston Seaport, A.K.A. The Innovation District. The article also featured the story of how Boston’s Mayor, Marty Walsh, came to PTC for a visit and spoke to the employees at one of our famous socials. He praised the company and the employees for making the move to Boston’s newest up and coming hub for business and cultural innovation! And the seaport is pretty much an amazing new innovation district at that—especially with all the incredible simultaneous construction projects going on down there. However, it might be interesting to take quick walk down memory lane to reminisce about Boston’s other innovation districts, of the past. Let’s go all the way back to Colonial times. Over by where North Street meets Moon Street is Paul Revere’s House. This historical landmark is located in Boston’s North End district, now synonymous with the Italian-American community. However, back in the late 17th Century, this area was well known for it’s silversmiths (like Paul Revere, an innovator of his time), blacksmiths, artisans, journeymen, and laborers. For a city that was founded in 1630, this part of Boston became its innovation district of that time. Fast forward through the Industrial Age which affected the entire world, Boston included, and you will see that another innovation district presented itself. This time on the Boston waterfront known as Boston Harbor—part of which is where today’s Boston Seaport Innovation District now resides. For over two hundred years, Boston Harbor, which compromises all the famous Boston wharves such as Long Wharf, Rowes Wharf, Fish Pier, Commonwealth Pier, and Union Wharf to name a few, were the gateways to shipping, railroads, international commerce, jobs, markets, construction, and of course innovation. Without the wharves of the 18th and 19th Centuries, Boston could not have grown...
  • March 8, 2020

    Sisters of Invention

    In honor of International Women’s Day 2020, this week’s Progressive Pioneers will be a quadfecta of amazing young women who are trying to change the world for the better. All too often the news is dominated by negative stories, and one would think that the world is a sad place. However, that is not the case! For optimistic, creative, inventive, and resourceful entrepreneurs Greta Thunberg, Alaina Gassler, and Anna Stork & Andrea Sreshta the world couldn’t be more full of promise and hope. Here are their stories: Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist on climate change whose campaigning has gained international recognition. Thunberg is known for her straightforward speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she urges immediate action to address what she describes as the climate crisis. Thunberg first became known for youth activism in August 2018 when, at age 15, she began spending her school days outside the Swedish parliament to call for stronger action on global warming by holding up a sign saying (in Swedish) “School strike for the climate”. Soon, other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together, they organized a school climate strike movement under the name Fridays for Future. After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world. In 2019, there were at least two coordinated multi-city protests involving over 1,000,000 students each. At home, Thunberg convinced her parents to adopt several lifestyle choices to reduce their own carbon footprint, including giving up air travel and not eating meat. Her sudden rise to world fame has made her a leader and a target. In May 2019, Thunberg was featured on the cover of Time magazine, which named her a “next generation leader” and noted that many see her as a role model. Thunberg and the school strike movement were also featured in a 30-minute Vice documentary titled Make...
  • January 24, 2020

    Long Live the Browser Wars!

    Google recently announced that it was going to strip cookies from its Chrome web-browser. This is a big deal for a lot of people, namely advertisers. In case you weren’t aware of what a cookie is (not the yummy kind you eat), let Digital Batman tell you. A cookie is a bit of third-party data that gets stored on your system when you access a website. This data is used to track your online activities such as product browsing history, location, etc. Advertisers can then use this data to target ads specifically to what they think you’re interested in. And furthermore, advertisers can “retarget” ads after you as you browse around the Internet from site to site. Ever wonder how a random website you visit seems to know that you were looking at plushy chairs on Amazon? Well, that’s retargeting and that’s powered by cookies. Which leads to a lot of privacy issues that have been debated for as long as the Internet has been around. Therefore, Google is trying to assuage users’ concerns about privacy by eliminating cookies. What will advertisers do? Well, they’ll probably have to come up with more transparent ways to gather your information, with your permission. Now I mention this because it reminds me about how things have both changed and remained the same over the last 25+ years of browsing the Internet. Back in the heyday of the World Wide Web (mid-to-late 1990s), we had a whole battlefield of web browsers all vying for dominance in The Browser Wars! It all started with Netscape Navigator (technically Mosaic in its initial form), invented by Marc Andreessen founder of Netscape. [Digital Batman had done a previous Progressive Pioneers profile on Andreessen back in July.] Navigator was initially released in December of 1994. It sported a simple interface with a few oversized navigation buttons (like Back, Home, and...
  • December 13, 2019

    Lucky Number 13!

    Happy Friday the 13th Everyone! Why do I mention this? Well, it seems to be an old American tradition that if a Friday happens to fall on the 13th day of any given month, then strange and unexpected things are supposed to happen. The number 13 is often regarded as unlucky; furthermore, in Italian culture Fridays are considered an unlucky day. Therefore, when the famous Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini passed away on Friday, November 13, 1868, it came as no surprise that the fateful calendar day played a part in his untimely demise—of course it had nothing to do with him suffering from an incurable illness at the time. Some sources also say that this unpopular day may also have some historical precedence with Jesus Christ’s last days before his crucifixion on what is referred to in Christendom as Good Friday. Regardless, popular culture has also played apart in fostering this notion that a specific date on the Gregorian calendar can cause so much grief. For example, authors like Dan Brown and John J. Robinson mentioned a rather bleak historical episode concerning the arresting and subsequent execution of Knights Templar by King Philip IV of France. Of course, there’s the ever-popular Friday the 13th series of horror-genre films that certainly help to perpetuate this superstition. And let’s not forget the ubiquitous Black Cat. Heaven forbid one should cross your path! That’s a trip to “Bad-Luck-Ville” right there. LOL! The ominous mystique of black cats can be traced back to Ancient Egyptian times when they were worshipped at emissaries of the Gods. Anyone who killed a cat would have been severely punished or even killed back then. Later, during the Dark Ages through to the Pilgrims of the New World, black cats were considered familiars to witches and agents of...
  • When you think of what $52,000 can buy, you probably think of things like a high-end luxury car (like a Tesla), a boat, or maybe a 5-star trip around the world. Regardless, the last thing you’d probably want to spend $52K on is a computer! Well, Apple Inc. is back in the news with it newest—and most expensive—product yet. The all new Mac Pro is set to be available for pre-order starting next Tuesday. However, this machine might not enjoy the same “early adopter” success that say a new iPhone does. Don’t get me wrong, the specs on this machine are astounding*: Up to a 28-Core Intel Xeon W processors Up to 1.5TB (that’s TERABYTES!) of DIMM RAM, running at 2933MHz AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphic cards (configurable with up to four GPUs) Up to 8TB of SSD storage Tons of the latest, most powerful PCI expansion slots and others Tons of USB 3, Thunderbolt, and Ethernet ports And the most powerful WiFi (A/C) and Bluetooth (5.0) available *Note: These specs are based on the most expensive configuration options. This machine is a monster! But that’s not all… If you want THE most powerful monitor to go with this Macintosh behemoth, you’ll be looking at the Pro Display XDR. And it too is a monster! It’s a 32-inch Retina 6K display capable of presenting over a billion (that’s BILLION with a B) colors! Now given the fact that human beings can only perceive an estimated 10 million colors, what would the remaining 990,000,000 colors be used for? Oh, and let’s not forget the $1000 dollar monitor stand that caused quite a stir at the WWDC (i.e. World Wide Developers Conference where Apple announces all its new products) earlier this year. All told, this system (and we haven’t even...