DMA TECH WATCH: Gliders to Stratosphere, Cool Online Tech Courses & More

By Phill Powell

Welcome to DMA Tech Watch, where we review the biggest news events and tech trends now on the radar. Here’s what we’re watching as of November 16, 2015:

‘STAR WARS: FORCE’ COUNTDOWN: 1 MORE MONTH TO GO

Force_Awakens_poster
There’s only a month of anxious waiting left. Can your heart stand it?

It’s either 32 or 31, depending on how you count it. That’s the number of days until the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Expectations couldn’t be running any higher: The latest trailer received more than 13 million views, and the record advance ticket sales were so robust that both the Fandango and Movie Tickets.com sites crashed.

And here’s an impressive stat for you: Since 1977, fans have spent more than $20 billion on franchise merchandise. And just wait until next month hits…

A GLIDER THAT AIMS HIGHER

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The Perlan 2 glider weighs only 1,265 lbs. and holds a crew of two, plus emergency rebreathers.

Higher. That’s the goal for hearty inventor/aviator Einar Enevoldson, who has learned how to use certain “ricochet” winds that bounce off the earth and produce powerful upsweeps.

How powerful? Strong enough to potentially rocket his engine-free Perlan 2 glider to elevations of more than 90,000 feet – or 17 miles, straight up.

Testing continues, in a frenzy, in the airspace above Sabre Springs, near San Diego. Imagine: To infinity and beyond…with no motor.

I CAN’T DRIVE 35: SELF-DRIVING SLOWPOKE GETS TICKETED

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Google’s testing of its driverless vehicles continues, mostly without incident.

Of course, it was just a matter of time until a driverless car ran afoul of the law, and that’s exactly what happened last week in Mountain View, California. A Google test car got pulled…for going too slowly, namely driving 24 in a 35 zone, to the annoyance of drivers backed up behind it.

Following the ticket, the rider who had been in the passenger seat monitoring the trip slid over and took the wheel.

(Why are we not surprised anymore by anything that happens in this fascinating tech area?)

APPLE: NO PLANS TO MAKE TABLET/LAPTOP HYBRIDS

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Microsoft has enjoyed success with its tablet/laptop combo, the Surface Pro 4. But will Apple follow?

“It may be okay for those guys, but not for us…” You could almost read it between the lines in Tim Cook’s recent interview with The Irish Independent, as he discussed whether Apple would follow Microsoft’s lead and make a product that combined tablet and laptop functionalities.

“We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad,” said Cook. “Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants.” Cook went on to say that combining the two products would inevitably lead to “compromises.”

TECH TRAINING ACCORDING TO YOUR SCHEDULE

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DMA Online, now with courses in comp sci, app development, Python programming and more.

Please allow us a moment of pride as we announce our new DMA Online courses. The original set of DMA Online courses proved to be such a hit that our curriculum designers have expanded the entire course line.

As of December 1st, there will be four new DMA Online courses…courses that you can monitor according to your schedule.

New additions include Fundamentals of Computer Science, Fundamentals of iOS App Development, Fundamentals of Python and Fundamentals of 3D Modeling with Maya.

DMA Online courses bring you concentrated learning and are designed to support and enhance Digital Media Academy’s summer-camp experiences.

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Each week check out DMA Tech Watch for a look at the major trends shaking and shaping the world of tech.

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At Digital Media Academy, we keep our finger on the pulse of modern technology. That’s how we can create stunning summer-camp learning experiences in today’s hottest tech…subjects like 3D printing, robotics, app development and much more!

Join us next summer and “create the next.”