From smartphones to televisions, how Apple will avoid the fate of RCA

The economics of the consumer electronics industry dictate that on a long enough timescale, all products will become low-margin commodities. The companies that make products household names are destined to fade from the public’s memory. Will Apple suffer the same fate as others before it, such as RCA, who revolutionized television sets in a similar fashion but were relegated to the dustbin of history decades later?

Farmers turn grass into cash with the Grassometer

The well-dressed dairy farmer may soon be sporting a new gadget clipped to his Wellington boot — the Grassometer. The device just landed 50,000 EUR ($70,000) in funding from Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund. The Grassometer uses ultrasound to take up to 200 measurements of the length of grass in a field as the farmer walks around it. The measurements are triggered by an accelerometer, mapped with GPS and sent to the farmer’s smartphone using Bluetooth.

In Singapore, the future is now

I had the good fortune to attend a conference earlier this year in Singapore. It’s a futuristic city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, whose wild skyscrapers and love and adoption of new technology makes me think of the 1960s animated sitcom The Jetsons every time I’m there.