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Just three months ago, I bought a Galaxy S7 smartphone, then the absolute top-end phone in the Galaxy range. Since then, Samsung has announced the brand-new S8, and Google has already release a preview of Android O.

The Galaxy S8 looks great, and I could have regretted buying an S7 if the S8 was not so expensive!

Ars Technica has a nice, enthusiastic write-up of a first “Hands-on with Android O—A million new settings and an awesome snooze feature“. I’m sure Ron Amadeo and his colleagues will add more details about the upcoming release in the coming days and weeks, detailing performance enhancements, support for keyboard devices, and more.

But why should I care about Android O, when Samsung seems to be incapable of bringing the previous release to the best phone in its current line-up in the shops? First announcements of a possible upgrade dat back to mid-2016, and Nougat has already been seen on a number of markets. So come on, Samsung! Make it happen in Belgium. I really want to see Nougat on my S7 ! Android O can wait a little longer ;-)

Google made Nougat for me, indeed!

As Engadget writes:

It’s a tragic time for both music and technology. Ikutaro Kakehashi, best known as the founder of Roland Corporation, has died at 87. The engineer turned corporate leader got his start making electronic drums and rhythm pattern generators, but it was after he founded Roland in 1972 that he hit the big time. His company quickly became synonymous with electronic music effects, and the machines built under his watch didn’t just become popular — they changed the cultural landscape.

It’s safe to say that digital sound as we know it today would not have been the same without Kakehashi.

National statistics may say that March 2017 was sunnier than “normal” (statistics since 1830 or so), but on our roof the numbers are different: March 2017 generated less solar electricity than the average of the previous 7 years (178.345 Wh). Still, it could have been worse: the first half of the month made it look as if the system would not even make it half way to the average. So in the end, I guess the conclusion is that March was more or less “average” when it comes to the sun. The good news, of course, is that Spring is in the air, with flowers and blossoms and fresh green all over our garden.

Strange as it may seem, it does exist: an open-source motorcycle. At least, that’s what a company called Fictiv is telling us. Their name may not bode well in this context, but the company seems legit, going by their website. The blog post detailing their effort, “Open Source. Open road. Build your own fully customisable, street-legal motorcycle in a weekend“, is unfortunately rather skimpy on details.

The open-source bike on the open road

The bike does look good. I’m certainly not the only one who would like to know how it handles, what it costs, whether it can be done in a weekend, etc. If you have a more detailed report, let it know in the comments!

Sunday March 26th, was one of the best days of the year: sunny and not too cold. Time for a ride on the BMW F800 GT – and a nice ride it was. Proof by pictures: see them all on Flickr.

(Click the picture to go to Flickr)

Note: I wasn’t the only two-wheeler to take a bike to the road!

Yes, Americans are lucky – at least, American users of unlocked Samsung smartphones running Android. Ars announced that “Samsung commits to monthly security updates for unlocked US smartphones“. That means that it is possible to run Android 7 on a Galaxy S 7 (of course it is!)… but I’m still waiting for the upgrade.

PS. I could add another screenshot to “illustrate” my story, but it wouldn’t show anything that you haven’t seen on March 2

Each time I hear a “trendwatcher” or a “futurist” explain what tomorrow will look like, I cringe a little. I am looking to the future with optimism, but I do not pretend to be able to predict the future – as a historian, I know how hard it is to know the past, let alone extract the correct lessons from it. It’s hard to predict something as simple as election results… So what makes trendwatchers think that they know what is going to happen as a consequence of the progress in information technology (and technology in general)? The PC did not make paper disappear; social networking tools do not only bring people together; etc.

In “Our Gutenberg Moment” Marina Gorbis writes:

At a very deep level, changes in our basic communications tools and technologies alter existing power dynamics; they re-define who has the power of voice, the power to shape our dominant narratives, and the power to influence how we think and act. While acknowledging that we will likely see dramatic social changes, Dewar warns that such changes will result from unintended consequences of technological advances, rather than deliberate technological design, as was the case in the past. “The Protestant Reformation and the shift from an earth-centered to a sun-centered universe were unintended consequences in the printing press era,” he wrote. These unintended consequences will likely re-shape the basic elements of our society and culture.

“Unintended consequences” are what we may expect. Like the impact of human activity on our climate, I suppose. Makes me wonder how we, as a global species, will react when the climatic changes thoroughly disrupt the weather?