Geeking Out

In Geeking out this week, I want to remind you that this segment deals with a wide variety of scientific and technology developments. It’s NOT just computer stuff.

This week, check out the several articles about the perils of remote work and the tools we use, the amazing Seed Vault that illustrates that it IS possible for the world to come together, my love for the Kindle Oasis and homes in Austin, Texas PRINTED IN 3-D?

The Hidden Costs of Remote Work

God knows we’ve all been immersed in Zoom or its equivalent for the last 2 years. Likewise, we’ve learned that there are hidden risks of remote work.

According to Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts and More: The Hidden Risks of Remote Work, there are 4 big downsides:

  1. Isolation
  2. Exclusion
  3. Surveillance
  4. Self-Censorship

Zoom’s Breakout Rooms getting smarter …

Thanks to a recent acquisition, Zoom’s breakout rooms will get much smarter about matching employees in breakout rooms.

Amazon’s Kindle Oasis

Over so many years of daily reading, I accumulated about 2,000 lineal feet of hardback books, which filled a pretty substantial library. But, as we’ve downsized over time, my book collection took up too much space, spilling into the garage, storage lockers, etc.

It was hard to give up the physical books I loved, but fortunately, I have a geek side that was willing to consider an e-reader. I’ve never looked back and now carry a virtually unlimited library with me at all times. (I also no longer hear, “What? More books? Where are we going to put these?”) Now, they show up on my Kindle, sight unseen.😁

Recently, I upgraded to the latest e-reader version, the Kindle Oasis from Amazon. The Kindle has been my constant companion since the very first one was released in November, 2007. I admit I’ve purchased every new version immediately upon release. Not to just have the latest, but to take advantage of the updates in size, weight and clarity.

What could be handier when you’re traveling and already have overweight bags? And, if you forget your Kindle, you can access your entire library on your PC, mobile phone or tablet.

You’ll certainly never run out of something to read … and even if you do, you’ll have to wait, oh, maybe a minute or so to download the next one.

I’ve included some of the most valuable features below.

Key Features

It’s now a 7″, 300 dpi screen with adjustable wam light to you can read easily without turning on a lamp. As you can see from the image, the length is only about 1″ larger than the current iPhone 13 Pro. It weighs only 6.6 oz. The 32Gb version holds thousands of books or over 60 Audible audiobooks.

A single charge will last up to six (6) weeks based on reading a half hour/day and fully charges in about 3 hours. In laboratory tests, Kindle Oasis is IPX8 rated to protect against immersion in up to two meters of fresh water for up to 60 minutes and 0.25 meters for 3 minutes in seawater.

The Global Seed Vault

You may not have heard of the Seed Vault. It represents a rare global collaboration intended to protect and preserve the seeds from crops across the globe. Super interesting concept.

The Importance of the Seed Vault

There are over 1,700 genebanks around the world that hold collections of food crops for safekeeping. But many are vulnerable to natural catastrophes, war, lack of funding, or poor management. This is where the seed vault comes in.

The permafrost and the thick rock where it’s located ensure that the seeds remain frozen even without power. The vault is built to be as resilient as possible, with seeds being kept at −18 °C (−0.4 °F) and at low-oxygen levels — a combination that reduces metabolic activity and delays seed aging.

3-D Printed Houses are a Thing?

A major home builder is teaming up with a Texas startup to create a community of 100 3-D printed homes near Austin, gearing up for what would be by far the biggest development of this type of housing in the U.S.

Hard to fathom, but you can read about it in 3-D Printed Houses Are Sprouting Near Austin as Demand for Homes Grows.