cloud tech


Flying the world’s first single-engine private jet

We got to go in the new Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet—the world’s first single-engine private jet. It has a top speed of 345 MPH, has a max distance of 1380 miles, and even comes equipped with its own parachute on the top of the plane (!!). You read that right. And how much does it cost, you ask? It’ll only set you back a cool $1.96 million. If only we had $1.96M lying around. 😂 😂 😂 

Watch the full video of our test flight here

Coming to you live from space radio.

Deep space radio signals might be trying to tell us something. IBM and the SETI Institute are working together to analyze six terabytes of these complex signals to listen for patterns of life. Researchers are using IBM Analytics on Apache Spark to sift through signals gathered by the Allen Telescope Array, and cognitive machine learning to determine which signals are from humans, and which might be from aliens. Maybe they’ll ask us to call-in.

Learn more about listening for aliens →

Amazon AWS S3 is what’s causing internet issues and outages today

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. The internet on the East Coast is unbearable right now, and you can blame Amazon. On Thursday afternoon, you probably noticed images and video were slow to load on some popular websites. The culprit is AWS S3, or Amazon Web Services, a massive cloud storage service run by the online retail giant, which became unreachable sometime early Tuesday afternoon.

East Coast internet outage: Why is the internet down? What’s causing internet issues today?

The internet isn’t technically down, but Amazon S3 services are down in the Northeast region of the U.S. — which is affected any website or company that use it to host files.

What is AWS S3?

AWS S3 hosts images, pictures and videos for other companies and websites (the S3 stands for simple storage service). So when it has issues, it means that you may still be able to visit websites, but any large files they use that are hosted by AWS won’t show appear or may look broken. According to the Independent, some of the websites affected by Tuesday’s issues include Imgur, Medium and SoundCloud.

How do Amazon Web Services work?

AWS charges users for the service of storing their data. So other sites use it to host their files, including images, videos and audio, and then link out to them. That way, the smaller websites can rely on AWS to host larger files.

Is there an AWS status page I can check?

Yes — Amazon has a status page that users can check for news about outages. But Amazon is notoriously bad about reporting its own issues, and, on Tuesday afternoon, the AWS status page indicated that most service was operating normally and featured a small alert at the top warning users of “Increased Error Rates.” The note also said “We’re continuing to work to remediate the availability issues for Amazon S3 in US-EAST-1.”

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The Levitating Cloud Bluetooth Speaker

We’ll go ahead and add this to the list of the things we never knew we needed until right now. Design studio Richard Clarkson Studio joined forces with Crealev to create a the coolest floating mini-cloud, a cloud that hovers indoors while both playing your favorite music and lighting up in tune to the beat to replicate a storm. Watch it in action here

Unflappable clouds - IBM Patent 9329908

People depend on the cloud for pretty much everything. But clouds get busy. Now when you’re uploading all those videos from vacation, Patent 9329908 will help by spreading the work around so no one part of the cloud is overloaded. So yeah, go ahead and sync those playlists. Which playlists? All of them.  

This is just one of the record-breaking 8,000+ patents IBM received this year. Explore the latest IBM patents. →


Hello new friend, my name is death, some still call me Crystal Meth.
I’m easy to find, and a breeze to make, just ask around, I make you feel great. Try me for free, I can afford one hit,
I know if you do, I am hard to quit. Forget those who love you,
I am all you will need,
take my hand, to your death I will lead.
I have no conscience, grief is my soul,
I will not leave you, until your body is cold.
You will meet new people, I am social you see,
I’ll teach you to lie, steal, and cheat. Your new group of friends,
they know me well,
and if we get caught, they will leave you in hell.
I am important, I am the best,
I make some rich, then I destroy the rest.
I’ll keep you awake, unable to work,
I make mothers cry, some call me a jerk. If you have children, or someone you love,
I can destroy them, remember, I am Meth, the Death Drug.
Don’t look in the mirror, you won’t believe what you see,
the reflection looking back, some say it is me.
I’ll rot your teeth, I’ll destroy your gums, but just remember, you are having fun. One important thing, you may not even notice the change,
your mind will not function as it did before I came.
Once you are mine, and you have lost everything,
don’t curse my name, you came looking for me.
I’m very possesive, I’ll take your life,
and if you don’t believe me, Keep doing ice.
Now that you know me, and we are friends,
know I am death, will you love me to the end?

Video Game High School

At one high school in Austin, Texas, students spend class time playing video games! But not just any game, it’s one the students built on IBM Bluemix® and IBM Watson™, with the help of their teacher, David Conover. The result is a serious game called Medical Mindcraft where Watson interacts with students through gameplay to make medical research entertaining. Modeled after popular world-building games, this cognitive game is designed to inject lessons on health science, pharmacology and other challenging subjects into the action. It seems child’s play has grown up a bit.


Somewhere along the way, the new basecom has gained somewhat of a reputation. He had become Someone-You-Don’t-Fuck-With. Because if you do, you can be sure there would be people after you. It didn’t matter who. If you were lucky, you got a group of Thirds still learning the limits of their new strength. If you were unlucky, you got a thorough lecture from Zack Fair, followed by a visit from one of the Generals.  

For the fics: up-sideand-down’s Cloud with Glasses

Other characters with glasses:




What a dreamboat

Close your eyes and imagine you’re on a boat. You wave to the people on the shore as you speed by at 150mph. This boat has got heat sensors and load sensors and pressure sensors and all of that data is streaming to the IBM Cloud. SilverHook Powerboats make boats just like the one you’re thinking of for professional racing teams. The cloud lets these teams keep an eye on 2,000 bits of data per second so teams can spot hazards before accidents happen. Which means even in your wildest dreams, you can be totally safe.

Read the full story →

You wouldn’t expect to pay a local tax when you stream a movie on Netflix, but Chicago has decided that such cloud-based services should be taxed just like tickets for live entertainment.

There was no debate or public hearing over the city’s “cloud tax” — a 9 percent tax on streaming entertainment like Netflix and Spotify.

The city says that’s because the tax isn’t new and is actually a clarification — not an expansion of two taxes that have long been in effect. One is called the Personal Property Lease Transaction Tax, and the other is the Amusement Tax, which has traditionally been tacked onto tickets for concerts and sporting events.

But now just about everybody who pays to stream a video or television show will have to pay more.

Chicago’s ‘Cloud Tax’ Raises The Cost Of Streaming Videos

Illustration: Tang Yau Hoong/Getty Images/Ikon Images