TC Makers: Inside The IT Room Of A High-Tech Cruise Ship


TechCrunch

[tc_5min code=”518647829″]

In order to prevent electrical fires, cables on a ship can’t be spliced. This means that a cable that starts at one end of the massive Quantum Of The Seas, Royal Caribbean’s latest pleasure ship, has to be over 1,139 feet long to reach the other end. That’s a lot of cable and it’s a lot of cable management.

Welcome to the world of on-ship IT, a discipline with its own rules, requirements, and techniques. This isn’t like setting up your LAN party because your LAN party doesn’t have to survive 10-foot waves and massive data downloads as passengers stream, Tweet, and Facebook all day and night.

We were lucky enough to be given a tour of the Quantum Of The Seas just as it was going into service. The ship has O3b satellite 600 Mbps connectivity and specially laid-out Wi-Fi access points that take into consideration its…

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Watch The New Phorm iPad Mini Case Generate Physical Keys Out Of Thin Air


TechCrunch

[tc_5min code=”518647913″]

Apple’s touch-based devices have changed the way we interact with computers entirely, but that hasn’t stopped users from occasionally thinking wistfully of the days when physical keyboards ruled the roost. Tactus has taken that desire to heart, and the startup’s first consumer product, the Phorm, is about to bring a tactile experience back to your iPad mini’s software keyboard.

Tactus co-founders Dr. Craig Ciesla and Dr. Micah Yairi have been working on technology that can generate physical keys from a flat surface on demand, giving you a smooth, unbroken surface for general touch-based interaction, and a physical keyboard when you need one. The company’s innovation uses a microfluidic panel to achieve its magic, routing liquid through invisible channels to expand specific areas of the top layer of a touch panel, producing protrusions and bumps where previously there were none.

Phorm is the first product from Tactus that is ready…

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