Innovations in 5: Chris Hadfield’s ‘Space Oddity’ and Bill Gates on his final visit with Steve Jobs

May 13, 2013

Here’s what we’re reading/watching today:


A screenshot of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield in a music video shot aboard the international space station. In it, Hadfield sings a rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” (YouTube)

1) It’s Monday, so we’re going to start off with something fun. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s latest dispatch from the international space station is pure gold. If you are going to recreate Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” there’s really no better place you could possibly do it (okay, maybe Mars):

And, yes, Hadfield sings and plays guitar. This is probably the coolest music video ever created in space and Hadfield’s last, since he returns to Earth tonight after handing over command of the ISS on Sunday.

During his five months on the space station, he has delivered a slew of information back to Earth through the social media pipelines, including question-and-answer sessions about living in space, video of science experiments and, of course, photographs via Twitter.

And, if you’re wondering whether Bowie is on board with this, he apparently is, given that the music video is being promoted on his official Facebook account. Hadfield also offered his final reflections from the space station as well:

(Forbes and Capital Weather Gang)

2) In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Bill Gates discusses his final visit with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. During the interview, Gates acknowledged Jobs’s skill with design was one of the things Jobs had that he, Gates, lacked:

“His sense of design, that everything had to fit a certain aesthetic. The fact that he, with as little engineering background as he had, it shows that design can lead you in a good direction. And so phenomenal products came out of it.”

Gates also discusses his work to innovate and eradicate preventable diseases. The full interview, conducted by Charlie Rose, is an interesting tour through some of the inventions Gates is backing towards this end.

(via ZDNet)

3) Runtastic now has 25 million mobile users, appealing to athletes who seek to monitor their physical activity beyond running. The user base is, Mashable’s Pete Pachal reports, as much as the popular apps Nike+ and Runkeeper’s user populations combined.

4) On Harvard Business Review, author Grant McCracken makes the case for why tech watchers should be paying attention to Apple TV more than the potential ramifications of a rumored “iWatch.” We should, McCracken argues, be more “future-sighted” in imagining how “Apple TV could change the world,” operating like a “Trojan horse in your living room and on your desktop”:

“The new Apple TV will have the form factor of TV but its real and revolutionary purpose will be telecommuting so good it’s going to feel like teleportation. The Apple TV will whisk us to work, to school, to conferences, to the city, to Second Life, to our memory palace and virtual library, to shared worlds like Eve and Halo. The Apple TV will be a portal to worlds now accessible only by planes, trains and automobiles. Apple TV will turn our offices and living rooms into portals.”

(HBR)

5) Last but not least, an interesting piece from Fast Company’s Co.Design blog by author Matthew May on what Wall Street Journal portrait artist Kevin Sprouls can teach you about innovation:

“I contacted Sprouls and spent a good bit of time chatting with him to understand his methodology, because his iconic style is a good metaphor for the way limited information can be used to create clarity far more compelling and indelible in the viewer’s mind than something perfectly concrete and complete.”

(Fast Co.Design)

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Emi Kolawole · May 10, 2013