Tech Layoffs Explained and Mars Opportunity Dies

On Episode 431 of the Waves of Tech, we chat about layoffs, space travel, Windows 10 news, and death of a hero.  Last week, three major media outlets announced significant layoffs. Thanks to a great Twitter thread, we help explain why and how this layoffs are happening.  NASA announced the death of Mars Opportunity, as scientists have been unable to communicate with the rover since a major dust event. In Microsoft news, the software hub took to the blog to announce reserving several gigs of hard drive space for future use during automatic upgrades.  And finally we share the story of Captain Rosemary Mariner, a very important figure in the United States Navy and aviation history. Thanks for tuning in and don’t forget to keep on techin’.

Why 1,100 Layoffs Happened

Early last week, a combined 1,100 layoffs were announced by BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and Gannett.  The news didn’t surprise many as the ability to maintain a captive audience in a competitive digital age is growing and shifting.  There is much more to the story though. Jeremy Littau presented an amazing thread on the issue with background and context.

  • High profit margin demands and major consolidation of newspapers create harm
  • Many are unwilling to pay for local newspaper sources in digital means
  • Craigslist damaged the business by providing free classified and auto ads
  • Google, Facebook, Instagram have a massive captive audience population

Sadly, Mars Opportunity has Died

Reports out of the NASA headquarters are reporting that the Mars Opportunity rover has been silent since a major wind and dust storm hit the Red Planet last year.  Due to the significant volume of dust involved, the solar panels were unable to absorb enough energy from the atmosphere to power itself. Scientists have been unable to communicate since the event.

  • Opportunity operated for over 15 years, travelling 28 miles on Mars over that time
  • The images and information send back has changed our understanding of the planet
  • Its original lifespan was expected to be only a few months, not several years
  • Flight controllers are still sending commands to the rover in hopes of a response

Windows 10 Hijacks 7GB of Hard Drive Space

Well, this is a new from Microsoft.  The software giant announced via a blog post (cause that is what you do in today’s world) that Windows 10 computers will always be able to upgrade automatically.  In doing so, they will be reserving nearly 7GB of space on your system to ensure that all systems can receive the latest updates without concern.

  • The interesting fact of this storage lump – it cannot be removed from the OS
  • It makes sense when considering security, patching, and user behavior on upgrades
  • Most will not take kindly to the idea of having less space for applications
  • We know of Windows’ history of major complications with automatic updates

Captain Rosemary Mariner’s Passing

Turning to some news out of the aviation industry, we learned last week that former Naval Captain Rosemary Mariner died.  Mariner was one of the first six women to earn their wings as a United States Naval Aviator in 1974 and was the first female military aviator to achieve command of an operational air squadron.

  • Mariner worked odd jobs growing up, like washing aircraft for money
  • Her love of flying led her to Purdue University where she majored in Aviation Technology
  • A veteran of 17 carrier landings, over 3500 military flight hours in 15 different aircraft
  • A true pioneer in the 70’s within a purely male dominated military service branch

Resources & Links

Twitter thread explaining 1,100 layoffs
Mars rover may have died in dust storm
Microsoft Issues Windows 10 Upgrade Warning
Captain Rosemary Mariner

Scroll to top