Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Coffee and Provocation

Dog and cat meat seller, London, 1933. Source

Is the Dog Dead Yet?
Delta Airlines has added a new "service" and gadget to help give traveling pet owners peace of mind. The new gadget, available for $50 per flight from ten U.S. airports, is attached to crates to provide real time data on the surrounding temperature, what position the animal is in, and the kennel orientation. If the temperature rises above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the device will send an alert to Delta's call center. The statistics can also be checked through a web site.  Note that Delta is asking customers to pay for monitoring what it is supposed to be doing, and which it should be monitoring as a matter of course.

Integrate Your Scale into Your Apple E-Collar
The Apple Watch (an e-collar for humans) is going to end up being a powerful training tool for people that want to improve themselves. For example, if you buy a blue-tooth enabled scale, it will integrate directly into Apple’s HealthKit framework (or its own app, if you’re an Android user). How much walking and standing do you need to do to achieve your weigh and fitness goals? How many calories have you consumed today?

Giving Directly
I am famously cheap, but I also believe in philanthropy and paying it forward. I am sometimes asked if there is a direct way to give to the poor in the developing world. Yes, there is now.

Solar Is the Future NOW
MIT says current solar technology is good enough to take us into a clean energy future.

Solar Roads Are Better Than Imagined
Engineers in the Netherlands say energy-generating solar roads that were installed outside of Amsterdam last year are working better than expected. A 70-metre test track has generated 3,000 kwh of electricity in its first six months - enough to power a single-person household for a year.

Lawrence of Arabia and the Motorcycle Helmet
TE Lawrence died from head wounds suffered while riding his motorcycle. He was only 46 years old. His death in 1935 sparked research into, and the development of, motorcycle helmets which have since saved countless lives.

Ocean Science Drones Will Think for Themselves 
MIT scientists have programmed autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to think for themselves, problem solve, and even fix hardware malfunctions as they go about their work mapping ocean floors and monitor the health of fisheries. Given a goal, the bots are left to figure out how to best achieve the goal and if something comes up that prevents them from achieving that goal, they can change goals to achieve something else.

Much Tougher Spider Silk
Simply spraying spiders with graphene makes them produce silk that is six times stronger than normal. Scientists are not sure why this occurs, but one theory is that spiders mop up materials in their environment and incorporate them into the silk as they spin

The Keystone Kops' Klavel
Drug field tests used by cops are so bad they react positively to air, soap, and candy. Perfect for creating trumped up charges to bust minorities!

Are Robot Drivers Safer Than Humans?
Of course they are. Notes Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving program: "Over the 6 years since we started the project, we’ve been involved in 11 minor accidents (light damage, no injuries) during those 1.7 million miles of autonomous and manual driving with our safety drivers behind the wheel, and not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident."


Rick said...

I don't know what that WW2 photo has to do with Google's self driving cars, but that duece-and-a-half looks like the ones my Mother drove during the war. And that could have been her serving coffee to the soldiers. I have dozens of photos like this, from 1944-45 in Europe, driving their Clubmobiles and other miltary trucks. She also taught truck driving, and was involved in the Red Ball Express, supplying Patton's army in France and Belgium.

Thanks for that trip down memory lane!

PBurns said...

All about the coffee. :)