“If that fly on the wall is actually a fly.”

Robotic insects from Cornell University

#Robots

Sat, Dec 16th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Cornell University brings to attention RoboBees, miniature robots that move and think like real bugs by using neuromorphic computer chips, shrinking the amount of technology needed while still performing neuron-like complex computations.

The amount of computer processing power needed for a robot to sense a gust of wind, using tiny hair-like metal probes imbedded on its wings, adjust its flight accordingly, and plan its path as it attempts to land on a swaying flower would require it to carry a desktop-size computer on its back. Silvia Ferrari, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the Laboratory for Intelligent Systems and Controls, sees the emergence of neuromorphic computer chips as a way to shrink a robot’s payload.

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“Like a gigantic version of something you’d find in Toys 'R' Us.”

Car Vending Machines

#Future

Fri, Dec 15th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

TechCrunch has this video of a car vending machine by Chinese-based Alibaba, who wants to make buying a car as easy as buying a can of Coke. The facility is entirely unmanned.

The process starts when a customer uses Alibaba’s Taobao app to scan a car that they want to test, and potentially buy. Once the system recognizes the vehicle it lets them pick a color and, once they enter basic information and snap a selfie, arrange for a test-drive if the vehicle is available.

The customer then heads over the unmanned vending machine facility and, after showing their face (hence the earlier selfie), their order is retrieved and the car is dispatched.

The test-drive is for three days, after which they can buy the vehicle outright via Taobao or arrange to test a different model.

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“China’s unmanned stores allow people to live their lives with almost zero human contact.”

How to live alone in a large, busy metropolis

#Money

Thu, Dec 14th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

This video by the South China Morning Post takes us on a tour of Chgina's unmanned economy, a system that allows people to live in a busy metropolis and yet have near zero human contact.

“Unmanned stores are all about removing friction and increasing productivity. For some retail categories like convenience grocery or fast food, minimising time in-store makes a lot of sense. For others, like luxury, time in-store experience and high-touch service are actually part of the value proposition.”

DeepBlue’s Chen admitted that the technology for a true grab-and-go experience in a store such as a supermarket is challenging to achieve. In a crowded scenario, where many people are simultaneously taking items from shelves or walking up and down the aisles, no company has figured out a method to accurately detect each shopper’s movements..

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“These days, the children don’t play at break time anymore.”

France bans smartphones from school

#Telephone

Wed, Dec 13th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Starting September 2018, smartphones will be banned from schools entirely by order of the French ministry of education. Students, who already can't use them in the classroom, will also be forbidden from using them during breaks, lunches, and in between classes. The ban is upsetting students, teachers, and parents alike, but research shows that a lack of smartphones in the classroom improves children's learning.

Research is on Bloomberg—and the French government’s—side. According to a 2015 working paper (pdf) published by the London School of Economics, schools that banned mobile phones saw test scores for their 16-year-olds improve by 6.4%, or the equivalent of adding five days to the school year. “We found that not only did student achievement improve, but also that low-achieving and low-income students gained the most,” economists Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy told the BBC.

It’s not yet clear how the French ban will…

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“He says he tries to use Facebook as little as possible, and that his children aren’t allowed to use that shit.”

Social media is destroying the social fabric of society

#Internet

Tue, Dec 12th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya criticises not just Facebook but Silicon Valley in general for creating "dopamine-driven feedback loops" that are destroying societies by fueling misinformation and mistrust while preventing civil discourse and co-operation.

These former employees have all spoken out at a time when worry about Facebook’s power is reaching fever pitch. In the past year, concerns about the company’s role in the US election and its capacity to amplify fake news have grown, while other reports have focused on how the social media site has been implicated in atrocities like the “ethnic cleansing” of Myanmar’s Rohingya ethnic group.

In his talk, Palihapitiya criticized not only Facebook, but Silicon Valley’s entire system of venture capital funding. He said that investors pump money into “shitty, useless, idiotic companies,” rather than addressing real problems like climate change and disease.…

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“Previously unknown plastic contamination in the tap water of cities around the world.”

Study reveals microscopic plastic fibres are in your drinking water and more than likely in your food too

#Environment

Mon, Dec 11th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Journalistic website Orb discovered through a first-of-its-kind study that microscopic plastic pollution has reached the very bottom of the food chain and it is working its way into our water and food. Worse, some of these plastic fibers are made with plasticizers that contain endocrine disrupting chemicals, BPA, phthalates, flame retardants, and toxic heavy metals — and we are eating them.

If plastic fibers are in your water, experts say they’re surely in your food as well — baby formula, pasta, soups, and sauces, whether from the kitchen or the grocery. Plastic fibers may leaven your pizza crust, and a forthcoming study says it’s likely in the craft beer you’ll drink to chase the pepperoni down.

It gets worse. Plastic is all but indestructible, meaning plastic waste doesn’t biodegrade; rather, it only breaks down into smaller pieces of itself, even down to particles in nanometer scale — one-one…

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AI and Robotic Arms Remove Trash from Recycling

The future of recycling

#Robots

Sun, Dec 10th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Watch an AI system combined with a robotic arm rapidly and efficiently determine what is trash and what is recyclable.

Artificial intelligence and robotic technology lead to this system that is far better than humans at removing trash from otherwise recyclable refuse. Video courtesy of Bulk Handling Systems.

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Ubuntu 17.10 Artful "What the Fuck" Aardvark

Did anyone test this thing?

#Computers

Sat, Dec 9th, 2017 11:00 by Lord Lansdowne ARTICLE

On my trusty desktop I like running Ubuntu's LTS (long term support) version.

This means that while I don't get the latest lame-assed eye-candy or that my icons don't go bouncing up and down in the cutest of cute ways, when I need to get shit done I can get shit done because things will consistently work and stay out of my way. Try doing that with Windows 10. Yeah, I didn't think so.

I know this may come as a total shock in an era where the personal computer is fading and everyone is using smartphones and tablets, but let's be perfectly honest here: handhelds are locked-down consumer devices used by idiots to make their idiocy public on Lamebook — special thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page for turning the Internet into a giant pile of shit for personal monetary gain. If you have had to urgently…

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“Google is our modern man's God.”

How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google manipulate our emotions

#Internet

Fri, Dec 8th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On TED, Scott Galloway explains how big internet companies got to where they are now and what their real goal is, but that ultimately it is our fault as the users for letting this happen. Disturbing but unsurprising that shareholde value is what is prized the most in our society..

Their defense: "Facebook is not a media company; it's a technology company." You create original content, you pay sports leagues to give you original content, you run advertising against it -- boom! -- you're a media company. Just in the last few days, Sheryl Sandberg has repeated this lie, that "We are not a media company." Facebook has openly embraced the margins of celebrity and the influence of a media company yet seems to be allergic to the responsibilities of a media company. Imagine McDonald's. We find…

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“Millions of Americans are hassled to pay back money they don’t owe.”

Phantom debt

#Crime

Thu, Dec 7th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Like a comic book character determined to inflict revenge on a bunch of sleazy criminals, Bloomberg Businessweek looks at Andrew Therrien — hounded by aggressive debt collectors looking for money he didn't own — who made it his personal mission to track these people down and make them pay.

When the scammers started to hound Therrien, he hounded them right back. Obsessed with payback, he spent hundreds of hours investigating the dirty side of debt. By day he was still promoting ice cream brands and hiring models for liquor store tastings. But in his spare time, he was living out a revenge fantasy. He befriended loan sharks and blackmailed crooked collectors, getting them to divulge their suppliers, and then their suppliers above them. In method, Therrien was like a prosecutor flipping gangster underlings to get to lieutenants and then the boss. In spirit, he was a bit like Liam…

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Nov 18“When automation starts displacing lawyers, accountants and bankers, then we might see some push-back.” #Future
Nov 23Knowing how to operate a smartphone does not qualify as being tech savvy. #Video
Nov 20“Governments around the world are dramatically increasing their efforts to manipulate information on social media.” #Politics
Nov 21“Session replay scripts collect can’t reasonably be expected to be kept anonymous.” #Privacy
Nov 22When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone #Future
Nov 17“Astronomers have sent a radio message to a neighbouring star system.” #Space
Nov 27“That's a drawback to the three-word system: a universal geocode isn't worth much if it's not, well, universal.” #Companies
Nov 11“It saddens me to say it, but we are approaching the end of the automotive era.” #Driving
Nov 14“Semis, not personal cars, are the smartest use of autonomous technology.” #Robots
Nov 24“Tech is like the tobacco industry.” #Internet
Nov 25Restoring Old Die-Cast Toy Cars #Games
Nov 16“A fraudster poses as an attractive woman and encourages a man to masturbate in front of a webcam.” #Scams
Dec 14“China’s unmanned stores allow people to live their lives with almost zero human contact.”
Dec 15“Like a gigantic version of something you’d find in Toys 'R' Us.”
Dec 16“If that fly on the wall is actually a fly.”
Jul 27Building an AR-15 Rifle Using a 3D Printer
Apr 20iotacons: Pixelated Art by Andy Rash
Apr 14Will Powell Builds His Own Google Project Glass With Existing Technology
Dec 13“These days, the children don’t play at break time anymore.”
Dec 09Ubuntu 17.10 Artful "What the Fuck" Aardvark
Mar 21Dutch Engineer Flies Using Custom-Built Bird Wings
Apr 26Robots Make Another Victim: Sport Journalists
Oct 06"The actual price for building a 'personal Google for everyone, everywhere' would in fact be zero privacy for everyone, everywhere."
Oct 10The Stripe Button: a Ridiculously Easy Way to Pay for Stuff Online