Google's Self-Driving Cars Giving Rides to the Public

Waymo deploys 500 self-driving minivans

#Technology

Wed, Apr 26th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Electrek, Waymo — the self-driving company formerly known as Google — is offering rides to the public for the purpose of data collection. You can apply for the service here, which is only operating in Phoenix. And yes, an engineer will still be behind the wheel.

“Over the course of this trial, we’ll be accepting hundreds of people with diverse backgrounds and transportation needs who want to ride in and give feedback about Waymo’s self-driving cars. Rather than offering people one or two rides, the goal of this program is to give participants access to our fleet every day, at any time, to go anywhere within an area that’s about twice the size of San Francisco.”

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"Academics who study basic income said the pilot gives a chance to see how the idea plays in a changed economy."

Ontario to test out UBI

#Money

Tue, Apr 25th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a pilot program to study UBI's effectiveness by providing 4,000 randomly picked low-incomes households with about $17,000 a year, "whether they are working or not." The 3-year program, which will cost $150 millions, will be based in based in Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay, areas affected by economic downturn. With the next 30 years being labelled as painful, the results of this study may help tackle some of the issues of our generation.

People are especially concerned for those who don't start out wealthy, she said.

"Many people are concerned about what the world is promising for their kids," she said. "It's a world of global competition, reduced benefits, more and more part-time employment."

The premier said the three-year project will start with people making "just under $17,000 a year, but even…

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"This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst."

Brick and mortar stores closing at record levels

#Money

Mon, Apr 24th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Zero Edge, 2017 has already broken all records with 8,640 stores closing — Bebe stores being the latest casualty. And while high rents and a shift to online purchasing may be the cause, the decline of the middle class might be a reason: people don't have enough money. Check out also Dead Malls.

The over-storing, including the influx of fast-fashion and off-price chains, has resulted in a brutally competitive landscape that made difficult for retailers to raise prices. “A pair of men’s dress pants costs less today than they did a decade ago,” Manny Chirico, chief executive of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger parent PVH Inc., said in a recent interview.

* * *

Then there are retail rental rates, which across top US markets, such as New York, remain the highest in the world. For years, retailers could afford the…

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"You look in the mirror and see your body and your face and you think that’s you—but that’s really just the machine you’re riding in."

Elon Musk's wizard hat explained

#Future

Sun, Apr 23rd, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In his latest post on Wait But Why, Tim Urban explains everything you need to know about Elon Musk's latest venture, Neuralink, a company that wants to built implantable brain–computer interfaces. Tim starts you off by explaining the evolution of the brain, to what little we understand of the brain, all the way to what Elon is planning, using nothing more than stick figures and an incredible sense of humour. This is a very lengthy read but as all of Tim's post, well worth the time invested. I was left with the feeling that Neuralink's plan is brilliant, I just hope it won't be used for evil.

The budding industry of brain-machine interfaces is the seed of a revolution that will change just about everything. But in many ways, the brain-interface future isn’t really a new thing that’s happening. If you take a step back, it…

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Where AI is Currently At

And where it is going

#Technology

Sat, Apr 22nd, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this video, professor Christian Bauckhage explains where AI is currently at and where it is heading.

AI can create new art we have never seen before and compose new music we have never heard of . Prof. Christian Bauckhage talked about the current state of Artificial intelligence and the direction of where it is heading towards. It talks about all the decision makings based on information could be replaced by AI.

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Robot Hotel

It's a hotel staffed by robots, not a hotel for robots

#Robots

Fri, Apr 21st, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In Japan (where else?) you can spend a night at the Henna Hotel, a strange hotel staffed by robots. In this episode of Abroad in Japan we watch Chris Broad get himself a room with absolutely no human intervention, and use a weird egg-shaped concierge to interact with his room. A novelty now, but probably a sign of things to come.

Japan's robot hotel: The Henna Hotel or "strange" hotel is causing a stir at the moment with lots of media coverage. We go and see if it lives up to the hype.

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Religious Loophole to Turn Lights On and Off During Shabbat

KosherSwitch

#Religion

Thu, Apr 20th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

During Shabbat, Orthodox Jews cannot turn on and off lights because a lightbulb "violates the Biblical prohibition against igniting a fire." While the various religious authorities figure that one out, the creators of KosherSwitch have found a way to turn lights on and off without upsetting God. Reportedly, flipping the switch literally moves just an electrically isolated piece of plastic, leaving the turning lights on and off to "several layers of Halachic uncertainty, randomness, and delays." There is, of course, controversy.

When you slide the on/off button, you’re moving an isolated piece of plastic. It is purely mechanical, and is not attached to anything electrical (electro-mechanically isolated). This is done at a time when you see a green Status Light, which provides 100% assurance that the relevant components within the switch are inactive. Subsequently, after a random interval,…

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"Super-detailed scans of actual human brains that run as models on computers"

Brain emulations to run government and businesses in about 100 years

#Future

Wed, Apr 19th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Big Think brings to attention the work of Economist Robin Hanson, who believes that in a not-too-distant future not only will robots will be commonplace in our life but emsbrain emulations — will pretty much engage in every available job, from the factory floor all the way to government. Some say even in marriage. In the video above, Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Computer Science David Cox explains how Harvard is "building artificial brains and uploading them in the cloud right now." That can't be good.

Emulations will perform most of their tasks in virtual reality, and for physical jobs like factory work they will have some specialized “bodies”. Ems will be functioning creatures that will develop and live in the same world as humans but will eventually develop their own civilization.

Once…

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"A spacecraft may be possible that could maintain a steady acceleration into and through interstellar space without the need to carry along propellants."

NASA testing impulse drive engine

#Space

Tue, Apr 18th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Next Big Future introduces us to the Mach Effect Thruster (MET) propulsion system, an electrically powered engine that, if functional, would mean the ability to "maintain a steady acceleration into and through interstellar space without the need to carry along propellants." NASA's phase 1 effort will focus on improving current devices, design power and electrical systems, and building a reliable model of the device. Additional information here.

If the Woodward effect is confirmed and if an engine can be designed to use applied Mach effects, then a spacecraft may be possible that could maintain a steady acceleration into and through interstellar space without the need to carry along propellants. Woodward presented a paper about the concept at the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program Workshop conference in 1997 and continued to publish on this subject thereafter.

Even ignoring for the…

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"John Deere is the largest operator of autonomous vehicles."

John Deere, not Google, has been leading the self-driving vehicle revolution

#Driving

Mon, Apr 17th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to The Washington Post, albeit Google has been getting all the media attention for its self-driving vehicles, John Deere is the only company so far to have a level 3 self-driving vehicle, technically even capable of level 4 — basically with nobody sitting in the cab.

Some farmers aren't shy about their enthusiasm for the tech - even uploading videos showing it off online. One appears to show a tractor hauling a planter making a tightly choreographed turn without a driver in the cab. In another, the driver takes pictures, throws paper airplanes and balances a water bottle on his nose before appearing to nod off while the tractor keeps working his field.

The systems come with their own risks, including concerns that they could be hacked. But because farm-equipment makers operate almost exclusively on private land, they've been able to bring products to…

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Mar 22"This very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age." #History
Mar 21"Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40." #Future
Mar 20“There was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control [...] was absent too.” #Workplace
Mar 27Reviewing Counterfeit Toys Made in China #Scams
Mar 26Unboxing a Factory Sealed IBM Compatible PC from 1988 #Technology
Mar 24"Fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business." #Environment
Mar 25“The release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic.” #Environment
Mar 28The Spaceship Propulsion Compendium #Space
Mar 29Soviet Air Force’s First All-Female Bombing Squad #Art
Mar 23Nerf John Wick #Video
Apr 02Troublesome Trucks #Trains
Apr 07"Lighten up, nerd. I was only... choking." #StarWars
Apr 26Google's Self-Driving Cars Giving Rides to the Public
Apr 25"Academics who study basic income said the pilot gives a chance to see how the idea plays in a changed economy."
Apr 24"This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst."
Apr 23"You look in the mirror and see your body and your face and you think that’s you—but that’s really just the machine you’re riding in."
Apr 18"A spacecraft may be possible that could maintain a steady acceleration into and through interstellar space without the need to carry along propellants."
Apr 17"John Deere is the largest operator of autonomous vehicles."
Apr 21Robot Hotel
Apr 20Religious Loophole to Turn Lights On and Off During Shabbat
Apr 22Where AI is Currently At
Apr 15“Trump is what happens when you fail to understand our global problems in their interconnected, systemic context.”
Apr 14The End of Doodling
Apr 19"Super-detailed scans of actual human brains that run as models on computers"