Its that time again, yes, time to clean out the inbox of all the week-old noteworthy/interesting/sophomoric things that I meant to blag about but didn't find the time. And just like your local bakery, we're charging half price for these week-olds. What's half of nothing again? Lemme get my calculator out...
Jump over to the Seitch and marvel at the mobile disaster unit they've got. Its a trailer that uses solar and wind collectors to treat contaminated water, provide 16Kw of emergency electricity and 30 miles of wireless connectivity. No mention of cost as the company is still lining up investors but this looks like a pretty sweet solution for the variable anarchy disasters cause by knocking out utilities.
France and Spain turned off their lights at 7:55 on February 1st this year as a message to leaders about global warming. The electric system in France saw an 800 MW dip while Spain saw a 1,000 change. Wow. From residential lighting. For reference a 2005 vintage Nuclear power plant
will produce 600-1200 MW. Everyone go buy CFL
I would love to look out my window and see giant wind turbines slowly fueling the electric grid dotting the horizon. All those freaking NIMBY groups need to shut the feck up. Or maybe I should start a STFUAYBY group and we can go egg whiners' houses in our spare time. Anyway, the Seitch has a look at some beautiful and large renewable resource power plants that I would love to see more of. Sweet mother of pearl, that's a big turbine.
Beer. Tossing. Fridge. I know I don't need to say any more, but I will anyway. This recent MIT grad decided to put some of his robotics skills to actual use and converted his mini-fridge into a remote controlled beer whipping bar caddy. This is the kinda thing Rodney Dangerfield would have in his golf bag. Watch the video for more. Yes, CNN has video of this. Although, only a six-pack in the magazine? Please, that's not gonna get any work done.
Wish you had to chew energy drinks more? Like that whole spitting culture, but don't want mouth cancer? Tired of worshiping at the alter of the office coffee maker? Well, have we got an update for you. SumSeeds are sunflower seeds coated in all the goodness you'll find in redbull or amp or juced or whatever the newest disgusting drink you dirtballs are drinking now instead of actually going to bed. Its amazing that the human race of antiquity got anything
done without being fueled by guarana and taurine.
Amazon and TiVo sitting in a tree... D-O-W-N-L-O-A-D-I-N-G. Alright maybe that breaks the meter, but they're certainly hooking up. For some people. I tried to link my Amazon account and my TiVo account and got a generic error. The help support gave me the canned response of basically "Did you try what you already tried?" which they would have realized if they'd actually read my email. Super support guys, that's the way to start a new service. Not that I'm actually gonna pay to rent or buy movies on Amazon Unboxed but it would be nice to try it out.
Well, someone has to do it and the SKers think they've got enough of a jump on the rest of us that is might as well be them. They expect to have a robot in every home by 2020 and are working to develop rules for robot human interaction. Some people expect the rules to closely model Isaac Asimov's 3 rules
, while others want their robots to be able to pistol whip or kill if needed. Didn't you guys actually read any of Isaac's books? They're mostly about how the three laws are not impervious to complicated logic and will be circumvented as AI progresses. Hell, they even dipped into it in the Will Smith movie, so you really don't have an excuse.
Speaking of robots pistol whipping and killing (those are decision making tasks at heart, which is the only reason your PC isn't pistol whipping you right now), scientists are working on machines that will make medical decisions that closely approximate a patient's wishes. Its to be used in cases where someone hasn't created an advanced directive and is unable to make decisions themselves. Studies have resulted in surrogate decision makers only getting the call right 68% of the time, so these machines don't really have a very high bar to get over. Researchers hope to eventually hit a target of 90% accuracy. Of course there'll be quite the debate over letting machines assume this responsibility before the first machine gets to pull the plug.
No, not the Queen or Prince Philip, royalties
. The small dividend that is paid for a commercial use of someone's copyrighted work. The Copyright Royalties Board is looking to double the amount paid per track by Internet radio stations. Now, its beyond me why there's a central committee in charge of pricing this stuff or why they're trying to jack the actual legitimate services out of business, but this seems like an odd move. Its just going to drive traffic to sites that don't pay any royalties and haven't been caught yet. We had a nice equilibrium of payment and service going but somehow consumers getting product, companies getting paid, and artists getting publicity just wasn't hacking it.
Microsoft has been going off on piracy lately with their WGA near spyware and government sponsored witch hunts in Russia
. But at the end of the day, they really hope that you pirate their software and not their competitors. Its almost as if they realize that scarcity economics
don't really apply to their industry. If someone isn't going to buy the software you haven't lost money. But if they get to like your product then they're more likely to get a new version which means increased sales over driving them to a freeware or open source competitor. Sound reasoning, how will you put it into action?
Wow, I'd have thought Blues Traveler was a really chill guy. But checkout the plethora of assault rifles he had in his trunk "in case of a natural disaster." I don't know if I can listen to his songs anymore without wondering if he's got a machine gun guitar like el Mariachi.
Labels: alternative fuel, legal, microsoft, music, Purge, robotics