Thursday, May 26, 2016

Adidas Robots

Adidas shoe company "unveils new factory in Germany that will use machines to make shoes instead of humans in Asia".

At least those human workers in Asia will no longer be exploited by Adidas.

Signalling With Missed Phone Call

WSJ: "5 Things You Can Get in India With a Missed Call".  From the article:
Want to transfer funds from your account? Give your bank a missed call. Want to hear Bollywood music? Dial a number and hang up.

Making a missed call by calling a number and letting it ring is a popular way of communicating in India because the caller doesn’t have to spend money. Marketing companies, politicians, banks and others now use this practice to reach millions who have cellphones but limited means.

Here are five things you can do in India by ringing a number and hanging up...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Burglary And The City

Book review of "A Burglar's Guide to the City". Looks like a potentially interesting discussion of crime, architecture, and urban planning.

Power And Corruption

"Does power really corrupt?"

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual this week and next week due to external obligations.

Weir: The Egg

Clever short story by Andy Weir: "The Egg".

Big Wings

"Inside the Workshop You Need to Build the World's Largest Composite Wings". (Via H.R.)

Separate Evolution

"Romanian cave sealed for 5.5 million years is full of strange creatures"

Friday, May 20, 2016

Google's Sticky Car Hood

Today's not-an-Onion story: "Google Patented a Sticky Car Hood That Traps Pedestrians Like Flies"
Yesterday, Google was awarded a patent that proposes placing a strong adhesive on the hood of its autonomous cars. This way, pedestrians or cyclists who happen to find themselves being struck by a Googlemobile would be protected from what’s called “secondary impact.” This is the part of a crash when a person is thrown back off the moving vehicle, usually hitting the roof of the car, the hard surface of the street, or another car. It’s also the part that often causes the most serious injuries.

The patent was filed back in 2014 and seems to be designed as a temporary solution to keep the humans around the self-driving cars safe as autonomous technology improves...

New Antibiotics?

"Hundreds of antibiotics built from scratch":
A 64-year-old class of antibiotics that has been a cornerstone of medical treatment has been dramatically refreshed by dogged chemists searching for ways to overcome antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In work described today in Nature, a team of chemists built molecules similar to the drug erythromycin, a key member of the macrolide class, from scratch. In doing so, they were able to generate more than 300 variations on erythromycin that would not have been feasible by merely modifying the original drug — the way that scientists would normally search for new variants of existing antibiotics.

The process generated several variants on erythromycin that can kill bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic. Although much testing remains before any of the molecules could be used in people, many of them show promise, says chemist Phil Baran of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California...

Long Wikipedia Articles

"The 10 longest Wikipedia articles"

Robotic Trucks

"Self-Driving Trucks May Hit the Road Before Google's Cars"

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Face Finder

"The Russian application FindFace allows users to match photographs of random strangers with their social media accounts."

Note: This does not (yet) work with Facebook.

Real Life Universal Translator?

"Star Trek's Universal Translator? Waverly Labs Pilot Smart Earpiece Might Be It"

More Amazon

"Amazon to expand Prime benefits, open more brick-and-mortar stores".

If there were a physical Amazon store in my city, I would definitely check it out.

3D-Printing Update

"How a new 3-D printer can create electronics in mid-air"

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Old Book Smell Is Now A Hot New Perfume

"The sweet, sexy smell of old books is a perfume fad"

First Penis Transplant In US

"First penis transplant surgery in the US carried out in Boston"

FIghting Dust

"Yale Engineers Develop a New Tool to Fight Dust". (Via H.R.)

More Snowden Docs

"In a major expansion of the leaked Edward Snowden documents, The Intercept dumped a tranche of SIDtoday articles online, to allow 'journalists, researchers, and interested parties to comb through these documents, along with future published batches, to find additional material of interest.'"