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Showing posts from May, 2019

Imagining How Technology Will Disrupt Future Energy Markets

Imagining How Technology Will Disrupt Future Energy MarketsMark P. Mills May 28, 2019, 01:33 am It’s common today for observers to speculate about how the energy future must look, rather than trying to imagine how it might look. The camp that “proposes” focuses on what governments and bureaucrats could or must force on markets. Meanwhile, imagination is in short supply among the energy punditocracy. The future that actually unfolds is always shaped by what engineers and entrepreneurs imagine and invent, things that either consume or produce energy. Consider the historical context. When it comes to energy demand, who in 1919 could have imagined the future that actually unfolded because of technologies only invented a few years before? In the year 1919 there were still roughly as many horses as cars per capita. But 1919 was a full decade into the wildly successful Model T era, and six years after Wright Brothers first flight. A world with far more automobiles and air travel was actually im…

Army's 'Google Earth On Steroids' Can Look Inside Buildings

Army's 'Google Earth On Steroids' Can Look Inside Buildings
by Tyler Durden Tue, 05/28/2019 - 23:45
New mapping technology that is expected to transform training and simulation exercises for America's warfighters was unveiled at the IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference and Expo (ITEC) 2019 conference on May 15 in Stockholm, Sweden, reported National Defense Magazine.
Jason Knowles, director of geospatial science and technology at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies, an Army affiliated research center, spoke at ITEC about the new terrain capture and reconstruction software that recreates complex environments including cities for simulation exercises and war planning. The institute is part of a cross-functional team working on the mapping software (called One World Terrain (OWT) project).
Knowles described the new software as "Google Earth on steroid."
At a briefing during ITEC, Knowles showed the audien…

SpaceX satellites pose new headache for astronomers

SpaceX satellites pose new headache for astronomers
By Issam AHMED AFP•May 28, 2019
Washington (AFP) - It looked like a scene from a sci-fi blockbuster: an astronomer in the Netherlands captured footage of a train of brightly-lit SpaceX satellites ascending through the night sky this weekend, stunning space enthusiasts across the globe. But the sight has also provoked an outcry among astronomers who say the constellation, which so far consists of 60 broadband-beaming satellites but could one day grow to as many as 12,000, may threaten our view of the cosmos and deal a blow to scientific discovery. The launch was tracked around the world and it soon became clear that the satellites were visible to the naked eye: a new headache for researchers who already have to find workarounds to deal with objects cluttering their images of deep space. "People were making extrapolations that if many of the satellites in these new mega-constellations had that kind of steady brightness, then in 20 year…

Uber To Start Banning Passengers With Low Ratings

Uber To Start Banning Passengers With Low Ratings
SASHA INGBERMay 29, 20194:36 PM ET
Uber has unveiled a new policy that enables the company to kick riders with low ratings to the curb. For years, Uber allowed passengers to rate drivers on a star system, ultimately allowing customers to influence whether drivers can stay behind the wheel. Internal charts from 2014 published by Business Insider showed that drivers with ratings of 4.6 or below were at risk for the boot.
Though drivers could rate passengers, there was no equivalency in consequences. But now Uber's drivers will have a greater say about the behavior of passengers. "Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability," Kate Parker, Uber's head of Safety Brand and Initiatives, said in a statement released Tuesday. Parker added, "While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it's the right thing to do."
The shift will begin in the United Sta…

Google Maps increases risk of developing Alzheimer's, expert warns

Google Maps increases risk of developing Alzheimer's, expert warns ·Sarah Knapton29 May 2019 • 3:48pm
Satellite navigation aids like Google Maps could be damaging people’s brains and may even contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, a navigation expert has warned.

David Barrie, CBE, a former British diplomat, who has written extensively on natural navigation, said that humans had developed an acute sense of their surroundings and place in the world over hundreds of thousands of years which was now being lost as technology takes over. And he said he was concerned that GPS was preventing people building up the resilience that their brains needed in later life. In Alzheimer’s the hippocampus is one of the first areas to deteriorate, taking away a person’s ability to remember directions, and navigate. Speaking at The Hay Festival, Mr Barrie said it was ‘very sad’ to see people with their heads down following smartphone maps. “Crucially as we become more and more dependent on t…

Robots are taking on more warehouse jobs

Robots are taking on more warehouse jobs
Published May 28, 2019 at 08:01PM

ATLANTA — Tephnee Usher stands in a McDonough, Georgia, warehouse, separated from the stored goods by a black chain-link fence, and waits for robots to deliver the goods to her. Human workers are confined to opposite edges of this 17-acre roofed space: delivery bays and shipping bays about a football field apart. The vast concrete area between them belongs to 225 electric powered, eerily silent robotic Butlers that perform tasks people used to do. E-commerce, growing at 15 percent a year, is driving a second boom in Georgia’s robust warehousing and logistics industry, which employs about 118,000 packers and material handlers across the state. Companies setting up ready-to-ship warehouses here last year included Target’s furniture line, Wayfair home furnishings and Dynacraft bikes and scooters. Amazon has four “fulfillment” centers scattered from Braselton to Macon. It’s clear the industry is changing. What’s less cl…

Rise of the robots: Bank deploys ‘Pepper’ to assist customers

Rise of the robots: Bank deploys ‘Pepper’ to assist customers
By RON HURTIBISE MAY 29, 2019 | 7:59 AM
Don’t be afraid, but a robot is being deployed to serve you at one of the world’s largest banks.
Its name is Pepper. It’s a humanoid robot with a tablet for a chest and wheels that let it get around on its own. It’s shiny and cute. It has arms and it has hands that it can tighten into a fist.
But it doesn’t want to hurt you or take anyone’s job, say officials of HSBC Bank, where Pepper is being put to work.
Beginning Thursday, Pepper will greet customers at HSBC Bank’s Brickell branch in Miami, and later, possibly other locations throughout Florida, according to bank officials. Pepper’s Miami launch will be the fourth for the bank, following launches at branches on Fifth Avenue in New York City last summer, and in Seattle and Beverly Hills this past spring.
Remember how some banks in the 1970s introduced “Tillie the All Time Teller” by putting a colorful human face on the cold steel …

In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc

In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc
By Nicole Perlroth and Scott ShaneMay 26, 2019
For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services.
But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.
Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool, EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.’s own back…