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Author Topic: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc  (Read 153400 times)

Reelya

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Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« on: August 20, 2016, 01:14:14 am »

I realized we kinda lack a thread that's about general tech developments in "real world" contexts. Maybe this can be this thread. Recent news articles:

https://tech.slashdot.org/story/16/08/18/1351200/ubers-first-self-driving-fleet-arrives-in-pittsburgh-this-month
Quote
Ride-hailing app Uber will introduce self-driving cars in Pittsburgh as soon as this month, Bloomberg reports citing many officials and engineers at the company. The move is the first part of a pilot program to explore the future of the technology, the report added. The company plans to test 100 Volvo XC90s outfitted to drive themselves. Still, the cars will be accompanied by two humans: an engineer who can take control of the vehicle when needed and a co-pilot who takes note. Bloomberg reports:
The Volvo deal isn't exclusive; Uber plans to partner with other automakers as it races to recruit more engineers. In July the company reached an agreement to buy Otto, a 91-employee driverless truck startup that was founded earlier this year and includes engineers from a number of high-profile tech companies attempting to bring driverless cars to market, including Google, Apple, and Tesla. Uber declined to disclose the terms of the arrangement, but a person familiar with the deal says that if targets are met, it would be worth 1percent of Uber's most recent valuation.
So, self-driving Ubers are here. My guess is that this is really going to push self-driving cars into the general consciousness. Good news for self-driving cars, maybe not so good news for Uber drivers. It also opens up the question of what's Ubers core market advantage when all taxi services are automated? I can easily see city-specific cab companies all signing up to create their own website / app together, especially since they compete with each other much less than they compete with Uber. But Uber might have other competitor too, because ...

Airbus Details Plan To Build Flying Taxis
Flying taxis, nuff said. Airbus plans to expand by turning Earth into Coruscant.

https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/08/18/2310242/satellite-images-can-map-poverty
Quote
"A team from Stanford University were able to train a computer system to identify impoverished areas from satellite and survey data in five African countries. The latest study looked at daylight images that capture features such as paved roads and metal roofs -- markers that can help distinguish different levels of economic wellbeing in developing countries. They then used a sophisticated computer model to categorize the various indicators in daytime satellite images of Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi. 'If you give a computer enough data it can figure out what to look for. We trained a computer model to find things in imagery that are predictive of poverty,' said Dr Burke. 'It finds things like roads, like urban areas, like farmland, it finds waterways -- those are things we recognize. It also finds things we don't recognize. It finds patterns in imagery that to you or I don't really look like anything... but it's something the computer has figured out is predictive of where poor people are.' The researchers used imagery from countries for which survey data were available to validate the computer model's findings.
Pretty cool if we can adapt existing systems like that to give us a better understanding of third-world development without needing to rely on subjective measurements, local authorities figures, or get investigators to interfere on the ground. Doing the same analysis on photos across a time lapse would help identify areas which are missing out on development aid, regardless of politics or national borders, warfare.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 03:26:26 am by Reelya »
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BorkBorkGoesTheCode

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, AI Etc
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2016, 01:18:10 am »

How hackable are those cars?
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Reelya

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, AI Etc
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 01:20:45 am »

IDK, but I just read another article saying there are electrical sockets with a chip in them and they can crack your WIFI password and be hacked to launch DDOS attacks. Don't put CPUs in everything people, it's stupid.

In other news however, the Kickstarter for the Onion Omega 2 computer is packaging a $5 computer which includes a 580MHz CPU, 64MB memory, 16MB storage, built-in Wi-Fi and a USB 2.0 port. Which is cool but makes it even easier to embed stupidly overpowered electronics into "smart" devices which don't need it.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 01:29:09 am by Reelya »
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BorkBorkGoesTheCode

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, AI Etc
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2016, 01:28:54 am »

I would say something about WIFI, but no.
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martinuzz

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, AI Etc
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2016, 02:08:57 am »

While this century we talk about Heroshima and Nagasaki as the greatest singular manmade loss of life events, next century, people will remember The Great Rush Hour Car Hack which killed millions.
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Reelya

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, AI Etc
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2016, 03:25:48 am »

That post conveniently segues into my next post:
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23130871-000-us-air-force-wants-to-plasma-bomb-the-sky-using-tiny-satellites/
Basically, the US Air Force plans to launch a network of plasma emitter satellites to try and permanently charge the ionosphere so that radio signal bounce farther.

Quote
Another team, Enig Associates of Bethesda, Maryland, and researchers at the University of Maryland, want to rapidly heat a piece of metal by detonating a small bomb and converting the blast into electrical energy. Different shaped plasma clouds can be generated by changing the form of the initial explosion.

I'm not comfortable with them launching a network of satellites which launch bombs, regardless of the payload said bombs current have. It reads too much like a space-weapons test disguised as a communications system.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 03:33:25 am by Reelya »
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Max™

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2016, 08:48:52 am »

Lord knows Tesla would be happy.
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mainiac

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, AI Etc
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2016, 12:12:04 pm »

While this century we talk about Heroshima and Nagasaki as the greatest singular manmade loss of life events, next century, people will remember The Great Rush Hour Car Hack which killed millions.

Dude, Hiroshima and Nagasaki dont even stand out in terms of death toll.  Nanking, Warsaw, Leningrad, Wola, Bataan... and that's not even getting into the holocaust, the hunger plan (hint: the hungry people are civilians on land german wanted), the balkan genocides and the japanese treatment of the Chinese in general.  Like I know that wasn't the focus of your post but it's REALLY off the mark.

I realized we kinda lack a thread that's about general tech developments in "real world" contexts. Maybe this can be this thread. Recent news articles:

https://tech.slashdot.org/story/16/08/18/1351200/ubers-first-self-driving-fleet-arrives-in-pittsburgh-this-month

Quote
It also opens up the question of what's Ubers core market advantage when all taxi services are automated? I can easily see city-specific cab companies all signing up to create their own website / app together, especially since they compete with each other much less than they compete with Uber.

Uber already has a lot of competition in terms of people willing to drive cars for money.  They aren't really making money due to driving cars, they are making money due to exploiting the shitshow that is US taxi regulation.

http://www.vox.com/2016/4/19/11439558/uber-model-regulatory-arbitrage
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martinuzz

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, AI Etc
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2016, 05:01:19 pm »

Dude, Hiroshima and Nagasaki dont even stand out in terms of death toll.  Nanking, Warsaw, Leningrad, Wola, Bataan... and that's not even getting into the holocaust, the hunger plan (hint: the hungry people are civilians on land german wanted), the balkan genocides and the japanese treatment of the Chinese in general.  Like I know that wasn't the focus of your post but it's REALLY off the mark.
Which is why I said singular event. Holocaust and hunger plan didn't happen in mere seconds. Heroshima and Nagasaki did, and so would a massive car pilot hack.
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MrRoboto75

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2016, 05:50:09 pm »

IDK, but I just read another article saying there are electrical sockets with a chip in them and they can crack your WIFI password and be hacked to launch DDOS attacks. Don't put CPUs in everything people, it's stupid.

In other news however, the Kickstarter for the Onion Omega 2 computer is packaging a $5 computer which includes a 580MHz CPU, 64MB memory, 16MB storage, built-in Wi-Fi and a USB 2.0 port. Which is cool but makes it even easier to embed stupidly overpowered electronics into "smart" devices which don't need it.
Yeah, call me a luddite but why does my fridge need its own internet connection? It's a fridge. The biggest use I could think for it would be to let me dispense ice from my bedroom, and how useful would that be exactly?

I feel like manufacturers are doing it for the sake of doing it.

Its supposed to link to your smartphone.  It can track how long each item's been in your fridge, keep a running inventory of sorts, and can craft a shopping list on the fly based on your stocking habits and what's missing currently.  I think it also can play music, because.

Source: I sold appliances all summer as a seasonal job this year.  That said, I've seen nobody actually buy one.
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Strife26

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2016, 06:42:19 pm »

Don't forget the fridge based Twitter updates!
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martinuzz

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, Environment Etc
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2016, 06:44:37 pm »

#IceColdFritch
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Max™

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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2016, 07:58:50 pm »

#YourMilkIsGoingToExpireTomorrow
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i2amroy

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, AI Etc
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2016, 10:04:34 pm »

While this century we talk about Heroshima and Nagasaki as the greatest singular manmade loss of life events, next century, people will remember The Great Rush Hour Car Hack which killed millions.
Guess we Ghost in the Shell now. 'Scuse me while I go get my new cyberbrain. :P

And yeah, the main advantages to internet-bound everything is that we can start relaying things together to provide benefits; your fridge tracks your inventory automatically, your oven/stove recommend recipes based on what you've made before and what you need to use out of your fridge, your car then reminds you of what you need as you start to approach the shopping mart, and so forth.
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alexandertnt

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Re: Tech News. Automation, Engineering, AI Etc
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2016, 05:17:50 am »

And yeah, the main advantages to internet-bound everything is that we can start relaying things together to provide benefits; your fridge tracks your inventory automatically, your oven/stove recommend recipes based on what you've made before and what you need to use out of your fridge, your car then reminds you of what you need as you start to approach the shopping mart, and so forth.

Seems simpler to just take a picture of your fridge with your phone and take that into the store TBH. I have no idea why your car would do any of that, it seems about the worst way to go about that (if you really wanted to automate that, just have the fridge send a list to your phone, so much simpler.). Likewise for the stove, google recipes on your phone, takes no time at all. Plus you don't have to worry about dealing with the half-baked (hurr hurr) shitty interface that the stove company will inevitably come up with.

I.e. at least to me, these specific examples just sound like automation/IoT devices for the hell of it, they don't really seem to be solving any particular problem most people have. To be honest, having your car remind you of what you need seems so... primitive-futuristic, like the kind of futurism you would see in something like the Jetsons.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 05:27:21 am by alexandertnt »
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