Jeff Bezos took to 60 Minutes to announce Prime Air, a drone-based 30-minute delivery system for densely populated areas that comes with its own video design-fiction illustrating how it might work. The vision is an exciting one, but the designfic elides some important questions like the regulatory framework under which thousands (millions?) of drones might share the sky as businesses compete to do airborne delivery; whether that framework would be sufficient to actually maintain public safety (hello midair drone collision over a busy highway with attendant plummeting shrapnel into the path of speeding cars!); and what the energy and carbon footprint of drones would be, especially with comparison to conventional delivery logistics.
On the last point, I'm somewhat optimistic. One big problem with renewables is storing excess power generated during peak periods (tidal inflows/outflows, high wind events, strong sun), and having fleets of independent, battery-powered systems handy presents a solution: use their batteries as storage for this excess capacity. So if you imagine networks of drone-depots topped with solar arrays and/or windmills (or near to tidal generators on the coast), these could use drone batteries to both store energy for the drones, and as a storage medium to draw upon for internal power usage (pick-and-pull robots, etc) during the troughs in renewable output.
Some 1,600 people were secretly livestreamed while staying in South Korean motel rooms where cameras had been hidden by criminals who operated a 4,000-user service for voyeurs, where a $45/month upcharge bought subscribers the right to access replays and other extra services.
Android tablets being crummy and Microsoft ones being dismembered laptops, it’s nice that Apple’s unexpectedly announced new models of its aging iPad Mini and iPad Air. The 10.5″ iPad Air weighs one pound and starts at $499, while the 7.9″ iPad Mini has pencil support, an ultra-high DPI and starts at $399. Both use Apple’s […]
Enjoy one minute and eleven seconds of fun from the Lockpicking Lawyer, who makes short work of a Smartkey Kwikset Padlock [Amazon], which you absolutely shouldn’t buy as a gift for someone whose property you have plans for.
If you’re into tech at all, you should definitely consider unleashing your inner tinkerer on a Raspberry Pi board. If you’re intimidated, don’t be. It’s a statistical probability that people half your age have created cooler things than you can imagine with the versatile kit. Not sure where to start? The Complete Raspberry Pi 3B+ […]
Are you super organized? You’re going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You’re still going to love this piece of luggage because it’s so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you. We’ve all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full […]
Despite government legislation and improving caller ID technology, robocalls and scam artists are rampant on the phone lines – up to 35 billion a year in the US alone. They can be annoying at best and a financial threat at worst, but there’s a way to take security into your own hands. One good example […]