Amazon to Roll-Out Drone Delivery Service

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Its been rumored for several years that Amazon has been working on developing a drone delivery service to complement Amazon Prime. Well, its seems as if some serious advances are beginning to take shape in that area. Amazon announced the unveiling of “Amazon Air”, a drone delivery service that could revolutionize online shopping. The incorporation of drone shipping would effectively eliminate waiting times for products, as Amazon would gain the ability to ship customer orders in real time.

The reason for the sudden buzz seems to be the creation of a new hybrid design drone. This new innovation, allows the drone to take off and land vertically, while enabling horizontal travel at very high altitudes. Because of this, Amazon has greatly reduced the safety risk of low flying drones. In addition, new upgraded drone batteries now make it possible for longer distance flying, where previous prototypes had been limited in this respect.

While no official release date has been set by Amazon, one has to to believe that at this pace we will be receiving our packages via drone in no time. If you are curious to learn more, the link to Amazon’s official unveiling is linked below.

http://frequentgadget.com/2015/11/30/amazon-shows-off-new-prime-air-drone-with-hybrid-design/

Uber Disrupting NYC Taxis

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Here’s something you probably knew: Uber is not good for the yellow cab business. Here’s something you might not have known: how bad it actually is for it.

There are people who love Uber, in fact so many that it has caused one cab company to lose 50% of its business.

To have a taxi in NYC you need a medallion. The companies that lease and sell medallions have been able to sell them for upwards of $1 million dollars in the past.

As people switch to services such as Uber, the companies that give medallions have seen demand for traditional taxis plummet.

Private companies own the taxis and the ability to use the taxi to pick people up in the city is controlled by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) in New York City. The TLC sets regulations for the taxis. This impacts the amount they can charge a customer. Uber on the other hand doesn’t have these restrictions and has more control over its prices.

By cutting out the cost of medallions, vehicles, and regulations, Uber is saving a lot of money and this saving can be passed on to the customer through lower prices. Or it can be used for higher profit margins in the company.

The decrease in traditional taxi riders, to the tune of 3.83 million between April and June of this year compared to last year has lead some companies into bankruptcy and lead to companies being unable to pay back loans for taxis.

Now some of these companies are taking this issue to court and they are suing New York City over it.

While things like Uber are good for us, they’re completely changing the game in ways we might not even realize.

Unfortunately, it seems that with any disruptive innovation, some people will benefit and others, well, you know…

 

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0T700J20151118

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=what+is+a+taxi+medallion

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/11/cab-medallion-owners-sue-nyc-blame-uber-for-ruining-business/

Seer – Caputer : Augmented Reality Helmet

When the Iron man came out in 2008, it created a lot of buzz regarding the HUD of Tony Stark’s Iron man suit, It has massive field of view, its clear and is insanely cool. After Looking for anything even remotely similar to that, I was surprised to find something that is not just similar but quite literally exactly like HUD of the Iron man Suit. This device being the Seer Caputer, It claims to be the world largest 100 degree field of view Augmented reality Helmet. When a person is wearing the helmet, because of the large field of view, the person cannot see the edge of the screen, this effect is by design as it makes the augmented reality effect even more authentic. Another very innovative feature built into the device is that the makers of the device have made it possible for the user to be able to control the headset by moving his or her jaw ( jaw control). This essentially meaning that as the user  flips through the screen in a smartphone using his/her finger the same can be done in this helmet by using your jaw. While the, augmented reality device is an extremely exciting product for gamers as this can be connected via bluetooth or wifi to gaming consoles, this also serves as an incredible opportunity to people belonging to professions like Architecture or to the medical field as this device can have incredible applications  for educational purposes.

 

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Europe’s Biggest Kickstarter Has Gone Bankrupt

After raising a record of 3.6 million dollars to fund a project called Zano Drones. The drones were originally expected to be small and portable devices that would send hd pictures and video directly to your smart phone. The company had claimed to have shipped over 600 drones but reports stated the drones that were shipped fell short of the companies promises. The company as a result has filed bankruptcy and has started liquidation. Backers of the Zano Drone project are obviously not happy and would like to receive their money back but this is unlikely to happen. Kickstarter has stated that backers are not shoppers but instead investors. I think it is bad that Kickstarter is allowing project to make false claims about their products in order to take peoples money. Kickstarter should do a better job of checking up on products to ensure they are legit especially the largest funded project in Europe.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/19/9759834/zano-drone-bankrupt-liquidation-kickstarter

 

Technology Transforming Mental Health Care

http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/ct-wp-technology-transforming-mental-health-care-20151122-story.html

 

Mental health is kind of a taboo subject that many of us don’t like to talk about for whatever reason.  There are certain times when discussions about mental health intensify, such as when the country is faced with a mass killing like what happened in Oregon recently.  Regardless, it is still a serious issue that needs to be addressed in this country and the rest of the world.

One way mental health is being addressed is through a service called the Big White Wall.  Running in the United Kingdom for nearly a decade, The Big White Wall is an online service that provides help 24/7 to any individual battling a mental illness.  In addition, users of this service are anonymous.  This is a critical feature, because one of the biggest problems with mental illnesses is some people do not seek help out of fear of being looked at differently.

The Big White Wall and similar services seem to be working, and it is definitely a step in the right direction for the future of mental healthcare.

Teaching Computer Coding With Minecraft

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/11/18/minecraft-tutorial-will-help-teach-students-computer-science

Minecraft game designers and Code.com have created a tutorial based on the popular PC  game Minecraft. This was created for a annual event called Hour of Code, which is a week long event that teaches people about computer coding. I find this interesting because this is another way Minecraft is being used as an education tool. The article says that over 7,000 teachers have used MInecraft as an educational tool. Normally, I have read about MInecraft being used to teach things such as city planning or architecture. Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world currently and it is interesting how people are using it for more than just entertainment. This is a creative new way to use this technology and it will be interesting to see how people develop new and creative uses for this game.

Paris terror Attacks – Similarities with the Mumbai terror attacks

Recently on the 13th of November , terrorists who were affiliates of the Islamic state or ISIS , Killed over a 120 innocent people in paris at different locations. The Most striking part about the terror attack was that terrorist attacked several locations simultaneously in a coordinated fashion indicating that this attack was long planned. What was more striking was that not long ago in the November of 2008, In the financial capital of India – Mumbai , 10 terrorists also unleashed a wave coordinated terror attacks on the most symbolic locations of the city such as the Taj palace hotel,  Oberoi Trident Hotel, CST terminal, the Leopold cafe and some other locations as well. These locations were known to be  tourist hotspots, frequented by western tourists or being crowded areas to maximise casualties. the most striking part is the similarities between the two attacks and how terrorists used off the shelf communication devices to plan and execute these acts of terror, all whilst evading the eyes of the intelligence agencies tasked with preventing such attacks. In Mumbai terrorists used google earth and google maps to plan their points of attacks and the hotel website which gave them a virtual tour of the hotel. Whereas, reports are emerging that the terrorists used Playstation 4 networks to communicate and plot the terror attacks in paris, the playstation 4 networks are notoriously hard to monitor and crack and intelligence and security agencies have not been paying too much attention to them as to things like facebook or whatsapp or other forms of communication vis smartphones. Whilst there are several similarities in both the attacks , the similarities that I have mentioned are specifically related to what we study in class and we did discuss the mumbai attacks and how technology is agnostic and can be used for both good or evil. Another special similarity between these two attacks was that terrorists in both instances had decided to attack multiple locations simultaneously in order to spread the security forces  as opposed to allowing them to converge on one location.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34829690

Link to a bbc article commenting about the similarities

 

Paris Mumbai Mumbai - Taj Hotel siege

Tesla’s Newest Project

Recently, Elon Musk himself has been on the look out for new engineers to pursue with the process of the self driving car. With this new phenomenon close to hitting the market, Musk is determined to make this new project his first priority and perfect the new model Tesla. He recently tweeted “Ramping up the Autopilot software team at Tesla to achieve generalized full autonomy. If interested, contact autopilot@teslamotors.com”. It sounds like he’s not playing any games when it comes to this new self-driving car. He even claims that he will be personally interviewing these future employees. With many companies getting into these new projects, Musk is not willing to get left behind. In fact, the current models already have many autopilot features that make Tesla cars different from all of the rest. He predicts that this project will be completed in the next 3 years. I’m definitely excited to see for what’s to come for Tesla and all of the other competing brands.

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Further information: http://www.cnet.com/news/tesla-bulks-up-engineering-staff-for-self-driving-car-project/

One Final Push for Google+

As soon as someone in our class saw the word Google+ they immediately probably thought of that harsh prediction we heard in class. The prediction that I am referencing is Scott Galloway claiming, “Google+ is already dead”. Apparently contrary to his beliefs Google+ is still kicking. On Tuesday Google released its new and improved Google+ platform.

In order to find a way to bring their attempt at a social media website back from the grave they did exactly what any good business does. They went to their users and interviewed them even going through the effort of meeting some of them at their houses. What Google found was that people mostly used their feed system and photo sharing system. Their reinvented system is now competing with twitter on one front and called a “high end instagram” on the other.

Although Google successfully researched and reinvented their product I think it is time to shoot this project behind the barn. They already have so much success that they do not need to tap the social media market. Eventually Google may be able to trap some of the market but in total they will always be falling behind the other big companies in this field.

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Google-Tries-On-New-Social-Media-Identity-82768.html

#JeSuisDiesel

Dogs around the world pay their own tribute to hero police canine killed in Paris siege.International Online : according to the British “Daily Mail” on November 19 reported. Recently, the French police dog squad diesel (diesel) in counter-terrorism operations in the police in the suburbs of Paris Saint Denis were killed. At that time, the diesel was sent into terrorists occupied buildings find traps, but after a woman detonated a suicide vest, was hit by shrapnel sacrifice. And in order to commemorate Dicer, Twitter users from around the world to make their own pet dogs pose a variety of poses to take pictures, to express the respect for Dicer.
Around the world the dog some dangling from the French flag, some stood beside a handwritten sign “salute heroes”, but sent to the Internet have the same label “# I Diesel” JE suis diesel).
Dicer outstanding performance in the SWAT team, has been awarded the service medal, a lot of friends on the victims expressed condolences. “We feel as if we lost one of our colleagues,” said a policeman. “A twitter user said Dicer was to protect us from death.
Dicer’s death in social media triggered a mourning craze, twitter and even launched a special Suis Chien Je label, meaning that I am a dog”. This and in January the Charlie Hebdo magazine by terrorist attacks push special mourning label “JE suis Charlie” (Charlie) similar

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3324782/Twitter-users-post-pictures-pets-paying-tribute-police-dog.html