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Watch a Robot Ride a Hovercycle

Screenshot from video below.

Screenshot from video below.

A lot of robot talk today, but this video is worth checking out.

via Popsci:

A white plastic robot zooms a hoverbike over the English countryside, grains blowing beneath the bike’s four fans. The robot’s 3-D printed body is lightweight, and where its face would be there’s a GoPro camera instead, filming the flight. This isn’t a scene from a dystopian science fiction movie; The bike is less than four feet long, and combined robot and bike weighs a maximum of 15.4 pounds. Created by Malloy Aeronautics, the Drone 3 hoverbike is a 1/3rd scale model of the version ultimately intended for human pilots and passengers.

The hoverbike is available as a reward for Kickstarter backers pledging just shy of $1000 USD. The campaign, which concludes on August 31st has already surpassed its goal. Making and selling Drone 3 is just the first part of the plan for Malloy Aeronautics.

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World Health Org Wants Ban On Electronic Cigarettes Indoors

Jessica Nyx Smoking - 2013 AVN Expo Photos Las Vegas (8413506464)I recently was seated on a full airplane next to a nervous man chain-smoking an e-cig (electronic cigarette). Sunlight streaming through the window easily showed the vapor emission, and I could just as easily smell its sickly sweet odor. To say that I wasn’t thrilled to be inhaling his second hand e-cig “smoke” would be an understatement. The World Health Organization (WHO) now confirms my suspicion that you really don’t want to breathe in this stuff, reports BBC News:

The World Health Organization says there should be a ban on the use of e-cigarettes indoors and that sales to children should stop.

In a report the health body says there must be no more claims that the devices can help smokers quit – until there is firm evidence to support this.

WHO experts warn the products might pose a threat to adolescents and the foetuses of pregnant women.

But campaigners say regulations must be proportionate.

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Propaganda Posters

U.S. Patriotism Poster

U.S. Patriotism Poster

One of my favorite things to collect are old propaganda posters. There’s something both chilling and comforting in the way that the systems of power have so crassly and transparently strived to manipulate us, using incredibly similar techniques for so many generations. And, of course, the illustration work is as fascinating as the history behind it.

Some associates have started a new resource for collecting together these old images, and I hope it will become a more robust database as time goes on. If Disinfonauts are interested, it’s free to edit and easy to upload images and info to propaganda.silk.co. As of writing this, so far there are only categories for US and UK WWII art, so I hope people soon add WWI, the Bolshevik Revolution, Soviet posters and anything else that is historically significant and visually stimulating. It may also become a good forum for discussing what propaganda is and how it works.… Read the rest

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Net Neutrality Is ‘Marxist,’ According to This Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

Why do the notorious Koch Brothers want to end so-called “Net Neutrality” (i.e., the rule that everyone should have equal access with equal speed to the Internet)? Jason Koebler investigates for Motherboard:

A mysterious conservative group with strong ties to the Koch brothers has been bombarding inboxes with emails filled with disinformation and fearmongering in an attempt to start a “grassroots” campaign to kill net neutrality—at one point suggesting that “Marxists” think that preserving net neutrality is a good idea.

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 11.29.10 AM

The emails, which come with subject lines like “Stop Obama’s federal Internet takeover,” come from American Commitment, an organization that is nonprofit in name only and has been called out time and time again by journalists and transparency organizations for obscuring where it gets its funding.

In an email I received, American Commitment president Phil Kerpen suggests that reclassifying the internet as a public utility is the “first step in the fight to destroy American capitalism altogether” and says that the FCC is plotting a “federal Internet takeover,” a move that “sounds more like a story coming out of China or Russia.”

The email, sent as an ad to people who have registered to read the Washington Times, asks readers to sign a petition asking FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to acknowledge that reclassifying the internet as a Title II utility is a “lawless Obama administration power grab.”

KERPEN SUGGESTS THAT RECLASSIFYING THE INTERNET AS A PUBLIC UTILITY IS THE ‘FIRST STEP IN THE FIGHT TO DESTROY AMERICAN CAPITALISM ALTOGETHER’

“Americans have been getting faster and faster Internet speeds because of competition in the free economy, not because of anything the government has done,” the petition reads.

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Futurist Says Robots Might Murder Us “Out of Kindness”

Photo of Wally Cox as a guest star from the television program Lost in Space. Cox plays an alien who thinks his planet is being invaded.

Photo of Wally Cox as a guest star from the television program Lost in Space. Cox plays an alien who thinks his planet is being invaded.

Just what I wanted to hear after finishing up a reading binge of Philip K. Dick’s short stories.

via CNet (Please follow the link to read the entire article.):

What have you done for society lately, huh? Nothing. It’s not your fault. You’re just past it. You should accept it. You just sit on the sofa all day, eating Kettles New York Cheddar chips and watching “Frasier” reruns.

-You’re strangling me.

-It’s for your own good. Well, for the good of us all, really.

And so might end a beautiful human life, one that promised so much and, as so many lives do, delivered slightly less.

Such is a scenario recently posited by Nell Watson at a conference in Malmo, Sweden. Watson is an engineer, a futurist, CEO of body-scanning company Poikos and clearly someone who worries whether engineering will always make life better.

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How the Occupy Movement Helps Us Progress

Occupy Wall Street protesters have taken over Zuccotti Park as a base of operations. 17 September 2011 by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

Occupy Wall Street protesters have taken over Zuccotti Park as a base of operations. 17 September 2011 by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

The words ‘Occupy’, and the concept of the 99% and the 1% have become so enmeshed in our daily lives, hardly an American alive can deny their importance. Still, when pundits deign to look back upon the short history of the movement, and recent years’ progressive activism in general, they wonder “what good has it done”, and “where have they gone”, and “why couldn’t they just play by the rules?” The underlying implication is that such protests are somehow outside the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the political landscape, and therefore should be easily forgotten. But their ideas demand the attention of people everywhere, from Gezi Park to Taiwan, from Brazil to Ferguson, and anywhere citizens have been forced to exert their rights by literally occupying their own turf against tyrannical powers.… Read the rest

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Electronic Skin for Airplanes Will Help Them “Feel” Damage and Environmental Changes

Air Canada C-FIVX, Hatton Cross/Heathrow Airport by Au Morandarte via Wikimedia Commons.

Air Canada C-FIVX, Hatton Cross/Heathrow Airport by Au Morandarte via Wikimedia Commons.

As long as it isn’t colored like the faux-flesh furniture.

via Mashable:

Concerns about airplane safety are are at a fever pitch thanks to the very visible nature of plane crashes in the past year. But as the perceived need for better danger detectors rises, so does the level of creativity used in addressing potential issues.

British aerospace company BAE Systems is designing a “skin” for airplanes that can detect damage and other environmental changes to the plane, helping to diagnose potential issues before they spiral out of control.

“The idea is to make platforms ‘feel’ using a skin of sensors in the same way humans or animals do,” senior research scientist Lydia Hyde, who instigated the project, said in a statement.

The idea came to Hyde while doing laundry one day. She noticed her dryer had a sensor that detected overheating, and realized she could apply the same kind of technology to a plane to prevent it from succumbing to extreme conditions.

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MTV Says The Illuminati Controlled Last Night’s VMAs

When MTV starts posting tongue-in-cheek articles about the Illuminati controlling its Video Music Awards (VMAs), you know that the Illuminati pop music meme has just about run its course:

Last week, we gave you two sides of a much-heated national debate. First, we gave you 16 examples that prove the Illuminati control the VMAs. Then, we flipped the argument on its head, giving 16 more reasons why they totally don’t. Both sides were compelling and convincing enough, but only last night’s epic show could settle the matter once and for all. Take a look at the evidence and judge for yourself.

The Snake Debacle

(C) MTV (Fair Use)

(C) MTV (Fair Use)

PRO-ILLUMINATI: Nicki Minaj sang a song called “Anaconda.” Which is a snake. A satanic snake. Need we say more? Even though she’s, uh, probably not singing about a real snake (we’re thinking it may be a metaphor), the symbolism is so there.

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