Saturday, November 28, 2015

This Week in Silicon Valley [Nov. 28, 2015]

This Week in Silicon Valley [Nov. 28, 2015]

Friday, November 13, 2015

Brand new Star Wars VII trailer... again

I heard rumors that there wouldn't be any more trailers for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, which comes out this December. Supposedly, this was from the horse's mouth (J.J. Abrams himself), but I guess that's not really the case now that we have this new footage.

Keep an eye out for some of the new little tidbits flashed so quickly you would probably miss them otherwise. Like the Imperial Guard staff that can block light sabers, and a notable if brief exchange between Han Solo and Rey. Check out the video below to see it for yourself:

Internet Gold: Self-driving car for Google gets pulled over by cops

Self-driving cars, or autonomous vehicles, are exactly what their names imply: they can drive themselves. By the very exact nature of programming, these cars are generally safer than those driven by humans. In fact, Google claims that these self-driving vehicles have never received a ticket -- but a little human intervention has brought them close.

"Hm, cars drive themselves now? Imagine that."
The car was set to cruise along at a leisurely 25 miles per hour, or just over 40 kilometers per hour, in an effort to appear less menacing to people still getting used to the idea of robots driving people around on their own. A police officer stopped one such car in an attempt to figure out why it was obstructing traffic by driving slowly, and he presumably got a short lesson in tech.

The moment was captured by +Aleksandr Milewski in a picture taken from nearby:

Friday, November 6, 2015

Starship Robot developed by Skype co-founders for urban delivery

Starship Robot developed by Skype co-founders for urban delivery
Move out of the way, Amazon Prime Air!
Local delivery from shop to home is about to take an interesting twist thanks to an new service offered by Starship Technologies, founded by the same people who co-founded Skype. The service will be rolled out in neighborhoods by building 'hubs' for the robots at stores and such businesses that want to utilize local deliveries.

The 'Starship Robot,' as the company calls it, will drive on sidewalks at a safe speed, and can carry up to 20 lbs of items -- the equivalent, they say, of 2 grocery bags. It will be mostly automated, only slightly guided by a human controller who ensures that the goods are delivered safely and without disturbance.

The robot is only expected to take 5-30 minutes per delivery, and will cost businesses just about $1 to operate per trip, making it far more efficient than current delivery methods. In cities like New York or San Francisco, this could revolutionize local businesses and give them a much needed boost.

[Running Riot] #6 - The Rich King

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