Yuki Taro, the Japanese sidewalk snow plow. Think Roomba for snow covered sidewalks. The basic idea here is that a very cute robot runs itself with GPS and plows up snow. This snow it then turns into bricks that you can do anything with. As long as they don’t melt. The article I linked to says it was invented by kids but it was not. The Japanese are just suckers for anything that is super cute and useful. The name basically means “snow boy”, in case you were wondering.
~FBI gets their wire tap phone service disconnected. I am not sure if there is anyone out there who hadn’t heard of this massive failure but I couldn’t let it get away with not being mentioned on this site. Ha! No free rides for you, FBI. There are a few quotes that really sum this up. “More than half of 990 bills to pay for telecommunication surveillance in five unidentified FBI field offices were not paid on time, the report shows.” More than half? So, about 445 bills or so were unpaid? Very interesting.
And one other quote worth mentioning, “We also found that late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence”. NO! I never would have guessed that not paying your bills and having your services shut off could affect your ability to spy on people without a warrant. A final note on this topic is that they are trying to pin the blame on a woman who stole some money from them. So, you are telling me that one woman was the sole person responsible to pay every phone bill for the FBI? Hmm, maybe the FBI needs to consider implementing a checks and balance system.
~Burning coal for electricity creates a byproduct that is more radioactive than nuclear waste. At least it is according to a new article in Scientific America. It actually says that the ash created from burning the coal that is released into the air is up to 100 times more radioactive then nuclear waste. I mean, with coal there is never a chance of a nuclear meltdown but maybe it really is time to move away from our dependency on coal. I mean, we could live with acid rain, greenhouse gas emissions and the occasional trapped miners or unstoppable underground coal fires. But now, with all of these things, please let’s just realize when to call it a draw. In the defense of coal, the uranium content can change due to where the coal was mined, making some less radioactive then others. But in the overall scheme of things, does it really matter?
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