Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Collected midweek geekery

😎 Zero Hedge reposts an article about unemployment in the age of robots: coming for you in five years. Too optimistic regarding robots, but a lot of process reengineering has been going on, motivated by, among other things, the increasing cost of labor and the low cost of borrowing money for capital investment. I think 10-15 years is a better estimate than 5 years, at least for "millions of american jobs" to be at risk.

😎 Fun things you find in NOAA charts: the water off the coast of Southern California seems to be a bit of a munitions dumping ground...  nothing to see here, just "chemical munitions dumping ground, disused." Nice to know it's disused; I'm sure chemical munitions are really stable over decades and their casings not subject to corrosion in constantly moving salt water... oh, wait.

(Those are the beaches that appear in lots of movies and TV shows.)

😎 Super-capacitors are coming. Well, there's another discrete improvement in those super-capacitors, at least. These are storage devices that don't convert the electrical energy into another form (say chemical for batteries), but rather store it directly as an electric field between two electrodes separated by a dielectric. This makes for a very quick charge and much better roundtrip efficiency after several discharge cycles. Read the paper here (you may need to go through a public library proxy.)

😎 Congratulations to the United Launch Alliance for another successful launch, this one a spy mind control communication satellite for the military-industrial-intelligence complex:

😂 Speaking of energy storage, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bananarama, ahem Bainimarama, announced his country's investment in a new technology that uses the "excess energy stored outside the battery in your cell phone" to recharge the batteries of the cell phone. I believe it uses Multi-Access Generative Integrated Congruence for that, or M.A.G.I.C. for short.

😂 The MIT football team, "Engineers" because "Nerds" is a registered candy trademark, are as of last week 3-and-8; the allegedly professional football foosball team known as the San Francisco 49ers are 1-and-10, the 10 losses having been in a row.  The 49ers have a 12 million dollar a year quarterback; the Nerds have a quarterback that has to keep a B+ or better average in one of the most academically strict schools in the world. I'm not an expert on sports or anything, so is 10 losses in a row good or bad?

😖 This week's example of "if you want to help the cause, join the other side" comes from the Daily Kos, where apparently their illustrators know less about zoo-geography than my 6-year-old nephew after watching Happy Feet:

I've been told it's a photoshopped photo, but that's nothing compared to the small difference between the North and South poles. Penguins live close to the South pole; polar bears and seals live close to the North pole. Little kids know this; the Daily Kos apparently doesn't.