Tech Weekly: 01.20.2016
Tech Weekly is dedicated to providing you the most recent in technological developments. The world of science and technology is always changing and improving, making it hard to stay up to date, let us make it easy for you! From the ceiling to the stars, here are the 3 stories making headlines this week:
NASA’s mission to keep us safe from asteroids
NASA announced last week that it has established the Planetary Defense Coordination Office to centralize its efforts to detect and track near-Earth objects.
The PDCO will survey all NASA funded projects to find and characterize all asteroids and comets that pass near Earth’s orbit around the sun.
Of those interceptions it will then detect any potential impacts, and working closely with the Department of Defense, The Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other US agencies to respond to potential threats.
Nearly 13,500 near-Earth objects have of all sizes have been found since 1998, with roughly 1,500 being discovered each year.
Possibly hazardous objects the PDCO tracks are asteroids and comets measuring 30 to 50 meters along their axis, whose paths are projected to intercept within 0.05 astronomical units of Earth.
Don’t quite go looting yet, a single astronomical unit is 93 million miles, meaning that even then were talking 4.65 million miles from earth.
However this does mean that any body that close to our little slice of heaven will be affected by Earths gravitational field. NASA is constantly learning more about these processes and continually assessing the threat.
They do have the President on speed dial, so i wouldn’t worry to much.
Sony built their Smart Home Hub into a ceiling light
This week Sony announced its new Multifunctional Light, a ceiling lamp that’s equipped with sensors to talk to other smart devices.
Including sensors for motion, temperature, humidity, and illumination as well as the standard WIFI radio. To boot its coming with a memory card slot, a condenser microphone, and an infrared controller for air conditioners.
The inspiration for a ceiling light was as Sony Electronics spokesperson John Dolak explains “…we gave thought to where we could install it so that it would work as well as possible.”
He continues to explain that they ultimately decided to bring the platform to life in the form of a ceiling light, feeling that the ceiling is the best place to avoid as many obstacles as possible.
The Mulitfunctional light is set to be released in early 2016 in Japanese markets, Dolak also noted that they do not have any plans as of yet to release in any other markets.
Google’s self driving car, still needs us boring old humans
Google’s self driving cars have shown major safety improvements over the past year, however, there still have been numerous incidents when test drivers were forced to take the wheel. This information has just been released by Google following a report recently filed with the California DMV.
According to the report there were 272 incidents so-called immediate manual control disengagements, theses are due to a failure of the autonomous technology powering the car. Between Sep. 2014 and Nov. 2015, these incidents happened 1 in every 5,318 miles, a significant decrease since fourth quarter 2014 with 1 disengagement every 785 miles.
Divers are alerted through visual or audio signals, when an incident takes place.
So even in a self driving car I still can’t fall asleep at the wheel!?
There have been a total of 69 incidents in which test drivers had to take control of the vehicle. 13 of those incidents drivers prevented “simulated contacts”, meaning without the intervention the vehicle would have collided into another object — in some cases another car.
All of the other 56 incidents were classified as “safety-significant”, due to issues like properly yielding to cyclists or pedestrians, proper perception of traffic lights, or potential traffic law violations.
This still means that Google is a safer driver than almost any person on the road today, and with improvements to be made we might be living in a world of robotic cars soon.
Google Details Self-Driving Cars Problems in DMV Report, InformationWeek
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Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.