Amazon Just Opened a Grocery Store Without a Checkout Line

December 7th, 2016

Via: USA Today:

Amazon is testing a grocery store in downtown Seattle that lets customers walk in, grab food from the shelves and walk out again, without ever having to stand in a checkout line.

Customers tap their cellphones on a turnstile as they walk into the store, which logs them into the store’s network and connects to their Amazon account through an app.

The service is called Amazon Go. It uses machine learning, sensors and artificial intelligence to track items customers pick up. These are then added to the virtual cart on their app. If they pick up an item they later decide they don’t want, putting it back on the shelf removes it from their cart.

The Seattle-based company calls it, “Just walk out technology.”


#familyreasons: Prime Minister John Key Named as Ideal Candidate to Head International Monetary Fund

December 6th, 2016

Unbelievable.

Alternate tag: #mrleesgreaterhongkong

Via: New Zealand Herald:

Outgoing Prime Minister John Key has been tipped as a potential candidate to head the International Monetary Fund, an appointment signed off by US President Barack Obama.

An article on MSC Newswire says Key’s background in international finance would make him an ideal candidate to replace Christine Lagarde as the managing director of the IMF. Lagarde has been ordered to stand trial in France over what became known as the Tapie Affair.

“Mr Key has the required money market experience. He has run a country. He has backed President Obama’s showpiece international thrusts, the TPPA, and the Paris Climate.

“He is known to be on personal terms with President Obama who will have the ultimate sign-off on the IMF leadership.”

It said a push was under way for a non-European to get the role.

Key was unaware of the speculation when contacted. He is yet to comment on whether he would consider the role, but has said he intended to remain living in New Zealand after stepping down as Prime Minister. He did expect to take up positions on boards, possibly internationally.


Wall-Jumping Robot Is Most Vertically Agile Ever Built

December 6th, 2016

Ah yes, “Search and rescue missions.” *wink* “The research was supported by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory under the Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology Collaborative Technology Alliance…”

The objective of the Army’s Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology Collaborative Technology Alliance:

Perform enabling research and transition technology that will enhance warfighter’s tactical situational awareness in urban and complex terrain by enabling the autonomous operation of a collaborative ensemble of multifunctional, mobile microsystems.

Via: University of California Berkeley:

Roboticists at UC Berkeley have designed a small robot that can leap into the air and then spring off a wall, or perform multiple vertical jumps in a row, resulting in the highest robotic vertical jumping agility ever recorded. The agility of the robot opens new pathways of locomotion that were not previously attainable. The researchers hope that one day this robot and other vertically agile robots can be used to jump around rubble in search and rescue missions.


Confirmation of Wendelstein 7-X Magnetic Field

December 6th, 2016

Via: DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory:

Physicist Sam Lazerson of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has teamed with German scientists to confirm that the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) fusion energy device called a stellarator in Greifswald, Germany, produces high-quality magnetic fields that are consistent with their complex design.

The findings, published in the November 30 issue of Nature Communications, revealed an error field — or deviation from the designed configuration — of less than one part in 100,000. Such results could become a key step toward verifying the feasibility of stellarators as models for future fusion reactors.


Pentagon Suppressed Study That Revealed $125 Billion in ‘Waste’

December 6th, 2016

Via: The Hill:

The Department of Defense suppressed one of its own studies that revealed $125 billion in wasteful spending, according to an investigation published by the The Washington Post.

The newspaper found that the study, commissioned by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work, was hidden because of fears Congress would cut defense spending.

The Defense Business Board, along with McKinsey & Company consultants, conducted the study, which produced a the 2015 report titled, “Transforming DoD’s Core Business Processes for Revolutionary Change.”

In an interview with the Post, Work said the report proposal was “unrealistic.”

“There is this meme that we’re some bloated, giant organization,” Work told the newspaper. “Although there is a little bit of truth in that … I think it vastly overstates what’s really going on.”

“We’re the largest bureaucracy in the world. There’s going to be some inherent inefficiencies in that,” he said.


‘The Bizarre Hillary Clinton Conspiracy Theory That Led a Man to Open Fire in an Italian Restaurant’

December 5th, 2016

The shooter appears to be a failed actor.

IMDB: Edgar Maddison Welch

Via: Independent:

A Washington pizzeria is the home of a child sex abuse ring that includes people including Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief John Podesta, reports claim. Those reports are entirely baseless and there is no actual evidence that the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant is anything but a popular pizza place, but that doesn’t matter.

At least the fact that it is entirely untrue doesn’t matter to the thousands of online conspiracy theorists and trolls who have promoted the false rumour. And nor did it matter to the man who walked into the restaurant late at night reportedly brandishing a firearm, hoping to “self-investigate” the reports.

Edgar Maddison Welch, 28 of Salisbury, North Carolina, walked into the front door of Comet Ping Pong and pointed a firearm in the direction of a restaurant employee, the Washington Post reported.

The employee was able to flee and notify police. Welch then fired the gun into the floor.

Police responded and arrested Welch without incident. They recovered an assault rifle, Brown said. Welch was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

Related: “Pizzagate”: How 4Chan Uncovered the Sick World of Washington’s Occult Elite


John Key Steps Down as Prime Minister of New Zealand, Claims Family Reasons

December 5th, 2016

Via: New Zealand Herald:

John Key is resigning as Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Key made the announcement at his weekly press conference this afternoon.

The Herald understands Key’s wife Bronagh asked him to resign but he later said Bronagh would have backed him going into a fourth term.

Key, his voice shaking with emotion, said he told his Cabinet of his decision this morning.

“This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made and I don’t know what I’ll do next.”

Key cited family reasons for leaving, saying the job had required great sacrifices “from those who are dearest to me”.


Army Corps of Engineers Denies Dakota Access Pipeline Route

December 4th, 2016

Via: NBC:

The secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers told Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II Sunday that the current route for the controversial Dakota Access pipeline will be denied.

Archambaut told NBC News after he heard the decision that he was “thankful that there were some leaders in the federal government that realized that something is not right even though it’s legal.”

“This is something that will go down in history and I know that it’s a blessing for all indigenous peoples,” he said.

The Army Corps of Engineers later released a statement saying they will not approve the easement that would have allowed the proposed pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe, a large reservoir on the Missouri River in North Dakota.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy said in the statement Sunday. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”


UK: Politicians Exempt Themselves from New Wide-Ranging Spying Laws

December 4th, 2016

Via: Independent:

Politicians have exempted themselves from Britain’s new wide-ranging spying laws.

The Investigatory Powers Act, which has just passed into law, brings some of the most extreme and invasive surveillance powers ever given to spies in a democratic state. But protections against those spying powers have been given to MPs.

Research Credit: Jb


Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda to Run Electric-Car Division

December 4th, 2016

Via: Green Car Reports:

It’s now abundantly clear that Toyota is changing course when it comes to zero-emission vehicles.

After years of promoting hydrogen fuel cells while shunning and disparaging battery-electric cars, the company now plans to introduce a mass-market electric car by 2020.

The fact that Toyota is reportedly only now assembling the team to develop that car indicates how recent this decision seems to be.

But the company’s choice of leader for the team indicates the company is taking electric cars very, very seriously indeed.

Toyota has appointed CEO Akio Toyoda to lead its electric-car division personally, according to a Reuters report.

The company hopes putting Toyoda—the grandson of company founder Kiichiro Toyoda—in charge will speed the development, a spokesperson told the news service.


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