Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The RoboEarth Project and The Rise Of The Machines

The field of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence seems to have been making significant progress these last couple of years. A few months ago, IBM's Watson supercomputer was able to beat the two best human players at Jeopardy. It is capable of understanding questions formulated in normal English language on a variety of fields like science, history or popular culture, and come up with an answer in less than a second.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Skylon Spaceplane

British Aerospace company Reaction Engines Ltd is working on a design for a Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) Spaceplane called Skylon that will take off and land horizontally from a runway, just like a normal plane. This concept has been studied several times already in the past, with projects such as the U.S.'s National Aerospace Plane (see my previous post) or the British HOTOL, but all encountered technological problems that they could not solve. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

SFPark iPhone app shows Real-Time Parking Availability in San Francisco

As you may or may not know, San Francisco's SFPark Project has been installing state-of-the-art park-meters and sensors on the ground that can tell if a car is parked in the spot. This information is transmitted wirelessly to their central server. Now this information is available to everybody on-line on the sfpark.org website, or with the SFPark iPhone app. It displays a map showing each street block color-coded depending on the approximate number of spots available.
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