Friday, June 17, 2016

Scrap Welfare -- Give Everyone a Paycheck. We are going to need it -- when Robots do all the work

Many are lobbying for a bold social experiment to help eradicate poverty and protect workers in an increasingly automated economy... the idea of guaranteed minimum income for everyone. Guaranteed minimum income is a system of social welfare that guarantees that all citizens have an income sufficient to live on.

The Atlantic:

The idea isn’t new. As Frum notes, Friederich Hayek endorsed it. In 1962, the libertarian economist Milton Friedman advocated a minimum guaranteed income via a “negative income tax.” In 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.” Richard Nixon unsuccessfully tried to pass a version of Friedman’s plan a few years later, and his Democratic opponent in the 1972 presidential election, George McGovern, also suggested a guaranteed annual income. In a 2006 book, conservative intellectual Charles Murray proposed eliminating all welfare transfer programs, including Social Security and Medicare, and substituting an annual $10,000 cash grant to everyone 21 years and older. The Alaska Permanent Fund, funded by investments from state oil revenues, sends annual dividend checks to the state’s residents.

While recently Swiss voters rejected an option, the idea of guaranteed income is compelling, in the face of the on-going robot revolution. Other proposals are being debated elsewhere, including the Netherlands, Finland, Canada and New Zealand.

Here's an interesting take on the concept...

And Forbes has an excellent summary of the Netherlands experiment...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Want to See things More Clearly? Use low-cost, high res Micro Len technology!

Flat lens promises a revolution in optics, and they are unlike the curved disks of glass found everywhere from cameras to binoculars. Instead, it is made of a thin layer of transparent quartz coated in millions of tiny pillars, each just tens of nanometres across and hundreds high. Singly, each pillar interacts strongly with light. Their combined effect is to slice up a light beam and remould it as the rays pass through the array... The team is already working on beating the performance of its first prototypes.

Read more over at this source... on BBC.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Why Our Government Hates Drones

Over at Wired, read why the government hates drones:

...why the government freaked out when a $400 remote-controlled quadcopter landed on the White House grounds last week, you need to look four miles away, to a small briefing room in Arlington, Virginia. There, just 10 days earlier, officials from the US military, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FAA gathered for a DHS “summit” on a danger that had been consuming them privately for years: the potential use of hobbyist drones as weapons of terror or assassination.

The conference was open to civilians, but explicitly closed to the press. One attendee described it as an eye-opener. The officials played videos of low-cost drones firing semi-automatic weapons, revealed that Syrian rebels are importing consumer-grade drones to launch attacks, and flashed photos from an exercise that pitted $5,000 worth of drones against a convoy of armored vehicles

Read more at Wired

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Almost a Flying Car

In Nevada, a prototype flying drone taxi made by a Chinese company is getting closer to testing. As we read at The Consumerist, EHang is working with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development to enable the firm to develop a testing program for its autonomous aerial taxi. Ehang's autonomous helicopter may soon shuttle a passenger anywhere, no pilot required. Well, within the 20-minute, 60mph range.

Watch a Naval version video here...

The Verge:

Ehang, a Chinese drone company, announced a new product at CES it's calling the Ehang 184, an all electric quadcopter scaled up from a drone so that it's large enough to carry a passenger. Ehang calls it an autonomous aerial vehicle, I prefer personal pilotless helicopter, but if you need to explain what it is to anyone, just say it's a driverless car for the sky.